Wondering if you should bother spending the cash on vitamins and other pills? For most women, the four super supplements are well worth it.
• Why You Need It: Everyone knows calcium builds strong bones, but this mineral is also crucial for other functions, such as transmitting nerve signals. Women ages 19 to 50 need 1,000 milligrams per day. Figure out how much you get from food and drink, and supplement the rest.
• Daily Dose: Women ages 19 to 50 need 1,000 milligrams per day. Figure out how much you get from food and drink, and supplement the rest.
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• Why You Need It: Not only does D help the body absorb calcium, it also might play a role in preventing colon cancer, breast cancer and diabetes.
• Daily Dose: 2,000 international units (IUs) of vitamin D-3 in the winter. In summer, drop down to 1,000 IUs or skip it on days you get lots of sun.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
• Why You Need It: Low levels of these healthy fats can lead to internal inflammation, one culprit behind heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
• Daily Dose: 1 to 2 grams (1,000 to 2,000 mg). Take fish-oil supplements with food, which absorbs the oil and staves off fishy burps.
• Why You Need It: Probiotics, or good bacteria, have been shown to assuage gastrointestinal problems, like diarrhea, and even help reduce colds.
• Daily Dose: One capsule with 10 billion colony-forming units (CFUs), preferably in the morning so it can aid your digestion throughout the day.
Sources: Christine Gerbstadt, MD, author of Doctor's Detox Diet: The Ultimate Weight Loss Prescription; and David Katz, MD, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center and author of Disease Proof