People need a variety of nutrients to achieve optimum health. While men require the same basic vitamins and minerals that women require, there are some differences, particularly in the amounts needed. Most men don't need to take additional vitamins or minerals on a daily basis as they get most of their required nutrients through their diets.
Recommended Daily Vitamins
The United States Department of Agriculture has determined how much of each key nutrient people need to ingest per day, known as the daily recommended allowance. These recommendations apply to the average person, with men requiring different amounts than women. For example, the USDA recommends that the average man aged 31 to 50 ingest 16 mg of niacin per day, while women of the same age need 14 mg per day.
No two men are identical, and the USDA's recommended daily allowances recommend different nutrient amounts based on a man's age.For example, while a male teen between 14 and 18 years old needs 75 grams of vitamin C per day, a man aged 19 and older needs 90 grams, according to the USDA. In general, once a man reaches adulthood, his mineral and vitamin requirements change very little, barring a health issue or other condition.
Sources and Supplements
While many, if not most, men receive their recommended daily allowance of all required nutrients through their diet, men can also use dietary supplements such as vitamin and mineral pills. A well-balanced diet that combines meats, fish, vegetables, fruits and grains is usually enough for most men to not have to take additional dietary supplements. However, generally healthy men who aren't getting enough nutrients, or those with medical conditions that require additional nutrients, might benefit from taking additional supplements, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Vitamins and minerals, when sold as pills or other similar products, fall under the category of "dietary supplements." These supplements, unlike drugs, do not need government approval before a manufacturer sells them. Even supplements that make health claims, or those marketed towards men specifically, do not necessarily provide the promised benefit. Use caution whenever selecting a dietary supplement, and consult a health care provider if you need advice or information about what supplements you should use.