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Do women's nutritional requirements change after menopause?

Answer by:
David Kiefer, MD

Family Medicine, WebMD Medical Expert
University of Arizona, Tucson

Yes. Women need to get a little more calcium after menopause, for instance, to maintain strong bones. The recommendation increases from 1,000 mg a day before menopause to 1,200 mg after menopause. On the other hand, women need less iron after menopause, since they are no longer losing iron with menstruation. Both before and after menopause, the basic advice is the same. Eat a healthy diet, with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy, to get the nutrients you need. Consider taking a multivitamin just to make sure all your needs are covered. And talk to your doctor about whether to take additional supplements, such as calcium and vitamin D.

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