I often get asked by women what the most important supplements for them to take are. This is a hard question to answer since there are specific needs for each individual, and nutritional testing is ideal for a comprehensive supplementation plan. However, there are some supplements that I believe are foundational that all women should be taking. In this post, I’ll talk about three of these supplements.
DIM (diindolylmethane) is a compound found in cruciferous vegetables and is widely studied for its hormone-modulating ability. All women (and me too) produce estrogen (even those who have gone through menopause), and all estrogen follows one of two pathways — it converts to 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone, or it converts to 2-hydroxyestrone. When there’s a higher amount of 16-α, the risk for developing cancers such as that of the breast and cervix is increased. On the other hand, when there’s a higher amount of 2-hydroxy, the risk of these cancers is decreased. DIM has shown the ability to modulate the estrogen pathway, supporting the conversion of estrogen into the protective 2-hydroxy, as well as reducing levels of the more dangerous 16-α.
This might seem obvious since Vitamin D is important for so many aspects of health. However, vitamin D is particularly crucial for women. Vitamin D has been shown to block cancer-stimulating signals while enhancing signals that inhibit cancer growth. Research has shown that women who have vitamin D levels around 52 ng/ml have approximately a 50% lower risk of developing breast cancer, as compared to those with levels lower than 13 ng/ml. Furthermore, vitamin D is also required for strong bones which is important since women have a higher risk of osteoporosis than men. Most people require around 5,000 IU of vitamin D per day to maintain a desirable blood level. Did you know that Vitamin D can be taken in weekly doses and your body will store it for use throughout the week? Try my 50,000 iu Vitamin D that only has to be taken once a week.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The strongest health benefit of omega-3 is related to heart health. This includes helping to maintain a regular heart rhythm, reducing blood pressure, lowering blood fat levels and slowing down the rate at which our arteries can become clogged. A 2010 review of studies on fish oil and rheumatoid arthritis found that fish oil significantly decreased joint pain and stiffness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have found that omega-3, well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, can help to soothe menstrual pain. A systematic review of omega-3 and osteoporosis published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2012 reported significant favorable effects of omega-3 on bone mineral density.