Choosing dietary supplements can be overwhelming for many of us. Regardless of whether you look for supplements at a health food store or your local drug store, the choices are plentiful and at times confusing.
Women, in particular, can easily become overwhelmed by the variety of different supplements that are available simply because there are so many conflicting options. Even something as simple as a multivitamin can contain different nutrients that are intended to address very different health concerns.
So, how is a woman supposed to choose the supplements that will be the most beneficial for her particular needs?
The first thing you need to do is talk to your doctor about the supplements that you are considering taking. This will allow you to obtain an informed, educated opinion about the supplements that might actually do you some good as well as the ones that you really should stay away from.
It is also important to have this type of discussion with your doctor so that you can determine whether any of your current prescription medications might interact negatively with a supplement that you want (or need) to take. Finding all of this information out from the beginning may save you from experiencing a potentially dangerous interaction.
Health care professionals generally recommend seven different supplements that are considered to be essential for women’s health.
- Vitamin D3 – Not only does this vitamin help us to absorb calcium more efficiently, it also helps to prevent the development of breast cancer, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, and cardiovascular disease.
- Calcium – We need calcium to form and maintain strong bones, but it may also help to lower blood pressure and alleviate symptoms of PMS.
- Gamma-linolenic acid – This is an essential fatty acid that helps to reduce inflammation. It is also linked to a reduction in symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and symptoms associated with PMS.
- Iron – Iron dosages need to be carefully regulated by your doctor, as having too much iron in the system can result in liver problems. We need to have the proper amounts of iron in our bodies to prevent anemia, which can negatively impact our metabolism and energy enzymes.
- I3C (Indole-3-carbinol) – A substance found in vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts, it is believed to help lower the risk of developing certain cancers.
- Vitex – Also known as chaste tree berry or monk’s pepper, women have been relying on this supplement to treat a variety of health issues for centuries. Modern research indicates that vitex is excellent for treating PMS symptoms, infertility, and irregular periods.
- Folic acid – An important B-vitamin that is critical in the maintenance of new cells, it is also believed to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease; specifically heart attack and stroke.
While these particular supplements are considered by many professionals to be the most recommended ones for all women, your health care provider is the best person to determine which supplements are the best choices for maintaining your health.
By Lisa Pecos