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Categories of Supplements

by Dr. Randy

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There are so many types of nutritional supplements, and so much information and promotion, that it’s often difficult to know what supplements are appropriate. Taking a general multivitamin is no longer considered adequate. And the number of specific supplements available is overwhelming. I have suggested a program in other articles, but in this article I would like to just categorize the different types of supplements that are helpful to take in different situations.

Universal supplements

There are a few supplements that are a good idea for everyone to take, including babies, young children, and adults.

Vitamin D: Virtually everyone is deficient in vitamin D because of inadequate sun exposure for most of the year. Everyone should be taking vitamin D and have a target blood level of 50-100 ng/mL. It usually takes 5,000-10,000 IU/day to bring up your level this high.

Omega 3 fats: The typical sources for these beneficial fats are fish oil and flax seed oil. They support brain function and prevent inflammation. A typical adult dose is about 1,500 mg of EPA.

Probiotics: Healthy immune function and digestive health depend on a healthy digestive tract lining and the right balance of intestinal bacteria. A broad spectrum probiotic with at least 20 billion CFU is a good idea.

Antioxidants

As we age our bodies produce less antioxidants that prevent inflammation and tissue damage. Taking some antioxidants after age 50 is a good idea. And taking the most potent antioxidants gives you more bang for your buck. Some of the best antioxidants are N-acetyl-cysteine (the building block of your body’s own production of glutathione), resveratrol, astaxanthin, CoQ10,  and alpha lipoic acid.

Immune system support

Anyone struggling with low resistance to infections or autoimmune disease could benefit from taking adaptogens that balance immune function. The best product for this purpose is a medicinal mushroom formula containing reishi, shitaki, cordyceps, and others. Astragalus is an herb that serves this function, and often these formulas will include astragalus as well.

Multivitamins

Although it is most beneficial to get vitamins from fruits and vegetables, taking a high quality multivitamin can provide insurance that you’re getting what you need. If vitamins are natural and food sources they will generally be better absorbed.

Treatment

There are many supplements that can treat specific imbalances in the respiratory tract, digestive system, brain function and cognition, mood disorders, and other health problems. These include amino acids, specific herbs, and vitamins/minerals. A trained nutritionist/herbalist can provide prescriptions for your unique set of symptoms and imbalance.

Our stressful lives often result in energetic deficiency states, including adrenal insufficiency and other hormone deficits (thyroid, sex hormones, or neurotransmitters). Tonification treatment with specific herbs and supplements can bolster the underlying deficiency and help reestablish healthy function of glands that contribute

Inflammation is often a major factor in the pathology of chronic disease including heart disease, arthritis, organ degeneration, diminished brain function, and cancer. An anti-inflammatory nutritional support program is essential in controlling these disease processes.

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