Aida Gadelkarim On The Benefits of Vitamin Supplements for Post-menopausal Women

Aida Gadelkarim

October 2, 2020

Supplements Help Promote Hormonal Balance, Nutrition, Says Aida Gadelkarim

As a woman’s body undergoes the changes associated with menopause, her nutrient needs change as well. Vitamin supplements can help provide the nutrients women need to prevent metabolism decline and maintain good health, says Aida Gadelkarim, women’s holistic health specialist.

Estrogen levels dip for post-menopausal women. Among other things, estrogen helps the body absorb calcium, which is essential for bone health. After menopause, women need more calcium — about 1,200 milligrams a day. While women should obtain most of this calcium through food, most women require a supplement to fill the gap, says Aida Gadelkarim.

Post-menopausal women also need more of what some scientists term helper nutrients. These nutrients — Vitamin D, vitamin K2, magnesium, and boron — help the body absorb the calcium and also promote bone health, says Aida Gadelkarim. While obtaining these vitamins through a well-balanced diet is preferred, many women find a supplement helpful, especially as the amount they need increases. For example, while most women need 600 IU (international units) of Vitamin D a day, those older than 70 need 800 IU, says Aida Gadelkarim. A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that receiving 800 IUs daily of Vitamin D can reduce hip fractures by 30 percent.

Estrogen also helps keep cholesterol down, so the loss of it, during and post-menopause, raises women’s risk of heart disease. Consuming Omega 3 fatty acids, a form of polyunsaturated fat, can increase good cholesterol and lower bad, says Aida Gadelkarim. Several studies have shown that taking from 1 to 4 grams per day of fish oil supplements can reduce triglyceride levels by 20 percent to 50 percent, says Aida Gadelkarim. Consuming or receiving more folic acid lowers blood pressure, which also helps promote cardiac health. Women should try to take at least 400 micrograms daily, says Aida Gadelkarim.

A Women’s Health Initiative study found that about 6 percent of post-menopausal women are anemic. Eating more protein can help prevent anemia, as can B12 supplements. B12 supplements can also treat memory loss and improve mood, says Aida Gadelkarim.

While supplements are essential to health, they should be taken correctly. Women should discuss supplements with their health care provider to avoid negative interactions between supplements and medications. For example, women who take synthetic thyroid medicines should take their calcium supplements at least four hours after the medicine.  Supplements also can have side effects, especially if the dosage is too high. For example, too much Vitamin D or calcium can cause kidney stones, constipation, or abdominal pain, says Aida Gadelkarim.

Aida Gadelkarim is a holistic medicine practitioner and co-owner of SG Management and All-heart Women’s Health.