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Alex Glover

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Alex Glover is an experienced registered nutritionist working in R&D formulating and developing premium vitamin & mineral supplements & healthy food for Holland & Barratt. Alex can...

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Do I need to take supplements?

So this is going to really depend on your individual lifestyle supplements. For me, I view as an insurance policy, really, you put a car insurance on your car, why wouldn't you take a multivitamin for your health? It's very, very difficult to eat everything that we need to maintain optimal health every single day. So I think a good multivitamin is an option for most people. And I think other supplements have got different utilities in different situations. For example, vitamin D, we should all be taking vitamin D throughout the winter months, and then pregnancy, again, different considerations for supplements throughout different stages of life, but it's very much going to depend on what your health goals are and what life stage you're at.

Is vitamin D essential in winter?

So we have really high rates of vitamin D deficiency in Northern Europe throughout the winter months. This is because we don't make enough vitamin D through our skin from UVB radiation for these months. So it's really important between October and March to make sure we're taking vitamin D, you'd have to be seeing a lot of oily fish to make sure that we're getting adequate vitamin D without supplementation. And it's also our skin tone really affects the amount of vitamin D that we can make as well. So if you've darker skin tone, it might actually be worth taking vitamin D all year round as well.

If I don’t eat fish should I take a supplement?

So the type of omega that's found in fish is considered an active form of Omega-3, and Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid, which means that we have to get it through our diet plant-based sources of omega like walnuts and cheer seeds provide an inactive form, and the rate of absorption in our body is very, very low. And for what we know from lots and lots of different clinical researchers, that high levels of omega in our blood is beneficial for a lot of different health conditions. So eating lots of Omega-3 and having high levels can reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease and it can reduce the rate at which our eyes deteriorate as well. So I would always recommend if you're not eating fish, to take either a fish oil supplement or if you're vegan or vegetarian and algal oil supplement because that will provide the active form of Omega-3.

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