There are 13 vitamins that everyone needs to stay healthy and functioning, according to the FDA. These vitamins are the A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins including B12. You’ve probably heard mixed messages about the necessity of vitamins. Some sources will tell you that vitamin supplements are always necessary, while others will say that you’re already getting all the vitamins you need from your diet. For women in particular, it is easy to wonder if there are any specific supplements they should be taking and whether or not multivitamin benefits outweigh the cost.
The truth about vitamins is more complex than just yes, they are always good, or no, they are always bad. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that vitamins be added to your diet if you have certain health problems, eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, or are pregnant or breastfeeding. For many women, vitamins can be beneficial, especially at certain times of their life or if they are not getting the vitamins they need from their diet.
When buying vitamins and other supplements, the best way to go about doing so is speaking with your doctor first. There are some supplements and vitamins out there that contain other substances like herbals, amino acids, and botanicals that might not be beneficial and could even be harmful. Your doctor can give you recommendations on which products are safe and FDA-approved. They will also discuss your dietary needs and health issues and decide if any vitamins are actually necessary for you to take or not.
While all of the 13 vitamins mentioned above are necessary for all adults to be healthy, there are certain vitamins that women tend to struggle with meeting requirements. Vitamin C is one vitamin that women may not be getting enough of if they are dealing with a lot of stress or as they age.
The RDA of vitamin B-6 is 100 milligrams (mg) daily for females 19 and older. Taking a vitamin B-6 supplement during and after menopause may help tame prevent symptoms caused by low serotonin levels. These include loss of energy and depression.
Every woman is different. Depending on your diet, age, health conditions, and if you are menopausal or postmenopausal. The best way to decide which vitamins you should add and how much you need is to see your doctor.