Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I am a huge believer in vitamins. Here are just a few thoughts on what I think are the most important vitamins to take on a daily basis. First-a multivitamin. These have all the basic vitamins and minerals you need to meet the majority of the daily recommendations. Second-calcium. The reason for the calcium is that most women will suffer some degree of osteopenia later in life which leads to osteoporosis. Most of us (men included even though they won't admit this) don't get enough milk or other dairy products to make up the amount of calcium and vitamin D that you need. Multivitamins have some calcium (usually about 400 mg/day) but not enough to prevent osteopenia. The recommendation is that we get 1200-1500 mg/day of calcium and that those supplements need to have Vitamin D. Researchers are finding we are very deficient in vitamin D and taking extra in these supplements will not lead to overdose (even though Vit D is fat soluble). Further many mood disorders such as depression can be helped somewhat with vitamin D supplements. If you are worried about your vitamin D levels, come in and we can draw blood to test this if you desire. The third daily supplement I recommend is fish oil. I think 2-3 capsules/day is recommended. These can promote normal cholesterol levels to prevent heart disease. It also helps the neurons or neurotransmitters in the brain so you can think and process information better and helps your nerves (I'm not sure the exact etiology of this off hand, but you can research this further if you desire).
I usually take this little cocktail at night all at once because this is the only time I remember, but it is probably better to take at least 1 or 2 capsules of the calcium in the morning and a fish oil in the morning and the other capsules and vitamin at night. I'm sure as long as long as you are getting the amounts in your system though, it is better than not at all.
I also recommend an extra folic acid pill if you are trying to conceive. They are finding more neural tube defects and perhaps if we get people taking closer to 1 gm of folic acid prior to conception this rate might be lower. Folic acid is water soluble so don't worry about overdosing on this if you are taking it with a multivitamin.
There are other herbs, etc available too that I take at times including garlic, and echinacea. These are not FDA approved but I think in small amounts can have some reasonable benefits. Well, happy vitamin taking!

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