What Are Supplements?
If you’re new to the idea of supplements, or you’ve heard of them but aren’t sure exactly what they are or what they do, here is your answer. Supplements are intended to add to or supplement the diet and are different from conventional food. Supplements are ingested and come in many forms, including tablets, capsules, soft gels, gel caps, powders, bars, gummies, and liquids.
Common supplements include:
- Vitamins (such as a high-quality multivitamin or individual vitamins like vitamin D and biotin).
- Minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, and iron).
- Botanicals or herbs (such as echinacea and ginger).
- Botanical compounds (such as caffeine and curcumin).
- Amino acids (such as tryptophan and glutamine).
- Live microbials (commonly referred to as “probiotics”).
Dietary supplements can help you maintain or improve your overall well-being, and can also help you reach your daily requirements of essential nutrients. When you’re not getting the nutrients you need from your current diet, there can be lasting health effects caused by those nutritional deficiencies. Supplements are a convenient and effective way to give your body what it needs to reach its full potential.
Who Can Benefit from Supplements?
Most everyone can reap some benefit from supplements. As we age and go through different stages in our lives, the need for certain vitamins and minerals increases and decreases. Knowing what your body needs to function at its best throughout your lifetime is important to pay attention to.
Supplement use should be seen as one component of the search for a healthier lifestyle, including improvements in overall food habits and engaging in physical exercise. While much of the current research on nutrition and health focuses on the prevention of chronic disease, the primary reason most people use multivitamins and other nutritional supplements is to support overall wellness.
Why Are Supplements So Important for Women?
It’s not that supplements are more important for women than they are for men, it’s that some minerals and vitamins are scientifically proven to be lower in women. These vitamins, most notably vitamin D and calcium, are needed to help prevent osteoporosis. They tend to be especially low in postmenopausal women as bone density decreases after menopause. Also, because women bear children, there are certain nutrients like folic acid that are essential to preventing birth defects.
Supplementation may help women keep the nutrients in their bodies in balance with where they need to be in order to reach optimal wellness. Knowing exactly what supplements you should take can be tricky because it is different for everyone.
However, there are ways to pinpoint definitively what nutrients your body needs to maintain or improve your well-being.
Figuring Out Which Supplements You Need
Guessing which supplements might be best for you and your body is not the route you want to take. Taking supplements you don’t need isn’t going to get you closer to your optimal wellness and might even make it more difficult to reach. Every woman’s body is different which means every woman needs a different supplement protocol.
There are two ways to know exactly where your current wellness stands, and which supplements could be beneficial for you. A genetic test and a blood test will give you the best answer and plan for moving forward with supplements. Doing one test or the other may help a little in discerning what you need, but completing both tests leaves no room for error and will provide you with the data to make a supplement plan.
10X Health Blood Test
The 10X Blood test analyzes over 70 biomarkers for health in your blood and provides you with a comprehensive report tailored to you, detailing exactly what is missing in your diet.
There are three important human elements that the blood test focuses on, they include hormone optimization, glucose control, and nutrient deficiencies. If any of these three elements is imbalanced, you will have a difficult time reading your optimal wellness.
Hormone Optimization: When your hormones are not in balance, you can experience a vast range of issues. From weight gain to mood swings to fatigue and more — hormones regulate these aspects and help you feel like you. If you have a hormone imbalance, hormone replacement therapy may be an appropriate way to get things back on track.
Glucose Control: Your body uses glucose, a type of sugar, for energy. If the blood test reveals that your glucose levels are not in balance, recommendations for vitamins and minerals that can help control glucose levels will be given to you.
Nutrient Deficiencies: Without the proper vitamins and minerals present in your body, you cannot function properly. Finding out what vitamins and minerals your body needs is imperative to establishing a supplement routine that will be effective.
Nutrient deficiencies, blood sugar levels, and hormone imbalances are all functions in the body that you cannot diagnose on your own. Although you may be experiencing some symptoms of one or more of these elements, most of these issues do not give clear-cut signs that they are occurring within your body.
A blood test will give you absolute results that you can trust and specific answers as to which supplements will work best for you.
10X Genetic Test
The 10X Genetic Test provides you with the most complete and accurate snapshot of your current health. Our genetic test focuses on the 5-MTHFR gene that controls the body’s methylation cycle. 44% of the world’s population has a mutation within these five genes, leading to nutritional deficiencies that can deprive your body of what it needs to perform correctly.
The genetic test is easy to take–we send you a testing kit, you use the provided cotton swab to take a saliva sample from the inside of your cheek and mail it back to us in the envelope we provide you. Our experts analyze your sample and supply you with an extensive report, along with recommendations for supplementation that can help you achieve your wellness goals. Your results are personal to you because they are based on your DNA.
By completing both a blood and genetic test through 10X Health, you are covering every possibility in finding out how your body is functioning, and what it is missing that is preventing it from working its best. The blood and genetic tests will support you in reaching your highest level of wellness by giving you personalized results and recommendations.
Knowing this information gives you the knowledge to choose only the supplements that you need and will benefit from.
Fill Nutritional Gaps Common in Women
Women have unique needs from men when it comes to supplementation. And, as mentioned above, every woman needs different supplements based on her own body’s demand in order to reach optimal wellness. Some commonly needed supplements, as well as supplements that may enhance a woman’s well-being include:
This group includes vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Antioxidants may lower the risk of some health problems and slow aging. Some researchers also think they help boost the immune system, your body’s defense against germs.
Beta-carotene is turned into vitamin A by your body. It’s a nutrient that helps soft tissue, skin, and eyesight. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the body to protect cells from damage.
Vitamin C, also referred to as ascorbic acid, is an antioxidant and essential vitamin that helps your body make red blood cells. Vitamin C may help reduce the risks of chronic disease, help manage blood pressure, boost immunity, and protect memory as you age. Vitamin C can also help relieve stress and anxiety.
Vitamin E, also known as tocopherol, is needed by your body to keep cells healthy. It may also slow the signs of aging. Vitamin E has been proven to be very important to the reproductive process for women, as well, and can be used as a prenatal vitamin. Lack of vitamin E may cause miscarriage, premature birth, preeclampsia, and intrauterine growth restriction.
There are very few vitamins that can be categorized as a B complex vitamin, but they are all beneficial to a woman’s body. Vitamin B6, B12, folic acid, and biotin are particularly important to women. The B vitamins help enzymes in our bodies do their jobs and are important for a wide range of cellular functions, like breaking down carbohydrates and transporting nutrients throughout the body. Above all, B vitamins are vital for reproductive health.
Vitamin B6 is also known as pyridoxine and not only helps with brain health but aids in changing the food we eat into energy, keeping energy levels high even late in life. Vitamin B6 is especially important for women as it can help with PMS symptoms, lower depression and anxiety risk (only in women), and help in hormone balance and hormone production. It also plays a vital role in ensuring a healthy pregnancy.
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that helps the body create DNA, nourishes the brain and nervous system, and assists with the formation of healthy red blood cells. It is very important for pregnancy health as women with low levels of vitamin B12 are three times more likely to have a child with birth defects.
Folic acid makes DNA and RNA, the building blocks of cells, and prevents the changes in cells that can lead to cancer. Folic acid is specifically important for women who want to get pregnant. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body before she is pregnant, it can help prevent major birth defects in her baby’s brain and spine. Folic acid remains important to women as they age as it reduces the risk of cervical and colon cancers in women.
Biotin supplements are important for not only the nervous system, but also for skin health, hair, eye, and liver health. As a prenatal supplement, it also supports fetal growth, making it an important supplement for pregnant women.
Vitamin D is an important nutrient for women, especially as they approach or reach menopause. Since sufficient vitamin D levels are critical for bone health, women who are over 40 or who have risk factors for osteoporosis should be sure to get adequate amounts of vitamin D. Women who do not get enough sunlight, have darker skin tones, or are obese are more at risk of having a vitamin D deficiency and should make sure that they get enough vitamin D to support their well-being.
Women need enough calcium in their diets throughout their lifetimes. Calcium helps with bone health and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Your body stores calcium in your bones, so if you don’t get enough calcium from food, your body will take calcium from your bones, making them weak and easily broken. Calcium supplements can be beneficial at any life stage, but especially in menopause as bone density changes due to changes in hormone balance.
Iron is a mineral that enables the blood to carry oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency is also the most common nutrient deficiency in women. Heavy menstruation, being active, and pregnancy can all be factors that can cause a woman to have low iron, but iron supplements can help conquer iron deficiency and get it back to ideal levels.
Zinc is a nutrient required for so many body functions from immunity support and blood sugar regulation to maintaining metabolism. Your body needs the small daily recommended amount of zinc as even the slightest deficiency can have profound effects on your body. Zinc deficiency can affect the entire body, from the bones to the digestive, reproductive, central nervous, and immune systems.
Zinc not only helps with immune function, metabolism, and blood sugar regulation, it also helps keep your digestive system running correctly, helps your body heal, and may even help with your concentration.
Magnesium is a powerful mineral that’s involved in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate biochemical reactions in the body, everything from protein synthesis to muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Everyone can benefit from magnesium supplementation, but active women may need more. Magnesium may help alleviate menstrual cramping, chronic diarrhea, gut inflammation, diabetes, and migraines.
Most women can benefit from the mineral and vitamin supplements listed here, but remember that every woman has different needs when it comes to supplements. Finding out exactly what supplements will help you reach your optimal wellness goals is imperative to the supplements being beneficial. Personalizing your supplement protocol through completing a blood and genetic test is the best route to uncovering what supplements are best for you.
The Importance of a Healthy Diet to Supplement Success
Supplements cannot replace a healthy diet, but they can enhance it and make sure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs to thrive. Naturally occurring vitamins are usually absorbed by the body more efficiently than vitamins and minerals in supplement form, so eating foods rich in natural vitamins and minerals is the best way to fill the nutritional gaps you may have. The one exception to this is folate, or vitamin B, where the synthetic form is better absorbed by the body than folate from food sources.
Eating a healthy diet should be goal #1 when working towards maintaining or improving your well-being. People with healthy eating patterns live longer and are at lower risk for serious health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. For people with chronic diseases, healthy eating can help manage these conditions and prevent complications.
For women, following a healthy eating plan is even more important. Studies show that when a woman eats healthy, everyone in her household is more likely to eat healthy. Women do have some unique nutritional needs that fluctuate during their lifetimes mainly due to a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Supplements can act to enhance a healthy eating lifestyle, as many women who take supplements tend to have healthier habits than those who do not take supplements. Supplements also fill in the gaps where certain nutritional deficiencies can hide. You may be eating healthy and committed to an exercise routine and still suffer symptoms of an undiagnosed deficiency.
Making Your Supplements Work for You
Once you know which supplements you need to alleviate any nutritional deficiencies you may have, making sure those supplements are working effectively for you is the next step. Bioavailability is the term used to describe the percentage of a substance (in this case, a supplement) that enters the bloodstream and is able to have an active effect. When taking supplements, you want to make sure that bioavailability is high.
How do you make sure that the bioavailability of the supplements you are taking is high? Consider these questions:
- What is the most absorbable form of the supplement?
- What is the purest form of the nutrient without any fillers?
- Do I take the supplement with or without food?
- Do I take the supplement at the same time as other supplements, or on its own?
Careful consideration of these questions will lead to a more effective supplement regimen and allow you to fill the nutrient gaps you may have. Quality supplements should answer most of these questions for you.
Another way to maintain the effectiveness of your supplements is storing them correctly. Supplements do not last forever, but storing them the right way will keep them working the way they are intended to. Here are three tips for protecting the potency of your supplements:
- Keep them in a cool, dark, dry place. Avoid bathrooms and other damp areas.
- Make sure to keep them on a high shelf or in a locked cabinet, out of children’s reach.
- Some vitamins and supplements wear out when they sit on a shelf too long. Do a regular check of your stash and throw out any that are past their expiration date.
Lastly, always check with your doctor or healthcare provider before starting a supplement routine, especially if you have a health condition or are on medications. Not all supplements work well with some prescribed medicines, therefore you want to alleviate the risk of negative interaction between supplements and medications.
10X Health Supplements
When choosing which brand of supplements to take, you should definitely do some research. There are thousands of options available, but not all of them are safe or even contain what they claim to contain. 10X Health prides itself on providing quality supplements to its clients using only the finest, most high-quality materials and ingredients on the market.
Besides high-quality ingredients, you should also consider these things when choosing a supplement brand:
- The supplement company follows the FDA-established good manufacturing practices (GMPs). Companies follow these guidelines to ensure the identity, purity, strength, and composition of their dietary supplements. These practices ensure the safety of the supplements you are taking.
- Look for a reputable company. Not all companies that sell supplements are created equal. Read online testimonies and research the company the supplements are coming from.
- Supplements are not regulated by the FDA in the same way that drugs are, so manufacturers are able to make health claims about their supplements that may not be true. Be wary of any supplement that claims to cure one specific condition or disease, as these claims are likely false.
- Choose supplements that contain what they claim to contain. Look out for supplements that use fillers that dilute the active ingredients in the supplement.
10X Health supplements meet all of these checkpoints; we follow the GMP guidelines, 10X Health is a reputable company that has done and continues to do its research not only in the supplement arena, but in the overall wellness of its clients, and our ingredients are top-notch and never use fillers.
Bottom Line on Supplements for Women
Supplements may be a very beneficial addition to your overall wellness journey. There are so many positive effects of taking supplements, especially the right supplements for your particular body’s needs. Finding out which supplements will contribute most to your optimal well-being is the most important step in starting a supplement regime.
10X Health’s blood and genetic testing provides you with all the information to make an informed decision about which supplements you should be taking. The clear snapshot of your current health, including any nutrient deficiencies you have, that the tests provide is invaluable information to your wellness.
Let 10X Health help you achieve your body’s full potential and help you look and feel great in the process
Want to know more about how 10X Health’s genetic and blood tests can pave the way for supplementation that may improve your wellness? Reach out to us today!