Best Vitamin and Supplements for WomenSeptember 28, 2021
There are different recommendations for supplements, and they can be different between women and men. Supplements such as iron and calcium may be more important for women, particularly in the early years of child bearing.
Cooper Clinic Preventive medicine Physician Carolyn M. Terry, MD discusses the most common vitamins deficiencies she sees and offers advice on supplements for her female clients to get their levels back in order.
Vitamins for Women to Improve Heart and Bone Health
Dr. Terry says, “One of my most important topics I discuss with my patients females is how to preserve bone mineral density and reduce their chance of developing osteopenia.”
Vitamins D deficiency can thus lead to osteoporosis or osteopenia. Furthermore, It is also linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis and depression. Many patients believe that getting more sunlight will increase their levels. However, this is not true.
“Exercising more in the sun is not a good way to increase your vitamin D levels. You’re thus increasing your risk of skin cancer and exposing yourself to ultraviolet light. In contrast, supplementation is a safer and more effective way of replenishing vitamin D,” Dr. Terry says.
Furthermore, your doctor will perform a blood test to determine your vitamin D levels. From there, they can recommend the right amount of supplementation. Cooper Clinic physicians recommend:
- Take at least 50 mg (2,000 IU) vitamin D each day
- Vitamin D levels between 40-60 ng/ml
Cooper Complete vitamin D comes in two strengths: 25 mcg (1, 000 IU) or 125 mg (5,000 IU). Dr. Terry recommends that you continue to test for vitamin D after you have been placed on a vitamin supplementation program.
Women Can Take Calcium for Strong Bones
Bone health is also dependent on the calcium levels of women. Many women might not be getting the calcium they certainly need without proper vitamin D levels.
Dr. Terry explains that calcium absorption is dependent on the level of vitamin D in the body. Many women don’t get enough calcium through their diets.
Calcium is vital as it helps to mineralize bones and supports skeletal structure. Dr. Terry advises that you get the recommended calcium intake from your diet, just like any other vitamin. Calcium-rich foods include:
- Dairy products (cheese and milk, yogurt, etc.)
- Soy products: edamame (tofu), tempeh, edamame and soymilk.
- Chia seeds
- Dark leafy greens (spinach and kale, collard, etc.)
Supplements is beneficial for anyone who doesn’t like calcium-rich foods or has allergies to dairy products.
Cooper Clinic recommends these recommendations for daily calcium intake for women
- Women ages 19-50: 1,000 mg
- For women aged 51 or older, 1,200 mg
Cooper Complete’s Calcium Cirate has 500 mg of calcium per two-tablet serving.
Iron Supplements for Women to Fight Low Energy in Women
Throughout their entire reproductive lives, women experience significant changes in their iron status. Moreover, iron deficiency is more common in women who are active menstruating.
Iron deficiency symptoms include:
- Heart palpitations
Cooper Clinic offers a comprehensive lab analysis that includes the ferritin laboratory test. This determines your iron storage values. The following are the recommended daily iron intakes:
- Women ages 19-50: 18 mg
- Women 50 years and older: 8 mg
Dr. Terry says that many of my female patients will have low ferritin levels, which indicates they are iron deficient. “If this is the case, I recommend that they take Cooper Complete Multivitamin With Iron or Original Multivitamin With Iron. Supplemental iron is available if more than 18mg iron is required from the multivitamin.
Women who are currently having menstrual cycles should take an iron-rich multivitamin. Dr. Terry suggests that you don’t need an iron-supplemented supplement if you are post-menopausal.
To guide supplementation therapy, it is always better to know your vitamin levels. A blood test can check for most vitamin levels. This is part of Cooper Clinic’s comprehensive exam.