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Posted on 07-22-2016

4 supplements every single person should be taking!

Everyone’s weary of supplement companies nowadays and just how accurate their labels are and what’s actually present in them.  While it’s true big companies such as GNC, CVS, and Walgreens have all had lawsuits filed against them over the past few years disputing the ingredients they use in their supplements, there are integrity driven companies out there that use scientific staff and research, high quality resources, and strict procedures to ensure the highest quality of supplements.  But do supplements actually do anything?  Or are they a big waste of money? 

Sure there are supplements (weight loss, vitality, anti-aging) out there that claim to be magic pills and to transform your life overnight.  These have to be taken with a grain of salt, and usually the research is quite unimpressive.  However, there are science backed supplements that not only immediately help us, they’re important for living long, healthy lives.  At Optimal we don’t push miracle supplements or magic weight loss diets that are more likely a quick fix than a long lasting solution.  We agree that food first should be the primary focus, while also implementing nutritional education.  However, we do believe that EVERYone should be taking four basic supplements.  You’ve probably heard of these four before, but you’ve probably never known the real reason why, or what a good quality one entails.  We’re here to fix that!

Multivitamin

We’ve all probably heard from our mothers that we need to take our multivitamins, but what makes a good one?  Surely those Fred Flintstone gummies were enough when we were children to ensure we hit our daily nutrient goals?  These are laced with corn syrup, dextrose, maltodextrin, and cornstarch, or in other words…. SUGAR!  So while they are putting vitamins into these little candies, they are also cutting it with sugar to make sure your kids actually enjoy the taste (probably explains why I wanted to eat the whole jar when I was little).  So besides looking out for sweeteners, what makes up a good multi? While it seems that a good majority of our population isn’t overly vitamin deficient, this data could be skewed, meaning that just because they’re not deficient doesn’t mean that they aren’t low in a particular nutrient.  The B vitamins in a multi are very important for energy and metabolism, something a lot of people in our country struggle with daily.  It’s important to note that you want to get a multi that will ensure the proper methylation process-methylation is important for all key body processes- and luckily the one we promote does!  A good multivitamin will also have good ratios of minerals (calcium, magnesium) and good adrenal and liver support. 

Fish Oil

Many people hear fish oil and instantly think: joint health!  While it’s true that fish oil is very good for joint support and bone health it has a variety of different health benefits.  Fish oil is a major brain food, mostly because your brain is also made up of fatty acids, like DHA, which is actively found in fish oil.  Therefore, it’s no surprise that supplementing fish oil has had great success in disorders like ADHD, bipolar disorder, depression, and boosting basic cognitive function.  Fish oils also help to suppress excess inflammation in our bodies which can help with pain regulation.  While eating and getting fish oil from fish is a good idea too, supplementing from a good quality fish oil can often be easier.  While the threat of mercury and contamination are always a risk, there are companies that take great pride in the quality of their supplements.  For example, Nutri-dyn’s EPA/DHA 500 are all tested for purity and quality and stabilized with antioxidants to maintain freshness. 

Probiotics

Another supplement that a lot of us have probably heard of, but aren’t really sure what the heck it is.  Our gut houses bacteria, which sounds disgusting, but in reality is incredibly important.  These different strains of bacteria actually help keep our gut lining (epithelial cells) healthy and able to absorb the vitamins and nutrients we eat and drink.  Not only that but they help with manufacturing neurochemicals that are vital to healthy living.  It’s estimated that 90% of serotonin (mood, sleep, memory) is made in the gut.  The gut is also very important to how well our immune system functions and is able to fight off infections.  A lot of chronic diseases and disorders such as obesity, diabetes, IBS, and even autism could have some origins in the gut.  There’s a reason why scientists have started to label the gut and digestive system our “second brain.”  What happens over time is we don’t get enough of this healthy bacteria and the epithelial lining starts to wear down.  This allows toxic chemicals and nutrients to invade, which tells the body to send inflammation to combat this toxicity.  Eating a healthy diet will help to maintain the healthy bacteria, but it doesn’t provide it any additional support.  Enter probiotics which send strands of good bacteria to help rebuild this damaged gut lining.  While eating fermented foods is also a good source (yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi), many think that a good quality probiotic will provide friendly bacteria designed to help relieve intestinal irritation and bowel discomfort can greatly help everyday health and function.

Vitamin D

Ah Vitamin D, the “Sunshine” vitamin.  Something that many of us up here in North Dakota have to fight for “dontcha” know.  It’s estimated that many of us in the united states are deficient in vitamin D, especially those that don’t get a large amount of natural sunlight.  Vitamin D is important to many body functions such as immune, bone health, sleep, mood, hormone, weight loss, and even cardiovascular.  Vitamin D can be attained through diet (fortified milk, eggs, salmon) but is much easier and efficient to get from sunlight or supplementation.   While some of us see plenty of natural sunlight, there are people who go through long winter months without seeing the sun a whole lot.  Supplementation for vitamin D is relatively cheap and effective, and should occur and can even help with Seasonal Affect Disorder, something that does occur I assure you!

These are the 4 main supplements that we feel all of our patients should be on and have noticed great improvement with patients who have committed to them!  Come in to Optimal and we can help you get started on living a longer and healthier life today!

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