Most of us need to supplement our diets. Modern life makes it nearly impossible to get optimal amounts of the nutrients we need from what we eat. And proper supplementation becomes even more important when undertaking a healthy aging program.
However, knowing that you need to supplement is not the same as knowing exactly what to take, and how much. Analysis paralysis can set in quickly when faced with the myriad options available.
Knowing where to get quality supplements presents another conundrum. The media has been rife lately with news about manufacturers and retailers who are selling supplements that don’t contain the ingredients promised, or that contain adulterated ingredients.
What To Take
Start with a good multiple-vitamin. Think of multiple-vitamins as the foundation for nutritional supplementation. You likely won’t get enough of some nutrients from your multiple-vitamin, however. For the following vitamins, you will probably need to augment what your multiple-vitamin provides:
- Vitamin A helps cells to differentiate, which is an essential part of cell reproduction. It plays a vital role in bone growth, healthy vision, and its antioxidant properties make it important to proper immune system function. An additional 5000iu/day is common.
- The B Vitamins(and there are a bunch of them!) promote heart and brain health, support nervous and immune system function, make skin and hair healthy, and help the body to cope with stress. Since the B Vitamins are so important to so many functions within the body, most adults benefit from taking a good Vitamin B-Complex, in addition to a multiple-vitamin.
- Vitamin C supports immune system function, and collagen production. It also helps form red blood cells, is required by certain neurotransmitters, is involved in protein metabolism, and provides antioxidant protection against free radicals. Dosage needed varies from person to person, but is generally between 200 and 1000mg/day.
- Vitamin D3 is a hormone that is essential for the body’s efficient utilization of calcium, which is vital for bone health and the proper functioning of the nervous system. It also boosts the immune system, promotes cardiovascular health, and has anti-inflammatory properties. Research also points to Vitamin D being a significant mood stabilizer. Most people need between 2000 and 10000iu/day, depending upon diet and sun exposer. A blood test is the best way to determine whether or not you’re getting the proper amount.
- Vitamin E taken above and beyond your multiple-vitamin should include mixed tocopherols. Tocopherol is another name for Vitamin E—and there are five different kinds. When taking Vitamin E, it’s important to take a combination of the various tocopherols (or “mixed tocopherols”). When taken in combination, tocopherols are more bioavailable, and will have added antioxidant activity. As a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E helps to prevent free radical damage. It also protects fat-soluble vitamins from oxidation, supports healthy circulation, and is involved in immune function. Most adults need 400 to 600iu/day.
The same way you start with a multiple-vitamin for vitamins, you should start with a good mineral complex for minerals. Multi-vitamins often contain minerals as well as vitamins, so be careful you don’t double up. Important minerals include: calcium (most adults need 1000 to 1200mg/day), magnesium (most adults need 400 to 1000mg/day), and selenium (most adults need 200mcg/day).
Other Must-Have Supplements
- EPA/DHA Omega-3 fatty acids are important for good health in general, but especially for a healthy brain and heart. They are also important antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. We believe oil from a small shrimp-like crustacean called krill is the best source for omega-3s. Krill oil is more easily absorbed by the body than other sources of omega-3s, it contains a powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin, it has stronger anti-inflammatory properties than other sources, and it has no fishy aftertaste.
- CoQ10 was traditionally thought to be critical for heart health only. Studies have now discovered that there are CoQ10 receptors throughout the body, making it important to overall health. Beyond cardiovascular health, CoQ10 is a potent antioxidant that plays an important role in energy production, oxygen utilization, and protection against oxidative stress. Most adults need 100mg/day.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid is a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger. ALA is unique because it’s water and fat soluble—this is relevant because it means that it can work from both inside and outside of cells. It detoxifies, helps the body to eliminate heavy metals, and promotes the production of glutathione, the king of all antioxidants. Most adults need 300 to 600mg/day.
- DIM (diindolylmethane) is an extract taken from cruciferous vegetables that promotes hormone balance and cellular health. Specifically, research has shown that DIM helps the body to safely metabolize estrogen through safe pathways, which may reduce risk factors for cancer (particularly breast cancer for women, and prostate cancer for men). Most adults need 100mg/day.
- Folate (folonic acid) is the natural version of folic acid. Natural folate is preferable because it’s highly bioavailable, and more stable than folic acid. On supplement labels, natural folate will usually show up as “5-MTHF”. Folate is critical to controlling homocysteine, a major cause of arteriosclerosis. It’s also important for nerve and hormone function. It promotes the production of enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, antibodies, vitamins, and cell membranes, and supports healthy immune function, detoxification, energy production, DNA repair, brain activity, mood stabilization, and a healthy inflammatory response. 1000mcg/day is a typical dosage.
- Melatonin is a hormone that plays a vital role in mood stabilization, balancing circadian rhythms (thereby facilitating a good night’s sleep), and endocrine system regulation. It supports a healthy immune system, reduces inflammation, and is yet another antioxidant. Depending upon lifestyle habits, 0.25 to 0.5mg/night may be beneficial. Melatonin levels can be checked via saliva test to check for deficiency.
- Probiotics promote a healthy gut. A healthy gut means better digestion, increased nutrient absorption, and a stronger immune system. A good probiotic should contain numerous species of the “good” microorganisms that you need for a healthy gut.
Remember, more is not necessarily better when it comes to supplementation, and everyone’s needs are a little different in terms of what they need to take, and how much. As with other healthy aging protocols, one size does not fit all, and a little guidance goes a long way.
Treatment Including Supplements
- If desired, your Renew Youth team can check your nutrient levels via lab testing.
- We will take into consideration factors such as: hair loss, weight gain, stress level, bone health, anemia, sleep habits, and anything else relevant in terms of medical history, diet, physical condition, and lifestyle.
- Your Renew Youth team will then recommend an individualized supplementation program that will meet your unique needs.
- Follow-up lab tests will be ordered as appropriate.
Where To Get Them
Remember that supplements are not FDA-regulated, and products available from many sources (including drug stores and big box stores) are often lacking in key compounds. Similarly, they often contain adulterated ingredients and fillers. In general, potency and purity are frequently lacking.
We are acutely aware of the challenges this creates, and in an effort to solve the problem, have put together a line of supplements that are available for purchase online. Our formulas have been thoroughly researched and vetted by our staff, and ingredients are pure, and of the proper strength and potency. Most importantly, everything is 3rd party tested, so you know that what the label says is in the bottle, is what’s actually in the bottle. Renew Youth clients can conveniently purchase supplements through their accounts, and the general public is welcome to purchase through our online store by clicking here.