A helpful guide to correcting vitamin deficiency
What I recommend to correct Magnesium deficiency:
I always start with encouraging the patient to eat more magnesium rich foods, including leafy greens, seeds and nuts. In addition cutting back on caffeine, alcohol, and refined sugar (which impair absorption) and working on overall digestive health to increase absorption of magnesium in your diet.
The two most common magnesium supplements I recommend are magnesium glycinate and magnesium citrate. Magnesium citrate is well absorbed, but also has a gentle laxitve effect making it a good addition for patients with constipation or sluggish digestion. Magnesium gylcinate is the quickest to be absorbed into the blood stream making it ideal for taking at bedtime to relieve insomnia and anxiety.
One magnesium citrate supplement that my patients have loved (and the name sells it) is “Natural Calm.” It comes as a powder you mix into a glass of water once a day. Start with one half teaspoon once or twice a day and increase as tolerated. This supplement helps to receive constipation, so if you experience diarrhea after taking it, you'll know right away that you have taken too much.
Here's a great article from Well and Good that explains the differences: What you need to know before buying magnesium
This is one magnesium glycinate supplement I recommend that patients have had success especially for insomnia and to correct levels that are really low. You can also look for a multi that has this form of magnesium for best absorption.
Many people are familiar with the healing properties of Epson salt baths including relieving muscle pain and anxiety. Believe it or not the main ingredient of Epson salt is magnesium which is well absorbed through the skin. Adding topical magnesium can be a great way to bring up levels without GI side effects and in cases where absorbstion is impaired. Ancient Minerals is a great company which makes a wide variety of topical magnesium products.
What I recommend to correct Folate deficiency:
Everyone knows you should be eating more leafy greens. These foods are power houses when it comes to getting your daily folate. The name folate actually comes from the word folium meaning leaf.
I believe that not all pre-natals are created equal and selecting a pre-natal with natural folate or the absorbable form, methylfolate, will both be beneficial to you and your baby's health. Also for my female patents that are folate deficient keep in mind pre-natal are a great choice for any women as they have higher levels of folate. Many of my patients love the gummy form of these vitamins as they are easy to digest and delicious.
For those who don't need a full multi vitamin this B complex includes all the B vitamins including active folate. This works well as the two work together in your body.
For those wishing to correct folate deficency quickly I also use a chewable high dose folate supplement.
What I recommend to correct vitamin d deficiency:
In my patients I encourage daily sunlight exposure, as well as eating foods rich in vitamin D. In patients with risk factors for certain diseases I believe supplementation may be worth while. Vitamin K2 is an important vitamin to keep in balance with vitamin D. It is more easily available in your diet (in dark green vegetables) then vitamin D, so in patients with healthy digestive functions taking vitamin D alone is not a problem. However, in patients with chronic digestive issues they may benefit from a special vitamins that include vitamin K2.
I usually recommend liquid vitamin D supplements because they are easier to absorb and can be added to food. Vitamin D is best absorbed when taken with foods rich in healthy fats. Below are two liquid vitamin D brands I recommend one of which includes vitamin K2.
WHAT I RECOMMEND TO CORRECT VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY:
Because B12 absorbtion is dependent on having a healthy digestive system and microbiome, I start by recommending probiotics and probiotic foods, limiting acid blocking medicines, and improving pateint’s digestive function as a way to promote healthy levels. As always learning what foods are rich in this vitamin is key.
Vitamin B12 is part of the B complex for vitamins, which work together as a team to promote health. The function of B12 is especially dependent on the body’s folate levels. For this reason I recommend using B complex vitamins with active folate instead of B12 alone.
Consider a B12 injection, which I can do in the office for you, if you think you may have trouble with absorption or your level is really low and want to bring it up more quickly.
WHAT I RECOMMEND TO CORRECT IRON DEFICIENCY:
Start by finding out all the foods that contain Iron (it's not only in red meat). Women in particular may need to increase their iron rich foods around their period and during pregnancy.
Iron supplementation is not always easy. Taking iron can cause side effects such as nausea and constipation. For this reason I am very particular about which iron brands I recommend. Floradix is a plant based liquid form of iron which comes highly recommended by patients. For this supplement you should start with one teaspoon per day and increase to two teaspoons twice a day as tolerated. For those who have trouble taking a liquid form Blood Builder by megafood is a good alternative that comes with extra B vitamins and folate as well.