7 Supplements That Actually Work - The Fighter Lifestyle - UFC News and MMA News

7 Supplements That Actually Work

Let’s be clear: No supplement should be viewed as a drug. None cure cancer, treat erectile dysfunction, or erase bipolar disorder. But some do support normal body functions to promote better health.

Sure, there are three supplements even healthy people should take: magnesium, Vitamin D, and fish oil. But there are some others that can help with specific symptoms of poor health — and make for a good first try before you head to your pharmacist.

As long as you first talk with your doctor, do your research on supplement brands, and read labels carefully, here are eight supplements that science suggests may actually work.

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Foggy brain? Try vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is abundant in meat, fish, eggs, and other animal products. But now with more men adopting plant-centric diets, deficiency is becoming more common. Additionally, some people’s bodies don’t absorb the nutrient well, and heartburn medications like Zantac and Prilosec can hinder absorption further.

Because vitamin B12 is instrumental in several brain functions, deficiency can trigger brain fog, fatigue, poor memory, dizziness, and even delusions.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, ask your doctor to test your levels, and then try to work more B12-rich or -fortified foods into your diet. If you don’t think food will cut it, consider a supplement. Before long, you might find your head is clearer and more focused.

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Can’t sleep? Try magnesium

Sleeping pills like Ambien are addictive and riddled with side effects. And if you pop a Benadryl or slug NyQuil to incite drowsiness, you’re ingesting drugs your body doesn’t need. You’ll likely wake up with a hazy hangover, too. If your brain races in bed or you wake up throughout the night, consider taking magnesium, an essential, naturally relaxing mineral.

Without enough of it, our brains and bodies struggle to settle down. And since it’s tough to get enough magnesium from food alone and multivitamins tend to offer too little, 70 to 80 percent of us are lacking.

Research has shown that magnesium supplements help people with insomnia and other sleep troubles get better rest. Besides, magnesium competes with other minerals for absorption, so nighttime is a good time to take it anyway.

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Once a cold, a cough, or the flu grabs ahold of you, there’s not much you can do about it. OTC meds may mask symptoms for a few hours, but they won’t do anything to stop the virus. That’s your immune system’s job.

A Chinese root called astragalus, used in Asia for centuries, can give your system a little boost. It’s loaded with compounds that work synergistically to buck viruses and stimulate your T-cells to put up a better fight. Take astragalus as soon as you notice symptoms of an upper-respiratory tract infection or influenza.

Or take it daily during cold and flu season to score added protection.

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Bummed out? Try St. John’s wort

If you’re consistently feeling down and aren’t hip on pharmaceutical antidepressants, check out St. John’s wort, probably the best-studied natural remedy for depressive symptoms. While it’s not clear exactly how, this plant affects serotonin and dopamine, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters.

Several human trials have shown that it works to boost mood, potentially as well as SSRI drugs like Paxil or Prozac. Caveat: St. John’s wort interacts negatively with SSRIs, anticoagulants, and other medications, as well as some other supplements. So before trying it, definitely discuss it with your doctor and a pharmacist, who should be well-schooled in supplement-drug interactions.

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