I’ve gotten a lot of interest in questions since I sent out last week’s newsletter on why taking supplements is important. So today I wanted to follow up on the most frequently asked question: what supplements do you recommend?
First though, I have to share that, if you know me well, read my book, or if you’ve worked with me, you know that I am not a fan of any “one-size-fits-all” recommendations! That makes answering this question a bit tricky, so I am going to broadly address this question and I want you to apply it to what you know about yourself through your own experience which includes if you are working with a doctor or other practitioner–I always recommend a customized approach!
Supplements are not a replacement for a poor diet but are meant to boost the nutrition coming from a healthy diet. When choosing any supplement to take, consider how this supplement is supporting your body as a whole.
Generally, the most commonly needed supplements by an average American include:
- Multivitamins – According to the CDC, the majority of Americans don’t meet their nutrition needs from diet alone. According to a CDC analysis of data from the 2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, only 9% of adults ate the recommended amount of vegetables and 12% of adults ate the recommended amount of fruit. Results showed that consumption was lower among men, young adults, and adults with lower incomes. Aside from that, the produce we consume today has lower levels of essential vitamins and minerals than the produce a decade ago because of soil depletion. I use Synergy-Com #3 from UltraLife.
Supporting a nutritious diet with a multivitamin supplement will ensure that the body has all the needed nutrients to function optimally.
- Fish Oil – Fish oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for regulating inflammation. Omega-3 has countless benefits and is necessary to achieve cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, and musculoskeletal health. In fact, in 2006, a study found that omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are a safer option for treating nonsurgical neck and back pain. Typically, individuals need to supplement 500-900mg of omega 3-fatty acids to meet optimal levels (I use Microbiome Labs’ Gut-Specific Fish Oil). Three servings of fatty fish, such as salmon and anchovies, per week, will provide the Omega 3’s your body needs.
- Magnesium – Did you know that magnesium is required for more than 600 enzyme reactions in the body? That’s how important magnesium is, but according to the World Health Organization, Americans don’t meet the FDA’s Recommended Dietary Intake. People who are deficient in magnesium may suffer from poor vitamin D metabolism, weakening of the bones, irregularities in heartbeat and blood pressure, problems with blood sugar, irritability and anxiety, fatigue, and muscle cramps and twitches. There are several forms of magnesium that address various needs (i.e. magnesium l-threonate is great for brain health and cognition; magnesium glycinate is great for sleep, magnesium malate is great for energy and muscle soreness, etc).
- Vitamin D – This vitamin supports bone health, mood, and immune function. Your body produces vitamin D through sun exposure, but it can be a challenge to meet the required 600 IUs of vitamin D per day. Factors such as limited sun exposure during winter months, old age, darker skin pigmentation, and the use of sunscreen and clothes that cover the skin from the sun all limit the body’s ability to meet its vitamin D demands. These are the reasons why you might need to take vitamin D supplements. According to studies, adequate vitamin D levels are associated with decreased stress fractures, decreased injuries in athletes, and decreased rates of upper respiratory tract infections. I’m a fan of liquid Vit D like Douglas Labs’.
- Probiotics – Knowing that all health issues stem from the gut, who wouldn’t want a healthy gut? And probiotics are the key to a healthy gut. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that reside in your gut. If there are imbalances in your gut microbiome, it can create nutritional imbalances due to poor absorption even though you consume a healthy diet and take supplements. According to research, supplementation with probiotics supports healthy immune response, regulation of inflammation, brain health, and weight management. Remember, it all starts with the gut. For more guidance on probiotics, click here.
Eating nutritious foods and living a healthy lifestyle is the best foundation for thriving health. However, as I’ve pointed out last week, there are plenty of examples why supplementing is important, especially amongst certain populations to fill in the gaps in daily nutrient needs.
Please also note that nutritional supplements are not regulated, so there can be huge differences in the quality of different brands. It is best to discuss your options with a health expert.
If you’d like to explore your health or nutrient needs and how you can take your health to the next level, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!