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Dr. Mercola's Nutrition Plan
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Dr. Mercola's Nutrition Plan
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Supplements: The Ideal Complement for Your Healthy Diet

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My main recommendation for better health is to include as much whole and organic food in your diet. However, you may find it difficult to eat healthy at all times because of certain reasons, and as a result you may not be able to get enough essential nutrients from foods. In this case, you can take supplements to ensure that you’re getting the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that you need for optimal bodily function.

Four Important Supplements for Good Health

There are three supplements I consider to be staples in complementing your journey towards improved health: Complete Probiotics, Krill Oil, and Ubiquinol. These are my “Essential 3.”

Complete Probiotics works in the gastrointestinal system, where most of the body’s bacteria strains are. Probiotics are good bacteria in the gut whose primary purpose is to ensure there’s balance among various strains. Eighty percent of our bodies’ immune system is found in the gut, and nourishing with Complete Probiotics can: 

  • Aid in food digestion
  • Enhance synthesis of B vitamins
  • Improve calcium absorption
  • Help balance intestinal microflora
  • Promote vaginal health in women
  • Support the immune system

Complete Probiotics also contains the Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 strain. Research showed that this strain has properties crucial for human health and is able to colonize well in the human gut. Because of its human origin, the DDS-1 strain can adapt to the human body well. It’s also acid and bile resistant, which is important for intestinal survival.

Krill Oil offers important benefits compared to fish oil supplements, which have a weak antioxidant content, high potential to be contaminated, and are susceptible to spoilage. It contains antioxidants and omega-3 fats in the form of phospholipids. These are liposomes or tiny packages that transport fatty acids directly into the body’s cells, and are the safest and most effective carriers of EPA and DHA, which are then promoted to have profound effects on the heart.

Phospholipids deliver an extra boost by providing building blocks and free radical defenses for cell membranes, and regulating cellular transport by being “gate-keepers.” They also work with omega-3 fatty acids to manage the passage of fatty acid molecules through the intestinal wall, making them more bioavailable.

Krill Oil can provide support for healthy joints, brain and nervous system function and development, immune system, and overall mood. It helps maintain blood sugar and cholesterol levels already in the normal range.

Ubiquinol is a nutrient converted from ubiquinone, also known as CoQ10. As you age, your body's levels of CoQ10 diminish, and so does its ability to convert CoQ10 to ubiquinol, due to factors like oxidative stress, inadequate dietary CoQ10 intake, age-related changes in the genes, and more.

Ubiquinol allow the body to get its CoQ10 dose in a more direct way. If you’re older than 25 years, taking this supplement can help you (those who are younger may still be able to absorb regular CoQ10). Ubiquinol helps:

  • Improve your cardiovascular system
  • Jumpstart your body’s energy and stamina levels
  • Reduce the visible signs of aging
  • Act as an antioxidant and provide a defense to protect your body from free radicals
  • Maintain normal blood pressure levels and spearhead healthy blood circulation
  • Boost your immune system
  • Support your nervous system and stimulate an active mind

Ubiquinol is also essential if you’re taking a statin drug. Statin drugs work to lower your cholesterol. However, this happens in the same pathway where the body produces its supply of ubiquinol, leading to a depletion of this all-important nutrient. Restocking your body’s ubiquinol with a supplement can help maintain healthy energy levels.

The Real Deal on Vitamin D

An alarming 85 percent of Americans have insufficient vitamin D levels, and a major reason is because they spend most of their time indoors. Not a lot of people are aware of the importance of vitamin D for our bodies, so spending time under the sun is a factor that could make a difference.
                                                                                                                                                                              
To get enough vitamin D, you need to expose large portions of your skin. A light tinge of pink on the skin is the marker you need. If you notice this, it means your vitamin D production has reached its maximum levels. People with lighter skin usually need 10 to 20 minutes for this to occur, but people with darker skin tones need to stay for a longer time.

To test your levels, you can purchase a vitamin D measurement kit from the D*Action Study by the D*Action Project of GrassrootsHealth.

However, if you live in an area where there’s not much sun, you can take a vitamin D3 supplement, also known as 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, which has been proven to be 87 percent more effective than D2. The amount you want to achieve when it comes to vitamin D levels is 40 to 60 ng/ml. Meanwhile, when it comes to dosage levels, 5,000 to 6,000 IUs (international units) is the way to go.

Age Dosage per day in IUs (International Units)
Below 5 years 35 IUs
5 to 10 years 2,500 IUs
Adults 5,000 IUs
Pregnant women 8,000 IUs

Be 'Nosy' With Vitamins

It’s not a habit people usually have, but smelling your supplements makes a difference. Obviously, if the supplement doesn’t smell fresh, don’t take it. To prevent capsule or tablet spoilage, use a small fishing tackle box to store them. It’s a convenient and easy way to store and transport your supplements.

 

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