Supplements for women

Jun 9, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. ET

We've all heard the buzz about supplements and how they can boost our health. The only problem? Finding a brand or type that's right for you can be utterly overwhelming. Good news: femMED, a brand-new line of supplements just for women, is designed to treat or prevent female-specific conditions. We talked to the supplement company's CEO, Shawna Page, about what this new line of supplements means for women across North America.

FemMed For readers who have never heard of the line, what is femMED?

Shawna Page: FemMED is the first and only user-friendly line of doctor-formulated, 100-percent-natural supplements created just for women. Our supplements are condition specific and use the highest quality ingredients, each one backed by extensive research and clinical studies. What inspired you to create the femMED line?

Shawna Page: I've always been into natural health and have relied on vitamins and supplements for prevention, as well as to deal with any health concerns that arose. However, as I got older, I became increasingly frustrated at the lack of options available to women, and the clutter and confusion that's typical of today's vitamin aisles. I really wanted to simplify things and make it easy for women to take charge of their health. I'm the eldest of four daughters and the eldest of 14 granddaughters; I felt compelled to create something for women at every age and stage of life. Why is it important for women for take supplements?

Shawna Page: You may have heard the phrase, "if you eat a healthy diet then you don't need to take supplements." If you eat a whole-foods diet, with plenty of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats every day, then it may be possible to get what your body needs from diet alone. The reality is that most people don't eat healthfully on a daily basis. Fast and processed foods are prevalent in our diet, and these foods are typically nutrient devoid. Furthermore, there are a number of factors that actually deplete nutrients from our body such as stress, environment and the use of prescription medications. Nutritional supplements are necessary not only to make up for dietary deficiencies and depletion, but also to achieve optimum health and help prevent chronic disease. What makes femMED's all-natural products stand out from the crowd of supplements?

Shawna Page: FemMED is unique in that it is a complete line [of 13 products] created just for women. Our products are comprehensive formulas, which means we've taken all the thinking out of the equation and have combined all the necessary ingredients, in all the best forms, to address women's most common health concerns.

We also offer these benefits:

  • All of our products can be combined to achieve multiple health goals.
  • We use veggie caps (typical gel caps are derived from animal skin and bones!).
  • Supplements are made from the highest quality ingredients backed by extensive research and clinical studies.
  • The entire line of supplements is doctor formulated. Tell us about the femMED team. Who has helped you create this line?

Shawna Page: We have a dedicated team -- known as our Medical Advisory Team -- composed of about 20 experts. To create the line-up of "solutions," we brought our doctors (obstetricians and gynecologists) and naturopaths together and asked the following question: "When women come into your practice, what are they complaining about the most?" The answer to this question was very revealing, and that's how we determined what products to formulate. On the formulation side, we pulled together our formulators, master herbalist, integrative practitioner and naturopaths to help us create comprehensive formulas for each product. What is your philosophy for health and wellness?

Shawna Page: I believe wholeheartedly in taking control of your health and wellness. Education is a huge component that provides the confidence to challenge suggestions and can empower a person to do what is necessary to live a happier, more productive life. We have choices. Traditional allopathic doctors won't necessarily have the answers as they relate to prevention or natural solutions. For example, it isn't always necessary to take a pharmaceutical drug when a safe natural supplement can achieve the same goals.

A plan for optimal health should include a healthful diet, regular exercise, no smoking, stress management, adequate sleep and nutritional supplements. Women need to be proactive about their health. We know our bodies and should trust our intuition. If something doesn't feel right, check it out. If you don't feel satisfied with the answers you are getting, seek a second or third opinion!

FemMED products are available at Duane Reade and online. For more information, visit

More on supplements