“I’m turning 40, what are the most important nutrients to take right now?”
That’s an important question many women ask their doctors as they approach their 40s. When a woman turns 40, her nutrient needs will start to shift from those of her 30s. That’s not to say all vitamin and mineral requirements will change for women in their 40s; some will take precedence over others due to new variables such as perimenopause and menopause. For instance, while a woman in her 40s still needs iron, she’ll require less of it once menstruation slows down and eventually ceases.
To make it easy to help meet nutritional needs, we’re rounding up the five essential nutrients to look for in a multivitamin for women in their 40s.
While aging can be wonderful with the right mindset and a healthy diet and lifestyle, there are some changes women in their 40s have to come to terms with — like the challenge of maintaining healthy, glowing skin. One of the ways a woman in her 40s can promote healthy skin is by taking a multivitamin with vitamin A.*
Vitamin A is one of the best nutrients to support skin health, both when ingested through food and supplements and when applied topically in the form of retinoids/retinol. That’s because vitamin A has carotenoids, which a report in the medical journal Dermato Endocrinol explains are “highly effective antioxidants and have been documented to possess photoprotective properties.”
Next, vitamin C is another one of the best vitamins for women over 40 — and the best vitamins to prioritize in any supplement regimen, for that matter. While vitamin C’s role in supporting immune function is well-documented, women over 40 will also appreciate its involvement in supporting skin health.*
As a 2017 article in the medical journal Nutrients summarizes, adequate levels of vitamin C in the skin support “important and well-known functions, [including] stimulating collagen synthesis and assisting in antioxidant protection against UV-induced photodamage.”
Since collagen production naturally slows with age and photodamage — namely excess exposure and skin damage from the sun — and contributes to physical signs of aging in the form of sunspots, wrinkles, fine lines and more, vitamin C is a should-have component of a multivitamin for women over 40.
Iodine is one of the most important trace elements in the body, largely due to its impact on thyroid health. As the National Institutes of Health (NIH) explains, iodine is “an essential component of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3).” The thyroid regulates many essential bodily functions and processes, which include but aren’t limited to metabolism, maintaining body temperature and heart rate.
Simply put, without enough iodine, the thyroid has difficulty performing optimally. As a result, women who lack iodine run the risk of having an underactive thyroid, which can present symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue and the sensation of coldness.
Women over 40 should try to find a multivitamin containing iodine, as their estrogen levels drop leading up to menopause. As one study in the Journal of Thyroid Research shares, “There are evidences that estrogen may have direct actions in human thyroid cells.” Plus, they also note that women more commonly suffer from thyroid issues. Put two and two together, and we can see that iodine is an integral part of maintaining thyroid health, particularly for women over 40.*
Zinc is an essential nutrient, meaning that the body can’t produce it on its own. It’s often included in cold remedies and cough drops, thanks to zinc’s role in immune function. However, the NIH continues to explain that it’s also involved in a range of aspects of cellular metabolism. Plus, a “daily intake of zinc is required to maintain a steady state because the body has no specialized zinc storage system.”
Due to zinc’s importance for the immune system and overall health, women in their 40s can support their well-being by taking a daily multivitamin that contains this essential mineral.*
Lastly, the best vitamins for women over 40 will contain a range of B-vitamins. As the National Library of Medicine shares, that’s because B-vitamins “help the process your body uses to get or make energy from the food you eat” while also helping to “form red blood cells.”
While a woman in her 40s may not be as energized as she was in her teens or 20s, B-vitamins can help support cellular energy production and overall health.*
Here are the eight B vitamins, as named by The National Library of Medicine:
- B1 (thiamine)
- B2 (riboflavin)
- B3 (niacin)
- B5 (pantothenic acid)
- B5 (pantothenic acid)
- B7 (biotin)
- Folic Acid
All the nutrients included on this list — and many more — can be found in MegaFood’s Women Over 40™ One Daily.