How do I decide what supplements to take when there are so many available?
I’m going to assume that you’re already taking a good multivitamin and the other core nutrients that I recommend everyone use, and instead need some guidance on how to choose the right nutritional supplement for a specific health problem.
That’s a tough question. For any condition, there are multiple nutritional supplement solutions, and it can take a bit of trial and error to discover which one is best for you. But as a general rule, there are a few factors you should take into account when deciding what nutritional supplements to take. These include your:
- Prescription medications
- Overall health status.
The Right Nutritional Supplement for Your Situation
Let’s take insomnia as an example. There are many sleep products on the market, but my top recommendations include melatonin, valerian root, and L-theanine. Which one should you take?
If you’re older than 50, you may do well on melatonin, a sleep-enhancing hormone that declines with age. If you have trouble falling asleep because of anxiety or a busy mind, I’d suggest L-theanine, valerian, or GABA—all of which calm the mind and promote relaxation.
One last note—when you begin a nutritional supplement, make sure you take it long enough to know whether it will be effective. If it’s not, don’t give up. Determining what nutritional supplements to take isn’t an exact science.
More Dr. Whitaker Advice on Nutritional Supplements