Some vitamins and trace minerals cannot be produced by the body, so we need to consume a sufficient amount of them within our diet. At present, the vegetable and animal sources that we eat do not provide our bodies with the correct amount of nutrients. This is because of fast farming, poor-quality soil and mass farming. Also, the foods readily available for us to consume are becoming more disadvantageous for the body.
The Western diet emphasises foods containing high refined sugar levels, refined flour products, high glucose/fructose products and harmful stimulants such as tobacco, caffeine, alcohol and drugs. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies; therefore, we should take supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs and amino acids) to enhance an already balanced diet.
Deciding on the supplements best for your body will depend on many factors such as any present deficiencies, medical issues (mental or physical), gender, age, level of physical activity and current diet. All supplements are linked to beneficial functions for the body. For example, Vitamin D is known for assisting in bone health, so if you had a problem with your bones like joint pain you might want to start taking vitamin D supplements.
But taking supplements after the problem has started is reacting to the problem, if you were taking vitamin D supplements before the joint pain started, there is a chance you could have averted it. So, for protection you should take these supplements daily:
- B vitamins (B1,2,3,5,6,7,9,12)
- Omega 3
- Vitamin D & Magnesium
This is the best way to “cover your back” when supplementing your diet, the more ingredients the better it is for you. Essentially, you are topping up the vitamins and minerals you have consumed from the diet, making more available for the body to store and use and you are giving it some variety as you most likely won’t consume every mineral and vitamin the body needs consistently, every day. This will help benefit your nervous system, brain function, maintain proper development, strengthen immunity, digestion, metabolism, raise energy levels and promote strong bones and healthy teeth.
It is best to take a B complex supplement, which is a combination of all the Vitamin B’s. Growth and energy are supported when taking vitamin B supplements. They have been associated with a boost in cognitive function and improved metabolism.
These are the recommended daily intakes for each B vitamins:
- 1mg a day for men
- 8mg a day for women
- 3mg a day for men
- 1mg a day for women
- 5mg a day for men
- 2mg a day for women
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
- Adults (aged 19-64) 6mg a day
- 4mg a day for men
- 2mg a day for women
- Adults (aged 19-64) 30ug a day
B9 (Folic acid)
- Adults (aged 19-64) 200ug a day
- Adults (aged 19-64) 1.5ug a day
We should be consuming two portions of fish a week (140g x2), one of these portions should be oily fish. However, the majority of people are not consuming this, for whatever reason, so we should supplement our diets with Omega 3. Omega 3 has been related to joint health, cognitive function and the immune system because it is helpful against inflammation.
Probiotics have the capacity to control our hormone balance and immune function within the gut. They encourage an improvement in our digestion, leading to more of the active ingredients in the food and supplements we consume to be used properly within the body, promoting general health.
Vitamin D is generally taken to strengthen the immune system. Vitamin D supports the growth and flexibility of the joints and bones and contributes to healthy teeth, assisting in muscle strength. The recommended daily intake for Vitamin D is:
- Adults (aged 19-64) 10ug a day
Magnesium helps the body absorb and utilise Vitamin D. It is recognised for its ability to help control blood pressure, immunity and boost nerve function. The recommended daily intake for magnesium is:
- 300mg a day for men
- 270mg a day for women
Supplements should be taken with food to aid absorption and decrease any side effects, such as nausea. The body absorbs smaller doses of nutrients better than large ones so some supplements may require more than one tablet/capsule a day.
If you take your supplements in the morning this will most likely aid you throughout the day. If you take them in the evening, the body can use the supplements to help repair as you rest. Both are beneficial. The strength/dose of your chosen supplement depends on your individual intake within the diet or any deficiencies but if you are taking them in general, nutrient reference values (NRV’s) are the best reference to use.
Please note in most cases it is not harmful if your intake is higher than the NRV; these are guidelines. But be careful of overdosing as this can cause side effects.
However, taking a supplement with a very low dosage or low quality is probably not worth taking as the body may not be able to absorb it or the supplement may be in the wrong form, which makes it harder for the body to process.
Any information or product suggested on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Consult your primary healthcare physician before using any supplements or making any changes to your regime.