By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
While most Mexican women recognize that their bodies undergo dramatic transformations around age 45 or 50 (primarily due to hormonal changes), few understand that their nutritional needs and internal metabolic processes begin to change as early as age 35.
As a result, many women undergo premature aging and energy loss during this stage of life, which, with proper lifestyle adjustments, could be avoided.
That was the message presented by nutritionist Paola Zarza Reynoso during a conference on women’s health organized earlier this month by the Thailand-based pharmaceutical corporation Besins Healthcare to present Inversion Femme, a new line of dietary supplements aimed specifically at women over 35.
“After age 35, most women find themselves straddling that thin line between youth and maturity,” Zarza Reynosa said.
“It is a period when they have to begin to prepare themselves for the changes that their bodies will undergo, even though this is generally when they are most active in life, raising families and holding jobs, which can lead to high levels of stress.”
Zarza Reynosa said that at about age 35, most women begin to lose muscle mass at a rate of about .5 to 1 percent per year, while gaining fat deposits, particularly around their waistlines.
“This process, along with a drop in estrogen levels, can totally reshape our bodies,” she said.
“And our only real defense against this process is diet and exercise.”
Moreover, she said, women over 35 become far more susceptible to a series of health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and diabetes 2.
“Lifestyle changes can help,” she said, “such as muscle-building and strength-building exercise, reducing sugar consumption, eliminating tobacco consumption, avoiding UV ray exposure and increasing our intake of antioxidants that can fight off the free radicals that age us.”
The best source of these vitamins and minerals is a healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, Zarza Reynosa said.
“There is nothing quite so healthy as a Mediterranean diet, low in carbohydrates and rich in fresh produce,” she said.
But since many women in their late 30s are busy attending to other priorities, and since the body’s ability to absorb and assimilate nutrients decreases as we age, Zarza Reynosa said that in order to meet their growing nutritional needs, most women over age 35 need to take oral supplements, such as Inversion Femme, which is tailored to the specific needs of women in this age group.
Produced in France and now available in Mexico at pharmacies and self-service stores nationwide, the three-pills-a-day Inversion Femme protocol provides women with the key vitamins A, B2, B5, B6, B8, C and E, as well as selenium copper and zinc, at a cost of about 20 pesos a day.
But while about half of all Mexican women over the age of 50 take regular dietary supplements, according to the National Association of Dietary Supplements Industry (Anaisa), only about 35 percent of women in the mid-30s through 49 take daily supplements.
“This is a big mistake,” Zarza Reynoso said, “and it can have serious repercussions in their health later on in life.”
“One of the most obvious indicators of health is our skin,” said dermatologist Rossana Janina Llergo Valdez, who also spoke during the conference.
“Without proper nutrient, our skin – especially the skin on our faces – begins to age, and while there is no way to prevent the natural aging process, we can slow its progress and prevent premature aging through a healthy lifestyle, including the daily consumption of dietary supplements.”
“About 80 percent of visual aging can be prevented by healthy lifestyle choices,” Zarga Reynoso said.
“Women over age 35 have to take timeout and attend to their physical health – which is very much linked to their mental health and physical appearance. It is a time of transition, and if we take time out to care for ourselves at this stage in life and commit to healthier lifestyle choices, we will have a far better prospect of being healthy and younger-looking during our later stages of life.”