Friday, March 9, 2012

What supplements to take?

Over Christmas I was sitting at a table with some women at a party.  Our talk wasn't about what the kids were up to lately or what renovations we were going to be doing to our homes.  We weren't talking about all the travels coming up or even how great our winter had been so far this year.  Somehow our talk was centered around supplements.

Supplements at a Christmas party?  Yes...that really was what we were talking about.  (I am still a little bit in awe of that conversation)

Here is what I learned.

  • everyone at the table was taking fish oil.  Some were taking some that left a horrible taste in their mouth. Others were taking some that were just fine and some would get horrible stomach aches from them.
  • Some people were talking calcium but not all.
  • We not only talked about supplements but also about weight loss and what we did to get some pounds off or stay fit.  One of the women there had lost a great amount of weight...all by eating healthy.  She kept almonds in her car and eats a lot of berries.  Others exercise and some do not.
  • A few of the people were taking other supplements that I had never heard of before and some are even on medications each day for different things.
This conversation left me wondering what I really should be taking for supplements.  I was even shocked to learn that some supplements left people feeling sick to their stomachs.  

My supplements, which I try to remember to take each day, are taken for a few different reasons.
  • Calcium.  I know I don't get enough calcium because I don't drink milk.  I can't drink milk and cheese even leaves me feeling yucky for awhile.  Being lactose intolerant does leave me options but I have tried them and I don't like the taste of them either.  I have never been a big milk drinker anyways (I haven't had milk with cereal probably since I was in elementary school) but I do know that calcium is important.
  • Magnesium.  I read that this might actually help those with asthma.  I want to get off my medications but I really need to see how this next year goes and how much I get sick.  So far since I have been on my 2 medications for asthma I haven't gotten bronchitis (mid-October is when I went on those).  I've gotten sick with colds but I have managed to keep them from bothering my lungs so much.  I am trying to avoid that dreaded "b" word because it really knocks me out for about 2 weeks or more and just isn't fun and then I need a pretty powerful steroid to kick my asthma in the butt and let me breathe normally again once the infection is actually gone.  I was on the lookout for something to help me out.  What I found is a supplement that has magnesium and calcium together along with zinc, so I take one of those every day.  Being around kids where there is almost always one who is coughing, sneezing or wiping their nose on something makes this supplement seem like a no-brainer for me.  Sor bronchitis and just 3 mild colds since mid-October.
  • Multi-vitamin.  One a day people...take one a day!
  • Fish Oil.  I was taking fish oil and was perfectly fine taking those.  I did run out and then got a different brand.  This new one, I don't like.  I seriously burp fish.  It is gross.  I try to take these at night instead so then I don't have the horrible taste in my mouth when I am actually awake to realize it.  I paid money for these though so I will finish them.  I just wish I didn't buy them when I got 1 bottle and then another one for free.  Sometimes it just isn't worth buying things when they are on sale!
Want to know what to take?  
I can't tell you what is best but I can refer you to a  few places that may be able to explain things from more of a healthy or medical viewpoint.  Do research on your own, talk with your doctor and figure out what is going to help you the most.  To get you started below are a few links that I have looked at for answers:

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