Let's Talk Moms - Take care of yourself with the supplements you need

Let's Talk Moms - Take care of yourself with the supplements you need

There are an estimated 2 billion people, or 30% of the global population, that lack one or more crucial micronutrients. A multivitamin is the foundation of any nutritional supplement program. It typically contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that work together to help support metabolism, growth and physical well-being. Every multivitamin formula is different, providing various levels of complementary nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, some also offer amino acids (which are the building blocks of protein).

But can we get all the nutrients from the food I eat?  Especially with the demanding and busy lifestyle that most mothers lead.

Food processing, intensive farming and prolonged food storage are just some of the factors that diminish the nutritional value of the food that we eat. Cooking foods at high temperatures may deplete some of the nutrient content. So, eating a seemingly healthy diet may still lead to nutrient deficiencies.

And although each nutrient has specific functions, it is the synergy of all the essential vitamins and minerals that ensures optimal body function.

Let’s look at some examples of this synergy:

  • Calcium, magnesium and zinc work together to support bone health.
  • Copper and zinc compete for absorption sites in the small intestine. So, if there's a lot of zinc around, copper tends to lose out and a copper deficiency may develop.
  • With calcium and vitamin K2, the vitamin K2 protects arteries from calcium deposition.
  • Vitamin C enhances iron absorption.
  • Copper is also essential for absorbing iron from the gut.
  • Magnesium assists in activating vitamin D in the body.
  • And vitamin D supports calcium absorption.

As you can see, most vitamins and minerals work best together.

How can multivitamins support self-care?

Daily wellbeing

The body requires a total of 13 vitamins and at least 18 minerals, which are essential for health and must be obtained from the diet. These nutrients are utilised by the body’s enzyme systems, the catalysts necessary for the maintenance of life. Each has specific functions, but it is the synergy of all the essential vitamins and minerals that ensures optimal body function.1

Research suggests that multivitamin and mineral supplementation appears to be a significant factor for maintaining daily well-being.2,3


A common complaint in adults is feeling tired all the time or lacking in energy. The fast pace of modern-day life and lack of downtime is causing many of us to experience occasional fatigue. Key signs of low energy may include difficulty getting up in the morning, feeling demotivated and blood sugar imbalances.

Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are the major components of food and serve as fuel for the body. Adenosine triphosphate or ATP is the body’s energy molecule. ATP-generating processes in the body like the Krebs cycle are dependent on nutrients we obtain through our diets. B vitamins are particularly helpful in releasing energy from the foods we eat.

For energy support, it’s important to fuel the body with nourishing foods, including fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals, and to limit nutrient-poor snacks like crisps and cookies.4

Not only do vitamins and minerals support the production of energy, but B vitamins, magnesium and calcium are also involved in normal muscle contraction in the body and, therefore, support physical activities.5

Immune support

The immune system is under constant bombardment and needs to be able to work all day, every day for optimal daily wellbeing. Ensuring our diets are varied and include nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin A can help to support the immune system.

Vitamin C can be found in foods like oranges, lemons, kiwis and papaya. Numerous studies have shown that vitamin C may play a role in supporting immune defenses, as it is vital for the functioning of white blood cells.6

Vitamin D found in eggs, fish, mushrooms and soybeans is needed for proper immune system function.7 For individuals living in countries with less natural light during winter months, like France, Canada and Norway, vitamin D levels may not be optimal and additional vitamin D supplementation may be required. This is true for individuals with a darker complexion too, as melanin blocks vitamin D synthesis via sunlight.8

Nervous system support

Our busy lives can often make us feel overwhelmed and unbalanced. Finding some “me-time” in your day to look after yourself is vital to maintaining daily well-being. Good nutrition can help fuel the body during these times and is also important for maintaining psychological well-being and balance.

B vitamins are especially helpful in supporting the brain and nervous system, with vitamin B5 supporting mental performance, too.9, 10 Vitamin B5 can be found in seafood, shiitake mushrooms, avocados and whole grains.

When we’re stressed, our bodies tend to have lower magnesium levels.11 By eating more almonds, leafy greens and whole grains, you can improve your daily magnesium intake.

Oxidative stress

Oxidative stress is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body, which can lead to cell and tissue damage and contribute to accelerated ageing.12, 13 Oxidative stress occurs naturally due to normal cell metabolism but can also result from environmental factors like pollution, cigarette smoke and radiation.

Antioxidants, including carotenoids, vitamins C and E, selenium and zinc are also called “free radical scavengers” and help to neutralise free radicals by donating an electron to the free radical helping to stabilise it. Once the free radical is stabilised, it can no longer cause cell or tissue damage. By ensuring our diets are high in antioxidant-rich foods, we may help minimise free radical damage associated with an accelerated ageing process.14

Heart health

Homocysteine is made from protein in the diet. The amino acid, methionine, is converted into homocysteine. In a well-nourished body, this is then converted either back into methionine or on into other harmless compounds. Unfortunately, many individuals, including older adults, vegetarians and vegans, lack the appropriate nutrients needed for these conversions and are left with potentially damaging levels of homocysteine in their blood, including an increased risk of cardiovascular concerns.15, 16, 17

Fortunately, the protection against higher homocysteine levels is simple. It is simply a matter of ensuring an adequate intake of the vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid.18 When there is adequate vitamin B6 in the diet, methionine is converted into the harmless compound cystathionine. Both folic acid and vitamin B12 donate methyl groups to homocysteine – a process that converts homocysteine back into methionine.

What nutrients can enhance glowing skin, nails and hair?


In the skin, collagen forms the framework of the dermis - the thickest layer of skin. It is when collagen levels in the dermis drop that crow’s feet, fine lines and wrinkles may appear.19 As we age, our bodies are less able to maintain collagen levels. Science suggests that collagen levels may drop by as much as 1-2% every year in post-menopausal women.20, 21

Collagen in the dermis (middle layer of skin) also helps to form a matrix into which other important molecules embed themselves - molecules like hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid holds onto a thousand times its weight in water, helping to keep skin plumped-up.22, 23

Collagen gives skin its strength and elasticity. In addition to normal chronological ageing, bad habits and poor lifestyle choices like smoking, alcohol consumption, a high-sugar diet and too much time in the sun may also contribute to collagen depletion.20, 24, 25

Eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, exercising and limiting sun exposure may help to limit oxidative stress (free radical damage) that damages collagen and speeds up its loss. Many consumers are also opting for collagen supplements.26 Generally, collagen is sourced from beef, chicken or fish. If you’re vegan or simply looking to limit animal products in your diet, Skin, Nails and Hair Formula provides a vegan-friendly supplement with vitamin C to support normal collagen formation.

Vitamin C

Oranges and other citrus fruits are a good source of vitamin C. Consuming adequate amounts of vitamin C is important as humans rely on dietary sources since we can’t make our own.27 Vitamin C helps make and stabilise collagen. Vitamin C is found in high amounts in both the epidermis (outer layer) and dermis (middle layer) of skin, but as we age the levels of vitamin C in skin tend to decline.25 Collagen production is dependent on vitamin C. If vitamin C levels are low, the body won’t be able to make collagen. Vitamin C acts as a co-factor for the proline and lysine hydroxylases that stabilise the collagen molecule and promotes collagen gene expression. When collagen is stabilised by hydroxylation (chemical process), vitamin C also stimulates collagen production by fibroblasts (specialised skin cells).28

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

MSM is a source of sulphur. Sulphur is a yellow mineral found in high amounts in the skin and is often found in foods like egg yolks, cabbage, onions and garlic. As a component of collagen, sulphur helps support the skin and is also a building block of keratin – found in hair and nails.29, 30


One of the simplest ways to know if you need additional zinc in your diet is to look at your nails. Little white flecks (or Beau’s lines) on nails are one of the signs of zinc deficiency. Cashews, almonds and pine nuts are filled with zinc but despite zinc being found in some plant sources, vegans and vegetarians are particularly vulnerable to zinc deficiency.31 Zinc is helpful for managing problem skin and helps protect cells against oxidative stress.32, 33 This is because it acts as an important co-factor (a molecule that supports a biochemical reaction) for enzymes that support the proper functioning of the antioxidant defense system.34

L-lysine and L-proline:

Collagen is a protein high in three amino acids - glycine, lysine and proline. Together, they help to form the triple-helix structure of collagen.35 Soya-based foods like tempeh and tofu are great sources of these amino acids, as are most legumes.


Copper is needed for collagen formation in skin and does so by stimulating fibroblasts to make collagen.36 In addition, copper is known to support normal pigmentation of both hair and skin.

Red algae (silica)

Red algae is a source of trace minerals which are essential for playing a vital role in cell structure.

Information supplied by Nestlé.


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