Dietary supplements are wildly popular.
People use these supplements to ensure that they acquire enough essential nutrients and maintain or improve their health.
Here are some supplements you should be taking for general well-being. However, not everyone needs supplementation.
Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of Better Than Dieting, says:
“I try to get all of my nutrients from my kitchen instead of my medicine cabinet, but as a realist, I know that meeting my nutrition needs all of the time is not possible,”
Certain conditions such as pregnancy, menopause, or chronic illnesses, may necessitate supplementing.
Vitamin deficits are frequently associated with chronic diseases, according to a 2002 analysis, and supplementation may assist.
Even a comprehensive diet may not provide you with the nutrients you require when you require them.
Multivitamins can help with this.
Do I need vitamin supplements?
Most people do not require vitamin supplements and may obtain all of the vitamins and minerals they need from a healthy, well-balanced diet. Essential nutrients such as iron, calcium, and vitamin C are vitamins and minerals that your body requires in modest amounts to function effectively.
The most widely utilized supplements in the world are multivitamins and multi-minerals. In the last couple of decades, their popularity has skyrocketed.
Multivitamins, according to some, can boost health, compensate for poor eating habits, and even lower your risk of chronic disease.
What are vitamins?
Vitamins are organic compounds that are required in small amounts by humans. Vitamin requirements in each organism are different. Vitamins are either fat-soluble or water-soluble.
Fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, E, and K. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in fatty tissue and the liver. Vitamin reserves can last for days, if not months, in the body.
Water-soluble vitamins include vitamin B and C. Water-soluble vitamins cannot be stored and do not persist in the body for long periods.
According to research, many people take multivitamins and other supplements that may or may not be essential or beneficial.
Multivitamins are dietary supplements that contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as other components. Tablets, capsules, chewable gummies, powders, and liquids are the different forms available.
A daily multivitamin, for starters, can help you build a strong foundation for your health. When you’re stressed, sleeping poorly, or don’t get enough exercise, it can also defend you. Even if you eat a “perfect” diet, these problems can make it difficult for your body to absorb nutrients efficiently, according to dietitian Dawn Lerman, MA, CHHC, LCAT, AADP.
Although multivitamins may contain herbs, amino acids, and fatty acids in addition to vitamins and minerals, the amount and number of nutrients might vary.
Many people take supplements for preserving their health or preventing sickness, while others use them to treat specific conditions that have already occurred.
Supplements for prevention
Here are supplements you should be taking for prevention:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Fish oil
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Two effective forms of vitamin D are:
- Vitamin D2, also known as (Ergocalciferol)
- Vitamin D3, also known as (Cholecalciferol)
Vitamin D2 is found in many human-made foods, whereas Vitamin D3 is present in animal-based foods and is synthesized in the skin from 7-dehydrocholesterol. Vitamin D supplements have become more common and are more frequently used in recent years.
The most reliable source of getting vitamin D is sunlight; therefore, people who don’t get enough sunlight are at risk. Older adults, patients with chronic illnesses, and people of color are at particular risk. Vitamin D supplements are therefore necessary for older people and people living in Northern latitudes.
Reduced risk of autoimmune diseases such as Multiple sclerosis has also been associated with good vitamin D levels in the body.
Vitamin E is also a fat-soluble vitamin. Its antioxidant properties aid in the prevention of oxidative stress, which raises the risk of extensive inflammation and various diseases.
Calcium is a vital nutrient that our body needs for a variety of tasks. Combined supplementation of vitamin D and Calcium has been recommended to prevent fractures in older adults and those with low vitamin D status. Calcium is required for the development of strong bones in children.
Adults need calcium to maintain strong bones. Inadequate calcium consumption can lead to osteoporosis, a brittle bone condition. Broken bones are common in people with osteoporosis, especially in the wrist, hip, and spine.
Magnesium is a mineral found in the human body. It is present in almost every cell of the body and is required for its normal functioning. A large portion of magnesium is present in bone (60%), while the rest is found in muscles, soft tissues, and fluids, including blood.
Magnesium is a mineral that helps your body maintain hundreds of chemical reactions. Magnesium is essential for brain function and mood, and low levels have been related to a higher risk of depression.
Furthermore, research shows that persons who consume too little magnesium have a higher chance of acquiring diabetes. Another study found that persons with type 2 diabetes who took high doses of magnesium every day had significantly lower blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C levels than a control group.
Fish oil is mainly extracted from fish tissue. WHO recommends fish because it contains omega-3 fatty acids. These provide many health benefits, including protection against several diseases.
Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil are more beneficial to your health than omega-3s found in some plant sources. Supplements with fish oil may help to minimize some of the risks connected with heart disease.
A folate is a water-soluble form of vitamin B9 that can be found in a variety of meals. It’s also added to foods and offered as a supplement as folic acid. This version is better absorbed than that obtained from food. Folate performs many vital functions in our body.
Low folate levels have been associated with increased levels of homocysteine associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Low folate levels have been linked to birth problems such as neural tube defects in pregnant women.
The vitamin is necessary for the synthesis of red blood cells, DNA production, and the repair of genetic code errors.
Supplements for mental health
Wellness is about having better physical and mental health. Here are supplements you should take to look after your mental well-being.
- St. John’s wort
- Red yeast rice
Niacin or vitamin B3
Niacin is a form of vitamin B3. Meat, milk, eggs, green vegetables, and cereal grains all contain it. Niacin is also made in the body from tryptophan, an amino acid present in the protein. Therefore, niacin is often found in combination with other B vitamins when taken as a supplement.
This study of Niacin and its role in our central nervous system mentions that there is crucial evidence linking vitamin B3 deficiency to neurological disorders.
St. John’s wort
St. John’s wort, an herbal medication, has been used by millions of people as an alternative or natural treatment for depression.
Supplements containing St. John’s Wort herb are commonly used to treat depression and mood disorders.
A review from 2016 research found that St. John’s wort decreased mild to moderate depressive symptoms more effectively than a placebo and similarly to prescription antidepressants.
The study also indicated the effectiveness of this herb in treating wounds, bruises, burns, and sores.
Red yeast rice
A study of red yeast rice and its effects on schizophrenia concluded that it may help improve cognitive deficiency.
Red yeast rice extract is a traditional Chinese medicine that is said to help decrease cholesterol levels. As a supplement, several varieties of the extract are available.
Certain red yeast rice products containing statin have been found in studies to lower total cholesterol and specifically LDL, or “bad” cholesterol.
According to research, when paired with statin medicines, red yeast rice was beneficial at lowering total and “bad” LDL cholesterol, as well as triglycerides and blood pressure.
People widely use dietary supplements to ensure that they acquire enough essential nutrients and maintain or improve their health.
It is not necessary to take supplements because supplements are not the key to optimal health. Shreds of evidence support that health improvement by supplements in most people was inconsistent; therefore, eating a balanced diet containing whole fresh food is very important to ensure good health.
Even if you’re taking supplements, make sure you’re eating healthy, exercising regularly, and working with your doctor to keep your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar under control. Also, tell your doctor about all your supplements when you go in for checkups, screening tests, and treatments.
Many men are hesitant to tell their doctors that they use alternative or complementary therapies. Still, full disclosure is critical for good health, especially when supplements can interact negatively with pharmaceuticals.
Also, evaluating the supplement before buying and discussing it with your physician is very important to avoid complications.
Certain things like interactions between supplements and medications, contaminated products, and products that contain less or more than they claim should be kept in mind.
Consider buying from supplement retailers who manufacture from a GMP-certified and FDA-registered facility. And, ensure that the supplements are tested under an independent third party for quality, potency, and safety.
“I have the metabolism of a sloth and a body that hates putting on muscles. This curse motivated me to study weight loss and nutrition. I want to share my experiences and knowledge to help you achieve your ideal body.”— Christian Tanobey