Your need for supplements depends on many factors. Your age, the quality of your diet, and your state of health will all be factors to consider. For example, if your diet consists of whole foods, organically grown, with very little processed or packaged food, and a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables, then you will be getting many valuable antioxidants and vitamins from your diet. Include some calcium sources, clean protein products, and healthy fats and your diet may be perfect. In that case you may be fine with just a vitamin D3 supplement whenever you are not exposed to significant sunlight. Remember that organic produce contains significantly more vitamins and antioxidants than commercially grown, agribusiness produce. The extra cost will be recouped in your need for less supplements.
If your diet is less than perfect, then you may want to include an omega-3 fat source in the form of Antarctic krill oil, fish oil, or flax oil, a high quality multivitamin, antioxidants in the form of vitamin E (400 IU mixed tocopherols), CoQ10 (50-100 mg), or resveratrol (100-200 mg), and probiotics. Similarly, if you are older than 50 then your body’s own production of these nutrients is decreasing, and taking them will help to restore and maintain your youthful state. Everyone needs to take vitamin D3 unless you have plenty of sun exposure (for example, during the summer) or if you have been tested and have adequate vitamin D levels (50-100 ng/mL).
If your health is compromised or your vitality is depleted by stress or illness, then you will benefit from specific supplements. Any digestive symptoms may be a sign of an intestinal imbalance that will benefit from a probiotic supplement and a prebiotic such as fructooligosaccharides, arabinogalactan, and inulin. Digestive support can make a huge difference in your absorption of nutrients from foods and from supplements. A digestive enzyme supplement may be helpful in this process as well, especially if there are signs of reduced breakdown of foods, symptoms of gas, bloating, or abdominal discomfort.
Many forms of chronic illness are a result of inflammatory processes. Allergies, arthritis, heart disease, skin disorders, and diabetes all involve chronic inflammation. Taking antioxidants and anti-inflammatory supplements will always benefit these conditions.
The type of anti-inflammatory from supplements and herbs will depend on the type of inflammation. An omega-3 fat supplement with adequate levels of EPA has a general anti-inflammatory effect. Specific illnesses will call for specific forms of treatment. For example, allergies are often helped by taking Quercetin, stinging nettle, bromelain, and n-acetylcysteine. Arthritis sufferers notice reduced joint pain and swelling by taking bromelain, turmeric (Curcumin), and Humulus lupulus (reduced iso-alpha acid preparations RIAA from hops). Auto-immune conditions will also need a combination of supplements with significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
At this unusual time of exposure to radioactive fallout as a result of the Japanese nuclear accident we can all benefit from supplements that help detoxify metals and radiation. This includes a chelating agent such as chlorella, powdered citrus pectin, or powdered mineral zeolite. In addition, antioxidants, liver support, and digestive support will encourage the metabolism and elimination of heavy metals and radioactive elements. For specific dosages see the articles on radiation at my website (www.cure-guide.com).