Vitamins

Now there are a lot of vitamins on the market, so how do you know which ones are the best ones to take?? How much of the vitamin do you need? If you eat a well balanced diet, shouldn’t that be good enough? There are a couple of guidelines that I would suggest that you use when you are shopping for vitamins, and those are 1) are they synthetic or are they natural vitamins? and 2) are they derived from whole foods included the cofactors that are needed by the body to utilize those vitamins? Many vitamins on the market are synthetic and are absolutely a waste of your money–they do not get absorbed and if they are absorbed , the quantity of the vitamin is so small that it does no good at all. The reason that vitamins are needed is that because of all of the over-farming many nutrients that should be in the soil are missing and therefore the foods have fewer nutrients in them than years ago. Secondly, the standard American Diet is woefully lacking in nutrients because sugar is the primary component in most of the “foods” sold at the grocery store.
I would start with at least 3 supplements, and possibly 4 depending on your age. The majority of people are very low in Vitamin D, especially those people who live in northern climates, such as the northern half of the United States and all of Canada. Taking 5,000 International Units of Vitamin D-3 is a very safe amount to be taking daily. Of course it is possible to measure your Vitamin D level in the blood, and if you have a physician that can order this for you it is helpful to know what it is. Low levels of Vitamin D are connected to osteoporosis, depression, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, poor immunity and many other medical conditions. Studies have shown that if your Vitamin D level is in the ideal range (70-100) that it helps protect your body against developing diabetes, osteoporosis, preventing illnesses, and certain cancers; and it is as effective in treating depression as many of the depression medications out there and far safer (fewer side effects).
The second supplement that I would suggest that everyone should be taking is Omega 3′s. This is typically sold as “fish oil, krill oil, or from calamari”; however there are plant sources as well (made from flax, and chia and other seeds). The Omega 3 have a combination of 2 primary ingredients: DHA and EPA. The Omega 3′s are very anti-inflammatory (GOOD for you), versus most of the oils used in the processed food industry are Omega 6′s (very inflammatory (BAD for you). These Omega 3 are high in salmon, mackerel, sardines, and krill. If you include these fish in your diet–you should look for “wild caught” not “farm raised”. If you do not eat these fish, then you should be getting at least 1000 mg, (possibly more) of Omega 3′s daily. Omega 3′s have been found to reduce arthritis discomfort, helps to protect the skin, the brain, the eyes, besides being important for the heart and the blood stream. The anti-inflammatory effects balance off all the inflammation associated with a very poor diet. Studies show a significantly lower incidence of macular degeneration in those people who had adequate levels of Omega 3′s in their diet as compared to those who did not. For people who have had problems with the Omega 3′s (due to the fishy taste), Nordic Naturals does make a pleasant tasting supplement that I can attest does not have a fishy taste. Also Arbonne makes a very good plant-derived Omega 3, called Omega 3 Plus, that of course does not have a fishy taste because there is no fish in it!! You can get it at  www.womenshealth.myarbonne.com
The third supplement is a B-Complex,  which contains the whole panel of B vitamins.   Many medications including birth control pills, medications to treat hypertension, and many others  interfere with the absorption of the B vitamins,  and these vitamins are important for the immune system the brain and dealing with daily stressors  and with preventing stroke and Alzheimer’s'  disease.
The fourth supplement is Co-Enzyme Q 10, (nicknamed CoQ10), a co-enzyme that your body normally makes but as a person ages, the levels start to decline. This co-enzyme is very important for the function of every cell in the body and particularly the heart cells. After age 40 everyone should be taking a supplement of at least 100 mg of Co-Enzyme Q10. However there are certain medications that increase a persons requirements for this co-enzyme because they decrease the body’s ability to make it. One category is the “statin” drugs. If you are taking this medication then please increase your CoQ10 to at least 200 mg per day.
How can you tell if your vitamin is even dissolving? A quick test to see if it is even dissolving in your digestive system is to take your vitamin and place it in 1/2 cup of vinegar and see if it dissolves in 1/2 an hour. If it does not dissolve, you are probably not getting any benefit from your vitamin.

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