The 5 Most Important Supplements: Multivitamin, D, B Complex, Fish Oil, and Probiotic
Updated: Dec 15, 2021
We are going out on a limb here and asserting that these are the five most essential supplements for you to take. Although the subject is open for debate, focusing on these five will build a foundation of health to get you started. At Optimal Hormone Health, when we draw your blood, other deficiencies could emerge, and we will treat and recommend supplements appropriately.
You have likely heard many people say that you should get all of your vitamins and minerals from your diet. In a perfect world, this might be possible and certainly is worthy of an effort, even with supplementation. Plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, nuts, seeds, and eggs should be a part of everyone’s diet. Vitamin and mineral supplements can not and should not replace a good diet. To cover those days when you don’t eat well, expend extra calories, go traveling, and go way off the deep diet end, taking supplements will cover the gaps. Let’s take a closer look at the ones we recommend and why they are in our top five.
Multivitamins are a broad term, and if you pick up two different brands, you will see widely varying amounts and types of vitamins in each bottle. To simplify things, we recommend Fullscript vitamins and supplements that we order through our proprietary arrangement. We prescribe what we think you need, and you order online. Fullscript has top-quality, professional-grade supplements, including the well-regarded Metagenics, Ortho Molecular and Integrative Therapeutics and more.
At the very least, these vitamins should be in a multivitamin:
B Vitamins (Methylated)
The recommended dosages will vary depending on the brand, so you might require additional supplementation of a particular vitamin. You may notice the percentage of Recommended Daily Allowance, which is set by The Department of Health and Human Services, which defines RDA as the following: “RDA is the average amount of a nutrient a healthy person should get each day. RDAs vary by age, gender, and whether a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding. For example, the RDA for vitamin C is 80 mg a day for a pregnant teenager and 90 mg a day for men. RDAs are developed by the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.”
Of course, there has to be some standard application of each vitamin and mineral amount. Still, conversely, it doesn’t account for individual differences and needs—moreover, additional research on all of the supplements are not necessarily reflected in the RDA. The RDA recommended amount may not be correct for you and your individual needs.
Few foods naturally contain vitamin D. Sun exposure is a good source of vitamin D, but getting enough can lead to skin cancer. So, supplementation is the best option since Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in people over the age of 65. You need vitamin D for bone growth, immune function, glucose metabolism, reduction of inflammation, and its positive impact on infections, including COVID. One study showed a decrease in mortality relates to vitamin D treatment.
A study published by JAMA and reported in Harvard Health Publishing showed that “The rate of metastatic or fatal cancers was 17% lower in those who took the vitamin D supplement. However, the benefit was restricted to people who were not overweight or obese.” The recommendation based on these results is if you have a family history of cancer or other risk factors, it is advisable to take supplemental vitamin D.
B vitamins play a critical role in maintaining good health and well-being. They contribute to a healthy body and impact your energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism. Other benefits, according to Healthline, include:
growth of red blood cells
healthy brain function
proper nerve function
hormones and cholesterol production
It is possible to get adequate vitamin B complex through diet. But many of the sources of vitamin B are animal products which ideally should be organic and grass-fed. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you will need supplementation, specifically of B12, to reach adequate levels.
Much of the benefit of fish oil comes from Omega-3 fatty acids. The body cannot make Omega-3 fatty acids, so you need to get them in your diet (tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring) or through supplements.
Omega 3’s can reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels in the blood, which is beneficial for heart health. They have also been shown to lower blood pressure, improve brain function, improve liver health, rheumatoid arthritis, and improve joint pain.
Probiotics are receiving a lot of attention lately due to their role in maintaining good gut health. Probiotics are good bacteria that fight off the harmful bacteria that make you sick. Good bacteria help reduce inflammation, which has been implicated in everything from depression to Alzheimer’s disease.
Probiotics help to protect the lining of your gut. You may have heard the term “leaky gut,” which is when the protective barrier of your intestines has cracks or holes that allow toxins and bad bacteria to enter your system.
Some of the best sources of probiotics are yogurt, tempeh, kimchi, miso, kombucha, pickles, and kefir. Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables along with adequate fiber also go a long way to supporting our gut health. If you can’t get an adequate intake of probiotics, supplements are a good alternative.
Supplements for Your Health
Supplements are just one part of the healthcare puzzle. Hormone replacement, exercise, a plant-based diet, and stress management all work together to keep you healthy and disease-free. Talk with us about an individualized supplement and hormone plan to optimize your well-being.