I have made the rounds with supplements over the last few years. I’ve tried all kinds of things recommended by bodybuilding experts, my own nutritional background knowledge, and based on the recommendation of my personal medical providers. For those that don’t know, I have a B.S. in Dietetics / Food Nutrition Science and am certified in hormonal nutrition levels 1, 2, and 3 through Metabolic Effect. I have several things I have found to be beneficial and have kept as part of my regimen over the long haul. I thought I would share those in case they might be helpful!
Regardless of your age, or medical conditions, it is always a good idea to consult your medical practitioner before starting any supplement—even things that are over the counter. Just like you should keep your provider aware of all the medications written by other specialists, OTC medications and supplement doses you take should be given to your provider and added to your health record/medication list. That way, everything can be checked for interactions with medications you are written! #IllGetOffMySoapboxNow
Both brands are beneficial for GI health, skin/hair/nails, bones/joints, and a good source of extra protein. I like use Vital Proteins (unflavored) for recipes like my protein gelatin! You can add them to anything, because they have no flavor and they dissolve completely. I use Perfect Keto in my coffee (love the salted caramel, but the vanilla and chocolate are also amazing). I am on thyroid medication, and cannot take my medicine with calcium containing foods/beverages. Since I take it first thing in the morning, and need my coffee ASAP upon waking, these have been a life saver in place of milk in my coffee. They also add a bit of sweetness from the stevia. They also dissolve well (much better than the vanilla Vital Proteins collagen; I found it to be gritty and it is not sweetened). I see that Perfect Keto has unflavored now too; I haven’t tried them. I take collagen 2 times a day. Dosing will vary by each brand. In general, you don’t have to worry about overtaking it.
I use Metagenics. Mag Glycinate is highly absorbable and is well tolerated without GI upset. Magnesium is helpful for stress reduction, muscle recovery, can promote sleep, and helps with bowel movements (for those who tend toward constipation). It is also useful for menopausal symptoms for many women. It is a good idea to have routine labs (chemistry panel) before starting and to make sure your MD knows you take it, as taking magnesium may be contraindicated in certain medical conditions (thinks like heart and kidney disease). It is best to take it at bedtime. I really like this flavored magnesium, and I know a lot of people who tolerate it well, but it bothered by GI system. It is a powder that mixes in with water and is fizzy. Yummy tasting and fun to drink, but made my GI symptoms worse. Everyone is different, so I just wanted to throw it out as an option. This is the go-to brand of the Ob/Gyn MD that I work with at the Health Department. She recommends it for her post-menopausal patients, for stress/anxiety/sleep and for hot flashes.
Oil of Oregano:
I have used this brand for the last 8 months or so. I started taking it as part of a SIBO protocol I put together for myself after prescription antibiotics failed (more on that another time). I have continued it because it does seem to improve GI discomfort, bloating, etc. It is a natural antimicrobial and antioxidant. I take it 2 times a day with meals (as the label recommends) but this will vary by brand/dose.
My MD recommended this brand so that is what I got, but generally, my only strict recommendation is that you take D3, as this is the active version (it is what I have my patients take too). Dose really is dependent on if you are low based on labs. For the general population who doesn’t know your levels (some insurances pay for it and some don’t) a dose of 800-1000 IU of D3 every day with a meal (it is fat-soluble) is probably not going to ever cause a toxicity. Vitamin D is fat soluble, meaning you need fat to absorb it (hence taking it with food), but also that you can potentially store extra in the body at “toxic levels.”
A good way to remember your fat soluble vitamins (learned this in undergrad lol) is the acronym “KNEAD” (Vitamin K, E, A, D are all fat soluble…there is no vitamin N, so you just drop it lol). All the other vitamins are water soluble, and if you take them in excess, you will just pass them in your urine. (Note: minerals/metals are not lumped in with vitamins here, and can be potential sources of overdose).
ThermoPlus is a product that is supposed to help with metabolism and appetite control, but I find it also helps with energy. It contains thiamine, niacin, sage extract, oolong tea extract, and guarana extract. You take it once daily before a meal. I’d say that before breakfast or lunch are most ideal. While it doesn’t make you jittery, taking it before dinner may interfere with some people’s ability to sleep.
Adovcare MNS E Multivitamin:
The Multinutrient Dietary Supplement line is Advocare’s version of a multivitamin, and they have 3 different options to choose from (MNS 3, MNS C, MNS E). They are all a 4 part multivitamin packet that you take throughout the day. One packet before breakfast, one before lunch, and the other two with a meal. MNS E has extra ingredients designed for focus and energy (hence the “E”). All three lines contain an omega oil capsule, but you can click the links for all the ingredients in each.
I have used Doctor’s Best and Nature Trove and I just purchase whatever is best priced at the time. My MD advised me to take SAME-e to help with mood and well-being and to support his protocol for thyroid and hormone treatment. It is also marketed to help with pain, especially joint pain and liver function. The usual dose is 200 mg or 400 mg daily. I take 400 mg once daily in the morning. It is best taken on an empty stomach.
My MD recommended Ubiquinol (the “active” form of CoQ10), again as part of my management of mood, thyroid, and hormone treatment. It is an antioxidant which research has shown helps supports heart/vascular health as well as and mood. The dose varies, but I was advised to take 200 mg once daily. It is best taken with a meal. This is the brand I have used.
Most people already know that Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant which helps with mood, energy, and immunity. Can’t overdose on this one, because it is water soluble. Just follow the label or your MD’s recommendation on this one! Pick whatever form (tablet, capsule, powder, gummy, melt, etc.) suits your fancy! Best taken with food. Also of note, if you are taking iron, it will better absorbed if you take your iron with Vitamin C. Want more info on Vitamin C? Read this.
Digestive enzymes help to properly break down your food and may assist with more efficient GI function. They help aid digestion, which in turn helps minimize side effects of inefficiently broken-down food (gas, bloating, indigestion, etc). Almost everyone loses some production of digestive enzymes as we age to some extent, some more than others. I use this brand. You take them before your meal.
I only use Nature Made in this form or this form, as I have always noticed I have heart palpitations on every other brand and formulation that I have tried. Not sure why this is, but my husband and others have had the same thing happen to them. I have found the gummies at Walmart at the best price. I used to stock up on the melts when they were BOGO at Winn-Dixie, but ours closed, so I buy them on amazon. Melatonin is dosed before bed to help with sleep.
Dose depends on formulation (tablet, capsule, melt, gummy, liquid), so I would follow the label and take the lowest effective dose as your body can eventually get tolerant (meaning it takes a higher dose to have the same effect). My MD advised 3 mg to 5 mg nightly on an ongoing basis.
Melatonin helps support sleep in 2 ways. First, it makes you sleepy about 30 minutes to 1 hour after taking it, so it is helpful to those who have difficulty falling asleep. In this case, it can be taken on an as-needed basis. This is very helpful for those who may not sleep well when traveling or who do shift work. Second, it helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle system. This means that, when taken regularly, it can get your sleep timing and daytime energy on a better routine for those who have found theirs to be off. I recommend melatonin to my patients as a safe, first-line, non habit-forming sleep aid.
Melatonin is also useful for mood and to support gut health. This is a really comprehensive article on melatonin.
*Indicates my MD advised me to take this as part of a specific plan of care for me. You made need alternate doses than what I need based on my diagnosis and lab results.
1/ What supplements do you take?
2/ Do you use any of the above?
3/ Any insight to the heart palpitation effect with certain melatonin brands??