Is Your Diet Enough to Provide the Vitamins You Need?
Is Your Diet Enough to Provide the Vitamins You Need?

Is Your Diet Enough to Provide the Vitamins You Need?

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Maybe you already eat a pretty solid diet and try to include a variety of nutrient-rich foods in your meals every day. Wondering if you could still be at risk for having low levels of some of the best vitamins for men? The risk factors mentioned above make nutrient deficiencies more common in men, which means it’s wise to take supplements if several apply to you. Research shows certain groups of men are also more prone to missing key vitamins, which makes them good candidates for supplementing with extra vitamins and minerals in order to meet all of their needs:

You rarely eat seafood or meat, eggs, dairy and poultry:

Vegetarians and vegans are more likely to be low in vitamin B12, iron, certain essential amino acids and omega-3s. If you avoid animal foods all together, it’s a smart idea to take a daily supplement, and if you don’t consume much fish or seafood regularly, chances are you can use extra omega-3s.

Iron deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies worldwide, and while many people think women are the ones normally affected by low iron and anemia, men can be too. Consider adding at least some animal proteins into your diet or pairing plant sources of non-heme iron (like seeds and beans) with vitamin C-rich foods to boost iron absorption. (14)

You have a history of intestinal problems that block absorption:

Even if your diet is packed with nutrients, it’s no good if your body can’t use them properly. A lack of certain digestive enzymes and stomach acids can interfere with how vitamins are normally absorbed. This problem is especially common among people with inflammatory bowel diseases or food allergies, older men who naturally experience impaired digestive functions due to aging, plus those with high levels of inflammation.

You’re taking medication

Common medications can decrease your levels of key vitamins and minerals, and studies show that nearly 50 percent of all American adults regularly take at least one prescription drug (20 percent take three or more). (15)  Antibiotics, for exampl,e commonly block absorption of important minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, by binding to them in the GI tract.

Antacids, cholesterol-lowering medicines, drugs used to control high blood and those for diabetes also alter the natural pH environment of the upper GI tract, messing with the way we metabolize many vitamins and minerals. Have your levels tested at least once yearly, and consider taking a daily food-based multivitamin to play it safe.

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