Did you know the human body needs six essential nutrients (three macronutrients and two micronutrients) for proper functioning? Carbohydrates, proteins, fats are the macronutrients, and vitamins and minerals are the micronutrients. The sixth one is fiber; although not technically considered a nutrient because it has no nutritive value, it has plenty of benefits to the body. Most people meet their daily requirements for macronutrients, however, they fall short of micronutrients and fiber intake. Surprisingly, many are aware that they may not be meeting their daily vitamin and mineral requirement, given their eating habits and lifestyle.
In fact, providers reveal that the most common question they get from their patients during a wellness visit is regarding recommendations for vitamin supplements. Given this background, we provide you with an inside scoop of the crucial nutrients you can include in your diet in the form of a supplement.
Multivitamin: A 2017 study from the CDC found that only 1 in 10 adults meet the recommended 1 to 1.5 cups of fruits and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day. It is well known that fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, if we fall short of these vital nutrients, it may lead to health concerns in the long run. Dr. Kwan, the lead author of the study, states that missing out on these vital nutrients puts individuals at risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. In some cases, nutrient deficiencies also manifest in subtle forms like restless leg syndrome, fatigue, certain types of migraine, etc. Hence, supplementing the diet with a high-quality multivitamin ensures that you are getting enough of the vital nutrients and making up for the gaps in your diet.
Omega-3 fats: Omega- 3 fats are essential fats and are well known for their ability to lower inflammation, improve blood circulation, and overall heart health. They are called essential fats for a reason – your body cannot make its own omega-3’s and must be supplied through food. Fish and phytoplanktons are the best sources of omega-3 fats. Although the strongest evidence on the benefits of omega-3 relates to the heart, there are also other benefits. Results from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study revealed that men that consumed an EPA and DHA-rich diet (Omega3 fats) were less likely to develop advanced prostate cancer than those with a low intake of EPA and DHA.
Bone-building nutrients: Calcium and magnesium are two crucial nutrients necessary for maintaining healthy bones. Besides a combined effect of promoting bone health, magnesium also plays a crucial role in improving immune health, mood, and sleep cycle. Although a micro mineral, magnesium helps us enjoy stable blood sugar, healthy blood pressure, and reduces the risk of certain types of migraines. The deficiency of magnesium leads to a myriad of health issues including chronic fatigue conditions, weak bones, irregular heart rhythms, and muscle cramps. Both magnesium and calcium promote healthy blood pressure which is an important component of a healthy heart function. Ensuring an adequate intake of magnesium along with calcium takes care of immune health as well as bone structure in adults.
Vitamin D: Your body can make vitamin D from the UV-B rays of the sun; however mostly indoor living, fear of skin cancer, and use of sunscreens has hindered the process of sun exposure leading to a vitamin D deficiency. According to a 2015 manuscript published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemical Molecular Biology vitamin D deficiency is a global problem. The deficiency was prevalent even in countries that receive adequate sunlight throughout the year. Vitamin deficiency can cause fatigue, weak bones, poor immune response, muscle weakness, pain, low mood levels, and depression. Studies also show that low vitamin D levels increase the risk for degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and heart diseases. Strong evidence from multiple research studies reveals that maintaining adequate vitamin D levels in the body can promote healthy heart function, improve immune function, lower the risk of diabetes, and weak bones in older adults. Since the skin’s ability to make vitamin D drops as aging progresses, providers advise taking vitamins as supplements to make up for the body’s daily needs.
Probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that help maintain gut health. A gut that functions well helps digest and absorb nutrients and promotes wellness. Your gut is home to both good and bad bacteria and it is crucial to keep a healthy balance of both types for optimal function. A body that harbors more harmful bacteria and fewer good bacteria suffers from digestive issues, bowel irregularities, poor immunity, and weight problems. Hence it is essential to keep up the healthy bacteria population through a balanced intake of prebiotic (fiber-rich produce) and probiotics (fermented foods, and probiotic supplements that offer healthy strains of bacteria). Research suggests that the use of Lactobacillus acidophilus, a mixture of L.acidophilus with Bifidobacterium lactis can be beneficial for the gut. A healthy dose of these probiotics may offer immediate and long-term health benefits to the body.
O.N.E. Multivitamin by Pure Encapsulations: This formulation is the answer for those looking for a convenient single-dose multivitamin capsule packed with antioxidants and cognitive function enhancing nutrients. The supplement provides vitamins A, B, C, D, and E in highly bioavailable forms. Choline and inositol improve brain function and may help maintain cognitive function in later years of life. The formulation also packs a special antioxidant complex that includes 50 mg of alpha-lipoic acid and a blend of CoQ10. The CoQ10 is in the form of MicroActive® C0Q10, which contains CoQ10 molecules encapsulated with cyclodeztrin complex which slows the release of CoQ10 in the small intestine. This ensures a sustained release of CoQ10 over 24 hours. The carotenoid complex consists of zeaxanthin, lycopene, and FloraGLO Lutein which is the free-form of lutein found in fruits and vegetables. The free form allows for easier absorption by the body. The recommended dosage is to take one capsule per day with meals. The formulation is gluten-free, non-GMO, and hypoallergenic vegetarian capsules are available in 120, 60, and 30 capsules in a bottle.
ProOmega 2000 by Nordic Naturals: Nordic Naturals ProOmega 2000 stands out as one of the best dietary supplements that deliver the highest concentration of omega-3 fats in the form of soft gels. The omega-3 fats are derived from purified deep sea fish oil from anchovies and sardines. Other ingredients include rosemary extract (a natural preservative), d-alpha-tocopherol, and natural lemon flavor. It is devoid of the fishy aftertaste that is typical in conventional omega-3 supplements. The formulation features breakthrough powerful concentrated omega3 oil in its natural triglyceride form which is 70% more absorbable by the body. The natural triglyceride form is superior to the ethyl ester form found in conventional fish oils. Nordic Naturals’ patented “nitrogen processing” ensures the 2000 mg of omega-3 is 100% fresh and pure. The supplement is third-party tested for safety and efficacy and surpasses international quality standards. Two soft gels a day provide 2000 mg of omega-3 fats that deliver 1125 mg EPA, 875 mg DHA, 150 mg of other omegas. Nordic Naturals ProOmega 2000 supports a healthy heart, brain, and eye function and promotes optimal immune defense. The formulation is available in 60 and 120 count packs in the market.
Cal/Mg 1001 by Douglas Laboratories: A supplement that promotes bone health and structure with the right proportion of best bone-building nutrients. Douglas Laboratories formulation offers the two key components of bone-building - calcium and magnesium in a 1:1 dose ratio to improve their bioavailability and absorption in the body. The product offers 500 mg of elemental calcium and 500 mg of elemental magnesium along with other bone-building nutrients like 75 IU vitamin D3, 150 mg vitamin C, 3 mg boron, and 150 mg glutamic acid. The recommended dosage is to take three tablets a day or as recommended by your physician.
Vitamin D Supreme by Designs for Health: Designs for Health Vitamin D Supreme is a dietary supplement that addresses the need for aggressive repletion of vitamin D. The formulation provides a clinical dose of vitamin D3 that is specifically targeted towards improving very low vitamin D levels in the body. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient that is required for optimal bone health and immune function. Besides Vitamin D3, the supplement also provides vitamin K as K1 and K2. The combination of Vitamin D and K operate as a team and are crucial for optimal bone and arterial health. Designs for Health Vitamin D Supreme provides 5000 IU of vitamin D as cholecalciferol and 550 mcg of vitamin K. Vitamin K in the formulation is presented as vitamin K1 (Phytonadione 500 mcg) and Vitamin K2 Menaquinone-7 50 mcg. The supplement is available in 30, 60, and 180 vegetarian capsules.
Ultraflora Balance by Metagenics: Metagenics Ultraflora Balance is daily probiotic support for gastrointestinal and immune health. The supplement features a powerful probiotic blend of B.lactis Bi-07 and L acidophilus NCFM® with a non-dairy base in capsule form. The NCFM® strain is the most studied strain of the acidophilus species. The term NCFM is derived from North Carolina Food Microbiology, which is the name of the lab where the strain was first discovered. Studies have demonstrated that NCFM® strain’s safety and survival to resist the stomach acids and reach the gut alive. Numerous studies have supported the ability of the strain to improve gut and immune health as well as overall wellbeing. One capsule provides a blend of 15 billion live organisms, lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07. The suggested dosage is one capsule per day.
 Leitzmann MF, Stampfer MJ, Michaud DS, et al. Dietary intake of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids and the risk of prostate cancer. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004; 80:204-16.