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General Maintenance Supplements

Summary:  Ensure there are no deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, and EFAs by using basic nutritional supplements.

General maintenance supplements include multivitamin, multimineral, and essential fatty acid supplements. These are discussed in detail in their respective sections:



Essential Fatty Acids

General maintenance supplements help ensure that there are no deficiencies of most common nutrients. These supplements can be especially useful for those with poor diets, and also good insurance for those who eat healthy but should not be used as an excuse to follow a poor diet. Adequate fruits, vegetables, protein, and good oils should still be consumed. See the Diet section for more information. Also see the article Supplements 101 for basic advice in using supplements.

WARNING:  General Maintenance supplements may provide circulation stimulation, vasodilation, blood thinning, and other effects that can be dangerous if already on meds for these purposes.  Before using any of them, check with your MD or, better yet, a medical professional knowledgeable on supplements and nutrition.

Since the individual supplements are discussed in depth in the articles above, this page is devoted to possible supplement combinations. Multivitamins are typically taken during the day. The B vitamins they contain cause cause sleeplessness if taken too close to bed. Multiminerals relax and aid sleep so they are best taken at bed. Some people need to get adequate calcium and magnesium during the day for conditions like mental disorders, in which case a multivitamin with a good amount of these major minerals might be taken during the day, with a half serving size of the multimineral at night as a booster.

Essential fatty acids can be taken at any time, day or night. They do help mental focus, so some may prefer them during the day, but they are best absorbed at night when the liver is most active, so some might prefer them taken at night. The most often recommended EFA supplements are Jarrow Omega Balance, Enzymatic Therapy Eskimo-3, and NSI Mega EFA. Again, these are discussed in the EFA Section, along with other supplements that may be more appropriate for some, such as flax seed oil or cod liver oil.

My wife does not like to take supplements, especially too many at one time or big ones like giant fish oil caps or multivitamin tablets. But, she needed them for general maintenance especially considering we don't always eat right at every meal, we are over 50, and Alzheimer's is a concern since her father suffers from it. So, I came up with this plan that has the least amount of supplements to provide the most benefit with cost a strong consideration.

Most Cost-Effective Supplement Regimen for Long Term Maintenance for People Over 50 who don't like to swallow giant tablets
  Now True Balance. One per day, even though it is a two-per-day supplement. One of the best multivitamins for the money and contains suficient vitamins and minor minerals plus a great deal of biotin even at half dosage. Of course, two per day can be taken for greater effect, although one per day is fine for general maintenance. Use in the morning or at lunch. Do not take good multivitamins late in the day since the vitamin B-12 can cause sleeplessness.
  Now Curcumin Extract is the most powerful curcumin for the money. It is 665mg per cap of 95% curcuminoids. Curcumin is generally considered the best systemic antioxidant for the money plus provides the benefit of protecting and cleaning the liver as well as improving intestinal health. Use one cap per day, any time of the day.
  Enzymatic Therapy Eskimo-3. These are small fish oil gelcaps but since they are more concentrated with DHA and EPA than cheap fish oil, they are often the same potency. Use two per day at anytime, although it is usually best to take with a meal.


Here are some other possible combinations of supplements to provide adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.


Synergy Multivitamin version 10 is a 6 capsule per day multivitamin that contains enough calcium (500mg) and magnesium (300mg) that most people could eschew a multimineral. A plan might be to use three Synergy 9 with breakfast and three with lunch and take 4 to 6 Eskimo-3 with dinner. Some people do not like to take this much magnesium during the day, though, due to increased elimination. Additions might include one or two Solaray Cal-Mag Citrate or other multmineral before bed.




Since the Garden of Life Living Multi comes in rather large caplets and the NSI Mega EFA comes in large gelcaps, these are grouped together. Use three of the Living Multi with each meal (they contain a low amount of B12 so can be taken at dinner), or use 5 with breakfast and 4 with lunch, one or two Mega EFA twice per day, and 2 to 4 Jarrow Mineral Balance before bed.


Both Enzymatic Therapy products, the Doctor's Choice for Women (or Men, or Women 45+ or Men 45+) all contain adequate amounts of calcium and magnesium for most people, so a multimineral need not be taken. Use two with breakfast and two with lunch. With the Eskimo-3, use 2 three times per day, or combine servings as desired.


  Purity Perfect Multi, taken two with breakfast and lunch, Jarrow Mineral Balance taken 4 before bed, and NSI Mega EFA taken 2 twice per day.


Now True Balance taken one with breakfast and one with lunch, Now Full Spectrum Mineral Caps taken 4 before bed, and Natural Factors RxOmega-3 taken two twice per day, or all at once. This combination can be found in many health food stores that carry the common Now and Natural Factors lines.


For kids or adults who cannot swallow capsules or tablets, these are chewable multivitamins and multiminerals plus a liquid fish oil. Be sure to see the Multivitamin section before making a choice of a chewable multivitamin.





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