Vitamins + Supplements
Essential Nutrients for Women over 40
Although they say “40 is the new 30,” and cougars in the dating scene have never been more trendy, there are key considerations that women should keep in mind after they reach a certain age. Deny it as we may, our bodies and minds are changing, and well-informed women who take control of their health have the best likelihood of experiencing optimal physical and mental wellbeing.
Drum roll, please … that’s where vitamins and minerals come into play. Critical for growth and development since we were born, these essential nutrients now assume an entirely new role as we get older.
Vitamins come in two types. Water-soluble vitamins travel freely through the body, while fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body’s cells. Minerals can also be classified into two categories: major minerals, which are required in high quantities, and trace minerals, which – as the name implies – are needed in much lesser amounts.
Here are the top vitamins and minerals essential for women over 40 – and why.
Vitamin D + Calcium + Vitamin K2
Critical for strong bones and teeth, vitamin D is also necessary for calcium absorption. Calcium, also highly reputed for its bone-strengthening properties, helps support heart, muscle and nerve function as well. When taken in concert, the two may potentially give you the support you need to stave off high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes. Layer in vitamin K2, produced in the gastrointestinal tract, and you have the foundation of a smooth-running digestive system plus help ensure the calcium gets where it’s needed.
Often an unsung hero, magnesium is a major mineral responsible for everything from muscle relaxation, nutrient metabolism and cholesterol production to cell membrane structure, energy production and heart health. Of particular value to women over 40, magnesium also supports strong bones and teeth by regulating the body’s use of calcium, and may give you support to help prevent certain aging-related chronic diseases.
Popularly used to combat the common cold, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is also critical for tissue growth and repair. Not only that, but it can be credited for giving you support for protection against high blood pressure, cancer, cardiovascular disease, immune system deficiencies, eye disease and skin wrinkling – all of which concern us as we approach the half-century mark.
Iodine + Selenium
These two trace minerals are another pair that operates best in tandem. Iodine is a necessary nutrient for thyroid health, and selenium helps the body recycle iodine. When ingested in appropriate levels, they complement each other and are a formidable, synergistic force. If a deficiency exists in one or either, however, there’s a strong likelihood of thyroid imbalance.
Vitamin B Complex
A nutritional powerhouse, vitamin B complex’ main task is to convert food into the energy our bodies need. Each of its eight individual vitamins – B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate) and B12 (cobalamin) – has equally unique and important responsibilities. They include support to promoting healthy skin and hair, preventing memory loss, protecting the immune system, boosting good cholesterol, reducing stress and preventing early aging – all of which have great appeal to women over 40.
As a holistic practitioner, I am a firm believer that good foods equate to good health. While the above information has served me well in my practice for decades, I recommend discussing it with your physician to make sure it’s appropriate for your nutritional needs.
Sergey Kalitenko MD is a holistic practitioner, Board Certified in Internal Medicine. He has two practices located in Great Neck, Long Island and Brooklyn. Dr. Kalitenko opened his private practice in 2001. His medical practice is based on the principles of holistic, functional medicine as well as age management principles. Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is a keystone of his practice. He is firmly committed to finding natural solutions to health problems—and his first step is to use his expert diagnostic skills to get to the root of the problem. Dr. Kalitenko’s philosophy is that of wellness, not illness. For more information go to www.kalitenko.com.