▷ Supplements: The Ultimate Guide (2018 Update)
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Supplements: The Ultimate Guide

Supplements

There is no doubt in my mind that the vast majority of you would have heard some rather conflicting information about supplements – not that this is all that surprising – there are literally thousands of supplements available on the market, many of which claim to impact health in a positive way.

Because of this it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine what supplements are worth your time, and what aren’t worth a grain of salt.
Hell, many of you may even be questioning whether you need to take supplements at all?

Which lends itself to today’s article – and believe you me, it is an absolute doozy. With this, I intend to answer any questions about supplements that you may have, while also touching on those supplements that are scientifically proven to have a positive impact on your health.

Why Do We Need Supplements?

This question is an interesting one. And I guess it depends on what types of supplements we are looking at. There are (in my mind) two primary types of supplements: a) those that ensure normal function, and b) those that target the improvement of a specific condition.

Ensuring Normal Function

A common argument revolves around the assumption that if we eat a well-rounded diet, rich in fruit, vegetables, and natural whole foods, then we should have no need for supplements. And while this argument is indeed a logical one, that doesn’t really mean it’s true.

We live in a world where the vast majority of our food is mass produced. This form of mass production also involves the use of intensive fertilizes and compounds to speed up the growth process as means to increase production speed.

Positively, this means that we as a society always have food readily available at the supermarket.

The negative of this is that the food we eat is not as nutrient-dense as it would be if it had been grown and produced organically. With this in mind, even if we are eating a diet rich in ‘good’ foods, we are still unlikely to be consuming an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals.

Additionally, as foods is so readily available to us, we tend to eat in a rather routine manner (as opposed to eating seasonally, as we did in more traditional settings). This means that we are likely to consume certain vitamins and minerals on the regular, while completely avoiding others.

While this is unquestionably unintentional, it still leaves us short on certain nutrients – which can have a seriously negative impact on health.

So in short, some supplements provide us with a means to ensure we have adequate nutrients available at all times. This will guarantee we don’t become deficient, which can have a host of negative health implications.

Targeting Specific Improvements

On the other hand, there are specific compounds that improve the body’s ability to function in a specific manner. These compounds typically come from all natural ingredients, and interact with the body at a chemical level to achieve a desired outcome.

These type of supplements may improve the condition of a specific illness or disease, may improve energy levels, or even increase our ability to function either physically or mentally.

The important thing to not is that we may not necessarily need these supplements, as we can function without them – but they do offer a way to improve ourselves and get more out of our body – which obviously has a host of positives associated.

How Do We Know What’s in Our Supplements?

Now I will be the first to admit that the supplement industry can be a little shady at times. For every good quality supplement on the shelves, there is a dozen more with subpar ingredients and using sneaky marketing strategies to pry away your hard earned cash.

Taking this into consideration, there is certain ways to ensure that what we are taking is what we need (and want) to be taking.

Certain supplements may contain a number of different compounds (dependent on the goal of that supplement, of course). In an ideal world, each of those would offer an effective means to achieve the same specific outcome.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Many supplements include ‘filler’ ingredients, that have no scientific evidence to support their use, and are included merely as a way bring the cost of production down. To avoid this it is imperative that you pay close attention to the ingredients list of your supplements, and take note of what actually has evidence to support its use (which we will touch on further down this article).

Another easy way to achieve this is to select supplements that only have a couple of ingredients listed within their formula. This is an easy way to guarantee you are not getting any fillers, and as a bit of bonus, the active ingredients are also likely to be provided in slightly larger doses, rendering them more effective.

It is also important to note that a good quality supplement will often provide testing information on their website, meaning that you can take a good look at things like the purity and the ingredient list if you are so inclined.

Are There Any Safety Issues Associated With Taking Supplements?

As with most things, certain issues can arise if we take supplements without considering the potential negatives associated.

It is always important to remember that while most supplements contain ingredients that are essential to the maintenance of health and function, they are actually chemical in nature – this means that if we consume too much, they can become toxic.

For this reason, it is incredibly important that we play close attention to the supplement directions to ensure that we do not overconsume a given compound.

Additionally, some specific compounds are not suitable people in certain scenarios (such as individuals with high blood sugar or high blood pressure, women during pregnancy, or adolescent children). These supplements will have a warning label attached to their supplement description.

With this in mind, ensure you read the label closely to maximize safety.
It is also important to note that the vast majority of supplements available over the counter do not require a prescription for a very specific reason – namely they are safe to consume (even in relatively high doses).

As such, while we certainly implore you to read the label of anything you decide to take closely, it is quite unlikely that you will have an adverse reaction to anything purchased without the need for a prescription.

What Are the Best Supplements for Certain Conditions?

The supplement industry is one of the very few that has an abundance of research to supports its cause. Taking this into consideration, there are specific supplements that have been shown to positively impact a vast number of specific conditions, reducing their severity, while in some cases acting as an extremely potent preventative measure.

Best Supplements for Heart Health

There are a multitude of individual supplements that have been shown to impact the health of the heart in a positive manner. Those that currently appear both completely safe for consumption and demonstrate a large and positive effect include Coenzyme Q10 [1], Omega 3 Fatty Acids (AKA Fish oil supplementation) [2], and green tea [3]. See our full article here.

Best Energy Supplements for Chronic Fatigue

Chronic fatigue is an incredibly debilitating disease that results in extremely low energy levels. Despite its somewhat moderate prevalence, there has been very little luck identifying its cause, and subsequently, its cure.

With this in mind, one of the best ways to combat chronic fatigue is to ensure that the body has all of the essential nutrients required for energy production readily available.

As such, a great option to supplement traditional chronic fatigue treatments is a high quality multi-vitamin that contains adequate amounts of Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, Calcium, and Magnesium [4]. See our full article here.

Best Supplements for Energy

There are various supplements that can cause large increases in our energy levels, while also staving off feelings of fatigue and lethargy. Those which have the most evidence to support their use include Caffeine [5], Guarana [6], Ginseng [7], and Coenzyme Q10 [1].

It is important o note that in excessive dosages, these particular supplements can have some associated side effects. These may include jitteriness, nausea, bloating, and a crash in energy. As such it is imperative that you keep to the recommended dosages.

Best Supplements for High Blood Pressure

High Blood pressure is one of the most prevalent risk factors in today’s society, which is a known risk factor to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, all cause mortality, and even age related declines in cognitive function.

High blood pressure is thought to be brought on by a number of lifestyle factors, including a lack of exercise, smoking, sedentary behavior, and a poor diet. While correcting these things can certainly go a very long way in lowering blood pressure, there are also a number of specific compounds that have been shown to have appositive effect.

These include Garlic extract [8], Berberine [9], and Fish Oil [2].

Best Supplements for Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a disease becoming increasingly prevalent in our aging population. Also known as degenerative joint disease, it is typified by a substantial breakdown in the cartilage that covers the body’s joints. This can lead to bone damage, joint stiffness and dysfunction, and increased risk of bone and joint injury, in combined with a significant increase in joint pain.

Key supplements that have shown to impact osteoarthritis in an extremely positive manner include Chondroitin and Glucosamine [10], Omega 3 Fatty Acids [10], and Curcumin [10]

Best Supplements for Men Over 40 and Over 50

Ageing males tend to see substantial increases in the risk of developing joint issues, cardiovascular dysfunction, and metabolic disease, all in conjunction with declines in cognitive function. Taking all of this into consideration, there is a number of key compounds that have been shown to positively impact health while slowing the negative effects that occur with aging.

Of these, the most effective appear to be Omega 3 Fatty Acids [2], Vitamin D3 [11], Chondroitin and Glucosamine [10], and Magnesium [12]. We also recommend the regular supplementation of Boron [13], as it has shown strong associations with improved prostate health.

Best Supplements for Women Over 40 and Over 50

In a very similar fashion to their male counterparts, ageing females also typically see a decline in cardiovascular health, an increased risk of developing metabolic diseases (such as diabetes and obesity), in conjunction with associated declines in cognition.

Portrait of a beautiful young African woman smiling.

Additionally, women post menopause have a significantly increased risk of developing osteoporosis – a disease typified by a significant reduction in bone mineral density that can greatly increase the risk of bone breaks and fractures.

With all this in mind, we recommend a number of supplements to maximize the health of females over 40 and 50 years of age. These include Omega 3 Fatty Acids [2], Vitamin D3 [11], Chondroitin and Glucosamine [10], and Magnesium [12]. We also recommend the regular supplementation of Calcium [14], as it has shown strong associations with improved bone mineral density.

Best Supplements for Weight Loss

While a specific compound is unlikely to promote as much weight loss as making large changes to both your diet and exercise regime, they can certainly help by giving us an extra boost (in which they make the perfect ‘supplement’ to diet and exercise).

Taking this into consideration, there are a number of supplements that have shown to aid weight loss through a number of different mechanisms. Of those that have scientific evidence to support their use, the following appear to be the most effective: Green Tea [15], Caffeine [16], and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA for short) [17].

Best Supplements for Building Muscle

In a similar vein of thought, muscle building supplements are likely to have very little impact unless you are eating to meet your needs, while also participating in regular resistance training based exercise. But, if you are ticking these two boxes, then there are a couple of key supplements that can take your muscle building pursuits to the next level.

Those most supported by the scientific community are unquestionably Creatine [18] and Whey Protein [19]. See our full article here.

Best Supplements for Hair Growth

Hair loss is something effects a vast majority of the population (both male and female) as they enter the later stages of life. As such, there has been a host of research within this area with somewhat conflicting results.

Despite this, two key supplements have been identified to promote the growth of new hair in those individuals who have thinning hair, or who are in the early stages of balding. These are Biotin [20] and Vitamin D [21].

Best Supplements for Memory

There is a group of supplements known as Adaptogens that have been shown to cause acute improvements in memory and cognitive function, essentially providing us with a significant boost in brain power.

As an added bonus, when these supplements are taken long term they may also have the capacity to stave off age related declines in mental state and cognitive function.

Those that appear most effective include Ginseng [22] and Ashwaghanda [23].

Best Supplements for Inflammation

Stress in all forms (physical, emotional, and mental) results in what is known as a fight or flight response, in which we see a huge increase in blood flow in conjunction with increased adrenaline secretion – both of which cause a subsequent increase in inflammation.

In the short term, this inflammation can be beneficial as it prepares the body for immediate action, while also flushing the body with specific hormones and nutrients.

Unfortunately, if prolonged, inflammation can lead to a host of health issues including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, in conjunction with inhibited mental function and associated feelings of depression and lethargy.

Fortunately, there are a number of different supplements that have shown to fight inflammation within the human body, providing a much greater quality of life in its entirety. The most effective of these being Fish Oil [2], Alpha-Lipoic Acid [24], Curcumin [25], and Ginger [26]

Best Supplements for Joint Pain

Our joints take bit of beating every single day. As a result, over time, they can become inflamed and painful. This is further impacted by age related deteriorations in joint quality, which can further exacerbate our joint related problems.

Considering this, it is quite fortunate that there are number of key supplements that have shown to improve joint health and function, while simultaneously reducing inflammation within the joint capsule. This can result in significant declines in joint pain.

Of those supplements that have evidence to support their use Chondroitin and Glucosamine [10], Vitamin D3 [11], and fish oil [27] appear to offer the most bang for your buck.

Best Supplements for Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious health issue that is typified by an inability to manage blood sugar levels, which can cause a host of negative health implications (including cardiovascular dysfunction, metabolic disease, cancer, weight gain, and an increased risk of all-cause mortality. It is important to note that diabetes should first be addressed with medication, a change in diet, and a healthy exercise regime.

Once these things are successfully in place, then there are a number of supplements that can assist us further. The most effective appear to be Green Tea [3], Magnesium [12], Alpha-Lipoic Acid [24], Cinnamon [28], and Chromium [29].

Best Supplements for Skin Health

Each and every day our skin is exposed to chemicals and toxins in the air. This can lead to a substantial drop in skin health and skin quality, in conjunction with associated blemishes. Fortunately there are some supplements that have shown to improve the skins ability to remove toxins, while also improving the health and function of the skin cells.

This can lead to a substantial improvement in skin health over time. Of those supplements, the best appear to be Vitamin C [30] and Vitamin E [31], while fish oil [27] has also been suggested to help promote skin health by reducing inflammation within the skin cells.

Best Supplements for Acne

Acne is one of the most common skin disorders within the modern day population. Acne has the ability to affect both the hair follicles and oil glands of the skin, which results in the development of large painful pimples and blemishes, combined with irritated sections of skin.

Fortunately for us, there are a number of compounds that have been suggested to fight against acne, while also causing significant improvements in the skin quality of acne damaged skin. Those that appear the most effective include Vitamin A [32] and Zinc [32]

Best Supplements for Prostate Health

The Staten of the prostate is arguably the most commonly considered component (say that three times fast!) of men’s health. An unhealthy prostate is at an increased risk of developing cancer, while also showing strong associations with a number of different disease and illnesses.

A common sign of an unhealthy prostate is when it becomes enlarge and inflamed, which can result in a difficulty to urinate. There are a number of key supplement that have shown promise in regards to reducing the size of the prostate, while causing subsequent improvement in prostate health. Those that appear most effective are Beta-sitosterol [33], Pygeum [34], and Saw Palmetto [35].

Best Supplements for ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder typified by an inability to control emotions and behavior. This is often associated with an inability to maintain focus and attention, excessive fidgeting, increased feelings of anxiety, and an inability to follow directions. ADHD is more common in children, although can continue into adulthood.

Typically treated with prescription medication, there is some evidence to suggest that some supplements may have the ability to help treat ADHD in conjunction with more traditional methods. The most heavily supported of these include Zinc [36], Omega 3 Fatty Acids [36], Iron [36], and Magnesium [36].

Best Supplements for Thyroid Health

The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland that sits at the base of the neck, hidden away just below the Adams apple. The thyroid gland is an integral component of the human body’s endocrine system, in which it is responsible for producing hormones that control our metabolism.

Thyroid dysfunction can result in a host of negative health implications, including unwanted weight gain, an increased risk of cardiovascular daises, metabolic deficiencies, and cognitive decline. Interestingly, a vast number of the population is believed to have thyroid dysfunction in some capacity (likely the result of a poor western diet and a lack of exercise).

Fortunately there are some natural supplements that have been shown to improve the health of the thyroid gland. These include Selenium [37], Vitamin B12 [38], and Iodine [39].

Best Supplements for Testosterone

Testosterone is a key sex hormone that holds specific importance for both men and women. While most commonly known for its ability to promote the development of muscle tissue and reduce fat mass, it also plays a role in the maintenance of both cardiovascular and metabolic health.

Unfortunately, through the interactions of a number of poor lifestyle factors, testosterone levels are arguably lower than ever. With this in mind, there has been a large amount of research looking into those supplements that have the capacity the boost testosterone, with interesting results.

Those that appear most effective are D-Aspartic Acid [40], Vitamin D [41], and DHEA [42].

The Supplement Master List

Now one of the biggest knocks on the supplement industry (even despite its great capacity to help people) is that it isn’t ad closely regulated as it should be. As a result, there are a number of different supplements available on the market that are completely useless.

This can make it increasingly difficult to separate the good from the bad – which is why have gone ahead and created the ultimate supplement master list. This list can point you in the right direction, identifying the best supplements available on the market for a specific area.

This has been done to make your life easier, in which we can guarantee you with a quality supplement.

Best Sacha Inchi Supplement

Sacha Inchi is a type of shrub that produces seeds that have recently garnered a lot of attention within the health industry, where they have been described as a key superfood. Sacha Inchi has the capacity to improve blood cholesterol levels [43], boost cognitive function [44], all while greatly increasing the health of our heart [45].

Best Moringa Oleifera Supplement

Moringa Oleifera is an interesting herbal supplements that has been shown to improve general health and reduce inflammation, while simultaneously providing the body with an abundance of essential nutrients combined with a healthy boost of antioxidants.

With this in mind, its supplementation has been shown reduce oxidative stress [46], lower blood sugar [46], and reduce inflammation within the body [48].

Best Golden Berries Supplement

Golden Berries (Physalis Peruviana), also known as the ‘Aztec Berry’ or the ‘Cape Gooseberry’, are one of the most health positive berries in the world. Evidence suggest that the consumption of these berries has the potential reduce inflammation [49], promote weight loss [50], and even improve our blood cholesterol profile [51].

Best Lucuma Supplement

The Lucuma (also known as Pouteria Lucuma) is a uniquely shaped fruit that is often recognized for its deep yellow colored, and extremely sweet, flesh. Coming in powdered form, this supplement has been shown to improve our ability to heal wounds [52], lower blood sugar levels [53], and improve eye health [54].

Best Maca Supplement

Maca root is a highly nutritious plant that has been gaining a huge amount of traction within the health industry of late. Coming in powdered form, this particular supplement has been shown improve fertility and sexual health in both men and women [55], while also increasing mood and boosting energy levels [56].

Best Ashwagandha Supplement

Recognizable as a short and plump shrub with oval shaped leaves and bright yellow flowers, the Ashwagandha is an Indian native that is also commonly known as Indian Ginseng.

The consumption of Ashwagandha has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety while simultaneously boosting mood [57], improving male fertility [58], and lowering blood sugar levels [59].

Best Aloe Vera Supplement

Aloe Vera is a somewhat famous plant that falls within the succulent family, where it is very easily recognized by its large spiky leaves and bright coloring. Most commonly known for its ability to treat sunburn, this particular supplement has been shown to soothe irritated and inflamed skin [60], while also acting as an excellent treatment for cold sores [60].

Best Arnica Oil Supplement

Arnica Oil is an extract from the Arnica plant – a flowering bush (a perennial to be exact) that is closely related to the common daisy.

The use of arnica oil has been growing in popularity within those individuals who participate in regular physical activity [61], as it has been shown to accelerate the healing of muscle damage and speed up exercise recovery [62].

This is an interesting supplement that can at times be a challenge to find.

Best Phosphatidylserine Supplement

Phosphatidylserine is a specific type of phospholipid (a compound that provides the structure to the walls of our cells) that is uniquely comprised of both amino acids and essential fatty acids. With this in mind, Phosphatidylserine is used within the human body to build the cellular walls of the brain and its associated neural tissues.

The supplementation of Phosphatidylserine has been shown to improve learning and memory (both in the long and short term) [63], reduce feelings of depression and anxiety [64], while also slowing age related declines in cognition and mental processing [65].

Best Ketone Supplement

Ketones are an interesting supplement that are intended to be used in conjunction with the ketogenic diet as a way to get the body into an enhanced state of Ketosis. With this, ketosis describes a naturally occurring state of the body where fats are being broken down for an extremely rapid rate, and ketones are produced in great amounts as a by-products.

Taking this into consideration, a state of ketosis has been shown improve our ability to lose fat specific weight (be creating an optimal environment for fat burning) [66], reduce our likelihood of developing both cardiovascular and metabolic disease, and may even have the capacity to improve cognitive function [67], enhance problem solving skills, and improve short and long term memory capabilities [68].

Due to the increasing popularity of the ketogenic diet, there are a number of high quality ketone supplements available on the market. 

Best Adaptogen Supplement

Adaptogens are a group of herbal supplements that have been used for centuries in traditional Indian medicinal practices. The use of this specific group of supplements has been increasing at an extremely rapid rate, as there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that they improve our mental state, optimize overall wellbeing, all while reducing stress and improving health [69].

There are a number of different compounds that have been shown to have adaptogenic properties, and as such the best supplements are those that include those key compounds with the most evidence to support their use (with specific mention to Ginseng, Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, and Rhodiola).

Best Curcumin Supplement

Curcumin is actually the yellow pigment associated with curry spice, turmeric, and to a lesser extent, ginger. This particular compound is an extremely unique type of polyphenol that has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory effects [70].

With this in mind, the consumption of curcumin has been shown to alleviate age related declines in cognition, improve metabolic health and reduce the risk of developing diabetes, improve cardiovascular health, while also reducing the risk of developing cancer.

Best Probiotic Supplement

Probiotics are specific foods or supplements that are extremely rich in good bacteria, in which they are suggested to help colonize our digestive systems with helpful and healthy organisms.

Taking this into consideration, the consumption of probiotics can greatly enhance our ability to breakdown and digest food, seriously reduce our likelihood of experiencing digestive dysfunction, reduce inflammation throughout the entire body, and may even improve the function of our immune system [71].

Best D-Mannose Supplement

D-Mannose is a simple sugar that is actually found naturally occurring in many fruits. It is often used as means to treat a rare disease called Carbohydrate-Deficient Glycoprotein Syndrome Type B1.

Outside of this, D-Mannose has been shown to positively impact the health of the liver while also slowing down the loss of protein from the body. This makes it an excellent means to improve the health of the urinary system, while also making it an excellent treatment for urinary tract infections [72].

Interestingly, some have also suggested that the supplementation of D-Mannose may also improve the health of the good bacteria found within the gut, increasing digestive health and function. 

Best Iron Supplement

Iron is an essential mineral that acts as an important structural component of our red blood cells. It also plays an important role in creating energy from specific compounds, and is essential to the transmission of nerve impulses throughout the body.

With this in mind, iron supplementation is essential to maintain reproductive health in females, can improve the ability to recover from exercise, and may even increase cognitive function [73]. As an added bonus, iron has also been shown to be an effective addition to traditional ADHD treatment [36].

Best Vitamin B12 Supplement

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that can be found in foods such as meat, fish, and dairy.

supplements

The supplementation of vitamin B12 has been suggested to improve memory, boost mood and increase energy, while also increasing cognitive function [4]. Interestingly, the consumption of Vitamin B12 has also been suggested to improve heart health and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease [74].

Best Potassium Supplement

Potassium is a mineral that is essential to maintain the normal function of the heart, kidneys, and lungs. With this in mind, those individuals with low potassium levels are at an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis, and developing high blood pressure.

As a result, the supplementation of potassium can improve the health of our heart while optimizing the function of other organs, lowering blood pressure, and greatly reducing our risk of having a stroke [75].

Best BCAA for men

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are three key amino acids (Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine) that have been shown to play an important role in stimulating muscle protein synthesis (the development of new muscle tissue).

With this in mind, when combined with heavy resistance training, BCAA supplementation has been shown to increase muscle growth, speed up recovery from exercise, and reduce the breakdown of muscle tissue [76].

Best CLA Supplement

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a key fatty acid that has been found to be naturally occurring in both meat and dairy – albeit in very small amounts.

The supplementation of CLA has been shown to increase the rate that the body breaks down fat for energy, while also increasing the body’s metabolic rate – each of which contribute to an increase in fat specific weight loss. This makes it one of the most potent weight loss supplements available on the market today [17].

As an added bonus, the consumption of CLA has also been suggested to lower the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, indicating it also impacts health in a positive manner.

Best Garlic Supplement

In conjunction with being one of the most popular spices known to man, garlic has been shown to have a number of positive effects on the human body.

The supplementation of garlic has been shown to boost immune system function and protect against the common cold, reduce blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels and lower the risk of developing heart disease, and may even prevent age related declines in cognitive function [77].

Best Iodine Supplement

Iodine is a mineral that is essential to the production of the thyroid hormones and the health maintenance of the thyroid gland.

As such, the supplementation of Iodine has been shown to improve thyroid function, while also improving the metabolic state of the body [39]. This can go a very long way to improve the body’s ability to function on a day to day basis, while also improving the health of those individuals with already diagnosed thyroid disorders.

Best CoQ10 Supplement

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 for short) is a specific enzyme that helps the cells of the body produce energy.

Interestingly, individuals who have been identified as having low levels of CoQ10 appear to be at a much greater risk of developing heart disease, brain disorders, diabetes, and even cancer.

As such, the supplementation of CoQ10 has been shown to reduce the risk of developing these diseases, while also causing a subsequent increase in cognitive function, mood, heart health and energy levels [1].

Best Biotin Supplement

Biotin (also known as Vitamin H) is a complex nutrient that helps the body convert food into energy. Interestingly, the supplementation of biotin has been shown to improve organ health, while also increasing the quality of our hair, skin, and nails.

Best DHEA Supplement

DHEA is a naturally occurring hormone found within the human body that is converted into the hormone testosterone. As a result, the supplementation of DHEA has been shown to improve our ability to lose fat, build muscle, increase bone mineral density, and even correct hormone imbalances [42].

Best Glutamine Supplement

Glutamine is a specific amino acids that is found within the blood. Glutamine is predominantly produced in the muscle tissue of the body, and interestingly, it is here where it can have its greatest effect.

The supplementation of glutamine has been suggested to improve our ability to recover after exercise, can increase muscle protein synthesis within the muscle tissue, enhance muscle growth after resistance training, while also boosting immune system function [78].

Best Nitric Oxide Supplement

Nitric oxide (NO) is a gas that is produced in somewhat small amounts within the human body, where its main role is to deliver messages between the bodies’s many cells. Within this, it also plays a key role in optimizing the circulation of blood around the body.

The supplementation of NO has been suggested to improve exercise performance, while also having some potential to enhance recovery after exercise by increasing the movement of nutrient enriched blood to the muscle tissue [79]. This is also thought to improve muscle growth in the long term.

The Best Essential Amino Acid Supplements

There are 9 specific amino acids found within the body that are considered essential as they cannot be synthesized within the body, and therefore must be obtained through the food we eat. These essential amino acids play an important role in the repair and growth of damaged muscle tissue.

With this in mind, the supplementation of essential amino acids has been shown to boost recovery times after exercise and increase our rate of muscle growth, making it an excellent supplement for the active individual [80].

Best DHA Supplement

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is arguably one of the most important omega-3 fatty acids known to man. It makes up a key component of every single cell within our body, plays a vital role in the maintenance of normal brain function, and is integral to normal fetal development during pregnancy.

Taking this into consideration, the supplementation of DHA has been suggested to improve neural and cognitive functioning, improve memory processing, slow age related declines in cognition [81], all whilst improving the health of the heart.

Best Minerals Supplement

To function efficiently, the body needs to have adequate nutrients available at all times. A large part of this is ensuring that we consume enough minerals on a day to basis to optimize the function of all our physiological systems.

A high quality mineral supplement is a surefire way to guarantee we have all of these essential minerals available each and every day, thus ensuring optimal health and function is maintained.

Best Choline Supplement

Choline is a specific compound that has recently been qualified as an essential nutrient. Choline plays an integral role in the maintenance of normal liver function, and is also essential to the development of neural tissue, in which it supports our ability to maintain normal movement and energy levels.

As such, the supplementation of choline has been said to boost energy and improve liver health significantly. This makes it an extremely effective option when looking to boost general health while also obtaining noticeable cognitive benefits [82].

Best Chromium Supplement

Chromium is a type of chemical found within the body in trace amounts. It has been shown to play a key role in the management of blood sugar, the maintenance of weight, and the optimization of brain health.

Within this, Chromium Supplementation can improve blood sugar levels and help aid in the management of diabetes, improve blood cholesterol levels, improve cognitive function, and even prevent weight gain [83].

Best Krill Oil Supplement

Krill oil is a supplement that is very similar to fish oil, in that it provides the body with a high dose of omega 3 fatty acids.

With this in mind, the supplementation of krill oil is likely to have huge benefits for our cardiovascular health, reducing our risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes, while also improving cognitive function and metabolic health [2].

Krill oil is absorbed by the body slightly better than fish oil, meaning we need to consume less to obtain the same health benefits. It is important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean it is better than fish oil, although it may be a more suitable option for these individuals who don’t like large tablets.

Best Resveratrol Supplement

Resveratrol is a specific antioxidant found in both grapes and wine. Its consumption has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve the levels of cholesterol within the blood, all while positively influencing brain health.

As an added bonus, there is some evidence to suggest that the antioxidant properties of resveratrol can prevent the development of cancer, and may even increase life expectancy [84].

Best Calcium Supplement

Calcium is an essential mineral that plays a number of important roles in many of the body’s basic functions. Interestingly, the body is unable to produce calcium internally, which is why consuming it through either diet or supplementation is so very important.

The supplementation of calcium has been shown to improve bone mineral density, increase fertility health in females, and greatly reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis [14]

Best Beet Supplement

The beetroot is a root vegetable well known for its deep purple coloring and unique flavor. Packed with essential nutrients, beet consumption has been shown to lower blood pressure, and increase our exercise capacity.

flee beetle

This makes it an interesting supplement that not only positively impacts health, but also has some benefits for sports performance as well [85].

Best Selenium Supplement

Selenium is an essential trace mineral that is integral to the optimal function of the human body. To build on this notion further, selenium protect against cell damage throughout the entire body by turning harmful chemicals into disposable material.

As a result, the supplementation of selenium has been shown to lower our risk of developing cancer, while also increasing the health of the thyroid gland and hormonal system [37].

Best Prebiotic Supplement

Prebiotics essentially describe a specific group of carbohydrates that are fermented within the digestive system by our good gut bacteria. During this process of fermentation, nutrients essential to the healthy survival of that same bacteria are produced.

Probiotics image

As such, the supplementation of prebiotics can greatly increase the health of the digestive system, improve our ability to breakdown and digest food molecules, and protect against digestive disease, illness, and dysfunction [86]

Best Melatonin Supplements

Melatonin is a specific hormone produced within the human body. It is often known as the sleep hormone, as it has the capacity to put the body in a state of relaxation, while also preparing it for sleep.

Taking all of this under consideration, it may seem obvious that the supplementation of melatonin has been shown to greatly increase sleep quality and duration, while also improving our ability to fall asleep [87].

Interestingly, melatonin supplementation has also been suggested to improve eye health and protect against depression.

Best Turmeric Supplement

Turmeric is a spice that has become increasingly popular in recent times due to its potent anti-inflammatory compounds [70]. Through these properties, the consumption of turmeric has been shown to have a host of positive effects on the body, including a reduced risk of cognitive decline, improved cardiovascular and metabolic health, and a reduced risk of cancer.

Curcumin capsules
Best L Arginine Supplement

L-Arginine (also known as just ‘Arginine’) is one of the 20 amino acids founds within the human body. L-Arginine is used to produce nitric oxide, and therefore has importance through its ability to regulate blood flow throughout the body.

The supplementation of L-Arginine has therefore been shown to improve cardiovascular health, while also offering support for erectile dysfunction [88].

Take-Away Message

With the modern day diet becoming somewhat insufficient in essential nutrients, supplements offer a fantastic way to ensure our ability to maintain optimal function easily and efficiently.

Additionally, they also provide us with a means to help treat certain disorders, improve our ability to obtain specific goals (eg. improving exercise performance or increasing muscle growth), or obtain key health benefits (both cognitive and physical).

The supplements outlined in this article all have scientific evidence to support their use, and therefore are each excellent options in their own right.

If you have had any experiences with any of these supplements, we would love to hear about it – so drop us a comment and we will get back to you as soon as humanly possible!

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About the author

Sabrina Wilson

Sabrina Wilson is a staff writer for the Organic Daily Post.

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