Essential Supplements For Women
Its not enough to slather on sunscreen, moisturizer and the latest anti-wrinkle cream in the quest for a more youthful look. You need protection on the inside too. Check out these seven super nutrients that every woman should consider…1. Calcium: The Bone BuilderCalcium is an essential mineral found in high amounts in milk and other dairy products as well as fortified foods. Typically, a little more than 1% of a womens body weight is calcium, which certainly helps us understand why we consider it so important. Why is calcium important? Almost all your bodys calcium is found in your bones and teeth. And since women are four times more susceptible to osteoporosis than men, getting enough is essential for lifelong bone health. The remaining 1% is critical because calcium plays a role in heart and muscle action, blood clotting and normal cell function. Who needs it?All adult women, especially the following:
- Teens or young women, because as much as 90% of adult bone mass is achieved by age 18. Peak bone mass usually occurs in the late 20s.
- Women older than 30, because they typically lose bone mass and strength.
- Menopausal and postmenopausal women, because bone loss tends to accelerate as the body produces less estrogen.
- Women who dont eat fish several times a week.
- Women at increased risk of cardiovascular disease .
- Pregnant and nursing women to enhance brain development of their baby.
- Overweight women with joint tenderness.
How much should you take?
What Happens If I Take Too Much Vitamin D
Taking too many vitamin D supplements over a long period of time can cause too much calcium to build up in the body . This can weaken the bones and damage the kidneys and the heart.
If you choose to take vitamin D supplements, 10 micrograms a day will be enough for most people.
Do not take more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D a day as it could be harmful. This applies to adults, including pregnant and breastfeeding women and the elderly, and children aged 11 to 17 years.
Children aged 1 to 10 years should not have more than 50 micrograms a day. Infants under 12 months should not have more than 25 micrograms a day.
Some people have medical conditions that mean they may not be able to safely take as much. If in doubt, you should consult your doctor.
If your doctor has recommended you take a different amount of vitamin D, you should follow their advice.
You cannot overdose on vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. But always remember to cover up or protect your skin if you’re out in the sun for long periods to reduce the risk of skin damage and skin cancer.
Page last reviewed: 03 August 2020 Next review due: 03 August 2023
Hispanic And Black American Women
A 2012 national survey from the CDC found that American women who were Black or of Mexican descent were twice as likely to have low levels of iron than non-Hispanic white women.
Women from these groups may benefit from eating more iron-rich foods or taking supplements.
Some important nutrients for women and good sources of them include:
- Folate: Sources include spinach, rice, avocado, broccoli, oranges, asparagus, and fortified breakfast cereals.
- Iodine: Sources include seafood, seaweed, eggs, grain products, iodized salt, and unsweetened dairy products.
- Vitamin D: Sources include fatty fish, fortified or pasture-raised or free-range egg yolks, mushrooms, and liver.
- Iron: Sources include red meat, seafood, poultry, spinach, lentils, and soybeans.
- Calcium: Sources include dairy products, fortified milk alternatives and juices, sardines, salmon, tofu, and kale.
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/5men And Women Require Different Nutrients
All the nutrients are vital for the body, and they should be consumed every day in an adequate amount to boost our health and immunity. However, due to biological differences, there are some nutrients women require more than men. Pregnancy, menstruation, menopauseall these events put a heavy toll on women’s health. Thus, to stay healthy they need to be careful about the intake of certain foods.
Why Should Seniors Take Vitamin Supplements
There are several reasons why older adults should take vitamins.
- An older body is less efficient at absorbing key nutrients from food.
- Certain healthy vitamin-rich foods can become difficult to chew or digest as we age.
- Our bones become more brittle as we age, and certain vitamin supplements can also give us a much-needed calcium boost.
- Older adults may not get as much sunlight exposure as they once did, which causes Vitamin D levels to wane.
- Medications, especially diuretics, can flush out nutrients before they can be properly absorbed by the body or block them from being absorbed at all.
- Age-related diseases and conditions can suppress the bodys ability to absorb nutrients, and some may even require a special diet that is low on certain vitamins and nutrients.
- Older adults may not cook as often as they once did, and ready-to-eat meals can rob you of essential vitamins and nutrients.
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Vitamin Needs Throughout Life
Nutrient needs differ throughout a womans life.
Deficiencies are also more common during certain life stages, such as pregnancy, and under certain circumstances, such as when a woman smokes or drinks excessively or is diagnosed with a medical condition.
Keep in mind that this article only focuses on vitamins, not all nutrients.
Good Sources Of Vitamin D
From about late March/early April to the end of September, most people should be able to make all the vitamin D they need from sunlight.
The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors.
But between October and early March we do not make enough vitamin D from sunlight. Read more about vitamin D and sunlight.
Vitamin D is also found in a small number of foods.
- fortified foods such as some fat spreads and breakfast cereals
Another source of vitamin D is dietary supplements.
In the UK, cows’ milk is generally not a good source of vitamin D because it is not fortified, as it is in some other countries.
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Vegan Or Vegetarian Diet
Women who follow a plant-based diet may need to plan their meals to ensure that they consume enough of each nutrient.
For example, vitamin B12 only tends to occur naturally in animal products. Therefore, vegans and vegetarians may need to take supplements or eat foods fortified with vitamin B12. Examples of these include some breakfast cereals and milk alternatives.
There may also be low levels of iron, protein, calcium, and zinc in a vegetarian or vegan diet. The best way to prevent deficiencies while following one of these is to eat a balanced and varied diet that includes foods such as:
- beans, peas, and legumes
- dark green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and mustard greens
- fortified breakfast cereals, drinks, and milk alternatives
- nutritional yeast products
During pregnancy, women should supplement with iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, as well as folate and other nutrients.
A doctor can advise whether or not certain supplements are beneficial.
/5from 25 To 40 Years
Folate or folic acid is responsible for the formation of DNA, RNA and is the building block of the cells. It is especially crucial for pregnant women as it helps prevent birth defects like spina bifida in newborns. Citrus fruits, kidney beans, eggs and legumes should be a part of a regular diet of women belonging to this age group. RDI for folate is 600 mcg for pregnant and 500 mcg for breast-feeding women.
Iodine is another important mineral required for a babys healthy body development. It prevents any abnormal development in the baby’s brain. As the women of this age group are more likely to get pregnant, a sufficient amount of iodine intake is a must for them. The RDA for iodine for women is 150 mcg.
Besides, iron is also an essential mineral for women belonging to this age group. Females between 25 to 50 age group need 18 mg of iron daily and pregnant women need 27 mg of iron daily.
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Recommendations Of How Much Calcium You Need To Take Per Day May Be Too High And Could Harm More Than Help
How much calcium per day is recommended? Like many women, you may have memorized the minimum daily calcium requirement1,000 milligrams a day for women ages 50 and younger and 1,200 mg for women over 50and followed it faithfully in an effort to preserve your bones. You’ll probably be surprised to learn that many health authorities don’t agree with that recommendation. Dr. Walter Willett, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, thinks you’re likely to do just as well on half as much calcium.
“Essentially, I think that adults do not need 1,200 mg of calcium a day. The World Health Organization’s recommendation of 500 mg is probably about right. The United Kingdom sets the goal at 700 mg, which is fine, too. It allows for a little leeway,” he says.
Why is 1,200 mg of calcium per day recommended?
Adequate calcium is necessary for good health, and not just because it’s a major component of our bones. It also plays a vital role in keeping our organs and skeletal muscles working properly. The body gets the calcium it needs for basic functions by releasing the calcium stored in our bones into the blood through bone remodelingthe process by which bone is constantly broken down and rebuilt.
The truth about how much calcium you need
25 foods high in calcium
The downside of calcium supplements
The studies also revealed a couple of downsides to high levels of calcium supplementation, but not to calcium obtained through a regular diet:
Your Tween And Teen Years
These are the years to focus on getting enough vitamin D and calcium, says Stephanie Schiff, RDN, a nutritionist at Northwell Healths Huntington Hospital in Huntington, New York. We need calcium for bone and muscle growth, but it doesnt get absorbed as well without vitamin D, she says. These are the bone-building years for boys and girls, and if you dont build enough bone, you will be prone to brittle bones later in life. Tweens and teens should get 600 international units of vitamin D per day and 1,300 mg of calcium per day, according to the National Institutes of Healths Office of Dietary Supplements. Again, its always best to get nutrients from the foods we eat. Some tweens and teens may have special needs due to their diet or circumstances, and some foods will be a hard sell. Make it a habit to discuss diet and nutrition with your childs doctor during their visits.
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Why You Should Be Taking A Multivitamin
Did you know that there are 13 essential vitamins and 16 essential minerals that your body needs to function correctly?
It’s true, and there are other compounds that aren’t technically “vitamins” or “minerals” that are also beneficial for optimal function things like omega-3 fatty acids and different herbal blends.
And ideally, all of those nutrients should be able to come from the food we’re eating.
But because of things like digestive dysfunction, large-scale farming practices, soil depletion, and more, what we’re eating may not be covering our needs.
Besides this, we also have things like:
For a woman in your 30s, there are some specific nutrients that you should always look for in your multi.
Gnc Womens Ultra Mega
GNC is a pretty standard boilerplate womens multivitamin. It scores well on purity rankings, though one thing youve got to watch out for is the herbal extracts in the energy blend.
Its got caffeine as well as green tea extract, so youll be getting a kick of caffeine every day. If you arent caffeine sensitive and you take it in the morning, it shouldnt be a problem, but this will be a big drawback for a lot of people .
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Concerns With Iron Supplements
Supplementing with iron seems like a logical step for seniors with anemia. But its not quite that simple. Iron supplements in the elderly may cause an increase in iron stores. Even moderately elevated iron stores in the elderly may increase the risk for heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. Theres also a connection to high levels of iron in the brain with brain disorders such as Alzheimers disease. While theres no known direct correlation between iron levels and cognitive decline in the elderly, a concern exists that excess iron in the brain may increase oxidation and the risk for dementia.
For A Better Immune System Take Vitamin D
Nature MadeVitamin D3
“Vitamin D is necessary for immune and hormone support, but many individuals who live north of Atlanta often have low levels and deficiencies particularly in the winter months,” points out Gladd. “Ideally, one would have levels measured to determine their ideal dose, but most would benefit from taking 1000 to 2000 IU daily of vitamin D3.”
Garden of LifeVitamin B Complex
“The Bs are key for supporting cognitive and nerve health and mood. B complex supplementation, with its inclusion of folate is particularly important for women in this age group to protect potential babies from spinal cord defects. Rather than single one B vitamin out, it is generally better to take them all in a B complex.”
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Iron: Why You May Not Be Getting Enough
Iron helps to create the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood. Its also important to maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails. Due to the amount of blood lost during menstruation, women of childbearing age need more than twice the amount of iron that men doeven more during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, many of us arent getting nearly enough iron in our diets, making iron deficiency anemia the most common deficiency in women.
Anemia can deplete your energy, leaving you feeling weak, exhausted, and out of breath after even minimal physical activity. Iron deficiency can also impact your mood, causing depression-like symptoms such as irritability and difficulty concentrating. While a simple blood test can tell your doctor if you have an iron deficiency, if youre feeling tired and cranky all the time, its a good idea to examine the amount of iron in your diet.
Improving Iron Status With Diet
Like supplementation, its best to talk to your doctor or dietitian before making changes to your diet to improve iron levels. But its important to note that the Framingham study found that the elderly with high iron levels also consumed an iron- and vitamin C- rich diet. Foods rich in iron that are easily absorbed include meat, poultry, shrimp, tuna and eggs. Beans, spinach, broccoli, brown rice, tofu and fortified cereals are also good sources of iron, but your body has more difficulty absorbing the iron from these foods. Adding vitamin C-rich foods along with iron-rich foods improves absorption for example, you can drink a glass of orange juice along with your oatmeal or the potatoes in your stew.
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Which Type Of Vitamin D Should I Take
Most supplements contain vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol. Studies suggest that this increases blood levels a little better than vitamin D2 .
Both these versions of vitamin D require processing by the liver and kidneys. People with liver or kidney disease may need to get a special type of supplement from their doctors.
Although Vitamin D supplements are usually taken daily, they also come in higher doses, which may be prescribed for weekly or even monthly dosing.
Calcium For Strong Bones Throughout Life
Among other things, you need calcium to build healthy bones and teeth, keep them strong as you age, regulate the hearts rhythm, and ensure your nervous system functions properly. Calcium deficiency can lead to, or exacerbate, mood problems such as irritability, anxiety, depression, and sleep difficulties. If you dont get enough calcium in your diet, your body will take calcium from your bones to ensure normal cell function, which can lead to weakened bones or osteoporosis. Women are at a greater risk than men of developing osteoporosis, so its important to get plenty of calcium, in combination with magnesium and vitamin D, to support your bone health.
Recommended Vitamins For Women In Their 20s
Given the peak of their health, many women in their 20s see themselves as invincible against diseases. This leads them to neglect diet & exercise and heighten the risk of medical problems in the future. This is why we at Kearny Park Compounding Pharmacy tell all our customers that vitamins are important for every one of all ages.
If you are in your 20s or near 30s, we advise that now is the time to start taking vitamins. One can never be too careful in preventing diseases. Given the daily hustle in work or school, there is also no harm in having vitamins to boost ones health. Below are some of our recommendations.