By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Medicine
When it comes to keeping women healthy, most supplement makers focus on just two things: bone and reproductive health. But, while easing the symptoms of PMS and menopause and keeping bones strong and healthy are important, those aren’t the only health problems women need to be aware of.
Here are five supplements I recommend to women. And, combined with a wholesome diet and regular exercise, they can help keep you vibrant and healthy for a lifetime.
Multivitamin. A high-potency multivitamin is essential for living a vibrant and healthy life. And it’s especially important if you don’t always eat right. As a bonus, some studies also suggest taking a multi can help you lose weight. One study compared the effects of taking a multivitamin, a low-dose calcium supplement, or a placebo on 87 overweight women between the ages of 18 and 55. Those who took the multi lost nearly 8 pounds in 26 weeks and saw better cholesterol levels. But the women who took the calcium or the placebo only lost between a half pound and slightly less than 2 pounds.1
Calcium D-glucarate. Don’t confuse this supplement with calcium. Calcium D-glucarate reduces the impact of harmful environmental toxins. It also helps the body eliminate toxins.2 It helps regulate how your body handles estrogen and lowers cholesterol. Take 200 to 400 mg daily.
CoQ10. Women often have different—and more subtle—symptoms of heart disease. This means heart problems can often be overlooked by their doctors and by women themselves. You can help ensure heart health at any age with Coenzyme Q10. It’s a vital nutrient for the heart because it feeds the energy produced inside each cell in your body. It also lowers blood pressure, supports healthy cholesterol levels, and helps prevent deadly blood clots. Your CoQ10 levels drop off as you age. To help maintain healthy levels, take 30 to 50 mg daily with meals. And, if you suffer from any type of heart disease, ramp up that amount to 100 to 300 mg per day depending on your condition and its severity.
Magnesium. Most people don’t get enough of this important mineral—and that can be a real problem for many women.3 If you’re deficient you could be experiencing anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches or muscle cramps. Low levels can also contribute to serious problems like diabetes and heart disease. Taking a magnesium supplement can help prevent these problems. Plus it can ease stress and help your bones use calcium more efficiently. You need at least 400 mg of magnesium every day. But it’s smart to start with a lower dose of 200 mg and work your way up until you find your optimal dose.
Vitamin D. The “sunshine” vitamin has been all over the news lately—and with good reason. Low levels of vitamin D increase the risk for a whole host of health problems. High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cancers, depression, arthritis, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, inflammatory bowel disease, colds and flu, allergies, asthma, osteoporosis and the overall risk of premature death. While I tell all my patients to take 1,000 to 2,000 IU daily, it’s especially important for active women.
1. Li Y. Effects of multivitamin and mineral supplementation on adiposity, energy expenditure and lipid profiles in obese Chinese women. International Journal of Obesity. 2010. 34: 1070-1077.
2. Zółtaszek R. The biological role of D-glucaric acid and its derivatives: potential use in medicine. Postepy Hig Med Dosw. 2008;62:451-462.
3. Nielsen FH. Moderate magnesium deprivation results in calcium retention and altered potassium and phosphorus excretion by postmenopausal women. Magnesium Research. 20(1):19-31. 2007.