Do you take supplements? Do you need to take them? Which ones should you take?
There are 3 main supplements that are an absolute must if you are over the age of 40. There are many other very beneficial supplements but these ones build a strong foundation for optimal health.
Many people are simply not eating enough foods that contain these three critical nutrients and the result is that deficiencies are becoming more and more common.
I'll tell you which three and why in my latest article.
3 SUPPLEMENTS YOU SHOULD BE TAKING IF YOU ARE OVER 40 YEARS OLD
SUPPLEMENT #1: VITAMIN D3/K2
If you live in North America, chances are that you are low in vitamin D3. It is the “sunshine vitamin” and we are just not able to hang out in shorts every day of the year! During the summer months when exposure to the sun occurs more regularly, sunscreen blocks our chances of absorbing any natural vitamin D3.
Vitamin D3 is very important for everyone but this is especially true for women over 40 years of age.
Vitamin D3 helps our body absorb and keep the calcium that we obtain from our diet. Calcium is one of the main components in our bones of and Vitamin D3 therefore strengthens our bones more than any other nutrients. Vitamin D3 also decreases the risk of age related falls.
Here are some other key benefits of Vitamin D3:
- Reduces the risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis and other auto immune conditions as well as coronary heart disease
- Improves immune function and protects against the flu
- Regulates mood and decreases depression
- Enhances weight loss efforts by appetite suppression
- Improved DNA repair which enhances protection against certain types of cancer
The symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency in adults include:
- General tiredness, aches and pains and a general sense of not feeling well
- Severe bone/muscle pain or weakness that may cause difficulty climbing stairs or getting up from low positions
- Walking with a waddling gait
- Stress fractures, especially in the legs, pelvis and hips
Doctors can diagnose a vitamin D deficiency by performing a simple blood test. Few foods contain vitamin D naturally. Foods that contain vitamin D include:
- Egg Yolk
Take Vitamin D3 with Vitamin K2
The biological role of vitamin K2 is to help move calcium into the proper areas in your body such as your bones and teeth. It also helps remove calcium from areas where it shouldn't be such as in your arteries and soft tissues. Vitamin K2 should be avoided with blood thinners.
Based on the most recent research, the current recommendation is 35 IUs of vitamin D per pound of body weight. Therefore, a child weighing 40 pounds would need 1400 IUs daily and for a 170-pound adult, the dose would be nearly 6,000 IUs.
However, it is important to realize that vitamin D requirements are highly individual because your vitamin D status is dependent on numerous factors such as the color of your skin, your location and how much sunshine you are exposed to on a regular basis.
The following chart shows the recommended blood levels of Vitamin D when testing:
Dr Cobi’s Top Vitamin D3/K2 choice: Thorne Liquid Vitamin D3/K2
SUPPLEMENT #2 MAGNESIUM
Magnesium is an essential mineral needed for over 300 reactions in your body. As with vitamin D3, it is very common for us to simply not get enough from our diet. A Magnesium deficiency is one of the leading nutrient deficiencies in adults with an estimated 80 percent being deficient in this vital mineral.
Risk factors for developing a Magnesium Deficiency include:
- Consuming carbonated beverages on a regular basis
- A diet high in refined sugar
- Chronic stress
- Regular consumption of coffee, tea or other caffeinated drinks
- Certain medications such as diuretics, heart medication, asthma medication, birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy
- Consuming more than 7 alcoholic beverages per week
- Taking calcium supplements without magnesium or calcium supplements with magnesium in less than a 1:1 ratio
Magnesium deficiency symptoms can include the following:
- Behavioral disorders and mood swings
- Hypertension and cardiovascular disease
- Kidney and liver damage
- Muscle weakness and cramps
- Nutrient deficiencies including vitamin k, vitamin b1, calcium and potassium
- Migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma or Alzheimer’s disease
- Recurrent bacterial or fungal infections due to low levels of nitric oxide or a depressed immune system
- Restless leg syndrome
- Tooth cavities
- Worsened PMS symptoms
Top food sources of Magnesium
Here are the top 10 foods high in magnesium that you will want to add into your diet:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Yogurt or Kefir
- Black Beans
- Dark Chocolate
Types of Magnesium
There are several types of Magnesium supplements but they do not all absorb well. The top 2 types that are easily obtainable and highly absorbable are Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Glycinate.
Magnesium Citrate is magnesium combined with citric acid. This may have a laxative effect in some cases when taken in high doses but it is otherwise safe to use for improving digestion and preventing or treating constipation.
Magnesium Glycinate is highly absorbable and is recommended for anyone with a known magnesium deficiency and is less likely to cause laxative effects than some other magnesium supplements.
The “Recommended Daily Allowance” (RDA) for Magnesium is approximately:
- 400 mg per day for men
- 320 mg per day for women
The RDA’s were designed to be the minimum amount to prevent obvious symptoms of deficiency but do not necessarily indicate ‘optimal’ functioning for your individual needs. However, researchers believe that these numbers would be too low for a starting dose for supplementation to correct deficiencies and therefore approximately 600 mg would be a better starting dose.
SUPPLEMENT #3 OMEGA-3
Omega-3 fats are essential to your overall health and have a positive impact on heart and brain function as well as reducing inflammation in the body.
While fish oil supplements contain the “brain healthy” fats called EPA and DHA, these two are not technically the “essential” fats. The plant omega-3 known as ALA is essential and that is because our bodies can convert ALA into EPA and DHA when necessary. Omega-3 comes from both animal and plant sources. The primary animal sources are krill oil and fish oil. The primary plant sources are flaxseed, chia and hemp.
Omega 3’s have been shown to be beneficial for the following conditions:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Anxiety and depression
- Crohn’s and Colitis
- High cholesterol
- Macular degeneration
- Skin issues (acne, eczema and psoriasis)
Omega-3 deficiency symptoms can include poor memory, dry skin, heart conditions, mood swings, joint pain and autoimmune diseases. Deficiencies are common in people who consume a large amount of processed foods, hydrogenated oils and those on a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Top 10 Omega 3 Foods List
- Grass-fed beef
- Chia Seeds
- Grass-fed Dairy
Omega 3 Dosages
The recommended general dosage is 1000mg of Omega 3’s.
Certain health conditions also indicate an increased need for omega-3 fats.
- For treating coronary heart disease, the American Heart Association recommends taking 1,000 mg of a combination of EPA and DHA per day. To lower triglycerides and prevent heart disease, take a combination of 2,000 to 4,000 mg of EPA and DHA. Research also shows people who took 850 mg of EPA and DHA daily for 3.5 years had a 25 percent lower risk of heart attack and a 45 percent lower risk of sudden death.
- Depression: Higher doses of omega-3, from 200 mg to 2,500 mg daily, may help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Memory: 1000mg is recommended.
- Pain and stiffness: Up to 3000mg per day of Omega 3’s is needed to combat inflammation. Researchers found that 300 mg of Krill oil per day significantly reduced inflammation, pain, stiffness and functional impairment after just 7 days and even more profoundly after 14 days.
Tip: Fish liver oil (i.e. cod liver oil) also contains vitamin D so check your labels and add the amounts together to know how much vitamin D you are actually absorbing.
Always read the supplement labels to see if there are warnings that would make them inappropriate for you. If you have any medical conditions or take medications or other supplements, it is always a good idea to speak with your medical practitioner before starting anything new.