Note: The dosage levels mentioned in this post are for a female aged 44. Please see the values for vitamins, minerals and nutrients at the following locations for your gender and age:
If you’ve read any of my Daily Logs, then you’ll see the following nutrition supplements noted for each day:
- Cod Liver Oil, Lemon-flavored, 1 tsp
- Chlorella Spirulina, 15 tablets
- Multi-vitamin, Essential for Women by ritual.com, 2 capsules
- Vitamin C, 500 mg tablet
I wanted to provide some insight into why I’m taking these supplements, and future changes I may be making to add or remove supplements.
Three months ago
Around three months ago, I began taking Ritual‘s Essential for Women as I had been feeling pretty terrible for a prolonged period of time. I didn’t want to take the kitchen sink approach to throw everything at my maladies, so I chose a multi-vitamin that offered a minimal amount of nutrients crafted for women. The benefit of this vitamin stems from the transparency the makers provide on the sourcing for each vitamin or nutrient provided.
After taking Essential, I did notice some improvement in overall energy, but I still wasn’t feeling how I had 2 years before energy-wise nor for digestion. I began looking into other supplements that might help me.
Two months ago
Around two months ago, I began taking Chlorella Spirulina at a starting level of 8 tablets a day in the morning with my morning vitamin. This was added in order to help my digestion and to, hopefully, cut down heartburn in the process.
After reading about the benefits of cod liver oil for overall health and the vitamins and nutrients it contains, I added Lemon-flavored Cod Liver Oil at the same time and began taking it first thing when I wake up at a dosage of 1 tsp (honestly, I just take a small swig of the bottle as I live alone and I’m not sharing the bottle with anyone else).
After a few weeks, my digestive issues were improved and heartburn had reduced significantly. My energy level, which had increased somewhat with Essential, was slowly deteriorating again. I was taking more and more frequent naps after work and on the weekends, yet I was always tired and had trouble reaching a sound sleep.
One month ago
I began looking into the recommended daily intake for vitamins and nutrients to try to figure out where I might be deficient, postulating that the deficiency was the reason for my constant fatigue. After looking over the IOM RDA chart as a starting point, making up a list of the typical foods that I eat each day, adding in my multi-vitamin and other supplements, using The World’s Healthiest Foods site’s full nutritional listing for each food, and then comparing, I discovered that I was lacking Vitamin C as the main component in my diet.
About a month ago, I went to CVS and purchased a 500 mg tablet bottle of Vitamin C with rosehips, then began taking 1 tablet each morning with my other supplements. Within less than a week, my energy level started improving. Within two weeks, I was never tired even when going to sleep, slept for only 5-6 hours, and felt rested when I woke up.
Around the same time, I began eating LonoLife Beef Bone Broth (K-cup) from time to time at work for Lunch or Breakfast. I started never feeling hungry at any point in time and losing weight. I attributed both to the beef broth, so I stopped taking it for a week to see the results. I did not lose any more weight, but my hunger still was reduced. As the weeks went on, my hunger pangs disappeared entirely.
Nowadays, I am never hungry at any point throughout the day. I’m positive that this is due to the Chlorella Spirulina tablets. As time went on, I increased the dosage from 8 to 10 to 12 to 15 (the maximum recommended dosage) each morning. At 15 tablets, I’ve seen vast improvements in hunger stabilization. These tablets are a godsend to someone trying to be on a calorie restrictive and yet optimally nutritious diet.
After gathering a list of acceptable foods that would meet most of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed each day, I have been steadily eating those foods. I am reaching a point that Essential for Women won’t need to be supplemented into my diet soon. I am likely going to remove this vitamin from my diet by the end of May, keeping a supply on hand for a month in case I notice any negative side effects. After that, I will drop the vitamin entirely (and save $30 a month in the process).
There are some deficiencies that I still have, which I will be adding into my diet after I remove Essential as I don’t want to take too many pills.
For chromium, it’s nearly impossible to meet the 25 micrograms suggested by the RDA as a daily intake value. The only two food type items with high amounts of chromium are broccoli and brewer’s yeast (used to make beer). I’m not a broccoli fan, although I’ll try to eat it sometimes, and I’m not a beer fan. I also don’t think adding more beer into my diet will be helpful for overall health. If I do end up getting chromium in pill form, it will be from this source.
While I could try to find more foods to meet the calcium and potassium needs, some of these foods will further exceed magnesium and niacin intake. I’m uncertain if I want to increase those values versus taking a pill that could meet the calcium and potassium requirements.
As such, for calcium, I haven’t made a decision yet on how to supplement it. I do eat cheese each day, although it isn’t a required food on my acceptable foods list, so it’s possible I may be able to get a sufficient amount of calcium from cheese.
For potassium, red bell peppers would meet some of the potassium requirement. As an added benefit, red bell peppers do meet my Vitamin C needs to where I could quit taking my Vitamin C tablet. Additionally, a cup of red bell peppers (1 medium red bell pepper, chopped up) has low niacin and magnesium, so it wouldn’t have a negative impact in spiking them further. Consequently, I may be able to remove the vitamin C tablet, replacing it with a potassium tablet and 1 red bell pepper a day.