Why We Need Dietary Supplements
I often get asked about dietary supplements and what should be taken and why I should take them. It is easy to get overwhelmed when you walk down the aisle of a grocery or health food store or pharmacy and see 10 different brands of the same supplement. It can be even more overwhelming when you see names like Acidophilus and Ashwagandha and Marshmallow root and you wonder do I need these things? Should I be supplementing these capsules into my body? Have I lived my whole life without Glutamine and have I been suffering because of it??
Aging can be explained in many different ways but the World Health Organization explains aging as the molecular and cellular damage overtime. As our cells are damaged and ultimately die that leads to chronic age related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease, muscle wasting and frailty. However, before you get to the extreme of some of these diseases you just may not feel your best with fatigue, bone pain, nausea or brain fog. Therefore it only makes sense that as we age we should do everything we can to supply our bodies with the weapons that our cells need to fight off age related diseases.
Where to Start with Dietary Supplements
There are thousands upon thousands of supplements but I will start here with some of the simple ones that should be supplemented as we get older. Then end with some supplements that are less commonly known but make a big impact for anti-aging.
Common Dietary Supplements and their Benefits
– As you get older your stomach acid starts to decline and B12 is absorbed from food from your stomach acid therefore it is harder to absorb from food.
Benefits of B12:
● DNA synthesis
● Heart and blood function
● Megaloblastic anemia prevention (a condition characterized by enlarged red blood cells due to vitamin B12 deficiency)
● Neuroprotection and nerve function
● Pain reduction
Symptoms of B12 Deficiency:
● Memory loss, cognitive decline, foggy brain
● Decreased mobility
– this is a common deficiency as we get older also because of poor nutritional intake, poor absorption from multiple drug use and it is excreted more in the urine.
Benefits of Magnesium:
● Normalizes blood pressure
● Regulates Heart Rate
● Strong Bones
● Can ease stress and anxiety
● Helps promote Sleep
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency:
● Fatigue and weakness
● Numbness, tingling, muscle cramps,
● Seizures personality
● Abnormal heart rhythm
– is not found in many foods but made in the body by converting a chemical found in the skin when exposed to sunlight. This declines with age because this chemical in the skin decreases with age as well as less exposure to the sun.
Benefits of Vitamin D:
● Vitamin D allows for absorption of calcium and phosphorus that make for strong bones and teeth.
● Better when taken with K2 to help deposit the calcium in the bones versus arteries
● More studies needed but quality evidence shows that vitamin D supplementation offers benefit for cancer prevention, osteoporosis prevention, and decreased risk of multiple sclerosis.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency:
● Bone pain
● Muscle weakness, aches or muscle cramps
● Depression / mood changes
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
– support the health of many key body functions including cardiovascular, immune, brain, and more.
Benefits of Omega 3
● Lower blood pressure
● Reduce triglycerides
● Slow the development of plaque in the arteries
● Reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke
Dietary Supplements for Anti-aging
– a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory that can help protect the body from free radical cellular damage and age related chronic disease.
Benefits of Resveratrol:
● Can help lower blood pressure
● Can help raise HDL and lower LDL cholesterol levels
● Increases insulin sensitivity – which can promote weight loss and improve blood sugar
– Nicotinamide mononucleotide /Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide – NAD is in every cell in our bodies and converts our food to energy and ensures proper cell function which prevents aging and disease. NAD decreases as we age. NMN is the precursor to NAD and boosting NAD levels through supplementation has shown anti-aging effects in animal models.
Benefits of Boosting NMN/NAD+
● Increases mitochondria which increases energy, lean muscle and fitness performance
● Improves heart function and elasticity of vessels
● Increases cognitive function by preventing neurodegeneration
In a world that has become full of fast food meals on the go and processed snacks that are nutrient depleted it becomes increasingly important to meet your body’s nutritional needs. People are suffering with long-term effects from Covid with decreased immunity, hair loss, brain fog and adrenal fatigue and now more than ever there needs to be an urgency to protect our bodies and replenish our cells with the energy and nutrients needed to function and perform our best everyday. Whether your goal is to stay healthy and increase longevity, lose weight or improve your exercise performance and endurance there are vitamins and supplements that should be investigated.
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Supplements are not approved by the FDA. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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