“Our body is the only one we’ve been given, so we need to maintain it; we need to give it the best nutrition.” – Trudie Styler
In a truly perfect world, we could get all of the nutrition and vitamins we need from the foods that we eat. However, this does not always happen. Food of today is not the same as the food of the past. If you read food labels, most of the ingredients listed are chemicals that are not even capable of being read by the general public. It is for this reason, that I eat fairly clean. By that, I mean I try to eat food that only contains a few ingredients. I buy peanut butter that contains peanuts. Not peanuts and 10 other corn and sugar derived products. There is a whole rant I could start here about how much more expensive “real” food is than ones that are jammed full of additives and chemicals, but that is for another day. Add on to the fact that I live with a chronic illness, and I find it very hard to get in the amount of vitamins I require through my food alone. That is why I add supplements and vitamins into my diet.
I am by no means a doctor or dietician. I am merely going to talk about some vitamins that I have found helpful. I live my life with multiple sclerosis. One of the main theories doctors believe about MS is that it is related to vitamin D deficiency. I was diagnosed 20 years ago. I then moved to Asia for three years and felt great there. What I also found out was that MS did not exist in Asia. That knowledge blew my mind. I did a lot of research into it to find out that the closer you are to the equator, the less likely you are to develop MS. One reason that could be is that here in the northern hemisphere, we get so much less vitamin D naturally from the sun for a large part of the year. When I moved back to Canada, my neurologist did a full run up on me of my vitamin levels. Many of them were not even measurable they were so low. One of those was vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a huge role in maintaining our immune systems. My doctor advised me to start taking 2000 international units (IU) of vitamin D. He would check me again every few months to see how my levels were doing and increased my amount accordingly. I now take 5000 IU of vitamin D during the summer months, and 8000 IU during the winter. This helps me stay in the normal range. There are also studies with very high doses of vitamin D as a treatment for MS. Some as high as 40,000 once a month in a single dose and some have found real benefit from it.
However, there can be risks associated with vitamin D which deterred some people from using it. However, they now know that by taking a K2 supplement with high doses of vitamin D, it counters the negative effects. That is another confusing thing about vitamins. Some of them work together well and are needed if you are taking high doses of another. This is one example of a vitamin interaction. This is why it is necessary to talk to your doctors and to find a reputable and knowledgeable company to purchase vitamins and supplements from. I no longer take a multivitamin because they are made for the “average” person. When you add an illness into the mix, you have to do your own research to find what will work well for you. Like regular pharmaceutical drugs, not all work for every person. My rule of thumb, is that if I take a vitamin and I feel better, I keep taking it. If I don’t notice any improvement, I stop. Vitamins and supplements are really expensive, so I only take what I need. I am including a chart with some vitamins that I take and why I find them helpful. I am not listing amounts because what works for me, may not work for you. For example, I take a turmeric supplement that works great for me, but it upsets a lot of people’s stomachs.
- Vitamin D – helps calcium and phosphorous to absorb -helps immune system – develops healthy bones
- B12 -nerve health -energy source
- C -helps immune system -acts as an antioxidant
- K2 -healthy bones -blood clotting -immune system
- Tumeric -aids the liver -reduces inflammation -helps arthritis pain
- Magnesium -helps nerve function -regulates mood -aids in sleep
- Calcium -bone health and density -healthy teeth
- Zinc-Copper -supports immune system
I am also including a link to Nutrition Guidelines from Alberta Health Services. https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/assets/Infofor/hp/if-hp-ed-cdm-ns-3-2-5-vitamins-and-minerals.pdf Again, these are recommendations for an average person to follow. Depending on your condition, you may require more or less. Some can be harmful so always best to check with your doctor before starting on anything new.
When I was looking back on posts I have put up, I realized that these nutrient supplements have been missed. They play such an important role in my treatment plan to stay healthy, that I thought they deserved their own entry. Hopefully you find something in here useful in your journey to your best health.
Much love and health,