By Laurel Sterling, MA, RD
Ladies, no matter where you are in your life: 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond, there are basic supplements we all need for overall general health. Generally speaking, we are the caretakers of the family. If we cannot maintain our health, then we cannot assist others when they need us. All too often, I see many female clients tending to their health last, and then paying for it later with chronic fatigue, weight gain, hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, etc. I believe in starting with what I call the “Core Four.” These consist of: a multivitamin, EFA, probiotic, and calcium/magnesium/D3.
The multivitamin should have enough B vitamins (particularly B-6 and folate), iron, vitamin A, vitamin D3, and vitamin E. A quality multivitamin-mineral can help prevent the depletion of important vitamins and minerals when a less-than-desirable diet or extra stressors are taking place. For women ages 20-45, be sure the multiple has 400-800 mcg of folic acid in the event pregnancy should occur. A food-based multiple would be a fine choice. It is generally well-tolerated by those who have sensitive stomachs.
An essential fatty acid supplement is also necessary for a variety of reasons. Omega-3s from fish or fl ax oil help with mood, memory, and fetal eye and brain development, amongst other wonderful things.
Omega-6 fatty acids (such as Evening Primrose oil or Borage oil) nourish dry skin, hair, and mucous membranes, as well as, aiding in natural hormone production.
It is important to build good bones beginning in your teens; therefore, calcium/magnesium/D supplement is very useful and becomes critical should pregnancy occur. These minerals are also nature’s tranquilizers and assist with sleep. The calcium should be a citrate or glycinate source, the magnesium should
be citrate, malate, or glycinate and the 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 should be cholecalciferol. From the fall months until around May (when the sun is pretty much nonexistent in Syracuse!) additional D3, about 2,000 IUs, would also be important. Vitamin D helps with moods and the immune system!
Probiotics (beneficial bacteria) are very important as 70-90% of the immune system lies in the gut. Probiotics also help detoxify harmful estrogens. Make sure the probiotic you choose has over 1 billion CFUs with a combination of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.What’s in your vitamin case?