How many pills do you pop in the morning, washed down with a shot of wheatgrass? Can you consume your own weight in kimchi? Or are you more of a kombucha kind of kid? Whatever your poison, it’s vital you know what’s in the supplements you’re taking. There are so many on the market that even choosing which is right for you can be a near-impossible task. Do you need turmeric, or collagen, or vitamin D? Or do you just think “Sod the research”, and neck a multivitamin from the supermarket?
Reports suggests that up to 62% of women in the UK take some form of supplement – but do we know what we’re putting into our body? Research by ConsumerLab in 2017 found that 46% of multivitamins didn’t do what they claimed, and 80% of chewable supplements failed its tests completely.
So how do you find one that works for you? It’s worth stressing that you should always do your research, not just on the science, but the sourcing and manufacturing of ingredients too. There are some brilliantly effective – and ethical – products out there right now, many of them made by women, for women. These are my current top three.
1 Rejuvenated Collagen Shots
Rejuvenated was founded in 2003 by health and wellness expert Kathryn Danzey, who enlisted the help of nutritional food- production scientists to manufacture her cutting-edge formulations. Each product contains high-grade, 100% active natural ingredients with long-term benefits. She’s all about “beauty from within”.
The award-winning Rejuvenated Collagen Shots are currently among my favourite supplements. Why do we need collagen? From the age of 25, the rate at which we synthesise it reduces by 1.5% a year – so by 45, our collagen levels have fallen by up to 30%. The visible effects of this process are wrinkles, fine lines and dry skin – and we can all see those.
Here’s the science. Research has shown that collagen taken orally can strengthen connective tissue and arterial walls, which in turn boosts blood flow and improves hydration levels in the skin. This can reduce the appearance of lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet, increase skin’s firmness, help elasticity and reduce dryness. Collagen Shots also support hair growth, bone and joint health, can calm gut inflammation and deal with menopausal symptoms including hot flushes.
You drink a shot every morning. It’s packed with marine-extract collagen, the antioxidant açai berry, hyaluronic acid, vitamins B and C, zinc and copper. How does it taste? I’ll let you be the judge of that!
£39.56 for a monthly subscription or £43.95 for 30 servings (rejuvenated.com)
2 Suvi Labs Botanicals + Collagen
Suvi is the Finnish word for summer, and company directors Charlene Charity and Kathrin Hojsholm McCreabelieve that women should be able to fully enjoy what ought to be the best time of their life. That’s why they decided to create natural products offering support to women experiencing midlife changes such as worsening PMS, perimenopause and menopause.
What I particularly like about Suvi Labs is that they’re keen to have meaningful conversations about health, beauty and wellbeing for women – which is also one of our goals here at Studio10. Their aim is to help prepare us for the physical and psychological changes ahead.
They’re coming at it from a standpoint of functional medicine, having suffered from that awful midlife cocktail of stress, anxiety, brain fog, sleep disruption and lack of energy. Rather than reaching for the antidepressants, they embarked on a programme of research development and came up with Botanicals + Collagen capsules,which combine seven natural ingredients to help reduce the symptoms of hormonal changes in the body.
If you want the science behind the ingredients: turmeric helps joint pain, inflammation and headaches; ashwagandha restores calm, boosts brain function and regulates blood-sugar levels; Siberian ginseng helps with energy and sleep quality; saffron is for PMS, hot flushes and low mood; vitamin D3 supports brain function and the nervous system; marine collagen is for the skin; and magnesium helps with low mood, PMS, headaches and sleep.
Up to 60% of women in midlife report difficulty concentrating, memory loss and brain fog, and this is something I’m really interested in. Ashwagandha root and curcumin, an anti-inflammatory found in turmeric, both have evidence to suggest they may be effective in slowing cognitive decline. If that’s the case, then I’m all for it.
£45 for a 30-day supply (suvi-labs.com)
3 Elle Sera The Empowerment Pill
“I knew I didn’t just want to make a good supplement, I wanted to make a great supplement, with a brilliant ethos, that delivered a strong impact on the world.” That’s what Elissa Corrigan, Elle Sera’s founder, told Marie Claire recently. Her Empowerment Pill has been described as a “female Viagra”, and the Daily Mail reports that sales shot up by 400% during lockdown as women looked to add some spark to their relationships.
Her product certainly makes a statement: gold-coloured capsules in a golden container. The message? “Be visible.” Her journey started when she realised how many fantastic, strong women felt like they were worthless – and surplus – as they got older. She figured that confidence for many was an “inside job”, and if she could help them feel better on the inside, then that would radiate on the outside, too. Isn’t that what I’m always telling you?
But the Empowerment Pill is about more than just confidence: it also claims to work on mood, energy, libido, immunity and anxiety. It uses five adaptogenic plants and extracts in its blend: maca, Siberian ginseng, ginkgo leaf, tribulus terrestris and beetroot.
Here’s the science… Maca has been shown to help balance hormones, improve mood and is said to enhance libido. Siberian ginseng helps support your immune system, increases energy, reduces stress and improves vitality. Ginkgo is a rich source of antioxidants and is positively associated with preventing degenerative diseases. Tribulus terrestris has antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. And beetroot contains dietary nitrate, which has important implications for positively managing cardiovascular health by helping lower blood pressure. But even if it just helped us all to have better sex in midlife, I’d be a fan.
£45 for a monthly subscription or £65 for a 30-day supply (elle-sera.com)