Many of us are seduced by the promise of better health and wellness offered by vitamin supplements. Every year, Americans spend millions of dollars on them – most of which end up half used in our cabinets. This is an explanation of the “Core Four” Supplements that everyone (men, women, & children) should be taking. These are supplements that will actually improve your health and well-being if taken on a regular basis.
OMEGA-3 FISH OIL
Why do we need fish oil? Fish oil contains essential omega-3 fats such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are called essential because to be healthy the body must have them and the body cannot make them; we must get them from our food. Fish and sea life (krill) are the only meaningful sources of EPA and DHA on the planet.
Omega-3 fish oil has been shown to promote healthier cell and hormone function throughout the body, in addition to reducing inflammation and cellular oxidation (think aging or “rusting” of your cells). It also promotes healthier pregnancies, breast feeding, pediatric development, neurological growth and development, joint health, weight management, heart function, immune, optical, brain and nerve system health. As you can see, almost everyone can benefit from taking fish oil as a daily supplement.
While eating wild caught fish is a great way to get omega-3 essential fats, the truth is most people do not eat enough fish every week to obtain a healthy amount of omega-3. In addition, some fish can contain dangerous amounts of toxins like mercury and PCBs. Therefore it is important to take a high quality fish oil that is molecularly purified to remove toxins.
Adults – 1000-2000mg, depending on size and activity
Children(4+) – should be taking roughly 300-600 milligrams for every 40 lbs. of body weight
The human body is made up of an estimated 100 trillion bacterial cells from at least 500 species, not including viruses and fungi. These bacteria (probiotics) are referred to as “friendly” bacteria and are responsible for several important biological functions. Some of these functions include assisting with digestion, keeping other harmful bacteria at bay and stimulating the immune system.
Beneficial bacteria in your gut can help to boost the immune system, prevent allergic inflammation and food allergy, clear up eczema in children and heal the intestines from a variety of ailments. Research shows that 80% of your immune system actually lives right in your digestive tract, so if your GI tract is not in optimal health, then your overall health will be compromised. We recommend all new patients take probiotics, although we don’t believe that they need to stay on it the rest of their lives, but one to three months are usually beneficial until they are able to get their diet improved.
Adults – 1 capsule(5 billion active cells/capsule) daily
Children – ½ to 1 teaspoon (depending on age) of Children’s Probiotic powder
Vitamin D is used by our bodies to absorb calcium and, along with exercise, to make strong bones. Vitamin D also has cell-normalizing (anti-proliferation) properties, and because cancer is cell proliferation gone mad, it protects against many cancers. It also plays a vital role in our immune system and its ability to fight off pathogens.
The best way to get Vitamin D aka the “Sunshine Vitamin” is -you guessed it- from the Sun. This is true because the skin makes it from ultraviolet rays. However, wearing sunscreen blocks Vitamin D production by blocking UV-B ray (even a sunscreen with a SPF of 8 will block 95-98% of Vit D making sun rays!). Therefore, spending 5-30 minutes in the mid-day summer sun two to three times a week should ensure you enough Vitamin D if you are light-skinned. You want to get out of the sun or apply sunscreen after you turn slightly pink - that will ensure enough Vitamin D, and anything past that stage results in skin damage. Those with a darker complexion need to spend considerably longer in the sun to obtain enough Vitamin D.
Now, it would be great if we could do this year round, but seeing as we live in New England- it’s just not going to happen. So, from October to April we recommend supplementing Vitamin D-3 from a whole food source. It is important to use a bioavailable whole food form of vitamin D, complete with the amino acids and sterols, because this will help catalyze mineral utilization and absorption.
Adults – 1000 to 4000 IU’s (international units) daily
Children - 500-1000 IU’s daily
WHOLE FOOD MULTI-VITAMIN
Did you ever wonder why vitamins and certain minerals are so important, and why you need to supplement your daily intake of them? Each vitamin plays an important role in maintaining your normal bodily functions, repairing cellular and tissue damage, and maintaining your optimal wellness. Ideally, we should add vitamins and minerals from whole fruits and vegetables instead of relying on supplements. However, most of us lead hectic, extremely busy lives, so chances are pretty high that you’re not getting all these important vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in your daily diet.
That’s why we recommend supplementing with a good multivitamin to support your optimal health and wellness. As we’ve pointed out many times, a multivitamin made from whole fruits and vegetables is the safest, most effective, most beneficial source of vitamins and minerals. Synthetic Vitamins have been linked to birth defects and higher rates of heart disease, cancer, and overall death.
Many studies have proved that no milligram dose of an isolated vitamin can match the effectiveness of whole food nutrients. The reason this is true is that most of the antioxidant activity of fruits and vegetables come from phenolic compounds, enzymes and flavonoids – all of which are NOT present in synthetic vitamins. In other words, whole fruits and vegetables are the safest, most effective, most beneficial sources of vitamins and minerals
Adults – 1 serving of a Whole Food Men’s One Daily / Women’s One Daily
Children – 1 serving of a Whole Food Kids Multi Powder