The Complete Daily Vitamin & Supplement Checklist
June 17, 2021
When was the last time you paid attention to keeping your body healthy from the inside out?
The human body needs a complex combination of vitamins and minerals to maintain hundreds of symbiotic processes. A vitamin deficiency shows up as any number of symptoms: poor vision, brittle hair and nails, rash, muscle weakness, bleeding gums, fatigue, shortness of breath, pale or yellowish skin, and bleeding gums, to name a few. According to the CDC, about 10% of Americans don’t get enough vitamins or minerals to maintain optimal health. Usually, our diet is to blame: We just don’t eat as many nutrient-dense foods as we could.
If you’re wondering what the most essential daily vitamins are, you’re in the right place. Here’s our complete list of the 12 most important vitamins and supplements you need to be the healthiest version of yourself.
The Complete Vitamin & Supplement Checklist
First on our list of essential daily vitamins and supplements is boron. Boron is an inorganic element naturally found in many foods and beverages. Although not yet classified as an essential nutrient for humans, nutritionists suspect that boron is still important to the human body for bone formation, immunity, maintaining alertness and metabolism, calcium absorption, and healthy brain function. For men, boron likely plays a part in increasing testosterone levels and improving sexual health.
All ages should get a daily dose of boron. Adults should aim to ingest 1-20 micrograms per day while children and teens should intake an amount that varies by age:
- 1-3 years: 3 mcg/day
- 3-8 years: 6 mcg/day
- 8-12 years: 11 mcg/day
- 13-18 years: 17 mcg/day
Most people can intake their daily recommended amount of boron through food. Common sources of boron include fruit, coffee, legumes (beans) and potatoes. Cheese and milk products also supply boron, as well as beer, wine and cider. Research shows that ingesting more than the recommended daily amount of boron doesn’t have a pronounced negative effect; most people flush out excess boron in their urine. Metabolic’s Essential Trace Minerals supplement contains 80 micrograms of boron per capsule, plus 11 other essential vitamins and minerals to help you keep your body functioning synergistically.
Calcium gets much of the spotlight when it comes to vitamin and mineral talk. It is the most abundant mineral in the human body. We all know that calcium is essential to bone growth and health. Our bones and teeth continuously grow and remodel themselves with the help of calcium for most of our lifespans. Calcium can also help our heart, muscles and nerves operate better while protecting our bodies against cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Calcium is needed at every life stage: In younger years, this mineral promotes healthy bone and teeth growth. In later years, ingesting plenty of calcium slows the natural rate of bone loss and keeps older adults independently mobile. Common sources of calcium include dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream) plus vegetables like Chinese cabbage, kale and broccoli. Many food suppliers supplement foods like cereal, fruit juice, and tofu with calcium to help us “sneak” more of this important mineral into our diets. Metabolic’s Corti-Trim dietary supplement contains 150 mg/12% of the adult recommended daily amount of calcium (in the form of calcium carbonate/calcium ascorbate) to help you reach your daily calcium goal while also helping reduce stress and food cravings through cortisol.
The National Institutes of Health publishes a detailed table of recommended daily calcium intake for children and adults that can be summarized like this:
- 0-6 months: 200 mg
- 7-12 months: 260 mg
- 1-3 years: 700 mg
- 4-8 years: 1,000 mg
- 9-18 years: 1,300 mg
- 19-70 years: 1,000 mg
- 70+ years: 1,200 mg
Pregnant and lactating women should intake higher levels of calcium so they can pass on adequate amounts to their babies through pregnancy or breastmilk.
If you enjoy seasoning your food with salt, chances are you’re consuming iodine along with that salt. Iodine is an element commonly found in seafood, seaweed, and bread. Salt processors add it to table salt to help people get enough iodine for hormone production. Your thyroid uses iodine to make hormones, particularly thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones regulate protein synthesis, enzyme activity, and metabolism. A lack of iodine leads to decreased hormone production which leads to a weakened immune response, breast disease, and goiter.
The National Institutes of Health recommends the following daily intake amounts:
- Birth to 6 months: 110 mcg
- 7-12 months: 130 mcg
- 1-8 years: 90 mcg
- 9-13 years: 120 mcg
- 14+ years: 150 mcg
Most people get enough iodine from foods like fish, eggs, sushi (seaweed), and dairy products. The Super Iodine Plus supplement from Metabolic supplies more than 8,000% of adults’ daily recommended iodine intake. This supplement also contains selenium and riboflavin to help your body properly absorb and use the iodine. It’s bound to keep your energy levels up and your metabolism high!
You may not pay much attention to magnesium, but it’s responsible for assisting more than 300 enzymatic processes that regulate your body’s protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood sugar, and blood pressure. While the adult human body contains just 25 grams of magnesium, about half of which is stored in bone, this amount is actually large as far as bodily mineral presence goes. Magnesium plays a role in energy production, nutrient breakdown, calcium and potassium transport within the body, muscle contraction and heart rhythm.
The NIH’s recommended daily allowance of magnesium is as follows:
- Birth to 6 months: 30 mg
- 7-12 months: 75 mg
- 1-3 years: 80 mg
- 4-8 years: 80 mg
- 9-13 years: 240 mg
- 14-18 years: 360-410 mg
- 19-30 years: 310-400 mg
- 31-50 years: 320-420 mg
- 51+ years: 320-420 mg
If you want to intake more magnesium, reach for food like nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, dark, leafy vegetables, and dairy products. Many processed foods are fortified with magnesium, and even some tap and bottled water systems supply magnesium within their water.
If these sources aren’t available to you, try a magnesium supplement like Metabolic’s Essential Trace Minerals Tabs which supplies 3 milligrams of magnesium per capsule. This equates to less than 1% of the NIH’s daily recommended intake for adults, but that’s by design.
Most people get their recommended daily magnesium amounts through diet, and getting too much magnesium through supplements can cause nausea, abdominal cramping and diarrhea. So while a magnesium supplement can boost your health, it’s best to ingest it with other vitamins and minerals that complement each other.
You probably don’t think much about the amount of selenium you ingest on a regular basis because it’s a nutrient that’s essential but abundant in most diets. Selenium protects the human body from infection and damage from free radicals while assisting with pregnancy, thyroid gland function and DNA production.
It’s important to note that too much selenium can be dangerous to your health. Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health recommends a daily upper limit for selenium of 400 micrograms for both men and women 19 years and older. Ingesting too much selenium through foods (especially Brazil nuts) or supplements can lead to diarrhea, nausea, rash, brittle hair and nails, hair loss, and in extreme cases, kidney or heart failure. You’ll also want to underdose on selenium to avoid a socially awkward side effect - garlic breath!
If you’re concerned about any of these symptoms or your selenium intake, consult with your physician or a nutritionist about an improved diet or supplement regimen.
The NIH recommends the following daily upper intake limits for selenium by age:
- Birth-6 months: 45 mcg
- 7-12 months: 60 mcg
- 1-3 years: 90 mcg
- 4-8 years: 150 mcg
- 9-13 years: 280 mcg
- 14+ years: 400 mcg
Most people get enough daily selenium by eating seafood, meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and grain products. This mineral wards off skin and gastrointestinal cancers, cardiovascular disease, and thyroid disease. It’s definitely important to ensure you’re getting enough of it! Metabolic’s Super Iodine Plus formula contains 15 mcg (21% adult daily value) of selenium to help you maintain optimal thyroid and overall health.
Vanadium may be the most unheard-of element on this list, but its function is no less important than other vitamins and minerals. First discovered in 1801, vanadium typically presents as a hard but malleable silver-gray metal. It is found in very small amounts in the human body. Vanadium helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Physicians use it to control diabetes, heart disease, syphilis, tuberculosis, and anemia. In somewhat larger amounts, vanadium can improve athletic performance and prevent cancer and blood clotting.There is some evidence that vanadium can regulate weight by slightly increasing metabolism.
You can also get 30 mcg of vanadium per serving in Metabolic’s Phentratrim Plus dietary supplement. Phentratrim aids in weight loss without the harmful stimulant side effects of other weight loss supplements.
Vitamin B-12 is integral to cell metabolism, nerve activity and DNA production. It also plays a central role in red blood cell formation. People who have anemia often have a B12 deficiency. Because vitamin B-12 is found in most meats, poultry, fish and dairy, and because the human body is very good at storing vitamin B12, it’s rare to not get enough B12 for healthy living. However, plants don’t contain vitamin B12 so if you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, you may want to take vitamin B12 supplements.
The average daily recommended intake for vitamin B12 is as follows, recommended by the NIH:
- Birth-6 months: 0.4 mcg
- 7-12 months: 0.5 mcg
- 1-3 years: 0.9 mcg
- 4-8 years: 1.2 mcg
- 9-13 years: 1.8 mcg
- 14+ years: 2.4 mcg
You’ll notice these amounts are very small. Again, because the body stores vitamin B12 very well, it’s not necessary to ingest large amounts each day. In fact, taking in too much vitamin B12 can result in headaches, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, or tingling sensations in your limbs. Metabolic’s Sublingual B-12 Vitamin supplement gives your body a safe amount of B12 to boost your energy levels, aid with protein synthesis, digestion, and the absorption of other nutrients, plus break down fatty acids.
The “B” vitamins work together to keep your body healthy. Like vitamin B12, vitamin B6 helps regulate thyroid function, metabolism (energy), hormone production, and red blood cell production. It facilitates more than 100 metabolic enzyme reactions. Perhaps most importantly, vitamin B6 helps cap the amount of cortisol your body produces. Cortisol is a hormone your body releases when under stress. In short bursts, cortisol is helpful for survival, but its continuous presence makes an individual feel fatigued and rundown.
Most people get enough vitamin B6 through their diet. B6 shows up in poultry, fish, potatoes, chickpeas, bananas and fortified cereals. Metabolic’s Vitamin B6 supplement (pyridoxine hydrochloride) can help make up for any B-6 deficiencies you might have, especially if you are vegetarian.
The NIH has published the following daily recommended vitamin B6 amounts by age:
- Birth-6 months: 0.1 mcg
- 7-12 months: 0.3 mcg
- 1-3 years: 0.5 mcg
- 4-8 years: 0.6 mcg
- 9-13 years: 1.0 mcg
- 14-18 years: 1.2-1.3 mcg
- 19-50 years: 1.3 mcg
- 51+ years: 1.5-1.7 mcg
If those foods don’t fit into your diet, we suggest adding Metabolic’s vitamin B6 supplement to your daily regimen. Each capsule contains 100 mg of vitamin B6 as pyridoxine hydrochloride, or 5882% of the recommended adult daily value.
If vitamin C had a scent, it would be citrus because oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are famous for being abundant sources of vitamin C. It’s also commonly known as ascorbic acid, but it’s not harmful. Quite the opposite—vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps your body fight off the free radical compounds found in food, cigarette smoke, air pollution, and UV rays. Vitamin C is an all-around versatile nutrient that helps our bodies maintain an overall state of well-being.
While the recommended daily amount for vitamin C is 65 to 90 milligrams per day, taking a vitamin C supplement that provides up to 2,000 milligrams per day isn’t likely to cause your body harm. However, ingesting beyond this 2,000 mg upper limit could cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal cramps, headache and insomnia. Your diet will be your best source for getting enough vitamin C. The NIH recommends these amounts of vitamin C by age:
- Birth-6 months: 40 mg
- 7-12 months: 50 mg
- 1-3 years: 15 mg
- 4-8 years: 25 mg
- 9-13 years: 45 mg
- 14-18 years: 65-75 mg
- 18+ years: 75-90 mg
You can find vitamin C in oranges and other citrus, red peppers, broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe, or tomatoes. It’s also part of Metabolic’s Essential Trace Minerals supplement which offers 67% of your daily recommended vitamin C. Stay on top of your vitamin C intake and you’ll definitely experience fewer colds!
Vitamin D is just as necessary for good bone health as calcium. It helps your body absorb calcium so you can maintain bone strength and avoid developing osteoporosis. Vitamin D also helps build muscle and sustain your nervous system. It is considered an anti-inflammatory nutrient that fights off infection and supports brain development. New parents often give their infants vitamin D drops to aid the formation of their babies’ new neural pathways in the brain.
While vitamin D isn’t naturally found in much food, many food manufacturers add it to items like milk and cereal. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines supply vitamin D, so if you eat those fish often, you’re likely getting your recommended daily amount of 10-15 micrograms.
Interestingly, your body can make vitamin D when you expose your skin to sunlight. The sun’s UV rays react with a chemical in your skin and produce calciferol, a form of vitamin D. Be careful not to spend too much time in the sun trying to stock up on this vitamin, however, or you might get sunburn. Fifteen minutes of sunlight per day is usually enough for sufficient vitamin D production!
The NIH recommends children and adults intake 50-125 mcg of vitamin D every day. Metabolic’s Vitamin D3 supplement offers 125 mcg (625% of your daily value) per capsule, and is a great way to ward off bone loss, depression, and heart disease. However, the NIH does not recommend ingesting more than 100 mcg of vitamin D per day. This daily upper limit for vitamin D can result in nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, disorientation, dehydration, loss of appetite, excessive thirst and urination, and kidney stones.
Weight loss companies have tried convincing us that fat is bad, but some fats, like polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, are actually good for your body. Fats can help your body absorb vitamins and nutrients. Fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 can guard against inflammation, heart disease and constipation while regulating cholesterol. Omega-3 and Omega-6 are found in nuts, fish and seeds that help the heart, lungs, and immune system function well. They support a healthy heart and brain by directly impacting the production of prostaglandins.
Because research on omega fatty acids is incomplete, there are no recommended daily upper limits for omega-3 or omega-6 intake. Some studies suggest adults should get 0.25 grams per day in addition to DHA. The NIH recommends 1.6 grams for males and 1.1 grams for females.
Metabolic’s Enteric Coated Essential Fatty Acid supplement adds 0.5 g of omega-3 and 0.2 grams of omega-3 to your diet, so you can enjoy the benefits of healthy fats as part of a holistic vitamin and nutrient regimen.
Finally, the last nutrient on our list of essential vitamins and nutrients is zinc. Sometimes used as an effective sunblock, zinc also supports healthy immune systems and increased metabolism. Taken orally, zinc is an effective treatment that is proven to shorten the length of the common cold. Zinc has the power to heal wounds when applied to the skin or when taken orally. Zinc can alleviate diarrhea in kids while slowing the onset of macular degeneration in older adults.
Zinc is found naturally in oysters, meats, poultry, seafood, beans, nuts, whole grains, and dairy products. Many cereal makers fortify their cereals with zinc. If you eat a well-balanced diet, you’re probably getting enough zinc. But if you have a digestive disorder, sickle cell disease, eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, or drink a lot of alcohol, you may want to take a zinc supplement (often supplied as zinc oxide). This is because people with these conditions often have a decreased amount of zinc in their bodies or do not get enough zinc from their diet.
The NIH recommends ingesting up to 40 mg of zinc per day for adults. The recommended daily limit for infants 6 months and younger is 4 mg. The NIH recommends these amounts of zinc by age group:
- Birth-6 months: 2 mg
- 7 months-3 years: 3 mg
- 4-8 years: 5 mg
- 9-13 years: 8 mg
- 14-18 years: 9-11 mg
- 18+ years: 8-11 mg
Metabolic’s MRC Immune Support capsules offer 200% (22 mg) of your daily value of zinc as zinc oxide. Combined with vitamins C and B-6, and with spirulina, astaxanthin, turmeric root, grape seed extract, and beta-glucan, this supplement supports a healthy immune system so your body can better respond to the health challenges it faces each day.
Make vitamins part of your daily health routine
There’s more to optimizing your physical health than these essential vitamins, of course. Drinking plenty of water, getting 30-60 minutes of exercise each day, and getting a good night’s rest all contribute to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Make sure you’re giving your body the best chance to fight off disease, heal and grow by getting your daily recommended doses of these vitamins. When you give your body the nutrients it needs to thrive, you’ll find yourself feeling the best you’ve ever felt!
If you’d like more info on how the Metabolic product line could support your wellness goals you can work with Sherryl Quast, our virtual health coach. Enroll here!