Read these 10 Vitamins for Women Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Vitamin tips and hundreds of other topics.
You actually can use the gland excuse as to why you have difficulty losing weight -- but don't stop at the excuse! Hypothyroidism usually makes weight gain easy and weight loss difficult. If you're cold in August, have brittle hair and flaky skin, and irregular periods, you're hypothyroid. We assume you're taking thyroid medication, so before you try hoodia, green tea, conjugated linoleic acid (3,400 mg per day) or l-tyrosine (an essential amino acid for thyroid regulation) weight loss supplements, check for any negative interactions. Conjugated linoleic acid doesn't seem to have any negative interference with thyroid medication. As for chromium, a deficiency in chromium may cause thyroid problems, so you can take chromium picolinate for weight loss. But be sure to try not to take all of these supplements at once. Evaluate them with your internal medicine specialist and devise a weight loss plan that's tailored for you. The cause is your glands, but the glands don't determine your destiny, or your health.
One female comedian once quipped, "I'm not afraid of menopause. I'm afraid of men-o-stop." Don't fear "the change." You'll get more confident when you take charge of your own body so that men won't stop looking at you and paying you attention. How do you take charge? What women's products help menopause? Black cohosh supports menopausal health over time as hormones change. Of course, you need HRT and to follow a sensible program of exercise and diet such as Dr. Diana Schwarzbein's. Black cohosh combined with soy products can help with hot flashes and night sweats. Plus, to stop men in their tracks, build strong bones with calcium, take more iron for energy and folic acid -- we know you took it when you were pregnant, but it's still vital now that you don't think you'll be seeing the stork any time soon. Cranberry regulates your urinary system and preserves healthy teeth. Betaine hydrochoride can keep your heart thumping, especially when those guys come calling or e-mailing! Of course, you know it's not about the men, it's about your health and happiness as a mature woman. Mature, healthy, and sexy!
Berries are said to be the superfood, but what about the plain old cranberry that you consume every Thanksgiving in-between ducking your mother-in-law's tips for a better turkey? Actually, you like your mother-in-law, and because you do, you'll give her your cranberry recipe plus your cranberry women's products, because you notice she visits the ladies' room for longer than usual. While she might frown on soy products, evening primrose oil and black cohosh, your mother-in-law used to drink cranberry juice. The problem is, she's diabetic now -- she takes folic acid. What does she do? Organic cranberry supplements will help your mother-in-law. She should take three to six 500 mg capsules of dried cranberry powder, or a maximum of 2,000 mg daily. Vitamin C helps strengthen the effects of cranberry women's products. There's no sugar in the supplements, so your mother-in-law will be happier. She'll be happier anyway not visiting the ladies' room all night! Now she can give you her stuffing recipe and debate the merits of calcium supplements versus a good old fashioned glass of milk after the turkey has disappeared. You smile sweetly and help yourself to more cranberries.
You're an iron woman -- you take iron supplements to keep your blood pumping. You're not anemic, you're not tired. You take calcium for your joints, bones and teeth. You don't have osteoporosis, you hope. So why do you feel lackadaisical? You may need some ginseng for energy, but you also need 0.4 mg of folic acid daily -- two-thirds of women in the United States consume insufficient folic acid, especially women between the ages of 18 and 45. Folic acid can help prevent anemia along with iron. Women who have diabetes or are overweight especially need folic acid. Also, your chance of heart disease may drop, along with your risk for Alzheimer's. Do everyone a favor the next time you pump iron at the gym: Pass out some women's products with folic acid to your strength-training workout buddies.
"Women's Wellness." "Get Up and Go Vitamins for Women Over 50." You see these women's products advertised. Combining all those vitamins, knowing which ones to take at which stages, is difficult. Can a women's formula simplify your choices? Absolutely. you have to make sure you get your recommended dosage of each vitamin and mineral, and make sure you know which vitamins are disease-specific, for example:
Cranberry juice prevents gum disease. Vitamin C helps your teeth. With all these natural women's vitamins, dentists should be out of business -- unfortunately, not every woman takes care of the pearly whites. We do, however, surpass men in tooth-brushing. We're also better at taking care of our heart and blood, with folic acid, betaine hydrochloride, soy products, iron. But we digress. Unfortunately, our dentists and chiropractors have to remind us to take more calcium, which we lose rapidly as we age. Adults 19 to 50 years old need 1,000 mg a day, and adults over 50 need 1,200 mg a day. If you're post-menopausal (you took black cohosh, right?), you need that calcium supplement more than ever. Don't go below 1,200. After all, you don't want the dentists and doctors to gloat. But do get your regular dental checkup and yearly physical just to give the medical establishment, especially the guys, something to do.
The old joke says, "How many women with PMS does it take to change a light bulb?" Answer: "Shut up!" You know you're not that horrible, but you do feel pretty awful around that time of the month. You're taking so many women's products to help your health: cranberry, iron, betaine hydrochloride, calcium, black cohosh, soy products, iron (you lose iron through menstruation), and folic acid--the whole vitamin arsenal. There's one thing you forgot (don't scream at us, please.) Evening primrose oil helps alleviate the hormonal stress of PMS, and keeps your skin, hair and nails looking healthy--now you don't have to get upset with your mirror in the morning. Nutrients and essential fatty acids, such as GLA, get leeched out of you before your menses. Evening primrose oil is high in GLA, and can prevent irritable bowl syndrome and sore breasts. You might even have a sense of humor, too, and laugh at our opening joke. Or not. We'll remember to duck.
CLA might sound familiar. Here's a hint: Omega 6. GLA is an essential fatty acid, as is CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid. Essential fat? Aren't you and your sister trying to lose weight? Actually, CLA can help aid your weight loss program, just like green tea and chromium. Weight loss professionals recommend 2000 mg with a reduced calorie program and regular exercise program with cardio and strength training as well as Pilates. You should think about this while you and your sister jump, jive and wail in dance class (great aerobic exercise): Doctors, naturally, have little evidence to support claims that conjugated linoleic acid helps in weight loss. So you may want to talk to your doctor--right after swing dancing and salsa dancing. CLA sounds less glamorous than getting your groove on.
Women give up their hearts easily. Women's products need to protect the heart, because it's the leading cause of death among women -- yes, ahead of breast cancer. There's nothing wrong with giving your heart to others -- just make sure it's a healthy heart. Doctors recommend taking betaine hydrochloride with folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 for a major shot to the heart -- yes, that's a good thing. Combine that with an omega 3 supplement and soy products, also evening primrose oil, which contains essential GLA or gamma-linolenic acid. Don't neglect the rest of your body, especially if you're going through menopause -- marshal calcium and black cohosh! Pump some iron supplements! As an Oatmeal Crisp ad says, "Every day you give a part of your heart. So every day, give something to your heart." Take care of yourself before you take care of others like you usually do!
Soy products don't help breast cancer. Soy products do help breast cancer. Consume whole soy. Don't drink soy milk. Soy what? Say what? Why all the soy conflict? Sad to say, medical studies don't always agree -- some studies doubt evening primrose oil, while others doubt GLA. But this is your health and your family's health you're talking about. Women's products with soy combined with fish (all those essential fatty acids) can be a powerful defense against disease for women. If you eat soy three times per week and take soy isoflavones, including soya lecithin, you can guard against breast cancer and heart disease. Experts caution that soy products need to be combined with essential vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron. If you're menopausal, add black cohosh to the mix. Experts also say you should take soy supplements with a variety of isoflavones including genistein and daidzein, and should ingest a total of 100 mg from soy foods and soy supplements. Don't take soy if you're pregnant or nursing. Also, there may be an increased risk of breast cancer depending on the supplement you take. Confused? Not you. You know what to do, and to the critics, you just say, "Soy what?" To your doctor you say, "What's up with soy products?"
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|