The supplements health experts take and why they avoid magnesium

The nutritional picture can be confusing. It seems like there’s a new supplement being touted as a cure-all every week.

However, studies looking at the benefits of a supplement such as magnesium, which are currently hotly debated, draw a clear line between supplemental magnesium and dietary magnesium. When you eat magnesium-rich foods, you’ll benefit from improved energy, sleep, and muscle function. But when to take magnesium as a supplement? Not so much.

Considering that supplements aren’t cheap, it all begs the question of which supplements are really worth it?

To find, i they reached out to health experts to find out which ones they take (or give to their own kids) and why.

Dr. Federica Amati, chief nutritionist at ZOE, the nutrition science company, and author of Every Body Should Know This

PRESENTS: Fiber, when traveling

I don’t take any supplements daily. However, if I travel, I take a fiber supplement. And during my pregnancies, I took folic acid supplements.

When I’m on the go, it’s hard to know when and what I’ll be able to eat. So I take a fiber supplement to keep my gut happy. As for folic acid, we know it reduces the risk of neural tube defects in babies and is important for fertility and pregnancy.

The supplement industry is highly unregulated, and often you don’t know what you’re really getting. Some people take a multivitamin tablet as a kind of insurance, but you don’t need to buy the fancy, expensive kinds. Just a standard multivitamin pill will do the job and may be helpful for certain groups, such as older adults.

Recently, there has been a huge rise in menopause-specific supplements. Again, these are not worth the money as they are not supported by scientific evidence and have a huge added cost to the child.

The best way to make sure you get all the nutrients you need no matter what time of life you are in is to eat a varied, whole, plant-rich diet with plenty of nutrient-dense whole grains, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes and fruits and vegetables. .

Sandy Christiansen, embryologist and fertility coach at Ba Fertility

PRESENTS: vitamins C, D and iron supplements

RECOMMENDS: folic acid, coenzyme Q10 and omega 3, to increase fertility

I take vitamin D, vitamin C and iron regularly as they help me fight fatigue, combat the lack of sun during the winter and boost my immunity. The iron also helps me manage a slight iron deficiency I have due to heavy periods.

Certain supplements can definitely be worthwhile for their role in supporting our overall nutrition and boosting specific areas of our health, such as fertility. In my role as an embryologist and fertility coach, I often recommend that people take specific supplements to increase their chances of conceiving.

These include: folic acid (which can support the ovaries and promote a healthy pregnancy), coenzyme Q10 (an antioxidant said to help protect egg and sperm quality) and Omega 3 (which is thought to help balance hormones and promote regular menstruation). ).

Dr. Megan Rossi, Dietitian and Founder of The Gut Health Doctor

PRESENTS: vitamin D3

I take vitamin D3. It is difficult to get enough vitamin D from diet alone, and vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world. Therefore, if you live in the UK, it is recommended that you take a vitamin D supplement [10 micrograms daily]as well as adding some vitamin sources to your diet, during the winter months (October March).

I take D3 as it is the nutrient that the body naturally produces when exposed to sunlight. This is an essential nutrient used to build and maintain healthy bones and muscles and prevent conditions such as rickets and osteoporosis. It is also vital for our immune resilience and for supporting good gut health

Most of our vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight during the summer months, with cells under our skin converting it to an active form (the form that can be used by the body). Exposing the face, forearms and chest to the midday sun for about 15 minutes a day during the summer months (April September) is enough to get the right dose.

However, if you are dark-skinned, for example, have an African, Afro-Caribbean or South Asian background, you may also not make enough vitamin D from sunlight, so you may benefit from vitamin D throughout the year.

There is no point in picking any probiotic off the shelf as they are all different. Similarly, taking a probiotic to improve overall gut health is a waste of money, as the science doesn’t support it being indicated as specific as medication. For overall gut health, adding a more diverse range of plants (getting your 30 different types a week) is a science-backed way to achieve this.

Professor James Goodwin, scientist and aging expert (Science Director of the Brain Health Network)

PRESENTS: vitamin D, coenzyme NAD+

A few years ago I started experiencing fatigue in the afternoons. Since taking a NAD+ supplement, this has gone away. NAD+ is a natural coenzyme that is important for brain function and energy. You lose half of it between the ages of 40 and 60 and the rest continues to decline until the end of life.

Apart from vitamin D, I don’t take anything else because I think it can be obtained from a healthy and varied diet, but much more varied than usual. I aim for 30 different plants a month and meat from over five different animal species.

Lucy Upton, Pediatric Dietitian and Nutrition Specialist

GIVE HER DAUGHTER: Vitamin A, C and D3

I give my 14 month old daughter a daily supplement of vitamin A, C and D. This is recommended by the NHS for all children aged six months to four years, all year round, unless they are still over 500ml of formula milk every day.

Vitamin D in particular (which should be 10 mcg per day, and ideally D3 rather than D2) is a key nutrient for a child’s bone health and immune function. It is difficult to get enough vitamin D from food, and the sun is an unreliable source, especially during the winter months.

For children over the age of four, vitamin D is still recommended during the winter months (September to March).

Be sure to review your child’s supplement very carefully. Many do not contain the recommended 10 mcg of vitamin D. Parents are always surprised when I point this out.

As a pediatric dietitian, there are certainly some other supplements worth looking at for children to support and optimize their healthy growth and development. This includes:

A good quality omega 3/DHA supplement (not cod liver oil!) is a good option if your child does not reliably consume fatty fish or follows a vegetarian or vegan diet. DHA is an essential nutrient for children’s brain development and is easy to overlook. For plant-based families, you can use an algae-derived supplement instead of fish.

If your child is a more selective or picky eater, a children’s supplement containing some iron and zinc may be beneficial, as the intake of these nutrients is often poor in this group of children, and deficiency of iron can affect up to one in five young children.

For children on a vegan diet, supplements with nutrients such as B12, iodine and selenium are often necessary. I like the VEG1 supplement.

Whenever possible, I would always speak to a health professional if you would like individualized advice on supplements for children. It’s always a balance and specific support based on your child’s needs, and what they eat is key.

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