No matter how well you eat, vitamin supplementation is not only helpful, but recommended for nearly everyone. We want to help you sort out the key vitamins recommended throughout your weight loss and weight maintenance journey. This is an extensive topic so we will just discuss the ones we feel are most important at this time. These include Multivitamins, Magnesium-Potassium, B-Complex, Essential Fatty Acids, Calcium and Vitamin D. It is also important to note that the vitamins you choose should be pharmaceutical grade (meeting the most stringent standards in the industry) and designed for ease of digestion and superior absorption. Quality does matter when it comes to vitamin supplementation and these are the only type of vitamins we sell at CFWLS. Besides, why take a vitamin if it doesn’t contain what it is supposed to and/or isn’t properly absorbed?
There is no doubt that vitamins and minerals are essential for life. Without certain vitamins, deficiency diseases like beriberi (lack of thiamin) or scurvy (lack of Vitamin C) may still prevail. These diseases, however, are not a concern in western societies (with RDA allowances), nor the reason that CFWLS recommends certain vitamin supplements.
We realize that individuals have unique food likes and dislikes so obtaining the essential vitamins and minerals from foods may not always happen. Adding multivitamins to your daily regiment is a nice ‘safety net’ to assure you are getting a well-rounded intake of the most important substances your body needs.
Multivitamins: Everyone should take a good multivitamin. It is amazing to me how common vitamin deficiencies are. Remember that the RDA is the absolute minimum required to prevent deficiency diseases for most people. The RDA has nothing to do with optimum amounts for best health. Since the FDA does not oversee over-the-counter vitamins or mineral and herbal supplements, using pharmacy grade vitamins are your best bet on bioavailability of the product in question (and sometimes even if it contains what the label claims). A typical dose is usually on the bottle – usually 1-2 per day.
B-Complex: B-vitamins are often referred to as “energy vitamins” since they are important cofactors for many of your body’s energy producing biochemical equations. They tend to make these energy producing steps run more efficiently. Vitamin B-12 is often considered the most important, but all of the B-vitamins are essential to our overall health and well-being. Activated B-vitamins are already in a form the body can use immediately and therefore – bioavailability and use is more efficient. A typical dose is 1-2 tablets per day.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s): Take them – they’re just good for you. By taking fish oil supplements, Omega-3 fatty acids are ingested in their biologically active form. They can be directly used to support cardiovascular, brain, nervous system, and immune function. The mini-soft gels are smaller and have a natural lemon flavor to prevent a “fishy” after taste. Our product is ultra-filtered to guarantee removal of mercury and other possible contaminants. Most people should take 2- soft gels per day.
Magnesium-Potassium: During weight loss your body tends to waste both magnesium and potassium. Both of these minerals are essential to normal muscular and cardiovascular function. Magnesium is involved in over 300 biological reactions throughout the body. It can help prevent/treat fatigue. If you are prone to muscle cramps – you need to add this supplement. Typical doses are 1-4 tablets daily with food.
Calcium: We think of calcium as essential for those young growing bones. However, it is essential for all stages of life. Yes, 99% of our calcium intake is dedicated to our bones and teeth but that additional 1% is required for cellular functions. It helps regulate muscle contraction and nerve transmission, as well as cellular permeability. Too little calcium and you set yourself up for osteoporosis, the weakening of your bones, predisposing you to fractures. But it also may be linked to rising blood pressures. Calcium is absorbed in the small intestines. Not all calcium we consume will be absorbed. The amount is dependent on acidic condition in your intestines, Vitamin D level, estrogen level and the type of calcium supplement. Make sure that your supplement has the “USP” on the label indicating that the pill meets the US Pharmacopeia’s standards.
An adequate intake of calcium through the combination of foods and supplements are age dependent. Your best food sources are sardines, yogurts, cheeses and milk as well as tofu, salmon, broccoli, turnip and collard greens. Sesame seeds and almonds are also additional sources. To maximize your calcium supplement one should take no more than 500mg at a time, accompanied with Vitamin D and taken with meals.
Vitamin D is appropriately called the “Sunshine Vitamin” due to your natural ability to produce it in response to sunlight. Vitamin D is actually a hormone that your body can manufacture on its own. However, as you age, your ability to produce it declines as well as your aversion to soak up mid-day sun. In addition to your need for Vitamin D’s presence to absorb calcium, more and more studies have found the importance of this vitamin for your immune system. Recent studies have also shown that those people that are overweight or those with diabetes have a higher rate of Vitamin D deficiency. Most people need to take about 2000 units per day. Having your Vitamin D levels checked is being more accepted and recommended by health care providers. You should know your Vitamin D levels.