It’s hard for me to choose which products I find essential – there are so many! I personally don’t take a multivitamin because the multivitamin components I take are in higher amounts than what is present in a multivitamin.
One of my main supplement necessities is fish oil because I don't eat any type of fish and never have. When I started working at Carlson, I began taking Elite Omega-3 Gems, since that was our highest potency EPA and DHA containing fish oil product. It allowed me to get the most omega-3s in the smallest number of soft gels. I have since switched to our new Maximum Omega 2000, which is now our highest potency fish oil.
Vitamin D3 is another supplement I consider a necessity. It’s highly important for bone health, but also supports many other aspects of health, including the immune system, cardiovascular system, muscles, and is being studied in emerging research in regards to brain health and mood, kidney, endocrine, and prostate health for men. Research is ongoing with vitamin D3, as virtually every tissue in the human body expresses the vitamin D receptor and can subsequently be affected by circulating blood levels of vitamin D. I take our Vitamin D3 10,000 IU five times a week. This is the strength I found is necessary for me to keep my personal vitamin D level sufficient through routine vitamin D testing. In addition to vitamin D3, I also take Vitamin K2 as MK7. Vitamins D and K work synergistically to promote bone health via calcium absorption and assimilation into the bones.
As most people likely do, I try to stay active. However, working all day and having a bit of a drive to work can sometimes sap my motivation. So, I make sure to take my B50 Gel and my CoQH (the reduced, ready to use form of CoQ10) to help support my body’s energy production. The B50 Gel also provides the B vitamins that are necessary for exercise induced stress recovery. Because I enjoy high impact activities like running, Zumba, and tennis, I make sure to take products like MSM Sulfur and Nutra-Support Joint to support the cartilage in my joints. As Carlson recently came out with Curcumin and a new joint health formula, Enhanced Mobility, I’ve also added these to my supplement regimen to support my joints and to promote my exercise recovery.
Magnesium is well known for its role in supporting muscle health; however, I also make sure to take Chelated Magnesium daily for the role it plays in maintaining hair and nail health. I love having my nails painted – as long as they're long. Combined with taking magnesium for my nails, I also take our Biotin 5,000 mcg.
The last product that is essential to my daily supplement routine is probably the least well known, but is a derivative of the well-known grape/wine antioxidant resveratrol, and that is Pterostilbene! Pterostilbene is better absorbed and has a higher bioavailability than resveratrol, while still providing the same antioxidant benefits of supporting brain health and healthy aging.
by Jolie Root, LPN, LNC
Doctors and nutrition experts tell us to eat more fish, likely due to a stream of studies showing us we need more omega-3s, the beneficial fats that fish provide. These fats have been linked to better health from infancy to our golden years and at every age in between. They support growth and development, and heart, brain, vision, and joint health.
So how do we know if we’re getting enough of these vitally important fats? That’s where the Omega-3 Index comes in. It’s a simple blood test that determines if we’re getting enough of the beneficial omega-3s EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). The result is expressed as the percent of fatty acids that are EPA and DHA among the total fats in the red blood cell membrane.
The Ideal Target
North American data shows our intake of EPA and DHA is a lackluster average of 100 mg daily. Even worse, one in five of us are getting none of these fats on a daily basis. Based on trials evaluating the value of omega-3s, especially for heart health, the target for our Omega-3 Index is 8 percent.
Here is the challenge: reaching the target of 8 percent on the Omega-3 Index requires an intake in adults of 1,500 to 2,000 mg of omega-3s daily. In children, about half as much would be needed. To support a 500 to 1,000 mg daily intake of EPA and DHA, Americans would need to eat two to four servings of cold-water fish every single week – which most of us don’t. So supporting 1,500 to 2,000 mg through diet alone is very unlikely. Thus, we look to supplements to fill the void.
This is where concentrated omega-3 supplements make our health goals easier to achieve. Imagine that your fish oil capsule provides only 100 to 200 mg of EPA plus DHA. You’d need to take a lot of capsules to get to 2,000 mg daily. On the other hand, if your supplement provides 700 to 1,000 mg of EPA plus DHA, you need only two or three capsules to reach the target intake.
The first step is to determine your Omega-3 Index by ordering an in-home test from OmegaQuant. Then make a goal of reaching 8 percent by raising your omega-3 intake to 1,500 to 2,000 mg daily. Read the supplement facts panel on the back of your bottle of fish oil to see how much EPA plus DHA a serving provides, and most important, how many soft gels represent a serving? Do the math to be sure you’re getting enough every day.
A highly concentrated omega-3 supplement will make it easy and convenient to reach on Omega-3 Index of 8 percent.
by Karen Roth, MSNC
The olives used in Carlson Olive Your Heart® are made from ancient olive trees from the Kolymvari region in western Crete, Greece. Olive Your Heart® uses a base of Terra Creta extra virgin olive oil because of its low acidity and high levels of polyphenols – and also for its guaranteed quality and great taste.
Polyphenols are micronutrients that we get through certain plant-based foods. They are bursting with antioxidants that support overall good health. Think of antioxidants as crime fighters protecting the home front.
The low level of acidity in extra virgin olive oil is what gives it its complexity and delicacy of taste. Extra virgin olive oil is closest to the natural state of the olive, since it’s from the first pressing. It is the purest form of olive oil.
Oleic acid is a beneficial monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid found in olive oil. Olive oil is generally higher in oleic acid than other vegetable fats. Oleic acid has the ability to resist free radical attacks, which protects cell membranes, proteins, and DNA from being damaged, just as it protects the oil from spoiling. Omega-9 fatty acids are linked to healthy cardiovascular systems, healthy cholesterol levels, improved immune function, and healthy blood sugar levels.
Olive Your Heart® also contains 1,480 mg of omega-3s from sustainably-sourced, high-quality, wild-caught Norwegian fish oil. The two really important omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA, which support cardiovascular health, brain function, joint health, and immune function. Here are some other ways it can benefit our heart:
Fish oil, such as that found in Olive Your Heart®, contains EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Ninety percent of the omega-3s found in the brain are DHA, so it makes sense that supporting the brain will lead to heart healthy practices, like exercise and social interaction.
Olive Your Heart®, with its unique blend of extra virgin olive oil and omega-3s is a heart-smart choice – and a convenient way to get your omega-3s, especially for those who don’t like swallowing supplements.
by Jolie Root, LPN, LNC
I can’t think of a single food or supplement that is more important for heart health than omega-3s from fish. That is saying a lot – considering my 34 (and counting) years working in nutrition education. But I stand by my statement. Fish oils are the most important supplement you can take to support a healthy heart.
How do the omega-3s EPA and DHA love your heart? Let me count the ways.
When you think about being heart smart, consider this. We observe healthier hearts in cultures that eat more fish. When those people move to the United States and adopt our diet, their hearts typically become less healthy. Boosting omega-3 intake is a gift that keeps on giving. Your precious heart deserves the very best. Bless it every day with Carlson omega-3s, providing EPA and DHA.
by Laurel Sterling, MA, RD, CDN
February is National Heart Month, and coincidentally Valentine’s Day too! We need to protect those magnificent hearts of ours as much as possible. An average heart can pump 2,000 gallons of blood each day throughout the body, which is amazing to me. As most of us know, in order to keep our heart functioning optimally, it’s important we try to avoid smoking, alcohol consumption, excessive stress, and environmental pollutants and that we maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Certain herbals and nutritional supplements also support a healthy heart. Here are some of my favorites:
Fish oil is the first of the nutrients I will highlight for heart health. Many cardiovascular benefits of fish oil include: promoting healthy blood clotting, supporting normal heart rhythm, maintaining healthy normal triglyceride levels (circulating blood fats), supporting normal blood pressure, and promoting optimal blood vessel health. The omega-3s that it provides also support our immune system.
Vitamin D is one of the most beneficial nutritional supplements for supporting heart and immune system health. However, the amount of vitamin D3 required varies from person to person. The best way to know how much you need is to have your vitamin D levels tested by your health practitioner.
Research over the past several years has been showing how valuable and necessary vitamin K is for adults as well as children in promoting healthy cardiovascular function, blood flow (by maintaining vascular elasticity), and bone and teeth calcification. Vitamin D3 is important for calcium transport and absorption, to help ensure vitamin K makes it to the parts of our body where it’s needed most.
Most of vitamin K’s benefits are derived from its role in making several key proteins, particularly osteocalcin and matrix GLA protein. More technically, vitamin K promotes the carboxylation of these proteins. (Carboxylation adds one carbon, one hydrogen, and two oxygen atoms.) Without carboxylation, these proteins cannot do their jobs. Without enough vitamin K2 as MK-7 in the body, a significant amount of osteocalcin will remain inactive and unable to bind calcium.
Magnesium is a very important mineral that oversees over 350 enzymatic processes in our body. It assists in immunity, irritability, rapid heartbeat, relaxing smooth muscles, maintaining healthy normal blood sugar, and so much more. Magnesium is extremely important for muscles, and the heart is a crucial muscle. Start with a small amount of chelated magnesium, like 250mg in the evening before bed. The amount that each person will tolerate varies.
Calcium is very important also for the heart. Like other muscles in the body, the heart requires calcium for contraction. Calcium flows into the muscle cells and works as a switch to allow heart muscle fibers to slide past each other and contract. Calcium, magnesium, vitamin D3 & vitamin K1 and K2 all work together to benefit our cardiovascular system.
Adding more antioxidants into our regime has proven to be highly beneficial to heart and overall health. Antioxidants defeat free radicals and are responsible for preventing oxidative stress. Now we could eat 70% or higher dark chocolate to get more antioxidants, which may not be the best thing to do because some of us can over eat a good thing like dark chocolate…present company included, or use supplemental antioxidants like vitamin E and CoQ10.
Vitamin E, is an important antioxidant that protects our tissues. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is uniquely suited to intercept free radicals, and protects the fats in low density lipoproteins (LDLs) from oxidation.
CoQ10 is another important antioxidant and fat-soluble vitamin that our bodies produce. We produce CoQ10 in the mitochondria of our cells, which is called the powerhouse of the cell. This is where ATP (energy production) is done. CoQ10 is a key component of the electron transfer chain involving ATP production. It is concentrated in our muscle cells, liver, and highly concentrated in our heart muscle. There are many factors why we may not have enough in our body. As we age, we make less of it, and it is very depleted by statin drugs and many blood pressure drugs.
To improve mitochondrial function, you can also opt to add in D-Ribose. This is a naturally-occurring carbohydrate that promotes healthy heart function, provides energy for the cells, and increases muscle strength. If you are occasionally fatigued or have been excessively work out, ribose is a supplement you may want to look more into adding to your supplement routine.
Another is the amino acid L-Carnitine. It plays a critical role in increasing ATP-energy production, and it is responsible for transporting fatty acids into the cell where energy is produced. L-Carnitine also improves triglycerides levels.
As you can see there are many important nutrients that support heart health. What you decide to add in and how much you should take would best be determined by a health care practitioner. A special note to those who may already be on heart medications is to be sure to check with your practitioner as many of these (fish oil, vitamin E, CoQ10) are mild blood thinners or mild clotting agents (like vitamin K) and may not be able to be taken with certain anticoagulant medications. Help maintain a healthy heart and cardiovascular wellness through a variety of supplement options and combinations.
The Daily Dose blog features health and wellness articles from Senior Nutritionist & Educator Jolie Root, LPN,LNC; Nutritionist & Educator Laurel Sterling, MA, RDN, CDN; and Featured Guest Blogger Karen Roth, MSNC. Other guest bloggers will also join us.
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