Multivitamins for men don't usually contain iron, because men generally don't need more than 8 mg (milligrams) of iron a day, which is easy to get from diet alone. Premenopausal women need more iron because they lose it monthly during menstruation, so women should see our discussions on Multivitamins for Women or Prenatal Multivitamins elsewhere in this report. Once men reach age 50, they may need more B vitamins, so if you're over age 50, see our discussion of Multivitamins for Adults over 50.
The GNC Mega Men line of multivitamins are well-reviewed across the product line for accuracy in labeling and claimed ingredients, but GNC Mega Men Energy & Metabolism (Est. $30 for 180 caplets) multivitamin rises to the top on the strength of professional tests, expert recommendations and user reviews. It contains no iron, as men in this age group don't need to supplement for that mineral, experts say. Users like that it has higher levels of vitamin D than many other men's supplements -- 1,600 IU (international units). It's also intended as a thermogenic fat burner, so it contains caffeine, green tea extract and a higher-than-recommended Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for niacin. (To read more about thermogenic fat burners, read our evaluation of thermogenic supplements in our report on Diet Pills.) However, be warned that those ingredients can cause jitteriness or heart palpitations in sensitive individuals. Do not take this or any supplement if you have any health issues that may contraindicate caffeine.
GNC Mega Men Multivitamin (Est. $23 for 180 tablets) is another offering in the Mega Men product line. It, too, passes professional tests for accuracy in labeling and ingredients, but it again exceeds the UL for niacin. It contains no iron and has 100 percent or more of most recommended nutrients in a two-tablet serving. However, it contains only 200 mg of calcium vs. the 1,000 mg recommended for adult males, and 100 mg of magnesium vs. the recommended dietary allowances (RDA) of 400 to 420 mg for adult males, based on age. GNC's Mega Men includes an "antioxidant fruit and vegetable blend" containing broccoli, spinach, apple, kale and other fruit powders, but there's no evidence that it has any particular benefit. It also contains fish ingredients, so it's not suitable for vegetarians or vegans.
Target's store brand, up&up Men's Daily Multivitamin (Est. $12 for 300 tablets) also contains no iron. In a previous ConsumerLab.com test, it was the only men's multivitamin that didn't exceed the UL for any nutrient. It was also shown to contain the nutrients listed on the label, dissolve properly and not contain excess amounts of lead. up&up is much cheaper than other top-rated men's multivitamins, and experts agree that store brands work just as well as the pricier name brands. The up&up Men's Daily Multivitamin contains 210 mg of calcium, 400 IU of vitamin D and 105 mg of selenium.
One-A-Day Multivitamin, Men's Health Formula (Est. $12 for 200 tablets) is another men's multivitamin without iron. It doesn't provide 100 percent of all nutrients -- including vitamin E, vitamin K, biotin, calcium and magnesium, but does contain 700 IU of vitamin D. It's recommended by one professional testing organization as a good, low-cost-per-day choice compared to other men's vitamins. One-A-Day Men's Health Formula contains gelatin derived from animal sources, so it isn't suitable for vegetarians or vegans.
Natural vitamins contain no artificial colors, sweeteners or dyes, and they're typically more expensive than other multivitamins. New Chapter Organics Every Man's One Daily (Est. $30 for 72 tablets) is a vegetarian formula that meets 100 percent of the DV (daily value) for several nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, selenium and zinc. However, the tablets contain only 15 mg of calcium -- far less than the RDA of 1,000 mg -- and 5 mg of magnesium.
Another popular brand of natural multivitamins is Rainbow Light, whose Men's One Multivitamin (Est. $22 for 150 tablets) claims to be the "number one selling natural men's multivitamin." However, it contains more than the DV for several nutrients, including 1,667 percent DV of vitamin B1, 1,471 percent DV of vitamin B2 and 1,250 percent DV of vitamin B6. Because cereals and breads are fortified with B vitamins, experts say there's no reason to take more than the DV in a multivitamin, although higher levels of B vitamins within reason won't hurt you. Like most men's multivitamins, Rainbow Light contains small amounts of calcium and magnesium. This Rainbow Light formula is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Elsewhere in this Report:
Best Reviewed Multivitamins
Editors discuss the benefits of multivitamins, and how to find the best choices for you and your family. The multivitamins that draw top feedback from expert testing labs and from users are named.
Multivitamins for Women
Premenopausal women are one of two groups that experts say should take a multivitamin every day. We found a few top recommendations that will provide the amount of folic acid experts say you need.
Prenatal vitamins are a must for pregnant women. We report on the top choices with the nutrients needed for you and your growing baby.
Multivitamins for Adults over 50
Adults over age 50 have an increased need for B vitamins, and many not need some other supplements, such as iron. These multivitamins are a great choice for a good nutrient balance for older adults.
Not sure what you need to know before shopping for a multivitamin? This guide will help take the mystery out of the sometimes bewildering maze of the multi.
The most important sources for multivitamins are organizations that test for purity, truth in labeling, and accurate ingredients. These are the sources we used to narrow down our selections of the best multivitamins.