Annapolis Integrative Medicine
1819 Bay Ridge Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21403
What Supplements Are Optimal For You?
Integrative medical doctors pride themselves on offering patients the best blend of conventional and natural or nutritional medicine, always looking for the most appropriate ways to address patient’s concerns illnesses and what they’re dealing with. Prescription medications are always recommended when appropriate and when it’s the best course of action. However, many patients are hesitant to use pharmaceutical medications as their first option and are looking for other alternatives.
A question patients often ask is what supplements are recommended and what are the best options.
While ultimately recommendations are individualized per patient and what they are addressing and their history, the following is recommended as a baseline protocol for general health and well-being:
Almost all patients are either low or deficient in vitamin D, which is an important vitamin for maintaining the health of the immune system, bones, metabolism, cardiovascular health, and even psychological health. Vitamin D3 is recommended, which is the more natural form of vitamin D. Combine it with vitamin A and K, which are both fat soluble vitamins that aid in the utilization of vitamin D. While the normal range of vitamin D and labs is 30 ng/ml, I recommend that patients achieve a level of 60-80.
People should also regularly take a good probiotic. Now, that is not as simple as it sounds because there are so many probiotics on the market and it is actually a complex and evolving science. And different people require different types of probiotics as there are many different strains and not only are there bacterial probiotics but there are also yeast probiotics that can be helpful in certain cases. Probiotic use optimally really needs to be individualized.
Next is a good multivitamin and mineral complex. Though there are extensive proprietary labs that test for vitamin and mineral deficiencies a general approach is to simply put people on a complete vitamin and mineral complex which is unlikely to be harmful and often can replenish deficiencies in both.
It is surprising at how many people just feel better, especially when they add minerals to the regimen. There are many different trace minerals that in our current nutritional environment people are at risk for being deficient in.
Finally a good omega-3 supplement can be helpful with reducing inflammation, joint pains, mental health issues, and aid in cardiovascular health. It’s important that a high-quality fish oil be used and please note this is different than krill oil the latter of which is great for inflammation but doesn’t provide the same benefit as omega-3s.
Of course there are many other supplements that are available on the market. Patients often come in with a suitcase full of supplements that they are taking.
It is best to optimize what people are taking and streamline it as well so that people are not ingesting literally between 50-100 pills daily.
There are many other good supplements available on the market search such as coenzyme Q10, N acetylcysteine, joint supplements, and anti-inflammatory preparations and many others but we try to tailor these to each patient’s individual needs without overloading them.
Ultimately we try to take a realistic approach to keeping people well and having the supplements they take be targeted to optimizing their health.
Since the pandemic began patients have been advised to use 5,000-10,000 units of vitamin D, 1,000-2,000 mg of vitamin C, 25-50 mg of zinc, a good probiotic, and N-acetylcysteine as preventatives.