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151: What Vitamins and High-Quality Supplements Do You Need? With Dr. Austin Lake.





Brief summary of the show:

In this podcast episode Dr. Austin Lake discusses the overwhelming nature of choosing vitamins and supplements and provides insights into the importance of various vitamins. He emphasizes the need for high-quality supplements and highlights the significance of B vitamins, Omega-3s, magnesium, and vitamin D. Dr. Lake also shares tips on choosing healthy cooking oils and addresses the different forms of magnesium. He concludes by encouraging you to take action and seek help when needed.



Listen in as we talk about:

00:00 - Introduction: Overwhelm and Questions about Vitamins

01:26 - Quality of Supplements and Importance of B Vitamins

04:17 - Importance of Omega-3s

05:32 - Sources of Omega-3s

07:01 - Choosing Healthy Cooking Oils

09:48 - Commonly Needed Vitamins: Magnesium

10:44 - Different Forms of Magnesium

13:04 - Other Commonly Needed Vitamins

15:50 - Importance of Vitamin D

22:51 - Where to Find Dr. Austin Lake Online



Notes from Natalie:


Connect with Me

Connect with Dr. Austin



View Transcript of the show:


Natalie Tysdal 

Let's talk about vitamins. So that also can be an overwhelming thing for many people is A, what vitamins are you going take? B, is there a difference in the type that can I buy them at Walmart? Do I need to buy them online? Like I think there's people don't know. And those who do know, they're not always sure. I always say it's like, am I going to feel better if I take these vitamins? 


Dr. Austin

It's kind of that little thing or do I just feel better anyway? So just give us, your take on supplements and vitamins and why we need them or don't. Yeah. Well, getting back to my point about, you know, the crop and the deficiencies that we're seeing with the food that we're eating, I think, you know, I'm rolling around to this idea and I used to think vitamins are a big waste of money. I thought it was expensive urine. But now being in my own, having my own health problems and kind of walking through my own training and just kind of experiencing working with thousands of people, you start seeing like, oh wow, like these actually do help. Now there is a difference in obviously quality. You know, I think for a lot of people, they are buying pretty low quality supplements. Like if you're buying Kirkland or NatureMade or Nature Valley or GNC or like the one -a -day womens and like the Centrum, like all these kind of like those pretty typical brands you'll see on the shelves. In my experience, those are all.


And I'm not going to I don't want to get in trouble by those brands, but they're not that great. They often are having synthetic forms of the vitamin that you're looking for. And so I have a bunch of information on my social media like they can you can kind of learn what to look for, because there's a lot of details you have to pay attention to. And there's slight nuances, right? And so there's a lot of brands like I'm very, very picky on the brands that I like to use. Oftentimes, there's probably six or seven different brands that will kind of cycle through depending on the person and what I feel like is best for them.


Because it is something that you want to be careful of, of making sure that you're not depleting other resources. So B vitamins, for example, they're all competing for absorption. They're water soluble. Oftentimes you'll urinate a lot of what you don't need. But a lot of people are taking high, high doses of one particular B vitamin that's then depleting another B vitamin that's important. So getting the right ratios is really important. That's a whole conversation. So that would be something to kind of look into making sure you're getting a good B complex is what I typically recommend.


And so that would be one thing. Now the other thing you can always look for is, you know, like on the topic of B vitamins, let me say there, so methylated B vitamins are typically what you want to look for. You'll see it on there. I'll say, you know, methylfolate or methyl cobalamin, I always have our time saying that one. But they'll be like, they'll kind of say that on there. You want to make sure if you are, especially for our female and if you are pregnant, this is a crazy, crazy thing to me, but.


A lot of supplements have folic acid, folic acid is synthetic. You really want folate, folate is the natural form of it. It's most bioavailable. What's interesting is there's some research that was showing that women that are, a lot of women have issues processing folic acid because a lot of women are subject to this issue known as MTHFR. And MTHFR is a genetic variant. It affects your genes. And so you can't change it. Like you're born with it. I think about 60 % of women are dealing with this issue. I know I've been passed the court. Mm -hmm. Yep. So as you'll see, it's like if you're eating foods that have folic acid added to it, or you're taking a prenatal that has a bunch of folic acid because folate, because the folic acid is good for you. Well, folate is good for you, but folic acid is not as good for you. A lot of women, when they're getting off of those prenatals, they'll have like really crazy symptoms. They kind of start feeling crazy. It's because they're really kind of detoxing from that folic acid. Like it really isn't necessarily a good thing. So if you can get like a good quality folate or methylated form of a B complex is really, really helpful for women. Thorn is a pretty good brand. I like their basic B complex. It's a pretty good middle of the road option, but it just kind of depends on what level of assistance you're needing and how severe it is and all those kinds of things. And I'm not affiliated with Thorn, so that's just what I've often used. So that would be one thing just in terms of B vitamins. Now, in terms of Omega -3s, it's probably the next category that I like to talk about just as a basic maintenance principle.


Omega threes are obviously very critical. A lot of the foods that we're eating again are high in omega sixes. So omega six fats typically make your cell membrane wall pretty rigid, I guess you could say. And so it origin some membrane wall is not good. It has a hard time getting things in and out of the cell. So you want to have a nice flexible permeable cell wall. And so omega threes help and aid in that process. And so if you're eating a lot of foods that are high in omega sixes, or you're eating a lot of


You know, inflammatory seed oils, like you're going to be getting a lot of Omega sixes. So a lot of Americans specifically are experiencing an excessive ratio of Omega sixes to Omega threes. And so you want to start getting your Omega threes and Omega six ratio a lot closer. And so taking a good quality Omega three is really important. I really recommend getting at least an EPA. So EPA is part of those Omega threes that you're getting. You want to get an EPA value of about 600 milligrams per dose.


And the same is true for DHA, which is really helpful for brain health. And so you can get a DHA dose of 600 milligrams. And again, I have protocols. So those are the supplements. But what in, so you were mentioning foods that are better with these Omega -3s versus 6s. What would that be?


Yeah, that's a good question. So specifically Omega 3 is obviously a lot of your fish is we're going to get a lot of that. You want to you typically want to eat fish that's wild caught. You know, a lot of this is like farm raised and that's it's really not great. You can get like true wild caught. That's not dyed or anything like that. That's really what you're looking for. That shocks me, everybody. Like you go to the store and you see bright red salmon. It's probably colored that way to look pretty or it shocks me. So to look for the wild caught not


farm raised. Yeah, it's difficult. You'll start noticing it as you start to shop for it more, but it specifically says on there. And the other thing is like you want to get typically like a smaller type of fish. So if you're eating like really large, like I think tuna is like it's really usually a higher in mercury and things like that. So you want to get like salmon like smaller. I think like, you know, some halibut, cod, things like that can be a little bit better options. And show these I think are sardines like those are not nearly as tasty, but like, yeah, that'd be a good option. That's why a of people just take and Omega 3 because it's just easier. And I think this is where again, it's like how many of us are just going to be eating like, you four servings of fish, you know, each week, like it's just not all that practical in getting it and it's costly. And so I think if you are living this day and age, I've had clients just see amazing benefits with taking a high quality Omega 3 supplement that really just gives them an extra boost that they need to kind of overpower that Omega 6 ratio. So that's, it just kind of depends on where you are and what resources you have available to you.


Natalie Tysdal

You mentioned oils. So talk to me about I cook with a lot of olive oil. What are oils we should be staying away from and those that are helping us? Yeah, so I think I have a whole list here. I was going to pull it up. But it's you know, the big ones are that I like are typically avocado oil can be a good option. Obviously extra virgin olive oil if it's cold press and a dark glass bottle is always best.


Dr. Austin

You know, ghee can be a good option for cooking as well. If you're not sensitive to dairy, it's pretty low on that spectrum, I guess you could say. It's not like necessarily like you're eating butter, but it's a little bit better in terms of that. But ghee can be a good option. Coconut oil can obviously be good. Like there's different smoke points to all these. You have to kind of pay attention, like which ones are best for high heat versus low heat. Because if you are, even if you have a healthy cooking oil and you're heating it up too high, it can really become kind of rancid and it can become more pro -inflammatory. And so making sure you're kind of abiding by those smoke points and making sure that you're not overheating it would be a big deal when you're using specific oils. And then obviously, you know, the oils want to avoid are canola and, you know, seed oil. I'm drawing a blank here. Like grapeseed oil, rapeseed oil, you know, sunflower oil, like all those types of oils are really pro -inflammatory. And again, you'll listen, this is where it gets kind of interesting because you'll listen, there's a bunch of arguments on this topic, which I think is kind of crazy because there's enough evidence out there to support how inflammatory it is and how difficult it can be for people in causing things like cardiovascular disease or at least contributing to it. But there's a big, there's a lot of discussions even still. And I think this is where we have to kind of be mindful of research is always going to be, you have to be very mindful of where the research is coming from, like who's funding it and how in depth they were studying a particular topic. Because a lot of these studies that you'll see from conventionally trained dietetics or dietitians and nutritionalists will say that, you know, you know, Omega sixes are helpful for your heart and that they're good for you and that these things show no negative side effects. And, you know, it's a bunch of quackery and all this kind of stuff. And I just have, I just kind of think it's kind of crazy when you think about the history where a lot of these seed oils came from, like soybean oil and things like that, like they're just, they weren't really created for consumption initially. A lot of them were created as like lubricants for different.


You know, machine processes and stuff like that. And so a lot of these oils are just not great for the human body. They really do contribute to a lot of problems in my opinion, from what I've seen in and in the literature. And so it definitely is going to benefit you well to to find the right oil that works for you within your budget, and make sure you're not, you know, heating it up too high would be my biggest recommendations. Yeah, that's great advice. Okay, so we talked about B vitamins, we talked about fish oils talked about just oils. What other vitamins do you most often see people need, women specifically, that you would recommend? Magnesium is obviously the big one. We kind of talked about this a little bit already, but magnesium is involved in basically everything, but 600 different enzymatic processes in your body. And so for a lot of women, what they start seeing is maybe like achy joints or maybe sore muscles, or maybe you're having issues with weight gain. Your blood sugar isn't as stable as it should be mental clarity, magnesium affects all those things. And I think for a lot of women, again, they're having such high levels of stress that they're depleting their magnesium levels and they're not getting enough reabsorbed back into their system. And so magnesium supplementation is so beneficial. I've had so many people just message me just from some posts that I put out on magnesium, just saying like, this has changed my life. It's like improved my symptoms dramatically. And it's just because they added magnesium in.


But I think for a lot of us coffee drinkers out there, that's where we start to see the biggest depletion because magnesium is often depleted quite a bit with coffee consumption. And so if you are a big coffee drinker, definitely make sure you're getting your minerals up, make sure you're getting magnesium in because it will have a huge benefit just for your overall functioning. But yeah, magnesium would be a big one. There's a lot of different forms of magnesium. That's what people always ask me. ask you about that because there are so many. When you look at all the different magnesiums, it's like, whoa, which one do I take? Are they very different?


Yeah, they are. And so I was just going to pull up. I have a big list here. I was going to have to pull it up because I just have so many. So, yeah, I think the one I like the most is magnesium glycinate. It's it's a good jack of all trades. It can be great for sleep. It can be great for muscle tension. It can be just kind of help anxiety even. Typically, you know, people are in that two to four hundred milligram range for that. And again, it's always good to kind of consider your other health conditions, because if you do have stage four kidney disease or difficulty, difficulty filtering that out.


You want to be careful not to take too much. But for a lot of people, they can take that 204 or 200 to 400 milligram range and they'll be just fine. Citrate is great for constipation. It helps in kind of adjust or addressing the like gastric motility, like the muscle contractions in your small intestine. So it can help to kind of move things along. So for a lot of women that are having thyroid issues, magnesium citrate can be great for that. And again, that one can be about, I think it's like 150 to 300 milligrams per day.


Magnesium threonate is great for your brain. It crosses the blood brain barrier. And so, you know, you'll find like magnesium L3 and eight or magnesium threonate. I think magnesium L3 and eight is a better form. And this is a higher dose. This is like 1000 to 2000 milligrams a day on this one. But that's if you're having like racing thoughts before bed, that can be a really great one to take. Just because it can kind of help to have that calming effect. Magnesium malate is another one. This one is I think is more for


I think I typically recommend this one more for like chronic pain, like fibromyalgia is typically where you start seeing more benefits with this one specifically, just because it's more of a potent relaxer, I think. And so a lot of people are dealing with tight muscles and things like that can be a great benefit. And then tar weight is another one. It's usually more specific for the heart. So if you're having cardiovascular issues, it can be great for your heart health.


Now what a lot of people get is magnesium chloride or oxide. Magnesium oxide is what you most often see if you look at the supplements that you have. If you're looking at your if it's like a nature's bounty or nature made like it's usually probably full of magnesium oxide. Some people swear by this and this is often what they'll give you in the hospital if you're having issues like they give you a high high dose of it. It does have some benefits but it's poorly absorbed. It's really kind of it's.


One example I've heard of it is it's kind of like gym chalk. It's just like a chalky like substance. It's not really all that beneficial, but it can as a result of its of its kind of structure can have some benefits with your GI health and things like that. But in my opinion, it's just best to kind of avoid that one because it's really just so bio. It's just not bio available and you're kind of just wasting your money. And then there's a there's I mean, there's like magnesium ore. There's magnesium aspartate. There's different ones. And I don't use those typically that much there you don't really hear too much about those you can get like a magnesium complex where it has kind of a combination of like magnesium glycine magnesium malate. Yeah. Mix those or do you need to be very specific? According to your needs? Is that complex a good idea? I think a complex can be helpful. The thing I would say about a complex is you probably want to take a cut you wouldn't want to take a complex before bed just try to help you sleep. Just because it could be a little bit stimulating for you and can cause kind of the opposite effect where it kind of makes you more awake than falling asleep. So that would be one thing I'd be cautious of a complex. So it would be kind of specific to your needs. And again, if you're having specific issues, your dosage would have a big impact on you as well. And that's where I think having, you know, working with somebody to kind of figure out what the proper dosage is would be helpful. But for most people, if you're not taking any magnesium or if you're taking magnesium oxide, the simplest thing to do is just try like magnesium citrate or glycinate, glycinate specifically. And then if you wanted to try like a complex in the morning, you could try that, but I think that would be the best place to start. For the most part, is magnesium relaxing where you would want to take it at night or is it okay to take it in the morning? So it would depend on which one you're taking. If you're taking threonate or glycinate before bed, that would probably be a good option. If you're taking a complex, you probably want to take that in the morning time just because it could have some stimulating effect because it depends on what else is mixed in with that magnesium.


Sometimes they'll have B6 will be added to your complex. And so that can, depending on how people process that, it could be somewhat stimulating. For some women, it actually can cause a bit of an improvement with causing that relaxing calming effect, but it just kind of depends on how high the dose is. So I usually say if it's a complex take in the morning. What else are we most commonly missing in vitamins? I hear a lot about vitamin D, that we need more vitamin D. Is that one that you would say most people need?


Absolutely. Yeah, with with COVID, it was interesting because I think there was a study and I don't want to misquote this. So this is this is just my initial thought on it. But I think what they said was that the people that that died from COVID, I think about 70 percent of them had a suboptimal vitamin D level. And so it just goes to show the huge, huge connection that it has to your immune system. And it's actually a hormone. It actually functions as a hormone in our system. But obviously the UV light from the sun is what activates it.


And the big takeaway here, and this is one of the more popular viral videos I've had is talking about the importance of magnesium and vitamin K with vitamin D3 supplementation. A lot of people, when they go to the doctor, they'll get tested. And as long as they're between the range of 30 and 100, they're considered to have normal vitamin D. From a functional medicine perspective, you want to be like 55 to 75 is kind of where we want you to be. So you can see there's a huge difference there between what is optimal versus what's a state of clinical deficiency.


A lot of people are in the 20s or 30s and they feel terrible because of that. Pretty much by itself. I mean, there's a list of what it affects from mental health to immune health to bone and muscle health. It's kind of crazy how important that is. And again, if you think back to what we used to live outside primarily, we used to get a lot of sunshine. We used to be getting this through daylight all day long.


And now we're all inside. We're not getting hardly any of the UV activation. I mean, the UV light being inside compared to being outside is like it's I mean, I can't remember the numbers, but I don't even know the metrics on us. So don't quote me in this. But I think it's something in the sense of like being inside the amount of UV light you're getting just from like windows and stuff like that is like in the hundreds as far as the amount. And when you're outside, it's like 30 ,000. You know, it's like it's crazy. So it really makes a big difference. So we're not outside as much.


If you're in the Northern territories, you're definitely not getting as much sunlight, especially during the winter time. And if you're darker skinned, it's even more difficult, especially if you're living in a Northern climate. And so you have to kind of just think, historically, why did our ancestors live where they lived and what was their body designed to do? And I think for a lot of us that now live all around the world, living from places, we have to kind of take into consideration that our vitamin D level is probably not optimal and our body is probably not getting nearly as much as it needs. So you definitely want to take vitamin D3, a lot of doctors will give vitamin D2, which is a synthetic form of vitamin D, and they'll give you about 50 ,000 IUs at one time, once a week, and then that kind of like will last throughout the week. I don't think that's a great idea personally, I would rather somebody take a dose of, you know, maybe two, 2000 to 5000 IUs a day, with, you know, sufficient levels of vitamin K2, and then making sure their magnesium levels are supplied. And if you can do that,


then you can obviously test your vitamin D, make sure it's in the proper range and you can kind of dose yourself appropriately. But generally you can kind of assume that most people are going to benefit from vitamin D3. Wow, that's so informative. I mean, there's a lot to like go outside, take a walk and take in a little bit as well. I mean, it's not just to get away from your work, but fresh air. Yeah, roll up your sleeves and like, yeah, maybe wear some shorts. Like you got to, you know, like one pinking session is what they call like of being on the sun for about 15 minutes you get a substantial dose of vitamin D. And again, if you're might be using deficient, this is where you start to see issues with conversion. And this is where again, if you're vitamin K too deficient or lacking, you're more likely to convert that and start pulling calcium out of your bones is where you start to see the biggest issue. So a lot of people are having cardiovascular issues and joint joint pain are often getting calcium deposits built up. And that calcium deposit is usually because they're pulling too much calcium out of their bones and it's not staying where it's supposed to stay to kind of rebuild and of rebuild up to bone health. And so a lot of elderly people, they're not getting enough. They're getting calcium deposits built up. And it's such a, it can be prevented with so many simple, with such simple interventions. But it's just, unfortunately, the information isn't getting out enough on this topic. Well, it can be overwhelming. I don't want people to feel overwhelmed again, as I said, like there's a lot, you're so smart. You're giving us so much information. So I want you to help me wrap this up with, anything left that people can just do right now today to start feeling better? And then secondly, where to go to get the help? They're overwhelmed. The grocery store or online is an overwhelming environment for this. So talk to me about those things. I think, I think that in everything else that we've talked about in combination, everything we've talked about, I think the most important thing that I've realized and it's become more of a realization over the years, but, um,


The information is overwhelming at times and that can create a lot of confusion and analysis paralysis. Right. And so, yes, I think, you know, that's where I would say control it. You can control start with what you know, but don't negate the fact that you can't always DIY your way out of a problem. And I think, you know, just like where my furnace went out a couple, a couple of months ago, and I'm not an HVAC technician, but I know enough to be dangerous. I decided that I'm going to start tackling this and start working on it. And I spent an entire day working on this thing and.


And I finally got it figured out right like they got it working and it was very satisfying but. You know it would have been well worth it for me to pay somebody that was an expert in that to get it done in two hours rather than me spending a whole day and wasting all the potential that I could be making money doing my job that I'm good at and so I think we have to kind of announce our analyze where we are with our strengths and our weaknesses and understand that most of these issues isn't necessarily just the information, it's also the implementation of that information. And so not having a proper plan to follow and understanding what to be expecting when something goes wrong or when something goes right, you don't know what the next step is. And so what we work through in my program is we walk you through a process to say like, hey, this is phase one, this is what we're gonna be working on. And then this is what you should be expecting at the end of this phase. And if we're not seeing that result, there's a reason. If we did see a result now allows us to move on to the next phase. And so we can kind of work through a process and a protocol rather than just kind of, throwing things at the wall to see what sticks because that creates a lot of frustration and a lot of hopelessness. If you think that you've done everything, you've tried everything there is and nothing works. When the reality is that most people are not following through properly or doing it long enough or doing the right amount of it or whatever it is. And that's where they start to see frustration. But if you have help with implementing a plan, you're just going to expedite your progress. You're going to be able to go out and live your life much faster. And that's really, I think what I've been having to accept myself as a big DIYer. I've had to kind of realize that.


You can't always DIY these things and you do need some outside help sometimes. Yeah, I couldn't agree more. And it's the accountability factor. It's like when you're checking in daily, it's that atomic habit type thing. I'm checking in, someone's following up and it doesn't just go by the wayside when life gets busy. Right. Absolutely. Well, I follow you on social media and I learned so much, but tell people where they can find you online and social media.


Yeah. So you can just search Dr. Austin Lake. It's just dr .austin .lake on Instagram or Facebook or TikTok even. I do have a small podcast I'm starting to do a little bit. It's called the Healthy Roots podcast. And it's, you know, I'm just trying to help educate people. I want to kind of provide this information so people do know what, you know, what I've seen to be effective in practice. It doesn't mean that it's best for everyone, but it just kind of what I, what I noticed from my own personal experience and the training that I've had. But I think it is good to always get second opinions and kind of see what it what else is out there. And then we do have my online program. It's just reclaimedprogram .com. You can also search activelifeprogram .com. I'm trying to merge the two websites at this point, but right now there's two of them. But you can search my name too and I'll probably pop up somewhere online. Terrific. Dr. Lake, thanks for your knowledge and your time today. It really means a lot. Of course. Thanks for having me. Take care.








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