When it comes to nutritional needs, there really is a different between men's and women's nutrient needs. The first difference is that osteoporosis affects many more women than men, making women's vitamin needs different.
The issue of vitamins for women isn’t something to take lightly, since bone loss in women causes more than 1.3 million fractures per year, including 250,000 hip fractures. Only cardiovascular disease is more debilitating.
So what are women's nutrient needs? I recommend 750-1,000 mg of calcium a day from all sources, along with 200 to 600 mg of magnesium. It’s also important to get weight-bearing exercise, such as walking for at least 20 minutes per day. Plus, try to work with weights two to three times per week along with daily stretching, yoga, or T'ai Chi to round out your program.
But bone health is only one area where women’s nutrient needs are different than men’s—many women also want to have skin that’s age resistant. One powerful nutrient that can help women's skin is what I call the universal antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid (ALA). It maintains the integrity of a woman's skin by protecting and repairing skin cell membranes and supporting healthy collagen.
While ALA is the wave of the future when it comes to healthy skin in women, it doesn’t work alone. An Italian study showed that a combination of ALA, vitamins C and E, and lutein work together to protect aging skin from oxidation and to keep women's skin smooth and supple. Plus, if your skin is rough and dry, I recommend consuming more foods that contain omega-3 essential fatty acids, such as wild salmon, crushed flax, and olive oil.
I’ll be sharing even more secrets about women's vitamin needs—so stay tuned.