I have always found nutritional supplements to be among the most provocative topics I get involved with. Many of us like to steer clear of prescription drugs if possible and find more natural ways to address our health concerns.
One of the best ways to learn is to simply talk them, what you take, and the reason for it. Here is what I take daily and why (all under the supervision of my docs - always touch base with your docs first).
Vitamin C (1000mg): There are many theories about how much to take including a number of megadose therapies. Frankly, it has never done much for me at any dose and the studies I have seen do not support supplementation if your diet is good. I take it mostly out of habit and because at 1000mg it is fairly benign.
Vitamin D (8000IU): Blood testing has determined I need a fairly high dose to maintain a blood level of 60ng/dL. This number is higher than many traditional recommendations and is based on the heart disease prevention and reversal work of Dr. William Davis whose program I follow. Most of the studies I have read confirm Vitamin D is a powerful supplement for many diseases and the general population is woefully deficient.
Vitamin B Complex: I started taking it to reduce homocysteine but some of the latest studies cast doubt on whether it is effective. I continue to take it to address my macrocytotic (large cell) anemia. I just (yesterday) started working with a functional medicine doc to study whether my B vitamins are actually getting to the cellular level.
DHEA (25mg): My personal scourge is lipoprotein(a): Several studies have shown a modest decrease in lipoprotein(a) when taking DHEA.
Boswellia (750mg): We all now know that inflammation is a key component of heart disease. But, did you know the body has TWO inflammation pathways? Common anti-infallmatory agents block the cyclo-oxygenase (COX). Boswellia interrupts the lipoxygenase pathway (or so the theory goes). I am working with a forum group that is investigating this supplement.
Fish Oil (6000mg): Each new study confirms old benefits including anti-arrhythmia properties and anti-lipoprotein(a) among others. Be certain to talk to your doc about it! Note that I take 6000mg of the active ingredient (EPA/DHA) and does not include the weight of the inactive ingredients. I take it in liquid form (beats swallowing those all those horse pills).
Magnesium (200mg): I take the Citrate form and use it to address my minor arrhythmias and muscle cramping.
Iodine (225mcg): I get this from a kelp tablet to support my thyroid in addition to my hypothyroid medication.
Co-Q10 (200mg): I take this to counteract the muscle aches I sometimes get from my low dose statin.
Niacin (2000mg): I take this in a timed-release preapration to raise my low HDL and lower my lipoprotein(a). It also lowers my LDL and Triglycerides. Note that at this dose niacin should be considered a drug and I take it under the prescription of my cardiologist!
Any comments or questions? What do you take?
Finally, remember that supplements are powerful chemicals. Treat them as such. Always consult with your docs before taking them or changing your dose!
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