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Foundational Four

Author Krista Margolis

Foundational Four

Before I get to the list, I also need to answer a FAQ; “Is it possible to have too much of a certain vitamin?”  With the majority of the items on the list, I would say that it is not likely to take too much if you’re following recommendations given by a healthcare provider.  However, you do need to be more cautious with fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E and K due to concerns with toxicity.  As with anything, if you have a health condition or are pregnant or are thinking about becoming pregnant, consult your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.


A quality, therapeutic grade multivitamin (MV) can help to combat the stress and pollution of modern living.  MV’s aid in cellular function, which helps make all of your body’s systems work more efficiently.  MV’s should be in capsule form as they are easier to digest than tablets and should be taken with food when possible to assist with absorption.  If you are taking any prescription medications, check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist about any possible contraindications.

Fish oils

Fish oils, also known as essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, are vitally important to our overall health.  They support your body’s ability to prevent chronic diseases, boost your immune system and help fight inflammation.  Fish oils also support joint and vision health, cardiovascular health; they strengthen hair, nails and skin and enhance nutrient absorption.  Improved memory, mood and attention are also benefits of taking fish oils.  They have also been found to decrease depression and help with the depressive symptoms of bipolar disorder.   Taking this supplement is important because your body can’t make its own omega-3’s.  Fatty fish are a great dietary source of fish oils but if you aren’t a big fish eater, grab your bottle of omega-3’s!  2-4 grams of combined EPA and DHA daily is recommended.  Look for a high quality fish oil in triglyceride form to ensure purity and removal of heavy metals and other contaminants.

Vitamin D3

You have probably heard so much about this all-important vitamin and how deficient we are as a population.  Vitamin D “functions like the office busy body, involving itself in just about everything.” (Dr. Frank Lipman)  Vitamin D enhances muscle strength, builds bone, boosts immunity and possesses anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects.  It is next to impossible to get adequate amounts of Vitamin D in our food; a good supplement and sun exposure are the best ways to obtain it.  2000-4000IU is a typical maintenance dose for most adult women but you may need more or less, depending on your levels.  I do not recommend people just start guessing and taking high doses of Vitamin D without having your levels checked; it is an easy blood test that your provider can order.  Ideally you want your levels to be between 50-80 ng/mL.  Once you know your levels, you can safely begin/adjust your intake of Vitamin D.  I will usually re-check levels a few months after a woman begins her Vitamin D intake.


Ahhhhh, magnesium.  This is good stuff.  Magnesium is a mineral that is responsible for the proper functioning of over 350 enzymes in your body.  350!  Magnesium helps you unwind, calm your nervous system, relax aching muscles, keep your blood pressure in check and aids in constipation.  It is found in leafy green vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes, spinach, and black beans.  Oh, and it’s found in dark chocolate!  Even so, many of us do not get enough in our diets.  I recommend taking Magnesium at bedtime because of its calming effects; 400-800mg at bedtime helps to calm your nervous system and aids in sleep…drug-free!  Take between 500-1000mg to help with constipation; monitor your response and adjust accordingly as needed.  There is usually some Magnesium in your MV so check the amount in that before starting an additional supplement.  A typical maintenance dose of 400mg daily for general health is recommended.

There it is; The Foundational Four!  This list is not intended to treat any illnesses, nor am I diagnosing or making any claims about YOUR personal health.  This is a general list meant to help you as you navigate the vitamin aisle at your local co-op or health foods store.  Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions or would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal health concerns and goals.

Last Updated: 03 June 2015