In this post, I share my experience with vitamin deficiency anemia and provide a list of the supplements I take on a regular basis. Although some people may not think supplements are necessary, I believe they are absolutely essential to ensuring we get adequate nutrients in our diet. Supplement are an investment in your health and there are a lot of brands out there. Choose wisely and do what works best for you.
It’s funny the way you sometimes receive information. A year ago I had a checkup with my doctor and while he was reviewing my information he casually commented on my anemia. Um, what? I had no clue what he was talking about. Apparently my last doctor never let me know I was nearly deficient in folate and vitamin B12. Note: there are many forms of anemia. The most common tend to be an iron deficiency anemia or vitamin deficiency anemia. Mine was the latter.
I left feeling frustrated because I eat a ton of leafy vegetables, nuts, and eggs. How could this happen? True, I don’t eat red meat, but I still didn’t feel like I could have fallen that low in my levels considering all my other nutrient sources.
I began taking B12 and folate supplements and increased my veggie intake even more, but my levels only rose slightly. At the time I was also working with a naturopath and she suggested I might have an absorption problem. Meaning, my body is unable to make use of some of the nutrients I am ingesting. I immediately thought of all the expensive organic food that was wasted on me.
Turns out low folate and B12 deficiencies are fairly common. Additionally, a lot of people have trouble absorbing these nutrients (like me) for various reasons, such as genetics, environmental factors, or physical/mental stress.
What’s more, breastfeeding can really strip your body of vitamins and nutrients (you’re giving those to your baby!). Nursing twins was pretty demanding on my body so that might have been a contributing factor to my depleting folate stores. And, while I thought I was replenishing adequately, I wasn’t able to process some of the nutrients I was taking in.
I switched to a “bioavailable” folate and B12 and added in a few extra supplements for support. Now I feel great, have lots of energy, and my vitamin levels have been restored.
Everyone has different nutrient needs and deficiencies, but with the declining quality of our soil and increased presence of processed foods, it’s really tough – I would say impossible – to get everything you need from food. So, I choose to supplement.
There are millions of supplements out there and deciding what you need to take can be overwhelming. I would strongly recommend working with your healthcare practitioner to figure out what is right for you.
I became acquainted with the Poliquin Group supplement line through Matt (he’s now an affiliate), but I will remain committed to them because they accommodate such a wide range of nutrient needs. More importantly, the Poliquin line is strictly regulated, subject to the maximum industry standards, and consistently uses only the highest quality ingredients.
Here are the supplements I currently take:
Multivitamin + iron: This is the one I use. It is a bioavailable multivitamin, meaning its nutrients are readily absorbed by the body. This one features a key ingredient known as Metafolin L-5-MTHF, the predominantly occurring form of folate in nature. Since I have an issue utilizing the synthetically created folate (“folic acid”) that is often fortified in foods, this multivitamin has been very helpful for me.
B12: I am currently using Country Life: Superior B12 and purchase that from Amazon. If you would like to take B12, I would recommend choosing one that dissolves under your tongue as this will allow it to enter your bloodstream faster.
Magnesium: Magnesium is the body’s most important mineral, yet many of us are low or deficient in it. I supplement with magnesium and have noticed a change in my sleep and ability to relax. There are many kinds of magnesium supplements out there and many of them contain synthetic ingredients that cannot be absorbed by the body. Look for one that is in a chelated form, rather than an oxide form. Uber Mag is a great choice. I have also had great luck using a magnesium cream at night.
D3: Vitamin D is super important. My levels tend to be low during the winter when I am not getting as much sunlight so I supplement to replenish my D stores. Vitamin D works not only to strengthen bones, but it also supports your immune system. In fact, some studies suggest it may be better at warding off a cold than vitamin C.
Methylator complex: This contains the body-ready, nature identical folate along with vitamins B6 and B12. It also promotes absorption of zinc for added support.
Other items I take daily that are not pictured include fish oil and a probiotic. I will either use the Poliquin DHA or Nordic Naturals. My probiotic always comes from Poliquin since I am pretty picky about what I take. There are so many benefits of taking a probiotic and I would strongly recommend you consider adding one to your daily routine. We give our girls the chewable berry version of this every morning.
I hope this was helpful for you. It might seem like an extensive list, but I honestly feel like supplements are an investment in your health. Again, I recommend you work with your healthcare practitioner to decide whether supplementing may be a good choice for you. I would not start a new supplement regime before speaking with your doctor.
Affiliate links have been included in this post. This does not affect the purchase price.