Strength + Energy = Vitality: Fuelling the Female Fire with Essential Nutrients

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Did you know:

Osteoporosis affects approximately 50% of women and 30% of men over the age of 60 in New Zealand?

Osteoporosis is responsible for more hospital admissions of women over the age of 45 than any other condition?

Fatigue and lack of energy are more commonly reported by women than men, with women being twice as likely to experience fatigue as men?

People with low energy levels are more likely to have multiple chronic conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and obesity?

Imagine waking up every morning feeling ready to conquer the day ahead. Your body is strong and energized, and you're able to tackle any task with ease. You feel confident, empowered, and unstoppable. This is the reality for women who prioritize their physical health and energy levels. They experience the world with vitality and vigor, and are able to live life to the fullest. With the right combination of nutrients and lifestyle factors, women can unlock their full potential and power up their strength and energy.

Strength + Energy = Vitality

Women with Strength

Importance of bone health

Imagine hiking through the mountains with friends, stopping to take in the breathtaking views and enjoying the fresh air, or playing with your grandchildren, running around in the yard and laughing without any discomfort or pain. These are just a few examples of the many ways that healthy bones can support a vibrant and active lifestyle.

Maintaining good bone health is essential for women as they age because it can support their ability to move freely and engage in the activities they love. Healthy bones can help to prevent fractures and injuries, which can significantly impact mobility and quality of life (1). As women age, their risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones, increases. This can make them more susceptible to fractures and falls, which can be especially dangerous for older adults. By supporting bone health through a healthy diet, regular exercise, and potentially supplements or medications as recommended by a healthcare provider, women can reduce their risk of fractures and maintain their mobility and independence as they age. Strong bones can also support healthy joints and muscles, allowing women to continue doing the things they love for years to come (1, 2).

osteoporosis supplements for osteoporosis

Why women are more at risk?

Maintaining good bone health is particularly important for aging women because they are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis than men. After menopause, women experience a decrease in estrogen levels, which can lead to bone loss. This means that elderly women are at a higher risk of fractures and may experience more severe consequences from falls.

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, one in three women over the age of 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures, compared to one in five men. (3) According to the Osteoporosis New Zealand, osteoporosis affects approximately 50% of women and 30% of men over the age of 60 in New Zealand. It is estimated that around 80,000 fractures occur each year in New Zealand due to osteoporosis. Additionally, osteoporosis is responsible for more hospital admissions of women over the age of 45 than any other condition. (4)

Factors and Implications for Women

• Women generally have smaller and thinner bones than men, which makes them more susceptible to bone loss and fractures. This is supported by a study that found that women have lower bone mass and bone mineral density than men of the same age (5).

• Hormonal changes also contribute to osteoporosis risk in women. During menopause, estrogen levels drop, leading to increased bone loss and a higher risk of osteoporosis. The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study found that women who took estrogen therapy after menopause had a lower risk of hip fracture and osteoporosis (6). However, the use of hormone therapy is not without risks and should be carefully considered.

• Women also tend to live longer than men, which means they have a longer time period during which bone loss can occur. A study found that older women had a higher risk of fractures than men of the same age (7).

• Additionally, certain lifestyle factors can increase the risk of osteoporosis in women. These include a diet low in calcium and vitamin D, lack of physical activity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and long-term use of certain medications. A study found that regular physical activity can improve bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis in women (8).

How vitamin D is so important in preventing Osteoporosis

vitamin d supplement for osteoporosis

Vitamin D is commonly known for its crucial role in maintaining strong bones, but the exact way it works is not well understood by many. Have you ever thought about how this one nutrient can have such a significant impact on our bone health? Have you ever pondered how Vitamin D manages to strengthen our bones? We all know it's crucial, but the mechanism behind its effectiveness might surprise you.

osteoporosis vitamins D calcium absorption

Vitamin D and calcium absorption

Vitamin D plays a crucial role in promoting calcium absorption in the body, which is important for maintaining bone health and preventing osteoporosis. Vitamin D stimulates the production of calcium-binding proteins in the intestines, which in turn enhances the absorption of calcium from the diet into the bloodstream (9).

Research suggests that low levels of vitamin D can lead to reduced calcium absorption, which can ultimately contribute to the development of osteoporosis (10). Studies have also shown that vitamin D supplementation can improve calcium absorption and increase bone density, particularly in individuals with low vitamin D levels (11).

vitamin d for osteoporosis and bone remodelling bone regulation

Vitamin D and the regulation of bone remodelling

Vitamin D is really important for keeping your bones strong. It helps to make sure that old bone is replaced with new bone tissue. This happens because vitamin D makes cells called osteoblasts build new bone tissue while at the same time stopping cells called osteoclasts from breaking down old bone tissue. Vitamin D works together with other hormones and growth factors to keep your bones healthy and prevent bone loss.

Studies have shown that taking vitamin D supplements can increase bone density and reduce bone damage in women with osteoporosis. In one study (12), postmenopausal women with osteoporosis who took vitamin D supplements had stronger bones and less damage to their bones. Another study (13) found that taking vitamin D supplements in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis increased the genes responsible for making new bone tissue and reduced the genes responsible for breaking down old bone tissue, which is really important for keeping your bones strong.

osteoporosis supplement vitamin d muscle strength muscle function

Vitamin D and Muscle function

Vitamin D is important not only for our bones but also for our muscles. It helps our muscles to function properly. One way vitamin D does this is by increasing the number of muscle fibres and size of muscle fibres (14). It also helps muscles to contract and relax properly by regulating the levels of calcium inside the muscle cells (15).

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that vitamin D supplementation improved muscle strength and function in older adults with low vitamin D levels (16). Another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association found that vitamin D supplementation reduced the risk of falls in older adults by improving muscle function (17).

D vitamin for osteoporosis reduce inflammation

Vitamin D and inflammation

Another way that vitamin D supports bone health is by reducing inflammation. Chronic inflammation can cause bone loss and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin D has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which can help to reduce inflammation and protect bone health.

A study published in the Journal of Endocrinology found that vitamin D deficiency was associated with increased inflammation in bone cells, while vitamin D supplementation reduced inflammation and protected against bone loss (18). Another study published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology found that vitamin D supplementation reduced markers of inflammation and oxidative stress in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis (19).

What else can support bone health in women?

In addition to vitamin D, there are several other nutrients and lifestyle factors that can support bone health in women.

• Calcium is another essential nutrient for bone health, as it is a key component of bone tissue. Adequate calcium intake can help maintain bone density and reduce the risk of fractures. A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials found that calcium supplementation resulted in a modest but significant increase in bone mineral density in postmenopausal women (20).

• Vitamin K is also important for bone health, as it helps regulate bone mineralization. One study found that vitamin K supplementation improved bone mineral density and reduced the risk of fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis (21).

• Magnesium is another mineral that plays a role in bone health. It helps regulate calcium metabolism and is involved in the formation of bone tissue. A study in postmenopausal women found that magnesium supplementation improved bone mineral density and reduced markers of bone turnover (22).

• Regular exercise is also important for bone health, as it helps maintain bone density and strength. Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking or running, and resistance training, such as weight lifting, are particularly beneficial for bone health (23).

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Women with Energy

The Significance of Maintaining Optimal Energy Levels

Living with optimal energy can be like waking up refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead. It can mean having the energy to take long walks in the park with friends or taking up a new hobby like dancing or gardening. It can be the difference between feeling exhausted after a day of work or feeling energized and capable of enjoying an evening with family or friends.

Having optimal energy levels can greatly improve our quality of life as we age. It means having enough energy to keep up with daily activities, exercise, and pursue hobbies and interests. With optimal energy levels, we can experience greater mental clarity and focus, improved mood, and better overall health. We will also feel more confident and independent, which can lead to a greater sense of fulfilment and satisfaction in life. By maintaining optimal energy levels through healthy lifestyle choices, we can continue to lead an active and fulfilling life as we age.

Why women are more at risk?

According to a global survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), fatigue and lack of energy are more commonly reported by women than men, with women being twice as likely to experience fatigue as men (24).

In New Zealand, a study found that women were more likely to experience fatigue than men, with 26% of women reporting moderate to severe fatigue compared to 18% of men (25). The study also found that fatigue was more prevalent in women aged over 35 and that those who reported low energy levels were more likely to have multiple chronic conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and obesity.

These findings suggest that women are at a higher risk for low energy levels than men, and that fatigue can have a significant impact on their quality of life. It is important for women to prioritize self-care and seek medical advice if they are experiencing persistent fatigue or low energy levels.

Factors and Implications for Women

There are several reasons why women may be more at risk for low energy levels than men.

• One major factor is hormonal changes, particularly during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. These changes can affect energy levels and contribute to fatigue and exhaustion.

• Another reason is the higher prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in women, which can cause symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, and shortness of breath. According to a global report by the World Health Organization, anemia affects approximately 32% of women worldwide (26).

• In addition, women are more likely to have multiple responsibilities and demands on their time, such as work, childcare, and household duties. This can lead to chronic stress, which can also contribute to fatigue and low energy levels.

• Another factor is the higher prevalence of chronic health conditions in women, such as autoimmune diseases, thyroid disorders, and depression, all of which can cause fatigue and low energy. (27-29)

vitamin b complex supplement for fatigue in women supplement for energy level in women

How vitamin B complex is so important in supporting optimal energy levels

Vitamin B complex is a group of essential vitamins that are important for various bodily functions, including energy metabolism. The B vitamins, including thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9), and cobalamin (B12), work together to help convert food into energy that the body can use.

vitamin b1 thiamine for energy conversion

Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and the production of energy. Thiamine is required for the conversion of glucose into energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) via the Krebs cycle. Thiamine also plays a role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine, which is involved in nerve signaling and muscle function.

A study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition (30) found that thiamine supplementation in female athletes improved their exercise performance and reduced fatigue. Another study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (31) found that thiamine supplementation improved endurance exercise performance in healthy young women.

Furthermore, thiamine deficiency has been associated with fatigue and low energy levels. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (32) found that thiamine supplementation improved fatigue in individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome.

vitamin B2 for cellular oxygenation

Vitamin B2

Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, plays a crucial role in energy metabolism by aiding in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy that the body can use. It does this by acting as a coenzyme, which is a substance that helps enzymes carry out their chemical reactions. Specifically, vitamin B2 helps activate enzymes involved in the production of ATP, a molecule that stores and releases energy in the body.

Research has shown that vitamin B2 supplementation can improve energy levels in people who are deficient in the vitamin. For example, a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (33) found that athletes who supplemented with vitamin B2 had greater improvements in exercise performance and perceived energy levels compared to those who did not take the supplement. Another study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (34) found that supplementing with vitamin B2 improved energy levels and reduced feelings of fatigue in adults who were deficient in the vitamin.

vitamin b3 to improve indurance

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is involved in energy metabolism by aiding in the conversion of food into usable energy. Niacin is a precursor for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a coenzyme involved in several metabolic pathways, including glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation. NAD is required for the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into ATP, the main source of energy for the body. Niacin also plays a role in DNA repair, cell signaling, and the regulation of gene expression. A deficiency in niacin can result in fatigue, weakness, and decreased physical performance.

A study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine (35) found that supplementation with niacin improved endurance performance in male athletes. The study suggested that niacin supplementation may increase energy production during exercise by increasing NAD availability and enhancing glycolysis and oxidative metabolism. Another study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology (36) found that niacin supplementation improved cognitive function and reduced fatigue in healthy adults. The study suggested that niacin may improve energy metabolism in the brain and reduce mental and physical fatigue.

vitamin b5 improve stamina

Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, plays a crucial role in energy metabolism by helping the body convert food into energy. Once inside the body, it is converted to coenzyme A (CoA), which is involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats for energy. Additionally, CoA is essential for the synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol, and steroid hormones, all of which are important for energy production and overall health. Studies have also shown that vitamin B5 supplementation can improve athletic performance and reduce fatigue in healthy adults.

One study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology (37) found that vitamin B5 supplementation improved endurance and reduced fatigue in male athletes. The study suggested that vitamin B5 supplementation may help increase energy production during exercise by improving the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. Another study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (38) found that vitamin B5 supplementation improved cognitive function and reduced mental fatigue in healthy adults. The study suggested that vitamin B5 may play a role in brain energy metabolism and reduce the impact of mental stress on fatigue.

vitamin b6 fatigue supplements neurotransmitter

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is important for energy metabolism because it helps the body break down carbohydrates and proteins into glucose and amino acids, which are used for energy production. It also plays a role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, which regulate mood and energy levels. In addition, vitamin B6 is involved in the production of hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the body's tissues, including the muscles. A deficiency in vitamin B6 can lead to anemia, which can cause fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.

Several studies have investigated the effects of vitamin B6 supplementation on energy levels and fatigue. One study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology found that vitamin B6 supplementation improved mood and energy levels in women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) (39). Another study published in the journal Nutrients found that vitamin B6 supplementation improved fatigue in elderly subjects (40). The study suggested that vitamin B6 may improve energy levels by enhancing the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, as well as by improving neurotransmitter synthesis. Overall, these studies suggest that vitamin B6 may be an effective supplement for improving energy levels and reducing fatigue.

vitamin b7 fatigue supplements for energy metabolism

Vitamin B7

Vitamin B7, also known as biotin, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in energy metabolism. Biotin is required for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which are the three main sources of energy for the body. It acts as a coenzyme in several reactions that produce energy, including the breakdown of glucose and the synthesis of fatty acids. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology (41) found that biotin supplementation improved exercise performance and reduced fatigue in male athletes. The study suggested that biotin may enhance energy metabolism during exercise by improving the utilization of carbohydrates and fats. Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (42) found that biotin supplementation improved cognitive function and reduced mental fatigue in healthy adults. The study suggested that biotin may play a role in brain energy metabolism and reduce the impact of mental stress on fatigue.

vitamin b9 fatigue supplement energy renewal

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9, also known as folate or folic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in energy metabolism. Folate is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and proteins, which are essential for cell growth and division. It also helps in the formation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the body's tissues and organs. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism (43) found that folate supplementation improved cognitive function and reduced mental fatigue in healthy adults. The study suggested that folate may play a role in brain energy metabolism and reduce the impact of mental stress on fatigue. Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (44) found that folate supplementation improved endothelial function and reduced oxidative stress in overweight and obese adults. The study suggested that folate may improve energy metabolism by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.

Folate is also essential for the proper metabolism of homocysteine, an amino acid that can build up in the blood and lead to heart disease and stroke. Studies have shown that folate supplementation can lower blood levels of homocysteine and reduce the risk of these diseases (45, 46).

vitamin b12 fatigue supplement for women vitality

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for energy production. B12 plays a crucial role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which are the primary sources of energy for the body. It acts as a coenzyme in several reactions that produce energy, including the breakdown of fatty acids and amino acids. Additionally, vitamin B12 is necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous system, which controls the body's energy production. A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (47) found that vitamin B12 supplementation improved endurance performance in male athletes. The study suggested that B12 may increase energy production during exercise by improving the utilization of carbohydrates and fats. Another study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (48) found that vitamin B12 supplementation improved cognitive function and reduced mental fatigue in healthy adults. The study suggested that B12 may play a role in brain energy metabolism and reduce the impact of mental stress on fatigue.

What else can support optimal energy levels in women?

• Iron: Iron is an essential mineral that is required for the formation of hemoglobin in red blood cells, which carries oxygen to the body's tissues. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which can cause fatigue and weakness. Women are at a higher risk of iron deficiency due to menstrual blood loss. Studies have shown that iron supplementation can improve energy levels in women with iron deficiency anemia (49, 50).

• Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral that plays a role in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including energy production. It helps convert food into energy and supports the function of enzymes that are involved in energy metabolism. Studies have shown that magnesium supplementation can improve energy levels and reduce fatigue in women with low magnesium levels (15, 52).

• Vitamin D: Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is involved in a range of bodily processes, including bone health, immune function, and energy metabolism. Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency is associated with fatigue and decreased energy levels. Supplementing with vitamin D has been shown to improve energy levels in people with low vitamin D levels (53, 54).

• Sleep: Getting enough sleep is crucial for maintaining optimal energy levels. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to fatigue, irritability, and decreased productivity. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to support optimal energy levels (55).

• Physical activity: Regular exercise can boost energy levels and reduce fatigue by improving cardiovascular health, increasing oxygen supply to the body's tissues, and enhancing mood. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week to support optimal energy levels (56, 57).

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• Vitamin B1 is essential in helping convert nutrients into energy.

• Vitamin B2 helps to convert food into energy but also acts as an antioxidant.

• Vitamin B3 has a critical part to play in cellular signalling, metabolism, and DNA production and repair.

• Vitamin B5 helps convert energy and is also crucial in hormone & cholesterol production.

• Vitamin B6 is involved in red blood cell production & brain cell communications.

• Vitamin B9 (folic acid) new cells, especially red blood cell production & maintenance.

• Vitamin B12 is vital for normal brain function, DNA & red blood cell production.

• Biotin supports energy levels and blood sugar levels.

• Choline bitartrate supports cholesterol balance and balanced mood.

• Other key nutrients, inositol, PABA, alfalfa, watercress, & parsley, synergistically support energy & brain function.

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