I’m confused… what supplements should I take?
If you are for the most part healthy and without any chronic conditions, you may benefit from only probiotics, a high quality multivitamin/mineral, supplemental essential fatty acids (omega 3-6-9s), and vitamin D3 with K2. These are the supplements I generally recommend for almost everyone. Some of these nutrients you can theoretically get from very mindfully, strategically and consistently including specific foods in your diet, and other nutrients, most people pretty much just need to get from a supplement. Food is medicine, and overall I prefer to try to get the majority of my nutrients from whole, unprocessed food. To avoid supplementation, an individual may ideally need to regularly consume significant quantities of liver from organic pasture raised animals, sea vegetables, beyond-organic vegetables and fruits in high quantities, wild or pasture-raised clean protein sources including fish, natto (a fermented form of soy unpalatable for the majority of Americans), a wide variety of healthy fats, fermented foods and cultured vegetables, and the like, exercising regularly, getting daily sunshine at the right lattitude, sleeping well and experiencing low stress. …I don’t know about you, but I don’t know too many people who are consistently successful with these nutritional and lifestyle practices, day in, and day out. So a few supplements can act as a safety net.
If you live in the upper midwest, like I do in Minnesota, you pretty much need extra vitamin D. You just do! I have been screening my patients for vitamin D levels for many years now, and I have yet to find anyone whose vitamin D levels have been in the normal range, let alone optimal, unless they were supplementing with Vitamin D, or they just returned from a high-sun-exposure vacation (without wearing sunscreen) in a tropical location. At our northern latitude, the sun is really powerful enough to raise our vitamin D levels only in July and August at mid-day, and if you aren’t wearing sunscreen, which certainly isn’t the majority of us. I wish I could be outside enjoying the sun in a tropical location most days, but it just isn’t in the cards for me presently, so I take my vitamin D3 with K2!
What do I need if I am not optimally healthy or have a chronic condition?
For those with chronic health issues, or family histories of certain conditions, additional nutrients may be helpful. If you are interested in finding out more closely exactly what your body needs, consider running a micro-nutrient panel (a specialty functional panel – a blood and/or urine test) through our office and we can develop a personalized plan for you or your child. Certain genetic mutations, such as the MTHFR snp, among other factors, such as your gut health, your exposure to infections or toxins, your stress levels and more, may influence your nutrient needs and/or the type of nutrients that would be best for you, or a future baby. We can teach you how to get those nutrients as much as possible from whole unprocessed foods, and where that isn’t possible, from additional supplementation.