Why men, women need different multivitamins

While it may be tempting to buy a multivitamin that the whole family can share, doing so could mean nobody ends up gets a supplement that’s tailored to their needs. Here we explain why men, women and children have different nutritional requirements and what you need to look out for when shopping for a multi. 

It stands to reason that men, women and children have different nutritional needs. After all, our bodies are different, and our diets and lifestyles tend to be too. So, when it comes to shopping for multivitamins for the whole family, there are different issues you need to take into account when deciding which formula to choose. Here are some of the most important.

1. Women are more likely to feel run off their feet

While both men and women lead busy lives, research from the Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that women are particularly prone to feeling that they’re constantly short of time – especially if they’re juggling parenthood with full- or part-time work.

Although many women treat it as normal, that never-ending feeling of being stretched too thin is a form of stress that may affect your daily habits and lifestyle.

For example, women whose lives are busy or demanding are often prone to skipping meals and eating on the run – habits that may lead to missing out on some vitamins and minerals. These eating patterns aren’t ideal when you’re under pressure, because stress may increase your requirements for some nutrients, which may further use up your vitamin and mineral stores.

For that reason, the foundations of any women’s multivitamin and mineral formula should include B-group vitamins and vitamin C.

Vitamins B5 and C are particularly important here, as they play a vital role in supporting healthy adrenal gland function, which in turn is responsible for producing hormones that maintain a healthy stress response.

Top tip: Look for a women’s multi that also contains American ginseng, which has been traditionally used in Chinese medicine to relieve insomnia.

2. Many men are low in zinc

ABS dietary surveys indicate that many men don’t obtain the recommended quantity of zinc from their daily diets, especially as they get older.

Zinc is an important mineral to include in the diet, as it’s required for a vast number of physiological functions, including immune health, tissue repair, skin health and reproductive health. Ensuring there is enough zinc in the diet even helps to maintain healthy hair. 

That makes zinc an essential inclusion in a men’s multivitamin and mineral formula. 

Top tip: When shopping for a men’s multi for yourself or a partner, look for a formula containing zinc glycinate, which is a form more readily absorbed by the body than some other forms of zinc (such as UP-BRO).

3. Men and women’s reproductive health needs are different

For men, zinc is an important nutrient that’s required for healthy reproductive physiology and function, as well as prostate health.8 Selenium is another vital mineral for men, as it helps with healthy sperm production. 

For women, a multivitamin that contains the herb shatavari may be of benefit as this herb is traditionally used as a female rejuvenative tonic to promote physical and mental wellbeing in Ayurvedic medicine. Shatavari is also traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to help regulate a healthy menstrual cycle and as an aphrodisiac. 

Top tip: For men, look out for Korean ginseng, which is traditionally to maintain a healthy libido and sexual performance in Western herbal medicine.Also consider a multi that contains the herb withania, which is traditionally used to support normal male reproductive physiology and sexual function in Ayurvedic medicine.

4. Women need more iron than men

Many Australian women don’t get enough iron in their diets, according to the ABS.1 This is important, as women need more iron than men. 

Women who are menstruating may also need more iron in the days after their period. Iron is important for maintaining healthy blood production and supports energy levels in the body.

Top tip: Iron glycinate (also known as iron (II) glycinate), is more readily absorbed than some other forms of iron, like iron sulfate. So, look out for a women’s multi which contains this form of iron. 

Which multivitamin is suitable for you?

  • UP-BRO Late Stage: to help support men’s health and wellbeing. With zinc and Korean ginseng.
  • UP-BRO Full Stage: to support women’s health. With B vitamins, vitamin C and iron as well as shatavari, used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine for female reproductive health.


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