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Let’s Talk Nutritional Supplements

At this point in my life, I don’t have much time for magazines. I used to subscribe to tons, but decided to cut back when stacks of unread magazines started to take over my bedside table. For the past year, I have subscribed to two magazines, US Weekly (What? It’s my Friday night mindless reading ritual and has been for years. I sense judgement…) and Martha Stewart Living. I read both cover-to-cover; well, I actually read US Weekly three-quarters of the way until it gets to all the television/music/movie reviews and 49 diet pill ads, but what I’m saying is I (mostly) enjoy them.

About a month ago, I got an email advertising a special on Martha Stewart’s magazine Whole Living. It was, like, 10 bucks for the entire year so I subscribed.

(See? No bedside stack!)

I just can’t get enough of this magazine. I read every printed word on every single page. It’s totally holistic wellness and beauty and food, but not over the top. Love it, and I’m pretty much on board with most of it, except I’ve noticed lots of advertising for vitamins and nutritional supplements. (I even saw one for a pill that supposedly boosts collagen production. What the what?) I don’t take any nutritional supplements regularly. Occasional zinc for colds, probiotics, and chia seeds in my smoothies are the only supplements I use, but not on a daily basis. However, I am intrigued by Omega-3 supplements in pill form and have heard a lot about sea buckthorn for skin, hair and nails.

Should I incorporate nutritional supplements into my daily regimen? Do you? If so, what do you take?

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38 Comments
  • Aleigh

    March 12, 2012 at 9:06 am

    I was really skeptical of the whole supplements thing, too, until I started to notice I was shedding so much hair that it was starting to thin (SCARY!). I’ve been seeing Omega-3 supplements everywhere, so I tried the ones with Evening Primrose from Nordic Naturals and at my last salon visit, my stylist had to thin my hair. That’s…six weeks worth of daily supplements and a drastic difference. Here’s a link to the post I wrote about it: http://indigoandcanary.com/2012/02/beauty-obsession-nordic-naturals/

    I’m a believer now.

    -Aleigh

    • Lynne

      March 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      I also take Omega-3’s by Nordic Naturals and I highly recommend them.

    • whoorl

      March 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      Nordic Naturals is the brand I hear about the most; and I actually use the kids version for my kids. Time for mama to try!

  • Kristen

    March 12, 2012 at 9:12 am

    I don’t take supplements, but I’ve been rethinking it lately. In the past, I’ve avoided them because I’ve been really careful about eating plenty of fruits and veggies. But, when life gets extra hectic and I find myself eating more of what’s on hand rather than planning out my meals (like it is now), I realize that I’m missing out on nutrients. So, I think they have their place, but if you’re eating lots of good, whole foods (and drinking those smoothies), there’s probably no real need.

    • whoorl

      March 12, 2012 at 6:04 pm

      Totally agree!

  • Beth Anne

    March 12, 2012 at 10:26 am

    I never took supplements until Blissdom this year, when Centrum gave me a TON of samples – multivitamins, etc. I started taking them & I’m a believer – I feel better, my skin is glowing, I have more energy. I also started taking a “pronutrients fruit & veggie” because I KNOW I don’t do a great job with eating them.

    I’ve always been told that I need Omega 3’s & stuff…but I’m deathly allergic to fish. So that’s a no-go.

  • Loa Page

    March 12, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Life Extensions all the way. They are a high quality vitamin, and they are continually doing research to back their studies. I make an effort to put high quality food-organic and pesticide free-in my body whenever I can, why would I buy the cheap vitamin at costco-and expect it be as good?

    • whoorl

      March 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm

      I’ll check them out, thanks!

  • sizzle

    March 12, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I think I need to read that magazine. Sounds right up my alley. I’m a huge fan of Real Simple- it and a Seattle magazine are the only ones I subscribe to.

    I take a daily vitamin, B12, vitamin D (PNW is graysville if you haven’t heard and I get the SADS)plus flax, glucosamine, and sometimes acidopholis.

    Man, that list makes me sound like a granny.

    Where’s my metamucil!?

    • whoorl

      March 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm

      You will LOVE the magazine, Sizzle!

  • Candi

    March 12, 2012 at 10:39 am

    I am the exact same way with my US magazine! I am so bummed when it doesn’t come on Friday, it messes up my entire evening :) I don’t take any supplements, so can’t help ya there.

  • AC

    March 12, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Vitamin D and omega-3

  • Lana

    March 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Vitamin D and omega – 3’s are my nightly vitamin go-tos. Sometimes take a ginseng supplement for energy in the morning.

    I have no idea if they help, or what they do to be honest….

  • Mary

    March 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Anyone know of an Omega-3 that doesn’t make you burp or that smells like fish? I’ve tried some and they really upset my stomach. Actually many vitamins sort of upset my stomach so I take none which I know can’t be a good thing.

    • Ninabi

      March 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      Coromega packets (they look like ketchup packets) don’t cause problems. They also come in lime or orange flavor (natural) with no fishy taste.

  • Emily @ Peck Life

    March 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    I would also love to know what everyone thinks! I’ve been taking a little vitamin D (i hear we are ALL deficient, especially in the PNW) but I think I need to up my dose. I try to take a multi-vitamin but usually forget. I kind of want to go to the doctor and get ALL my levels tested so I know what I should be taking. When I was pregnant my iron was low but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s always the case…

    • whoorl

      March 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm

      I wonder if living in Southern California promotes good levels of Vitamin D since we’re in the sunshine all the time….

  • Tina

    March 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    So I swore off magazine subscriptions after 2010 because it got ridiculous. (I am a Budget Travel addict myself and I love Real Simple). But I am very intrigued and may just have to check out an issue.
    I take supplements for everyday and also for my hormonal imbalance (it’s fun..loads of fun). I started seeing an acupuncturist awhile back to help with my hormonal issues. (Color the cynic converted. She is amazing). In addition to having a doctorate in oriental medicine, she also practices “nutritional wellness”. Basically she helps guide my diet through food and supplements with the idea that what you put into the body is more important than the needles. She advised me to take glutamine before lunch and dinner to stave off carb cravings and to take Gaba at night to help with sleep. My whole fam takes omega 3s and vitamin D every day in addition to a multi. I also had great results when my son and I were sick and on antibiotics, we took silverbiotics.
    It’s all very intriguing but I certainly don’t want to be one of those people that’s popping supplements all the time. For now though I am having great results.
    Best,
    Tina

    • whoorl

      March 12, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      I think I’m definitely going to start the Omega 3s. Hoping my Vitamin D levels are good due to the California sunshine!

  • Lynne

    March 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    I take a daily liquid multi-vitamin called Intramax. I’ve had a lot of success with it as have 2 friends of mine. My hair is super thick, nails grow like crazy and I have more energy than ever.

    I also take a probiotic (Syntol), Omega-3 (Nordic Naturals), and Vitamin D.

    I have my own concerns about our food supply, the soil, and if we are getting the full potential of vitamins & minerals from our food, no matter how healthy we eat. So I take the vitamins.

    Thanks for posting about the magazine, it looks great!

    • whoorl

      March 12, 2012 at 6:09 pm

      Sounds like Nordic Naturals is the way to go! Definitely check out the magazine, Lynne!

  • Ris

    March 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I take a daily multivitamin because, as my doctor pointed out, even if you do your best to get all the fruits/veggies/etc you need, everyone misses something here and there. That multivitamin in my insurance against what I may have missed.

  • Carrie

    March 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I take flintstone vitamins. They dont have the coating that most adult vitamins do which upsets the stomach.

  • T

    March 12, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Coming from the medical field, I have a few very specific thoughts on this topic. This might get a little ranty – but supplements are actually medications too & they warrant careful thought before adding to your routine (you wouldn’t add a prescription without a purpose, right?).

    Some things to consider:
    a) the benefits of many supplements are not entirely clear – some studies say they are beneficial, some say they actually INCREASE mortality. I’m not saying you should take ZERO supplements, I’m saying you should take supplements thoughtfully.
    b) the evidence is most clear for supplements’ benefits when a diet is nutritionally deficient – that is, in countries where people are malnourished. In countries like ours, evidence supports that the most appropriate way for people to get the benefits of the ingredients in the supplements is to actually consume them as whole foods in our diets
    c) there are some very notable exceptions – vitamin D and omega-3s being among them
    d) many supplements can interact with our liver in ways that change how our body handles other prescription medications, including birth control. If you take prescriptions, it’s worth checking in with your doctor about them before you add too many supplements!

    And a more fun/useful hot tip! If you’re trying to avoid the fish oil omega-3 burps…try keeping your omega-3 supplements in the freezer! It really helps, and doesn’t change their digestion (since absorption happens in the intestines, not in the stomach where the burps are coming from, it gives the pills a chance to make it through the stomach before thawing in the intestines)

    Sorry for the soap-boxy comment…

    • whoorl

      March 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm

      Love the fish burp tip! Thank you!