If you’ve ever stood paralyzed in the vitamin aisle, facing the alphabet soup of supplements, fear no more. This is Dr. Oz’s Ultimate Supplement Checklist. Learn what to take, why your body needs it and the proper dose.
A study of 3 million people revealed that less than 1% of the participants got enough essential vitamins from diet alone. That’s why you must take a multivitamin; it also helps prevent heart disease, breast cancer and colon cancer.
- Look for 100% of the daily value of the 12 essential vitamins and minerals – like vitamins B, C, E and zinc. Note: Only women who are menstruating need a multivitamin with iron. If you are post-menopausal or a male, you do not need a multivitamin that contains iron.
- More is not better – avoid “mega-doses.” You only need 100% daily value, not 500%.
- Take half in the morning and half at night to maximize absorption. You use a multivitamin’s various components during the chemical reactions that occur throughout your body. So, maintaining constant levels assures a steady supply of these vital nutrients
The Calcium Cocktail
Calcium is a necessary supplement for strong, healthy muscles, bones and teeth. You need to take it in combination with magnesium (to prevent the negative side effects of calcium) and vitamin D (to help the body absorb calcium) in order to get the maxium benefit.
- Calcium (600 mg) with magnesium (400 mg) and vitamin D (1,000 IU)
- Take dose with a full glass of water, 2 hours after eating. Calcium can block the absorption of other supplements and prescriptions, so be sure to take it separately.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and is integral the health of your immune system, blood vessels, muscles and nervous systems. Most of us don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight, especially if you live in a northern climate or are dark-skinned. Vitamin D may also play a role in preventing certain cancers, including colon, uterine, breast and endometrial cancers.
- 1,000 IU – this dose can be included in multi-vitamins, so make sure you read labels carefully.
- Vitamin D is fat soluble, so it works better when taken with a little fat. Try taking it at breakfast with milk or yogurt.
Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids called DHA and EPA which are essential for optimal functioning of the heart and brain. They reduce arterial inflammation, which can lower your risk for a heart attack. Fish oil is also associated with a 32% reduced risk of breast cancer. While a controversial report this year indicated that fish oil supplements could be dangerous due to possible trace amounts of mercury and/or PCBs (cancer-causing chemicals found in fish swimming in polluted waters), this small amount is not enough to be a concern. Click here for guidelines on buying fish oil with the necessary levels of DHA and EPA.
- Your daily dose must contain 600 mgs of the DHA omega-3 fatty acid.
- Take fish oil with breakfast to avoid “fishy burps,” a side-effect some report when fish oil is taken on an empty stomach.
- Many fish oils recommended refrigeration to keep them from spoiling. Check the label carefully.
Though technically not a supplement, baby aspirin can help prevent heart attacks and it can reduce the chance of stroke. Recent studies suggest an added benefit: aspirin has been linked to the prevention of almost every cancer.
- Take 2 baby aspirin daily.
- Consult your doctor before starting a daily aspirin regimen.