Let’s face it, buying vitamins and supplements isn’t easy and it can get very confusing knowing which to buy, how much and which brand. In my clinic I get asked every day about these things. While many people don’t take anything at all, I generally advise them to at least take some basic things. It is nearly impossible to get all of the nutrients we need from food these days. Our soils are depleted, our guts don’t absorb things well and many medications rob our bodies of well-needed vitamins and minerals.
The answer as to which we should take isn’t so black and white, as we all have different needs. Proper testing would be the best way to know exactly but most do not have the budget for lots of lab tests. So here is my simple version of a few basic things most people should take on a regular basis.
Taking a high-quality multivitamin covers many basic needs for vitamins, minerals and their co-factors. I stress high quality here because many brands out there aren’t what they claim to be, whether not well absorbed or made from cheap ingredients, so you should be choosy on which brand to get. Stay away from those found at Walmart, CVS, etc. A multi can come in various forms: pills, powders or liquids. We sell both pill and powder form in our office made with quality ingredients in the right amounts and forms for proper digestion and assimilation.
Probiotics are basically the good bugs required for our gut. We produce our own and get them from food but again this gets easily compromised with improper diet, pathogens such as yeast and bad bacteria and most importantly from our overuse of antibiotics, which kills both good and bad bugs. Having the right balance of bacteria is essential for good health. Most of our immune system lies within our gut and most of our neurotransmitters like serotonin are produced in our gut. With a zillion brands to choose from this can be an even harder decision to make than choosing a multi! We use about 2-3 varieties in our clinic, none of which have to be refrigerated and contain many proven strains in proper amounts.
- Vitamin D
Next we have Vitamin D. Chances are your doctor is even talking to you about this nowadays. I especially hope they are testing your level as well. There are too many benefits to list here but the main one I want to stress is how immune protectant it is. I also want to say a deficiency in this vitamin is strongly associated with autoimmune disease, which is what I see in my clinic every day! For this one it is pretty important to know your level in order to know how much to take, so without knowing it aim for around 5000 IU per day. Must be taken with food for proper absorption. Sunlight helps too but you would need to be outside naked in full sun 15-20 minutes daily to get enough. Oh boy!
Lastly, and this is probably my favorite as I have seen it do so many positive things for so many people, is magnesium. Yes it is found in your multi but not enough of it. It is necessary for over 300 processes in your body. It is the most important mineral we need and the most deficient! I have seen it help with sleep, anxiety, PMS, constipation, muscle twitching and cramping, it evens helps you absorb calcium better from your food. Amount you need will vary but aim to get between 400-800 mg per day. Best forms are malate, glycinate and citrate. We stock it in pill form and recently started carrying transdermal forms: oil and lotion. You can even bathe in it, try some Epsom salt!
I want to emphasize this is just a basic summary and what your specific needs are may vary. If you need help choosing the right supplements or are interested in getting tested, please contact our office, we would be glad to help!