Women have health needs that are naturally unique to them. Here is a quick look at eight natural supplements that can prove worthwhile for adult women and which together cover a wide variety of health considerations. Some of these are recommended to help with issues exclusive to women, while others are recommended for general health reasons.
Supplements Recommended for Needs Specific to Women
Black cohosh is a lesser-known herbal supplement that has a traditional use as a remedy for a few different ailments. Supporting women's reproductive health, specifically in alleviating menopausal symptoms
, is one of these uses. Black cohosh is thought to help relieve hot flashes, night sweating, vertigo, sleep disturbance, and other symptoms of menopause. Studies on its effectiveness are varied.
Inositol is a sugar compound that can help effectively treat polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
, a condition which might affect up to 21% of women. PCOS can cause a range of health issues in women. Inositol can increase insulin activity in PCOS patients, which can help improve ovulation and fertility in women with PCOS.
Folate is another supplement which can be specifically beneficial for pregnant women. Folate contributes to the formation of DNA and RNA
, as well as red blood cells. These processes are absolutely critical for unborn babies and newborns. Science suggests supplementing with folate might help reduce the chances of a baby developing spina bifida.
Additional Supplements Recommended For Women
Calcium serves a range of functions in the body, but one of the foremost functions is that of supporting bone health
. Supplementing with calcium can be especially beneficial for women because women are more likely to experience osteoporosis, a fairly common condition in which the bones are fragile and/or vulnerable.
Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish oil supplements
, can be of special import to women for a few different reasons. Women at increased risk of cardiovascular disease due to high levels of triglycerides can benefit from taking omega-3s. Women who are pregnant or nursing can also benefit, since omega-3s are beneficial for the brain development of babies.
Vitamin D has a range of benefits and purposes. Its usefulness in helping the movement of calcium and phosphorus
through the body is good for women, since this will help keep bones strong.
B-vitamins can be especially helpful for women for a few reasons. One reason is that these vitamins, especially B6 and B12, can help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering levels of homocysteine
, an amino acid associated with various types of heart disease. B vitamins (e.g. B6, B12) are also valuable sources of energy, and can help women who are very active in handing the responsibilities and demands of daily life.
Lutein is an antioxidant nutrient that is of benefit to the eyes by helping to prevent macular degeneration
. Macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness in older women. Lutein is also present in the skin and other tissues in a woman's body, including breast and cervical tissue.
If any of the above supplements seem to ring useful for you or for a woman you know, then you or her should discuss its usage with your physician. While supplements do not replace a healthy lifestyle or medical treatment for medical conditions, they have the potential to make a meaningful difference for the better. Always talk to a doctor before trying a supplement.