Best supplements for women’s health
Best supplements for women's health
Womens’ health undergoes a lot of changes through the course of her lifetime, from her adolescence through the reproductive age, and then during menopause in the later years of her life. During these phases, there are rapid physiological changes brought about due to the activity of hormones in the body. If there aren’t adequate nutrient stores in the body to support these rapid changes, the overall health of the woman shall go in a downward spiral.
There are certain essential nutrients which protect the body against these rapid hormonal changes and make the changes go on smoothly. These nutrients also prevent chronic, degenerative diseases that plague most women before they reach their sixties.
Following are brief descriptions of certain supplements containing a complex of essential nutrients which serve specific health functions in women.
For Bone Health Women
Strong formed bones require quite a few nutrients other than just calcium. These nutrients range from vitamin D3, magnesium, vitamin K, fluoride, phosphorus, potassium and vitamin A.
- Pure Micronutrients Calcium Complex Bone Support
This supplement is a high quality product since its formulation contains most of the essential bone health nutrients in most bioavailable forms. Calcium is 1000 mg per serving among which 500 mg is sourced from Calcium Citrate and another 500mg from Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite (MCHA). Calcium citrate and MCHA are more bioavailable and does not cause constipation as a side effect. It also contains magnesium 250 mgs per serving and phosphorus, zinc, vitamin D and K, which all enhance calcium absorption and overall bone health.
The supplement is quite expensive and not suitable for vegans due to the chosen calcium sources. However, it has been proven to be quite effective in slowing progression and also in reversing osteoporosis, prevention of bone degradation among post menopausal women and the elderly.
- NATURELO Bone Strength (Plant Calcium Complex)
This supplement contains most of the essential minerals derived from plant sources which is necessary for bone health. It is suitable for meeting requirements of bone health nutrients for vegetarians. It contains both calcium and magnesium in the ratio of 3:1. Along with them, there are vitamin K, D3, zinc, potassium, manganese, boron, silicate, vitamin C which all support bones health and strengthen them. Calcium in this supplement is sourced from algae, which has shown to be more bioavailable than rock calcium (calcium carbonate) as found in some studies(2,3). Vitamin D3 and K2 are derived from lichens in this supplement, which is a vegan source, unlike most vitamin D3 sources, since cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) is usually sourced from animal sources as of now.
The supplement is expensive, but it has found to be useful even among pregnant & nursing women and has minimum side effects unlike other calcium supplements. It has gained several positive reviews from customers.
For Gut Health - Women
It becomes very important for women to maintain good digestive health since erratic lifestyle, poor food choices and irregular meal timings can downplay the smooth functioning of gut enzymes and hormones. It is also essential for optimum nutrient absorption since poor gutflora hampers with nutrient absorption and results in several nutrient deficiencies.
- Vitamin Bounty Womens’ Daily Probiotic
It has a blend of both prebiotics as well as probiotics and contains 5 strains of probiotic bacteria from the Lactobacillus species which is known to enhance the “good bacteria” in the gut. It contains 60 capsules which can last a month as per the suggested serving size. It is reasonable in cost and has been found to boost immunity and also reverse IBS symptoms and correct other digestive issues. It maintains good vaginal health in women and prevents or cures any bacterial, yeast or urinary tract infections.
- NatureWise Womens’ Care Probiotics
This supplement claims to contain 8 strains of beneficial bacteria essential for maintaining good gut health. It claims to deliver live cultures of bacteria to safely reach the gut through its formulation. It contains natural cranberry extract which is useful to prevent UTIs. It is marginally expensive and have been very effective in delivering the health benefits its claims. It ensures slow release of the strains over a period of 8-10 hours.
For Multivitamin Women Support
Often our diet patterns are inadequate in fulfilling the requirements of several essential nutrients. Ensuring that our diet regime is supplemented with these nutrients is very important in order to prevent deficiencies. It has been found that several micronutrient deficiencies are linked to hormonal imbalances.
- Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women Multivitamin
It contains 23 essential vitamins and nutrients. It also supplemental iron, calcium and folic acid in it. It also contains formulation of several nutraceuticals which are rich source of antioxidants and improves stamina and energy performance. It is cost effective, suitable for vegetarians.
Customers have reviewed with improves energy levels, clearing of acne issues and healthy growth of hair and nails. It is very effective for women who are on weight training regime as well for boosting stamina.
- GNC Womens’ Ultra Mega 50 Plus
It contains a healthy blend of 39 vitamins and minerals along with several antioxidant rich nutraceuticals to support healthy aging among women. It contains all the fat and water soluble vitamins (vitamin A,D,E and K and B-complex vitamins) along with antioxidant minerals such as selenium, zinc, copper, molybdenum, chromium.
It contains phosphotidylycholine, which improves nerve cell health (for numbness and tingling sensation of extremities) and slowing of memory loss. It also contains alpha-lipoic acid and green tea extract which slows cell aging process. Other antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene for eye health and fruit berries extracts for their antioxidant rich phytochemicals.
It’s quite expensive and have garnered good reviews from customers based on improving energy levels and easy digestibility. It isn’t suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
For Prenatal Nutrition - Women
Gestation is the time when adequate stores of nutrients in the body are of utmost importance since its essential for the health of both the mother as well as the growing child. Deficiencies of certain essential nutrients have detrimental effects on the growth of the child in utero. Studies have shown that prenatal vitamins reduce autism risk in children (4).
- Mother’s Select Prenatal Plus
It contains multivitamins essential during gestation for healthy fetal development and mother’s health. It contains vitamin B12, A, D, E and niacin, folate, zinc. For the fetus, its helps in development of healthy cognition, vision and birth weight. It improves energy levels in the mother and uplifts mood during this crucial phase when the fluctuating hormones can cause drastic mood swings. It is cost effective and doesn’t cause nausea which is very common during pregnancy.
- New Chapter Perfect Postnatal
This supplement contains most of the multivitamins required during gestation and also for lactation. It contains a herbal blend of nutraceuticals which act as galactogogues and help in improving milk production. Most of the vitamins and nutraceuticals are in ferment media and it also contains fermented soy.
Its reasonable in cost and suitable for vegetarians. However, customer reviews have found that in some cases bloating have been reported probably due to fermented soy allergens. But there have been more positive reviews regarding its action on increase in milk production.
- G Kaats et al.,(2016)A 7-Year Longitudinal Trial of the Safety and Efficacy of a Vitamin/Mineral Enhanced Plant-Sourced Calcium Supplement. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 35:2, 91-99.
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