Do You Need to Take a Supplement?

Supplements provide excellent opportunities to fill in the gaps in nutrition that you may be missing on a daily basis.

By speaking with your provider or completing blood testing, you may have discovered a nutrient you need to boost your intake of.

While it is best to get nutrients from their original sources, this is often not a practical goal for many people to do consistently. Because of this, supplements can be an easy way to incorporate missing nutrients into your diet.

For Minnesotans in particular, vitamin D can be a valuable supplement for the winter months. While we may receive adequate vitamin D from the sun’s rays in the summer, the dark and cool winters result in less time outside, and thus less vitamin D.

Missing the summer sun

In the summer, Minnesotans potentially receive enough sun to meet the recommended vitamin D needs of most individuals. We do receive vitamin D from certain foods, which can help fill in the gaps in the spring and fall where the sun alone is not able to provide enough vitamin D. But in the winter you likely either need to shift your diet or take a supplement as you spend more time indoors.

Cleaveland Clinic reports 5 common signs of vitamin D deficiency including mood changes, bone loss, muscle cramps, bone/joint pain, and fatigue. While it is easy to confuse these signs with many other possible issues, keep these in mind in case you do not believe you are getting enough sunlight.

The benefits of fish oil

Fish oils have been recognized as a solution to fill in the missing omega-3 fatty acids that your body is not able to produce naturally. While there are good food sources for omega-3 fatty acids including flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds, many patients find a supplement to be an easier replacement.

Overuse of fish oils can be even worse than not taking them at all. Because of this, it is important to consult with a provider to ensure you are taking the right amount for your health.

And it is not just fish oil and vitamin D. There are countless supplements available to help fill a wide range of deficiencies.

Be picky with your supplements

Glucose supplements are among the most popular on the market today. However, with so many available, each with their own claims, there is minimal FDA regulation – even among those that are “FDA approved.”

Not all supplements are created equal, particularly in the case of the many available glucose supplements. To learn more about the rules around supplements, take a look at the FDA website or speak to an Integracare provider.

We only stock and sell supplements from reputable brands that are trusted by our providers.

Get professional advice

In an article from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Craig Hopp, a researcher for NIH, explained: “You should discuss with your doctor what supplements you’re taking so your care can be integrated and managed.”

It is essential to receive professional advice when taking supplements so that you ensure you are taking supplements that will work for you as well as the right dosage.

Typically patients discover a shortcoming in their diet after experiencing a health concern and speaking to their provider. Either with an evaluation, or the aid of a blood test, a nutrient that a patient is low on could be identified. You can then use that information to make a shift in your diet, or take a supplement to fulfill the nutrient.