Provision #135: Take your Vitamins

LifeTrek Provision

I’m back to the body with this week’s tip: take your vitamins. How manytimes did you hear that as a young child? Those chewable fruit-flavoredmultiple vitamin pills are staples in many homes during the “growing years,”but people often stop taking supplements as adults. Current research suggeststhat we should “become like little children” and get back to taking ourvitamins every day.

Why take vitamins if you eat a healthy diet? Because modern foodprocessing depletes food of these essential nutrients. And because theseessential nutrients become therapeutic agents when consumed at higher levels.To get these therapeutic benefits from diet alone would mean eating far toomany calories. The Recommended Daily Allowance is designed to prevent disease.If you want to promote health, current research suggests that you need to gobeyond the RDA with certain vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and herbs.

The Bare Minimum

Start with a base of three multiples: a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement, a multiple enzyme supplement, and a calcium supplement. Most people will benefit from taking these three supplements on a daily basis.

It’s easy to get these and other supplements on line from The Vitamin Shoppe (<ahref=”http:”” “=””> or 1-800-223-1216). I include their catalog number for your ordering convenience. Note: I am not affiliated with them and receive nothing from this recommendation.

  • Nutri-100 (VS-1301 = without iron, VS-1071 = with iron)

One multiple vitamin and mineral tablet daily, with breakfast. Most people shouldn’t take supplemental iron, unless they give blood regularly, since there is no way to eliminate iron except through blood loss and high iron levels may promote cardiovas•cular disease and cancer.

  • Multi Digestive Enzymes (VS-1195)

Digestive enzymes, primarily from plants, assist with food digestion and reduce flatulence. Do not take them without food in your stomach. Digestive enzymes provide other benefits that become more important as people age.

  • Calcium-Magnesium (VS-1174).

Two tablets containing a total of 1,000 mg of chelated calcium and 500 mg of chelated magnesium taken at bedtime. This is the amount recommended by the National Academy of Sciences to help prevent osteoporosis, a disease of thinning bones found most often in women as they age. The best way to get calcium is through supplementation rather than through dairy products. Magnesium minimizes constipation, support the body’s absorption of the calcium, and provides other health benefits.


Dr. Andrew Weil, the Harvard-educated M.D. who’s become a leadingauthority on nutrition and supplementation (, recommends the following “antioxidant cocktail”. Antioxidants are compounds that help prevent free radicals • produced naturally by the body as our bodies use oxygen and come into contact with environ•mental toxins • from reacting with other compounds, thus protecting healthy cells. They also stimulate the immune response.

  • Vitamin C (TL-1155)

In addition to what’s in the multiple vitamin, chew one wafer in the evening for an extra 250 mg of Vitamin C per day. Recent research suggests that you should avoid taking more than 500 mg of supplemental Vitamin C per day. In addition to its antioxidant properties, Vitamin C helps to prevent disease, tone connective tissue, strengthen the linings of coronary arteries, and encourage healing.

  • Carotenoid Complex (VS-1271)

One softgel capsule containing 25,000 IU of mixed carotenes, once a day with the evening meal. This softgel capsule includes lycopene and lutein. Lycopene supports the antioxidant activity of beta and alpha carotene. Lutein works especially in the eyes.

  • Vitamin E Complex (VS-1026)

One softgel capsule containing 400 IU of mixed tocopherols (d-alpha, d-beta, d-gamma, and d-delta) once a day, with the evening meal, if you’re under 40; twice a day at mealtime if you’re 40 or over. Be sure the meal contains a little fat for good Vitamin E absorption. Look for Vitamin E that comes from natural (d-) sources rather than in synthetic (dl-) sources. 

  • Selenium (SR-2038)

One 100 mcg tablet, taken with Vitamin E, twice a day at mealtime. This trace mineral, organically bound in yeast, supports the antioxidant activity of Vitamin E and has proven cancer-fighting benefits. Keep your daily supplemental intake of selenium to 300 mcg or less.

  • Co-Enzyme Q10 (VS-1230)

One 100 mg gel capsule, once or twice a day at mealtime. This natural vitamin-like antioxidant is depleted in the human body as we age. Supplementation can provide benefits to the cardiovascular system and improve energy levels.

There are also supplements and foods than can be useful for specific conditions, such as:

Cardio-Vascular Health

  • Aspirin (low-dose, 81 mg, and regular strength, 325 mg)

One low-dose aspirin tablet, once a day at mealtime. Every two weeks, take a regular strength aspirin tablet in place of the low-dose tablet. Aspirin is a semisynthetic derivative of white-willow bark that has been shown effective in lowering the risk of heart disease, strokes and certain forms of cancer. A biweekly spike in the dosage may improve its effectiveness.

  • Fish Oil (VS-1045)

One 500 mg capsule of fish oil, including 300 mg of EPA and 200 mg of DHA, once a day with the evening meal. Fish oil is different than cod liver oil, which comes from the liver and does not provide significant amounts of the EPA and DHA • essential Omega-3 fatty acids that are often lacking in people’s diet. In addition to one fish oil capsule a day, eat broiled salmon (wild rather than farm raised) at least once a week.

  • Flax Seed Oil (VS-1228)

One 1,000 mg tablet of flax seed oil, once a day at breakfast. Flax seeds are one of the best plant sources of an essential Omega-3 fatty acid:  Alpha-Linolenic Acid. In addition to one flax seed oil capsule a day, I also eat ground flax seeds on a regular basis as a cereal topping or as an ingredient in a fruit smoothie.

  • No-Flush Niacin (VS-1311)

One 500 mg capsule of no-flush niacin, twice a day at mealtime. Niacin is one the best known remedies for cholesterol problems, lowering total cholesterol by 18% and raising the good (HDL) cholesterol by 32% at dosages ranging from 600–1,800 mgs daily. Unfortunately, it can be hard on the liver and pure niacin produces hot flashes that last about 20–40 minutes after ingestion. Niacin bound with inositol provides the cholesterol-lowering benefits of niacin without the hot flashes. Do not exceed 3,000 mg per day. Do not take niacin if you are pregnant or if you have ulcers, gout, diabetes, gallbladder disease, liver disease, or have had a recent heart attack. Long-term niacin supplementation requires doctor supervision and blood monitoring.

  • Waukunaga Kyolic Reserve Garlic Powder (WA-1045)

One 600 mg tablet of concentrated garlic powder, twice a day at mealtime. There is debate over the best form of garlic powder to take. I prefer the odorless, aged, capsule form manufactured by Waukunaga. If you like the smell and taste, cook with and eat as much garlic as you can. Some people eat it raw! In addition to helping with cholesterol and triglycerides, garlic also helps with high blood pressure and blood clotting.

  • Soy Protein

Soy beans contain isoflavones, phytochemicals that weakly mimic human estrogen. Eating soy food products such as tofu, tofu hot dogs and burgers, whole green soy beans (edamame) and isolated soy protein powders can be an important part of maintaining cardio-vascular health. Consume 25 • 50 grams of soy protein a day. The consumption of this much soy protein has been demonstrated to lower cholesterol as well as the risk of certain cancers (breast, prostate, and colon), heart disease, osteoporosis, and problems with menopause. Avoid powders that contain added antioxidants if you’re already taking the antioxidants that I recommend above. I prefer the non-GMO forms of soy powder such as GeniSoy.

Next week I’ll include more information on supplements and nutrition for specific conditions. Keep in mind that I’m not a doctor and that I’m not suggestingyou treat any medical condition on the basis of this LifeTrek Provision withoutseeing a doctor. This tip is intended for educational purposes only.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC

President, LifeTrek Coaching
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School
Immediate Past President, International Association of

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