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Women have unique nutritional needs and although, some nutrients are essential throughout their lifespan, their nutritional needs vary greatly depending on their age. These include some foundational vitamins and minerals, such as in an age-appropriate multivitamins, bone support nutrients (including calcium, and vitamin D3), and omega-3 fatty acids. A woman in her 20′s or 30′s should consider choosing a prenatal vitamin, even if she is not pregnant or trying to conceive. A prenatal vitamin contains the nutrients that are essential for a woman of childbearing age, including iron and folic acid. Iron is especially important because of the blood loss that happens with each menstrual cycle; a woman needs to manufacture additional red blood cells to make up for this loss. The need for iron declines as a woman approaches menopause, and an iron-free multivitamin is recommended after she becomes menopausal. Beginning at the age of 50, most women begin to decrease their production of hydrochloric acid, which makes it more challenging to absorb supplemental nutrients; these women may require a multivitamin formulated with digestive support.
Calcium is often not prescribed until a woman is menopausal or starting to experience a decrease in bone density. This approach is not ideal, as it is waiting until a disease state has begun to develop. Calcium, magnesium, and other bone supportive nutrients (vitamin D, vitamin K, boron, etc.) are best to begin when a woman is in her teens, building strong bones. A solid nutritional foundation will create maximum bone health before hormonal changes begin to cause increased bone turnover post-menopause. These bone supportive nutrients are important to continue as a woman ages; older women do not absorb nutrients as efficiently and thus may often require supplementation to keep up with their body’s demands.
To support a woman’s health, consider adding a probiotic to her daily regimen. Probiotic bacteria provide important support to the digestive tract, colonizing and assisting with the proper breakdown and assimilation of nutrients from food. Probiotics also have been shown to offer immune support and assist with proper responses to infectious organisms. For women, probiotics may offer additional benefit by assisting with healthy colonization of the vaginal vault.
Tags: multivitamins, calcium, vitamin D3, vitamins, minerals, iron, folic acid, menopause, bone density, probiotics for woman’s health