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Expert Advice for Picking the Right Vitamins and Supplements

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Expert Advice for Picking the Right Vitamins and Supplements

At Cooper Complete we frequently get calls from customers with questions on the best supplements for their particular needs. Here are a few of our recommendations:

Take the right supplements for you. When we receive inquiries we need to know about your diet and specific health circumstances to make meaningful recommendations for you. For example, if you love dairy and have multiple servings every day of milk, yogurt and cheese, you likely won’t need calcium supplements. On the other hand, you might share with us your frustration about sleep issues and if we know this we can suggest one of our Melatonin supplements. If we don’t get to connect with you personally, our general guideline is our one-a-day multivitamin and omega-3 fatty acids.

Take a multivitamin and mineral supplement. In an ideal world, we’d get all the vitamins and minerals we need for optimal health through a diet that follows the food pyramid and is full of fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, lean protein and healthy plant-based fats. In the real world, the vast majority of people fall short of consuming five fruits and vegetables per day, grains often aren’t whole and lean protein and healthy fats are mixed up with not-so-lean protein and both animal- and man-made saturated and trans fats. Even those who focus regularly on what they eat periodically have days when the rice is white rather than brown and the vegetables are potatoes, tomatoes and iceberg lettuce.

A one year, double blind study at two medical centers in North Carolina found that those individuals who took a daily multivitamin reported a far lower rate of infection (i.e. colds and flu) than those who took a placebo (43 percent versus 73 percent). The study (which was reported in the March 4, 2003, issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine), also showed that the vitamin group had far fewer sick days (21 percent versus 57 percent).  The results were even more dramatic for diabetic individuals. Most working people prefer to take time off for “fun” rather than as a result of illness. A multivitamin is a good idea.

Based on science, Cooper Complete multivitamins are formulated to deliver the appropriate amount of nutrients for optimal health. The adult formulations are chock full of B vitamins – B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic Acid), B6, B7 (Biotin*), B12 and Folic Acid. B vitamins help form red blood cells and support the immune and nervous systems. They also support metabolism, and help the body convert food into energy. The Cooper Complete multivitamin also contains vitamin C, D and E, beta carotene, magnesium and zinc. Cooper Complete multivitamins contain levels of vitamin B6 and C scientifically shown to reduce levels of C-reactive protein. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a marker of inflammation and inflammation can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and potentially Alzheimer’s. CRP level increases with age, high blood pressure, alcohol use, smoking, low levels of physical activity, chronic fatigue, insulin resistance, depression and diabetes.

The majority of people have vitamin D levels lower than optimal. While vitamin D has long been associated with bone health, vitamin D is actually responsible for much more than that! Vitamin D helps fight infection and plays an important role in ensuring the heart, lungs and brain work as they should. The benefits of vitamin D have been researched extensively and low levels are linked to cardiovascular disease, hypertension, several cancers, depression, diabetes, chronic pain, macular degeneration, poor lung function and arthritis. Cooper Complete multivitamins contain 2,000 IU vitamin D, a level found to positively impact health. (Depending upon blood testing, additional vitamin D may be needed.)

Omega-3 fatty acids are also a good idea. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are known as “essential” fatty acids, meaning that our bodies cannot produce them; they must be consumed. The typical American diet contains plenty of omega-6 but is lacking in omega-3 since most of us don’t eat fish on a regular basis. Despite our eating habits, the cells in our body need omega-3 fatty acids. Part of a bi-lipid layer that surrounds each cell, omega-3 allows nutrients to enter the cell more efficiently and waste products to exit.

Omega-3 fatty acids improve cardiovascular measures such as blood pressure and triglycerides, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends at least two servings of fatty fish per week, and says “supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.” In addition, omega-3 fatty acids also help with inflammation and autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. And, they’ve been shown repeatedly to help with mood maintenance and cognition. If that’s not enough, omega-3s are also excellent nutrients for eyes and skin. Our recommendation is that you consume at least 1,000 mg EPA and DHA (combined) of the Omega-3 fatty acids on a daily basis.

The Cooper Complete line of supplements includes a Healthy Body Pack, which is a 30-day supply of individual packets containing a daily multivitamin and omega-3. The pack, along with the rest of the Cooper Complete line, is regularly reviewed by our team of physicians, researchers and dietitians, with formulations adjusted based upon the latest scientific research.

If you’re unsure about a product (be it ours, or another brand), or have a general supplement question, please call  at 888.393.2221 or send an email — we’d love to help you. A “real human” answers all the calls (so you’ll need to leave us a message if you phone after hours), and it’s genuinely our pleasure to help you figure out what supplements make sense for your particular situation.

To purchase Cooper Complete supplements, visit the Cooper Store

Article provided by Jill Turner, President Cooper Complete.