What vitamins should you take? With a variety of brands and combinations, the choices can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, there’s no one magic pill that combines the recommended amount of every vitamin, mineral, and nutrient. A better approach is to consider what vitamins are important by your age group. For example, someone in their early teens may not need as much calcium compared to a 50-year-old who is losing bone density. If you are menopausal, you may even need to consider hormone replacement therapy.
You want to build bone density in your 20s because the body will lose some of that bone in later years. Ensuring the proper intake of calcium now will prevent severe loss in the future. The baseline rule: You need 1000 mg of calcium per day while you are in your 20s. Consider taking a calcium supplement if you do not receive enough calcium from your diet through dairy products, calcium-fortified orange juice and cereals, beans, leafy greens, almonds, and salmon.
Vitamin D, like calcium, is essential for bone health and may reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease. It also promotes calcium absorption in the stomach and intestines. Good sources of vitamin D include salmon, tuna, and fortified milk, juices, and cereals, and of course, sunshine. Vitamin D is important regardless of age group. To determine the level of supplementation you need, consider making an appointment with your OBGYN provider to get your blood drawn. A good time to do this is your routine annual exam.
Iron helps to increase the number of red blood cells in the body and keep blood healthy. Women with heavy menstrual bleeding or pregnant women need more iron in their diets or may need an iron supplement. Too little iron may lead to anemia.
Most OTC vitamins have a table that suggests your recommended intake for your age group. However, starting with the basics and discussing additional concerns with your healthcare provider, you will be able to come up with a comprehensive plan. Tracking your progress ensures that your body is properly absorbing the supplements you’re taking. Make an appointment today.