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Supplement Savvy
08/08/2022

In a sea of supplements, how do you know what’s gold and what’s a gimmick?

With 20 billion dollars being spent on supplements in 2021, it is clear that demand is high, but what is actually worth spending our money on, and what is just making our pee more yellow? We did the legwork so you don’t have to, and this is what a plethora of medical practitioners had to say when it comes to supplements beyond menopause.


Vitamin D

Vitamin D3 is needed to maintain calcium concentrations within a pretty narrow physiological range. This function is vital as the calcium ion is essential for a large variety of cellular and metabolic processes throughout the body. Vitamin D is also essential for:

  1. Making strong bones
  2. Building strong muscles
  3. Building a robust immune system
  4. Regulating blood sugar
  5. Supporting cardiovascular health and lowering blood pressure
  6. Protecting against memory loss
  7. Maintaining a positive mood and outlook on life

Now, you can get Vitamin D3 through the sun, but we also need to be wary of too much sun exposure (or if you live somewhere with a lot of rain, your issue might be not enough sun to even be exposed to!). We can also get D3 from eggs, salmon, or fortified foods, but often, this is not enough. Thus, a good quality vitamin D3 supplement can be a crucial piece of maintaining health as we age. Optimal levels of vitamin D3 are in the 70’s; taking 1000mg of Vitamin D3 a day will gradually rebuild levels so the body has enough of this vital micronutrient.

Probiotic

Are you experiencing things like low energy and chronic fatigue? Digestive issues (like gas and bloating)? Skin conditions like dry itchy skin, getting sick more often, feelings of anxiety or depression? These all indicate not enough of the right microbiome in your digestive system. Add a few rounds of antibiotics to that, and your gut health takes a hit. Think about the name “anti-biotic” which means against life! Whilst they kill bad bacteria, which is good, they also kill all the good bacteria, which is bad.

Countless scientific studies show there are beneficial effects of taking probiotics. They are linking probiotic supplements to:

  1. Improved digestion
  2. Weight management
  3. Increased energy
  4. Mental clarity
  5. Healthier skin
  6. Stronger immunity
  7. Reduce inflammation

Read more about choosing the rick probiotic for you here!


Multivitamin

Experts note that in some cases, taking a multivitamin can indeed be beneficial. They could be good for you if you are:

  • If you are at risk for or have certain diseases like anemia, osteoporosis or IBS/ colitis
  • If you take certain medications, like heart medications which can deplete important nutrients
  • If your diet is insufficient in some nutrients for example if you eat mostly processed foods or there are a lot of foods you just don’t like to eat.
  • If you're in a high-risk group based on genetics, or age.
  • You work out a lot. Physically active people actually need more vitamins and minerals to help their bodies recover from the activity
  • If you have high stress because stress can affect your digestion and nutrient absorption, as well as adrenal function.

Tips on Choosing a Multivitamin

  1. Choose capsules not tablets. Tablets often have a coating on them which has to be digested first before the vitamins are available to be absorbed
  2. One a day pills are unlikely to give you all you need. Some nutrients - like vitamin C need to be spread out in low amounts over the day
  3. Choose what’s called Bioavailable forms where the structure of the molecules is set up to be absorbed easily by the body
  4. A good multivitamin will also have minerals like zinc, manganese, selenium, copper, that act as cofactors necessary for proper neurotransmitter and hormone synthesis.

Whole food multivitamins are more easily absorbed and can be taken on an empty stomach. Made from organic fruits and vegetables, MegaFood One Daily is an example of a good all-around complete multivitamin that supports cardiovascular, digestive, cognitive and immune health.

Raw multivitamins are not heated during the manufacturing process, which helps keep probiotics and enzymes intact—thereby supporting a healthy digestive tract and providing essential vitamins. Garden of Life, Vitamin Code, Raw One are good for adults of all ages and suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Pharmaceutical-grade multivitamins are made with ingredients that mimic the nutrients found in whole food that are biologically active (e.g. readily absorbed by the body). Look for high-quality, high-potency multivitamins without artificial colors, hydrogenated oils or magnesium stearate, which inhibits the absorption of nutrients. Look for those rich in antioxidant vitamins C and E, and made without preservatives, sweeteners or artificial colors. Also, look for those free from gluten, corn, yeast, soy, dairy and egg if you have those allergies or GI sensitivities.

Omega-3’s

You wouldn’t try to drive your car if it didn’t have oil in it… So why do we think our bodies will work well if we don’t have enough of the right type of fats? Fats are interesting. There is so much information about fat in diet: essential fatty acids, high fat, low fat, no fat, milk fat, omega 3s, omega 6’s, saturated fat, mono-unsaturated fat, fish oils, and on and on. It can be a challenge to make sense of the story on fat and work out what are the right fats to eat. To cut to the chase - let's talk about Omega 3’s. Omega 3’s are poly-unsaturated fats found in ocean fish, grass fed meats, free range poultry and eggs. Omega 3 fatty acids are helpful in protecting against blood clots, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, colitis and inflammatory disease. Ensuring a regular supply of Omega 3 fats helps grease the wheels in your body.

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