No matter your age when perimenopause approaches or menopause begins, this change in a woman’s life, dictated by hormones, is also a sign that your nutritional needs are changing too. Due to those hormonal changes, your body will start to process some nutrients differently. You will start to require more of some nutrients and may need to consider reducing your intake or eliminating other nutrients from your diet completely. No matter the circumstances, you’ve taken a pragmatic step in preserving your health in your post-menopausal life by educating yourself on your new nutritional needs.
One way to ensure you are consuming the correct nutrients to best support your body as you age, is by selecting a daily multi-vitamin/mineral supplement that has been designed specifically for postmenopausal women. FemOne Silver™ offers exactly that. FemOne Silver™ delivers key nutrients at optimal levels to support immune, cardiovascular, and cognitive health. Unlike most daily multivitamin/mineral formulas, FemOne Silver™ also provides foundational amounts of antioxidants and activated B vitamins such as L-methylfolate and methylcobalamin. The trace minerals vanadium and chromium aid in supporting normal blood sugar levels, while vitamin K and boron have been included to nourish bone health.
What vitamins should I take during menopause?
Antioxidants for healthy aging
You have probably heard increasing buzz about the health benefits of antioxidants over the last few years. Oxidative stress and its byproduct, free radicals, are the “bad guys” responsible for a lot of cellular damage that can lead to disease and age-related maladies. Some of this is natural as we age, but the damage is made worse by things like acute stress, environmental toxins, and unhealthful lifestyle choices. Antioxidants are the “heroes” here because they slow the damage done by oxidative stress, scavenging free radicals and preventing their destructive activities. FemOne Silver™ contains a variety of antioxidants with varied contributions to healthy cellular function and repair. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin with high antioxidant potency. Due to its fat-solubility, α-tocopherol protects cell membranes from damage by free radicals and lipid peroxidation. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. We all know vitamin C as an immunity booster, but specifically, vitamin C plays a key role in the production of red blood cells, speeds up the healing process, and promotes tissue growth. It is essential for collagen, carnitine and neurotransmitter biosynthesis. Vitamin C also works synergistically with vitamin E to quench free radicals and also regenerates the reduced form of vitamin E.
Antioxidants support the strength and elasticity of skin by preventing or reversing some damage done by free radicals. Also benefiting the condition of both skin and hair is the biotin (vitamin B-7) in FemOne Silver™. Biotin’s action in the body is connected with the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and amino acids needed to manufacture the protein the body uses to create healthy skin, hair, fingernails, and toenails. Biotin is an essential vitamin, meaning our bodies don’t make it endogenously, and supplementation can support the regrowth of hair loss developed due to deficiency.
Are there natural ways to address the anxiety and mood swings that may be menopause related?
B vitamins support a balanced mood
The B vitamins contained in this supplement blend are thiamine, riboflavin, niacinamide, B-6, biotin, pantothenic acid, folate, and B-12. All are commonly associated with energy production, nervous system maintenance, and cardiovascular health. Thiamine, riboflavin, niacinamide, B-6, biotin, and pantothenic acid are cofactors for enzymes needed for cellular energy production through metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
Thiamine, folate, and B-12 are involved in neural development and neurotransmitter synthesis, all related to the control of mood and cognition. The type of B-12 contained in this supplement is the activated, naturally occurring form of cobalamin found in food, methylcobalamin. Many supplements contain cyanocobalamin, which is completely synthetic and not as well-retained as the methylcobalamin found in our formula. The type of folate contained in our formula is the activated form, L-methylfolate (5-MTHF), to bypass a reaction that many individuals’ metabolic systems cannot facilitate.
MTHFR is a gene that provides instructions to make an enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, a necessary factor for a chemical reaction breaking down folate (folic acid/vitamin B9) to its active form, L-methylfolate. This reaction is also required to convert the amino acid homocysteine to another amino acid, methionine. The body uses methionine to make proteins such as the neurotransmitters; dopamine, serotonin, melatonin, and epinephrine. It is through this pathway, that L-methylfolate has a regulatory effect on mood, the cardiovascular system, and nerve function.
It has been estimated that up to 60% of Americans carry an inherited mutation in the MTHFR gene. While many people with mutations in this gene will live a normal life without experiencing symptoms, some individuals experience a drop in enzyme efficiency by 30-70%, depending on the variant of the mutation. If this is the case, folate cannot be converted to L-methylfolate, homocysteine will not be efficiently broken down into methionine, and the production of neurotransmitters may slow, dramatically affecting mood. Unconverted folate and homocysteine levels build up in the blood without consistent conversion, and elevated homocysteine in the blood is a known independent risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and other forms of cardiovascular disease.
Only a genetic test by your doctor can confirm whether or not you have a MTHFR mutation, but if you do, L-methylfolate supplementation could be the answer. L-Methylfolate bypasses the entire folic acid metabolism cycle and has been shown to be more effective than folic acid for increasing circulating folate in those with an MTHFR mutation. L-Methylfolate is also highly effective at reducing homocysteine levels in healthy people (without an MTHFR mutation). It is better absorbed and interacts with fewer medications than folic acid.
There are several cofactors which are are essential to these methylation reactions, and due to differing diets and digestive functions, these cofactors are sometimes limiting due to low availability. The conversion of homocysteine to methionine requires B-12, and the conversion of homocysteine to cysteine requires B-6. These cofactors are provided by FemOne™ Silver so that biochemical conversions cannot be completed with optimal efficiency.
How much vitamin D does a menopausal woman need?
Supplements for bone health post menopause
Since the 1970s, women over 50 in the US have been told they should be taking at least 1200 mg of calcium per day to help combat osteoporosis. This recommendation came from scientists who reasoned that a postmenopausal drop in bone density might be prevented by raising blood calcium levels so that less calcium for bone remodeling would be drawn out of existing bone. Many health authorities now disagree with this recommendation. More recent studies have pointed out that too much emphasis may have been put on this particular nutrient, and there is no scientific evidence showing that a high consumption of calcium prevents bone fractures as was once hypothesized. The World Health Organization now recommends 500 mg per day for all adults and the UK recommends 700 mg. These levels can be reached by consuming two servings of dairy products each day. Dr. Walter Willett, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, agrees with the legitimacy behind these recommendations and warns that taking too much supplemental calcium can lead to an increased risk of developing kidney stones or even heart disease.
Calcium and vitamin D are both essential for building and maintaining strong bones. The need for supplemental vitamin D, especially post-menopause, is a slightly different story. Vitamin D deficiency, specifically, is linked with osteoporotic bone loss and increased bone fractures, but also autoimmune diseases and neurodegenerative disorders. The skin’s ability to make endogenous vitamin D from exposure to sunlight is compromised as we age and varies significantly between individuals. People with darker shades of skin likely make less vitamin D naturally than those with lighter skin. In addition, physical and chemical sun-protectants, such as SPF sunscreen or sunblock, actually block from our skin cells the UV rays needed for making vitamin D. Because our skin’s natural production levels vary and our exposure to the sun varies, it is a great idea to take a supplement containing vitamin D to make sure you are getting enough.
FemOne Silver™ contains vitamin D in the form of cholecalciferol (vitamin D-3). This is the same form that our skin makes in response to sunlight, and is more potent and longer-lasting than ergocalciferol (vitamin D-2). It also includes vitamin K, which has been shown to aid in the maintenance of healthy bones by regulating calcium uptake in bone tissue, increasing new bone formation, and reducing bone resorption. Zinc, manganese, and boron also support bone mineralization.
Can nutrients help to support and preserve my vision?
Zeaxanthin and lutein are the two carotenoids that accumulate in the eye lens and macular region of the retina. Supplementation with these nutrients is associated with up to a 20% reduction in the risk of developing cataracts and up to a 40% reduction in the risk for age-related macular degeneration. Vitamin A is yet another member of the carotenoids that is converted to retinol, an essential nutrient for vision. It is also a strong antioxidant.
What about supporting my brain health, memory, and cognition as I age?
All cells need choline to maintain the structural integrity of cell membranes, but choline is also needed to produce acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter for memory, mood, muscle control, and other brain and nervous system functions. Choline plays important roles in modulating gene expression, cell membrane signaling, transport and metabolism of lipids, and brain development. Cholinergic reactions are vital to cognition, which may become more dependent on dietary choline as the brain ages. If the diet is also deficient in folate, choline becomes the primary methyl donor and choline can become a limiting factor in a multitude of metabolic reactions. Additionally, choline deficiency can lead to a fatty liver condition and general liver damage.
Choline is considered to be an essential vitamin, as humans can only synthesize very small amounts, so we must also ingest it regularly to maintain health. This is yet another process that slows as we age, making dietary choline more critical in our later years. Premenopausal women might need less choline from the diet because estrogen induces the gene that catalyzes the biosynthesis of choline, but after menopause, this biosynthesis slows.
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