Can Men Take Prenatal Vitamins?
Imagine. A world where masculinity is so fragile that a man recoils anytime they touch anything remotely feminine. Your husband screams from the kitchen because he accidentally ate your prenatal vitamins rather than his multivitamins for men. You frantically run to your phone and type your search into Google: Can men take prenatal vitamins?
All that comes up are forum posts from 2012, all saying different things, and an scientific journey entry that you barely understand. So, what's the truth?
Jokes aside, when it comes to reproductive health, the internet is severely lacking in easily digestible information. Today, we're doing the best we can to get you what you need. So, can men take prenatal vitamins? And is there such thing as prenatal vitamins for men? Here's everything you need to know.
But remember, consulting a health professional is always better than taking advice from strangers on the internet.
Is it Safe for Men to Take Prenatal Vitamins?
In case you didn't know, prenatal vitamins contain vitamins and minerals, such as folate, folic acid, iron, calcium, and iodine, which are important to have in a mother's diet before and during pregnancy. But, are prenatal vitamins good for men?
Unfortunately, little studies have been done on this topic. In fact, a study was done by Baylor College of Medicine in 2015 to determine if the folate in prenatal vitamins decreased the chance of birth defects, and the results were inconclusive. In their conclusion, they could not recommend that men regularly use prenatal vitamins due to the outcome of the study.
However, it seems that taking prenatal vitamins once or twice is perfectly fine. As in, taking a few supplements once in a while shouldn't harm you.
On the babyMed blog, Richard Banks, a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, states, "Prenatal vitamins are formulated to support her health, not yours."
So, while men can take these supplements, the vitamins are made for expecting or nursing women. There are other supplements men can take that will promote their health.
And while for the most part, you shouldn't be affected by the extra vitamins and minerals, there is one major concern that men should be aware of.
When Are Prenatal Vitamins Unsafe for Men?
As we mentioned before, prenatal vitamins contain iron. And a lot of it.
Pregnant women need more iron in their bodies to help carry oxygen to both the mother and the baby. So, how could prenatal vitamins harm a man?
Iron alone isn't bad. Too much iron is. According to Livestrong, men only need approximately 18 mg or iron a day, while pregnant women need approximately 27 mg. This means that taking prenatal vitamins (or any iron supplement) could potentially lead to an iron overdose.
And you know what could happen if you have an iron overdose? Severe medical problems and death.
So, if you are a man with plenty of iron in your diet and you don't have an iron deficiency, then you might want to skip out on the regular use of prenatal vitamins.
Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives that you can look at.
"Prenatal Vitamins" for Men
Still want to increase fertility or just want to increase your overall health? According to Banks, men can "look for a vitamin that contains lots of zinc, folic acid and vitamin C and change up your diet to include a rainbow of foods to promote overall health and vitamin intake from nature sources."
So, explore your multivitamin options for overall health and chances of fertility.