Commonly I am asked, “What vitamins or supplements do I need to take? It seems every month I hear about a new miracle supplement or pill on the news. How do I sort through this information and protect my health at the same time?”
My answer is “The Fantastic Four.” There are 4 supplements that I recommend daily for optimal health. They are Vitamin D, Magnesium, a high quality multi-vitamin, and Omega 3 fatty acids (fish or flax seed oil).
These supplements make up the “Fantastic Four” list because
- they are all very active in the body, and therefore crucial to human health, and
- deficiencies of these vitamins and minerals are extremely common
Vitamin D has been in the news quite a bit lately, and for good reason: As you may know, Vitamin D is synthesized through exposure to the sun. What you may not know is that we derive virtually no vitamin D from our diet. Since there is little to no Vitamin in the diet and we live in a region of the world that doesn’t receive much sunlight, vitamin D supplementation is a must. Recent research links vitamin D deficiency to early cancer, autoimmune disease, depression, expression of pain and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Although this research is tentative, all Minnesotans should supplement with vitamin D since we don’t receive enough sunlight causing most of us to be deficient. See the links below for more information about vitamin D.
Magnesium makes the list as it plays many different roles in the body, and because magnesium is chronically deficient in the modern diet. One of Magnesium’s most notable roles is for the relaxation of muscles. Deficiencies of magnesium therefore lead to muscle cramps and spasms, a common reason patients seek Chiropractic care. It is also suggested that athletes have a greater need for magnesium due to the stress they place on their body.
A multi-vitamin is recommended as it provides the body with a number of different essential nutrients including B, C, A and E vitamins. Low micronutrient intake may accelerate the aging process, promote the diseases of aging and promote other chronic diseases. A multi-vitamin fills in the nutritional gaps that are left out due to our modern Western diet.
Omega 3 fatty acids (in the form of flax seed or fish oil) are recommended due to their anti-inflammatory properties. The average American diet tends to be imbalanced, richer in omega 6 pro-inflammatory fats such as arachadonic acid and lacking in omega 3 anti-inflammatory fats such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This imbalance increases the risk of high blood pressure, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and thrombosis (blood clots). Supplementing with Omega 3 fatty acids counteracts this imbalance.
Remember, supplements are no substitution for healthy living. Supplements do just that, they supplement what is missing in the diet. It is also important to remember that not all supplements are made with the same quality. Be sure to purchase only high quality supplements from reputable manufacturers. NE Community Chiropractic only uses supplements from companies that meet quality control standards.
Be sure to forward this health information on to those you feel could benefit from the health information.
Be well and keep moving,
Dr. Chris Hanson