Harnessing the Power of Supplements for Optimal Health

Wellness Warriors was born in the middle of a pandemic 18 months ago and grew out of Logan and Becky Pickels’ personal health struggles. Their business now supports employees from around Australia to prioritize their well-being.

This study explored the experiences of healthcare staff who were trained as Wellness Warriors to provide immediate emotional and peer support to colleagues during a crisis. All 18 Wellness Warriors participated in semi-structured interviews.

Vitamins D3 & K2

According to the latest research, vitamins D3 and K2 work better together than separately. The “perfect pair” balances calcium in the body, directing it to bones and teeth while preventing arterial calcification. They also support healthy inflammatory responses and boost mood.

Both vitamins are high-performance nutrients important for good health and are available in dietary sources such as fatty fish, egg yolks, fortified foods, animal products, and certain cheeses. They are also available as individual supplements. For optimal results, it’s important to take high-quality combinations of these nutrients that ensure proper absorption and consult with a healthcare professional to determine what dosages are best for your unique needs.

D3 and K2 increase bone density and strengthen the cardiovascular system when taken together. They also prevent the calcification of arteries by limiting free calcium in the bloodstream and ensuring that it builds up only in bones and teeth, not in blood vessels, tendons, and muscles.

A high level of D3 and K2 is associated with lower concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines that contribute to a healthy inflammatory response. Lastly, when taken together, D3 and K2 can help reduce the risk of cancer by inhibiting tumor growth and helping the immune system destroy existing ones.

NOW Supplements offers a potent combination of D3 and K2 in an easy-to-take soft gel that supports bone health, heart health, and immune function. The vegan-friendly formula is derived from organic whole foods to provide bioavailable nutrients. Another option is UpNourish’s vegan-friendly formula, which features a liposomal delivery process for superior absorption. It also provides a balanced blend of omega-3s and vitamins D3 and K2. The product is made with natural ingredients without artificial colors or flavors and contains no gluten, yeast, soy, sugar, milk, wheat, corn, rice, or other common allergens.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that the body needs to function. It is used to form blood vessels, cartilage, and collagen in bones and is necessary for tissue growth and repair. It acts as an antioxidant, protecting the body against disease and aging, and it helps the body absorb iron. It also stimulates the activity of white blood cells and may help protect against certain cancers.

The Linus Pauling Institute recommends that adults consume between 75 and 200 mg of vitamin C daily. A glass of orange juice or a vitamin C tablet is a good source of this vitamin. However, loading up on vitamin C can be counterproductive. Overdoing it can actually promote oxidative damage in the body.

This week Registered Dietitian Devon Peart, RD, MHSc, dives deeper into some of the proven ways that vitamin C supports our health and a few possibilities that are still being researched. She’ll give you the lowdown on what it does for your immune system and why you should be aiming to get enough of this essential vitamin.

Family Wellness Warriors (FWW) derives its gifted Dena’ina name, Nu’iju, from a word that means “returning to our (true) selves.” FWW is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization that provides personalized Functional Medicine Health Coaching, Rehabilitative, and Adaptive Exercise, Mindfulness, Stress Management and Resiliency training, and Wellness education to Wounded, Ill, and Injured Service members, their families, and caregivers, as well as the medical and support staff that care for them.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is a crucial nutrient supporting nerve tissue health and optimizing brain function. It also enables the body to absorb folic acid and aids in the production of red blood cells. It’s important to note that the human body cannot make this vitamin, so it is necessary to include foods rich in Vitamin B12 in your diet.

You can get Vitamin B12 naturally in meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Vegans, or those who eat only plant-based products, may need to take a Vitamin B12 supplement or consume fortified foods that contain this vitamin, including some nondairy milks and cereals. People who have had gastrointestinal surgery, such as gastric bypass, or who are taking certain medications, including heartburn meds, may be at increased risk of deficiency.

In some cases, a low level of Vitamin B12 can contribute to cardiovascular disease (CVD) caused by a buildup of plaque in the arteries. Research has shown that Vitamin B12 and other B vitamins can lower elevated homocysteine levels, a major risk factor for CVD.

Aside from its heart-healthy benefits, Vitamin B12 may also play a role in maintaining bone health and treating anemia caused by low levels of red blood cells. Studies have found that people who eat foods high in Vitamin B12, such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products, are less likely to develop anemia than those who don’t eat these foods.

Both Jones and Sharma believe that it is essential to have a support system when facing difficult situations, especially as women in medical school. They are both on a mission to normalize, seeking help as part of wellness, and hope to bring awareness about the importance of this in the future.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is necessary for your body to make neurotransmitters, which carry signals from one nerve cell to another. It also helps the body produce serotonin and melatonin, which influence mood and help control your sleep cycles. Together with vitamin B12 and folic acid, it plays an important role in maintaining the health of your blood cells and immune system.

Studies suggest that high levels of vitamin B6 in your blood may protect you against the effects of air pollution, which can change your DNA and increase your risk for certain diseases. Supplemental vitamin B6 has been shown to reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. However, use of separate B6 supplements should only be done under the supervision of a physician. The Linus Pauling Institute (LPI) recommends a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement that contains about 2 mg of vitamin B6.

Low blood levels of vitamin B6 have been linked to anxiety, depression, sideroblastic anemia, and Alzheimer’s disease. B6 is a water-soluble vitamin, and excess amounts are eliminated through the urine. Deficiency of this vitamin is rare, but it can occur with chronic kidney failure or liver disease.

Several randomized controlled trials have found that supplemental vitamin B6 improves PMS symptoms and reduces anxiety in some women. Other research indicates that vitamin B6 can help treat neuropathic pain (pain from damaged nerves) by helping the body make more of the calming neurotransmitter GABA. Some small studies suggest that pyridoxamine (a form of vitamin B6) may help prevent the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones by decreasing urinary oxalate excretion. However, additional research is needed to confirm these findings.

Vitamin B2

The second of the B complex vitamins, vitamin B2 (also known as riboflavin), works with other B vitamins to change carbohydrates from foods into fuel for your body and to release energy from proteins. It is found in dairy products, eggs, nuts and seeds, vegetables, and fortified cereals and breads. Like all the B vitamins, it is water-soluble, meaning that your body flushes it out daily and needs to replenish it each day.

Among its many benefits, riboflavin can reduce your risk for heart disease by strengthening your blood vessels. It is also crucial in helping your body process folate (vitamin B9) and reducing homocysteine levels. It may help prevent migraines, as well.

Sharma, a medical student who works as a peer advocate and serves on the medical school’s wellness committee, has worked hard to normalize asking for help in a culture where it is still stigmatized. She has a support system for peers and family members, but she knows that’s not always enough.

Family Wellness Warriors (FWW) derives its gifted Dena’ina name, Nu’iju, from a word that means “returning to our (true) selves.” Founded in 2012 by military veterans, FWW is an Alaskan-based non-profit that provides personalized Functional Medicine Health Coaching, Rehabilitative and Adaptive Exercise, Mindfulness, Stress Management, and Resiliency Training to wounded, Ill, and injured service members, their families, and caregivers. It is a GuideStar Platinum-rated, 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. FWW maintains fiduciary transparency through third-party auditing and has received letters of support for its programming from the Institute of Functional Medicine. Learn more here.

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