I've done a lot of research over the last week, trying to determine exactly what, if any, supplementation is good to do. The major consensus seems to be that it is best to get your vitamins and minerals from natural food sources.
However, a lot of what is said we should ensure we're getting adequate amounts of seem to be in foods we either need to gorge ourselves on and just barely meet RDA's, such as Magnesium, or there is a lot of back and forth on, such as Omega 3's. What if I don't want to eat the same Magnesium rich foods every day to ensure adequate intake, or maybe I get tired of eating fish and my Omega 3's start to get lowered. Some things lead to confusion, such as ensuring we get enough Vitamin D, but we also need to ensure we're getting enough Vitamin A as well. Fish Oil with individual D3 capsules, or Cod Liver Oil? Fermented or not? Perhaps I love spending time outside, but I don't spend every day outside?
A, D3, Magnesium, Fish Oil, Cod Liver Oil, Krill Oil, oh my!
What if someone just wants to supplement to the minimum levels so that they can eat paleo, but not worry so much about the details? What, in your opinion, are the most important vitamins and minerals that we should ensure adequate daily intake of and at what amounts should we be supplementing them to ensure we are getting the bare minimum ideal levels?
asked byWil (492)
Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!
on March 19, 2011
at 01:36 AM
D3 - Sun.
Omega's Balance by avoiding 6's and eating wild.
A comes from eating meat.
That leaves Magnesium... which the RDA is based on SAD eating... You have to keep in mind, Lectins leech minerals. So you need much more on a SAD diet of Grains/Beans.
You can get plenty from:
Meat. This might be hard to find!
Chocolate ;) Might explain some cravings!
Dark Veggies, (Spinach is huge!)
on March 18, 2011
at 10:51 PM
The basics for most Americans......Is High Quality fish oil Magnesium and Vitamin D3. Fish oil is the most important supplement one can take. And specificially if we had an oligo DHA source that would be even better.........it directly and cheaply increases our telomeres and decreases our mitochondrial leakiness and increases our Hayslip numbers and allows us to enter organelle autophagy which is the final common pathway for increasing our lifespan......yes it is that important.
And you should really be tested at some point if you want to optimize instead of supplement. There is a huge difference.
on June 03, 2017
at 11:06 PM
I work as a nutritionist and manage a health food store. Most vitamin and mineral supplements are designed to address certain "symptoms" or make up for a diet that is low in actual nutrients. If you have mild depression or a blood test reveals low vitamin D levels, for example, you can use a vitamin D supplement while eating more foods that are high in vitamin D and begin spending more time out in the direct sunlight.
If you're already eating a nutrient-dense diet then you may not need much in the way of supplements at all. If there is something you know is lacking in your diet, maybe supplement just that specific nutrient. For example, I take an Omega 3 fish oil capsule twice a day for convenience because, while I love salmon, I only end up eating it about once a month.
There are also reasons to use supplements beyond addressing nutrient deficiencies. I also use MCT oil because it's a concentrated form of specific components of coconut oil. This isn't due to a deficiency. I do this to help my training performance and allow me to reap more of the benefits from intermittent fasting.
on March 20, 2011
at 12:21 AM
Sorry for the marathon answer, again intended as a comment, but again posted as an answer. I hope that this is kosher? Paleo? with the mods.
If you're new to organ meats, I suggest that you start out with chicken liver; it's the mildest tasting/smelling and has practically the same nutrient profile as ruminant liver. Personally I still can't stomach ruminant liver, but hope that I can gradually come to like it by first incorporating chicken liver (which I enjoy) into my diet - maybe the same approach would work for you?
A few general rules on liver preparation/cooking;
Always rinse well before cooking.
If possible soak overnight in milk (or a brine solution if you don't do dairy), as this will help to take away some of the overwhelming offal taste (pun intended) that is so off-putting to liver novices.
Slice the liver thinly - this will enable you to identify and remove any tubes/ducts/threads. These are perfectly normal and completely harmless, but they just have an unpleasant texture.
The key to producing yummy liver, not inedible shoe leather, is making sure that the liver is not overcooked. It should be grey on the outside and pinky and yielding inside.
My personal favourite chicken liver recipe is really simple, sort of like a deconstructed pate. Saute some onions in plenty of butter over a gentle heat whilst you prep the livers. Add a generous slug or two of cognac. Turn the pan to medium heat and cook the livers 4-6 mins. There are lots of great classical French recipes for terrines containing liver/other organ meats which are both Paleo and easy to make. Alternatively you can try to sneak it into your meals; add minced liver to chilli or meatball recipes where it can be almost undetectable.
on March 19, 2011
at 02:41 AM
Posted as an answer as I ran out of characters in the reply box.
I broadly agree with the points that Stephen Aegis makes; with a little forward planning and without the malign influence of grains, it's entirely possible to reach appropriate levels of most of these nutrients via a whole foods diet. I know it's annoying when people don't answer the question directly, but there are additional advantages to a whole foods approach worth bearing in mind;
-avoiding the risk of overdoing a specific nutrient, leading to toxicity or imbalances
-the supplement industry is still poorly regulated, and though I don't imagine that many Paleo types are itching to throw themselves and their bottles of fermented cod liver oil upon the tender mercies of the FDA, brands with independent lab tested certificates don't come cheap (which brings me to my next point)
-supplements are often overpriced; why spend twice over on food and supplements when good food stands on its own?
-it's potentially not the same; not only are supplements often poorly absorbed, but so far we've only really begun to scratch the surface of nutritional science and don't really know if supplements really do replicate all the benefits derived from whole foods.
Get at least half an hour of sunshine a day and eat the organ meat of a grassfed ruminant once a week and almost all of your nutritional bases will be covered. Unless you happen to live in the land of the midnight sun, the one nutrient that it's difficult to get enough of on a Paleo whole foods diet is magnesium. A lot of magnesium rich foods contain potent inhibitors to its absorption e.g oxalates in green vegetables and phytic acid in cocoa. Due to soil depletion the magnesium content of foods is very likely significantly overestimated. A high protein diet will also increase your body's need for magnesium, and I believe that low levels of magnesium are also endemic on a population wide level; it's highly likely that your own levels are, if not deficient, then suboptimal. Personally I've been supplementing with 300 mg magnesium citrate - at first I noticed a huge bump in wellbeing and I felt calmy euphoric, but after 3 months of supplementation I've started to feel as if I've been mildly sedated, (magnesium is a muscle relaxant), which I take to be a sign that my body is now replete with magnesium and has no further need for it beyond a maintenance diet.
It can be a real pain to try and fit certain foods into your diet all for the sake of chasing after some rather arbitrary RDAs designed around needs of inveterate anti-nutrient eaters. I invoke the 80/20 rule here and suggest that you download CRONometer. Try tracking your usual food intake over a month, only if you notice consitently low/non-existent levels of certain nutrients is it time to start thinking strategically about your diet.
on March 19, 2011
at 06:32 AM
In terms of the things you mentioned:
D3 is un-needed with Sun... unless you live North of say San Francisco (assuming you live in the US) during the winter. Although eating a ton of eggs or wild Salmon might be enough to make up for it (anything that was traditional on Northern native americans too).
Supplementing Vitamin A is pointless, eating 1 carrots is all you need. Vitamin A is easy to go really over board on (toxicity from eating excessive liver is easy).
Fish oil is well proven to be an effective supplement (or at least every study I've seen shows fish oil = health). Due to the concerns with mercury toxicity with fish, I would stick to any highly purified fish oil - or just eat Salmon occasionally.
I've no experience with the magnesium thing; that has never been something I worry about. Overt supplementation is only really needed in people who are eating exceptionally nutrient poor diets anyway.