I'm 45 yrs old and for the past month, I've been taking the following supplements all at once, first thing in the morning:
Schiff Omega 3 Krill Oil Softgel
Lecithin softgel 400mg
Super B Complex caplet
Aspirin 81mg tab
Claritin-D 24 Hr tab
Today I added a Women's One a Day to my daily supplements.
Am I overdoing anything and/or am I mixing anything I shouldn't be? My energy was about nonexistent and I was experiencing depression until I started taking the supplements. Now I feel much better. (I had blood tests last year, but nothing abnormal showed in the results.) I just want to make sure I'm not setting myself up for something bad long term.
Thanks for your question. In general I only recommend supplements that have clear evidence or medical data supporting their use. Supplements are costly, can be harmful themselves or contain impurities that are harmful, and if anything are another pill to have to swallow every day. Looking at our list, here are a few thoughts:
- Omega 3 can be helpful in people who have a cholesterol problem but the data for general use is lacking.
- Lecithin has no data supporting its use as far as I know. No major studies have bee done.
- B complex has been studied in many large trials but no proven benefit.
- ASA is not a supplement! It can be taken for primary prevention of heart disease but the risks and benefits must be carefully weighed with a doctor. The benefit is reduction in heart attack and stroke risk in people at increased risk, the harm is increased risk of stomach bleeding. However, the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends it only be considered in women starting at age 55.
- Claritin-D is not a supplement either. It is used largely for allergic rhinitis.
A Women's One a Day supplement would likely contain additional vitamin B complex. It however would also include vitamin D and calcium, which depending on your sun exposure and diet may be helpful, though again the data is not that convincing in women your age and could easily be obtained through dietary means.
Thank you so much for the most helpful info on the supplements. I'm going to eliminate the Lecithin and B Complex for now. I'm going to speak with my doctor regarding the ASA to see if she wants me to continue or discontinue. I started taking a potassium supplement since I posted the first time because I was getting a lot of muscle cramps in my legs and feet. They ceased within a couple of days of taking that supplement.
Is it true that today's fruits and vegetables no longer provide the nutrition they did 20 years ago? We can't afford organic and I've read that frozen fruits and veggies don't have the nutritional value that fresh ones do. Now I hear that fresh produce doesn't contain as much as it used to.
I'm glad my advice was helpful. I think talking to your doctor about the aspirin is the right thing to do.
Your question about fruits and vegetables is an important one. I personally think there's too little scientific data as of yet to know what the health benefits are, if any, of organic food over "grocery store" food. Here is a link to a recent Time magazine article on this issue: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2011756_2011730,00.html
To me if you are debating organic food or "grocery store" food you are already ahead of the game. The bigger problem is not eating fresh foods at all and instead eating processed foods, frozen dinners, and restaurant take out. By eating fresh food at home -- be it organic or otherwise -- you can avoid salts, harmful fats, and excess sugars and maximize your intake of nutrient-dense calories.
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