There is a wealth of choices when it comes down to vitamins which claim to support women's health. When women are going through various life stages, particularly menopause , getting the right nutrition to provide essential nutrients and key vitamins and minerals can help to support the body while it adjusts to changes.
A balanced diet with high quality ingredients should help to keep your energy up and your body balanced. But what if it isn't? Supplementing essential vitamins with a comprehensive multivitamin is an option. But what are the best vitamins to help support women's health, normal cognitive function and that 'feel good' factor during this phase?
In this article we'll look at some of the key nutrients and key vitamins you need maintain healthy hair, skin, nails, nervous system, body and brain and keep showing up as your best self and multivitamins v supplementing single vitamins.
Why are multivitamins for women necessary?
Women in midlife lead busy lives juggling careers, teenagers, relationships and often caring for parents. In theory, their nutritional needs should be met through a balanced diet but that isn't always the case.
Unfortunately, many women don't have the time to pay as much attention to their diet as they'd like and miss out on key nutrients which can affect how they feel, especially at a landmark life stage like menopause.
If you aren't getting enough quality nutrition your nutrient requirements aren't being met the body just doesn't work as well as it's supposed to. If you're struggling with hormone changes and not getting the right vitamins and minerals -you're not going to feel your best.
What does a woman's multivitamin do?
Vitamin supplements help to give a woman the essential nutrients she needs to maintain overall health. Vitamins play a supportive role in bone health, cognitive health, maintaining healthy hair, plumper and radiant skin, strong nails, good digestion and high energy levels.
Women's multivitamins are often specially formulated around a life stage such as pregnancy or menopause ( when menstrual cycle has stopped). They'll have a combination of vitamins to suit the bodies needs.
Multivitamin v Vitamin Supplements
Why take a daily multivitamin as opposed to vitamins on a daily basis? In a nutshell vitamins can work against each other as well as together. A comprehensive multivitamin contains vitamins combined in the right amounts to work effectively together to fill in nutrient gaps and fill nutritional needs.
Vitamins taken as separate pills in different strengths and different times can work against each other. One can prevent the absorption of another. Some should be taken with a meal, some in the day, some at night. It's a lot to juggle!
The benefits of multivitamins for women over 40
When a woman loses the support of hormone levels along with her menstrual cycle, she can experience symptoms which include bloating, dry skin, brain fog, thinning hair and fatigue.
For women over 40, weight control is a priority. Being overweight can affect heart health and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Having the motivation and the energy to exercise regularly is really important as is keeping both macronutrient and micronutrient levels balanced.
Common vitamins and minerals included in multivitamins
There are common vitamins and minerals combinations which will be included in multivitamins because they work well together. Vitamins work together so they will have a lot of crossover when it comes to which functions they support.
Energy yielding metabolism (EYM), normal psychological function (NPF) and normal functioning of the nervous system (NS) are included in the benefits of many vitamins so to avoid repetition we've included these as abbreviations.
Let's take a look at some of them and what support they offer.
Vitamin B12 ( EYM, NS, NPF)
Vitamin B12 also helps to support women's health by contributing to the formulation of red blood cells, the function of the immune system and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
Many women experience anxiety and stress over 40 so the nervous system needs to be supported.
Vitamin B6 (EYM, NS, NPF)
Vitamin B6 helps to support women's health by contributing to normal protein and glycogen metabolism and the formation of red blood cells. Vitamin b6 also supports the function of a woman's immune system, the regulation of hormonal activity and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
Gut health can decline during menopause - the gut is key to hormone regulation and digestive health.
Biotin (EYM, NS, NPF)
Biotin supports the function of the nervous system, contributes to normal macronutrient metabolism, contributes to normal psychological functions as well as to the maintenance of normal hair, maintenance of normal skin and mucous membranes.
Thiamine (EYM, NS, NPF)
Thiamine, otherwise known as vitamin B1 is an essential micronutrient and contributes to the normal function of the heart. Thiamine helps to turn food into energy and to keep the nervous system healthy.
Women are twice as likely to die of coronary heart disease, the main cause of heart attack, as breast cancer in the UK. For women, regular exercise is key to keeping their weight at a healthy level which helps to cut their risk of chronic diseases. You need energy for that!
Vitamin D helps to support women's health as it contributes to normal absorption/utilisation of calcium and phosphorus ( vitamin C you need for bone health - vitamin D helps with absorption), to normal blood calcium levels, to the maintenance of normal bones and teeth, to the normal function of immune system and inflammation response.
Pantothenic acid (EYM)
Pantothenic acid is also known as Vitamin B5. Pantothenic acid contributes to normal mental performance, to normal synthesis and metabolism of steroid hormones, vitamin D and some neurotransmitters
Bone health and cognitive health can both decline with oestrogen levels. Neurotransmitters are your body's chemical communicators. Vitamin D helps to support bone health by supporting calcium absorption. Women's bone health can deteriorate with hormone levels.
Magnesium ( NPF)
Magnesium is an important vitamin for women and helps to contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, to the maintenance of bones and teeth and protein synthesis, electrolyte balance, neurotransmission and muscle contraction including heart muscle. Magnesium also contributes to normal psychological functions, to the maintenance of bones and teeth and cell division.
Women need protein to maintain muscle mass which depletes as they age ( men too) which can slow the metabolism. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of hormonal upheaval.
Low magnesium levels can cause numbness and cramps in the hands and feet, irregular heartbeats and (lack of energy) and vomiting.
Iron ( EYM )
Iron contributes to normal cognitive function, to normal energy-yielding metabolisms and to the normal formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin. Iron contributes to normal oxygen transport in the body, the function of the immune system and the reduction of fatigue and tiredness.
Iron deficiency happens to women in perimenopause when they suffer from heavy bleeding and bleeding between periods. Pale skin, hair loss and tiredness are common symptoms. Iron deficiency should be confirmed with a blood test before being taken as a supplement to your diet. It can hinder the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin A contributes to normal iron metabolism, to the maintenance of normal mucous membranes, normal skin, normal vision and contributes to the normal function of the immune system.
Calcium contributes to normal blood clotting, muscle function and neurotransmission, to the normal function of digestive enzymes, in the regulation of cell division and differentiation, for the maintenance of normal bones and teeth.
Vitamin C ( EYM, NPF, NS)
Vitamin C, has so many benefits including contributing to the normal function of the immune system and to the protection of cells from oxidative stress and to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
Vitamin C contributes to the function of the immune system during and after extreme physical exercise, and contributes to normal collagen formation. Vitamin C increases iron absorption, helps to increase energy and contributes to the regeneration of the reduced form of vitamin E.
Riboflavin or B2 ( EYM, NS)
Riboflavin, known as vitamin B2 contributes to the maintenance of normal mucous membranes, to the maintenance of normal red blood cells, normal vision, contribution to normal metabolism of iron, protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage plus reduction of tiredness.
Iodine contributes to normal cognitive and neurological function, to the maintenance of skin, contribution to normal thyroid function and production of thyroid hormones.
Thyroid issues tend to be a middle aged women's disease. Memory issues and anxiety are common symptoms when hormone levels decrease.
Zinc is a powerful micronutrient. Zinc safeguards the body by protecting cells from oxidative stress, contributing to the normal function of the immune system.
Zinc contributes to normal carbohydrate metabolism, normal cognitive function, to normal fertility and reproduction, to normal macronutrient metabolism, to normal metabolism of fatty acids, vitamin A and normal protein synthesis. It also contributes to maintain normal hair, of normal nails , normal skin and normal bones.
Supplements with vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and minerals are often included in supplements like protein shakes and gummies but choosing the best supplement for you depends on what you need at any one time.
Eve Biology is a combined meal replacement, women's multivitamin and mineral supplement which has been specially formulated to fill in the nutritional gaps a woman may have which can help to support her body while it goes through hormonal changes, specifically menopause.
Low in calories and allergen free, Eve Biology is specially formulated to help women to control weight, increase gut health and target menopause symptoms of low energy, brain fog, anxiety, stress, bloating and sleep disruption. Adaptogens, plant based protein and effective levels of vitamin B12, Iron, Zinc, Iodine , Calcium, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6 all work together to help regulate hormones, increase immunity, increase energy and gut health.
The Bottom Line
We should get all the vitamins and minerals we need from a healthy balanced diet but often this isn't the case. Taking a multivitamin or a supplement which has a multivitamin complex is easier to balance than taking a selection of different vitamins and minerals separately as balancing them can be a challenge.
Women's multivitamin options are often focused on life stages like menopause. Support from multivitamins can increase their overall health and address symptoms caused by lower hormone levels.