To find out what supplements you need might be boring, but it’s not difficult. So give yourself a few TV-free evenings and do your research. The body is a magnificent ‘pharmacy’, get to know it so you can help it. If you don’s suffer from any specific health condition, you don’t need to take a test. You basically get a different result depending on what you just ate, so it is just an expensive and unnecessary way to find out what we already know.
I wrote yesterday that we all need at least basic vitamins and minerals, we just can’t get enough from regular food. Supplements are concentrated superfoods. If you don’t want to learn biochemistry or orthomolecular medicine like I did, you can choose a good reliable source and pick the brand they suggest. Remember also that the science in this area is vast. Science always evolves, new research shows new properties in food, and how our biochemistry works, so update your information once in a while.
I hope there is no doubt about taking a multi vitamin and mineral by now. If you want to give yourself an easy health kick and prevent imbalances (being overweight is one) and even illness, you should take them every day, kids too. To find a good brand I always try to find one that has the natural biochemical form written out so that I can see if it is the natural form or a synthetic form they use, as these are normally more bio-available (taken up). There are some synthetic forms like for vitamin E (dl-alfa-tocopherol) that you don’t want if you can get the natural form (d-alfa-tocopherol). If the producer uses the natural form they are normally proud of it and would write it on the label.
Another good quality indication is if they are capsules. To produce pills they have to use glue, coating, and press the substances together so hard that sensitive vitamins often don’t make it. Waste of money! Also see to that you get a lot of substances, not just two or three vitamins and minerals but up to 20 of them and not in small doses. Compare the dosage and get the one with best price-quality-quantity ratio.
There is no biochemical process in the body that only uses one substance. So there is no point to rush and buy vitamin E just because the news speaks about scientific research showing the vitamin’s fantastic benefits for the heart. It needs magnesium, selenium and other substances to do the job too. Needless to say that the research has to concentrate on one substance to exactly understand the effect, that doesn’t mean we don’t need more substances. We get some from our food, but not enough. Most supplements are made from raw material that contain a lot of what we need, like spices.
If for example iron doesn’t have vitamin C around it won’t be taken up. So don’t just take a few if you are not under observation from a good health professional. We need at least the minerals: magnesium, selenium (not less than 100mcgr if you are over 50 years), iodine, calcium, zinc, manganese, chromium and molybdenum. For vitamins we need to supplement with vitamin A (as carotenoids), B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B8, B11, B12, C, D3, E, K1, P. There are other substances I recommend as well but at least take these to start with, and I’ll give you more blogs on this later (as you so kindly asked me to 🙂