Q: What is the best supplement to take for a 45 year old woman of otherwise good health? I did the Real-Age test yesterday and was doing really well until it came to diet then I suddenly got much older! My weight is in the top of the normal range for my height.
– Barbara in Canada

A: The basic supplement program includes a moderate-dose multiple vitamin and mineral that supplies approximately 100% of the Daily Value for a wide range of nutrients. If you don’t consume daily at least three calcium-rich foods, such as nonfat milk and yogurt, and lots of magnesium-rich whole grains, wheat germ, soy products, and legumes, then consider supplementing your multiple with extra calcium and magnesium, since no one-pill multiple contains enough of these two minerals. In a few cases, you might want to tailor this basic program with a few other supplements to meet your personal needs, such as black cohosh if you’re battling menopause symptoms or glucosamine for arthritis. Two good generic supplements (you’d still need to take extra calcium and magnesium) are Centrum and Nature Made’s Essential Balance (take Centrum Silver or Mature Balance if you are post-menopausal.) The two best supplements can be obtained over the internet: NutriGuard’s Broad Spectrum (with iron if you’re premenopausal and without iron if you’re postmenopausal) or Metabolic Maintenance’s Basic Maintenance (again with or without iron). The last two are complete, so you don’t need to take anything else by those. – Elizabeth Somer