Vitamins, minerals and gender differences

Vitamins, minerals and gender differences


todays’ article follows the previous one about Gender differences in nutrition needs.

I’d like to focus on vitamins, minerals and other substances now and also mention, if there are some differences between men and women.


For most, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is the same for both men and women. There are examples of RDA for some (µg = micro grams):

  • Biotin (B-complex)   30 µg
  • Vitamine A                   600 µg
  • Vitamine B1                 1,4 mg
  • Vitamine B12               6 µg
  • Vitamine C                   75 mg

Recommended daily allowance of vitamins is the same for both men and women.



Calcium is important for women; a high-calcium diet may help lower risk of osteoporosis. Men can get osteoporosis, too; but there is much less evidence that calcium is protective for men.

Calcium may even be harmful for men, at least in large amounts. The worry is prostate cancer. In 1998, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study found that a high consumption of calcium from food or supplements was linked to an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer. The risk was greatest in men who got more than 2,000 mg a day. 

More recently, the U.S. Physicians’ Health Study reported that a high consumption of calcium from dairy products appeared to increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer by up to 37%.

Men should be moderate about calcium and dairy product, but there’s no reason to discard it all – it is important for our bones.

Finally, the Harvard scientists speculate that a high consumption of vitamin D may offset the possible risks of calcium, so a daily multivitamin may help.


Women need more iron than men, because they lose iron with each menstrual period. After menopause, of course, the gap closes. The RDA of iron for premenopausal women is 18 mg a day, for men 8 mg.

Red meat is the richest dietary source of iron.

Women need more iron than men.

Do you think you consume proper quantity of vitamins and minerals? Do you use any pills to complete your RDA?

It’s good to focus on eating healthy food, but we know everything is about money – consider reading about cheap healthy food, too.

I’m interested in your answers!

Have a nice day.

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