The 10 Vitamins Black Women Need

by T. Carter Williamson, BDO Contributor

You’re probably wondering why you need to know what vitamins are best for you because you already take a multivitamin.

Well, multi-vitamins, like the highly recommended One-A-Day Women’s, adhere to the updated DRIs (Dietary Reference Intakes) very closely, but even the best multi-vitamins can’t stuff everything in. Use this list, which includes the top 10 vitamins Black women need and the recommended intake, to cross-reference the multivitamin you take or are considering.

1.) Vitamin A

The recommended daily value is 5,000 IU (International Unit). 5,000 IU is too much for women with relatively healthy diets, which is why most multivitamins cut that amount in half.

2.) B Vitamins (B6, B12, riboflavin, thiamin and niacin)

B6: 2 mg (milligrams)
B12: 6 mg
Riboflavin: 1.7 mg
Thiamin: 1.5 mg
Niacin: 20 mg

Bs are in plenty of foods, especially vitamin-spiked cereals, so there isn’t usually a high need for more.

3.) Vitamin C

The recommended amount is 60 mg, but new research suggests that 60 mg is not enough. You can get more than enough from one glass of OJ, which packs 120 mg of Vitamin C.

4.) Vitamin D

800 IU. Without Vitamin D, your body can’t absorb calcium. Because it’s not in many foods, it’s hard to get through your diet.

5.) Vitamin E

30 IU, but research is being performed to determine if extra vitamin E protects against cardiovascular disease and/or cancer.

6.) Vitamin K

100 mcg (micrograms). Vitamin K works with Vitamin D and calcium to build bones, yet some multivitamins leave out Vitamin K altogether because it can interfere with blood-thinning drugs used to treat heart disease. If you are at risk, you should check with your doctor before taking extra K.

7.) Folic Acid

400 mcg.  Folic Acid is recommended for all women of childbearing age, as it is said to prevent birth defects.

8.) Calcium

1,000 mg.  Calcium is key in building and maintaining healthy bones.

9.) Iron

18 mg. Black women tend to be low in Iron. Be careful with taking in additional Iron because the body stores Iron and you don’t want to reach the toxic level of 45mg, which can cause diarrhea in the short term and problems like heart disease over time.

10.) Magnesium

400 mg. Most Black women don’t get enough of magnesium, which protects against heart disease, diabetes and colon cancer.

If you have additional questions about the types of vitamins you should be taking, don’t forget to ask your doctor.