I give dozens of talks on natural products and therapies each year and one of the common questions I get asked is: “Well, what do you take then?”
This is a fair question and I’m happy to tell you which supplements I take and why. The information below and a lot more can be found in my new book "Which Natural Remedies Should You Try?"
Despite trying to eat well, I don’t know if I’m deficient in vitamin D, selenium, or any other vitamin or mineral. Odds are that I may have had several nutritional deficiencies, as almost everyone does. So the reason I take a multivitamin is for what I call “nutritional insurance” - if I take one, I am getting a top-up of dozens of essential nutrients and I can relax. There is very little risk associated with taking a good multivitamin as anything that is not used by your body just gets flushed out. They are particularly good for children who are “fussy eaters” who may well have low-grade vitamin or mineral deficiencies.
It’s hard to find a part of the body that is not helped by consuming plenty of fish oil. Eating plenty of oily fish in the diet is the best way to get it, but if you don’t do this then a fish oil supplement is just as good. The main reason I take it is for heart health. Back in the 1970’s scientists wondered why Eskimos had such a low rate of heart disease despite eating a diet that was so high in fat. It turned out that almost all of the fat they ate was from oily fish. Since then many studies have been done, confirming that increasing your oily fish or omega-3 intake can lower your risk of having heart problems.
This is a less well known supplement and I take it to keep my blood pressure down, which has a tendency to rise with looming deadlines to write articles such as this one! Studies of people with high blood pressure show that increasing their coenzyme Q10 levels can reduce their blood pressure substantially and in some cases even allow them to stop taking their prescribed drugs. It can also be taken as a supplement to reduce the muscle pain that is often a side effect of taking statins (a type of medicine which is often prescribed by doctors in order to help lower cholesterol levels).
It can be very hard to decide which supplements are the best ones for you to take, which is why I have co-authored a new book called “Which Natural Therapies Should You Try?” There are literally thousands of natural therapies and products and this book gives an overview of the ones with the best scientific evidence that can help your health.