Women Vitamin Needs According to Age
Taking the required vitamins at every stage of life is necessary to keep the women energetic, manage their weight, make them look and feel better and boost their overall health. Diets need to evolve accordingly to meet the changing nutritional needs based on the physical and hormonal changes with age.
Although all essential vitamins are required by women throughout life for keeping their body functioning well, the recommended amount of each may vary through specific stages of life and health status making one more important at a particular stage than the other ones.
Hormonal changes during menstruation, child-bearing, and menopause require special vitamin needs and if they are not fulfilled, you are prone to a range of diseases.
This article covers some of the important vitamins that a woman needs according to her age.
These are years of rapid growth and development and puberty. They demand adequate intake of the following vitamins to go through them smoothly and leading to success for the rest of their lives.
Vitamin D: the most important
As these are the bone-building years, focus on getting enough vitamin D to absorb calcium that is needed for your strong bone and muscle growth. If the bone-building is less during this time, you will be prone to have brittle bones later in life.
According to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, teens should get 600 IU of vitamin D per day.
Young sportswomen should be extra concerned about its intake to prevent weakened bones and the risk of injury.
As teen girls frequently go through an emotional roller coaster, adequate B vitamin intake prevents the risk of depression and memory issues by promoting good nervous system health. These vitamins also play a key role in metabolism, immune function, energy production from carbohydrates, fats and proteins, red blood cell production for your menstruating years, and a healthy heart and skin.
The most important is B 12 that promotes sustained energy and concentration. Teens must take 2.4 micrograms of it per day (2.6 micrograms for pregnant teens). Lower intake causes mood swings and fatigue.
B2 works for good vision and red blood cell production.
B6 aids in liver hormones breakdown, normal brain and nerve function, the prevention of mood swings, sweets cravings and acne.
B9 (folate) is critical for rapid growth spurts and makes red and white blood cells in your bone marrow and produce DNA and RNA.
Teen girls must take at least 400 micrograms of folate per day. If they are pregnant, they must increase the dose to 600 mcg.
Antioxidants: Vitamin A, C, and E
They strengthen the immune system and keep blood vessels flowing and clear.
Vitamin A is a necessary nutrient for adolescent development. It helps in optimal vision, soft tissue, skin health, proper bone growth and tooth development. It repairs damaged tissues and is required for the healthy growth and development of cells. Teen girls need 700 mcg of it daily.
Vitamin C fights infections, minimizes the fever duration and keep cells healthy. It aids in collagen production that is required for healthy bone, cartilage, gums, teeth and blood vessel formation. It also works to absorb calcium and iron, regulates cell growth, improves immunity and brain function and aids in wound healing. Teen girls must take 65 mg of it daily. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the intake of this nutrient tends to drop after age 11.
Vitamin E prevents the inflammation of acne. It protects cells from damage and maintains heart, blood vessels and red blood cells health.
Teens must include 15mg of vitamin E per day.
Vitamin K aids in blood clotting that protects from excessive blood loss and bleeding disorders. It also works for teen’s bone metabolism and making stronger bones preventing low bone mineral density. Teen girls must take 75 micrograms of it daily.
Best vitamins for teenage skin:
Teenage girls face skin issues like acne and inflammation throughout their teen years. Vitamins that can help to resolve these issues are:
B Vitamin Complex: produces collagen and reduces inflammation.
Vitamin C: produces collagen and has antioxidant nature.
Vitamin D3 improves skin cell repair and prevent sun damage.
Vitamin E: has antioxidant properties and reduces inflammation.
Vitamin K2: helps in skin moisture retention by improving skin barrier function.
Best vitamins for teenage hormones:
Teen girls face a lot of hormonal issues related to the menstrual cycle and puberty. The vitamins that help in resolving teenager hormonal issues by easing menstruation and improving mood are vitamin A, D, E and K2.
A lot is happening in this phase of life. You wanna start a career and family and also physiological changings are there such as the development of your brain, menstrual cycle, bones, skin and genitals. So, listen ladies: if you are in your 20’s and at the peak of your health, don’t neglect your diet and consider yourself saved from diseases, you still need these vitamins to go through well and accommodate and support the changings:
It helps in calcium and phosphorus absorption, heart health, immunity, hormonal support, and weight management. If you are trying to lose weight, vitamin d should be considered in your diet.
It promotes the mineralization of the collagen matrix in the bone that increases bone strength. Its role in keeping good bone health aids in preventing osteoporosis later in life. Without enough vitamin D, parathyroid hormone mobilizes bone calcium and increases reabsorption of calcium from the kidneys.
Vitamin D helps pregnant woman by preventing high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes. Its need increases in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Researchers found that its deficiency affects 18-84% of pregnant women.
It also improves mood by regulating the release of glutamine, noradrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. It helps in reducing inflammation in your cells.
This “liquid gold” not only boosts immunity but also is a great anti-ageing agent. Keeping it in the diet in the ’20s prevent premature skin ageing such as wrinkling, iron-deficiency anaemia, heart and eye diseases.
As you are actively working at this age, take B vitamins for a better mood, energy, and mental focus as they support cognitive and nerve health and a healthy metabolism. They are essential for fulfilling the everyday energy requirement as they produce energy from food. Athletic females need more of them.
These are the child-bearing years, if you are trying to conceive, you must take folic acid (B9) that is particularly important for brain development, DNA replication for new cell formation, and preventing neural tube defects, malnourishment, premature birth and restrictions in fetal development. It plays a key role in cellular reproduction and cell growth.
Even if you are not pregnant or trying to conceive, you still can have it for your healthy cell growth. It supports your hair, nail and skin growth and health and prevents depression, breast cancer and heart diseases.
Women in this age are greatly concerned about the beauty of their hair so keep in mind that biotin promotes hair health and must be there in your diet.
The B Vitamins will also support immunity, aid in red blood cell formation to prevent anaemia and maintain normal homocysteine levels that reduce heart disease risk. It is important for the normal birth weight of your unborn baby and for preventing health problems and premature birth of the baby.
During breastfeeding, its deficiency can cause developmental delay, decreased appetite, irritability and failure to thrive in infants.
From now onwards, you have different biological needs and unique health goals. Menstruation and hormonal changes in your reproductive years give you different vitamin needs. The vitamins that can help are:
Vitamin C and Vitamin E:
These antioxidants are necessary for supporting healthy soft, youthful and elastic skin by helping in collagen production and preventing premature ageing.
Vitamin C gives a boost to your immunity, aids in wound healing and red blood cell formation. As you are working actively during this decade of your life, vitamin C boosts norepinephrine levels that keep you alert and focused. Stress and advancing age can decrease its level, so you need to take it.
Vitamin E keeps the cell healthy.
B Vitamins especially Vitamin B9
You are working day and night, take B vitamins for better mood, high energy levels, mental focus and preventing stress. Not having enough vitamin B9 can make you fatigued and irritable affecting your concentration and increasing the chances for depression and headaches.
In your 30’s, you need more folic acid as these are still your reproductive years. It helps with producing and repairing new cells and preventing unwanted changes to DNA that can lead to cancer.
Folic acid keeps your memory sharp, boosts your mood, ensures brain health, enhances verbal fluency and supports healthy pregnancy by building a healthy brain and spinal cord and making DNA and RNA for new cells.
Folic acid helps with red blood cell production preventing anaemia.
Yes, whatever age group you are in, vitamin D is your partner throughout the lifespan. Apart from bone health, it will support better heart health, combat depression and manage weight. It is a key for unlocking many important functions in the body and its deficiency can lead you to certain cancers, mood and autoimmune disorders.
A great fact about it is that it prevents breast cancer and studies have found a 50% reduction in breast cancer risk with its regular intake. It even reduces the risk for depression, dementia, autism, schizophrenia and diabetes mellitus.
It works with calcium for your bone health. It also reduces ageing signs such as wrinkles and varicose veins. This vitamin aids in regulating blood sugar, improving exercise performance, preventing kidney stones and reducing symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
At this age, rules start to change and your body is not working the same as it used to in the ’20s. It becomes especially essential to focus on vitamin intake as you become more prone to diseases risk such as cancer, heart and diabetes in your forties.
Women in their forties face a lot of not-so-good health changes such as fatigue most of the time, painful joints, decreased libido, slow metabolism, fragile bones, less muscle mass, and new crease lines on the face. Vitamins are your defence to fight-off age-related ailments.
Consider including the following vitamins in your forties to safeguard your health as much as possible.
Vitamin B Complex
This complex (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12) enhances your digestion, mood, cardiovascular, and sleep health. They are energy boosters by helping in converting food into fuel and can help maintain nail, hair, and skin health. They are also critical for the hormone pathways to work well.
Vitamin B12 is the most essential to be considered as soon as you turn forty as with age, because of less stomach acid, its absorption decreases. It plays a key role in maintaining your normal blood and brain functioning. Take 2.4mg per day according to the recommended dietary guidelines.
Vitamin B9 reduces your risk for heart disease and certain cancer types.
Boost your immunity with this vitamin. Its antioxidant nature prevents free radical damage and reduces ageing symptoms. Its functions of collagen production, iron absorption, progesterone production, wound healing, bone, cartilage and teeth maintenance helps greatly in this age.
It serves as an important shield against your age-related changes. Deficiency in it at this age makes you prone to diabetes, obesity, multiple sclerosis, breast and colorectal cancer, osteoporosis, and heart diseases.
According to the current National Institutes of Health recommendations, you should be getting 600 IU per day.
This is the decade of menopause with different health challenges and requires special care concerning vitamin intake. Less reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone in this age make women susceptible to night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, brain fog, depression, urinary incontinence, decreased sex drive, insomnia, osteoporosis, heart disease, and thinning skin. Following vitamins should be given importance for healthy ageing.
Vitamin D is still essential rather you can say extremely essential as bone health starts deteriorating at this age and women are at greater risk for osteoporosis. So now, vitamin D is preserving bones instead of building them.
Low vitamin D level causes bone density loss, bone and back pain, soft bones, hair loss and increase bone fractures risk and the likelihood of getting sick. Incorporating vitamin D with K2 works better for bone calcification. Vitamin D also keeps your muscle, nervous and immune system working right to fight off germs that make you sick.
It is known for clotting blood and keeping bones strong of elder women.
B Vitamins: B6, B9 and B12
Vitamin B6 will fight germs, make energy from food and keep your brain working well. It helps in making serotonin that transmits brain signals and tackles mood swings and depression in menopause. You should eat foods that have this nutrient in them rather than supplement as if you get too much of it at once, it can be toxic. Its RDA increase from 1.3 to 1.5mg after 50 years of age.
B9 can help your body in making estrogen during menopause.
As B12 absorption from food decreases with advancing age and according to FNB, about 10-30% of older ones don’t get enough of it, it is recommended that you take it as a supplement to keep yourself energetic and blood and nerve cells healthy. Along with that, take nutrient-dense foods as only then B-Vitamins can produce energy from them.
B 12 is the most important energy producer from food. It aids in metabolism, bone health, and neurological function. Its deficiency over time can make you fatigued, weakened, constipated, and anaemic. It can even cause peripheral neuropathy, loss of appetite, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, depression, confusion, balance problems and dementia. So, for better health, be sure to have its recommended amount that is 2.4 micrograms daily for women 14 and older.
Research has found that B vitamin intake may decrease the risk of many conditions that affect older women frequently.
It may aid in maintaining bone health after menopause.
This antioxidant prevents free radical damage to cells that reduce disease risk. It combats depression, heart disease, weight gain that are all caused by cell damage due to stress. Include at least 15mg daily.
From now onwards, you mostly have to rely on supplements to stay on top of your game rather than getting the vitamins from food only as guts become less efficient with age limiting the ability to get sufficient nutrients from food.
To prevent dementia, older women need a daily recommended dose of vitamin B12. The research found that up to 62% of over 65 year age adults don’t have optimal blood levels of it. Supplementation of 100 older adults with 500mcg for 8 weeks normalizes their levels in 90% of the participants. Some even need more than that dose.
It not only helps in calcium absorption from food but can also treat chronic pain, protect against cardiovascular disease, and ward off cancer, asthma, allergy and inflammation. Low levels increase your risk of osteoporosis, diabetes, hypoglycaemia, hypertension, depression and rheumatoid arthritis. More than one in four Americans of 50 to 71 years are not taking enough vitamin D. As your body can’t synthesize it now from sunlight, supplement vitamin D3 in a recommended dose of 600 IU daily.
Important vitamins to take at this age are:
It is essential during your 70’s and its need increase to 800 IU daily according to the National Institute of Health now. It is required for bone health and maintains muscle mass which naturally begins to deteriorate at this stage. It also protects against illness and infection. As the body’s ability to synthesize vitamin D from sunlight decreases with age, consider vitamin D3 supplement.
As your age advance, it is harder for your body to make, use or absorb vitamin B12 from food as stomach acid declines with age. So, it is advised that you supplement with B12 as even a mild vitamin B12 deficiency may put the older woman at dementia risk because of its role in optimal brain function.
80’s and up
During your octogenarian years and next, supplemental B12 may be important and also keep up with your vitamin D. Keep your doctor informed about any changes in diet or medication to get the guidance accordingly.
Vitamins work together for giving you a healthy life. Although their need change in different phases of life, always build your diet around these health-friendly nutrients if you wanna live happy and healthy throughout the lifespan as they can improve your mood and energy, boost fertility, combat stress or PMS, decrease disease risk, gives you a healthy pregnancy and ease menopausal symptoms.