Vitamins B9 and B12 are essential for good daily health. They are even more so at the time of menopause.
What is the role of these two nutrients during this phase of a woman's life? What are the risks in the event of a deficiency ? What foods are recommended during menopause?
What is the role of B9 and B12 during and postmenopause
These two vitamins are essential to the body because they are involved in numerous physiological functions at all ages.
We will return to their roles during menopause .
The importance of folic acid B9
Also called folic acid, vitamin B9 is mainly involved in the metabolism of amino acids, in the cellular renewal of red and white blood cells and in the proper functioning of the nervous system and the immune system.
The English medical journal Gynecological Endocrinology published a study in 2010 showing that at the time of menopause, women who had sufficient intakes of vitamin B9 were less prone to disorders linked to hormonal upheaval: sweating, redness, chills, flushing. heat etc.
And this, even if they have a complex multifactorial origin.
Folic acid is also used to prevent cognitive decline as well as certain cardiac or neurodegenerative pathologies (Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, etc.). although there are no studies yet to confirm these actions of folate.
What is the role of B12 during menopause
Also called cobalamin, vitamin B12 participates in many functions in the body. Among the most important, we find in particular the proper functioning of the nervous system and psychological functions, energy metabolism, the formation of red blood cells and even the immune system.
So many even more essential functions during and after menopause. In addition, it helps regulate hormonal balance by reducing hormonal fluctuations and symptoms associated with menopause.
B9 and B12, a role in preventing breast cancer after menopause
Breast cancer is undoubtedly one of the most common female pathologies in France.
There is a one in eight chance that a woman will suffer from this disease during her lifetime. This risk increases even more with age, particularly after menopause.
Various studies have shown that a link can be made between the drop in absorption of B9 and B12 at the time of menopause and an increased risk of breast cancer but this still needs to be demonstrated with more studies. recent.
Conversely, optimal coverage of daily folic acid requirements would reduce the risk of developing such a pathology . Thus, women whose daily intake exceeds 520 μg/day are less exposed to breast cancer .
It should be noted, however, that this supposed protection only seems effective if the daily intake of vitamin B12 is also covered.
Absorption of vitamins B9 and B12 falls with age
Vitamin B9 and B12 deficiencies are often due to an unbalanced diet.
They can also be linked to medical treatment such as metformin (treatment of diabetes), to other pathologies or even to alcohol consumption.
With menopause, the absorption of certain nutrients occurs less efficiently. This is particularly the case for vitamins B9 and B12. It is therefore important to favor a diet incorporating more foods rich in vitamins. It is also possible to correct insufficient intake through diet by using food supplements rich in B9 and B12.
What are the daily requirements for B9 and B12?
Daily requirements for folic acid and cobalamin change throughout life.
At the time of menopause, the recommended nutritional intakes are:
- 400 µg of vitamin B9 from the age of 14. This quantity changes in pregnant or breastfeeding women but is unchanged during menopause;
- 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12.
However, for vitamin B12, it is now known that these standards are very insufficient, particularly for all diets with a low proportion of animal proteins (flexitarians, vegans, vegetarian). There is a consensus to now recommend 10 mcg/day (when taken daily).
What foods are recommended during menopause?
With the cessation of hormonal cycles, the metabolism slows down significantly. Thus, the number of calories needed per day is approximately 200 calories lower between a woman of childbearing capacity and a postmenopausal woman.
It is therefore essential to reduce food intake and maintain regular physical activity. Otherwise, weight gain occurs quickly.
Although the food ration must be less rich in calories, it must nevertheless cover all daily needs, particularly vitamins B9 and B12.
What foods are richest in vitamin B9?
Folic acid is found in many foods . However, some contain more than others (values per 100 g):
- Chicken liver: 670 µg;
- Foie gras: 566 µg;
- Legumes (white beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc.): between 230 and 370 µg;
- Raw leafy vegetables such as spinach or dandelion: between 180 and 200 mcg;
- Parsley: 160 mcg;
- Nuts: 155 mcg.
- Hazelnuts: 100 µg;
- Melon: 110 mcg.
- Cauliflower, broccoli or Brussels sprouts: between 80 and 100 mcg;
- Lettuce, lamb's lettuce: 80 mcg;
- Cheese and eggs: between 60 and 70 mcg.
What foods are richest in vitamin B12?
As with folic acid, certain foods are rich in vitamin B12. Thus, the contents for a 100 g portion are:
- Calf or beef liver: 60 to 65 µg;
- Kidneys: 30 to 60 µg;
- Oysters: 14.5 µg;
- Smoked herring: 14 µg;
- Canned sardines or mackerel: 9 µg;
- Mussels: 8.5 µg;
- Salmon: 7 µg;
- Cheese: 1 to 3 µg;
- Yogurt: 0.2 µg.
Cobalamin (vitamin B12) is not present in fruits and vegetables and it is also weakly present in many animal products: you would have to consume around 4 kg of chicken fillet to obtain the daily 10µ*g!
As a precaution, in the majority of cases, vitamin B12 supplementation is very useful and obviously essential for low-meat diets to avoid any deficiency during menopause.
Food supplements rich in B9 and B12 make it easy to cover these needs, supporting an otherwise properly balanced diet.
Food supplements: a safe way to have sufficient intake of folic acid and B12
Food supplements are a simple and reliable alternative to ensure sufficient intake of vitamin B9 and B12.
The Argalys Multivitamin and Mineral formula is well suited to postmenopausal women.
Designed for daily use, each capsule contains:
- 100% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for vitamin B9
- 10 µg of vitamin B12, corresponding to the new standards currently being applied (400% of the AQR)
- A broad spectrum of vitamins (A, B, D, E, H) and minerals including magnesium, to fight fatigue.
Our ideal Essentials for menopausal women: