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3 supplements a dietitian who specializes in women's health takes, including one that can boost mood

Kim Schewitz   

3 supplements a dietitian who specializes in women's health takes, including one that can boost mood
  • Natalie Carroll is a dietitian who helps people with gynecological conditions such as PCOS.
  • In her own life, she takes three daily supplements that can help with energy and inflammation.

Natalie Carroll has dedicated her career to helping women with gynecological conditions such as PCOS and endometriosis, pregnant people, and those with fertility struggles.

Carroll, a registered dietitian-nutritionist based in New York who works with Top Nutrition Coaching, believes in a food-first approach to addressing nutrient gaps in a person's diet and symptom management. But said that in certain situations, supplements can "bridge the gap," and get us "where we need to be in our health."

Before recommending supplements, however, she assesses her client's diet and ensures that they understand what the supplement will do for them, and how to get it from a reputable source.

Carroll shared the three supplements she takes that help her keep on top of all the nutrients she needs.

A high-quality multivitamin

Caroll takes a high-quality multivitamin daily to ensure her nutrient needs are met.

She started taking it about a year before she got pregnant with her first child, she said, and chose one that contained folic acid, a synthetic version of the naturally occurring form of vitamin B9.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every woman of reproductive age should take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily.

This is because half of pregnancies are unplanned, and when a baby is developing in early pregnancy, folic acid helps form the neural tube, which goes on to become the brain and spine. Folic acid can help prevent some major brain and spine birth defects.

Carroll said that if you are trying to get pregnant, you should also make sure your multivitamin contains choline, a nutrient found in beef, chicken liver, and eggs. Experts recommend getting 450 milligrams of choline daily during pregnancy to aid fetal brain development.

Vitamin D

Carroll said she lives in an area that doesn't get a lot of sun, and has been deficient in vitamin D in the past.

Vitamin D deficiency symptoms include fatigue, bone pain, muscle weakness, aches or cramps, and mood changes.

Although some foods contain vitamin D, which is crucial for bone and teeth health, sunlight is the best source. But it can be tricky for many people living in colder climates to get enough sunlight in winter.

To boost her vitamin D levels, Carroll takes a daily supplement.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Carroll also takes omega-3 fatty acids for their anti-inflammatory and heart-protective qualities, she said.

Experts recommend having two servings of fish each week — like salmon, tuna, or sardines — for their beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, EPA, and DHA. But supplements can be a good source, too.

BI previously reported that a 2022 study found getting just 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids a day could prevent heart disease and lower blood pressure. A review of 13 studies also found that omega-3 supplements helped reduce some symptoms of depression in those with major depressive disorder.