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Why take a multivitamin?

In their revised 3rd edition of “The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine”, Dr. Michael Murray N.D. and Dr. Joseph Pizzorno N.D. offer this advice: “USDA nationwide food consumption studies…have revealed that marginal nutrient deficiencies exist in a substantial portion of the U.S. population (approximately 50%) and that for some selected nutrients, more than 80% of people in certain age groups consumed less than the Reference Daily Intake." What if you are eating a “good” diet with whole foods and 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day? They continue: “A sad fact is that conventionally grown foods do not contain as high a concentration of nutrients today as they did in the past. For example, one study showed that vitamin levels have decreased by as much as 37% from 1950 to 19991 and another found that trace minerals have dropped by as much as 77% from 1940 to 1991.2 Their final advice quotes from biochemist Dr. Roger Williams: “healthy people should use multiple vitamin and mineral supplements as and ‘insurance policy’ against possible deficiency.”

What form is best for multivitamins?

You will have to decide what form works best for you. The first thing to consider is what you can swallow. Tablets? Capsules? Powders/liquids? That’s the usual order in digestibility and ease of swallowing. A tip for swallowing tablets and capsules is to tip your head back when taking tablets (so they slide down) but tip your head forward when taking capsules (the air in capsules makes them float toward the back of the throat.) Here are some other things to consider:

Tablets are a problem for some. If they have lots of good ingredients per serving, they will either be larger or more numerous per serving—so look for smaller tablets and smooth coatings.

Capsules are not compressed like tablets and so are easier to digest as they are in a powdered state. However, 500 mg in one tablet may require two capsules for the same delivery.

Powders are a solution for some, but the texture, taste or smell—especially of B vitamins—may be off-putting. Try combining your multi powder with a smoothie (after most of the blending is done) or healthy beverage that has strong flavors to mask the B vitamins.

What makes a good men's multivitamin?

Superior products in this category usually require 1-2 tablets/capsules taken 2-3 times daily with meals for better absorption. They may contain “body ready” forms of B vitamins (technically called “co-enzyme” forms.) With allowance for those who take additional supplements of nutrients, vitamin levels should be at least 400 IU of vitamin D-3 along with vitamin K2, nutrients found in lycopene, and lutein/zeaxanthin blends to support eye health.

Don't forget the minerals! Men’s formulas generally should not contain iron (unless men are diagnosed with iron anemia or are strict vegetarians) since men do not menstruate and iron is readily available in red meat. Excess iron can be a pro-oxidant (the opposite of an antioxidant) which can create harmful oxidation in the body and possibly iron overload if diagnosed with hemochromatosis.3 Multis for men should also contain more than just traces of macro-minerals such as of magnesium and calcium, should include immune supportive nutrients such as selenium, and key minerals for men such as zinc (with some copper too), manganese and chromium.

1. Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999

2. A study on the mineral depletion of the foods available to us as a nation over the period 1940 to 1991

3. Iron and a Man’s Reproductive Health: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

How We Choose Our Top 5 Supplements (View our Site Disclaimer)

We recommend any of the five products listed below equally and so present our choices in alphabetical order by brand. We do not receive any compensation in exchange for our recommendations. Read more about how we make our selections.

All One Nutrient Powder

All One® Nutrient Powders

Easy to digest, quick and versatile, this powdered approach has lots of uses for kids, seniors and pill-haters. Use the flavored in your smoothies, unflavored in your soups and stews. The many varieties provide USP® certified vitamins plus minerals and include protein or veggie concentrates.

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The serving sizes on most varieties include 6-8 grams of protein in a heaping tablespoon of powder, and the 2.2 pound container provides 66 servings! Varieties include: All One® Original, Rice Base formula, Active Senior formula and Green Phyto Base.

Original includes 8 grams of New Zealand dairy protein per serving.

All One® Rice Base Formula:

  • • Easy to digest
  • • High potency antioxidants
  • • Stress B-complex
  • • 1000mg of vitamin C
  • • Essential trace minerals
  • • Iron free
  • • Dairy, gluten, yeast and sugar free
  • • Certified vegan

Bluebonnet Iron-free Multi One

Bluebonnet® Iron-Free MultiOne®

A whole line of one-a-day capsuled multivitamins and minerals in superior forms. Chose for men, women, with and without iron.

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MultiOne® multis include a full list of B-Complex vitamins, better absorbing Albion® chelated minerals, Advanced Nutrition Amino Acid Complex, and includes choline bitartrate, inositol and lutein.

Bluebonnet’s MultiOne® Formula is a single daily multivitamin and multimineral dietary supplement in an easy-to-swallow, two-piece vegetable capsule (Vcap) and is formulated with highly efficient, patented Albion® chelated minerals and popular carotenoids, such as natural beta-carotene and FloraGLO® lutein from 100% natural marigold extract. Gluten Free and Kosher Parve.

Natural Factors Men's 50+ MultiStart

Natural Factors® Men's 50+ MultiStart®

This versatile three-a-day, no-iron formula is loaded with superior ingredients replacing separate calcium, vitamin E and C tablets in 180 and 90 counts.

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High potency combination of basic vitamins, better absorbed citrate minerals—especially 300 mg calcium, 187 mg magnesium, 150 IU Vitamin D3 for bone health, and many trace minerals, plus nutrients to support immunity, eyes and digestion, and a whopping 285 mg of herb concentrates, including ginkgo phtysome, lutein and saw palmetto to support 50+ male health.

Serving Size: 3 Tablets Amount Per Serving/% Daily Value

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 375 mg 417%

Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopheryl acid succinate) 201 mg 1,340%

Folate 1020 mcg DFE (600 mcg folic acid) 255%

Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) 600 mcg 25,000%

Calcium (carbonate & citrate) 300 mg/23%

Magnesium (oxide & citrate) 187 mg 45%

Zinc (citrate) 22.5 mg 205%

Selenium (chelate) 75 mcg 136%

Saw Palmetto Extract 8:1 (fruit) 75 mg **

Ginkgo biloba Phytosome (leaf) (soy) 60 mcg **

Alfalfa Juice Powdered 12:1 (aerial) 37.5 mg **

Spirulina Algae Powder (Arthrospira platensis) 37.5 mg **

Wheatgrass Juice Powder (Triticum aestivum) (leaf)† 37.5 mg **

Panax Ginseng (root) 22.5 mg **

Lutein (Tagetes erecta) (marigold flowers) 0.75 mg **

Digestive support: Betaine HCl 37.5 mg, Glutamic Acid HCl 37.5 mg

Natural Factors Whole Earth and Sea Men's Multi and Men's 50+ Multi

Natural Factors® Whole Earth and Sea® Men's Multis

A line of whole food based nutrients derived from Natural Factors® own farms and processing labs. Measurable nutrients, all from verified non—GMO sources, no known contaminants or heavy metals, and species verified herbs and plants.

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Highlights are: Vitamin K2 from MK7/Natto, co-enzyme/body ready forms of B vitamins, superior absorbing mineral forms and trace minerals, lutein, lycopene, many concentrated extracts fruits and vegetables from land and sea.

Natural Factors, Whole Earth & Sea, Men's Multivitamin & Mineral:

Vitamin A† (natural beta-carotene from algae) (Dunaliella salina) (whole) 10,000 IU

Vitamin C† (organic amla, mixed ascorbates) (Phyllanthus emblica) (fruit) 90 mg

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol, lichen) (whole) 1000 IU

Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol from sunflower seed oil) 30 IU

Vitamin K2 (Menaquinone-7) (MK-7) (natto bean) 80 mcg

Thiamin† (benfotiamine) (lipid-soluble form of vitamin B1) 1.6 mg

Riboflavin† (riboflavin-5'-phosphate) 2.5 mg

Niacin† (inositol hexanicotinate) 25 mg

Vitamin B6† (pyridoxal-5'-phosphate) 2.5 mg

Folate† (from (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid (MTHF), glucosamine salt, Quatrefolic®) 800 mcg

Vitamin B12† (methylcobalamin) 400 mcg

Pantothenic Acid† (pantethine) 10 mg

Calcium† (organic algae, calcium ascorbate) (Mesophyllum superpositum) (whole) 25 mg

Iodine† (kelp) (ascophyllum nodosum) (whole) 150 mcg

Magnesium† (citrate, malate, succinate, glycinate, aspartate, ascorbate) 25 mg

Zinc† (picolinate) 25 mg 167%

Selenium† (sprouted garlic, selenomethionine) (Allium sativum) (bulb) 100 mcg

Copper† (bisglycinate) 2 mg

Manganese† (citrate, malate, succinate, glycinate, aspartate, ascorbate) 5 mg

Chromium† (picolinate) 400 mcg

Lutein† (Tagetes erecta) (marigold flower) 2 mg

Lycopene† (Lycopersicum esculentum) (tomato fruit) 2 mg

Boron† (citrate) 1.5 mg

Natural Mixed Carotenoids† (alpha-carotene, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin & lutein from algae) (Dunaliella salina) (whole) 350 mcg

†Nutrients are part of Farm Fresh Factors™ Our Farm Fresh Factors™ starts with 200 grams of fresh raw plants, processed using our EnviroSimplex® method to retain and intensify the total goodness of whole food into rich living food: Active Vegetables - organic kale (leaf) organic alfalfa (aerial), organic cilantro (leaf), organic parsley (aerial), caper (berry), organic artichoke (leaf), organic black radish (root), barley grass, cayenne pepper (leaf), organic celery (seed), organic beet (root), organic tomato; Cruciferous Vegetables - wasabi (rhizome) and fresh freeze-dried sprouted broccoli (aerial), organic upland cress (leaf), daikon (root), red radish (root), organic cauliflower (aerial), organic cabbage (leaf), organic arugula (leaf), organic watercress (leaf), sprouted garlic (bulb); Whole Fruit Ultra Polyphenols - grape, pomegranate, strawberry, organic cranberry, organic blueberry, raspberry, bilberry, organic Indian gooseberry (phyllanthus emblica), schizandra berry, red orange, organic acai berry; Herbals and Plants - Theracurmin® (curcuma longa) (root), organic decaffeinated green tea (leaf), organic milk thistle (seed), organic ginger (rhizome), organic echinacea (aerial), marigold flower, organic dandelion (root), organic oregano (aerial), organic peppermint (aerial), organic spearmint (aerial); Whole Plant Sea Vegetables - organic spirulina, organic chlorella, red algae, blue green algae, Dunaliella salina, kelp.

Nature's Way Alive! Men's Gummies

Nature's Way® Alive!® Men's Premium Gummies

While most gummy multis have very few nutrients per serving, Alive!® has respectable amounts of 15 vitamins/minerals in three gummies per serving.

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15 Vitamins/Minerals with Lutein and Lycopene

Made with Pectin, No Gelatin

Full B-Vitamin Complex with 100% more of three B vitamins

Orchard Fruits and Garden Veggies Powder Blend (200 mg Per Serving)

How We Choose Our Top 5 Supplements

Ingredients with measurable efficacy: Some supplement ingredients have had decades of scientific study and thousands of published studies describing their measurable efficacy and benefits to human nutrition. But some are only recently showing up on the market and have little science to explain their properties. Since you can't buy or try everything, we recommend products with studied ingredients.

Added value/complementary nutrients: Much of the cost of supplements is in their packaging, so if a product contains several complementary ingredients for its intended benefit, then we usually recommend that product over a single ingredient product. The exception is a single ingredient product that has special recognition as superior to similar but less effective products.

Different forms (tablets, powders, etc.): Some people just hate to take pills of any kind. So, when there’s a chewable, liquid, powder or gummy option that’s effective, we may also recommend those products.

Good manufacturing practices and reputation: There has been an explosion of supplement brands in the last 10 years. Many of these brands live only online and have ownership outside of USA regulations or ownership whose identity is sometimes hard to determine. We recommend companies that have made and marketed supplements for many decades in the USA and have earned good reputations for closely following FDA, GMP, and FTC guidelines, submitting to protocols that verify purity and potency and refraining from misleading product claims.

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