Vitamins For Women Cutting Through The Clutter To Choose The Best Options
When reading about female health issues, invariably the subject of vitamins for women will come up. With so many options, choosing the right vitamins can be a web of confusion. First, it is important to understand that the word vitamin is usually used interchangeably to describe not only vitamins, but also minerals, phytonutrients, amino acids, enzymes, herbs and a whole host of other nutritional supplements.
Women?s Nutritional Needs
Because of their unique nutritional needs at various times in their life cycle, women require gender specific nutrients when it comes to vitamins for women. To maintain a healthy diet, the average female requires five to eight daily servings of fruits and vegetables. This is no simple task given the typical diet of women today and the stressful lifestyles most lead. It has been reported that nearly half do not eat any fruit and 80 percent only eat leafy green veggies, containing protein, fiber and antioxidants, once every four days. Furthermore, consider the fact that vegetables have lost much of their nutritional composition in the last 60 years. A good example is spinach. 100g of spinach has lost 137mg of its vitamin C content since 1950. (Japan standardized ingredients list).
When your body doesn?t get the nutrients it eventually develops marginal deficiencies which can produce a whole host of problems. Some of the more common include:
* Mood swings
* Muscle weakness
And, with sustained nutrient deficiencies, the average person puts themselves at risk for serious diseases, such as cancer, hypertension, Alzheimer?s and heart disease.
So, if the average diet is unable to supply the all nutrients needed in sufficient daily amounts, what can a woman do to make sure her body is protected? The answer is really quite simple - sensible supplementation. By taking supplements with the correct balance of vitamins for women, along with a wide range of all types of micro-nutrients, a female will be able to keep her body in balance, stay energetic and remain disease free.
High Vitamin Doses Not Required!
Before you rush out to purchase a multi vitamin and mineral formulation, it is important to remember that if you already maintain a reasonable diet, you don?t need supplements with high doses of vitamins and minerals.
Most vitamin supplements available in the market contain way over the top dose amounts of vitamins and minerals. These are the cheapest ingredients in supplements! While they are important, they are only required in small amounts. Far more important are the amounts of key phytonutrients and herbal extracts contained in a supplement.
Derived from plant extracts, high potency phytonutrients are powerful, antioxidant disease fighters. While there are many vitamins for women type products containing some phytonutrients and standardized herbal extracts, most are manufactured to a price and can't afford to include enough nor in sufficient potencies to be of benefit.
Clinical studies have shown certain nutrients to be particularly effective and beneficial in treating numerous health conditions and for preventative health measures;
L-Glutathione ? A Key Ingredient!
L-Gluthathione is the most abundant antioxidant enzyme in your body, and crucial for cell health and organ survival. As a person ages, their production of this vital substance decreases. However, because of its exorbitant cost (around $800 / kilo wholesale) most supplements do not include it in their list of ingredients.
Supplements containing L-Glutathione must contain the reduced form of the enzyme so that it can penetrate the intestinal cell walls. Supplement manufacturers often cut costs by including the much cheaper 'regular' form which offers extremely low absorption levels. L-Glutathione is highly susceptible to destruction by stomach acid so any supplement containing it must be enteric coated.
Hormone Balancing Herbs <
In addition to phytonutrients, herbal extracts are key ingredients in vitamins for women products. Certain herbs help to maintain and/or re-balance hormone levels during menstruation and menopause and help ease discomfort and associated symptoms. Five key hormonal precursors are:
* Black Cohosh
* Red Clover
* Dong Quai
* Wild Yam
These are key ingredients to look for in vitamins for women supplements!
Amino Acids ? Powerful Proteins
Known as the building blocks of proteins, amino acids play a key role in increased energy, healthy immune, nervous and musculoskeletal systems, balancing hormones and blood sugar and overall brain health. Essential amino acids and derivatives include:
* L-Arginine HCL (conditionally essential A.A)
* Carnitine / Acetyl-L-Carnitine
In order to identify elite supplements offering the strongest and safest health and lifestyle benefits, a few simple rules should be followed.
Make sure that all herbal extracts and active enzymes are standardized. This guarantees the potency and amount of active ingredient. Safety, purity, and potency, are all guaranteed when a supplement manufacturer sources all raw materials from GMP registered and audited facilities. A supplement company's website should clearly outline ingredient sourcing protocols. Furthermore, all ingredients must have a Certificate of Analysis (COA) to confirm potency. Look for supplement companies who self manufacture. There are not many out there but those that are tend to be more quality focused and are not just out to make a quick buck.
By taking the time to study labels and know what to look for when it comes to vitamins for women you will end up with a safe, high quality supplement that does what it promises to and is true to its label. These type of products are few and far between in the supplement industry. Most supplements lack product integrity and are poorly put together by marketers and doctors rather than by highly qualified bio-scientists who work with good science.
Brett Seagrott is a health researcher who previously worked for a manufacturer in the nutritional supplement industry and is the author of Nutritional Supplements Truths Revealed By An Industry Insider
In his site Brett reveals a number of industry secrets that supplement manufacturers don't want consumers to know. He has evaluated leading, well known nutritional supplements and presents in-depth head to head comparisons and reviews of these supplements so that you can see which one emerges as the best in the market.
By: Brett Seagrott