What Vitamins Do I Need During Menopause
Vitamin A for menopause is commonly used with vitamin E to further nourish the skin and the mucus membranes of the body. It helps protect the lining of the skin from breakage by making sure that it is intact and properly moisturized. Vitamin A is also linked to thyroid problems, especially in menopausal women.
Vitamins And Minerals For Older Adults
Vitamins help your body grow and work the way it should. There are 13 essential vitamins vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins .
Vitamins have different jobs to help keep the body working properly. Some vitamins help you resist infections and keep your nerves healthy, while others may help your body get energy from food or help your blood clot properly. By following the Dietary Guidelines, you will get enough of most of these vitamins from food.
Like vitamins, minerals also help your body function. Minerals are elements that our bodies need to function that can be found on the earth and in foods. Some minerals, like iodine and fluoride, are only needed in very small quantities. Others, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, are needed in larger amounts. As with vitamins, if you eat a varied diet, you will probably get enough of most minerals.
Calcium And Vitamin D Requirements
As new scientific research emerges, recommendations change. We are now rethinking how much calcium and vitamin D is needed for good bone health. There is increasing evidence that too much calcium from supplements is not likely to be a benefit and worse, can be harmful. This was underscored in the 2010 and 2018 reports from the US Preventive Services Task Force recommending that premenopausal women and men may not benefit from calcium supplements.
The recommended dietary allowances are goals established by the Institutes of Medicine the RDA varies with age, gender, and other factors. These amounts would be sufficient for 97% of the US population.
Mounting evidence shows that too little calcium in the diet is harmful, but too much calcium also may be harmful.
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What Is The Recommended Dose Of Vitamin D
- Vitamin D should be given with calcium at a dose of at least 800 IU/day. An adequate blood level of vitamin D is between 30 70 nmol/L.
In one 2012 study, when vitamin D 800 IU, along with 1200 -1400 mg calcium per day, was given to a group of postmenopausal women, after 12-months, 97.5% had blood levels of vitamin D over 50 nmol/L.
However, higher levels of vitamin D may be needed in postmenopausal women. The safe upper limit in adults in 4000 IU/day.
We Can Help You Understand The Supplements That Are Right For You
- Partner with a Health Coach to help you determine what supplements may be right for you to maximize your health and manage your menopause symptoms.
- Meet with a Gennev Doctor – our female care providers know EVERYTHING about menopause. They can help you understand your symptoms, and what your body needs to maximize your overall health and wellness
- Vitality our #1 supplement is a nutrient-packed multi-vitamin that supports mood, energy, stress response, immune health, joint pain, and inflammation
- Magnesium this super-power menopause supplement relieves joint pain, muscle cramps, Restless Leg Syndrome, headaches, depression, fatigue, anxiety and supports better sleep
- Heart & Brain Premium Omega 3 for Women – provides nutritional support for your heart and brain, plus helps to relieve dry eyes and dry skin
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Women Could Experience Up To A Decade Of Perimenopause Symptoms
It’s important to consult your doctors with any medical concerns, and before making any changes or adding supplements to your health plan.
The journey into menopause is a three-stage transition into a new phase of life, which may affect some women both physically and emotionally. These three stages are known as perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.
Perimenopause can begin years before menopause and is when your ovaries gradually begin to produce less estrogen until they completely stop releasing eggs. Some women may enter this period as early as 30 years of age. This phase may often be characterized by hot flashes, mood swings, and irregular bleeding. Some women may also experience weight gain, anxiety, and even clinical depression in this stage due to hormonal imbalances that might occur.
Women could feel up to a decade of perimenopause symptoms until their ovaries stop producing eggs completely, which is when a woman cannot get pregnant naturally. This phenomenon is called menopause, the second transition, which marks the end of the menstrual cycle in women. This is the period when a woman does not menstruate for 12 consecutive months, also concluding the perimenopause phase. While the symptoms can be similar to the perimenopause phase, lifestyle changes could help during menopause and postmenopause.
How Do You Get Rid Of Menopause Belly Fat
Start with a mix of moderate and vigorous exercise to burn off menopausal weight gain. Your routine should include aerobic exercises like swimming, walking, bicycling, and running, as well as resistance or strength training. What you want to employ now is high intensity interval training , Dr. Peeke says.
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Deficiency Of Vitamin B12 And Menopause Symptoms
Numerous studies have shown a link between vitamin B12 deficiency and cognitive dysfunction and memory loss in women passing through perimenopause and into postmenopause.3
Moreover, low levels of B12 are linked to low bone mineral density , which could lead to eventual osteoporosis if not caught early enough.3
Other symptoms indicating a deficiency in vitamin B12 include:
- Difficulty walking
- Among others
While there is much debate regarding a vitamin B12 deficiency and hot flashes, reliable research connecting the two is yet to be developed.
Also, because many of the vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms overlap with those common of menopause, it is important women meet with their doctors to undergo proper diagnostic testing if a deficiency is suspected.
Magnesium For Hot Flashes
Magnesium plays a critical role in a wide variety of bodily functions, but many women arent getting enough of this essential mineral from food. Magnesium supplements can help prevent deficiency and have been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of menopausal hot flashes.4
Since magnesium isnt readily absorbed by the body, look for a magnesium complex that contains multiple sources for increased bioavailability.
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Reducing The Risk Of Osteoporosis During Menopause
Around the time of menopause, you can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis by following a few lifestyle recommendations, such as:
- Aim for 1,300 mg of dietary calcium intake every day. This equals about three to four serves of dairy food. A wide range of non-dairy foods also contain calcium, such as calcium-fortified soy or almond drinks, firm tofu, almonds, brazil nuts, unhulled tahini, dark green leafy vegetables and fish with edible bones, such as sardines or tinned salmon.
These lifestyle habits are best started younger in life to get the most benefit.
Why May Women Need Calcium Supplements At And After Menopause
As women pass through the menopausal transition, usually around the age of 50-55 years, they lose a shocking 10% of their bone. However, for 1 in 4 women, its even worse. They are fast bone losers and lose even greater amounts of bone up to 20%. After around 5 years, as the postmenopausal period becomes established, this dramatic bone loss slows, but bone continues to be lost at a slower rate.
Bone loss occurs at menopause because bone metabolism is under the control of estrogen. At menopause, estrogen levels plummet. Bone is a living tissue, and every day, new bone cells are being produced, and old bone cells are being cleared away or resorbed. When estrogen levels fall, there is a reduction in the production of new bone cells, and an increase in bone resorption. Because of this, bones become less dense, generally weaker, and more susceptible to fracture.
Calcium and bone Calcium is a mineral which is essential for bone formation. We obtain calcium from our diet and it is absorbed from the gut into the blood circulation. However, to absorb calcium, we also require adequate levels of vitamin D. If blood levels of calcium fall, we produce parathyroid hormone, which increases the resorption of bone, freeing-up calcium from the skeleton and putting this back in the circulation, to keep the blood level of calcium within normal limits.
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Staying Healthy After Menopause
These tips will help you live a healthy life after menopause. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information:
If you are thinking about hormone replacement therapy, discuss the risks and benefits with your healthcare provider first.
Don’t smoke. Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Exercise regularly. Even moderate exercise, such as walking a half-hour, 3 times a week is beneficial.
Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced, low-sugar diet.
Control high blood pressure with medicine or lifestyle changes. This will help cut your risk for heart disease.
Reduce stress in your life through relaxation methods or regular exercise.
How Should I Take Calcium Supplements
- Always take your calcium supplements regularly and reliably. Do not run out of tablets or miss out doses.
- Calcium is absorbed in the small intestine. In general, calcium absorption is poor and is highly dependent on levels of vitamin D.
- Calcium carbonate contains 40% of elemental calcium, whereas calcium citrate contains 21%.
- However, calcium absorption is 24% higher from calcium citrate, than from calcium carbonate.
- Calcium carbonate should be taken with food, but calcium citrate can be taken on a full or empty stomach.
- Foods containing oxalates can inhibit the absorption of calcium carbonate. These include spinach, rhubarb, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, bran cereals, French fries, almonds, and cashew nuts.
- Foods containing phytates have the same effect. These include peas and pinto beans.
- Avoid taking calcium with high salt foods, as these increase calcium excretion in the urine, and can increase the risk of kidney stones.
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Nutrition Needs That Change During Menopause
Menopause is a major transitional time, physically and emotionally even your nutritional needs change a bit. You still need to eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy protein and calcium sources, but there are a few nutritional recommendation changes for women that start right around menopause.
Do You Need To Take Supplements After Menopause
Taking a vitamin B-6 supplement during and after menopause may help tame prevent symptoms caused by low serotonin levels. These include loss of energy and depression. Your body makes vitamin D after being exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency may increase your risk of bone fractures, bone pain, and osteomalacia .
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The Importance Of Exercise After Menopause
Many women gain weight after menopause. This may be because of declining estrogen levels. Raising your activity level will help avoid this weight gain. Regular exercise benefits the heart and bones, helps control weight, and can improve your mood. Women who are not physically active are more likely to have heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Sedentary women may also have chronic back pain, insomnia, poor circulation, weak muscles, and depression.
Aerobic activities, such as walking, jogging, swimming, biking, and dancing, help prevent some of these problems. It also helps raise HDL cholesterol levels, the “good” cholesterol. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking and running, as well as moderate weight training, help increase bone mass. In postmenopausal women, moderate exercise helps preserve bone mass in the spine and prevents fractures.
Exercise also helps improve mood. Hormones, called endorphins, are released in the brain. Improved mood lasts for several hours. It also helps the body fight stress.
Always check with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program, particularly if you have been sedentary. Your healthcare provider can recommend the best exercise program for you.
What Are The Current Recommendations For Calcium Supplements In Menopausal Women
Women aged over 50 are currently recommended to ingest calcium 1200mg/day from all sources, along with 800 -1,000 IU of vitamin D .
Diet and calcium You can work out from your diet whether you are taking in this much calcium every day, by looking at the calcium content of food and drink. Its always preferable to get enough calcium naturally through your diet if you can. Your body is designed to absorb natural vitamins and minerals and will not absorb so well from any alternative source.
However, for many women, ingesting this much calcium in the diet isnt possible. For example, there are 50 mg calcium in one orange. To have 1200 mg calcium per day means eating 24 oranges! Very often, women resort to taking a calcium supplement.
Calcium supplements Nutritional surveys confirm that dietary intake of calcium is frequently far less than it should be. Doctors start with an assumption most adults have a dietary intake of calcium of only around 300 mg/day.
Bone loss and fracture risk increase in menopausal and postmenopausal women, when dietary intake of calcium is less than 700-800 mg/day.
If you start taking calcium supplements, its still important to have plenty of calcium in your diet. Supplements are just that you take them in addition, and not as an alternative.
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Dhea: Hormone Of Youth
Natural levels of DHEA hormone drop in our bodies after age 30. Some small studies have found that DHEA supplements ease menopause symptoms such as low libido and hot flashes. The evidence is mixed. Other studies have found no benefit. There is some concern that long-term use or high doses of DHEA may raise the risk of breast cancer.
Recommended Sodium Intake For Older Adults
Sodium is another important mineral. In most Americans diets, sodium primarily comes from salt . Whenever you add salt to your food, you’re adding sodium. But the Dietary Guidelines shows that most of the sodium we eat doesnt come from our saltshakers its added to many foods during processing or preparation. We all need some sodium, but too much over time can lead to high blood pressure, which can raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
How much sodium is okay? People 51 and older should reduce their sodium intake to 2,300 mg each day. That is about one teaspoon of salt and includes sodium added during manufacturing or cooking as well as at the table when eating. If you have high blood pressure or prehypertension, limiting sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day, about 2/3 teaspoon of salt, may be helpful. Preparing your own meals at home without using a lot of processed foods or salt will allow you to control how much sodium you get. Try using less salt when cooking, and dont add salt before you take the first bite. If you make this change slowly, you will get used to the difference in taste. Also look for grocery products marked low sodium, unsalted, no salt added, sodium free, or salt free. Also check the Nutrition Facts Label to see how much sodium is in a serving.
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Do I Need Monitoring On Calcium Supplements
If you have had an osteoporotic fracture and are being assessed and treated for osteoporosis, you should have a medical review. It can be easy to just get your calcium and vitamin D as a repeat prescription, however, see your GP or your pharmacist for a medication review perhaps once a year or 18 months, or if there has been a change in your health.
Key Nutrients Women Need As They Age
As women age, their risk of developing health problems such as heart disease and stroke increases, especially after menopause.
“Women have a limited amount of estrogen once they go through menopause,” said Dr. Nereida Correa, a gynecologist at Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. “Once theyre estrogen-deficient, theyre at risk for heart disease.”
Heart disease, which could include having a heart attack or heart failure, is the leading cause of death among women, and stroke is the third leading cause of death, according to government statistics.
Here are five nutrients that may help protect women from heart disease, as well as lower the risk of other chronic conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes, breast cancer and high blood pressure.
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Science Of Vitamin B12 For Menopause
Learnings and results from the study: In this paper on the overall effects of vitamins on menopause, Polish nutrition scientists start by stating that the role of compounds from the group of vitamin B cannot be overestimated in the menopause. This critical role is due to the widespread effects the B vitamins have in the nervous system, energy processing, and the transfer of one-carbon units throughout your body. If any of these systems becomes compromised during menopause, long-term negative health effects can occur.
A daily intake of approximately 6 mcg vitamin B-12 appears to saturate all the vitamin B-12-related variables in Danish postmenopausal women.
Learnings and results from the study: Menopause imbalances your entire body as you undergo a profound transformation. Changes in how your body processes nutrients are to be expected, but one Danish study has good news for women who want to lessen the impact of menopause with vitamin B12. According to the authors of this study, a daily vitamin B-12 intake of 6 mcg appeared to be sufficient to correct all the vitamin B-12-related variables measured.