Experts weigh in on what vitamins and minerals are right for you

Science and Health

You have surely heard from all sides, and also from us, about the many kinds of recommendations regarding supplements and vitamins that you should take, and which ones work wonders. You may have stood confused at the pharmacy or health food store in front of a massive selection of supplements available to you.

Are there vitamins and supplements that are recommended to take? And how do you choose them wisely? Here, we’ve made a small guide to help.

The first recommendation is to try to get your vitamins and minerals primarily from food. The reason for this is that our body has adapted to receiving the vitamins and minerals from whole foods and not additives. Most vitamins and minerals need additional ingredients from food in order to be properly absorbed and activated.

When we take a vitamin or mineral in supplement form, we are usually taking a single ingredient without the additional substances that are present in the food. The substances found in the food work in an integrated manner, and we cannot achieve this if we take a single supplement. Therefore, opt for real food to additives.

The second recommendation is that if you are already taking supplements, opt for their natural form. The importance of this is that industrially produced substances can be completely different from the natural substances, and therefore they can have a completely different effect on the body.

An example of this is the supplement of folic acid. The natural form in the body is not folic acid but an emitter. When we take folic acid as a supplement, it needs to be converted into an emitter in the body, but this conversion is not effective in humans, so we do not get a sufficient amount of the active substance.

Therefore, it is better to take something like tetrahydrofolate, which is the active ingredient. The problem is that in many products in the store, you will find folic acid and not folate because folate is significantly more expensive.

The third recommendation is to choose carefully what you take. Many people take a multivitamin thinking that it is harmless and at most can be helpful. However, a study published in 2007, which examined 68 studies and 230,000 subjects, showed that treatment with supplements of beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E can increase mortality.

The problem with multivitamins is that they contain too little of the amount of beneficial ingredients like magnesium , vitamin D, and vitamin k2, and on the other hand, they contain too high an amount of substances that can be harmful, such as folic acid, calcium, iron , and vitamin E.

That is, multivitamins can lead to an imbalance of vitamins and minerals and contribute to various diseases. Another problem with them is that the manufacturers often use the cheapest ingredients available, such as using folic acid instead of an emitter.

Are there any vitamins and minerals that are recommended to be taken?

It is recommended to get most of the vitamins and minerals through a varied diet of real food. The problem is that even if you make sure to eat real and healthy food, there are some vitamins and minerals that are difficult to obtain in sufficient quantity from food alone. In addition, there may be situations in which the body’s demand for various vitamins and minerals increases, such as during an acute infection that increases the demand for vitamin C.

These vitamins and minerals include:

Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency is very common in the modern world, and about 80 percent of the population suffers from low levels or its deficiency. Vitamin D is very important for our metabolism, can prevent diabetes and metabolic syndrome, and affects more than 200 genes in our body. Supplements of vitamin D can appear in the form of vitamin D2 or in the form of vitamin D3. It is important that you take vitamin D3 and not vitamin D2 because vitamin D2 is less biologically active and less effective.

We want levels of vitamin D in the blood to be between 45 and 60 ng/dL, and when the levels of vitamin D are balanced it is often enough to take 1000-2000 international units of vitamin D per day. However, if you suffer from a severe deficiency of vitamin D, you may need to take a larger amount, of 5000-10,000 international units per day, and it is important that you monitor the blood levels of vitamin D.

Vitamin K2: This vitamin is probably one of the most important vitamins you haven’t heard of. One of its functions is to ensure that calcium enters the bones and teeth where we want it, and on the other hand, that it does not enter soft tissues where we do not want it. We do not want calcium to accumulate in the blood vessels and lead to atherosclerosis and heart attacks and vitamin K2 can prevent this. In addition, it can contribute to stronger bones. Vitamin K2 is different from vitamin K1 found in leafy greens like kale and chard.

So where is vitamin K2 found in food? It is found in food products like meat and butter, from animals that graze in the field and convert vitamin K1 from the grass they eat into vitamin K2. It is found in fermented foods such as sauerkraut and natto (a Japanese product made from fermented soybeans). Vitamin K2 can appear in the supplements you take in two forms, as MK4 or MK7.

Magnesium: Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for overall health. There are over 300 enzymes in the body that need magnesium, and magnesium is also very important for bone health. According to a survey by the Ministry of Health, the majority of the population in Israel suffers from magnesium deficiency. The problem is that it is difficult to get enough magnesium from the diet.

Foods that are rich in magnesium are green leaves, nuts and seeds. However, in many cases the diet is not sufficient, and it is necessary to take magnesium as a supplement. Magnesium deficiency can lead to many medical problems such as muscle spasms, heart arrhythmias, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, migraines, and asthma. Therefore it is very important to maintain a normal level of magnesium in your body.

When taking a magnesium supplement, the recommended dose in most cases is between 400 and 600 mg per day. Magnesium can appear in several forms in the preparations available in the store, and you should read the label and check what you are buying. The preferred preparations are magnesium glycerinate or magnesium cement, which are well absorbed. If If you suffer from constipation, you can use magnesium citrate, which can encourage bowel movements.

On the other hand, you should avoid the cheap forms of magnesium that are not well absorbed and include magnesium carbonate, magnesium sulfate, magnesium gluconate, and magnesium oxide.

Vitamin C: This is an important vitamin and is needed both for the construction of the body ‘s tissues and for maintaining normal levels of glutathione, which is the most important antioxidant in our body. Vitamin C deficiency is common in the population, especially in the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases. It turns out, it is not easy to get enough vitamin C from food.

If you decide to take vitamin C, the recommended dose is usually 500 mg to 1 gram per day. If you are dealing with a chronic disease or an acute infection, you can take a higher dose, but it is better to consult your doctor. It is important to spread the doses over the day because a high dose at once can cause diarrhoea.

It is important to understand that no supplement can cover up an unhealthy diet and an unhealthy lifestyle. The plugins, as their name implies, are just an addition to all the other things you do. Therefore, avoid taking supplements without a diagnosis, read the labels carefully, and in any case it is recommended to consult your doctor.