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by Katie Hoehn December 31, 2022 4 min read

You can never go wrong with taking vitamins … or can you?

Vitamins are an important part of living a healthy lifestyle and having a balanced diet. Your body quite literally needs them to maintain your health and perform a wide variety of functions!

Also, whether your goal is to lose weight, build muscle, or improve your overall health ... your body needs these micronutrients to see the best possible results.

So can women take men’s vitamins? Yes, because there is no such thing as a gender specific vitamin. Now, you are probably more-so curious about multivitamin supplements. Multivitamins are a combination of vitamins, minerals, and oftentimes, several other ingredients.

Some of these multivitamins are great for both men and women. However, there are also multivitamins that are gender specific instead of gender neutral.

I'm sure you're wondering ... "Isn't that just marketing?" In some cases ... it certainly can be. In a lot of cases though, there are multivitamins that include ingredients that actually cater to specific genders.

So can women take a male specific multivitamin? The answer is yes, they can. But, should women take a male specific vitamin? I would say no, and for good reason too.

In this article, I’ll explain why it’s not a great choice ... the differences between men’s and women’s multivitamins ... and everything else you need to know to get the best vitamins for YOUR body!

What Is a Multivitamin?

Multivitamins are a daily supplement that most usually come in a capsule, tablet, or chewable form. For the most part, you will always find a full dose of every essential vitamin and mineral in multivitamins.

Why Vitamins Matter to Your Health

That’s because multivitamins are designed to make sure you’re covering all of your bases when it comes to micronutrients. This is especially important if you are not following the most nutritious diet.

While it is always ideal to get as many of these essential vitamins and minerals through whole food as possible … it's very difficult. Finding, sourcing, and measuring every individual micronutrient is wickedly expensive. It also requires an unbelievable amount of hassle.

That’s where multivitamins were born! I think of them as somewhat of an insurance policy to make sure you are getting a sufficient amount of these nutrients.

Men’s Vs Women’s Multivitamins: What’s the Difference?

There is plenty of overlap when it comes to men's and women’s vitamin needs, like how both men and women need about the same amount of B12. But, there are also differences.

The differences between men’s and women’s multivitamins comes down to the quantities of each individual vitamin and mineral. On top of that, a lot of gender specific multivitamins include nutrient blends to appeal to specific aspects of male or female health.

Women, for example, typically need more iron than men … Even up to twice as much. That’s because iron is primarily stored in the bloodstream, and women will lose more iron simply because of their menstruation cycles. Not enough iron can lead to anemia, low red blood cell count, tiredness, and shortness of breath.

However, once a woman enters menopause, they don’t need the same intake of iron.

Women over 50 are also generally at a much higher risk of losing bone mass more rapidly than men. For this reason, women’s multivitamins typically have more calcium.

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Another factor considered in the formulation of a women’s multivitamin is pregnancy and breastfeeding. Most health professionals recommend that women take more folic acid during pregnancy. That's because folic acid can help support healthy baby development.

Now let’s talk about the guys. For one, men’s multivitamins typically have more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients as a whole. That’s because men are usually physically bigger than women.

Similar to a women’s multivitamin formula, male specific multivitamins can have additional nutrients for male-specific conditions. An example of this would be adding more selenium and lycopene to a male multivitamin. Both of these ingredients have been shown to help prevent prostate cancer [1, 2].

So as you can see, there are a lot of reasons why men’s and women’s multivitamins can differ from each other.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

Taking the right multivitamin for your body and gender can be a game-changer for your health. These essential vitamins and minerals are important for everything from your metabolism to your immune system, bone strength, muscle tissue, cognitive function, and so much more.

At 1st Phorm, we have a wide variety of multivitamin supplements to best fit your needs and goals! For the ladies, we have M-Factor Goddess, which is a complete multivitamin. It also has extra female-specific ingredient blends designed to support energy, mood, immune function, and hormone balance. We even have our Prenatal Plus for women who are pregnant or nursing.

For the guys, we have M-Factor Men, which is another complete multivitamin with extra male-specific ingredient blends designed to support immunity, performance, and natural testosterone optimization.

I currently use our Micro Factor, which is a non-gender specific micronutrient pack! Micro Factor goes above and beyond your typical multivitamin by giving your body much more. Each Micro Factor pack has a multivitamin, essential fats, CoQ10, a probiotic, a superfood blend, and an antioxidant blend.

If you have any more questions about multivitamins, or anything else for that matter … reach out to us! We have a team of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Certified Nutrition Coaches who are here and happy to help.

Customer Service - 1st Phorm

References

[1] Sayehmiri K, Azami M, Mohammadi Y, Soleymani A, Tardeh Z. The association between Selenium and Prostate Cancer: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2018 Jun 25;19(6):1431-1437. doi: 10.22034/APJCP.2018.19.6.1431. PMID: 29936712; PMCID: PMC6103565.

[2] Ford NA, Elsen AC, Zuniga K, Lindshield BL, Erdman JW Jr. Lycopene and apo-12'-lycopenal reduce cell proliferation and alter cell cycle progression in human prostate cancer cells. Nutr Cancer. 2011;63(2):256-63. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2011.523494. PMID: 21207319.

Katie Hoehn
Katie Hoehn

Katie Hoehn Registered Dietitian ACE Certified Personal Trainer ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist ACE Youth Fitness Specialist 1st Phorm App Advisor