US Men Lack A Wide Range Of Nutrients; Expert Advises Them To Resist The Urge To “Megadose”
Nutritional deficiencies affect a variety of Americans for a variety of reasons, but according to the USDA, the US male population is unique because as a whole, men show deficits in nearly every nutritional category. However, experts warn men against mega-dosing on vitamins and minerals to reverse or address the problem.
“I often see that when men find out they are deficient in a vitamin or mineral, they tend to want to fix the problem quickly, and that usually involves taking large amounts of whatever they are lacking,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, LDN, expert and nationally-recognized nutrition and fitness author. “However, the ‘more is better’ approach does not always apply, particularly in the case of some dietary supplements.”
According to Palinski-Wade, the possible harm that taking mega-doses of a vitamin or mineral can inflict depends largely on whether it is fat-soluable or water-soluable. The fat-soluble vitamins—such as A, D, E, and K—are stored in the body for use as needed, but this also means that these vitamins can also build up to toxic levels when consumed in excessive amounts.
Water-soluble vitamins—such as all B and C vitamins—must be replaced each day because they are not stored in the body, but this does not mean that you can take vitamins B and C in unlimited quantities. As an example, excessive folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, may mask a vitamin B12 deficiency.
According to the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, nutrient needs should be met primarily through consuming foods, but for a large number of Americans, diet just doesn’t do the job. According to the USDA, men between the ages of 31 and 50 would need to eat 350% more dark green vegetables and 150% more fruit every day in order to meet federal dietary guidelines.
Palinski-Wade advises resisting the urge to overcompensate, and instead use a well-balanced multivitamin to take the guesswork out of supplementation.
“A healthy diet is imperative and I often tell my male and female clients alike to look for an established, trusted product that provides around 100% of the RDA in vitamins and minerals,” says Palinski-Wade. “Geritol Multivitamin is a good example, as it provides close to 100% of the recommended allowance of 12 essential nutrients without going overboard. It’s a safe, easy way to fill the nutritional gaps that many Americans face.”