My daily supplement routine - Lakeside Natural Medicine

Natural Health and Wellness for the Whole Family

My daily supplement routine

BySarah Axtell, ND June 14, 2024

You can’t out supplement a bad diet. With that said, the nutritional content of vitamins and minerals in food has declined significantly in the past 50+ years. Fertilizers, pesticides, and breeding plants for higher yields have reduced the overall nutritional content of food, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies are common.

Should I take a multi?

Because I aim to practice what I preach and eat a lot of plants, I don’t take a multivitamin, and I generally don’t recommend them to patients. If you eat a diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables (totaling between 6-8 servings a day), you can likely get away without taking a multivitamin.  After all, whole foods contain enzymes and co-factors that aid in the breakdown and absorption of the vitamins and minerals contained in the food. This trumps the power of a multivitamin with isolated and often synthetic forms of the nutrients any day!

Multivitamins contain small amount of all the nutrients. I prefer to test patients (and myself) for individual nutrient deficiencies and supplement with a single nutrient in a higher amount and more bioavailable form than what multis provide.

So here’s what I take regularly:

  1. Curcumin– Curcumin is the active ingredient within turmeric. It has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. To protect my joints and brain as I age AND to reduce the risk of chronic disease (ie. cancer, heart disease), I not only cook with turmeric regularly but I also supplement with curcumin regularly. If I could only use one herb for the rest of my life, it would be turmeric. It really is a “cure-all.”
  2. Vitamin D3– Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin (often considered a hormone) present in very few foods. Your body actually produces this vitamin from UV rays of the sun. However, underexposure to sunlight (due to your geographical location or to the use of sunscreen) makes vitamin D a frequent deficiency. Living in Wisconsin, I am definitely at risk for vitamin D deficiency and therefore take this wonder vitamin daily.
  3. Probiotic– To be honest, I take probiotics intermittently (~3x/week). I try to get fermented foods (such as sauerkraut) in most days, but when I am slacking, I pop a probiotic.
  4. L-glutamine– Like many people, I experience stress in my gut and can struggle with stomach pain and dyspepsia (gas, bloating, discomfort in my upper abdomen post-meals). L-glutamine is like food for irritated stomach and intestinal cells. It helps to sustain the mucus lining of GI cells, thereby reducing permeability of the gut lining. Feels so good on my tummy!
  5. B complex Plus– I have the MTHFR mutation and therefore supplement with a methyl B complex (includes methylcobalamin and methylfolate). I also don’t eat a ton of animal products so I am aware that my B12 level can be sub-optimal.
  6. Ashwagandha– Great for stress and the thyroid! I feel more calm when I take this amazing adaptogenic herb. Here is why it is one of my favorite adaptogenic herbs.

A Note on Supplement Quality: Costco vs. Professional-grade

The supplements found at big-box stores like Costco, Walgreens, Target, and even local health food stores differ from professional-grade supplements in terms of quality, effectiveness, bio-availability, and purity of raw materials. For example, many of the supplements found at your drug store contain the cheapest, synthetic form of vitamins and minerals and you are not able to absorb any of the nutrients.

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) ensure product consistency and quality. All supplements found at our clinic comply with GMPs. This ensures that there are no artificial binders, fillers, colors or additives and that they contain nutrients that your body can actually utilize.

I caution patients against self-prescribing vitamins and minerals. Consult with a nutrition-oriented physician, such as a naturopathic doctor, for recommendations and dosing.

Getting on the right supplement regiment can be an effective way to bring back balance to your body. With that said, it is important to remember that vitamin and mineral supplements are not a replacement for a healthy diet. Food is medicine!

Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.

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