Is taking supplements beneficial or just a waste of money? What supplements should you take and by how much? In this week’s episode of the podcast, Dr. Trish Murray explains the most beneficial supplements to support your health as well as the reasons why you should be taking these. The selection of supplements on the market can be overwhelming. Let Dr. Trish guide you how.
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Top 5 Reasons To Take Supplements
Welcome to this podcast on why the majority of us need supplements and the fabulous five. I’m going to discuss the top five reasons why the majority of us need to take vitamins and mineral supplements. I’m going to discuss what I would consider the fabulous five, the supplements or vitamins and minerals that the majority of us on this earth do need to take to supplement our nutritional diet and our nutrition on a regular basis. What are the top five reasons that I feel the majority of us do need to take supplements? One of the reasons, I don’t know that these are in a specific order of importance. Number one, needless to say, is to fill a nutrient gap. You’ve got to understand that 90% of people do not get all of the nutrients we need to be optimally healthy from our food. If you talk about the standard American diet, and if you’re someone out there eating the standard American diet, you’ll notice that stands for SAD. It doesn’t have the optimal nutrients in it. Even if you’re someone that follows a healthy diet, there still typically is some nutrient gap even if you are eating the rainbow, eating five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
Why is there a nutrient gap? That comes to some of the other top five reasons. The second reason we all need to take aspects of supplements is because of soil and crop depletion. Our soils have been so depleted. Many grown here in the United States or they’re not grown here, they’re grown in other countries. The soils get depleted, we’re constantly growing and never letting the fields to lay what’s called fallow. You can put as many fertilizers and things as you want, but it’s still not going to have the time to rest and replete itself of nutrients. The fruits and vegetables that we eat, many times, are not as optimally full of nutrients as they could be.
They also need to travel. Vegetables and fruits do not necessarily grow. In the late spring, early summer, we are starting to plant our gardens. Within a few weeks, we would be filled with a plethora of greens and vegetables out of our backdoor. Across the country, and in the wintertime we don’t have that. Many of the fruits and vegetables that we eat across the United States come from thousands of miles away and from foreign countries. The travel that they have to do depletes the nutrients from the crops as well. The third reason we need to take supplements is many of us as we age, this is more of an aging issue or also if someone has leaky gut or a dysfunctional upper GI tract. You’re not breaking your foods down properly then you do not get optimal nutrient absorption and nutrient breakdown in your stomach, for example. You don’t get nutrient absorption and so you’re not absorbing as optimal amount of nutrients as you possibly could be.
One was filling the nutrient gap. Two was soil and crop depletion. Three is nutrient breakdown and absorption is not optimal. Number four, another reason we all need supplements is that we are all exposed to toxins. Some that we have control over such as alcohol intake or smoking and things like that. Others, we don’t have any control over, the amount of pollution in the air for example or the amount of sound in the cities or things like this. We all are exposed to toxins and we need to optimize our detoxification systems. Many times, that does take supplementation.We all are exposed to toxins so we need to optimize our detoxification systems, and many times it requires supplementation. Click To Tweet
The fifth reason that I would like to discuss for reasons why we need to take supplements is something called Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms or SNPs. I’m going to read to you from a website with the US National Library of Medicine. What I’d like to read to you is what are single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs. It says that single nucleotide polymorphisms frequently called SNPs are the most common type of genetic variation among people. Each SNP represents a difference in a single DNA building block called a nucleotide. For example, SNP may replace the nucleotide’s cytosine which is a C in your genetic puzzle with the nucleotide thymine which is a T in a certain stretch of DNA in your genetic makeup.
SNPs occur normally throughout a person’s DNA. They occur almost once in every 1,000 nucleotides, which nucleotides again are the puzzle pieces in your genes. This means there are roughly four to five million SNPs in a person’s genome. These variations may be unique or occur in many individuals. Scientists have found more than one million SNPs in populations around the world. Most commonly, these variations are found in the DNA between genes. They can act as a biological marker helping scientists locate genes that are associated with particular diseases. When SNPs occur within a gene or in a regulatory region near a gene, they may play a more direct role in disease by affecting a gene’s function.
With four to five million SNPs in a person’s genomic makeup, the analogy I’ll give you is if a piece of your genetic makeup has, let’s say a different puzzle piece than is supposed to be there. Let’s talk about when you sing a song along with a bouncing ball. You follow the bouncing ball and you sing the song and there’s the chorus and the lyrics, and then there’s another chorus. Let’s say that that bouncing ball all of a sudden takes a jump out of the regular words of the song and adds a couple of other words but then comes back to the regular chorus. You’ll notice that that’s going to make the song different. SNPs in genetics is the same concept. A common SNP is the MTHFR or the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase inhibitor SNP. People that have this genetically, and it can be found in the 23 and ME genetic testing that’s done and they look for SNPs and genetic polymorphisms. If you have this one, then you do methylate, you do not detoxify toxins down a pathway called the methylation pathway. If that’s true for you, then you can build up toxins and not, sing the song if you will, of the detoxification metabolic pathway optimally.
Many times, what people can take is a methylated form of B12 or a methylated form of folate. These are vitamins, these are supplements. If you take methylated B12, and you take methylated folate, and you have the MTHFR SNP, then you’re going to improve the metabolic pathways and have them work efficiently to be able to optimally detoxify things through this methylation pathway. That’s just one example of different possibilities that people would need to take a supplement in order to optimize their genetic, metabolic function. Those are the top five reasons why many of us do need supplements. Again, to fill the nutrient gap, because we eat foods that are the crops and the soil are depleted of the nutrients. We do not absorb or breakdown our foods, sometimes optimally to be able to get all the nutrients from our food. We are exposed to an increased toxic load. Many of us have SNPs or single nucleotide polymorphisms that supplements can sometimes help our metabolic pathways function optimally.
The Fabulous 5 Supplements
What is the fabulous five? What are these fab five, the top five supplements that my team and I were trying to figure out? If we start carrying supplements in my office for sale, what would they be? We wanted to determine what are the most commonly taken and the most commonly needed supplements. What we came to was number one was obviously a multivitamin. I wanted that multivitamin to make sure that people only need to take one tablet a day. If you get into the multivitamin world, sometimes they’re having you take three tablets three times a day and it’s expensive. Whoever remembers to take that many tablets many times a day? The multivitamin we use is definitely one tab a day multivitamin. What I want to point out is that if you get a high-quality multivitamin, some of the most important things is you’re going to get the alphabet. The A’s, the B’s, the C’s, the D, the E vitamins. Also, in the B department, you want to make sure you’re taking a methylated form of B12 called methylcobalamin and you want a methylated form of folate which can be called 5-methyltetrahydrofolate. Those would be things you want to look for in a high-quality multivitamin.
The other things you want to make sure you’re getting in a good, high-quality multivitamin are minerals such as zinc, selenium, magnesium, chromium, for example. Many people out there may know zinc and selenium are important in healthy thyroid function. If you’re someone with hypothyroidism, for example, you want to make sure you’re taking a high-quality multivitamin with selenium, zinc and of course all the alphabet that I mentioned. Some multivitamins will also have some antioxidants in them such a decent amount of vitamin C or something like zeaxanthin or lycopene. You can be out there looking for multivitamins with high quality alphabet, of course, vitamins in it, the A’s, the B’s, the C’s, the D, but make sure it’s methylated B12 and make sure it’s got a good amount of minerals.
The other one in the fabulous five, the top five vitamins, supplements I would recommend would be a B complex. Some of us are significantly depleted in B vitamins. If someone has anxiety, if someone has depression, if someone has pain, if someone has insomnia, the B vitamins can help someone who has a highly wired nervous system, and also if someone is under a lot of stress. The B vitamins are helpful as well as the detoxification pathways with the methylated B12 and the methylated folate. When you talk about the B vitamins, there’s B1 which is thiamine, B2 which is riboflavin, B3 which is niacin. Niacin can also be very helpful for anyone with high cholesterol. B6 is pyridoxine. I already mentioned folate, which is I think B9 and B12. B complex is another supplement that many people would consider taking and I would definitely put in the top fabulous five.
The third one is vitamin D. When you take a supplement of vitamin D you want it to be vitamin D3. That is the most metabolizable form of vitamin D. The other thing is that vitamin D is dosed in what’s called international units. If you go back, vitamin D was thought to be around 800 international units a day was the recommended dosing. That’s outdated now. We have found that vitamin D acts like a hormone in our body. There have been studies that show it decreases the risk of colon cancer and other cancers, and improves blood sugar. Vitamin D3 is helpful. Many people will say to me, “I should get my vitamin D by being out in the sun.” That is true. We get our metabolism of vitamin D by being out in the sun. You can test people that live in Florida, and they’re still depleted and low in vitamin D because many of us put sunscreen on, and many of us are not out in the sun as much as we’d like. I live in New Hampshire and much of the year we don’t get as much sun as people that live closer to the equator. Many of us don’t metabolize the vitamin D well from the sun.Fish oil is highly recommended for pain caused by any type of inflammation related to anxiety, stress, and inability to detoxify optimally. Click To Tweet
Vitamin D is also called cholecalciferol. In studies I’ve read, the amount of D we’ll take that is safe is somewhere between 2,000 to 4,000 international units. It is typically not going to get anyone in any trouble. The reason why I say get you in any trouble is that vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin which means we can store it in our bodies and not just pee it out if we have too much. Vitamin D at too high a dose may build up in your system and be stored too much. Let’s talk about if you had your vitamin D level checked through your doctor. The range usually starts at 30 and goes to 100. It’s a pretty big range.
Many times when I test people, their number might be 35. Their vitamin D level when I check their blood is like between 30 and 100 is normal and they come back at 35. Many primary care providers would say that’s normal. In a functional medicine world, I say that’s not optimal. What we try and do is optimize your health and your nutrition so you optimize your health. I recommend that a goal for vitamin D would be between 50 and 70. If someone comes in to me and their vitamin D is found to be only 35, I would probably put them on 2,000 international units of vitamin D3 every day. I might even start them on 4,000 international units of vitamin D and do one bottle, let’s say, for a month, two, or three and then drop down to 2,000 international units ongoing. Vitamin D is a wonderful supplement and it definitely belongs in the top five.
The fourth supplement that I would put into the fabulous five category is fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids. You’re going to get those through fish, especially as a supplement. That breaks down the omega-3 fatty acids that we’re most interested in are EPA and DHA. Usually in any supplement, you’re going to find a ratio of EPA 2:1. Twice as much EPA if you will to one amount of DHA. Why is fish oil so prominent? Why is it so beneficial? There have been so many studies on fish oil, probably as much as baby aspirin and the fact that fish oil decreases inflammation. It also thins the blood. People take in baby aspirin to avoid heart disease or strokes. Fish oil is going to decrease the inflammation related to the development of plaques and also inflammation to the progression of osteoarthritis or other types of arthritis. It’s going to decrease inflammation.
Fish oil is a wonderful supplement and it definitely belongs in the fabulous five. I am a pain specialist, a doctor of osteopathic medicine as well as a functional medicine specialist, and I can’t think of anyone I haven’t recommended to take fish oil. For pain, as far as arthritis, as far as any type of inflammation related to anxiety, stress and inability to detoxify optimally, fish oil is amazing. The fifth one that I’d like to talk about and the last one. There’s no real level of importance to the list or the order in which I’ve talked about these items. The fifth one as far as the supplement in the fabulous five would be probiotics. Many of us do not eat the diets that are going to feed our microbiome and maintain the colony or the gang of bacteria that we live in a symbiotic relationship within our gut and in our colon, on our skin, in our brain or anywhere else in our body. It is beneficial for us to take probiotics.
I would also say as a caveat that any probiotic pill is never going to have the diversity and the variety of bacteria in it that you’re going to get from probiotic foods. Probiotic foods you make by fermenting vegetables, fermenting dairy, or fermenting tea and making kombucha. Things like kombucha, things like kimchi which is fermented soy, things like yogurt if you tolerate dairy. You can make yogurt from almond milk or from coconut milk or things like that. These are probiotic, homemade foods. You can also buy them commercially. A commercially bought probiotic food, remember, is going to have to go through processes that heat that food in order to kill the bacteria. Commercially made probiotics are never going to be as plethora full of good probiotic variety, and good probiotic species as if you’re making it in your own home. It’s not that difficult to do. If you google how to make yogurt, how to make water kefir, how to make kombucha, how to ferment vegetables, you will find that it’s easy to do.
We’ve just not been taught because we’ve all been modernized and we’ve forgotten. One generation doesn’t keep teaching the next generation how to make these things. If you’re traveling, obviously you’re going to be making your own probiotics. To take a commercially made pill that is a probiotic is not a bad thing, it’s great for you. There are two primary families of bacteria, lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. Those are the most commonly put in the probiotic supplements. However, there are many different species within the lactobacillus family and there are many different species within the bifidobacterium species. The other thing is you want a probiotic that has a variety of the different species of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium within that same probiotic brand or pill. That’s one thing to keep in mind.
The other thing to keep in mind is the dose. Probiotics are dosed by the amount of either the amount of million or the amount of billions of colonies of bacteria within the pill. For example, many times you buy a probiotic in the grocery store, and it might have one million colonies of bacteria per pill. That would be extremely low in the probiotic world. Sometimes initially, if someone comes to me with gastrointestinal problems and I put them on a gastrointestinal protocol of supplements, I might start them out on a probiotic that has 100 billion colonies of probiotic per pill. Do you see that difference? One million versus 100 billion. There’s a very big range of dosing in the probiotic world. A maintenance dose of probiotic, a good level maintenance dose of probiotic I would say that fits in the fabulous five would be between ten and twenty billion colonies per pill.
That pretty much is this talk. Those are the five top reasons why I believe we all need to supplement our diets with some vitamins, minerals and probiotics and the fabulous five. The top five supplements that I would recommend the majority of us need to take on a daily basis. Those are multivitamins, vitamin D, a B complex, fish oil and a probiotic. I hope this podcast has helped empower you on your journey to restore and optimize your health. If you would like to know more information, my clinic is Discover Health Functional Medical Center. My website is DiscoverHealthFMC.com.
On our website, is a great deal, more information educationally, as well as information about our services. Also, an opportunity to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with one of my team. During this 30-minute free consultation, you can get to know us and we can get to know you. You can learn about our services and see if it would be a fit for you to improve your journey towards restoring and optimizing your health. Another option is to go to our Facebook page, Discover Health Functional Medicine Center and to join our Facebook group. Our group is filled in creating a community of people just like you that you can talk with and interact with, about your questions. You can also ask us, your most burning questions. Please go to my website, DiscoverHealthFMC.com or join our Facebook group at Discover Health Functional Medicine Center. Let’s work together on our journeys to restore and optimize health.
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