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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Weekly Wellness: What supplements should you actually take

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Vitamin B-12? Omega-3s? Calcium?

Here’s a rundown of the supplements that you might want to implement into your routine to actually benefit your overall health.

There’s no question that the supplement section is a daunting place to shop. From Flinstones gummy vitamins to sketchy-looking ‘magic’ pills, the shelves are stocked in an anxiety-inducing way that leaves shoppers, or at least myself, overwhelmed and settling for the first multivitamin on the shelf to avoid the whole fiasco in itself.

While most of the seemingly promising (and pricey) pills have little to no scientific testing to prove their self-proclaimed properties, here are some simple vitamins or mineral blends that have been studied and linked to health benefits.

  1. Magnesium

Best taken at night, magnesium is an easily accessed mineral that about 75% of people are deficient in. It helps many parts of the body function effectively including the heart, bones and muscles. 

It also aids in regulating blood pressure, blood sugar levels and making protein. To help supplement effectively, it’s recommended that one takes a magnesium pill with magnesium glycinate, as it is a highly bioavailable form of magnesium made from magnesium and the amino acid glycinate.

  1. Omega-3s

Available in the form of fish or seed oil tablets and gummies, omega-3s are essential for our heart and brain health. Since the human body is unable to make this essential nutrient itself, it’s important to supplement it or ensure that one is consuming fish and other fatty acid-rich foods.

  1. Vitamin B-12 or a B-complex vitamin

Effective for increasing energy and red blood cell production, B-12 is found in foods such as fish and meat, so it’s especially important to supplement for those who don’t consume as much of those food groups.

  1. Vitamins C and D

These two can help boost the immune system to ensure that the body’s cells can effectively beat the common cold. Vitamin D is especially important to supplement during the winter months (due to less sun exposure) for its anti-inflammatory benefits.

  1. Probiotic

While this one is on the pricier side, a general probiotic can help support a healthy digestive system and gut microbiome. You can also get an adequate amount of probiotics by consuming fermented foods such as yogurt, miso and kombucha.

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