Special Women’s Multivitamins

Special Women’s Multivitamins

Today, we are going to talk about Special Women’s Multivitamins. What are their features and why there has to be specific supplements for women?

Why take a specific multivitamin

The current market offers many vitamins and mineral complexes with different formulas designed for different people.

In general, a multivitamin-multimineral is a product with a formula made of nutrients that support the proper functioning of the organism.

These products are designed to meet the general requirements of the population, according to the statements of the international health organizations which established the recommended daily doses.

Nutrient reference value

Figure I. Nutrient reference values for adults.

European recommendations

In Europe, we can find the nutrient reference values (NRVs) in the regulation 1169/2011 from the EU. Above all, it establishes the amount of vitamins, minerals and some trace elements that are necessary for our body.

Recommendations for women

However, we know that, even if the NRVs meet the requirements of most of the population, they may not be enough in some cases.

For example, women of childbearing age need to take more iron than what is established in those reference values.

Even if they compensate the blood loss from menstruation with a higher iron absorption in the bowel (Ganz, Nemeth, 2012), women lose twice as much iron than men. Consequently, there are three times more cases of iron deficiency in this sex (Clénin, 2017).

Anemia is frequent in women

A chronic iron deficiency can trigger hypochromia and erythrocytic microcytosis and ultimately iron deficiency anemia.

This pathology is quite frequent in menstruating and pregnant women. This problem can be easily fixed by increasing the iron intake (McDonagh et al., 2015).

Diagram

Figure II. Tree diagram that reflect the RR between using or not using iron supplementation. Towards the left means that it is better for the group that took iron supplements.

A man who does not suffer an iron deficiency should not take high iron doses. This is due to the fact the risk of its accumulation in the liver and hemochromatosis is much higher than in women.

Iron saturation

Figure III. % of iron saturation in different pathological situations.

This should serve as an example of how:

Certain amounts of nutrients need to be individually adjusted depending on the circumstances of a specific group of people: in this case, women.

Women’s Multivitamins: Ultimate Women’s Multi

In HSN, we are aware that we have to adapt the multivitamin formulas to the needs of women. That is why we have come up with a more specific product for this groups than our classic Evovits.

Ultimate Women’s Multi was born after doing a rigorous screening of the scientific literature that reviews the role of different nutrients on women’s health.

Women's multivitamin

Figure IV. Ultimate Women’s Multi.

Product development

It has been specially designed to meet the essential micronutrient requirements of an athlete or a women who wants to be healthy and improve their nutrition.

These are some of the ingredients from its formula:

  • Complete water-soluble vitamin spectrum (B-complex vitamins and vitamin C)
  • 4 fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K)
  • Minerals like Zinc
  • Trace elements (like copper or selenium)
  • Plant extract (like aloe vera extract or cranberry extract)
  • Other nutrients like Lutein and Coenzyme Q10

From all of them:

  • A part provides a basic nutrient supply that anyone needs if we take into account the recommended daily doses to avoid nutrient deficiencies.
  • The other part has been specially formulated for women. For example, we can highlight the role of folic acid.

Lunges

Folic Acid

Folate is vitamin B9 which is sold as a supplement like folic acid. It is stable and the body breaks it down to its active folate form.

Folate is an important cofactor in different metabolic processes.

For example, this vitamin is reduced twice until it becomes tetrahydrofolate. This is a catalyst for the de novo synthesis of purines and nucleic acids, which is essential for erythropoiesis.

When there is a folate deficiency, the body synthesizes less DNA. Consequently, this affects the cell division process and the erythrocytes (red cells) are synthesized with a big medium corpuscular volume. This can result in an increase of the production of megaloblasts, also known as megaloblastic anemia.

Folate deficiency in women

There are many women who suffer a folate deficiency from puberty onward. This deficiency can be very dangerous for the growth of the fetus.

Women use a lot of folate during the embryonic development, increasing the requirements of this vitamin exponentially.

A folate deficiency during pregnancy can cause neutral tube malformations in the fetus. Some of them are incompatible with life (like anencephaly). But we can easily prevent this problem by increasing the intake of this vitamin.

That is why doctors advise folic acid supplementation for women even a month before becoming pregnant and up to 3 months after giving birth.

Folic acid supplementation during pregnancy is effective, lowering the onset of neural tube defects in almost a 75% (RR 0.28).

RR tree diagram

Figure V. Tree diagram that reflects the RR between using or not using folate supplementation on neural tube defects in the fetus. Towards the left means that it is better for the group that took folic acid.

Copper

Copper is a trace element that performs important functions in the metabolism such as making up different enzymes. These are responsible for many of the reactions of our metabolic system.

For example:

  • Amine oxidation.
  • Neurotransmitter synthesis.
  • Formation of cross-linked collagen.

One of its most interesting functions is the integration of ceruloplasmin, a protein that is in charge of oxidizing ferrous iron (FE2+) to ferric iron (FE3+). Consequently, it becomes bioavailable and it can be transported by transferrin (protein that transports iron in the blood) which is only compatible with FE3+.

A copper deficiency can lead to the onset of erythrocytic hypochromia and anemia.

Roller

Inositol

Inositol is a polyol that has proven to be effective when it comes to buffering the clinical symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome.

It is a very common pseudopathological disorder in women after puberty due to a deregulation of the androgen production. It is due to a high peripheral resistance to insulin and an increase of its production.

Polycystic ovary syndrome

Figure VI. Basic representation of the endocrine physiopathology of polycystic ovary syndrome.

Here you have a very interesting article about inositol’s potential to treat POS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).

Inositol and polycystic ovary syndrome

The polycystic ovary syndrome produces endocrine-metabolic alterations such as:

  • Hirsutism: increase in the production of body hair.
  • Oligomenorrhea: menstrual alterations until the period completely disappears, amenorrhea.
It is mostly controlled through the diet, physical exercise and body weight control.

But inositol also directly supports the hormone balance by supporting the absorption of glucose without having to produce more insulin. Consequently, it reduces the exposure to IRS-1 and buffers all the effects from the previous image.

Myo-inositol and insulin

Figure VII. Graphic representation of the mechanism through which myo-inositol improves the insulin sensitivity.

Lutein and Lycopene

Lutein and lycopene are carotenoids, like the beta-carotene used as precursor of the active form of vitamin A in the organism.

These carotenoids do not have “pro-vitamin A” activity. However, they have beneficial effects on their own due to their antioxidant properties.

Among all their functions, eye protection is probably the most important, since lutein accumulates in the eye macula (Ahmed et al., 2005).

It filters some of the light wave lengths, similar to the blue light from electronic devices. Therefore, both compounds are important eye protectors that can lower the onset of age-related degenerative maculopathy.

Blue light

Figure VIII. Exposure to blue light when using an electronic device.

Iron

It is the metal used by the body to produce different proteins such as hemoglobin and myoglobin, ribonucleotide-reductase, CYP450 or mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes.

Iron is necessary to obtain energy from the oxidation of nutrients.

However, its most popular function, and possibly the most relevant, is the formation of globular proteins from erythrocytes and the skeletal and heart muscle (hemoglobin and myoglobin, respectively).

Iron and anemia

Iron is essential when it comes to maintaining healthy globin concentrations:

  • Allowing the oxygen transport and retention in the tissues.
  • Maintaining an adequate red cell density (chromy).
Preventing symptoms which are very common in female athletes such as:  fatigue, apathy, anorexia and inability to tolerate efforts due to a low affinity between hemoglobin and oxygen.

Oxygen saturation

Figure IX. Simplified representation of the oxygen saturation process of hemogoblin.

Acai Berries and Mangosteen Extract

Acai and mangosteen are plants rich in nutrients, specially polyphenol compounds such as anthocyanins and procyanidins.

These pigments have a high ORAC, which is the ability to absorb reactive oxygen species (also known as free radicals). An overproduction of these elements is related to degenerative diseases, hemodynamic alterations, metabolic disorders and other negative health conditions.

Anthocyanins

Figure X. Simplified diagram that represents the protective mechanisms of anthocyanins against apoptosis (spontaneous cell death).

Cranberry Extract

Cranberry extract is a fruit with a high density of type A proanthocyadinins and other polyphenols which prevent the adhesion of bacteria to the epithelial cells from the urinary tract.

That is why cranberry extract has been studied due to its anti-bacterial properties against Escherichia coli resistant to different pharmacological therapies.

Due to the anatomical disposition of their urinary system, women have up to 50 times more risk than men of suffering urinary tract infections (Silverman et al., 2013).

Cranberry extract is effective as a prophylactic remedy due to its phytonutrient content. Specially for those women who are prone to suffering these infections, preventing the bacterial colonization of the urinary tract.

Urinary tract infections

Figure XI. Chart that gathers the results of 2 meta-analyses about the relative risk of suffering urinary tract infections when drinking pomegranate juice. RR<1 is good.

That way, it reduces the number of women who suffered this type of infections when compared to the group that did not take an extract.

Stretching

Pomegranate extract

Pomegranate extract has a lot of flavonoids (ellagitannins, gallotannins and ellagic acid).

These flavonoids have antioxidant effects on the organism.

One of their main functions is inhibiting the angiotensin-converting enzyme. This protein belongs to a regulation system known as RAAS whose expression increases the fluid retention in the organism.

Reducing the activity of this enzyme thanks to pomegranate extract is a way to prevent the onset of cardiovascular diseases, lowering the blood pressure and improving the heart function.

Moreover, it supports the diuresis and water elimination, preventing the onset of edema which can give an aspect of “fluid retention”.

Pomegranate juice

Figure XII. Decrease of the ECA expression in vivo after 2 weeks of drinking pomegranate juice.

Bibliography

Study 1-7

  1. Parlamento europeo, & Consejo de la unión europea. (2011). REGLAMENTO (UE) No 1169/2011 DEL PARLAMENTO EUROPEO Y DEL CONSEJO de 25 de octubre de 2011 sobre la información alimentaria facilitada al consumidor y por el que se modifican los Reglamentos (CE) no 1924/2006 y (CE) no 1925/2006 del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo, y por el que se derogan la Directiva 87/250/CEE de la Comisión, la Directiva 90/496/CEE del Consejo, la Directiva 1999/10/CE de la Comisión, la Directiva 2000/13/CE del Parlamento Europeo y del Consejo, las Directivas 2002/67/CE, y 2008/5/CE de la Comisión, y el Reglamento (CE) no 608/2004 de la Comisión (L 304/18).
  2. González-Hernández, 2010. Principios de Bioquímica clínica y patología molecular. 1ed Editorial Elsevier
  3. McDonagh, M., Cantor, A., Bougatsos, C., Dana, T., & Blazina, I. (2015). Routine Iron Supplementation and Screening for Iron Deficiency Anemia in Pregnant Women: A Systematic Review to Update the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).
  4. Panche, A. N., Diwan, A. D., & Chandra, S. R. (2016). Flavonoids: An overview. Journal of Nutritional Science, 5, e47.
  5. Clénin, G. E. (2017). The treatment of iron deficiency without anaemia (in otherwise healthy persons). Swiss Medical Weekly, 147(2324), w14434–w14434.
  6. Blumberg, J. B., Camesano, T. A., Cassidy, A., Kris-Etherton, P., Howell, A., Manach, C., … Vita, J. A. (2013). Cranberries and Their Bioactive Constituents in Human Health. Advances in Nutrition, 4(6), 618–632.
  7. Ganz, T., & Nemeth, E. (2012). Iron metabolism: Interactions with normal and disordered erythropoiesis. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine, 2(5), a011668.

Study 8-14

  1. Ahmed, S. S., Lott, M. N., & Marcus, D. M. (2005). The macular xanthophylls. Survey of Ophthalmology, 50(2), 183–193.
  2. Laganà, A. S., Garzon, S., Casarin, J., Franchi, M., & Ghezzi, F. (2018). Inositol in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Restoring Fertility through a Pathophysiology-Based Approach. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, 29(11), 768–780.
  3. De-Regil, L. M., Fernández-Gaxiola, A. C., Dowswell, T., & Peña-Rosas, J. P. (2010). Effects and safety of periconceptional folate supplementation for preventing birth defects. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (10), CD007950.
  4. Liska, D. J., Kern, H. J., & Maki, K. C. (2016). Cranberries and Urinary Tract Infections: How Can the Same Evidence Lead to Conflicting Advice? Advances in Nutrition, 7(3), 498–506.
  5. Aviram, M., & Dornfeld, L. (2001). Pomegranate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin converting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure. Atherosclerosis, 158(1), 195–198.
  6. Shema-Didi, L., Kristal, B., Sela, S., Geron, R., & Ore, L. (2014). Does Pomegranate intake attenuate cardiovascular risk factors in hemodialysis patients? Nutrition Journal, 13(1), 18.
  7. Liska, D. J., Kern, H. J., & Maki, K. C. (2016). Cranberries and Urinary Tract Infections: How Can the Same Evidence Lead to Conflicting Advice? Advances in Nutrition, 7(3), 498–506.

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About Alfredo Valdés
Alfredo Valdés
A specialist in Pathophysiology and biomolecular effects on nutrition and sportive activity who will show you the elaborate world of sports nutrition in his articles, employing a simple and critical writing.
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