Do women need special vitamins?
Is your kitchen counter a lineup of vitamins and nutritional supplements?
Here to shed some light on vitamin-happy Americans is Mary Campagnolo, MD, chief of family practice at Virtua Memorial Hospital. "Women, and people in general, are taking more vitamins and supplements than ever before. They're obviously doing it to stay healthy. But the best way to get daily requirements of vitamins, minerals and nutrients is to eat a balanced diet comprised of foods like whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables that are bright in color — particularly those that are dark green, orange or red."
Getting reliable information on a diet that will support the vitamins your body needs is easy. "Just talk to your family physician," says Dr. Campagnolo. She does note, however, that there are times when a woman might want to take a supplement. "Women who are not consuming enough dairy products may want to consider taking a calcium supplement to get the daily recommendations of 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams a day, especially those over age 50. And, menstruating women who may be anemic — with their physician's advice — may want to take a multivitamin with iron."