Despite maintaining a healthy routine with a sensible diet and exercise, all women need to take vitamins for wellness and strength. Studies show that 93% of women do not get the right amount of daily vitamin doses required.
The thing is, the type and amount of vitamins needed, do vary depending on the age group that you’re in.
Find the category that you are in and see if you are following the daily recommendations.
Women in Your 20’s
Now is the time to build up your bones. This can be done with a calcium tablet (600 mg), which also contains vitamin D (1,000 IU). Vitamin D helps the absorption of the calcium. Have no fear if you can’t swallow tablets. This supplement now comes in many forms including chocolate chews or wafers.
Fish oil with omega 3 fatty acids (1-2 g) helps get rid of mood swings by increasing serotonin, a chemical in your brain.
Women in Your 30’s
For those interested in fertility, taking a prenatal vitamin for at least 3 months prior to conception to achieve maximum health is a great idea.
Entering your 30s, many women are low in iron, leading to tiredness and loss of energy. In addition to a multivitamin, 27 mg of iron is a good idea. Iron can be constipating so finding one that has a stool softener in the tablet.
Grape seed oil supplements (100-400 mg each day) are a great antioxidant that keeps your skin smooth and elastic, cutting down on the first stage of aging.
Women in Your 40’s
Now we need some additional calcium to fortify our bones, so increase the calcium to twice each day (at 500-600 mg), each with vitamin D.
Your metabolism is starting to get sluggish so eating small meals more often is a good idea. Add chromium (25 mg) each day to maintain blood sugar levels and prevent the hunger pangs from sugar swings.
Vitamin C (1000 mg) each day will address any weakness in immunity and stress.
Women in Your 50’s
At this point, taking 3 tablets of calcium throughout the day is a good idea to ward off osteoporosis, the weakening of bone. A multivitamin will also be a good idea.
Adding arginine (1-3 g) each day will also thwart hot flashes.
Women Age 60 and Above
In addition to the multivitamin and calcium/vitamin D supplements that you are now in the habit of taking, it’s time to look at your vitamins and minerals which may not be absorbed as well as in prior years, causing lack of energy and possibly anemia.
Try adding vitamin B12 for healthier red blood cells and nerves as well as vitamin B6. A nutritionist will work with you on what your best dose should be.
Helpful Supplement Points: The Good and the Bad
There are some who tout CoQ10 as an anti-aging supplement, which acts as an antioxidant to cleanse the body of free radicals or toxins, lowers high blood pressure and even prevents migraine headaches. However, there are side effects and there is insufficient research to show true benefits and safety.
Niacin (35 mg)
Taking this on a daily basis can reduce cholesterol by as much as 20%. The problem, however, is that it can cause hot flashes, palpitations and flushing.
Adding 320 mg each day may correct high blood pressure problems.
Taking supplements can interfere with medications or current medical conditions and should not be viewed as harmless.
As with any medications, vitamins and supplements should be discussed with your physician so that an intelligent, informed decision can be made as to whether the benefits outweigh the risks and whether it is something that is right for you.
After all, the vitamins and supplements are taken to promote your wellness, not risk your health.
Barbara Hales, M.D. helps people improve their health and navigate the healthcare system of today. After working as a physician in women’s health and surgery for thirty years, she now focuses on helping the public at large through her book “Power to the Patient: The Medical Strategist” and her monthly newsletter.