Best Vitamins and Supplements for Women - Cooper Complete
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Best Vitamins and Supplements for Women

Women about to consume a supplement

Supplement recommendations can vary between men and women. Women may need to rely more on supplements such as iron, calcium and vitamin D, especially in their child-bearing years.

Cooper Clinic Preventive Medicine Physician Carolyn M. Terry, MD, discusses the vitamin deficiencies she most commonly sees and gives her advice on supplements for her female patients to help get their levels back on track.

Vitamins for Women to Improve Heart and Bone Health

“One of the most important things I discuss with my female patients is how to protect bone mineral density and reduce their risk of developing osteopenia or osteoporosis,” says Dr. Terry.

Vitamin D deficiency is a common condition that can increase one’s risk of developing osteoporosis and osteopenia. It has also been linked to cancer, diabetes, arthritis, depression and heart disease. While many patients believe getting more sun will help replenish their level, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Going in the sun more is not really a great option to improve your vitamin D level because you’re exposing yourself to the harmful effects of ultraviolet light and increasing your risk for skin cancer. The safer, more effective way to replenish vitamin D is through supplementation,” says Dr. Terry.


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A blood test will reveal your vitamin D level and from there, your physician can recommend the proper amount of supplementation. Cooper Clinic physicians recommend:

  • Taking at least 50 mcg (2,000 IU) of vitamin D daily
  • Obtaining a vitamin D level 40-60 ng/ml

Cooper Complete vitamin D is available in both 25 mcg (1,000 IU) and 125 mcg (5,000 IU). Once placed on a vitamin D supplementation program, Dr. Terry recommends follow-up testing to help ensure you’re maintaining an optimal level.

Women Can Take Calcium for Strong Bones

A woman’s calcium level also plays a vital role in bone health. Yet, without a proper vitamin D level, many women may not be absorbing the calcium their body needs.

“You need a proper level of vitamin D in your system to effectively absorb calcium,” explains Dr. Terry. “Many women aren’t getting enough calcium from their diet.”

Calcium is crucial as it helps mineralize bones and support skeletal structure and function. However, as with any vitamin, Dr. Terry recommends obtaining recommended calcium levels from your diet. Calcium-rich foods include:

  • Dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt)
  • Soy products (tofu, tempeh, edamame, soymilk)
  • Chia seeds
  • Dark, leafy greens (spinach, kale, collard greens)

Whether you aren’t consuming enough dairy due to allergies or intolerance or because you simply don’t enjoy calcium-rich foods, supplementation can be beneficial.

Cooper Clinic recommends the following for daily calcium intake for women:

  • Women ages 19-50: 1,000 mg
  • Women age 51 and older: 1,200 mg

Cooper Complete’s Calcium Citrate contains 500 mg of calcium in each two-tablet serving.


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Iron Supplements for Women to Fight Low Energy in Women

Women experience significant changes in iron status throughout their reproductive lifespans. During the years in which women are actively menstruating, they are at a greater risk for developing iron deficiency.

Symptoms of iron deficiency include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Heart palpitations

At Cooper Clinic, the comprehensive lab analysis includes the ferritin lab test, which determines your iron storage value. For example, recommended daily levels of iron include:

  • Women ages 19-50: 18 mg
  • Women age 50 and older: 8 mg

“Many of my female patients will be low in ferritin, which means they are iron deficient,” says Dr. Terry. “If that’s the case, I recommend they take Cooper Complete Basic One Multivitamin with Iron or Original Multivitamin with Iron. If more than 18 mg iron from the multivitamin is needed, there is a supplemental iron.”

It is advised that women who are actively menstruating take a multivitamin with iron. If you’re post-menopausal, Dr. Terry says it may not be necessary to require an iron-supplemented product.

Remember, it’s always best to know what your vitamin levels are to guide supplementation therapy. Most vitamin levels can be checked through a blood test, which is included in Cooper Clinic’s comprehensive exam.

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