What supplements should I take? (A list)

What supplements should I take

In this guide, we will answer the question “What supplements should I take?”.

What supplements should I take?

Answering the question “What supplements should I take?”, we can tell you that there are 7 ingredients your multivitamin should have according to nutritionists:

  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Folate
  • Vitamin B-12

With so many vitamins and mineral multivitamin options in the market, how do we choose the best? Or where do we start looking?

“Our diets are filled with nutrient-poor and calorie-dense processed foods, GMOs and pesticides”, explains Amy Myers MD. 

Such a combination of our poor diets and the increase in stress, toxins, and other factors is the reason why we can’t get all the vitamins and minerals we need from our food alone. 

Well, fortunately, we don’t need to be a nutritionist to do some research on our own and determine which one is worth taking. 

Within our busy lives and our not so healthy lifestyle habits, there are many vitamins and minerals your body is lacking due to chronic conditions, menopause or pregnancy.

If you are here it is because you maybe you are thinking about making a significant change in your life, hurray!

What science has to say…

A study from JAMA published in 2002 showed that inadequate intake of several vitamins can be associated with chronic diseases including coronary heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis. 

What supplements should I take? (A list)

They indicate that vitamins are “organic compounds that cannot be synthesized by humans and therefore must be ingested to prevent metabolic disorders”.

Additionally, there are some groups that have a higher risk such as the elderly. 

They say, elderly patients are more at risk of vitamin B12 and D deficiency, alcohol-dependent individuals are at risk for folate, B6, B12 and thiamin deficiency and patients that are hospitalized are at risk for deficiencies of folate and other water-soluble vitamins.  

The NHS says that “many people choose to take supplements but taking too much or taking them for too long could be harmful. The Department of Health and Social Care recommends certain supplements for some groups of people who are at risk of deficiency”. 

Which vitamins should my multivitamin have?

If you are pregnant or trying for a baby, the NHS says it is recommended to take 400 micrograms folic acid supplement every day until the 12th week. This will prevent neural tube defects in your baby.

Vitamin D

During certain times of the year (from around late March or early April until the end of September), we can get all the Vitamin D we need through sunlight on our skin and from eating healthy. 

In contrast, during autumn and winter, we are required to get vitamin D from our food because there is not enough sunlight for your body to make vitamin D.

In addition, some of us won’t even get enough vitamin D from our food alone, so it is recommended to consider taking a supplement with 10 micrograms of vitamin D during the time of the year where we don’t get much sunlight.

When we are not getting enough vitamin D  problems as getting sick more ofter, chances of getting bone and back pain and hair loss can occur. 

Some of the foods that contain Vitamin D are milk, egg yolks, and fatty fish. 

Vitamins A, C, and D

This is especially for children 6 months of age to 5 years and it is recommended for them to take them every day. 

Iron 

Iron should be restored, especially in women with heavy periods and people that have a vegan/vegetarian diet.

The Independent says that the latest National Diet and Nutrition’s Survey revealed that only 27% of women are low iron takers and for girls between 11 and 18 the percentage rose to 54%.

It is widely accepted that iron deficiency leads to anemia which in the end causes fatigue and a weakened immune system.

It is recommended to look for a multivitamin with 18 mg of iron since a higher quantity will make you feel sick (nauseous). 

Vitamin B12

For those of you following a vegan diet, this is an essential vitamin since it is predominantly found in animal products such as red meat.

This vitamin is important to maintain a healthy nervous and for the immune system to make red blood cells. 

A different type of vitamin, Vitamin B8 is also important for a person’s health and well being.

To acquire this, you should take an Inositol intake.

What supplements should I take? (A list)

Calcium

Calcium can be obtained from dairy and vegetables but additional consumption can be beneficial for those who are at risk of developing osteoporosis. 

Low levels of calcium in the blood can cause muscle spasms, cramps and when severe it can also cause seizures. 

Some foods where you can get calcium from are cereals, beans, and lentils, salty fish and milk, cheese and yogurt.

The recommended calcium amount a day is 1000 mg (most adults).

Some people buy salt lamps, which also contains calcium and keep them in their rooms because they believe it spreads good health.

But due to a rise in black markets and selling of fake, unreal things, many people inquire How to know if a salt lamp is real.

Zinc

Older people and people under a lot of stress tend to have zinc deficiencies.

Zinc helps to support our immune system and helps our body use carbohydrates, proteins and stored fat for energy resources. 

Some of the foods that contain zinc are oysters, beef (chuck steak), chicken leg, firm tofu, lean pork chops, hemp seeds, lentils, low-fat yogurt, oatmeal, and shiitake mushrooms. 

Magnesium

Magnesium has been proven to be important for our bone health, energy production, can help reducing stress, ease sleep problems, regulates muscle and nerve function, balance blood sugar levels and make protein, bone and even DNA (Kassel, G., 2018)

Some foods that contain magnesium are pumpkin, spinach, artichoke, soybeans, tofu, brown rice or nuts.

The NIH recommends taking no more than 350 mg a day for adults. 

What supplements should I take? (A list)

Folate

Folic acid is important for helping the fetus develop and prevent birth defects but it also contributes to your nail growth and it is known for helping to fight depression. 

Some foods which contain folic acid are green vegetables such as spinach, citrus fruits, beans, bread, cereals, rice, and pasta. 

You can also take the dietary supplement, 5-HTP for amino acids.

Other than just vitamins, one should also take fiber rich foods.

Possible health risks of taking supplements

Supplements are not FDA approved or regulated by pharmaceuticals so they are not that strict with the quality of the products.

Harvard Medical School says that most are safe to take but there are still some exceptions, they give us some good examples. 

  • For smokers, high doses of beta carotene can increase the risk of developing lung cancer. 
  • Taking more calcium and vitamin D from the recommended amount can increase the risk of developing kidney stones. 
  • There is a high risk of having a stroke (bleeding in the brain)by ingesting high doses of vitamin E.
  • Vitamin K can interfere with the anti-clotting effects of blood thinners.
  • Taking high amounts of vitamin B6 for a year or longer has been associated with nerve damage that can impair body movements (the symptoms often go away after the supplements are stopped).

4 Essential supplements everyone should take

High-Quality Multivitamin

Amy Myers, M.D, explains that after doing a lot of research. She couldn’t find a single multivitamin that had the right quality and quantity of nutrients needed to compensate and support our body so she created her own.

She explains that this multivitamin provides the widest range possible of vitamins and minerals “in their most usable forms, which means methylated B vitamins, chelated minerals, vitamin D as cholecalciferol, and much more.”

Omega 3

Omega-3 fatty acids have a wide range of benefits, including the improvement of cognition and memory.

They can help in lowering the risk of chronic diseases (e.g heart disease, cancer, arthritis).

In addition, Omega-6 is also important for our body but when it outweighs your consumption of Omega-3 there could be a series of problems.

It is important to keep them balanced and in similar amounts. 

However, it is important to be careful when buying omega-3 supplements since the oil that gets extracted from the fish could be contaminated with mercury. 

Probiotics

Probiotics help boost our immune system and it is said that 95% of your serotonin (the neurotransmitter that helps regulate your mood) is produced in your gut (Amy Myers, MD).

Consequently, if there is an imbalance of bacteria in our gut, this can result in problems such as anxiety, depression or auto-immune diseases. 

It is recommended to take probiotics every day to keep the balance.

Vitamin D

As we already said, Vitamin D is important in many ways. Our body can produce Vitamin D from being exposed to sunlight.

This vitamin gets converted into a hormone that goes through our bloodstream to the rest of the body, activating our metabolism, helping with growth and regulating our mood. 

What supplements should I take? (A list)

Why is this blog about “What supplements should I take” important?

It is necessary to stop and think for a few minutes what our bodies are saying.

We are so immersed in our lives, living under stress, having bad habits and eating unhealthy. 

There are some books in the “recommended reading section” that have been picked specifically to help you take the first step into a better lifestyle. 

Now when you ask “What supplements should I take?” you have a better idea and understanding of what they are and why they are needed. 

We would like to hear from you, please feel free to comment in the comments section down below. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about “What supplements should I take?”

What supplements should I take daily?

The supplements that you should be taking daily according to men’s health are Omega-3, calcium, vitamin D, fiber, coenzyme Q10, magnesium, folic acid, and selenium.

What supplements should I take for health?

The supplements that should be taken for health should be Omega-3, probiotics, vitamin D, magnesium and protein.

These are usually depleted and are needed to keep our bodies from functioning properly, especially the brain. 

What supplements should I take before bed?

The vitamins you should take before bed are magnesium, calcium, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium.

In addition, it has been said that magnesium intake before sleep can aid our REM (Rapid eye movement) cycle, calcium helps relax the muscles naturally which helps us sleep better.

What is the most important vitamin to take?

Experts suggest the most important vitamin to take is vitamin D.

What is the number 1 supplement in the world?

The number 1 supplement in the world, backed by 80 years of science and health is Nutrilite. 

Recommended reading

  1. The Essential Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and Herbal Supplements
  2. Herbal Hormone Handbook for Women: 41 Natural Remedies to Reset Hormones, Reduce Anxiety, Combat Fatigue and Control Weight (Herbs for Hormonal Balance, Weight Loss, Stress, Natural Healing)
  3. What You Must Know About Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and So Much More: Choosing the Nutrients That are Right for You 
  4. Eat Your Vitamins: Your Guide to Using Natural Foods to Get the Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrients Your Body Needs
  5. Multivitamins with Added Minerals -120 Tablets | 27 Active Ingredients

References 

NHS

The Independent

Kassel, G. (2018) According to Nutritionists, These Are the 7 Ingredients Your Multivitamin Should Have

Harvard Health Publishing

Amy Myers MD

What supplements should I take? (A list)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.