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    The (Non-Existent) Battle of the Sexes

    300054755506The makers of Centrum are heavily advertising their newest multivitamin — Centrum Ultra Women’s — on television.

    This product — “specially formulated with key nutrients to help meet a woman’s nutritional needs” — contains additional amounts of Vitamin D (which the commercial points out “has been shown to promote breast health”) and calcium.

    Sounds lovely, but this is marketing hype in its purest form.

    First of all, the link between vitamin D intake and breast cancer is only suggestive at this point.  More research is certainly needed.

    Additionally, there is a growing body of research which suggests that adequate levels of vitamin D may help lower men’s risk of developing prostate cancer.

    As for the extra calcium (the Ultra Women’s formula provides 500 milligrams, while the Ultra Men’s offers 210 milligrams) — why?  Men and women have the exact same calcium recommendations (these fluctuate according to age, not sex).

    Main takeaway: both sexes equally benefit from adequate nutrition.

    His and hers multivitamins are simply a result of Madison Avenue looking to maximize profit.  Don’t fall for it.

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    One Comment

    1. coco said on August 18th, 2009

      a related question to supplements. Is there a necessary formulation for women who are preparing to get pregnant? or any kind of multivitamin would do?

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