This information is provided to help educate and stimulate consideration on dietary supplementation.

Resources utilized include publications from Johns Hopkins Medicine, University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, Environmental Nutrition, Tufts University, Medscape, Mayo Clinic, as well as other sources.

Consultation with your health care professional is recommended prior to making adjustments or starting nutritional supplementation.

A multivitamin/mineral pill cannot substitute for a healthy diet. Foods, particularly fruits, vegetables (ideally organic) and whole grains provide fibre, a variety of micronutrients, as well as many potentially beneficial compounds like phytochemicals and antioxidants not found in any pill.



  • generally assumed safe unless excessive doses e.g. Vitamin A and Copper
  • a high quality food-based multivitamin with 100% organic ingredients is recommended
  • make up for nutritional shortfalls especially if:
  1. Over 60 years – Vitamin D, certain B vitamins like B-12, Magnesium
  2. Woman of childbearing age – need minimal 400 micrograms folate daily ( but not to exceed 10 mg) from pills or fortified foods, iron -100% Daily Value
  3. Pregnant or breastfeeding- require supplemental iron
  4. Strict Vegetarian ( eating no animal products)- Vitamin B12, Zinc, Iron, Calcium
  5. On weight-loss diet ( less than 1,600 calories per day or imbalanced diet overall)
  6. Heavy smoker or drinker
  7. Medical condition that affects absorption or usage of nutrients e.g. chronic diarrhea, food allergies, food intolerances or a disease of the liver, gallbladder , intestines or pancreas
  • when purchasing, check label for following:
  1. 100% daily value of vitamins: D, B1(thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B12 and folic acid
  2. Vitamin K – minimum 20 micrograms
  3. Vitamin A – maximum 3,000 IU
  4. 100% Daily Value of minerals: copper, zinc, iodine, selenium, and chromium as well as small amounts of trace minerals boron, manganese, and molybdenum (usually calcium levels not up to recommended daily value)


Omega -3 Fatty Acid Supplements:

  • Fish oil supplements contain two omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and decosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • Fish sources or algae best, flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil, soy and wheat germ also sources
  • Two to three servings per week of fatty fish (low mercury- like herring and wild salmon; sardines; light tuna; blue fish; Alaskan halibut; striped bass; farmed rainbow trout) meet the recommended requirement of 1,000 mg a day for EPA/DHA
  • Fish oil supplements can benefit people with heart disease and very high triglycerides (may require higher levels) and may reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis or inflammation of other autoimmune disorders may be relieved by Omega-3s
  • Depression or mood disorder symptoms may be ameliorated by Omega-3’s
  • Omega-3 supplementation has been implicated in some preliminary research as being of benefit in cognitive dysfunction, macular degeneration and some cancer



  • much recent controversy over benefits and risks to supplementation
  • talk to your doctor for further advice
  • calcium may play a beneficial role in bone quality in people over 50, especially those with a low calcium intake from food, and has been documented to decrease the risk of falling (5-10% of those who fall will suffer a fracture or other injury)
  • adequate evidence has not proven that low doses of calcium prevent fractures
  • suggestion that calcium lowers the risk of colon cancer, especially precancerous polyps, and may prevent recurrence
  • study by one research group suggested increased coronary risk with calcium
  • supplementation when used alone without concurrent administration of vitamin D (which
  • aids in calcium absorption as well as having protective benefits for heart disease)
  • some have implicated a slightly increased risk of kidney stones from calcium tablets
  • it is better and safer to get your nutrients from food such as milk products (low fat), broccoli, cabbage, kale as well as fortified waters and juices rather than pills
  • daily recommended amounts- 1,000 mg for most adults from food and supplements and 1,200 mg for women over 50 and men over 70
  • should be taken with meals to enhance absorption but not any more than 500 mg at one time as large dosages are not absorbed as well


Vitamin D:

  • is fat soluble and can be stored for days or months in the body
  • is manufactured in the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight
  • difficult to absorb in sufficient amount from the diet
  • recommended intake is 600 IU daily for individuals up until 70 years of age and 800 IU over 70 years
  • more is not necessarily better and increasing blood levels above the low end of normal
  • did not curtail cardiovascular inflammation and artherosclerosis as individuals with normal
  • vitamin D blood levels experienced
  • with low blood levels of vitamin D or certain medical conditions including osteoporosis,
  • Vitamin D experts recommend higher levels of 1,000-2,000 IU daily
  • middle ground levels of 800-1,000 IU of supplementation a day plus modest amounts of
  • sun exposure may be considered



  • mineral involved with energy production, cell growth, blood pressure, bone health(aids calcium absorption) and functioning of the heart, nerves and muscle
  • has shown benefits for diabetes, colon cancer, migraines, hypertension, coronary heart disease
  • many foods like whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds, fish, avocados, and leafy greens such
  • as spinach are high in magnesium
  • the recommended intake is 320 mg daily for women and 420 for men
  • older people tend to absorb less of the mineral and those not eating a balanced diet may not be receiving the recommended daily dosage
  • basic multivitamin/mineral supplements as well as many calcium supplements have magnesium included
  • separate magnesium is generally not recommended by doctors unless individuals are at high risk such as having diabetes, drinking heavily or taking a proton pump inhibitor for reflux disease due to Crohn’s disease (which interferes with absorption)


Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone):

  • generates energy in the cell and acts as an antioxidant
  • found in all cells in the body, especially heart, liver, kidneys
  • declines as people age or develop certain diseases such as heart conditions, Parkinson’s and asthma
  • medications like statins, beta-blockers and antidepressants can decrease CoQ 10
  • dosages ranges from 100-300 mg daily have been recommended, divided, three times daily
  • sources include fatty fish like mackerel, liver; soybean oil