When you Google “supplements” or “what supplements should I take”, you’ll find countless resources that tell you how to live your life (696 million results to be exact). Some articles recommend you take dozens of supplements, others recommend avoiding them all together. So, the question is, what’s actually right for your body?
The answer? It’s complicated.
First and foremost, before you put anything “extra” in your body, you need to consult your doctor or dietitian. Each person can respond differently to vitamins and supplements depending on age, health state, allergies, illnesses, etc.
Plus, over-the-counter vitamins, minerals, and nutritional supplements are largely unregulated. For that reason, it’s important to check with a medical provider before you take anything, just in case. (LifeScape is accepting new medical and concierge patients in Scottsdale - request an appointment today.)
With that said, there are a few foundational supplements that we find ourselves recommending for the majority of our patients, primarily because of the incredible benefits they provide to our overall health and well-being.
4 Supplements Your Body Might Need (and Why)
While you can get many of these nutrients by eating whole, natural, and fresh foods, no one eats perfectly and we often end up with nutritional “gaps” in our diets.
Supplements are designed to help us fill those gaps so that our bodies get the optimum amount of nutrients it can in order to function properly, prevent disease, and help us to look and feel our best.
As our expert Nutrition and Health professional Dana Bosselmann, MA, RDN, LMT, IFNCP explained:
“Dietary supplements, when crafted into a unique and flexible plan for each individual, can help heal and/or promote optimal health on an as needed basis. They are not intended to replace whole, real food but instead to accelerate healing on the cellular level until no longer needed or needed in lesser amounts.”
Here are four supplements that provide some foundational support for your body.
These are the good bacteria that live in your gastrointestinal (GI) system. These healthy bacteria are necessary for fighting infection and supporting digestion.
Some benefits of supplementing with probiotics include:
Help balance the friendly bacteria in your digestive system
Aid in preventing and treating diarrhea
May improve some mental health conditions
Some strains can help keep your heart healthy
May reduce the severity of certain allergies and eczema
Help reduce symptoms of certain digestive disorders
Could boost your immune system
May help you lose weight and belly fat
Our recommendation: Choose a probiotic that contains multiple species of both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
Sunshine helps the body make this vitamin and stores it for future use. However, levels of vitamin D can decrease in the winter, when people have less exposure to sunlight, so it can be beneficial take vitamin D supplements to make up for it.
Vitamin D benefits include:
Helps the production of hormones necessary for general health and sexual function
It destroys free radicals
Reduces risk for colon, breast, and other types of cancer
Improves leanness of muscle tissue
Fish oil has documented scientific evidence to support its use in promoting heart health.
Omega-3 fish oil contains both docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These fatty acids are essential nutrients that are important for preventing and managing heart disease.
Some other benefits of fish oil include:
May lower blood pressure
Slow the creation of plaque in your arteries
Reduce your risk of abnormal heart rhythm
Reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke
Lessen the risk of cardiac arrest for people who have heart disease
CoQ10 is an antioxidant found in many foods, but most people do not consume an adequate amount. CoQ10 in the body decreases as we age and it’s often low in people who have medical conditions like Parkinson’s and heart disease.
CoQ10 benefits include:
It helps to destroy free radicals in the body
Supports health as we age
Helps your body generate more adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy that fuels short-term intense activity
Our recommendations for the best, highest quality brands for nutritional supplements.
Unfortunately, the vitamin and supplement industries are largely unregulated, in both their products and their marketing. If you use an over-the-counter vitamin, mineral, or other nutritional supplement, there is a good chance that the label doesn’t truly tell you the product’s contents. You may not be receiving the intended health benefit, or you may even be causing yourself harm.
At LifeScape, we’ve evaluated thousands of vitamins and supplements to find those produced with strong quality controls and that offer the best value.
Product lines we carry and recommend, in the office and in our online store, include:
NeuroScience - amino acid supplements for targeted repletion of neurotransmitters
Metagenics - wide variety of high quality supplements and medical foods to help with your nutritional needs
Pure Encapsulations - multivitamins, and an assorted array of supplements to meet your various needs.
Vital Remedy - Joint Formula, Antioxidant Formula and Statinguard protection for those who may need protection from statin drug induced nutrition depletion
In order to make choosing and buying supplements a little easier (and safer), we offer FullScript. FullScript offers a huge formulary of our favorite brands. Using the program, your provider can easily prescribe a nutraceutical regimen that best meets your needs. Also, HSA/FSA funds can be used to order supplements for medical indications.
Remember, just because a supplement is said to be “natural” doesn’t mean that it’s right (or safe) for you.
People with certain health conditions, allergies, or upcoming surgeries should not take some supplements. A good way to be sure that what you’re taking is the best option for you is to make an appointment with your primary care physician or dietitian or schedule a consult with us. Safety is priority number one, so be sure to consult a medical provider before taking any of the recommend supplements.
The human body works best and feels best when fueled with a balance of nutrients from multiple sources. So, let’s help our bodies and start feeling better by filling our dietary gaps.
Have more questions about what supplements you should take? Our board certified expert nutritionist Dana Bosselmann, MA, RDN, LMT, IFNCP provides Nutritional Assessments at LifeScape for those looking to better understand their true diet and nutritional needs. Click to Book a Nutrition Consult Today!