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There are hundreds of vitamins & supplements on the market today, but how do you know which ones are even worth your time?
Now that I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for 20 years, I have tried dozens and dozens of vitamins & supplements that claim to help with inflammation, joints, or just good health.
There are many that were duds, not helping pain or even making me feel good. Some I researched when I took biochemistry in college only to learn I was taking them the wrong way.
Chemist tip→ Did you know that just taking calcium doesn’t actually work in your body? It needs Vitamin D to be absorbed. Without that, it just floats around in your body! Biochemistry is absolutely fascinating! I won’t get into my love of chemistry on this post, but I do want to share with you my top proven, researched vitamins & supplements!
So, the most common question I get asked on social media and through email is what vitamins & supplements do I recommend for healthier living, joint pain, and just in general?
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Glucosamine is one of the most widely known joint supplements. It aides in joint health and supports cartilage. Many years ago, my Rheumatologist (who was one of the key researchers on medications like Enbrel & Humira!!) told me that I needed to be taking glucosamine sulfate, not another type. It has more studies proving that using the delivery method of the sulfate is more effective.
Why I take it? It helps keep my joints healthy and moving, limiting the stiffness and pain I get when I am really active. After so many years of inflammation, I am missing so much cartilage and this helps!
Why you should take it? It is great for all joint health, not just RA.
ENERGY! This vitamin is usually known as a great energy booster. I started taking it many years ago when I found out I was a little low on it after some blood work. I don’t take is every single day, but I go through stages where I add it in. Especially if I have been feeling run down.
The most effective one I have tried is this one. It is a quick dissolve method, so it will actually be absorbed by your body more efficiently. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have a taste either 🙂 I have tried other tablet forms without feeling much effect!
Calcium and Magnesium
Both are great for joint health! I take a combination pill which has daily doses of both. That chemist tip I mentioned above is important to remember about calcium. Calcium needs vitamin D to be absorbed. We usually get plenty of that through diet with foods like fish, eggs, cereal, and also sunlight.
If you don’t get any of those, you probably want to find a calcium supplement that also has Vitamin D in it, for better absorption.
This is my favorite one to buy and it is very affordable too!
Magnesium is an important mineral for women. It helps with building stronger bones, aiding in energy, and inflammation. You can read more on that here.
Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
This is a prescription for me, but due to the many years of being on medications like methotrexate, I always take 1 mg of Folic Acid a day. Methotrexate depletes the folic acid in your body. Folic acid helps with healthy skin, hair, and keeping the nervous system healthy.
Why I take it? Since I have RA and take medications, it is very important to keep my folic acid levels in check.
Should you? Definitely talk with your doctor first because you don’t want to take too much of something. If you have RA like I do, you should probably be on it. Especially if you take methotrexate!
I have been taking probiotics for about 10 years, but they are all the rage now. I have tried so many different types. I have even tried Plexus and expensive ones that you have to buy online. My body did not do well with those types AT ALL. In fact, when I took the plexus probiotic my stomach swelled up so much, like I was going to pop.
Needless to say, I like taking a mild one that still gives my body healthy bacteria. Anyone who has digestive problems can benefit from a probiotic of some type.
I use this one and it is nice and easy on my stomach. I have also just used plain acidophilus which works good too. Having healthy intestines makes you just feel better overall!
Collagen is important for skin repair and joint health. It is necessary for healthy cartilage around joints. Our bodies naturally produce collagen, but as we age, it produces less. That is why our skin wrinkles overtime.
I have been taking this awhile now and immediately noticed my face is smoother and brighter. My skin looks healthier too. I mainly began taking this for joint health.
This is the brand that I use. It is affordable, non-gmo, and natural! I put a scoop of this in my smoothie each morning!
Should you take it? I think women need to take it especially as we get older.
Another one for healthy joints! If you notice on the label, it is also a type of collagen. According to most research I have come across, collagen hydrolysate from gelatin is one of the most proven supplements for joint health.
This brand is the best one I have tried BY FAR. Some of them can have a terrible smell or taste. This one doesn’t have either, I also put this in my morning smoothie. It is very important when you buy this product, to make sure it has one ingredient in it. If it has more than one, it isn’t natural and probably not as effective!
If you notice, the gelatin is also a type of collagen. It is a very different type compared to the collagen I mentioned above. They both have completely different chemical properties and work differently. This is why I use both. If you want to get just one, I would go with the gelatin because it also has a great source of protein!
This is not necessarily a supplement, but it is another thing I add to my smoothies. If you don’t eat many fruits and vegetables, this is the perfect solution. Our hormones and body functions need all these vitamins and minerals to function properly!
Although I eat mainly a plant based diet, I still like to add this to a smoothie to get even more benefits without having to add in dozens of fruits. This will get you all the recommended doses per day!
I use this brand and it has a good flavor, and doesn’t have a bad smell. Some brands have a HORRIBLE smell and after taste, so I stick with this one.
If you would like to see more of my chemist health tips, feel free to follow on snapchat (username alexisroch) where I share some tutorials, behind the scenes, and I always share smoothie details !
You can also follow on Instagram where I share some fun stuff too!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. All of these vitamins & supplements have been tested by me over the years. I am a chemist with RA, so this is my passion to research and learn everything I can about health options in depth. ALWAYS ask your doctor if you are unsure about something!