Dietary Supplements 101

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Supplements can be confusing. If you take a multi-vitamin does that cover everything or could you still be missing some important nutrients? Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Iris Briand stopped by to break it down for us.

Amounts depend on individual and health condition. So here are some common recommendations:

Vitamin D3-

Amount: If you have less than 30 on your Vit-D 25 OH hydroxy (Vit D blood test), then 10000iu vitamin D3 for one month and then 6000 IU for another 1-2 months. We want to be in the optimal range of above 50 on the blood test. Once we are above 50, the maintenance dose decreases to 2000 IU per day. AM is best to take it. OK to add on to your multivitamin.

  • Symptoms of a deficit: low energy, lack of mental focus, weakened immune system response, aka getting sick often


Omega 3-

Amount: generally 1000-2000 mg daily, depending on the individual’s condition and what they are using it for. Take it with breakfast or lunch meal, preferably in liquid form. OK to add on to your multivitamin.

  • Symptoms of a deficit: mood swings, mental focus challenges, hormonal imbalances, skin problems and rashes, depression, chronic inflammation and joint pain, and arthritis.


Probiotic-

Amount: Look for a broad strained probiotic (containing many strains of active cultures) with 10-20 billion cultures ; take in the AM first thing before breakfast. OK to add on to your multivitamin.

  • Symptoms of a deficit: weakened immune system as 70% of our immune system is in our gut, imbalances in digestion/elimination, constipation/diarrhea.


B12-

Amount: 500-1000mcg per day. Take in the AM with breakfast. Often, it is best to take it a few times per week even, rather than daily. Generally OK to add on to your multivitamin.

  • Symptoms of a deficit: are similar to Iron deficiency anemia: lethargy, depression, sugar cravings, low endurance for physical activity, challenges in mental focus.


Important information for special diets:

Vegans & Vegetarians: Very important to focus on including omega 3s (DHA and EPA) and Vit B12.

Sometimes with the gluten free folks, we see malabsorption issues, so Vit B12 may also be an important supplement to include.