What Vitamins Should I Take: The Top 3
Have you ever walked through the health food store or the supplement section of the grocery store and thought,”What vitamins should I take?” Most of us have done this at some point. Often spurred by something we saw or read somewhere, most people are interested in vitamins with hopes of helping alleviate an ailment or preventing one. Ironically, when trying to select a vitamin, most are often drawn to attractive wording designed more for catching the buyers eye than actually providing a solution or step towards prevention. There are so many choices, where does one actually start.
Better yet, how do you know that the supplement that you are taking is actually right for you? This is a big question and one that is often overlooked. There are some supplements that most of the population are going to be okay with taking. However, there are several supplements that should only be taken if you have a way of confirming that you actually need them. This is best accomplished through lab testing. So rather than you wondering through the supplement aisles wondering “what vitamins should I take” or having to take the advice of a sales person more interested in promoting their commission than promoting your health, let’s talk about the ones that are in general good for most people and will not cause harm.
What Vitamins Should I Take: Number One
The supplement that almost everyone should be on is vitamin D. Remember that a supplement is meant to be just that. It is not a replacement for good dietary choices. I often tell my patients when emphasizing the importance of diet that regardless of how great of a nutrient repletion protocol I design for them, it is all for nothing if they do not follow through with a good diet. But with that said, a good diet often does not provide enough vitamin D. Vitamin D has many important functions that support the cardiovascular, immune and hormonal systems. It does come in some foods, but not in quantities sufficient enough to meet the demands of nearly all of the population. This is becoming more recognized as even maintenance recommendations have increased from 400 IU per day to now as high as 10,000 IU. The consistency of the number of physicians checking vitamin D and diagnosing it as low suggest that we are facing a vitamin D deficiency epidemic. And according to the Vitamin D Council, when you are not getting enough vitamin D from natural sunlight, supplementation is the best support.
The Second Most Important Supplement to Take
Not actually a vitamin, but to less important in terms of the way that your body functions and nearly as deficient within the majority of the population, omega 3’s should be a staple for most people. Omega 3’s are just as important as any vitamin since they are essential for us to obtain through the diet or supplementation. We don’t make them. Omega 3’s, like vitamin D, has links to multiple systems in the body. There is not hardly a condition that does not benefit from omega 3’s, often called fish oils. For the person with good eating habits, omega 3 needs can often be meet with the diet. Yet, most individuals consume a diet that is high in the omega 6’s which can be disease promoting. Therefore, when the diet alone is not getting the job done, you have to make up the difference with supplementation. Unfortunately, even the right food choices may leave you imbalanced on your omega 3’s since many foods are not raised and harvested the way they used to be. So when asking what vitamin should I take, omega 3’s should be the number 2 option on your list (even though they are not actually a vitamin).
This B Vitamin Might Surprise You that It Made the List
Over the years of testing patient’s nutrient status, one nutrient has been shown to be deficient more than any other. What is surprising is that this nutrient is rarely talked about. It is not considered a quick fix for giving energy or improving memory, but it indeed does both. It also improves hormones. In fact, it is this last point related to hormones that is the reasons so many are deficient in this nutrient. Just ask,”Am I under stress?” The answer is YES! You are under stress. And stress increases the demand for hormones. As a result, we use up one nutrient more than any other to help manage the stress. That nutrient is B5. When you have the vitamin B5 to help you manage stress better, your energy is better, you age slower and you think better. Not only that men have better testosterone and women have better balance of their hormones to continue to have that wonderful female glow. Therefore, if you are asking what vitamin should I take, B5 is top of the list. Even after years of seeing tests and working towards custom approaches for patients, when I personally ask what vitamins should I take, you will not catch me without B5.