A walk down the vitamin and supplement aisle of your corner drug store can be an overwhelming experience. With hundreds of dietary supplements to choose from, it’s hard to know which ones are truly beneficial.
Aliza Cicerone, a naturopathic oncology provider at CTCA in Tulsa, points to these five supplements as a way to improve overall health. Remember, it’s always important to speak with a healthcare provider first about taking supplements.
- Green tea extract is an antioxidant that can help maintain cellular health throughout your body and support immune system function. The extract is taken from leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant and comes in capsules or drops.
- Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is an essential nutrient that can help protect cells and may help prevent diseases such as cancer, congestive heart failure and hypertension. A CoQ10 supplement may help to replenish your body’s level of CoQ10, which decreases as you age.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for nervous system development and healthy brain function. Fish oil supplements contain EPA and DHA, omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as tuna and salmon, as well as shellfish. Flaxseed oil supplements contain another type of omega-3 fatty acid, ALA.
- Probiotics are the normal, healthy bacteria in the gut. They promote intestinal health by providing nutritional benefits to cells in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Probiotics are typically recommended for irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea associated with using antibiotics and other GI conditions. Supplements containing probiotics are available in capsules, tablets and powders.
- Vitamin D3 is important for bone strength, endocrine function, immunity and cellular function. Adequate vitamin D can prevent rickets and osteomalacia, a bone disease in adults caused by vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D can also help reduce inflammation and increase muscle strength.
If possible, consult a qualified naturopathic clinician who has completed a four-year, doctoral-level naturopathic medicine program. A naturopathic clinician can help you make safe and appropriate choices and help determine which supplements may be most beneficial for you and avoid harmful interactions with medications. Learn more about naturopathic medicine.