The 5 Pillars of Vitamin Supplements

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I get many questions in my classes, seminars and practice… “What vitamins should I take?”

This is a loaded question, but I’ve been able to recommend a good foundation for supplementation. This, of course, is dependent upon a good diet and lifestyle, which we’ll probably go into another post.

So here we go. The five pillars.

1) A high quality Multivitamin. Centrum one-a-day is not an option (sorry Centrum!) I have some pharmaceutical grade recommendations on the website, but barring that, “Nature’s Way” is an acceptable brand.

2) EPA/DHA, also known as Fish Oils. These can help with mental function, cardiovascular health, and countless other conditions. Suffice it to say, they should be a mainstay of everyone’s nutritional regimen.

3) Probiotic. We have bacteria in our intestines that help us digest food and manage our immune system. If we have a proper balance, we’re in good shape. If we don’t, then we may find ourselves with frequent colds, flus, and other immune compromising conditions. If we can simply provide our intestinal tract with beneficial probiotics, we can decrease the probability of catching the cold, flu or other maladies.

4) Green Drink. How many servings of vegetables do you get in a day? Canned vegetables and french fries don’t count! One serving of vegetables is basically 1/2 cup of any raw vegetable. There are exceptions, but this is a general rule of thumb. Studies say we should be getting 7-10 servings per day. I know it sounds like a lot, but you can do it! If you can make this amount happen, and your fiber intake is adequate, (yet another blog post), then you can take a “Green Drink” These supplements are processed in such a way that the nutritional content is preserved, but most of the fiber is taken out. You can get the nutritional amount of 10 servings of vegetables in one serving of my favorite Greens Drink, “Greens First”.

5) This one is variable based on gender. For women, I recommend a high quality calcium supplement: 1200mg Calcium, at least 600mg Magnesium, and 400IU’s Vitamin D. Actually Vitamin D should be higher based on many recent studies (Boy do I have to catch up on my blog posts!! Vitamin D is SO beneficial for so many reasons!). However, a good “all around” supplement should have all of these combined. These levels are for PRE-menopausal women. Contact our office for post-menopausal recommendations, and for issues with osteopenia and osteoporosis. These conditions can definitely be worked with successfully. I’ve been able to help people reverse them with the proprer regimen without pharmaceutical intervention.

For men, I recommend a good selenium supplement as this can be good for prostate health. Eating 7 Brazil Nuts per day can give you what you need and your high-quality multivitamin may give you just that. Making sure you are taking care of your prostate health EARLY will help. There are other things that can do to stave off BPH (Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy), but we’ll have to go into that in another article.

You can find many of these supplements at your local healthfood store, but can find find much higher quality supplements at your naturopathic physician’s office. Either way, this is the minimum I would recommend for a healthy lifestyle as far as supplements.

It’s also important to recognize that some pharmaceuticals you may be taking will deplete nutrients in the system. Statin drugs for example (to lower cholesterol) deplete CoQ10. Some diuretics for kidney health deplete electrolytes like potassium and magnesium.

Please call me directly if you have questions! I’m happy to talk with you for a few minutes, and as always, an office visit to go over what you are taking or what you should take may be warranted. Always consult your physician before starting a new nutritional regimen!


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