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Essential Vitamins and Supplements

Understanding Vitamins and Supplements

The Top 10 Nutrients That Everyone Needs to Thrive

The nutrients in food work together in a process known as food synergy.[5] In short, this means food is more powerful than the sum of its parts. That’s why it’s important to start with a nutrient-dense diet, then supplement specific nutrients according to your specific needs and goals.

This guide was created after our review of the most significant cutting-edge research in the sourcing and research of the bioavailable vitamins and nutrients.  

WHAT SUPPLEMENTS SHOULD YOU TAKE

The problem with multivitamins

Impossible to fit all the vitamins and nutrients in one pill without compromising on quality

More expensive and important nutrients like magnesium are not represented in large enough amounts

Less expensive vitamins are often over-represented

Nutrients like folate are included in a less expensive forms such as its generic form folic acid that often result in the opposite or negligible effect

Many multivitamins use inactive forms or are made with fillers and additives that make it hard for your body to even absorb the nutrients. So, even if they have the right amount of a nutrient on the label, very little may reach your cells.

Vitamins Your Body Needs to More Efficiently Live

  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K2
  • Vitamin C
  • Iodine
  • Krill Oil
  • Magnesium
  • L-Tyrosine
  • Zinc and Copper
  • Methyl Folate and Methyl B12
  • *Bonus: Vitamins A, D, and K2 above work in a complementary fashion for immune, heart, and bone support. 

  • You can get the first three in one easy supplement)

Vitamins & Supplements

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Vitamin D is one of the most important but poorly understood vitamins needed for your body and wellness.  Amazingly and importantly, Vitamin D acts on over 1,000 different genes.  It is an important co-factor for sex hormones like testosterone, human growth hormone, and estrogen.  It is important for your immune system and its ability to modulate inflammation.  Finally, it is an essential element in controlling calcium metabolism for bone strength.  In short, it is important!

Lab studies show that a large number of people lack adequate Vitamin D levels.  There is a mistaken preconception that because your body has the ability to create it’s own Vitamin D ( a measure of how important that it really is in our biophysiology ), you do not need to supplement Vitamin D in your diet.   

This is patently not true.  First, your body requires adequate sun exposure to create Vitamin D; many patients, especially patients in higher latitudes and in urban city work-forces do not get adequate sun exposure.  

Suggested dose: 1,000 IU per 25 pounds of body weight*
 
Form: D3 with vitamin K (Vitamins A-D-K)
 
When to take it: In the morning
 
*Your skin tone affects your dose. People with brown/black skin don’t convert sunlight into vitamin D as quickly as lighter-skinned people. If you’re brown-skinned, a safe bet is 1,500 IU / 25 pounds of body weight. No matter what your skin color, always test your blood levels because your individual response to dosage varies.

L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that boosts mood, cognition, physical and mental stress response, and healthy glandular function. 

It quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier to increase the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. It’s also a building block for thyroid hormone.

Your body can make it, but it depletes when you’re stressed, and with modern living, most people’s production can’t keep up. Studies have shown that cadets in combat training supplementing with L-Tyrosine had reduced negative effects from physical and psychosocial stress on mental performance.[14]

Suggested dose: 500-2000mg per day

Forms: Pure L-Tyrosine

When to take it: Whenever you want

Magnesium is one of the most important co-factors required for your body to function properly.  It is also one of the most common vitamins or minerals to be found 

Almost all Americans are deficient in magnesium. The majority of people don’t meet the recommended daily allowance (RDA), which is already too low.[6][7] 




Many researchers feel that it is almost as important as Vitamin D .  It is unfortunately one of the most needed supplements as most patients show inadequate Magnesium levels.  Magnesium is used in over 300 differently enzymatic processes including cellular energy production ( ATP production ) as well the reproduction and transcription of cellular DNA and RNA.  

Magnesium deficiency can result in:

  • PMS
  • heart arrhythmias
  • headaches and migraines
  • muscle cramps
  • metabolic syndrome
  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes
  • asthma
  • anxiety disorders


Due to soil depletion and poor farming practices, it’s almost impossible to get enough magnesium from diet alone. Without a doubt – everyone should supplement with magnesium.

Suggested dose: 200-800mg per day (start low and work your way up)

Forms: Citrate, malate, glycinate, threonate, or orotateLearn more about the different types of magnesium and how to choose the best magnesium supplement.

When to take it: Before bedtime.

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS FOR YOUR BRAIN, HEART, AND SKIN

This is a tricky one. Small doses of high-quality fish oil reduce inflammation, improve brain function, and even enhance muscle growth, but poor quality or high doses can cause more problems than they help to solve. Not all fish oil is created equal. Most of the brands you are likely to buy at your local grocery are contaminated, oxidized, and not very potent. If you can’t find a good fish oil, you’re much better off avoiding it altogether.

That’s why I reach for a combination of fish oil and krill oil. Krill is more stable and it is phosphorylated, meaning it’s easier for your brain to use. It also comes with astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant.

There are real benefits to taking EPA and DHA, but most of these are strongest if your diet is deficient in omega-3s, or too high in omega-6’s. Most people don’t get nearly enough omega-3s through diet alone. Humans need 350mg of DHA and EPA a day to have optimal brain function. If you’re eating grass-fed meat and wild-caught fish several times a week, you’ll get there. If you can’t find grass-fed meat or wild-caught seafood, you should supplement with 500-1000mg of krill oil per day.

Suggested dose: 2000mg per day

Forms: Krill Oil

When to take it: With meals

Buy: Bulletproof Omega Krill Complex

These are just a few basic supplements I think most people would benefit from. If you’re looking for a more robust regimen, take a look at some of the following…

ZINC + COPPER FOR YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM AND ENERGY

Zinc and copper both serve hundreds of critical tasks to keep you healthy, and I take them together for a couple reasons:

1) Too much zinc can decrease copper levels in your body.

2) Together, zinc and copper form the antioxidant copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD), one of your body’s most critical natural defense mechanisms.

Zinc is a key mineral in the support of healthy immune function, energy production, and mood. It’s important to supplement because it can be tough to get a meaningful amount from food, and your body doesn’t store it, meaning you need to replenish each day.

You need copper to work in conjunction with zinc, and for proper vascular and heart function. Most of the U.S. is woefully deficient in copper, consuming only 0.8mg per day. This is worrying since less than 1mg per day is enough to cause heart attacks.

Copper intake has fallen over the last century due to modern farming and dietary practices. Modern fruits, vegetables, and conventional meats are low in copper, containing 75 percent less than they used to.

Suggested dose: 15mg zinc orotate and 1-2mg copper orotate per day

Form: Capsule

When to take it: Outside of meals/supplements containing iron, calcium, and phytates, which can decrease absorption of zinc

Shop Bulletproof Immunity and Detox Supplements Here

VITAMIN K2 FOR BONES AND HEART HEALTH

Unless you grew up eating only grass-fed meat and raw milk – you’re deficient in vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is a fat-soluble vitamin involved in calcium metabolism. Excess calcium is deposited in arteries, leading to calcification and decreased vascular function. This is why vitamin K2 could play a role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and bone loss.[8][9]

Vitamin K1 is the kind of vitamin K found in leafy vegetables, and vitamin K2 is the kind found in grass-fed animal products. Ruminant animals like cows and sheep convert K1 into K2 in their stomachs, but humans don’t convert K1 to K2 as efficiently. Just another reason you should eat grass-fed animals – they can only get K1 from grass – not grains.

There are two subsets of vitamin K2: MK-4, and MK-7. MK-4 is the kind shown to produce the most benefit, but MK-7 is still important. You should consume a total of at least 2,000mcg per day of K1 and K2, at least 100mcg of which should be the MK-7 form.

Suggested dose: 2,000mcg per day (100mcg MK-7 form)

Forms: MK-4, and MK-7 (Vitamins A-D-K)

When to take it: At mealtime, along with some fat and your vitamin D supplement

METHYL B-12 AND METHYL FOLATE FOR BRAIN POWER AND IMMUNE FUNCTION

melatonin sleep supplementsMost people are deficient in vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 can protect against dementia, increase immune function, maintain nerves, and regenerate cells. B12 lowers homocysteine and protects against atherosclerosis. It’s necessary for maintaining methylation reactions that repair DNA and prevent cancer. One of the most crucial areas for B12 is the brain.[15]

Folate deficiency can also cause mental symptoms, although B12 is more likely to be a problem. Folate and B12 are both required for mental function, and a deficiency in one produces a deficiency in the other, but folate will not correct a B12 deficiency in the brain. Folate also supports a healthy heart and nervous system. If you make the mistake of treating B12 deficiency without folate, you can get permanent brain damage. Likewise, high amounts of folate without adequate B12 can cause neurological conditions. That’s why I take them together.

Suggested dose: 5mg+ of methylcobalamin or hydroxocobalamin and 800mcg+ of folate (5-MTHF or folinic acid, NOT folic acid)

Forms: Capsule and/or lozenge

When to take it: Daily with food

Shop Bulletproof Methyl B12 (Methylcobalamin)

The list above was a small portion of supplements to consider taking. They’ll provide you with a foundation for further supplementation with things like smart drugs and sleep hacking supplements.

Supplementation is something everyone should do, but how much depends on your diet and other lifestyle factors. If you’re not sure where to start, talk to your naturopathic or functional medicine doctor to figure out an individualized plan that works for you.

VITAMIN A FOR IMMUNITY, VISION, AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

Belly Fat Linked to Low Vitamin D Levels, Says Study_headerVitamin A is essential if you aren’t into organ meats like beef liver, kidney, and heart. Vitamin A is an important cofactor for numerous metabolic reactions and bodily functions. A quarter of Americans consume less than half the RDA of vitamin A, which is already too low.

An important thing to remember is that you can’t get vitamin A from plants. Plants don’t have vitamin A, they have beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is poorly converted into vitamin A, which is why some populations develop vitamin A deficiency despite consuming far more than they should have required. Sorry vegetarians and vegans, carrots aren’t going to cut it.

Suggested dose: 3,000-10,000 IU per day

Forms: Retinol (a good source of vitamin A is cod liver oil, which also has vitamin D) (Vitamins A-D-K)

When to take it: With meals

IODINE FOR YOUR THYROID, BRAIN, AND IMMUNE SYSTEM

From breakfast to dessert, these easy sous vide recipes prove that you can create restaurant-worthy meals from the comfort of your kitchen.Iodine is crucial for proper thyroid function and metabolism. It also enhances immune function and prevents brain damage.[12] Iodine deficiency is widespread, so supplementation is a good idea. Physically active people are at especially high risk for deficiency because you lose iodine through sweat.[13]

You can get some iodine from seafood, but unless you’re eating it with every meal, you probably won’t get enough. If you suffer from a thyroid condition, consult your functional medicine doctor before you supplement with iodine.

Suggested dose: 150 mcg to 1000 mcg (1 mg) per day

Forms: Kelp powder sourced from clean waters or potassium iodide capsules

When to take it: Once daily, with food

Vitamin D
  •  

Real food is the best source of the majority of your nutrients

Available nutrients and supplements are not all created the same

 

Real foods full of natural vitamins and nutrients should be the primary source of the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs.  In addition, nutrients in food are often synergistic; that is, when they provide co-factors that allow their nutrients to be better absorbed or function more efficiently.  The problem is that despite a proper diet, you may still need be deficient in certain vitamins and nutrients.
 
 

 

 

Buyer beware

Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it can’t be harmful. It’s possible to abuse even the most natural herbal supplements or food-based vitamins and minerals. And supplements are not immune from heavy metals, contaminants, and byproducts from processing. Always check the sourcing and quality testing of your supplement providers. Your best bet is consulting with a licensed practitioner who can recommend quality brands.

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Statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Information provided by this website or this company is not a substitute for direct, individual medical treatment or advice. It is the responsibility of you and your healthcare providers to make all decisions regarding your health. Bulletproof recommends that you consult with your healthcare providers regarding the diagnosis and treatment of any disease or condition. Products sold on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease

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Frequently Asked Questions

Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) has actually been used in the United States since 1938. Bio-identical Hormones are all natural plant based products made from yams and a small amount of soy. These hormones have the same molecular structure as the hormones produced within our own bodies. There are numerous studies worldwide that document the benefits and safety of BHRT. These studies also report a lower incidence of side effects when compared with prescription drugs. BHRT should not be confused with “synthetic hormones which are typically found in many creams, gels and injectables used for hormone replacement.

BHRT is a short, simple in-office procedure using local anesthesia. Your doctor will insert the pellets into the fatty layer just beneath your skin. In men and women, a small incision is made in the buttocks or in the lower abdomen. The process is painless and takes just a few minutes.

One of greatest advantages of pellet therapy is the low incidence of side effects. Although extremely rare, side effects may include: slight bruising, minor bleeding, infection or extrusion of the pellets.

Your doctor will interpret your blood tests and determine an appropriate dosage specifically designed for your body. Women who receive estrogen can feel significantly better in 24-36 hours. Men and women who receive testosterone will start to feel relief of symptoms in 10-14 days. After your pellet insertion, you should avoid vigorous exercise for a few days as directed by your physician. Your doctor will evaluate your hormone levels on an ongoing basis and monitor any future changes needed.

You can obtain BHRT Pellets by scheduling an appointment with a trained, certified physician who specializes in hormonal therapy. In order to obtain the correct dosage and proper placement of the pellets, the doctor should be knowledgeable and specifically trained in pellet therapy!
To find out if BHRT is the right solution for you, speak with an HTCA physician today!

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