Supplements are multibillion-dollar industry in the United States and are not regulated by the FDA. As such, it is difficult to be certain that you are getting what is advertised by the supplement manufacturer. It’s important therefore to find high quality supplements that have a great reputation but are consequently more costly. Supplements such as Nordic natural’s, Metagenics, Standard Practice and Premiere are all high-quality brands and of course there are many others. It can be dangerous to buy supplements that are lower cost from bargaining baseman outlets. For example, poor quality fish oil often contains high levels of mercury which is toxic.
A mistake that people often make is thinking that supplements will counteract their poor diet and therefore they can eat most anything with abandon! This is far from the truth. There is no substitute for a good diet. Plant based diets with minimal amounts of meat protein and minimal processed food are the way to go. Meats that state that they are “free range” and vegetables and fruits that are “organic” have potential health benefits but can they’re advertising can also be misleading. However, adhering to a stringent dietary regimen can be expensive, difficult and boring. So, if you are going to eat properly, cut yourself a break occasionally, to enjoy pleasure foods.
So here a few supplements that may make a difference in your overall health. First, vitamin D deficiency is a problem in our environment where sunlight exposure is at a minimum. As such, supplementing with vitamin D3 1000-2000 international units per day can have a significant improvement in your health, calcium regulation and bone health. This vitamin protects against cancer, chronic pain syndromes and some autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D should be taken with a fatty meal to improve absorption.
Second, fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids) which contained DHA and EPA are healthy fats which improve cholesterol, brain function and are strongly anti-inflammatory. They reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. A typical dose is 1-2 g per day. Fish oil should not be taken with anticoagulants.
Third, Antioxidants, of which there are many; the most common of which is vitamin C appears to help deal with the body’s level of oxidative stress, cancer prevention, immune function and detoxification. Typically, a mixed antioxidant formula may have the precursors of vitamin A, C and E as well as a mixture of Phyto-nutrients or could be taken is some mixed fruit and vegetables supplement daily. Many people will take at least a gram of vitamin C per day and more during the “cold & flu” season.
Forth, B vitamins play a vital role in maintaining good health and well-being. As the building blocks of a healthy body, B vitamins have a direct impact on your energy level, brain function, and cell metabolism. Vitamin B complex helps prevent infections and helps support or promote cell health, growth of red blood cells, energy levels, good eyesight, healthy brain function, good digestion, healthy appetite, proper nerve function, hormones and cholesterol production, cardiovascular health and muscle tone.
Lastly, consider a good, high quality multivitamin which will contain many of the vitamins and minerals which may lacking in your standard diet. A good, high quality multivitamin can prevent you going overboard with unnecessary ala carte supplements which in combination can reach toxic levels for the body.
So, that’s all for now. Remember, there is no substitute for a healthy diet, good rest and routine exercise, but supplements can help to improve your already good habits.