Are you considering adding supplements or a multivitamin to your daily regimen? Even if we eat a balanced diet and take care of ourselves, we may need to supplement with vitamins and minerals as we age. Vitamin deficiencies may creep up on us and start to cause small or big health issues over time.
There are different ways of taking vitamins. You can take individual supplements that deliver specific nutrients, or you can take a multivitamin that contains several combined nutrients.
Individual supplements consisting of specific vitamins and minerals are often taken for therapeutic purposes to help with an existing condition, while a multivitamin is often taken as a dietary safety net to curve off potential health issues and to make sure that the body is receiving essential doses of vitamins and minerals daily.
How do you know which is best for you? Your doctor will be the best person to answer this question if you are uncertain. Remember, dietary supplements are not intended to replace food. They are also not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent diseases.
Always speak with your doctor about any new medications, and that includes supplements and vitamins.
If you browse the web and read news pieces, magazine articles, or blog posts on a regular basis, chances are you have come across lots of different opinions about vitamins and supplements.
It can be very confusing, especially if you are just introducing yourself to a healthier lifestyle and you’re considering adding supplements to your diet.
Here is a short list of some of the most important supplements that women should be taking as they get older.
You’ve probably heard of this formula on numerous occasions, but you may have no idea what it is or what it does. Co Q-10 is short for Coenzyme Q-10.
This supplement is best known for helping to support a healthy cardiovascular system. Co Q-10 naturally appears in almost every cell in the body and our Co Q-10 levels may decrease with age. Co Q-10 helps our bodies convert food to energy and may also be important to nervous system health.
We know that fish oils contain heart-healthy nutrients you need called omega-3 fatty acids. Fish oils contain EPA and DHA, the important fatty acids that help benefit the heart, joints, and bones.
Omega-3 fatty acids are derived from many sources. You can choose from cod liver, salmon, and krill oil.
In addition, Vitamin A in cod liver oil assists eyesight and skin maintenance and vitamin D helps maintain strong bones. Krill oil, derived from small crustaceans, naturally contains astaxanthin.
According to recent studies, up to 75% of adults and teens could use more Vitamin D. Sunlight provides a good source of Vitamin D, but many of us aren’t spending enough time in the sun these days to provide adequate levels of this important vitamin. People who live in northern climates often have reduced levels of Vitamin D, especially during the winter months.
Many health experts recommend that adults get approximately 2000 IU of Vitamin D every day for optimal health benefits. Why is Vitamin D important to us? Vitamin D assists in the absorption of calcium.
As we age, Vitamin D absorption decreases, and the skin produces Vitamin D less efficiently.
To complicate matters, very few foods in nature contain Vitamin D, making it more important to find alternative supplements.
Vitamins D3 and K2 work together for your bones and heart. Vitamin D creates K2 dependent proteins that move calcium, and K2 activates those proteins.
“The biological role of vitamin K2 is to help move calcium into the proper areas in your body, such as your bones and teeth. It also helps remove calcium from areas where it shouldn’t be, such as in your arteries and soft tissues,” says Dr. Kate, author of Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life.
Besides shuttling calcium, Vitamin K2 is important for the prevention of heart disease, heart attack and stroke, brain disease, and because it activates proteins that promote cell growth, it may help to prevent cancer.
By now, most of us understand that we can get Vitamin C from citrus fruits and other dietary sources. But how many of us know why Vitamin C is an important nutrient?
There are a few reasons our bodies require this vitamin. Vitamin C helps aid in the formation of collagen. Collagen is an amino acid-rich substance, which can provide raw materials for connective tissues like ligaments and bones.
Vitamin C helps aid our immune system health, and it is also a “super antioxidant” that helps fight cell-damaging free radicals.
Because our bodies require Vitamin C and because we cannot make or store Vitamin C, we have to get our daily dose from food and supplements. Since many of us don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables to reach our daily recommendation, it may be necessary to supplement.
Magnesium is an important mineral for long-term health. It helps maintain the ‘pumps’ that control the movement of salts in and out of cells. It is also essential for healthy nerve conduction, muscle relaxation, healthy bones, and energy production.
Lack of magnesium is one of the most common mineral deficiencies and adequate intakes are even associated with longevity. Magnesium helps to relax muscles in blood vessel linings, lower blood pressure, reduce arterial spasm, and protect against heart attack and stroke.
Studies have shown that people with Alzheimer’s had lower levels of magnesium in their cerebrospinal fluid than those who did not have the disease.
Magnesium is also highly recommended by doctors as a relief for chronic constipation. The recommended intake for magnesium varies from 375mg in the EU to 400mg in the US.
For more information about the importance of magnesium for women over 60, please watch Margaret’s interview with Lynda Goldman.
Looking for even more supplement tips? See Sarah Brewer’s 6 best vitamins and supplements for women over 60.
Multivitamins aim to help provide the essential vitamins and minerals needed in a single daily serving.
Multivitamins typically come in different formulations for varying nutritional needs based on gender and age. For instance, there are senior-specific multivitamins that take into consideration the concerns of people over the age of 50. Senior-specific multivitamins may focus on bone and heart health vitamins and minerals.
Preferably, look for multivitamins designed for women over 50 in order to get the best nutrients for your body and mind.
A multivitamin is definitely recommended for people with poor eating habits who don’t get enough nutrients through their food every day. A multivitamin created specifically for women over 50 may also be beneficial even for those who do eat well to help slow down aging and prevent some illnesses.
As women age and go through menopause they may experience deficiencies in certain nutrients, like vitamins B6, B12, and D for example. Also, when menstruation ceases, we need less iron and more calcium. Multivitamins designed for older women will take all these age-related health concerns into consideration.
Dr. Ana Lamnari explains that “it is important to know that daily values have been established as minimum doses that will prevent deficiency. This is a pretty low bar to clear. FDA has recognized that in 2016 and has consequently updated many daily values, including the one for vitamin D from 400 IU to 800 IU.”
Dr. Lamnari likes to have at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D in her multivitamin. She says: “Often, even that may not be enough, and you may need to resort to taking extra vitamin D in addition to the multivitamin. In any person with normal kidney function the vitamin B12 excess will be easily excreted. For that reason, it should be safe for most of us to take larger quantities of vitamin B12.”
She suggests avoiding iron, unless you have been told that you are iron deficient. She warns that “Too much iron increases oxidative stress and can be a cause of chronic inflammation.”
Most multivitamins for women over 50 are iron-free and that is one of the reasons it’s important to choose a multivitamin that is specifically created for older women in mind.
After much research and reading consumer product reviews, we came up with a list of multivitamins that we feel can provide the best supplementation our over-50 bodies need.
The New Chapter one-daily tablet is packed with vitamins, minerals, herbs, and superfood botanical blends to maintain good health and vitality.
This multivitamin is iron-free and is gentle enough to take any time during the day, even on an empty stomach. New Chapter Every Woman’s One Daily helps support your immune system, your heart health, your energy level, your digestive system, and also helps eye and bone health.
One A Day Women’s 50+ multivitamin offers a wide variety of essential nutrients in an easy-to-take tablet. This multivitamin helps support healthy brain function with all vital B vitamins. It’s formulated to promote bone health, joint health, heart health, eye health, immune health, and also boost physical energy by helping convert food to fuel.
Also, One A Day Women’s 50+ is free of gluten, wheat, soy allergens, dairy, and artificial sweeteners.
The MegaFood Multivitamin for Women Over 55 is made with real food, wholesome nutritional yeast, and added nutrients like a perfect blend of vitamins, minerals, and green tea leaf extract to support a woman’s unique physiological needs.
It includes 1000 IU of vitamin D to support healthy bones, essential B vitamins, and zinc to support cognitive function.
Puritan’s Pride Ultra Woman 50 Plus multivitamins are high-potency caplets that provide powerful antioxidants that promote strong, healthy bones, and contribute to metabolic health and energy production. It also can support healthy hair, skin, and nails.
The caplets are time-released to provide a gradual release of nutrients, so you can continue to benefit throughout the day.
Thorne Women’s Multi 50+ is a comprehensive daily multivitamin/mineral combination that provides support for a healthy, active lifestyle.
The multivitamin is designed with nutrients the body can easily absorb and is formulated for individuals at low risk for iron deficiency, including post-menopausal women.
You may find it difficult to swallow the traditional large multivitamins and that is where gummy vitamins come in handy.
The SmartyPants Complete Women 50+ Gummy uses the highest-quality ingredients available to deliver omega-3 EPA and DHA essential fatty acids (from fish oil) to help support your eye, bone, heart, and immune health. They are easy to take and taste yummy.
Do you take supplements or a daily multivitamin designed for women over 50? Did you start by your doctor’s recommendation or was this your own choice? What is your favorite brand and why? Let us know in the comments below.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult with your doctor to get specific medical advice for your situation.
Tags Healthy Aging