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Do women need additional supplements?
If your diet is a healthy one, you may not need additional supplements but for women there are some exceptions:
Pregnant women and supplements
Pregnant and breastfeeding women need more vitamin B6 and B12, as well as folic acid, to prevent vitamin deficiencies that could harm a developing fetus. Folic acid can help reduce the risk of a number of birth defects, such as spina bifida, and can also prevent low birth weight. It’s best to take folic acid daily for at least a year before your planned pregnancy.
When women need supplements due to dietary restrictions
Strict vegetarians may need additional vitamin B12. You can also try adding foods, such as bread, that are fortified with the vitamin.
If you follow a vegan diet and don’t consume dairy, eggs, fish, or meat, you may be at risk for vitamin A deficiency. Eating plenty of dark-colored fruits and vegetables can help prevent a vitamin A deficiency. It’s important to make sure you get enough zinc, as well.
Aging and women's supplements
Older women and people who avoid sunlight may need to take a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D can be harmful in large amounts, so be sure not to exceed the recommended daily amount unless instructed by a doctor. Talk to your doctor about your vitamin D blood levels. Vitamin D helps the immune system fight diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases.
Older adults may also be deficient in B vitamins, which play an important role in digestion and metabolism function.