There’s a reason longevity experts like Layne Norton and Andrew Huberman include a well-rounded multivitamin as part of their supplement stack. But choosing a multivitamin that includes the optimal nutrients for your age group ensures you reap the most lifespan and healthspan–boosting benefits.
“The aging process is associated with changes in body composition and nutrient absorption in the gut, as well as an increased prevalence of chronic disease, underlying chronic inflammation and polypharmacy,” says Imashi Fernando, MS, RDN, CDCES, a registered dietitian nutritionist and founder of Brown Sugar Nutrition. “All of which may promote certain nutrient deficiencies.”
What to Look for in a Multivitamin for Men Over 50, According to a Dietician
“Taking a well-rounded multivitamin formulated for men over 50 may help fill in nutrient gaps in the diet if you are struggling to maintain a balanced diet,” Fernando says.
According to Fernando, men over 50 are especially prone to certain age-related vitamin and mineral deficiencies like vitamin D, B12, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. She recommends selecting a vitamin that meets these nutritional needs to stave off age-related bone density issues, boost immunity, and increase lean muscle mass.
“A decrease in lean body mass that often happens with aging leads to a decrease in bioavailability of vitamin D,” Fernando says. “Also, older adults may have reduced UV irradiation of the skin which leads to reduced ability to obtain vitamin D via UV light.”
Not getting enough vitamin D could influence your biological age. A 2020 study of epigenetic patterns in 1,600 adult participants found that those with low vitamin D levels were biologically older than those with adequate levels (2).
For men over 50, supplementing with vitamin D may also boost testosterone levels as they begin to dip with age.
Your body requires vitamin B12 to create red blood cells and DNA (3). When you don’t get enough, you may feel tired, irritable, weak, or depressed. Symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency—like fatigue and memory loss—are frequently chalked up to normal signs of aging.
But aging and vitamin B12 deficiency are closely linked. “The body’s ability to absorb B12 decreases with age,” Fernando explains. “Therefore older men are at higher risk for B12 deficiency.”
Even if you aren’t sure if you are B12 deficient, supplementing with this vitamin may give you an energy boost if you’re feeling tired out: A 2021 Swiss study found that over half of the 390 general practitioners who responded to researchers’ questionnaire believe that testing for a B12 deficiency can help diagnosis the reason for unexplainable fatigue in patients (4). And 43 percent of GPs agreed with prescribing B12 even when test results are borderline for a deficiency.
“Your ability to absorb calcium also decreases with age,” Fernando says. “Plus calcium needs are higher, especially past age 70, to promote strong bones as the risk of osteoporosis increases with age.”
While most of your body’s calcium is stored in your bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis is just one of the benefits of adequate calcium intake. Calcium also supports muscle function, nerve transmission, and hormone secretion (5).
Fernando adds that “many older adults may experience lactose intolerance with age which can make it harder to meet calcium needs with diet alone.”
“[Magnesium] has been shown to be one of most commonly under-consumed vitamins among adults 51 and up,” Fernando says.
Low magnesium levels are linked to chronic low-grade inflammation, which frequently becomes more severe with age (6). A recent meta-analysis found supplementing with magnesium may significantly decrease inflammation, which may lower your risk of diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes (7).
Zinc has also been linked to boosted testosterone levels in men (9). Compared to men with low T levels, normal testosterone levels have been associated with increased lean muscle mass, obesity prevention, and improved sperm production.
The Best Multivitamins for Men Over 50
Remembering to take five or more separate pills each day to manage common nutrient deficiencies can be annoying—and mindlessly sifting through shelves at a supplement store is a waste of time. Here are our top 15 multivitamin picks for men over 50 to take the guesswork out of improving your healthspan.