Seven sup­ple­ment shelf staples

Amazing Wellness - - CONTENTS - È By Jenn Rice

The ba­sic staples of any good sup­ple­ment shelf.

You may have heard of the “cap­sule” wardrobe—a min­i­mal­ist wardrobe com­prised of prac­ti­cal basics that are eas­ily mixed and matched. Here, we’ve nar­rowed down the basics for your sup­ple­ment cab­i­net. With count­less sup­ple­ments perched on shelves in stores and mar­kets, it can be over­whelm­ing to fig­ure out what you ac­tu­ally need in your per­sonal cap­sule cab­i­net. You could lit­er­ally fill your en­tire bath­room (and then some) if you pur­chased ev­ery­thing in sight.

Luck­ily, we’ve tapped two of our fa­vorite ex­perts—Jonny Bow­den, PhD, CNS, and Kelly LeVeque, a cer­ti­fied holis­tic nu­tri­tion­ist, well­ness ex­pert, and health coach—to give us the real spiel on nat­u­ral sup­ple­ments that ev­ery­one should keep stocked in their cab­i­nets. It’s like tak­ing the guess­work out of the equa­tion—so take note and start pe­rus­ing the aisles with your new­found knowl­edge!

A Multivitamin Like the lit­tle black dress ev­ery wo­man needs in her closet, a multivitamin is a must for your nat­u­ral medicine chest. But not all mul­ti­vi­ta­mins are cre­ated equal, so it’s im­por­tant to do your home­work and make sure you’re buy­ing a high-qual­ity for­mula. “Just be­cause a mul­ti­ple con­tains vi­ta­min E doesn’t mean it’s the best form of vi­ta­min E,” says Bow­den. Th e same goes for many ad­di­tional nu­tri­ents on shelves. Adding a multivitamin into your daily reg­i­men will al­low you to “fi ll in the gaps” by adding things you may not nor­mally take sep­a­rately (think se­le­nium and folic acid)—and cover all the sup­ple­ment basics.

LeVeque sug­gests seek­ing out a multivitamin rich in B vi­ta­mins and CoQ10. “Th e B vi­ta­min fam­ily con­sists of B1 (thi­amine), B2 (ribo avin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pan­tothenic acid), B6, B7 (bi­otin), and B12,” she says. “Known for their ef­fect on cel­lu­lar energy, each B vi­ta­min has a dif­fer­ent spe­cific func­tion like re­duc­ing in am­ma­tion, supporting hor­monal func­tion, supporting nerve and heart health, and main­tain­ing a healthy me­tab­o­lism and di­ges­tive sys­tem.” Omega-3s Omega-3s, found pre­dom­i­nantly in fi sh oil, should be on ev­ery­one’s radar when it comes to sup­ple­ments. “Virtu- ally ev­ery­one can ben­e­fit from more omega-3 in their diet, and fi sh oil is the best way to get it,” says Bow­den. “Omega3s are anti-in am­ma­tory, help lower triglyc­erides and blood pres­sure, and are good for the brain and the heart,” he notes.

“Due to large doses of in­dus­trial seed oils, most of which are al­most ex­clu­sively omega-6, Amer­i­cans now have an av­er­age in am­ma­tory ra­tio of 15:1 (omega-6: omega-3) in­stead of the ideal 1:1 ra­tio,” states LeVeque. Look for omega-3 cap­sules con­tain­ing both EPA and DHA omega-3s. LaVeque rec­om­mends cod-liver oil (which con­tains both EPA and DHA) stored in a dark

Resver­a­trol packs a punch when it comes to fight­ing signs of ag­ing—and also acts as a pow­er­ful an­tiox­i­dant and anti-in­flam­ma­tory.

bot­tle to pre­vent ox­i­da­tion, or an al­gae-based omega 3 with vi­ta­min E added to pre­vent ox­i­da­tion.

In­sider tip: Con­cerned about un­pleas­ant sh-oil burps? Store sh-oil cap­sules in the freezer to so­lid­ify, take them right be­fore eat­ing a meal, and, most im­por­tantly, make sure you buy a top-qual­ity brand.


In ad­di­tion to omega-3s, Bow­den also touts omega-7 sup­ple­ments—which can be found in fi sh and sea buck­thorn (al­though he prefers those that come from fi sh). “In one study at the Cleve­land Clinic, omega-7 was found to lower in am­ma­tion by over 40% (as mea­sured on the hsCRP test, a stan­dard test for sys­temic in am­ma­tion),” he re­lays. “Th e dose used in that study was 210 mg, which is the dose I rec­om­mend.”


Of­ten re­ferred to as “good bac­te­ria,” pro­bi­otics are re­spon­si­ble for keep­ing your gut and skin healthy, while also boost­ing the im­mune sys­tem. “[It’s] one of the big­gest ar­eas of re­search in nu­tri­tion right now,” says Bow­den. “We know that the health of the mi­cro­biome af­fects just about ev­ery­thing and is re­lated to obe­sity, schizophre­nia, de­pres­sion, and prob­a­bly many more con­di­tions yet to be un­cov­ered.”

Shop­ping for pro­bi­otics, how­ever, can be tricky. You’ll want to re­search dif­fer­ent types of strains. Most good for­mu­las in­clude a blend of Lac­to­bacil­lus and Bifidobacterium. And make sure they’re in proper pack­ag­ing. Look for an opaque con­tainer to pro­tect against dam­age from light.


An­other of­ten over­looked sup­ple­ment is magnesium. “[It’s] needed for over 300 bio­chem­i­cal re­ac­tions [and] al­most no one gets the op­ti­mal amount,” says Bow­den. It opens up the ar­ter­ies, low­ers blood pres­sure, reg­u­lates blood sugar, and helps with mus­cle cramps, to name a few ben­e­fits.

Ad­di­tion­ally, LeVeque notes that “[magnesium] is re­quired for the syn­the­sis of DNA, RNA, and the an­tiox­i­dant glu­tathione, re­spon­si­ble for boost­ing our im­mune sys­tem and ght­ing in am­ma­tion.”


If anti-ag­ing is a top con­cern, you’ll want to add resver­a­trol sup­ple­ments to your ar­se­nal. As one of Bow­den’s top 10 sup­ple­ments, it packs a punch when it comes to ght­ing signs of ag­ing—and also acts as a pow­er­ful an­tiox­i­dant and anti-in am­ma­tory.

“Most com­pa­nies stan­dard­ize their resver­a­trol to 10% trans, mean­ing that only 10% of what’s on the la­bel is the kind of resver­a­trol you ac­tu­ally need,” says Bow­den. So a 500 mg cap­sule “stan­dard­ized for 10% trans” would de­liver only 50 mg of the bioac­tive com­pound. It’s best to seek out a brand that uses 100% trans-resver­a­trol to reap max­i­mum ben­e­fits.

Vi­ta­min D

Vi­ta­min D is of­ten over­looked as a must-have when it comes to sup­ple­ment staples, but is some­thing ev­ery­one should keep handy for a bevy of stand­out rea­sons. “More than 100 mil­lion Amer­i­cans are de­fi­cient in vi­ta­min D,” says LeVeque. “Ev­ery cell in the body has a re­cep­tor for vi­ta­min D, and it has the abil­ity to af­fect up to 2,000 genes. [It’s] a fat-sol­u­ble vi­ta­min re­spon­si­ble for im­mune reg­u­la­tion, ab­sorp­tion of calcium and phos­pho­rus, main­te­nance of healthy bones and pro­tec­tion against mul­ti­ple dis­eases in­clud­ing can­cer, type 1 di­a­betes, heart dis­ease, mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis, and the u.”

“[Vi­ta­min D] is more like a hor­mone than a vi­ta­min,” states Bow­den. “Low lev­els are as­so­ci­ated with more dis­eases than you can count—from sea­sonal af­fec­tive dis­or­der to MS to can­cer—and al­most no one gets enough. Ask your health prac­ti­tioner to check with a blood test and try to get your lev­els up to at least 50 ng/ml.”

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