Dr. Frank Lipman has taught me a lot about nutrition and supplementation over the years. For example, I've learned that we are all pretty much lacking in magnesium (which calms the nervous system) because it's the last nutrient to form in fruit/veggies when they ripen on the vine and we pick them early to travel. I hadn't even heard of magnesium at that point. Or that in general, we need more help from vitamins because our diets are lacking. But which ones? Have you been to a vitamin aisle? It's insane. Where does one begin?
Below, Dr. Lipman breaks it all down.
This week’s goop collaboration
Navigating The Vitamin Aisle
Here's the vitamin aisle—crowded, confusing, and overwhelming in its promises. Some of these are empty, and some are too powerful to be tested without guidance. After all, what is L-Theanine? Do I need it? And, at what dose? For answers, we decided to turn to frequent goop contributor, Dr. Frank Lipman, who distilled the offerings down to a handful of vitamins and supplements he frequently prescribes. He counts some as no-brainers—and others as little-known trade secrets—but all pack a veritable punch.
Q: We often hear that if you eat well, you shouldn't need supplements. What's your take?
A: “Supplements are essential health-boosters that can help fill in nutritional gaps and protect your body against the occasional diet slip-up. While I recommend everyone eat whole, preferably organic foods, I also believe that high-quality supplements are important as well. While they won't make up for a bad diet, think of them as your nutritional pit crew, standing at the ready to make those quick adjustments, tweaks and fixes to your internal engines to get you back out on the road.”
Q: Is it possible to take too many vitamins?
A: “While it is possible to take too many vitamins, it’s extremely rare. One should be careful with fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E and K. Almost all of the vitamins I recommend taking regularly are safe and hard to take too much of. However, because most people are deficient in Vitamin D, and since it’s easily measurable, I do often recommend taking that with the supervision of a doctor.”
The Vitamin & Supplement Key
1. Multivitamin 2. Vitamin D3 3. Fish Oils 4. Probiotics
*Dr. Lipman's top recommendation for everyday use, covering our most basic health bases.
1. B Complex 2. Magnesium 3. Acetyl Glutathione 4. L-Theanine
1. Acetyl Glutathione 2. CoQ10 3. Magnesium
1. B Complex 2. Powdered Greens 3. Acetyl Glutathione
Living in a Cold Climate*
1. Magnesium 2. Powdered Greens 3. B Complex
*It’s also essential to have your Vitamin D levels checked in case you are deficient.
Inspired by the garden frescoes at the Villa of Livia, we sought out a few modern ways to bring the outdoors in.
Matt Austin – a true discovery – is a modern-day muralist based in NYC who paints anything from a canvas panel to an entire room in a custom pattern – landscapes, gilded gardens, and even faux-plywood.
And for just a touch of the outside, there's Natural Curiosities' archive of textile artist Paule Marrot's garden themes.
There's also de Gournay, for the ultimate Art Deco luxury - hand-painted wallpapers in Chinoiserie patterns.
If hand-painted is out of reach, Schumacher offers a line of “Chinois” patterned linens.
“Glutathione is one of the most powerful antioxidants our bodies produce. It regulates metabolic processes and is crucial for proper mitochondrial function and energy production. It's also thought to play an important role in reducing free radicals, clearing heavy metals and supporting immune function, which are all very worthy, health-enhancing pursuits! Chronic illness, over-the-counter medications, long-term toxic exposure, stress and aging can not only deplete stores of glutathione, but also inhibit our ability to produce it. And low glutathione levels have been linked to every major aging process in the human body. So fight back with supplementation – and help keep your energy levels higher, for longer. The good news is that until recently the only way to get glutathione into our bodies efficiently was intravenously — now there is an effective oral form.”
“Alpha-Lipoic Acid is found in every cell of your body. It's a potent, versatile, antioxidant warrior that helps beat down inflammation, balance those blood-sugar raiders and protect your skin collagen battlements. It boosts the effectiveness of other antioxidants in your body, promotes nerve health, maintains healthy skin, helps remove heavy metals from the body and purifies the liver. Simply put, ALA has your back. Although your body does produce ALA, it doesn't make large enough quantities, and as with CoQ10, the amount of it produced decreases naturally with age. In order to get enough, consider taking an Alpha-Lipoic Acid supplement and, of course, always eat well. Good sources include grass-fed red meat and organ meats, as well as vegetables like broccoli, collards and spinach”
“Picture B Complex like a beehive, made up of 11 nutrient worker bees, creating and sustaining your body's energy supply by helping to break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The busy B's activities keep heart health and immunity humming and therapeutic doses are also a great treatment for a headache, fatigue, mood, stress and menstrual disorders. With B vitamins involved in so many of the body's operations, it's easy to see how coming up short can easily affect how well you feel on a given day, so treating your body to a B Complex supplement is a virtual no-brainer. This is particularly key if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet which might be short on B's.”
Note: Dr. Lipman’s advice is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Please consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions, or if pregnant.