13 07 vitamins supplements health wellness b12Get your body working like a well-oiled machine with essential supplements.

A few months ago after my yearly physical, I got the dreaded call-back from my doctor’s office, “Your doctor would like to discuss your blood test results with you as soon as possible.” Naturally, I assumed the worst as to why I felt light-headed and experienced numbness in my feet and hands. But, I was surprised to learn that my symptoms, which were caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency, could be helped with a simple daily dose of 500 mcg of a B12 supplement.

Since  then I became curious about what other vitamins my body may lack. According to Dr. Pamela Frank from Forces of Nature Wellness Clinic in Toronto, everyone should take certain vitamins to keep the body in top working order. Here’s her dream team of vitamins to add to your daily routine.

 1. A good multivitamin 

Adding a multivitamin every day at breakfast covers your bases. A good multivitamin “should contain citrate forms of calcium, magnesium and zinc (not carbonate or oxide),” says Dr. Frank, who recommends two Sisu Multi Active supplements twice a day with food. “Good multivitamins often divide dosing like this because you can only absorb a small amount each time.”

 2. b complex 

B12 helps the production of red blood cells to help carry oxygen through the body. A complex supplement contains all eight of the essential B vitamins that help produce red blood cells that give the body power. Advantages include reduced anxiety, memory improvement and an improved function of muscles and nerves. Look for B complex supplements with active forms of B6 (P5P) and folic acid (L 5 MTHF, methyltetrahydrofolate). Take it at lunch separately from your multivitamin.

3. Vitamin d3

Canadians don’t get nearly enough sunlight and as a result we can become D3 deficient, which causes depression, psoriasis and fibromyalgia. We need D3 to maintain strong bones, improve our immune system and help manage our weight. Dr. Frank suggests we take at least 1000 IU at breakfast and 2000 IU over the winter. Taking D3 with a morning meal will help absorb your multivitamin’s calcium.

 4. Fish Oil 

If adding large quantities of tuna to your diet sounds unappetizing, pick up a bottle of fish oil capsules. Fish oil helps prevent arthritis, lowers blood pressure and overcomes depression. “[They should be tested properly for freshness (anisidine and peroxide levels) and should be in natural triglyceride form, while also meeting Norwegian purity standards,” says Dr. Frank.  Look for brands that display “molecularly distilled” or “natural triglyceride form” on their products and take these supplements later in the day with lunch or dinner as to not to conflict with high glycemic index carbohydrates.

 5. Probiotics 

These good bacteria naturally found in yogurt help digest food properly.  Probiotic supplements aid your digestive organs to maintain healthy levels of good bacteria in the body, which can, in turn, help enhance the immune system, reduce lactose intolerance and alleviate common digestive disorders, such as constipation. Probiotic supplements should be at least 50 billion, taken once or twice per day with food and should include lactobacillus rhamnosus.