7 Best Supplements for Women Over 50
With all the hype surrounding supplements nowadays, you may be eager to start taking some of your own. Certain dietary supplements can help you get an adequate fill of essential nutrients. For instance, vitamin D and calcium ensure your bones remain strong and healthy, and omega-3 fatty acids obtained from fish oils can be beneficial to individuals dealing with heart disease, the National Institutes of Health explain. With so many supplements out there, though, it can be quite a challenge to decide which ones are best for you and your needs—especially as you grow older. We're here to help and spoke with the experts who reveal the best supplements for women over 50.
If you're curious about supplements, keep reading to learn more about these top recommendations for women over 50, brought to you by experts. And next, be sure to check out Kendall Jenner & Hailey Bieber Take NAD+ to Prevent Aging—But What Is This Supplement?
First up in our best supplements for women over 50 is magnesium. Magnesium is key for many bodily functions, such as muscle and nerve function, energy production, and helping you rest and achieve sound sleep. "Fatigue and sound sleep are two things that many women over 50 struggle with, so getting adequate magnesium is important," The Nutrition Twins®, Tammy Lakatos Shames, RD, CDN, CFT, and Lyssie Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT, tell Eat This, Not That!
According to research, magnesium supplements can help boost your quality of sleep and lower the risk of dealing with insomnia. "Magnesium activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the body to relax, and it also increases GABA, which helps the body to unwind and sleep better," The Nutrition Twins explain. "Despite magnesium being found in common foods like grains, green vegetables, nuts, and seeds, most people don't get enough magnesium because the soil is so depleted." The Twins usually recommend magnesium glycinate to those who find it difficult to relax, as it can be gentler on the tummy.
Your gut microbiome has a major impact on the overall health of your body, so it makes perfect sense that you need to support it as you grow older. Research actually shows that your gut microbiome can be a key indicator of healthy aging.
"A quality probiotic can support women over 50 with better managing the effects of menopause, as well as perimenopause," The Nutrition Twins say. "When progesterone levels drop during menopause, research shows that the digestive tract takes a hit, which is one reason why many women experience bloating, gas, digestive issues—and even weight gain. While probiotics can help to offset these issues, certain strains can even help to target stress, bone strength, detoxification, and mental health, which all are important at all ages, particularly after 50."
Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in fish oil, fatty fish, and some eggs, boost blood flow and help you get a handle on chronic inflammation that's associated with diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's. "A quality omega-3 supplement will contain mostly DHA and EPA which keep the heart and eyes healthy, as well as the brain. Having adequate omega 3s for the brain is essential for memory and cognition, which are especially important with age," The Nutrition Twins explain.
Keep in mind that fish oil supplements are usually safe for most individuals, but they can cause interactions with anti-coagulants. It's always a smart idea to check in with your healthcare provider to ensure adding a new supplement to your routine is the best move for you and won't interact with any medication you're on.
Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics, the author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook, and a member of our Medical Expert Board, shares the benefits of taking a calcium supplement when you're over 50. After menopause, your bones are broken down much quicker than they're built up. This could lead to osteoporosis, which is why sticking to the recommended daily calcium intake is necessary.
"For women over 51, the recommended intake for calcium increases to 1,200 mg/day," Goodson says. "Those who don't consume at least three servings of low-fat dairy per day may benefit from supplementation with calcium citrate."
If you're looking to boost your bone health, vitamin D is another crucial nutrient to get your fill of, and it just so happens to be one of the best supplements for women over 50. In addition, sufficient vitamin D is associated with a decreased risk of chronic diseases like autoimmune disease, heart disease, and cancer.
"The recommended daily intake for women over 50 ranges from 600-800 IU, or 15 to 20 mcg. It's important to work with your doctor or healthcare provider to check your blood levels of vitamin D to prevent deficiency," Goodson says.
Next up in the best supplements for women over 50 is collagen. Collagen is an imperative part of your joint, bone, and skin health. As you grow older, your collagen production decreases—especially after you finish menopause. This can speed up the aging process by causing stiff joints, wrinkles, and decreased bone mineral density.
"There is research to show that daily supplementation of collagen peptides in postmenopausal women can improve skin, bone, and joint health. Consuming collagen can actually help your body produce more collagen," Goodson tells us.
You can lose anywhere from 3% to 8% of lean muscle mass every decade after turning 30, research shows. The loss of lean muscle can cause decreased core stability, overall weakness, and an increased likelihood of suffering from falls. Consuming a diet that's protein-dense, along with performing regular strength training exercises is an incredibly effective way to battle the natural decline in muscle mass.
"While it is recommended to consume high-quality protein from animal foods like beef, fish, pork, poultry, eggs, and dairy, some women over the age of 50 may benefit from supplementation with protein powder to increase overall protein intake," Goodson says. "Protein powders can help increase the protein in foods that don't naturally contain high amounts of it like fruit smoothies, oatmeal, and various baked goods."