The #1 Best Supplement to Take, Says Science
There's so many supplements on the market promising a way to better health, but it's hard to know which ones really work. While there's no magic pill to pop that cures all, there are certain supplements that can help improve specific aspects of health. Eat This, That Not! Health spoke with experts who share which supplements are the healthiest to take and why. (Be sure to ask your doctor about what's right for you before starting any supplement regime.) Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Why People Take Supplements
Dr. Jacob Hascalovici, the chief medical officer and pain specialist with Clearing explains, "Most people can get the vitamins and minerals they need directly from their food (which increases the importance of eating a balanced, comprehensive diet). That being said, certain groups of people may want to consider certain supplements. If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, for example, it's important to make sure you're getting enough folic acid (vitamin B9). Vitamin B12 can help vegetarians who may not be ingesting enough of it naturally. And along with aging comes higher risks of osteoporosis and nutritional imbalances, so if you are past 50, you might consider vitamin D and calcium. Each person has their own unique nutritional needs, which is why supplements are not really a one-size-fits-all kind of thing."
What to Know Before Taking Supplements
Dr. Hascalovici says, "Vitamins and supplements are not regulated by the same FDA protocols as medication is, and thus may not be as uniform or as comprehensively tested. In addition, some supplements, such as St. John's wort can interact with other medications and supplements, sometimes with negative consequences. It's also possible to ingest too much of certain vitamins and minerals, such as iron, vitamin A and even vitamin D. Finally, drinking too much and having certain health conditions, among other things, can impact how well your body is able to use supplements. For many reasons, it's best to talk to your doctor or nutritionist before starting on vitamins and supplements."
The #1 to Consider That You May Not Have Heard Of: Boron
Dr. Michael Hirt, a Board Certified Nutrition from Harvard University and Board Certified in Internal Medicine and is with The Center for Integrative Medicine in Tarzana California reveals, "Boron is a trace mineral that is naturally found in very small amounts in fruits and vegetables. The foods richest in boron include avocados, apricots, currants, raisins, prunes and most nuts. The largest natural deposits of boron (called borates) are found only in California and Turkey. Over the last 20 years, researchers have documented a consistent decline in our average dietary boron consumption for reasons that remain unclear. Since nearly all life forms on Earth require access to nutritional boron, this decline in boron consumption is concerning. Scientists now believe that the very evolution of planetary life depended heavily on boron metabolism for the genesis of DNA. Modern nutritional medicine has discovered many benefits of boron supplementation including the promotion of bone health. Boron can trigger bone-building activity and direct calcium, magnesium and vitamin D from our blood and into our bones. While boron does not create sex hormones like testosterone and estrogen, it does improve the effectiveness of our hormones by improving the availability of these hormones and by reducing their clearance from the blood.. Boron does this while simultaneously reducing the risks of prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Unchecked inflammation is one of the key drivers of human disease, including heart disease, strokes, arthritis, and cancer. Boron has been shown to significantly reduce the levels of one of the major inflammatory markers, C-Reactive Protein. Lower inflammation levels today are likely to help protect you from many diseases tomorrow. A typical dose for boron supplementation is 3mg, but clinical doses of boron up to 20mg have been used therapeutically. As always, check with your healthcare professional before adding any supplement, at any dose. A dose of boron today won't help you feel better tomorrow, but if you stick with boron, you may be amazed by what this little-known, miracle mineral can do."
Dr. Hascalovici says, "B vitamins influence a lot in the body, from liver function to stress and mood stabilization. A lack of it may lead to fatigue, weakness, cramping, anemia, skin cracking, and more. Vegetarians and vegans should ensure they're ingesting enough B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12. Nutritional yeast is a great source of vitamin B12; salmon contains it, too. The NIH lists specific recommended doses of the B vitamins, which is a helpful place to start. While the B vitamins are water soluble, it is possible to overdo them over time, which can result in nerve problems."
Dr. Hascalovici shares, "Magnesium supports your thyroid and can help stabilize serotonin, which can impact your moods. It can also support your blood pressure and help control inflammation. If you're seeking more magnesium, oat bran, wheat germ, fluffy greens, and nuts are your friends. Supplements are recommended for some people, but not everyone."
Daniel Powers, MS with The Botanical Institute shares, "Ashwagandha is a supplement that has been growing more and more popular over the past few years. And for good reason, studies show that this adaptogenic herb helps to build your body's resilience to stress. Ashwagandha has also been shown to help to improve sleep quality. In today's fast-paced culture, ashwagandha provides relaxing benefits that we can all use a bit more of.. Ashwagandha can be taken daily. The recommended dose is ~300mg of Ashwagandha extract.. It's best taken before bed as it can help to wind your brain down and help you get a full night of sleep."
Dr. Suzanna Wong. a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic and health expert with Twin Waves Wellness says, "Zinc affects everything from your immune system, to hair and nail health and skin/wound healing. If you are deficient you could experience hair loss, lots of colds and illnesses, diarrhea, loss of taste, smell and appetite and poor wound healing. Taking zinc helps your body to have a strong immune system, as well as having a role in your overall metabolism."