1. Vitamin A: You want to get a good blend of carotenoids. Beta-carotene is the carotenoid you hear about most. Your body makes beta-carotene into active vitamin A. In order to get a good blend of carotenoids, look for whole foods and versions of vitamin A that contain them. I love palm fruit, as it has a nice spectrum of carotenoids and is very bioavailable. This means it’s easy for the body to convert and activate.
2. Vitamin C: I recommend 500-1,000 milligrams per day and not much more than that. There is a lot of data proving antioxidants are important, but if you have too much of anyone, you end up robbing your body’s own antioxidants (like superoxide dismutase or glutathione).
3. Vitamin D: This vitamin is super-important and available in many forms. I prefer the capsules, as it’s easier to track how much I’m getting. Very few people reach a good blood level of Vitamin D with less than 10,000 units per day. Make sure you’re taking enough, and you’re taking it with food.
When considering vitamin D supplementation, it’s important to realize this vitamin allows your body to absorb calcium. This is a good thing if you’re getting the right type of calcium, and your body is using it properly, yielding stronger bones. It’s a bad thing if it isn’t the right type of calcium or if your body isn’t using it well. This will create plaque in the blood vessels, causing joint calcification, kidney stones or gallstones.
The important types of calcium are those similar to the calcium found in plants. They dissolve easily in water. My favorite form is dicalcium malate. It won’t cause calcification or gum up your arteries. This type is also free of lead. A lot of calcium is derived from oyster shells or bones (like the microcrystalline hydroxyapatite). There is concern about lead contamination with these types. (Because bone tissue always contain lead, there is also concern regarding bone broths, collagen and gelatin.)
It is good to take a plant-based magnesium, as well. When it comes to calcium-magnesium ratios, many of the high-dosage guidelines were based on types not easily absorbed. I’m a fan of a couple hundred milligrams (or even slightly less) per day and in close-to-equal ratios. When you’re taking forms that are well-absorbed and free of lead, you don’t need much.
4. B-Vitamins: The B-vitamins are all critically important. Let’s look at them individually.
Folic Acid: Avoid all synthetic folic acid. This is important for one reason: Those with thyroid disease have a gene defect that causes folic acid to be poison, raising the risk for colorectal cancer. Instead, look for methylfolate as your folate source. You need a milligram per day, which is 1,000 micrograms. This helps your body with its methylation pathways.
B12: The preferred form of B12 is methyl B12, which is well-absorbed orally.
Biotin: Biotin is critical for your hair, skin and nail health. You want to take 3,000 micrograms (and not more than 3,500 micrograms) per day. If you take much more than this, it actually blocks the body’s usage of it. Many people take mega doses, thinking it will help their hair, and it doesn’t.
B6: Both pyridoxine hydrochloride and pyridoxal 5-phosphate are good forms of B6.
Thiamine: There is current data, showing thiamine is beneficial for both the antibodies of Hashimoto’s and hormone conversion.
B5 (Pantothenic Acid or Pantothenate): This B-vitamin benefits your cortisol levels and cortisol conversion. It’s good to have a few milligrams per day.