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Supplements Every Woman Should Know

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This is not medical advice so, do not make any changes without consulting your primary physician or health care provider. The importance is to have the knowledge of the positive and negative effects of supplementation.

The ideal individual should get all the needed nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from their diet. However, most individuals do not live the ideal lifestyle. Thus,the necessity for supplements to make up for some of the inadequacies in our diets. However, supplements cannot carry the burden of a highly inadequate diet. You must have a balanced diet that offers variety.

On that note, one must be careful not to over-supplement. Some of the principles of medication apply to multivitamins and supplements as well. Too much of a good thing can turn bad. This is why you have to get medical advice before beginning a supplementation regime. Do not rely solely on self-diagnosis, the right medical tests will reveal the vitamins or minerals you are lacking and point you in the right direction. That said, there are some primary supplements that every woman should pay attention to. These include the following:

Vitamin D

Our bodies use sunlight to manufacture vitamin D. unfortunately; most of us do not have enough sun exposure. Vitamin D supports the immune system and helps us build and maintain strong bones. When our vitamin D level is low we are more susceptible to depression, fatigue, weight gain, and chronic pain. Doctors recommend Vitamin D3 1,000-2,000 IU (international units) per day. However, one risk of getting too much vitamin D is that in healthy people, vitamin D blood levels higher than 100 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) can trigger extra calcium absorption and lead to kidney stones.

Folic Acid

All menstruating women should take 400 to 800 mcg (micrograms) of folic acid. Folic acid acts by helping the body produce and maintain new cells. Red blood cell formation is dependent upon adequate levels of this vitamin. Folic acid deficiency is a known cause of anemia. In addition, approximately over 50% of pregnancies are unplanned. It is important to supplement folic acid prior to pregnancy since it significantly reduces the risk of neural tube defects and other neurologic problems in newborns. However, one should not get more than 1,000 micrograms of folic a day, unless your doctor prescribes a higher amount. Too much can hide signs that you lack vitamin B12, which can cause nerve damage.

Fish Oil

If a woman has risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as diabetes, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, or strong family history of cardiovascular disease, she should consider a fish oil supplement. Dosage recommendations vary widely from 1,000 to 4,000 mg of omega 3 acids per day. It is usually advised that women start with 1,000 mg then gradually up that dosage if the person tolerates it well. Be careful, fish oil can cause upset stomach, burping, and loose stools. Doctors agree that the best way to get your omega-3s is from food. Eating fish, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, seems to provide more benefit to your heart health than taking supplements.

Calcium

The recommendations for calcium are in flux right now. While many women believe they need a calcium supplement, people should to try getting calcium from their diet instead of taking a supplement. It is best recommended for patients at increased risk for osteoporosis. The National Institute of Health recommends 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day for women aged 19 to 50 and 1,200 mg a day for women 51 and older. Anything over can lead to health problems.

Vitamin B

The B vitamins include thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5) pyridoxine (B6), cobalamin (B12) and biotin. These are water-soluble essential nutrients found in many foods, including whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Vitamins B12 is found exclusively in meat, fish and milk. Many foods are also fortified with B vitamins. An active woman can burn more than 2,000 calories a day. And B vitamins are essential for producing the energy necessary to meet the demands of everyday life, whether you are going to the gym, doing laundry, or giving a presentation at work. Aside from nerve damage, symptoms of too much vitamin B include painful skin patches, extreme sensitivity to sunlight, nausea, and heartburn.

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