A friend came up to me the other day and asked me, ”Nadia what supplements do you think everyone should be taking.”

I looked at her and smiled. It is not such a simple question to answer because everyone is different and has different needs. In functional medicine there is a saying that goes, “You are not what you eat, rather you are what you absorb.”

In an ideal world, when the earth was rich in nutrients and the animals were able to graze freely in the sun and eat lots of grass, we were eating very healthy and were getting a lot of nutrients from the animals and plants we consumed. That world does not exist any more. We are bombarded with lots of toxins from everywhere: The air we breath, the water we drink, the chemicals in our personal care and household products, to the pesticides that are sprayed on our vegetables and fruits. The hybridization of the plants with low dense nutrients does not help at all thus making things bigger, more uniform in shape but less nutritious.

Lots of processed food and refined carbohydrates and sugar flooding the markets are just adding more fuel to the fire.

As a result, people are suffering more and more with immune issue, inflammation in the gut and an imbalance in bacteria. All of this is not helping us digest, breakdown and absorb the nutrients from our foods. Hence, we are not nourishing our cells.

When all is said and done, we need to remember that we are all different but, there is a list of what I think make up an essential supplement protocol that everyone should be taking on a daily basis.

 

High quality multivitamin

This multi vitamin should consists of a variety of vitamins and minerals in the active form that the body can easily convert once broken down in our body,as opposed to synthetic and hard to be broken down minerals which are usually found in many cheaper supplements.  I would recommend the brand “Metagenics”  phytomulti.

 

 OMEGA 3 FISH OILS

The benefits of Omega 3 are very high and are known to help reduce inflammation and stops artery blockages. You have to know what type of fish oil  is used and the importance of the EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahhexaenoic acid) ratio. If you have an Autoimmune  disease, or are suffering from inflammation, then you want your EPA ratio to be much higher than your DHA.  IF you have heart issues, brain, eye and cell membrane issues then you want your DHA to be higher than your EPA.  That’s why eating fish is very beneficial for you.

A very good source of fish oils is Carlson, Nordic Naturals or Green Pastures –fermented cod liver oil.

 

PROBIOTICS

We are hearing more and more in the science literature about the importance of gut bacteria and how important it is to keep the the balance between the good and bad under control. If we tip the scale towards the pathogenic type then we are allowing disease, inflammation, leaky gut, depression and anxiety to settle in because most of our serotonin 90 % is produced in the gut and the other 10 % is in the brain. If we want to prevent any form of disease or illness we need to make sure that our gut microbiome is in check because this will promote a healthy GI tract and supports overall wellness.

One needs to know what they are treating in order to select the right type of probiotics, but in general for a healthy person or for a maintenance, then I would recommend this brand for adults: Renew life adult, probiotics

Children should also take probiotics, and for them I recommend Smarty pants –chewable probiotics

 

VITAMIN D

Vitamin D is a crucial vitamin and is required for many of our hormonal reactions that take place in our body such as metabolism, growth and development of mood. There are over 50, 000 reactions that require the presence of Vitamin D in our blood, that is why it is very crucial to have adequate levels of vitamin D. We obtain it only from the sun. When the skin absorbs vitamin D it converts it into a hormone. Hormones in general are our chemical messengers that go around our body reacting with our tissues and organs.  Researchers have recently been  finding out the vital importance this vitamin plays in the building of bone strength, heart health, cancer prevention and our immune system overall. It also can be a determining factor in whether or not you develop an autoimmune disease.

Conventional medicine defines vitamin D3 levels of 30 to 100 ng/mL as normal, But Functional medicine likes to see it in the higher ranges anywhere from 60 to 80ng/ml for optimal health. Get you levels checked, if they are not in that range. I highly recommend you get your levels up to par by taking  5,000 to 10,000 IU per day until you reach your ideal level.

I like to use the combination of Vitamin D and K2 (the forgotten vitamin) because it plays a critical role in building and retaining bone density and also keeping calcium from running rogue in the body and causing dysfunction. Vitamin K is also vital for normal clotting function.

I would recommend Design for health “vitamin D supreme” from amazon

If you already have a vitamin D, and you only need the K2 then I would order Jarrow  MK-7 from amazon

Children also should take vitamin D3+k2 in liquid form 1000 iu

I recommend the brand PURE K/D liquid

Never take more than 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day without a physician’s supervision and regular blood testing.

 

MAGNESIUM

This is one of the most important minerals- many people don’t know it, and doctors don’t test often for it. Magnesium controls over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, most of which promote relaxation- whether in the head, heart or gut, for exmple constipation, headaches, anxiety, heart palpitation, hypertension, insomnia, asthma and muscle cramps.

The next time you visit your Doctor make sure to ask them to test your magnesium in red blood cells (RBC) not in the blood (serum) to give you a better understanding of where your magnesium levels are.

 If you have kidney problems be careful to supplement with magnesium because it increases urination and work with a doctor, and get regular tests.

If you suffer from constipation = I recommend Magnesium citrate

If you have headaches = I recommend Magnesium Taurate

If you have achy muscles = Magnesium glycinate

If you can’t absorb magnesium because of your gut, then use Epsom salts baths or oils.

Magnesium is very important because it is required to convert Vitamin D to its final active form in the body and It will help to alleviate achy muscles and tightness in your body.

 

B COMPLEX

These are a group of B vitamins that are very important to be part of your daily supplements because of all the stress that we encounter in our everyday life.

B Vitamins are critical because they help in keeping the liver functioning very well. They provide antioxidants that help the liver to detoxify the unwanted chemicals such as heavy metals, histamines and bacterial toxins that you could be at the root of your immune or neurological challenges.  I recommend Pure, B complex

 

 I hope you found these supplements informative. You can purchase them on Amazon.Com. Before you begin supplementing please check your levels and check in with your Doctor or health provider to give you the green light.

 

Small Changes for a Healthier “U”

 


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