Ask Pharmaca: Which Supplements Do You Recommend Most?

Q. What supplements do you recommend most widely to your patients?

A. Here are my top 5, in no particular order. 

A potent multivitamin, to ensure you’re meeting daily minimum requirements of vitamins and minerals. Things to look for in a multi:

  • A formula that contains greens or is plant-based. Plant based vitamins often have enhanced bioavailability and are therefore more easily absorbed and assimilated by the body. Greens are a good source of antioxidants that help to balance the pH environment
  • A formula with a healthy dose of vitamin D (i.e. 1,000–2,000 IU)
  • A formula with methylated B vitamins for enhanced B vitamin bioactivity

Try: MegaFood One Daily or Pure Encapsulations O.N.E. Multivitamin

Fish oil, including a minimum daily maintenance dose of 1,000 mg combined EPA/DHA. Fish oil can help fight inflammation, balance blood sugar, balance your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, and has antioxidant, cardio-protective, neuro-protective properties assisting with mood, memory and cognition. Ask your health care provider about using fish oil at therapeutic doses for treating health issues such as depression or high cholesterol.
Try: Dr. Mercola Krill Oil or Pharmax Finest Pure Fish Oil

Magnesium, a crucial mineral that’s involved in more than 300 metabolic reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood sugar control, blood pressure regulation, nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, regular heart rhythm and energy production. Magnesium also helps relax smooth muscles, relieving cramps, tension, headaches and stress. It can also facilitate relaxation, better sleep and keep bowel movements regular. Note: If you have tendency toward loose bowels or diarrhea, opt for magnesium glycinate instead of magnesium citrate or other forms.
Kate recommends: Pharmaca Magnesium Citrate or Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Glycinate

Probiotics replenish flora, stimulate your immune system and crowd out harmful invaders by providing daily flora replenishment.
Kate recommends: Jarrow Formulas Jarro-Dophilus EPS or probiotics from Renew Life

A methylated B vitamin complex. B vitamins are needed for a multitude of metabolic reactions in the body. They feed the adrenal glands and help to mitigate stress (a huge underlying contributor to many common ailments!). They also help provide us with energy. I recommend methylated B vitamins because many people are poor methylators.
Kate recommends: Thorne Research Basic B Complex or Jarrow Formulas B-Right

A note about methylation

Methylation is a simple but critical process in the body that happens a billion times per second. The most obvious cause of poor methylation is a genetic variation, and a simple blood test can determine this. Poor methylators can experience high histamine, low zinc, low copper, low mood, high basophil count [associated with increased infections and allergic reactions, high heavy metals/toxicity and high homocysteine (linked to increased risk of heart attacks and strokes and possibly twice the normal risk of developing Alzheimer’s)].