Is it okay for men to take a women's multi-vitamin to get more iron?

It is absolutely fine. Some manufacturers selling a multi-vitamin (MVI) for women generally increase the amount of vitamin D, calcium, and iron in the supplement. Other companies will promote their multi for men by adding lycopene (for prostate health) along with increasing vitamin D and vitamin E contents. So, it would be completely fine for you to take a multi for women. If you are low in iron, however, I would speak with your doctor about whether you would need a specific iron supplement and/or I would start increasing the amount of foods that you consume that are high in iron. You may choose to start your day with an iron fortified cereal along with OJ to help your body best absorb the iron. Lunch could consist of a tofu stir fry with kidney or Lima beans, and at dinner you could serve a lean red meat paired with green leafy vegetables. Your family physician should be able to determine why you are low in iron and then prescribe the best sort of treatment.

Multi-vitamins are consumed by millions of people each day. It is easy to get swayed by the some of the manufacturer marketing tactics such as “Multi-vitamin for bone, breast, and heart health” or “Multi-vitamin for healthy hair, skin and nails” or “Multi-vitamin to help boost immunity and increase energy”. Researchers suggest, however, that one not rely on a multi-vitamin to help prevent disease or improve one’s immune system and a MVI should never take the place of whole foods. I encourage my patients to do their best to eat a variety of foods and “savor the spectrum” of color in choosing vibrantly hued produce. This type of a healthy diet will provide one with plenty of healthy vitamins and minerals. If one of my patients is unable to get good variety in her diet on a consistent basis, then I do encourage a supplement, but will continue to encourage that she get natural vitamins from whole foods.

Login to Favorite