24 Mar 2021

Multivitamins for every age and stage

Did you know that your nutritional needs will vary depending on your age, overall health and lifestyle? In this guide Jenny Carson, senior nutritionist at Viridian Nutrition takes you through the nutritional life stages.

Fuel your body with food

It’s always important to fuel our bodies with vitamins and minerals to keep healthy and active – and eating a well-balanced and varied diet with nutrient dense foods will support this.

And while every meal is an opportunity to nourish the body, individual nutritional requirements can vary hugely depending on your biological age, lifestyle and the risk of illness.

Yet, as we go through the phases of adulthood, we might need larger quantities of certain nutrients to support vitality and to manage the changes that occur with age and different life stages.

For example, women of reproductive age will require a greater quantity of the nutrients that are known to work in fertility and pregnancy, while those who are entering the menopause will require nutrients that support hormone production but also skin, brain function and mood.

Similarly, in the elderly years, the further focus may go on heart, bone, and brain health.

Top up your levels when you need to with the right multivitamins

Taking a food supplement can help top up levels of vitamins and minerals which may be falling short in your diet.

The good news is multivitamin formulas are increasingly sophisticated and personalised.

They are considered safe for long-term use and can provide an option to enhance nutritional intake, providing a useful ‘all-in-one’ solution for women with busy schedules or those who want the simplicity of taking is supplement once a day.

Let us explore the adult female age phases and which nutrients may be specifically beneficial.

During your 20s

Life stage:

During your twenties, so much is achieved; often, a social life and career are juggled alongside considering perhaps a marriage and a family.

Your dietary needs will be diverse to support sleep, exercise, stress, and fertility.

In this timeframe, health issues are generally fewer. However, some women will experience hormone-related conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome or endometriosis.

That is not to say that the symptoms of a familial-genetic condition or the early stages of metabolic syndrome may be noticed. At this age, skin is glowing, energy is generally high, and the joie de vivre is at its utmost.

Recommendation:

You may benefit from taking a multivitamin, especially if you are vegan or vegetarian.  A fast-paced lifestyle can be supported by a multivitamin formula that provides a good amount of iron, zinc, and B vitamins. While a magnesium supplement may be added for further support, especially for sleep, stress, and hormones.  An active social life may introduce toxins via pollution, alcohol, or smoking, so it is essential to eat a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables. Or, on time-strapped days, a green powder added to a smoothie can be a quick and easy option.

Living life in your 30s

Life stage:

At this age, many women are settling down with a partner and are considering children or may already have small infants.

With or without children, careers will be developing and stressful events such as moving to a new house, changing careers, or divorce may occur too.

Women may start to notice a few grey hairs or a laughter line or two. And there could be a loss of muscle mass, a mild slowing of thyroid activity and possibly some post-baby weight gain.

Stress can be associated with digestive upset Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and fatigue. While juggling nursery and a career may mean the woman in her 30s is not looking after herself quite so well. This may manifest as urinary tract infections or poor glucose management.

Recommendation:

An ideal multivitamin formula is one that provides the full spectrum of nutrients in addition to an adaptogenic herb, such as Siberian ginseng to support energy, cranberry for bladder health and saffron to support mood.

In this age phase, it is essential that meals include fruits and salad items to provide vitamin C, a portion of protein and brightly coloured vegetables to support collagen production for hair, skin and nails. If hair, skin and nails are a particular concern, a formula with vitamin C, proline, and grapeseed extract may be useful.

If life or work is a little overwhelming and IBS episodes flare up, this could be an indicator that digestive enzymes, some gastric secretion-stimulating betaine HCl, and beneficial bacteria are necessary.

Find your way around your 40s

Life stage:

This is the age phase where big changes occur – it is natural to experience a decrease in fertility and some irregularity in the menstrual cycle due to the perimenopause.

These changes in hormonal balance may trigger some irritability, brain fog or forgetfulness.

While stress can be ongoing due to family duties such as taking the children to clubs and events or caring for elderly parents. While for others, the changes may affect living arrangements such as divorce and new relationships, or single life.

All in all, this is the prime time to think about supporting ageing, heart and joint health!

Recommendation:

A multivitamin formula that would be useful is one packed with antioxidant compounds such as green coffee bean extract, grape skin polyphenols and pomegranate.

Additionally, it is essential that the B vitamin family is provided in good quantities to support hormonal health, iodine and selenium for thyroid health and zinc and vitamin C for stress.  A magnesium formula could reap benefits in several areas, such as hormone health, sleep and stress support.

Further reading: Our Menopause resources area provides information on symptom management and treatment options.

Adjusting to a new freedom at 55+

Life stage:

In this age phase, often, children are less dependent and attend college or university and/or you may be caring for elderly relatives.

After a period of the perimenopause, the menopause will occur, and although symptoms may continue, it is an opportunity to take a hormone-balancing approach. With arguably more ‘me-time’ available, there are opportunities to focus on hobbies and fun activities that might have been relegated in the decade before.

Recommendation:

The focus in this phase is bone, brain, and heart health.

Subsequently, a multivitamin formula should provide elevated B vitamins, including choline to support brain function and hormones, iodine and selenium for thyroid health, zinc for immunity, and brain and stress support alongside vitamins D3 and K2 for bone health.  Additionally, magnesium can be useful to support stress and sleep, plus beneficial bacteria for digestive balance.

Choose the multivitamins that works for you

As evidence-based research reveals more about the activity of specific nutrients in human health, the development of multivitamin formulations personalised to an age group is apparent.

This gives you the opportunity to use food supplements that are unique to your requirements as opposed to a ‘one size fits all' formula.

For more information on the best multivitamin formula to meet your requirements, visit your local health store, which offers a range of nutritional, ethical and natural solutions. You can locate your nearest one at www.findahealthstore.com

This article is a paid partnership with Viridian Nutrition, an ethical vitamin company. For more information on Viridian, visit the Viridian website.

References

Biesalski HK, Tinz J. Multivitamin/mineral supplements: Rationale and safety – A systematic review. Nutrition. 2017 Jan;33:76-82.

Buhling KJ, Grajecki D. The effect of micronutrient supplements on female fertility. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Jun;25(3):173-80.

Macpherson H, Pipingas A, Pase MP. Multivitamin-multimineral supplementation and mortality: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Feb;97(2):437-44.

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