No, I'm not talking about Macaroni and Cheese!
guidelines for vitamins and minerals seem to have been written for one
nutrient at a time. However, there is a lot of interaction between
nutrients, and often times taking a combination for a specific reason
can have a multiplying effect.
In other words, when it comes to supplements, one plus one is three and one plus one plus one is definitely more than three. That is, if you know the right combinations.
What follows is far from a complete list, but from time-to-time I'll be adding to it. And if you know of any combinations you'd like to see included please comment at the end of this article:
- Vitamin B12 and folate. Vitamin B12 and folate work in tandem to support cell division and replication, and they also metabolize homocysteine together. Because some people lack a protein called "intrinsic factor" B12 isn't absorbed in their bodies as much as it should be. Deficiency in either or both may cause marocytic anemia, a form of anemia that results in enlarged red blood cells.
Getting enough folate is simply a matter of taking a folic acid supplement or an B vitamin complex that includes at least 800 mcg of folic acid.
Taking B12 supplements may not be enough for some in which case you may need to take an injection every few months. Next time you have a blood test ask your doctor to check your B12 levels.
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin.
An unbeatable combination, these are the two carontenoids that protect
the eyes. If you regularly eat kale, collard greens, spinach and other
leafy greens, you probably don't need to take the supplements. An
adequate amount of lutein and zeaxanthin in your system will ward off
the possibility of cataracts and cut your risk of macular degeneration
by more than 50%.
- Calcium, Vitamin K and Vitamin D. A high intake of calcium through supplements or dairy products does not reduce the development of osteoporosis or incidents of fractures in older people. Why? Because it isn't absorbed and in fact, may do more harm than good.
Vitamin K regulates calcium, keeping it in your bones and out of your arteries, helping to prevent both osteoporosis and heart attacks. Unless you eat dark leafy green vegetables twice a day, you would be wise to take this supplement.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid and Acetyl-L-Carnitine. Alpha
lipoic acid plays a central role in the body’s defense network,
cellular energy, and prevention and repair of collagen damage (which is
why you see it in “antioxidant skin creams”). It helps control
inflammation and converts dietary carbohydrates to energy in
mitochondria (the energy producing component of cells). Combined with
acetyl-L-carnitine, it has been shown to repair mitochondria which may
be the key to extending life.
- Magnesium and Potassium. High
levels of magnesium in the diet are associated with a reduced risk of
metabolic syndrome, including all components: high blood pressure, high
blood sugar levels, elevated blood fats and low levels of HDL