You have hit 40 and your joints are starting to ache a bit.
Getting out of bed in the morning takes longer than 10 years ago. The energy is not quite there.
You look for some supplements but the amount out there is overwhelming. Which ones should you buy, and are they actually doing any good?
Does this sound familiar?
Let me be clear – I believe that food comes first. There are no supplements in the world that can substitute everything food brings. There is so much we have yet to discover about food. In the last 10 years alone, scientists have discovered many new nutrients in food and I’m sure there is much more to come.
However, the stresses of today’s world mean that there will be days when you eat less well. Also, as you age your digestion gets weaker and as a result, you are not absorbing all the nutrients from the food that you do eat.
Once you hit the perimenopause, when your hormones start to fluctuate and decline, your nutrient needs increase. Your hormones need support and this is where supplements come in.
The amount of supplements available can be overwhelming. Many of them are made cheaply with ingredients that are hard for your body to absorb. Others contain poor fillers to bulk them out, or even sweeteners to make them taste better.
'The bottom line – if you are going to spend money on supplements, spend it wisely on quality products with the help of your practitioner who can assure you that you are getting what you pay for.'
There are two main types of supplements: consumer-grade and professional-grade. The latter ones are mainly available to buy through a professional such as a Nutritional Therapist who has studied the potential dangers and contraindications involved.
The bottom line – if you are going to spend money on supplements, spend it wisely on quality products with the help of your practitioner who can assure you that you are getting what you pay for.
When it comes to supplements for women who have hit 40, in my experience, there are 5 I think you should keep in mind.
5 supplements for women over 40
1. Omega 3 Fish oil
Needed for: The structure of our cell membranes, reducing inflammation and support overall hormone function.
Omega 3 has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body and is therefore very good for any chronic inflammatory condition such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and brain disorders. It is also very good for your skin. Make sure you get a good quality one as many poor versions are contaminated with heavy metals. This is one supplement where a little higher cost can be worth it.
Good makes: Bare Biology, Nutri Advanced Eskimo range, BioCare and Wiley’s Finest.
Needed for: Energy creation, thyroid, stress hormones, oestrogen balance, insulin sensitivity production of serotonin which is important for mood and sleep, and much more.
This mineral is critical for over 300 enzyme reactions in your body, and it's very common to be deficient. You use up a lot of magnesium when you are stressed. It’s a great one to take before you go to bed to get a good nights’ sleep.
Magnesium always comes with a binder. Good ones are Magnesium Glycinate and Magnesium Citrate (but not if you have loose stools).
3. A good Woman Multivitamin
Needed for: Ensuring that the basics are covered
There is a difference between multivitamins. Men & women, and young women & older women have different needs. Make sure it has good levels of Vitamin Bs as they are critical for the hormone pathways to work well.
Good makes: BioCare and NutriAdvanced.
4. Vitamin D3
Needed for: Healthy bones, diabetes and cardiovascular disease and much more.
This vitamin is called the sunshine vitamin as we produce it ourselves when our skin is exposed to the sun. Since we are often covered up, and the fact that we don’t get much sun, makes it an important one to supplement.
Make sure you get D3 (not D2). And it’s even better if it’s D3 plus K2 because K2 makes sure that the vitamin directs the calcium to go to the correct place.
Also, make sure you take it in the morning. If you take it in the evening it clashes with the production of melatonin which is your sleeping hormone.
5. Vitamin C
Needed for: Immune system, collagen production, iron absorption, wound healing, maintenance of bone, cartilage and teeth, and much more. It’s also super important for our progesterone production.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant which means that it has the ability to mop up ‘bad’ molecules called free radicals that cause damage to tissues in the body via inflammation.
Since we can’t store Vitamin C, we need a constant supply. If you aren’t eating your share of fruit and berries each day, then a supplement is a good idea.
Be mindful that some types may upset your stomach. If you have digestive issues choose one that is bound to a mineral, such as magnesium ascorbate or calcium ascorbate (the ‘ascorbate’ is the vitamin C).
Please bear in mind that supplementation is very individual, and should not replace eating real food.
Taking too much of any supplement can also be very damaging. For example, Vitamin D can be toxic to the liver if you take too much. I recommend that everybody should do a Vitamin D test before taking it as a supplement, to check where your level is. This is super easy, either go to your GP or order a home testing kit from Better You (https://betteryou.com/at-home-health-checks).
The supplements suggested above are the very basics. If you are unsure, contact a professional who knows about supplements. For a more targeted approach with therapeutic doses, you need to work with a professional as we have access to many supplements that are more potent. Let me know if I can help!
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Consult your doctor or health care practitioner for any health problems, before embarking on any new health regimes, using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications or food programmes.