Vitamins for Women
Since the FDA has not changed daily recommendation for vitamins since 1968, the Institute of Medicine has introduced new recommendations for vitamins, called dietary reference intakes. According to the Institute, there are four main multivitamin supplements highly beneficial to women. Those are: calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin K.
However, there are many manufacturers of vitamin supplements and it can be quite difficult to find the best brand. Although every vitamin supplement product claims to be the best, it is not always true.
When it comes to calcium, it is important that you find a calcium supplement containing vitamin D because this vitamin promotes calcium absorption in the intestines. Calcium is required for healthy bones and teeth because it supports their structure and function. It is important to prevent bone loss and osteoporosis to which postmenopausal women are prone.
Calcium intake must be adequate in young women in order to gain high levels of bone mass and avoid osteoporosis later in life. Women should take sufficient amounts of calcium between the ages of 30 and 35, when bone growth and consolidation takes place.
Magnesium is also required by woman's body as it helps absorption of calcium. Apart from that, magnesium supplementation is important in disease prevention. Adequate intake of magnesium reduces the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and cancer of the colon. New Dietary Reference Intakes says that women should be taking magnesium in dosage of 320 mgs per day.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that naturally occurs in very few foods but is usually added to processed food. It is also available in the form of a supplement. However, vitamin D is synthesized by our bodies when ultraviolet rays from the sunlight get in contact with our skin. But, in order to make vitamin D bioavailable it must go through several changes in the body. Then it becomes beneficial and can promote absorption of calcium.
Vitamin D is important for women because, not only it helps calcium absorption, but is needed to maintain required levels of serum calcium and phosphate, which are necessary for bone mineralization as well as for prevention of hypocalcemic tetany. Hypocalcemic tetany is a condition characterized by painful muscular spasms due to low serum calcium level.
Insufficient vitamin D intake can lead to bone brittleness and thinness, which can be seen in people suffering from rickets. Therefore, vitamin D is vital for children to prevent this disease.
Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin required for healthy bones. It also plays an important role in blood coagulation so you should always consult your physician if you're currently taking medication since it can interfere with blood thinning drugs.