Walk down the vitamin and supplement aisle of a grocery store or pharmacy and you may find yourself overwhelmed by all the options. There are literally hundreds. All different brands, names, claims, and concentrations—but how do you know which ones you really need, and which ones you can easily live without? We asked some experts at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, and they told us about the five supplements every person can benefit from.
Of course each individual has his or her own health concerns, but this list is a great place to start in order to achieve and maintain good health and vitality.
Coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant, is most important in helping the mitochondria function well. Mitochondria are the “powerhouses” of the cell, creating the form of energy the body needs to function. The organs in particular, including the heart, liver, and pancreas, need this antioxidant to function properly. It’s important to note that the cholesterol-lowering class of drugs called statins (such as Zocor, Lipitor, and Crestor) deplete Coenzyme Q10 levels significantly.
You should take 100-200 mg daily.
Buy it: Doctor’s Best CoQ10, $12
Magnesium works along with vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium, making it critical for bone health and in preventing osteoporosis. Many people are deficient in this overlooked mineral, especially the elderly and women in the days leading up to menstruation. If you take oral contraceptives or diuretics, you may be deficient as well.
Magnesium is truly a miracle mineral. In addition to helping with bone health, magnesium also relaxes the bronchial smooth muscles, helping respiratory function. So it’s no surprise that magnesium has been shown to reduce asthma attacks. Magnesium helps the heart, too, by fixing irregular rhythms, lowering blood pressure, and helping the heart heal after a heart attack.
You should take 600-800 mg daily.
This vitamin is most likely to be on every “must-have” list, and for good reason. It’s impossible to understate the effect that vitamin C has on immunity and good health. As an antioxidant, it fights free radicals that can damage DNA and lead to cancer.
Vitamin C fights free radicals in the lungs, and acts as a natural antihistamine, which means it should be at the top of any allergy sufferer’s list. It’s also crucial to the proper functioning of the adrenal glands, which are responsible for producing the “stress hormone” cortisol in appropriate amounts. It’s not a coincidence that immunity is often impaired in people with insufficient adrenal activity. They could benefit from more vitamin C.
You should take 1,000 mg per 25 pounds of body weight daily.
Buy It: Viva Naturals Vitamin C , $19
Vitamin D’s main job is to bolster the immune system. It also helps the bones absorb calcium, keeping them strong. Deficiency of this vital nutrient can lead to a variety of issues, including lowered immune function, mood disorders, and an increased risk of a variety of cancers. You may know that the body can make its own vitamin D when exposed to enough sunlight, but it’s difficult for most Americans to get the daily sunlight they need year-round, making the sun an unreliable source of the vitamin. Deficiency is also common in the elderly, people who avoid dairy because of lactose intolerance, and people with hypothyroidism.
You should take 5,000-10,000 iu daily, depending on the level of 25-hydroxy vitamin D in your blood test.
Buy It: Viva Naturals Vitamin D, $14
Fish oil is such an effective supplement because of the omega-3 fatty acids it contains. These powerful fatty acids lead to an anti-inflammatory response in the body. That matters because inflammation is what causes a wide variety of diseases and disorders, from acne to arthritis. Promoting an anti-inflammatory response in the body protects against these conditions. Omega-3 fatty acids also support cardiovascular health, respiratory function, flexibility, and mobility.
You should take at least 1,000-2,000 mg of omega-3 fats daily.
One Daily Habit for Long-Lasting Health Benefits
These five supplements—vitamin C, CoQ10, vitamin D, magnesium, and fish oil—are the true must-have supplements for everyone. Each one works in the body in a variety of ways, enhancing the immune system, fighting off cancer, keeping the heart healthy, helping hormones function properly, and more. To get the benefit of these chemical powerhouses, all you have to do is develop the habit of taking your supplements daily. It’s amazing what a big effect such a small habit can have. Get into the habit, and experience the benefits to your quality of life, health, and happiness.
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