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The supplements you need every day and why

Here’s what you need to know to customise your daily intake of vitamins and minerals.

11 July 2016
by Kassabaine Petersen

From helping the body turn food into fuel to fortifying bones, vitamins and minerals are crucial in keeping our bodies healthy and productive. Here are the supplements you need to make sure you’re getting your daily dose. 

For energy

Iron and vitamin B12 are essential minerals in fighting exhaustion and anaemia. “A good multivitamin will provide you with extensive vitamin, mineral and trace element supplementation to ensure that your body uses its resources effectively. They assist in supplying what you need daily, as well as neutralising harmful free radicals in the system that affect performance and health,” advises Clicks Pharmacist Waheed Abdurrahman. 

TRY: Clicks Vitamin B Complex and Centrum Multivitamin/Multimineral

For fighting flu and cold infections

Every year virus strains become increasingly virulent and difficult to fight. The airborne virus spreads every time an infected person coughs or sneezes. While there is no cure for colds and flu, some supplements may boost your immune system to help fight off cold and flu symptoms.

“The best immune supplements have real evidence for preventing or shortening colds. They contain trusted immune-supporting ingredients such as echinacea, elderberry and vitamin C that are used to ward off colds and flu, or at least reduce the severity of symptoms,” says Abdurahman. Vitamin C, for instance, acts as an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory to help dry up a runny nose.

TRY: Viral Guard Tablets and Clicks Immune Fizzy Immune Support

For stronger hair, nails and skin

A daily dose of the B vitamin biotin in the summer is great to help prevent hair breakage due to prolonged exposure to salt and chlorine, say the experts. Research shows that regular intake of this vitamin also increases nail thickness by 25 percent, making nails less prone to splits and tears.

Consider supplementing with gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a fat that helps promote healthy skin, hair and nails and is very hard to come by in the diet. A good source is evening primrose oil; you’ll see results after six to eight weeks.

TRY: Nativa Hair, Skin & Nail Complex

For improved memory

The best way to keep your mind sharp and memory intact is through reading, doing crossword puzzles, playing musical instruments, exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet. There are, however, vitamins and herbs that can help. “Ginkgo biloba assists in promoting blood circulation in the brain, improving alertness and memory functions,” says Abdurahman.

In clinical trials, an amino acid derivative called acetyl l-carnitine (also known as ACL) has been shown to improve cognitive performance and memory in Alzheimer’s patients.

TRY: Memorx Ayurvedic supplment

For anti-ageing

Whether we like it or not, we all age. But there are supplements that can help us do so gracefully. Our bodies, for instance, need coenzyme 10 (CoQ10) to maintain healthy cell functioning. Because CoQ10 decreases with age, it makes sense to supplement it. In South Africa, 1 in 3 women are at risk of developing osteoporosis, so added calcium is needed to help prevent it. Adding vitamin D and magnesium will help with calcium absorption.

“Comprehensive supplementation for mature individuals, where certain minerals such as calcium for bones and magnesium for muscles are important as they are more poorly consumed or absorbed in mature adults, is advised,” says Abdurahman.

TRY: Bettaway Betta For Seniors Multivitamins

Speak to your Clicks Pharmacist about any questions 
you have regarding supplementation and contraindications. 

IMAGE CREDIT: 123rf.com