What Supplements Do You Really Need?

September 29, 2016


You'd be surprised how many people are taking a daily laundry list of supplements...... without really needing all of it.  Or even understanding what they're taking.  Why is this happening?   Marketing.  Supplement companies spend big bucks promoting their products, and enticing potential customers to use their stuff.   


I take a bare bones approach to supplements.  Don’t fix it unless it’s broken.  


If you’ve been to the doctor, had a nutrient panel run and doc says “hey, you are low in iron and vitamin B12”, by all means take some iron and B12.  But don’t just add them for fun.  Get the majority of your vitamins and minerals from… REAL FOOD!


Here are the few supplements you really need: 




A multivitamin is like an insurance policy.  Focus on consuming a variety of foods including lots of fruits and vegetables, and you are in good shape.  Take the multi as a back up.  A just-in-case I don’t eat perfectly every day.  Which none of us do!   


I learned in undergrad a little trick to determine how effective your multivitamin really is.  Drop one tablet in white vinegar and return in 30 minutes.  Give the mixture a little stir.  It should be totally dissolved.  This is mirroring what is going on in the GI tract with the hydrochloric acid.  If it doesn’t dissolve in the vinegar, it’s not dissolving in your stomach.  Therefore, it’s not doing you much good. 




Probiotics are good bacteria that keep your gut healthy, as well as provide immune support, and improve skin conditions.    When you take an antibiotic, you wipe out alllll the bacteria, good and bad alike.  Probiotics replace the good stuff, keeping you generally healthy. 


They are naturally found in the body, as well as present in some foods and supplements.  Dairy products like yogurt boast probiotics. 




Omega-3 fatty acids are amazing for you.  There’s no ifs, ands or buts here.  They reduce inflammation, support brain and heart health, You can get these fatty acids from food – like wild Alaskan salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring and black cod.


But you can also get them from a quality supplement.  Most people don’t eat enough fatty fish, so a supplement is helpful! 




I just don’t think it’s necessary to load up on every supplement under the sun.  It’s a waste of money.  Focus on the essentials.  And get the rest from FOOD!  Eating a variety of fruit and vegetables is a good start to meeting your micronutrient needs.  

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