A Closer Look at Women’s Health - Part 2

04 / 11 / 2024

In our previous Health Science News Page, we discussed some of the physiological changes that women face throughout their lifetimes such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, lactation, and menopause. A woman’s body needs extra nutritional support during these physiological transitions because her cardiovascular, endocrine, nervous and immune systems face different challenges than men due to the fluctuating hormones at different stages of life. In addition to heart disease and cancers, women are more often diagnosed with autoimmune diseases, arthritis, osteoporosis, and depression. Therefore, it is crucial to provide appropriate nutritional support to ensure the optimum function of the cells building these systems in a woman’s body.


Cardiovascular system: Heart disease symptoms in women are quite different from men, thus the diagnosis is often missed. Several nutrients including vitamins C, E, the B group of vitamins, folic acid, soy isoflavones and others work in synergy to enhance and optimize the functions of a healthy cardiovascular system. Vitamin C and the amino acids lysine and proline are critical in collagen synthesis which expands its benefits to producing and maintaining healthy tissues such as blood vessels, muscles, bones, skin, hair and nails. Additionally, vitamin C is also important for detoxification processes, enhanced immunity, and antioxidant protection. This is more than any drug can do. Vitamins C, E and the B vitamins are also involved in the essential bioenergy production required for optimum functioning of the heart and blood vessels. Hence they support healthy blood pressure, and cholesterol metabolism and maintain optimum levels of HDL, the “good cholesterol”, and lower the Lp(a) and LDL - the “bad cholesterol”.


Endocrine System: The optimum function of the hormonal system is critical at various phases of growth and metabolism. Although secreted in small amounts, hormones affect a woman’s metabolism throughout her life. Many symptoms such as PMS, menopausal symptoms, and migraines relate to hormonal imbalances. Vitamins C, B5 and B6, iodine, soy isoflavones, and selenium are particularly important in all aspects of hormonal functions and metabolism. The B vitamins affect cortisol, progesterone, and estrogen levels involved in metabolic aspects of female development, and stress response. Pregnancy, lactation, and oral contraceptive use, increase the risk of deficiency of vitamins C and B. In addition, excess estrogen in oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease. Plant extracts such as chasteberry fruit and red clover are known to balance the pituitary hormones, which in turn regulate estrogen and progesterone. The thyroid as well may influence estrogen levels, and iodine, an essential trace mineral, is needed for the healthy function of the thyroid.


Nervous system: The nervous system monitors and controls almost every organ system in the body. The cells that build it have extremely high requirements for nutrients to support the production of neurotransmitters and to maintain the cellular membranes of the nerve cells. These cells consume more energy than the cells in any other organ and, once damaged, have limited means of reproduction. The brain has the highest amount of vitamin C compared to other organs and it needs cholesterol for optimum function. Postmenopausal women are more prone to Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline and dementia due to decreased estrogen production and imbalance in the cholesterol metabolism. The most important nutrients for supporting the brain cells are vitamins C, B6 and B12, inositol, and choline working in synergy with other nutrients.


Immune system: The female immune system is challenged repeatedly during life changes, which increases the risk of autoimmune diseases and other health problems. Autoimmune diseases such as thyroid disorders, celiac and Crohn’s disease, arthritis, psoriasis, skin disorders, urinary infections and others, are the leading causes of disability in women. Vitamin C, the B vitamins, selenium, folic acid, soy isoflavones, and rosemary extracts are important for a healthy immune system.


The requirements and approach to nutritional supplements of men and women are quite different. Women generally are more accepting and more likely to research nutritional supplements than men are.


Dr. Rath’s nutrient synergy approach is based on the fact that specific natural compounds work together as a team and expand the actions and benefits of any individual compounds. The Dr. Rath Research Institute’s published research papers and patents for its various nutritional combinations support this fact and provide women with a foundation for a healthy life.

 

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