Wellness

The Vitamin and Supplement Starter Kit

The Vitamin and Supplement Starter Kit

The Vitamin and Supplement Starter Kit

Whether you have a dedicated supplement regimen or are simply wondering if it’s time to start taking a multivitamin, we’ve rounded up six vitamins and supplements that you may want to consider incorporating into your daily routine—to support immunity, stress response, beauty, and general health. Plus: how much to take and where to source them.

Vitamin C

What does it do?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is required for the synthesis of collagen and certain neurotransmitters. It is involved in protein metabolism and is an antioxidant, limiting damage from free radicals. It also plays a role in immune function.

Dietary sources:

Citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, and broccoli are just some of the fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C. Eating these foods raw is best, because heat can reduce the amount of vitamin C present.

How much do I need?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) set by the NIH is 75 milligrams of vitamin C a day for adult women and 90 milligrams for adult men. Women who are pregnant should get 85 milligrams of vitamin C daily, and those who are breastfeeding should get 120 milligrams daily.

How to supplement:

Find a supplement that contains at least the RDA of vitamin C for your age and sex. Our favorite vitamin C–rich drink is GOOPGLOW Superpowder, which is formulated specifically to support healthy skin with 500 milligrams of vitamin C, plus the antioxidant vitamin E and other nutrients. If you’re just looking for a high dose, we recommend LivOn Labs Liposomal Vitamin C, which contains 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C wrapped in double membranes, which are designed for sustained absorption.

Vitamin D

What does it do?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble hormone (meaning it is absorbed along with fats in the diet and stored in the body’s fatty tissue) that promotes calcium absorption and is needed for bone growth. It also modulates cell growth and plays a role in immune function.

Dietary and environmental sources:

Our bodies make vitamin D when exposed to the sun, which is our why vitamin D is often called the sunshine vitamin. If you don’t get enough sun exposure, if you regularly wear sunblock, or if you are a shade-dweller, you may not get enough vitamin D: Very few foods contain it. Salmon and mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light are high in vitamin D, whereas milk and eggs both contain less than 10 percent of your Daily Value. (Fun fact for mycophiles: If you expose uncooked mushrooms to sunlight before eating, it can increase their vitamin D levels.)

How much do I need?

The RDA for adults between the ages of nineteen and seventy is 600 IU (fifteen micrograms) of vitamin D. For adults over seventy, the RDA is 800 IU (twenty micrograms). However, many MDs and functional medicine practitioners recommend vitamin D doses of 1,000 IU per day or more.

How to supplement:

Taking vitamin D with food may enhance absorption. Vitamin D is available in two forms: D2 and D3. At high doses, vitamin D2 may be less potent than vitamin D3, so supplements normally contain vitamin D3, which is traditionally derived from animal sources, like fish oil or sheep lanolin. The Base Layer contains the only vegan form of vitamin D3 on the market in an orange-flavored gummy, and it’s formulated with a clinically backed fern extract that helps neutralize free radicals generated by sun exposure. Hum Nutrition’s high-potency supplement contains 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 in two small, easy-to-swallow softgels.

OMEGA-3s

What do they do?

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that is important for the structure of cell membranes, provides energy to the body, and is important for the functioning of the heart, lungs, immune system, and many other parts of the body.

Dietary sources:

There are several types of omega-3s, including EPA, DHA, and ALA. Plant oils—such as flaxseed, soybean, and canola—contain ALA, as do chia seeds and walnuts. The body needs ALA as a building block for EPA and DHA. Fish are a good source of both EPA and DHA. Human breast milk also contains EPA, DHA, and ALA, which is how babies get omega-3s.

How much do I need?

The NIH defines the adequate intake of ALA as 1.6 grams for adult men and 1.1 grams for adult women. Pregnant women should get 1.4 grams of ALA, and lactating women should get 1.3 grams of ALA.

How to supplement:

All of our goop Wellness vitamin protocols—like Balls in the Air—contain a marine fish oil capsule containing over 1,000 milligrams of EPA and DHA, as well as other omega-3 fatty acids. Balls in the Air is also conveniently packaged with a multivitamin containing high doses of vitamins A, C, D, and E, plus a glutathione supplement and broccoli extracts to support the body’s natural detoxification processes. If you’re vegan, there are algae oil supplements that are good alternatives to fish oils for DHA and EPA.

Probiotics

What do they do?

Probiotics are live microorganisms that supplement the microbiome in your gut, aiding digestion and immune response. Different strains of probiotics may have different beneficial effects.

Dietary sources:

You can get probiotics from foods created by bacterial fermentation, such as yogurt, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha. And you can nourish the existing microbiome in your gut with prebiotics from a varied diet full of vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

How much should I take?

There is no RDA for probiotics. According to the NIH, many probiotic supplements contain anywhere from 1 billion to 50 billion colony-forming units per dose. An effective dose for probiotics largely depends on the strain of probiotics: Look for products that use strains that have been shown in clinical studies to actually make their way to your microbiome.

How to supplement:

Because probiotics are live microorganisms, supplements should either be refrigerated or clearly state that they contain shelf-stable probiotics that do not need to be refrigerated. Taking probiotics with or before a meal may increase their chance of survival. Find a probiotic that contains multiple research-backed strains that have been shown to be efficacious. Seed Daily Synbiotic is a revolutionary probiotic supplement created with a prebiotic outer capsule designed to protect the probiotics on the inside and to help them make their way to your gut intact. Seed contains twenty-four strains of probiotics totaling over 53 billion active bacteria that benefit more than just your gut health, supporting cardiovascular and immune health, too.

Collagen

What does it do?

Collagen is a protein in your muscles, bones, connective tissues, and skin. It strengthens bones and provides structure to your skin. Collagen decreases as you get older, often resulting in wrinkles.

Dietary sources:

Your body makes collagen from amino acids in foods like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, as well as from nutrients, such as vitamin C and zinc. Bone broth is a great source of collagen.

How much should I take?

There is no RDA for collagen. Clinical studies on collagen for skin appearance have used doses between 2.5 grams and 10 grams per day, but the dose of collagen depends on the source.

How to supplement:

Collagen supplements are derived from either mammals or fish. There are vegan supplements that are designed to boost the body’s ability to create collagen, but they do not contain collagen itself. GOOPGENES Superpowder contains five grams of marine collagen peptides from Alaskan pollock, as well as ceramides and astaxanthin to further support skin health and appearance. Just stir it into some water and this vanilla-flavored drink will do its work supporting your skin from within.

Ashwagandha

What does it do?

Ashwagandha is a nightshade that is revered by herbalists for its many beneficial uses ranging from sleep to anxiety. It’s an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body adapt to stress.

Sources:

Typically, the root extract of the ashwagandha plant is taken in either a capsule or a powder.

How much should I take?

There is no recommended dietary allowance for ashwagandha. Most clinical studies have used between 250 and 600 milligrams of ashwagandha per day.

How to supplement:

Ashwagandha supplements may come in tablet or powder form. For a well-rounded vitamin routine with adaptogenic support, our goop Wellness vitamin protocol Why Am I So Effing Tired? contains three capsules with ashwagandha as well as more herbal support from holy basil and bacopa, plus a multivitamin and fish oil for your omega-3 needs. If you’re a morning-smoothie person, try adding in Four Sigmatic’s superfood protein packets, which contain 250 milligrams of ashwagandha, plant-based protein, and other beneficial adaptogens and mushrooms, like reishi, chaga, and lion’s mane.


This article is for informational purposes only, even if and regardless of whether it features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The views expressed in this article are the views of the expert and do not necessarily represent the views of goop.

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