Micronutrients have a substantial impact on a woman’s health throughout her entire life. Every woman needs a constant, balanced, and adequate supply of all essential nutrients throughout her lifetime

Micronutrients have a substantial impact on a woman’s health throughout her entire life. Every woman needs a constant, balanced, and adequate supply of all essential nutrients throughout her lifetime.

Many women do not get enough of the micronutrients they need, however. Both in the U.S. and worldwide, inadequate intakes are far too common. Deficiencies of the following

nutrients are particularly common:
• Vitamin D • B vitamins • Calcium
• Zinc • Iron

In addition to low dietary intake, other factors can contribute to micronutrient deficiencies,

• genetic factors

• poor absorption

• drug-nutrient interactions

• acute and chronic health conditions

• stress

• normal processes of aging

The fact is that many women cannot get adequate amounts of some nutrients without supplementing their diets.

Research Shows the Importance of Micronutrients to Women’s Health
Breast Health

Breast health issues are one of the most common reasons why women consult their health care practitioners. Research suggests that several micronutrients play key roles in breast health, including iodine, B vitamins, vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin C.2–4 Uterine and Ovarian Health
Micronutrient status plays a major role in the overall health and function of the uterus and ovaries, which can be affected by a variety of health issues. Research suggests that supplementation with B vitamins, calcium, and vitamin D may support uterine and ovarian health.

Menstrual Cycle Health
Many women experience physical and emotional challenges relating to their menstrual cycle, and research suggests that several micronutrients support a healthy menstrual cycle—including increased B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, and zinc.7–9 Urinary Tract Health Women are at greater risk for urinary tract health issues than men. Statistically at least one-third of American women will develop urinary tract health issues, which also become more frequent with age. Recent research found that adequate vitamin D intake may protect against urinary health issues.

Anxiety and Mental Health

Mental health challenges are much more prevalent in women than men, and research continues to investigate the importance of vitamins and minerals for mental health. Higher intakes of vitamin D and magnesium have been associated with improved mental health and function.11,12

Birth Control / Contraceptives
Oral contraceptives have been shown to lower levels of B vitamins, vitamin C, and zinc in the body, causing researchers to recommend that women taking contraceptives should pay close attention to
their vitamin and mineral intake and consider supplementation.
Conception and Pregnancy Many women know the importance of vitamins and minerals during pregnancy, but recent research also emphasizes the importance of micronutrient status in the time period before conception. Micronutrient deficiencies can also negatively impact fertility. B vitamins, vitamin D, iodine, selenium, antioxidants, iron, and vitamin A have been shown to be key nutrients in fertility and maternal, fetal, and infant health.

Postpartum Mood

Postpartum mood challenges are common—affecting at least 12–16% of mothers. Studies have linked low intakes of micronutrients with increased incidence of mood issues, and have suggested that supplementation can help maintain healthy mood in postpartum women. B vitamins, selenium, vitamin D, and magnesium have been suggested to promote healthy mood. Menopausal and Bone Health
Menopause can affect women’s nutritional needs, and research has shown that B vitamins and vitamin D are particularly important. Minerals are also crucial after menopause, since one of the most significant changes associated with perimenopause and post menopause is a decrease in mineral
levels, which can negatively impact bone health in particular. Magnesium, zinc, and calcium are all important minerals to support postmenopausal bone health.

REFERENCES
1. Seibel M. Fertil Steril 1999;72(4).
2. Ghent W, et al. Can J Surg 1993; 35(5):453–60.
3. Zhang SM. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol 2004;16(1):19–25.
4. Lazzeroni M, et al. Breast 2011;20(Suppl 3):S36–41.
5. Killicdag EB, et al. Hum Reprod 2005;20(6):1521–8.
6. Firouzabadi Rd, et al. Complement Ther Clin Pract 2012;18(2):85–8.
7. P.O. Chocano-Bedoya, et al. Am J Clin Nutr 2011 May;93(5):1080–6.
8. De Souza MC, et al. J Womens Health Gend Based Med
2000;9(2):131–9.
9. Abraham G. J Reprod Med 1983;28:446–64.
10. O Hertting, et al. PLoS One 2010;Dec 14;5(12):e15580.
11. Zender R, et al. Nurs Clin N Am 2009;44(3):355–364.
12. Murphy P, et al. J Midwifery Women’s Health 2008;53:440–446.
13. Veninga KS. J Nurse Midwifery 1984;29(6):386–90.

14. Webb JL. J Reprod Med 1980;25(4):150–6.

15. Allen LH. Am J Clin Nutr 2005;81(5):1206S–1212S.

16. Davison KM, et al. Can J Psychiatry 2012;57(2):85–92.
17. Leung BM, et al. J Am Diet Assoc 2009;109(9):1566–75.
18. Mokhber N, et al. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med
2011;24(1):104–8.
19. Jacka FN, et al. J Affect Disord in press 2012.
20. Seibel MM. Fertil Steril 1999;72(4):579–91.
21. Grochans E, et al. Magnes Res 2011;24(4):209–14.
22. Chapuy M, et al. Br Med J 1994;308:1081–82.
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Nervous System Know Your Personal Micronutrient Needs:

Nervous System Know Your Personal Micronutrient Needs:

A single deficiency – mineral, vitamin, antioxidant or amino acid – can set off a cascade of events where metabolic processes are disturbed. Conversely, repletion of such deficiencies can and often do resolve clinical neurological symptoms such as migraines and neuropathy.

Migraine Prevention:

Anyone who has experienced migraine headaches knows how debilitating they can be. Fortunately, nutritional intervention can be very successful in migraine prevention. Although the mechanism of action is not totally understood, several nutrients that facilitate energy production at the cellular level may also benefit the treatment of migraine headaches. Supplementation with coenzyme Q10, a powerful antioxidant that aids energy Headachemetabolism, may reduce both the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches. Similar results occur with magnesium and vitamin B2, since they also help mitochondria (energy-producing centers in our cells) function properly. “Mitochondrial dysfunction” is one possible trigger to migraine headaches.

The role of oxidative stress in causing migraines is not totally understood, but studies do show that low levels of specific antioxidants, such as glutathione and lipoic acid are associated with migraine occurrence. Correcting specific deficiencies specifically B3, B6, B12 and folic acid can produce dramatic results for reducing the pain and frequency of migraine headaches.

A Healthy Nervous System:

Antioxidant therapy has the potential to contributeHealthy Nervous System to preventing or mitigating many neurologic disorders. SpectraCell Laboratories can measure a person’s total antioxidant function with their SPECTROX test, in addition to measuring the performance of individual antioxidants. Since nutrients play multiple roles, a comprehensive assessment of nutritional status is key.
Minimizing Neuropathic Pain:
Damage to nerves in the limbs but outside the spinal cord causes the painful condition called peripheral neuropathy. Although potentially debilitating, there is overwhelming evidence that neuropathy responds well when specific nutrient deficiencies are corrected. In some studies, vitamin B1 and vitamin B12 significantly reduce neuropathic pain. High levels of oxidative stress increase neuropathic pain, which explains why the powerful antioxidants cysteine, vitamin E and lipoic acid may be successful in treating neuropathy. The pain reducing effects of carnitine and omega-3 fatty acids has been proven in several trials.

Keeping Our Nerves “Insulated”:

NerveNerves are covered with a protective coating called myelin, much like the insulation that coats electronic wiring. If the myelin sheath deteriorates, neurological problems arise, which is what happens to people with multiple sclerosis (MS). A key enzyme needed to manufacture this protective coating contains serine, an important amino acid needed for neurological health, which is why serine deficiency may cause neurological problems. Research shows that patients with MS have lowered calcium levels and that symptoms of MS are more severe when blood levels of vitamin D are low. Copper deficiency can cause symptoms seen in MS patients as well.

Reducing the Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s:

Nutritional deficiencies have been linked to sReducing Riskeveral neurodegenerative diseases. For example, research shows that over half of people with Parkinson’s disease are deficient in vitamin D. Research also shows that the administration of coenzyme Q10 slows the neurological deterioration seen in Parkinson’s disease. Similarly, a higher intake of vitamin C and vitamin E can slow the progression of dementia that is seen in Alzheimer’s patients. Evidence confirms that copper deficiency contributes to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.