Dietary Supplements: What Vitamins Should I Take?
What Supplements Do You Need?
11 Super Supplements
Why You Might Need This: Even if you eat a balanced diet, I think you should consider taking a multivitamin and a multimineral. Even the most healthful diets may still lack the needed levels of vitamins and minerals. Few doctors and health professionals would disagree. In fact, several years ago, the influential study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested that all adults should take a daily multivitamin to prevent chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. The report, written by researchers and physicians at Harvard Medical School, was based on a review of 152 studies published during the past 40 years. Most experts agree that any multi containing 100 percent of the recommended requirements for each nutrient is adequate.
If your multi is an antioxidant formula, all the better. An essential part of recovery involves mustering your body’s antioxidant defense forces. When you exercise, there’s a dramatic increase in the amount of oxygen used by your body. A fraction of this oxygen is converted into free radicals, which are unstable oxygen molecules that attack body tissues. Normally, free radicals are not a big problem. But during strenuous activity, free radicals can start outnumbering antioxidants—a condition called oxidative stress. This may leave you vulnerable to disease.
Plus, when you damage muscle cells during exercise, your body is left with a lot of debris for your immune cells to clean up. Think of this scenario as equivalent to a group of janitors arriving to clean up a mess. They get help from antioxidant vitamins like E and C. In short, antioxidants will help repair and clean up the rubbish left over from torn-up muscle fibers—and that, my friends, is crucial.
Effective Dosage: Follow the manufacturer’s recommended dosage. Because vitamins and minerals are particles of food, it’s best to take them with food for maximum uptake by your body.
Note: If you are a woman over 50, it’s unlikely that your multivitamin will contain sufficient levels of magnesium and calcium to meet your needs. Seek out a separate calcium-magnesium supplement with at least 100 milligrams magnesium and 1,000 milligrams calcium.