Important Vitamins For a 50-Year-Old Woman

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to get enough vitamins is from eating a balanced diet with a variety of foods. However, a woman who is 50 years old may need to pay special attention to certain vitamins to be sure she gets enough for good health.

A 50-year-old woman can eat nutrient-dense foods like spinach to get the vitamins she needs. (Image: oxyzay/iStock/Getty Images)

Folic Acid

Folic acid, or folate, is necessary in reactions such as synthesizing DNA and converting homocysteine to methionine. A 50-year-old woman might be at risk for folate insufficiency, because homocysteine levels increase with age. To keep blood homocysteine down by converting it to methionine, women may need extra folate. A folate deficiency can result in megaloblastic anemia, because red blood cell maturation requires folate. An insufficiency of folate can also lead to heart disease, because higher homocysteine levels can also cause heart disease. According to the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center, natural dietary sources of folate include green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits. Folate is also in fortified grains and cereals.

Vitamin B12

According to the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center, vitamin B12 is the most complex vitamin. Vitamin B12 is necessary in many physiological reactions, such as converting homocysteine to the amino acid methionine. This is especially important, because high homocysteine levels in the blood often indicate a risk for cardiovascular disease. A 50-year-old woman might need extra vitamin B12, because of the way the body absorbs it from the diet. Normally the stomach produces intrinsic factor, which binds to dietary vitamin B12 and allows absorption. People produce less intrinsic factor as they age and may have trouble getting the vitamin B12 they need from food. Dietary sources of vitamin B12 include animal products such as meat, dairy products and eggs.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps the body absorb calcium and regulates blood levels of phosphate and calcium, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health. Vitamin D is found naturally in cod liver oil and fatty fish skin. Other dietary sources include fortified dairy products. Most people get the rest of the vitamin D they need when ultraviolet radiation from the sun causes the skin to produce it and the kidney activates it. A 50-year-old woman, however, may need extra vitamin D to prevent a deficiency. This is because as people age, their skin is less able to synthesize vitamin D and the kidney is less able to convert vitamin D into its active form.

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