Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth nutrition, fitness and adventure courses, and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+..
When people find out what I do for a living, they frequently ask for advice on what supplements to take for this or that condition. From my early start as a supplement editor (I’ve been working in this field for more than 20 years now), I’ve had a passion for helping people find great natural products to enhance their lives.
Supplements, in particular, have made a big difference in my life. And people often want to know what I take on a daily basis. With the help of a very skilled integrative health practitioner (http://www.drjeanetteryan.com), I take the following nutrients (as supplements) daily, in no particular order:
- Vitamin C (a whole-food source from organic berries, including camu camu and amla)
- Biotin—for hair, skin and nail health; my nails tend to peel and break easily and this B vitamin has really helped prevent that. As a side note: I also just started using No-Miss New Nails Nail Strengthener and have noticed that my nails are stronger and healthier than they have ever been. After doing some research online, I discovered I was having a reaction to conventional nail hardeners (and polish)—some people can actually be “allergic” to the chemicals used in these formulas, suffering from weak, splitting nails. I tried a gel manicure a few times, and each time, the skin around my nails and cuticles turned red, sore, and puffy. Then the skin started to peel. I didn’t make the connection at first. It was the gel manicure! As soon as I stopped, the irritation and skin peeling cleared up.
- Cordyceps—for energy and immune health. I take this first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything and it gives me a boost that I love. This supplement has also been shown to help increase testosterone in men and improve exercise performance.
- Magnesium—I use the glycinate form, as I’ve found it easier to digest and absorb.
- Probiotics—for overall health, including digestive and immune health; I always notice a difference in my health (and even my skin!) if I skip taking this supplement. I rarely come down with colds or the flu, and I think probiotics one of the main reasons for that.
- Omega-3 Fats—for overall health, hormone balance, optimal brain function. I am currently using a DHA formula. I’ve also taken an algae-based formula, which is vegan, and I’ve loved that too. I keep mine in the fridge so they keep longer.
- I-3-C—this is short for Indole-3-carbinol, a compound found in cruciferous vegetables. It helps detoxify harmful estrogens from the body. I really notice a difference if I don’t take this. For example, it’s fantastic for treating PMS-related breakouts. I store this in the fridge too—I haven’t noticed this, but I’ve heard it can go rancid if left in a cabinet too long.
- Folate—for mood and hormone balance (I use the newer, more bioavailable/absorbable form of this B vitamin, listed as 5-MTHF or L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolate on labels. I also recently found out (after having a genetic test from GenoPalate that I have a genetic variant in my MTHFR gene, which makes it harder for my body to process folate. Supplements containing 5-MTHF folate (look for this on the label) are necessary if you have the genetic variant. I also take a B-complex vitamin in addition to extra folate.
- Green Foods—for energy, detox, immunity, and gallbladder health (chlorophyll-rich nutrients help detoxify and process fat, which improves gallbladder health).
- Artichoke Extract—for gallbladder health. I have gallstones (diagnosed through an ultrasound). Fortunately, I haven’t needed surgery, but I’ve experienced a few “attacks” from the gallstones that were painful and uncomfortable. According to Jeanette Ryan, DC (my practitioner), artichoke is extremely calming and nourishing for the gallbladder. She suggested I either eat artichoke every day or take an extract. I noticed a huge difference once I started taking the tablets daily—no more pain or digestive issues associated with my gallbladder.
- Milk Thistle-this is one of my favorite herbs. It cleanses the liver, helps regenerate new liver cells, and, among many other things, is very high in antioxidants. I’ve noticed my skin looks better when I use this daily.
- Turmeric—for inflammation, liver health, healthy skin, and hormone balance. I take the Theracurmin form.
- CoQ10, as Kaneka QH ubiquinol (this form is easier to absorb and utilize, according to studies). This is one of my all-time favorite supplements. It supports natural energy levels, heart health, immunity, and brain function. It can also be very easily depleted with age and through the use of certain prescription medications, especially cholesterol-lowering drugs. Please consider taking this nutrient if you are using any kind of drug for high cholesterol.
- Digestive Enzymes—these are just always a good idea to get the most nutrients from the food you eat. They can also help reduce inflammation.
- Zinc Carnosine—I just started taking this because I may have H. pylori and this supplement is known to help with that. It’s also good for anyone with histamine intolerance.
Email me your questions directly at email@example.com. I would love to hear from you, and also would love to hear which supplements you take on a daily basis.