Vitamins, Supplements & Herbs

vitamins photoWhat are they?

Vitamins and minerals are essential components in enzyme systems, cell function, and tissue and organ function. We can get many of these just by eating nutritiously, however, because of the many processed foods that exist today, you most likely need additional support.

The use of vitamins, minerals, and other food substances to support health, prevent or treat illness is an important aspect of a natural approach to health care. There are many effective studies on how nutrients have an influence on symptom relief, disease prevention and even treatment.

What to do?

Individual nutrients can help women over forty with an array of health problems. Best results are seen when these nutrients are used under the guidance of health care practitioners knowledgeable about these options. These health professionals can create a plan for you that includes supplements, nutrients, and foods that are individualized for you.

Some examples of common vitamins and herbal supplements:

Vitamins

  • Vitamin E, bioflavonoids and Vitamin C: Shown to have some effectiveness in treating hot flashes
  • Melatonin, L-tryptophan and 5-hydroxytryptophan: The most effective nutrients for treating insomnia
  • Vitamins B6, folic acid, B12 and SAMe: Can increase serotonin levels and help with mild depression
  • GABA supplements: Can be effective for mild to moderate anxiety
  • Glucosamine sulfate, borage oil, fish oils and chondroitin sulfate: Shown good results for joint pains and osteoarthritis
  • Niacin: Well studied to treat elevated cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Calcium and Vitamin D: Help to maintain bone health and can be an important part of an osteoporosis prevention strategy

Herbs

  • Black cohosh, red clover, kava, soy, and ginseng: Have been studied to treat menopause symptoms
  • Valerian: Studied for treatment of insomnia
  • St. Johns Wort: Studied for treatment of mild depression
  • Kava: Studied for treatment of anxiety
  • Rhodiola: Studied for treatment of memory loss and fatigue
  • Ginseng: Studied for treatment of fatigue

At Women in Balance, we encourage women to seek guidance from a health care practitioners trained in clinical nutrition and botanical medicine.