Chances are you have wondered about this question…Perhaps even asked Google about it.
I hope that you have asked me about it too if you are my patient because there is an answer. Do I need to take supplements if I have a good diet? What supplements should I take daily?
My answer is usually it depends, but likely yes, you do need to be taking some supplements. What you need is somewhat individualized to current wellness, health goals, prescriptions you’re on, dietary, and physical activity habits. Based on scientific research I do have a few supplements that I believe everyone would benefit from. Hang-on I’m going to share those with you in a minute.
If you’ve spent any time talking with me about health, you know that I believe that people can not address health issues by pill (prescription or supplement) alone. There needs to be room in your tummy for real food, clean water and yes, herbal infusions like coffee and tea. My patients and I regularly talk about what they eat and how it fits into their health goals because people must eat food to fuel their energy, repair muscles and bones, make neurotransmitters and hormones and so much more. Conversations about food go beyond proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in my clinic because health or illness depends on those details. Generally, people of all ages and levels of health need a few core supplements to support good physical and mental health.
Supplements most “healthy” people need:
Multivitamin: I have a few favorite multivitamins that are formulated with the right forms of vitamins and minerals for optimal absorption and energy support. I usually advocate sticking to a capsule multivitamin as often tablets pass through the GI track largely intact. I figure if I’m spending money on something it should be the right formulation for my needs AND be absorbable, especially since the cost is usually comparable to tablet forms of multivitamins. There are also recent studies which suggest taking a regular Multivitamin supports memory health, especially in the elderly.
Mineral Products: Vegetables are less minerally rich today in comparison to past decades due to agricultural practices. Large scale food production and little soil repletion means depleted soil and depleted veggies. Glyphosate (active ingredient in Roundup) was invented in 1970 and is now heavily used in human and animal food crops, including corn, soybean, oil seeds, grains, and some fruits and vegetables. Glyphosate binds minerals in our soil, preventing food crops from absorbing them, thus making our food chain lacking in these important co-factors for most hormone and enzyme activities in the body. Everyone you see has some mineral insufficiencies if not frank deficiencies…a good quality mineral supplement, either a specific mineral or a combination is very helpful for most people’s immune and mental health per countless studies.
Omega-3/Essential Fatty Acids: Many people don’t like fish or just don’t eat it on a regular basis due to concerns regarding sustainable fishing practices or heavy metal/pesticide contamination and thus don’t get important omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are important anti-inflammatories, and have benefits for reducing heart disease, lowering blood pressure, lowering bad cholesterol (LDL and triglycerides) and raising heart protective cholesterol (HDL). Research also suggests Omega-3 fatty acids support cognitive sharpness and memory and reduce depression.
Probiotic: The data is clear that our microbiome are vital to our health, playing big roles in immune function, inflammatory processes, hormone and neurotransmitter production. It is also constantly under assault from environmental toxins, everyday chemical agents, and antibiotics. In addition to feeding gut flora soluble fiber, regularly repopulating with beneficial bacteria is required to have all the benefits that this diverse population of organisms provide.
Vitamin D: Depending on the time of year and geographic location, most people would benefit from taking vitamin D3. Many of us in Washington state can’t even make vitamin D due to the low UV light index from October to April. This “vitamin” also acts as an important hormone in our body with important roles in mood, memory, immune and heart health.
If you are wondering what vitamins are right for you, or if there is a way to optimize and reduce the number of pills you need to swallow, please schedule an appointment to review supplements and prescriptions and how they relate to your short and long term health goals.