In this article, we are going to talk about Special Men’s Multivitamins: What are their features? Why are there a specific supplements for men?
Why take a specific multivitamin?
Most of the multivitamins available in the market have been designed with a series of generic vitamins and minerals. These are useful both for men and women.
Regardless of their nutrient requirements, since the nutrient reference value established by the European Committee does not make a distinction between the sexes.
Figure I. Nutrient reference values for adults.
Advice for men
Some world health organization like the American IoM establish some differences between the sexes, because men usually need more nutrients than women:
Figure II. DRIS of vitamins according to age and sex. We have used red to highlight some of the differences between men and women of the same age.
Basal metabolism in both sexes
This is due to the fact that men have more fat-free mass than women, which is directly related to the basal metabolism.
Figure III. Positive correlation between fat-free mass (axis X) and metabolic rate while resting (axis Y). The more fat-free mass, the higher the metabolic rate.
But even after standardizing the fat-free mass, men have a higher metabolic rate than women. Some mechanisms that regulate the REDOX processes are over-expressed in men.
Figure IV. Differences in the energy expenditure while resting between men and women (A). After adjusting the “fat-free mass” variable to prevent it from affecting the results (B). Men have a higher RMR than women regardless of their fat-free mass.
We have to adapt the needs
The metabolic rate is the result of many processes that use energy, producing heat.
Well, since men have an “accelerated metabolism” when compared to women. Consequently, they need more cofactors, that is, more vitamins and minerals.
Evidently, some multivitamins may lack some nutrients in order to be as generic as possible for the highest number of people without risks.
But pay attention, because HSN has come up with a new product.
Ultimate Men’s Multi
Ultimate Men’s Multi has been specially designed to meet the micronutrient requirements of the most demanding men.
Figure V. Distribution of the nutrient intake, cut-off points and its relation to infra- or over-consumption disorders.
Figure VI. Ultimate men’s multi.
- This product contains a high percentage of vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
- Apart from highly concentrated plant extracts that have been specially selected to deal with the specific requirements of men.
Above all, it has been designed to do what any multivitamin should do:
What are the ingredients from Ultimate Men’s Multi?
Ultimate Men’s Multi has been formulated with a complete vitamin spectrum.
All of them are present in enough doses to meet the recommended dietary intake. Except for vitamin K, which provides a 53% of the NRV due to the fact that is available in everyday products.
Apart from vitamins, Ultimate Men’s Multi contains minerals such as zinc and trace elements like iodine or selenium. They have been specially selected due to their action mechanism on the metabolism of men.
Moreover, it contains fatty acids like Alpha-Lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, choline and inositol, apart from a series of plant extracts. Actually, these substances are regarded as pseudo-vitamins due to their nutritional properties and role in the organism.
We want to highlight some of the nutrients from this product due to their degree of specificity for men:
- Iodine and Selenium
- Coenzyme Q10
- Saw Palmetto
- Grape seeds
Zinc is an essential mineral that plays endless roles in maintaining the metabolism.
One of its most interesting effects for men is its ability to increase the testosterone concentrations. In fact, this hormone is directly related to a healthy sexual performance and muscle mass gains.
The relation between zinc and the balance of the androgenic system is complex. There are several processes involved such as the conversion of cholesterol to sex hormones and the role of zinc in cell receptors.
Studies from the last century, when the control of the ethical committees was not as important, they tested how the testosterone concentrations of men dropped when they were subjected to a dietary restriction of zinc. Consequently, they altered the concentrations of this mineral in the body.
Figure VII. Relation between zinc leukocyte concentration and testosterone after 8 and 20 weeks of severe zinc dietary restriction.
The efficacy of zinc on preserving the testosterone concentrations has been supported by important organizations like the IoM and EFSA. That is why its use is completely fair, specially if we take into account that moderate doses (240mg of zinc sulfate a day) can increase the testosterone concentrations in eugonadal men (without testicular disorders).
Figure VIII. Effects of taking Zinc before (blue) and after 50 days (green) on the spermatozoa density, zinc and testosterone concentrations.
Iodine and Selenium
Part of our daily energy expenditure is regulated by our thyroid metabolism.
Therefore, alterations in the synthesis of thyroid hormones (clinical or subclinical hypothyroidism) can affect our health and reduce the basal metabolic rate.
Figure IX. Simplified mechanism of the endogenous synthesis of thyroid hormones.
It is in charge of providing an iodine molecule to form MIT, DIT. Then, these will bind together to form the active hormone (T3).
A deficiency of these elements can affect the synthesis of thyroid hormones and trigger hormone alterations in men.
That is why it is important to ensure their intake through some of its main dietary sources such as iodized salt. In fact, many people actually do not use it.
Choline is an essential nutrient involved in several physiological processes. For example:
- Synthesis of neurotransmitters (acetylcholine).
- Transmethylation processes (through trimethylglycine).
- Forming the lipid cell membranes (as phosphatidylcholine).
- Supporting the fat absorption (thanks to the phosphatidylcholine from the bile).
Above all, choline is necessary to maintain the balance in the organism. In fact, its deficiency can trigger alterations that affect the cognitive functioning, hepatic disorders (NAFLD and fatty liver disease). Moreover, it can also increase the homocysteine concentrations, which in turn increases the risk of suffering a potentially lethal cardiovascular attack…
It is a quinone that catalyzes the transport chain of electrons and it is involved in mitochondrial breathing. Consequently, it is essential in order to obtain energy from the oxidative system, yes, I am talking about you, endurance athletes.
Not only the cardiac muscle is significantly affected by low levels of coenzyme Q10. In fact, the skeletal muscle will suffer since a coenzyme Q10 deficiency can lead to the onset of myalgia and fatigue.
Moreover, taking coenzyme Q10 supplementation increases its concentration in the testicles. Therefore, it increases the density and motility of the spermatozoa. That is why it is used to improve male fertility, which is the cause of one out of five unsatisfactory attempts at procreating.
Figure X. Tree diagram that shows the effects of taking Coenzyme Q10 on the spermatozoa concentrations, semen and its motility. Positive results towards the right.
But the fatty acids from saw palmetto can inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. Consequently, they can control the conversion of testosterone to DHT, having positive effects on:
- Benign prostate hyperplasia.
- LUTS (lower urinary tract symptoms, such as dysuria in adults).
- Androgenic alopecia.
- Libido (due to the partial inhibition of phosphodiesterase-5, increasing the nitric oxide concentrations. Consequently, this increases the blood flow to the penis).
It is a stilbenoid that has been associated with important antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in vivo. Currently, it is being postulated as one of the nutrients with most anti-aging effects there are due to its interaction with phosphodiesterase, protein AMPK and SIT1.
Figure XI. Simplified biomolecular mechanism that explains the interactions of resveratrol with anti- and pro-inflammatory targets and their effects on our health.
Grape Seed Extract
They are rich in proanthocyanidins that have a positive effect on:
- The glucose metabolism (improving the insulin sensitivity)
- The lipid metabolism (reducing the LDL-c and increasing the HDL-c).
- Intracellular bioavailability of nitric oxide by dealing with superoxide overproduction due to NOS.
Figure XII. Effects of taking proanthocyanidins and anthocyanins on the glucose and lipid metabolism.
- Arciero, P. J., Goran, M. I., & Poehlman, E. T. (1993). Resting metabolic rate is lower in women than in men. Journal of Applied Physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985), 75(6), 2514–2520.
- BS DJHMB. Androgen Physiology, Pharmacology and Abuse. [Updated 2016 Dec 12]. In: Feingold KR, Anawalt B, Boyce A, et al., editors. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA): MDText.com, Inc.; 2000-.
- EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, N. and A. (NDA). (2010). Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to zinc and maintenance of normal skin (ID 293), DNA synthesis and cell division (ID 293), contribution to normal protein synthesis (ID 293, 4293), maintenance of normal serum testosterone concentrations (ID 301), “normal growth” (ID 303), reduction of tiredness and fatigue (ID 304), contribution to normal carbohydrate metabolism (ID 382), maintenance of normal hair (ID 412), maintenance of normal nails (ID 412) and contribution to normal macronutrient metabolism (ID 2890) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal, 8(10), 1819.
- EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, N. and A. (NDA). (2011). Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to choline and contribution to normal lipid metabolism (ID 3186), maintenance of normal liver function (ID 1501), contribution to normal homocysteine metabolism (ID 3090), maintenance of normal neurological function (ID 1502), contribution to normal cognitive function (ID 1502), and brain and neurological development (ID 1503) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal, 9(4), 2056.
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- Lei, K. Y., Abbasi, A., & Prasad, A. S. (1976). Function of pituitary gonadal axis in zinc deficient rats. American Journal of Physiology, 230(6), 1730–1732.
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- Netter, A., Nahoul, K., & Hartoma, R. (1981). Effect of zinc administration on plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and sperm count. Systems Biology in Reproductive Medicine, 7(1), 69–73.
- OM, A.-S., & Chung, K.-W. (1996). Dietary Zinc Deficiency Alters 5α-Reduction and Aromatization of Testosterone and Androgen and Estrogen Receptors in Rat Liver. The Journal of Nutrition, 126(4), 842–848.
- Prasad, A. S., Mantzoros, C. S., Beck, F. W. J., Hess, J. W., & Brewer, G. J. (1996). Zinc status and serum testosterone levels of healthy adults. Nutrition, 12(5), 344–348.
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