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Every Girl’s Guide to Vitamins: At Every Age, Part II

Every Girl’s Guide to Vitamins: At Every Age, Part II

Yesterday we finished ready what’s needed for those in their 20s and 30s. Ready to continue reading on the plethora of vitamins for those in their 40s and up?

In your 40s

Calcium:

Beginning at age 19 and continuing until age 50, women should consume 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily, according to the Institute of Medicine. This is also the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for women above age 19 who are pregnant or breast-feeding. Once you turn 51, the RDA increases to 1,200 milligrams. As long as your daily diet provides enough calcium to meet your RDA, you probably don’t need a supplement unless it’s under the advice of your health care provider. *Note: Never take more of a calcium supplement than is recommended. It could lead to kidney problems or renal failure.

Vitamin D:

Recommendations for vitamin D intake in your 20s and 30s, still apply in your 40s. If you are unsure how much vitamin D you actually need, ask your doctor about taking a vitamin D test.

Folic Acid:

Pregnant? Up your daily intake of folic acid to 600 mcg. To meet this need, women should continue taking a multivitamin containing 400 mcg of folic acid throughout their pregnancy.

Iron:

As in your 20s and 30s, be sure to get 27 mg. of iron daily if you are pregnant, whether through your diet or a combination of diet and supplements. Non-pregnant women should aim for 18 mg a day of iron.

In your 50s

Multivitamin:

It’s time to switch to multivitamins designed for adults 50 years and older, says Dr. Christopher Calapai D.O. an NYC anti-aging physician . “These multivitamins have significantly less iron than multivitamins for younger women, he says. “For example Centrum Forte for women up to the age of 49 years has 10 mg of iron per tablet and Centrum Select 50+ designed for those over 50 has only 4 mg of iron per tablet, but has additional vitamin B12 to reflect changing nutrient needs.”

Calcium:

For women over 50 years, bumping your calcium intake to 1,500 mg. daily is wise.

Vitamin B12:

“Your vitamin B12 needs increases after 50 because the gastrointestinal tract does not absorb vitamin B12 as well as a younger digestive tract,” he says. He advises those older than 50 get 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily, mainly by consuming foods fortified with vitamin B12 or a supplement containing vitamin B12.

In your 60s

While the overall needs are similar to those in your 50s, check your multivitamin again to be sure it’s meeting all your nutrient needs because newer health issues such as eye health and heart disease might be manifesting. “Some multivitamins contain key antioxidants such as lutein which may protect against age-related macular degeneration, and lycopene, which may help prevent heart disease,” says Dr. Calapai.

Photo by Nathália Bariani