There are several supplements that most of us should consider taking as most of the population would benefit greatly from them, or is considered deficient in them.

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#1 ~ VITAMIN D

Vitamin D3, or the sunshine vitamin, is one of the fat soluble vitamins, and it acts like a hormone. Every cell in our body contains a Vitamin D receptor, which is why higher levels of Vitamin D are associated with a stronger immune system.  Vitamin D is also involved in bone health by regulating calcium absorption.

The sun is a source of Vitamin D – for a fair skinned person, about 10,000 IU of D3 can be absorbed in 20 minutes during prime time in the sun (between 10am-2pm). For those with darker skin, it takes closer to 2 hours.  While D3 is contained in some food sources, the numbers are low and most do better with a supplement. Outside, sunscreen blocks Vitamin D absorption. Other things that block absorption are obesity, poor fat absorption, medications, darker skin tones and genetics.

Vitamin D levels vary greatly from person to person thus the best way to know how much D3 to take daily is to get your levels checked via a blood test. Once your results come back, you should be looking for levels between 50-80 which are optimal. 30-50 is okay, but below 30 is deficient.
Check out Everly Well for at home testing!

Daily dosage for Maintenance:
For maintenance dosage, adults should take approximately 5000 IU daily, children 1000IU.
Vitamin D is better absorbed when taken with Vitamin K.
Take Vitamin D with a meal for best absorption – even better if that meal includes fat.

My Recommendations:
Nordic Naturals for the Kids
NutraChamps K2 + D3 Capsules

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Photo credit: kimwaggoner.com

#2 PROBIOTICS

Probiotics gained headway in the mid 2000s and most people now know what they area. Probiotics help balance the bacteria in the gut by adding good bacteria to promote digestive health, reducing bacterial overgrowth, bloating, and digestive issues.  95% of serotonin is in the GI tract, so when imbalances are present, serotonin levels can be affected and symptoms of depression and anxiety can present themselves.  Probiotics help to reduce sugar cravings by killing off bad bacteria that cause cravings, and they also boost immune health by stimulating white blood cells to kill unhelpful bacteria.

Daily Dosage for Maintenance:
1-2 capsules, at least 7 strains, 5-10 billion CFUs (Colony Forming Units)

My Recommendations:
Silver Fern Brand Probiotic: This one has been clinically shown to reduce cholesterol, inflammation and intestinal permeability. It was recommended to me for PMS symptoms and has worked great.  8 Billion CFUs, also contains a prebiotic to feed the probiotics, guaranteed survivability.

 

#3 ~ OMEGA 3s

Omega 3‘s are linked to mental health and brain health, most especially EPA and DHA.   Look for a supplement that contains both of these. We have to be smart about our fish choices, due to mercury contamination and other pollutants. Fish that are recommended are wild caught salmon, canned or fresh sardines, wild-caught herring, and Atlantic or Pacific mackerel.

  • Pregnant women who supplemented with Omega 3‘s were found to have children with higher IQ scores.
  • Those who had the lowest Omega 3 consumption were found to have the higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicide.

If you don’t eat fish, consider taking an Omega 3 supplement from a sustainable source.

Daily Dosage for Maintenance:
250-500mg combined EPA/DHA
Higher Dose: EPA 1000mg, DHA 500mg
Take with a meal

My Recommendations
LIQUID ~ Barleans 
Capsules ~ Carlson

#4 ~ VITAMIN C

Vitamin C is a water soluble nutrient that acts as an antioxidant in the body.  One molecule of Vitamin C disarms 1 free radical.

The body also uses Vitamin C to make collagen, which is connected with aging, to form and maintain connective tissue, and to assist in absorption of iron from plant based foods.

Additionally, Vitamin C is correlated with immune health (1).  Supplementing with high levels of Vitamin C has been advised for those suffering from colds or flu and even cancer patients.

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Daily Dosage for Maintenance:
1000mg combined EPA/DHA
Higher Dose when sick:  4000-5000mg

My Recommendations:
Liposomal Vitamin C
Pure Encapsulations Vitamin C

#5 ~ MAGNESIUM

Magnesium is a cofactor for over 300 enzyme reactions in the body and a deficiency of this mineral has been linked with various chronic diseases (4).  It is not surprising that 80% of the population is reported to be deficient in magnesium.

Magnesium regulates certain hormones that promote relaxation, which help with insomnia (2).  Those who have trouble sleeping could benefit from taking magnesium.

Magnesium is able to assist in neutralizing stomach acid and help with digestion, encouraging healthy elimination (3). Thus, those who are constipated can find relief in taking magnesium.

Magnesium is a cofactor for the binding of Vitamin D, and is required to convert Vitamin D to its active form.   These are a few of the main benefits of having sufficient magnesium levels in the body.

Daily Dosage for Maintenance:
400 – 1,000 mg a day

My Recommendations:
Magnesium with SRT
Calm Powder

#5b~ FOR VEGANS ~ B12

B12 is only obtained from animal products so strict vegans should take a B12 supplement (5). Vitamin B12 has several important roles, including DNA synthesis, cell division and the upkeep of the myelin sheath, which insulates the nerve cells.  While B6 is found in various plant based foods such as peanut butter, almonds, avocados, spirulina, and chia seeds, B12 is limited to animal products, with the exception of soy and fortified plant based products and nutritional yeast.  Spirulina is a also a source of B12.

Daily Dosage for Maintenance:
250 mcg of cyanocobalamin

My Recommendations:
Thorne Research B12
Jarrow Methyl B12

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Sources

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1940935/
(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23853635
(3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17151587
(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29849626
(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23356638
(6) https://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/b-vitamins-how-to-get-them-in-a-vegan-diet/

 

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