Your need for supplements depends on many factors such as age, the quality of your diet, and your state of health. If your diet consists of whole foods, organically grown, with very little processed or packaged food, and a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables, then you will be getting many valuable antioxidants and vitamins from your diet. If you also include some calcium sources, clean protein products, and healthy fats, your diet may be perfect. Organic produce contains significantly more vitamins and antioxidants than commercially grown, agribusiness produce. The extra cost for organic foods will be recouped in your need for less supplements. One supplement to consider would be vitamin D3, unless your sun exposure is adequate.
Click on the video link to listen to Dr. Kalidas discuss supplements and their benefits.
As Dr. Kalidas suggests, if your diet is less than perfect, then you may want to consider including an omega-3 fat source in the form of Antarctic krill oil, fish oil, or flax oil, a high quality multivitamin, antioxidants and probiotics. These are the basics that are recommended for daily health insurance. Similarly, if you are older than 50, your body’s own production of these nutrients is decreasing and taking them will help to restore and maintain a more youthful state. Everyone needs to take vitamin D3 unless you have plenty of sun exposure
If your health is compromised or your vitality is depleted by stress or illness, then you will benefit from specific supplements. Any digestive symptoms may be a sign of an intestinal imbalance that will benefit from probiotic and prebiotic supplements. Digestive support can make a huge difference in your absorption of nutrients from foods and from supplements. A digestive enzyme supplement may be helpful in this process as well, especially if there are signs of reduced breakdown of foods, symptoms of gas, bloating, or abdominal discomfort.
Many forms of chronic illness are a result of inflammatory processes. Allergies, arthritis, heart disease, skin disorders, and diabetes all involve chronic inflammation. Taking antioxidants and aniti-inflammatory supplements will always benefit these conditions.
The type of anti-inflammatory from supplements and herbs will depend on the type of inflammation. An omega-3 supplement with adequate levels of EPA has a general anti-inflammatory effect. Specific illnesses will call for specific forms of treatment. Allergies are often helped by taking Quercetin, stinging nettle, bromelain, and n-acetylcysteine. Arthritis sufferers may notice reduced joint pain and swelling by taking bromelain, turmeric (Curcumin), and Ginger. Auto-immune conditions will also need a combination of supplements with significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
It is important to know what supplements are best for your health status and to not just blindly take whatever supplements you find at your local drug store. At the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine, we offer a variety of supplements and our practitioners can help you determine the best supplements for your needs through a thorough health history and specific testing for vitamin deficiency.