Kris Carr

Blog Post

Supplements for women: Find out what you may need & why

Hi Gorgeous,

My supplement plan has changed over the past ten years as many times as my wardrobe.

It’s not a one-size-fits-all fixed approach, which can make supplement selection a bit daunting. As always, I recommend that you work with a holistic practitioner or functional medicine MD to find the right supplements for your needs. And of course make sure you’re getting most of your vitamins and minerals from whole foods, but if you’re going supplement there are some general guidelines.

I may be a nutrition and science nerd, but I’m not a MD. So I reached out to one of my trusted friends, Aviva Romm, Integrative MD, and asked her to weigh in. Aviva uses her combined skills as a Yale-trained MD and Board Certified family physician, midwife, and herbalist to help women not only heal their bodies and minds, but transform their lives. Our conversation walks you through how to choose supplements whether you’re a college freshman, mother, busy biz maven or world-traveling retiree. Let’s get started!

KC: How do you begin building a supplement plan that meets your needs?

AR: Supplements come in handy because they bridge the gap between your diet and your phytonutrient needs—helping you feel on top of your game. But standing at the shelves in a health food store can be overwhelming when you’re trying to add supplements to your life. There are so many choices!

Here are a few tips to make choosing supplements easier:

  • Seek guidance from a professional first: Rather than just buying a bunch of random supplements, make the investment in an appointment with an integrative or functional medicine doctor, a naturopathic physician, or a savvy nutritionist to hone in on your specific needs. You can find a functional medicine doctor here. This will actually save you time and money. Ideally, she will give you a detailed plan of the best supplements for YOU, along with brand recommendations.
  • Go to the right place: You can often find better quality, organic, non-GMO, food-based supplements at higher-end natural foods stores.
  • Ask for directions while shopping: Natural food stores have staff dedicated to helping you, which comes in handy if you haven’t had a consultation with a health professional yet or have additional questions. They are paid by the store, not the supplement companies. While they are not experts and should not be giving medical or health advice, they can help you narrow down the choices and make an educated decision.
  • Pick a few companies you like and stick with them: Most companies carry a large product line. So once you’ve found a company you trust, they’ll probably offer what you need. A few I use are Rainbow Light, New Chapter, and Jarrow. There are also many quality brands sold only by licensed physicians. For example, Designs for Health, Metagenics, and Integrative Therapeutics.
  • Avoid unnecessary ingredients: Many supplements contain fillers, binders, colors, flavors, and other additives. Some of these might be necessary to hold the pills together, but go for the simplest products with the fewest additives.
  • Avoid products with “miracle claims.” If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!


KC: What are the basic supplements you’d recommend women take daily?

AR: I recommend the following basic supplements for all women:

  • Multivitamin: Taking a multivitamin daily helps make sure you have the bases covered. I prefer Rainbow Light Women’s One, which is whole foods based, and only requires taking 1 pill daily. But any whole foods multi is usually a good bet. Go for non-GMO, organic, and free of dyes, additives, and colorings.
  • Vitamin D3, 2000 units: D is responsible for hundreds of functions in the body, from healthy immunity to healthy bones. An alternative source: Vitamin D2 or lichen-sourced D3 (plant-based). Unfortunately, I can’t give you a definitive answer as to whether vitamin D2 or lichen-sourced D3 is as usable by the body as animal-based vitamin D3. For more info on plant-based vs. animal-based vitamin D, check out this Vegetarian Resource Group article. Although you do get vitamin D from sun exposure, it may not be enough. It’s best to get tested before supplementing so that you know how much you need. Ask your doctor to have your 25,OHD level checked. An ideal test result should be between 40 and 80.
  • Fish oil, 1-2 capsules daily: Omega-3 fats are important for reducing inflammation, heart health, mood, mind, hair, and maintaining healthy weight. An alternative source: DHA and/or EPA (Plant-based Omega-3s). Vegans can take algae-sourced DHA, such as Life’s DHA. Just keep in mind that DHA is not as easily converted to EPA, so you’ll need to take a higher dose. Rejuvenation Science Labs has a vegan DHA and EPA supplement, which covers both bases, although I have not personally tried this brand.
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground flax seed daily: Supports healthy elimination and helps keep hormones balanced. Ground flax seed can be added to a smoothie, sprinkled on salads or grains, mixed into nut butter and spread as usual, or even baked into cookies or crackers.
  • Magnesium glycinate, 600 mg daily (most women are low). Magnesium supports healthy bones, restful sleep, relaxed muscles, and balanced mood.
  • A broad spectrum probiotic that contains Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterum strains, daily if you have gas and bloating, or a few times weekly to optimize digestion.

In addition, you may want to consider these supplements depending on your personal health goals and needs (once again check with your doctor). For example, if you’re vegan you should consider B-12. If you’re having adrenal issues, you could take adrenal support. Please note that these supplements may not be necessary for everyone and this is not a comprehensive list. These are just a few ideas to get your wellness wheels thinking…

  • Magnesium citrate, 300-800 mg before bed if you are constipated.
  • Iodine: Many women are deficient and it’s needed for healthy thyroid function. Only a tiny amount is needed so you can take a multivitamin that contains trace amounts, or add dulse seaweed flakes, 2 teaspoons daily, to your food.
  • A digestive enzyme if you have gas and bloating—though it’s best to figure out the underlying causes.
  • B-12 (2.4 micrograms per day, especially important for vegans since B-12 is not found in unfortified plant-based foods): If taking B12 orally, take it sublingually (under the tongue for quick absorption into the bloodstream). Lastly, make sure you choose a B12 in the form of methylcobalamin (check label), since this form of B12 is absorbed best in your body.
  • Adrenal support blend: If you’re experiencing chronic stress, fatigue, foggy thinking and sleep issues, you may have an adrenal imbalance. It’s good idea to meet with your healthcare provider if these symptoms sound familiar. I recommend the following adrenal support blend supplements to my patients: Stress Manager (Herb Pharm), Adrenal Support (Gaia Herbs), Vital Adapt (Natura Natural Products), and HPA Adapt (Integrative Therapeutics).

KC: How can women shift their supplement plan to meet their needs throughout the years?

AR: Here’s what I’d recommend right before, during pregnancy, and while breastfeeding.

Take a prenatal multivitamin, get 400 mcg of folic acid, or if you have the MTHFR genetic mutation, 800 mcg of methylfolate daily. MTHFR is a gene that allows us to use our folate from veggies or folic acid from supplements, which is important for heart and blood vessel health, the nervous system, and detoxification. Folate is critical for the health of pregnant women and for baby’s growing brain and nervous system. Thirty percent of us have a genetic mutation that prevents us from using the folate in green veggies so the methylfolate provides extra “health insurance.”

Get at least 800 units of Vitamin D3 in pregnancy and while breastfeeding to prevent problems like gestational diabetes, and to make sure baby gets enough vitamin D through your breastmilk. Vegan moms can take vitamin D2, but given the benefits of vitamin D, including lower risk of gestational diabetes in pregnancy, this might be a time when it’s worth considering the non-vegan form if possible. Most pregnant women are low in Omega-3 fats, so taking a daily fish oil supplement is important (or plant-based options mentioned above). Nordic Naturals makes a nice one for pregnant mamas.

In addition to my basic recommendations for all women, I recommend considering these supplements for women in their 50s and beyond:

  • Accumulated oxidative stress: The impact of the environment on our body from years of just living and being exposed to the toxins in our world. This means being really mindful to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants, and taking a multivitamin as well as taking 500-2000 mg/day of Resveratrol (talk with your doctor first if you are on blood thinners).
  • Our bones: As we age we can lose bone density, especially if we’re not doing regular weight-bearing exercise, so it’s important to get daily vitamin D3, at least 1000 units, and approximately 800 mg of calcium citrate, 400 mg of magnesium citrate, and vitamins K1 and K2 (about 50 mg combined). Also boron, about 0.5 mg/day.
  • Nutrient absorption: Stomach acid, which breaks down nutrients in the digestive process, declines with age. I recommend that women in their late 50s, and any women with bone density problems, take 1-2 capsules of betaine HCL with meals. This is especially important for women taking a PPI like Prilosec for reflux. However, check with your doctor before taking betaine HCL if you have stomach ulcers.
  • Inflammation: As our estrogen declines, we’re more susceptible to problems due to inflammation. A favorite supplement for this is turmeric in its concentrated form called curcumin. I recommend 1000-2000 mg of curcumin daily. I use a product called Meriva, and also like Turmeric Supreme by Gaia Herbs.
  • Heart and general muscle vigor: CoQ10 is essential to take if you’re using a statin drug, or even red yeast rice, or high cholesterol, as these use up CoQ10 and can affect your heart and muscle health. A typical dose is 200 mg/day.
  • Premature aging: Resveratrol is the nutrient that makes red wine, grapes, and many dark colored fruits act as antioxidants, keeping us from aging prematurely. Food sources are important, and in addition you can supplement with 200 mg daily.

KC: Thanks, Aviva!

I hope these tips and recommendations give you the information you need to work with a practitioner and create a supplement plan that will fit your unique needs. Even though I eat a nutrient-dense diet and drink plenty of green drinks, I’ve seen a huge difference in my health since refining my daily supplements.

Your turn: What supplement have you found most beneficial to your health?

Peace & vitality,

Add a comment
  1. Elena Gomez says:

    I found everything in your article regarding supplements, which are good for health and their benefits. But I recommend to take any supplement have to consult the nutrition or doctor.

  2. Dolly says:

    Hi I am taking supplement but don’t follow any guidelines.this post is really helpful for me..Thanks.

  3. Thanks for sharing the blog with an informative content.

  4. Nice Blog! Thanks for sharing such a post.

  5. Holly Cuciz says:

    Hi Kris,

    Love all your info and read your books when I went through breast cancer 9 years ago. Your books and positive attitude were very helpful to me. I am now in my mid 50s.

    I have a couple questions for you and Aviva. Are capsule vitamins absorbed better by the body than tablets? Or does it matter?

    As a hormone and HER2 positive cancer survivor, should I “not” take iodine? And I thunk I have the MTHFR mutation, what does that mean in terms of being a cancer survivor and proper supplementation?

    I have followed both of your supplement recommendations as well as juicing recommenced by Kris.

    Thanks so much!


  6. Hi,
    There are many women’s who are facing health problems but they do not know how to get over of it. These women need proper guidance about supplements so that these women can get rid of there most of the problems. I am taking regular spirulina supplements for years and know its benefits and want that ladies should take it regularly. Your post is one of the best posts I have seen about supplements and it will motivate people.

  7. Tim says:

    Thanks for sharing the blog with an informative content. It is very beneficial for the health. Keep sharing the blog.

  8. kingherba says:

    its nice to read this article, it gives me a little enligtenment about what my body need

  9. Wow… Your Post is Amazing

  10. Thanks for sharing this wonderful and helpful blog.

  11. Zarina Rapone says:

    Very interesting! Love, love, love this post! I’ll keep those ideas in mind… I would recommend this site who are so good and natural, I been taking their product for almost a year now and I love it. Hope this helps.

  12. suman panda says:

    Thanks for sharing the best posts they very useful and help us I read your articles and posts they very clear I got the best tips and suggestions thank you for all.

  13. These are some great tips for women. I have heard about Resveratrol which is a unique antioxidant helps in prevention of aging. It also helps in Protecting your cells from free radical damage, Lowering blood pressure and keeps the heart healthy

  14. imelda says:

    Hi, I’m a 26 old woman and pregnant. So what supplements should I take during the pregnancy that give the good effect both me and the baby?. Can you please suggest..

  15. Augustus O. says:

    Thanks for the article. I found these two tips very useful anytime, “go for the simplest products with the fewest additives” and avoid those with “miracle claim” it help me streamline when choosing a product. thanks once again.

  16. Dana says:

    Hello Kris, It is wonderful to follow you. I am happy that you are doing well 🙂
    I would like to ask your opinion about Barley Grass Juice powder (produced by Green Magma) . Since I am a busy mother for 2, still breastfeeding and working almost a full time job, I do not have the time to juice much. I would like to try Barley Grass Juice powder instead. Can you please advise if you would recommend to drink it daily?
    Thank you

  17. Jacquie Bradley-Heeps says:

    Hello, thanks for all of this information. I wonder if you can give me some advice. I have been fully Whole foods, plant based for around 18 months now. I have a green/red or purple juice every morning (after my lemon water) – mostly green. I take vitamin B12 and vitamin D supplements (I live in Scotland – not a lot of sun :). Recently though I have been falling victim to a high number of cold and flu viruses. When I get the virus I also experience a strange thing: when I am in bed sleeping or about to go to sleep, I get a huge wave of nausea followed by me passing out (fainting) while I am lying down. It never happens during the day. This has never happened to me in the past and I am wondering if I may be deficient in something. I did ask at my doctors for a test to ensure I wasn’t, but they said they do not perform these tests routinely – I don’t tend to go to the doctor. Do you have any advice?

  18. Dynamin says:

    Full of information, thanks for sharing peachy stuff. Looking towards number of comments I think it has helped many readers. Appreciate authors efforts.

  19. Julie says:

    Thanks for posting this Kris. The only comment I’d like to make is that it’s so discouraging when you’re working 2 part time jobs, barely making it month to month and are doing the best you can. I’m a vegetarian (vegan when I can) drink a smoothie every day from Nuri-Bullet, drink Flax milk, chia seeds, bulk powdered tumeric, various other seeds, and a handful of supplements. I eat organic veggie’s/fruits only, nonGMO. I can’t afford the $175-$200 fee to pay a nutritional medicine person, or the $200 worth of supplements listed here in this article. It’s so discouraging that all of you can afford to live so “healthy”. Sorry to be such a sour puss. It’s just hard sometimes reading articles like this.

  20. Charlotte says:

    I noticed that Aviva didn’t mention anything about things to avoid in the multivitamin… I read recently (from Vegetarian Health Institute) that you have to be careful with multivitamins because there are certain ingredients that are controversial, like vitamin A for example, and iron (which you should only take if you’ve had your blood work checked and are actually deficient). For that reason I was using Dr Fuhrman’s brand, as he doesn’t add these ‘controversial’ ingredients, but it would be good to know if there were other brands that did the same?
    Also, just fyi, you can easily get vegan D3 nowadays, so vegans don’t have to settle for D2. Similarly there are many brands of vegan DHA and EPA, from algae oil, which is much more efficient than fish oil (since the omega 3 in the fish comes from the algae that they eat anyway!) and safer (no chances of mercury etc.). Just don’t want people to think you have to make sacrifices for your health to be vegan (or sacrifice your principles as Aviva suggests!) 🙂

  21. lisa says:

    Can taking to many supplements harm your kidney function? I had blood work done and started taking supplements and when I did bloodwork again just 3 months later my creatine was higher and my gfr for my kidneys was lower 104 down to 73. Is there are certain way to take supplements to not overload your kidneys?

  22. Hi i’m women of 31 yr old after my pregnancy i find weakness in my body so please suggest me what type of vitamin supplements i should take for recovery.

  23. Sebastian says:

    Great article! Found in it everything i need. I was looking about some supplements which keep me healthy and you just described everything in one place. Thanks, it helped me a lot 🙂

  24. Jean says:

    Thank you so much for this post which guiding people like me that how to take supplements.
    I usually take Omega-3, Skinny Fiber pills for weight loss and Frosklin Food grade and taking 1 glass of lukewarm water with lemon.

  25. Many people cherish to try their shopping from factory outlets. The young mostly prefer taking outlet shopping. The different range, huge discounts

  26. Adrenal support blend is really very useful to my uncle he has such type of experiencing chronic stress, fatigue, foggy thinking and sleep issues, I would like to suggest him to use it.

  27. Mirley says:

    This was awesome! I actually needed some guidance in the vitamin area of my life. Thanks!

  28. sarah r lavigne says:

    Do you recommend calcium for women that do not eat dairy? other info about this? thanks

  29. Janet says:

    I love looking to new suppl-plements. Does anyone know of this product or hae experiences?
    It looks good to me..

  30. sarah r lavigne says:

    Any recommendations that are more allergy friendly for multi, d, and b? Avoiding wheat, dairy, soy, egg, grains, & legumes.
    And also multi recommendation for kids?

  31. BS says:


    I’m trying to find an adaptogen that I can start taking before, during, and after pregnancy? My body did not adjust well at all after my first pregnancy, and the depletion of essential nutrients and hormones, including a hypothyroid issue, left me both highly anxious and deeply depressed. I’m following Aviva Romm’s blog and finally added many of the pertinent supplements in the first list above, and though it took about a year to feel better, it took two years for my body to eventually reach a happier baseline. I want to be prepared this time around, so I need to find an adaptogen! 🙂

    Thank you1

  32. Dayanara Parra says:

    Hi Kris, thank you for all your amazing work. I truly appreciate it. Any advice about which supplements for vegetarians experiencing tooth decay and joint pain.

  33. Ben says:

    Hi guys,
    This is one of the best articles I have ever read and I’m so happy now!
    If you really want to have a healthy and beautiful body you should know that you will have to deny many things and when talking to
    they said I would have to take a supplement necessary for it and believe me it’s very important.

  34. Geri says:

    I’d like to share some thoughts about supplements…
    In my opinion, illness is “born” on a “metabolic level”, long before it reaches the “organ level” where it is usually detected because of the damage it has already done. In order to function properly (on a metabolic level) our body needs a lot of things the usual diet doesn’t provide anymore. To prevail over illness (and this includes cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, CFS and many more) a metabolic approach can be very helpful. There have been some attempts to describe this approach, labeled, for instance “functional medicine”. It is possibele that some fundamental mechanisms on a cellular level don’t work any more so that our cells simply work in some sort of “emergency mode” where they are extremely vulnerable to any harmful agents, like all sort of toxic substances, radiation (including mobile and WiFi) and pathogens of any kind.
    Supplementation for somebody still healthy would therefore differ in some aspects substantially from supplementation for somebody battling disease. Details can be very important. Let me give you some examples: Healthy people can transform one form of B12 into another one so the only consideration is how good the form you take is absorbed and if you get enough of it. Sick people maybe have difficulties transforming the forms of B12 (methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin (dibencozide), hydroxycobalamin and cyanocobalamin), for instance because their gut simply doesn’t produce the co-factor needed to “make” dibencozide. So they need a “tailored” supplementation with the forms they need.
    Very often, organs of sick people simply don’t work the way they should anymore – the gut is very often damaged, with massive impact on supplement resorbtion. So you have to chose pathways for supplementation avoiding the gut – sublingual adminsitration or (outch) injections and intravenous administration.
    If there is such a thing like acquired mitochondropathy (meaning that your mitochondria, your cell power plants) don’t work as they should you’ll probably need special supplements in order to get them back on track. PQQ (Pyrroquinolinquinone) is such a supplement. You could find this in spinach (see “Popeye the sailor man”), but not in high doses.
    I would group supplements into “nourishing” supplements (simply food on a cellular level) including supplements needed to rebuild tissues, supplements needed to replenish lack of hormones (they have a very important part in our metabolism) and supplements needed to battle our “invaders”.
    On the nourishing side, we often forget about trace elements and don’t consider things like Selenium, Germanium, Indium and others that can really have a huge impact. Minearls are not only Magnesium, Calcium, Iron and Zinc…
    We also tend to forget taht the B-vitamins work best when taken together and we forget to include Biotin and folic acide. Iodine is also often forgotten (here some have too much while others lack it).
    Free Aminoacids are very powerful tools, if you need to rebuild your lost muscle (in long and severe illness, the body starts eating up itself) and for many other purposes as well. Do your research on Lysine, (in combination with Argininine-Pyroglutamate), Tyrosine, Taurine, Ornithine in free form.
    Malic acid has a powerful impact on cell metabolics, it can jumpstart your metabolics – you find it in green apples. Magnesium Chloride is within our cells, they don’t work properly if it is too low… this is a very interesting form of magnesium supplementation – french doctor Pierre Delbet studied it for a lifetime and found a lot of astonishing facts…you find that one in Dead Sea salt, the japonese and others eat in in tofu, as “Nigari”.
    If you get beyond fish oil you’ll find Krill oil with one very powerful ingrdient: Astaxanthin, made by red algae. Algae are generally interesting, Chlorella, Spirulina, Kelp and others really can help with various problems.
    On the supplement side needed to battle your “invaders” take a close look at what the north american indians or tribes of the Amazon used – they needed powerful tools because of powerful pathogens…Lapacho, Catuaba, Muira Puama, horny goat weed, black walnut hulls can help with varoius conditions. Bitter plants like vermouth or lad’s love or others of their family are also to be considered.
    Last but not least take a look at the so-called adaptogen plants like Ginseng, Rhodiola and other roots like galangal and curcuma. And did you take a look at ayurvedic herbs? They are used for some thousands of years and some are very powerful, maybe even capable of killing L-form bacteria like terminalia chebula…
    I wish you all the best and a journey to good health – don’t forget, you’re in charge!

  35. Tammy D says:

    This is great, but can you recommend a list for women with ovarian cancer currently on chemo? I can’t get a straight answer from anyone and have tried looking on the web. They have a nutrition service but I can’t afford to pay the prices, insurance won’t cover any of it and I am on limited income at the moment. I see so many that say they fight cancer, but don’t know what to believe or take. It is so overwhelming for my chemo brain.

  36. Kathy says:

    Thank you for sharing such wonderful information! About 12 years ago I lost my entire large colon. Total Colectomy.. Since then my nutrition hasn’t been good! I couldn’t eat greens, veggies, salad ect for years and years! My skin has lost collagen and bruises practically when touched. I’ve gone to nutritionist and many Doctors and they all were in awe, not knowing what to do.. I have malabsorbtion so I have been juicing but feel I need a good multivitamin and reading your page has been eye opening.
    Thank you again for sharing 😉

  37. Loraine says:

    Excellent article — I just met with a new integrative medicine Dr and had my first appt. This article was right in line with everything we discussed. Thank you for educating me prior to my appointment so I was prepared to have an intelligent conversation with her. I look forward to all your posts!

  38. Gainorie Do says:

    Good to know about this article, since I’m in that midlife phase. I should take more care with My health & food. These kinds of nutritional supplements help us women to be fit always. We should consider them in our diet schedule.

  39. Brittany says:

    You should check out Juice Plus+! Non-GMO, gluten free, no artificial colors or preservatives, NSF Certified, and Kosher! 🙂

  40. Colleen Audette says:

    My Dr said my D3 was good ( 34) but my D2 was bad ( 4) so he wrote me script for synthetic D2. I’m a green girl and do not like to take “pills”. I asked if there was a natural way to get D2 and he said ( eatting it etc) Any suggestions?

  41. Comfort viashima says:


  42. Therese says:

    Wow what a list, there I have a problem. First to talk to your physician, really? Well they are not up to speed with vitamins, believe me, been there. To know what you are deficient in you have to get tested, that is the way you know what you need. Don’t waste your money.

  43. Mei says:

    Thank you for your great article Kris.

    Thankfully I’m on the right track in finding the best supplement for myself. I found a company that uses only organic, wildcrafted and 100% toxic free ingredients. From Omega 3,6,9 in one capsule, Vit D 10000IU, bee tablets with propolis, royal jelly and the bee pollen in one capsule to organic essantial oils.

    I’m confident that my health is in a good company.

    All the best to you all.

  44. chuck says:

    hello there.
    I wish you much joy and helath.
    do you have suplements for men as well?.
    warm regards

  45. Darlene graves says:

    I am taking ACtonEL for osteoporosis for about one year now. I would much prefer to treat Osteoporosis with food and/or supplements to avoid the med’s side effect especially jaw necrosis, joint and bone pain. Any suggestions?

  46. iliana hanell says:

    Hi, I have been through a breast cancer last year, I am 40 years old, and I don’t know what supplements should I take, living in Mexico city, unfortunately I don’t have a good doctor who can help me through this, can you tell me what supplements do you recommend for people like me? The basics please.
    Thank you!!

  47. Kim says:

    Thanks for the great information! I am currently pre-menopausal, and am fortunate enough to be friends with a naturopathic physician, who I am meeting with soon to help me select some supplements to address my changing issues. Right now, the thing that has helped me the most is my low-sodium, barely-any-dairy nutrition plan. Being overweight, with history of cancer on my mom’s side, and heart disease from my father’s side, knowing that you have issues to address at all is a huge step. I went for years never worrying about my health, taking my good cholesterol levels for granted (they still are, but that does not equate to good health!), and now spend a lot of time trying not to have regrets, but to just move forward from this point. Thanks for the inspiration, Kris!! <3


    Can you pls recommend a specific brand for the B12 supplement? Thank you

  49. Aeonie Ostik-Smith says:

    I find that vitamin c with bioflavanoids helps me with most problems but I think it especially good when it come to colds and flu.

  50. Janene Hackl says:

    Helllo! Thank you for your information. Have you looked at Juice Plus? It is not a vitamin, it is whole food nutrition in a capsule. Fruits and vegetables. Please check out my website, because this should definitely be on that list. It bridges the gap between what we should eat and actually do eat. Thank you!!

  51. Lisa F says:

    I think it’s important to remind people that while supplementation can be helpful, it is important to know that many foods and drinks, coffee especially, can hinder and inhibit the absorption or increase secretion of many minerals and nutrients. I was told to take my calcium and D and Magnesium at night before bed, that coffee is bad to fat solubles, and that if you’re taking something that is not made well or can increase fatigue as your body tries to absorb it.

    I also have a question about Fish Oil and DHA. Most people tell me how many to take but rarely ever mention the recommended mg’s. Does anyone have any idea on a good amount of DHA?

    Thanks a bunch everyone.

  52. Jodi says:

    Hi Kris,

    Does the curcumin have a strong taste? I am not fond of turmeric, but would like to enjoy its benefits.

    ~ Jodi

    • Morven Black says:

      Hi Jodi,
      I don’t like the taste either but I have found that if I mix it in with juice I don’t notice it at all. I use about 1/2 tsp in a juice. Mix it really well though, you don’t want to come across a lump of it..! 🙂

  53. Anne says:

    What vitamins are good for pd (tremors)

  54. Denise says:

    I have been looking forward to a comprehensive vitamin/mineral supplement guide!! Thank you Kris and Aviva!! I’m vegan so I supplement with vegan vitamins and minerals but definitely think I need a probiotic. Are all probiotics vegan, or do some come from milk cultures?

  55. Maia Marie says:

    Hello (: I have a pretty bad case of ms and wondering as to what supplements might incourage myelin repair if any?


  56. Hi, I need help with pre-menopause, mood swings especially. I get so emotional, depressed, and angry. Please help! I am 49 years old. I would love a good recommendation.
    Thank you

  57. Pat says:

    Just reading about supplements for women over 50 on your site and have a question regarding curcumin. I had read that the only way to really receive the ultimate benefits of curcumin was through the cooking process.. I am sixty one and have started adding fresh turmeric to as many dishes as possible.
    Now I am confused… I have not been adding turmeric to raw foods or juices and have stopped turmeric supplements completely. Please advise…

    • Kris Carr says:

      Hi Pat, Here’s Aviva’s advice:

      “Fresh turmeric is a wonderful anti-inflammatory herb that is also great for digestion. It can be used as a dried herb seasoning, or fresh in the many ways you already are. However, for max benefit, I use the curcumin, which is the “active ingredient” in turmeric, especially when my patients are struggling with autoimmune or inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. – Aviva”

  58. Gail says:

    Thank you for the excellent article. I have found that my body does really well with Kyolic garlic. There are many different formulas and I have used various ones. When everyone is getting colds and flu, I take my odorless garlic capsules and get good protection. Recently I had a molar that started aching on the weekend and I realized that the tooth probably had died quite some time ago but I had been taking garlic and therefore didn’t get an infection or any aching until I ran out. I ran out to my local health food store and got a bottle of Kyolic Garlic and it tamed the tooth down until I could get it extracted a few days later. I had an incident while out of the country (food poisoning) and will never be without the garlic traveling again. Much to my surprise, upon returning home, I took some heavy doses of garlic, and found that my planter’s warts went away as a bonus since it’s anti-viral as well as anti-bacterial. Just this fall I added a multi-vitamin, Nature’s Way, Alive (Women’s 50+) and I’ve been very happy with the boost of energy I get. It’s all natural, made with 26 fruits and vegtables.

  59. Valerie says:

    So glad to read this information. I have gone through menopause early (40) I’m now 46 with the typical issues one gets with menopause. I do have one question about magnesium, should one take citrate and glycinate together?


    • Kris Carr says:

      Hi Valerie, Here’s what Aviva had to say in response to your question:

      “Hi Valerie! Great Q! Both forms work great for bone health, restless legs, and sleep — the many wonders of magnesium. But citrate has the added benefit of helping with constipation. So if that’s an issue for you, then citrate is the best form; if not, glycinate. I’d combine them when you’ve reached your max on the citrate (meaning, your stools get a little loose for comfort) but you still need more for managing the other symptoms. Then I’d go up to the amount you need of citrate to keep your BMs comfy and daily, and top off the rest with the glycinate. Make sense? – Aviva”

  60. Cheryl says:

    Eating organically grown produce is a step in the right direction, but does not currently ensure that diet alone is providing the full spectrum of nutrients the body needs to maintain optimal health over the course of a lifetime. The food chain can no longer be relied on to provide the nutrients required for a healthy, vital life, providing the body with these nutrients directly is the only other option. Most people need supplements, children, men, women, prenatal, menopausal and over 50. The problem is that most vitamins don’t work because they are not being absorbed into the bloodstream, therefore giving vitamins a bad name. Minerals are like little rocks which makes them impossible for the body to absorb and utilize. When I became aware of this I researched a lot of different supplements and became a happy customer of a company called melaleuca. I am 45 years old and I have never felt better and I have tried lots of vitamins throughout my life. The real test for me was when I ran out of my melaleuca supplements and I felt tired and my bones were aching and then I realized it was because I stopped taking them. That never happened to me when I ran out of my one-a day or centrum. I also try and eat healthy but it’s not enough, I take a multivitamin, calcium, antioxidant, probiotic and cold water omega 3 that is made with wild-caught fish in deep cold waters and is molecularly distilled by water microdistillation without chemicals. These supplements have the only mineral-delivery technology formulated just like nature, proven by science to provide superior mineral absorbtion and maximum antioxidant protection and its patented. I will never need to take another supplement in my life, this company is years ahead of the rest. I also have my parents on them and they have never felt better and they even stopped taking some of their statin medications among other things. Melaleuca/ and I don’t usually respond to these type of groups but knowing how much this has helped me & my family I just cant keep this to myself anymore!

  61. Kris Carr says:

    Hi Suzanne, Aviva reviewed your question & sent along this feedback:

    “I had a look at their website — looks like a company that’s been around for a long time and is trying to uphold high standards. It was hard to tell without looking at each product what their original source material quality is — but I agree, it does seem to be that they are going for quality! If you’ve been taking them and feel good about them — that seems like a good way to go. You could see if Consumer Labs has anything to say about them — but I believe that might require paying a membership fee. – Aviva”

  62. Sylvia says:

    Due to a recent thyroid surgey, and lots of blood being drawn and various doctors being seen, I have been doing OODLES of vitamin/supplement research. I am SO VERY pleased to read all of your recommendations– they are in alignment with what the most intelligent and helpful doctors suggested. Two thumbs up!
    Maybe I missed it, but I would also suggest peeps check their iron levels, because low iron is a mega energy zapper!


  63. Rachel Sarah says:

    Big thanx to u both, Aviva and Kris! This was one of better and more comprehensive articles I read on supplementations for women in general- it’s always difficult to take a subject like this on bc we all have our own individual health needs but Aviva did an excellent job! I always look forward to reading ur newsletters, Kris! Please know that so many of us are uplifted and inspired on a daily basic by all of the love u put into providing these resources for us-

    I was a bit surprised to read some of the more negative and complaining comments. As a writer and photographer myself, I don’t know if some people realize the amount of work it takes to write articles like this and how difficult it can be to customize a health plan for every person out there.

    We all have to do our own research when it comes to checking out the quality of supplement makers and, of course, kris stands for eating whole foods and first getting nutrients from actual food-

    This article merely fills in the gaps between what we are eating and unable to get enough of- I found this a very spot-on list-

    Please think twice about the way that some of u offer feedback- there’s quite a difference between the way questions/critical feedback and negative criticism impacts the creator of something that has been “gifted” to all of us-

    For my part, kris and Aviva- Thank you so much for ur hard work and well written article! Focus on all of us who appreciate what u are doing in the world-


    Who would have thought a blog on supplementation would end up being so controversial and trigger so many people? 🙂

    Rachel Sarah

    • Kris Carr says:

      Rachel, you rock. xo 🙂

    • Ruth says:

      Rachel Sarah, I really like your comments, thanks. I wonder what advice anyone would give regarding DHEA? There is so much FOR as AGAINST published here in Germany (always very critical on supplements). I am trying a low dose presently and for me it seems to work amazing well for general energy and MOOD! I started to sleep really well and a tendency towards slight depression has vanished. I should add that I am over 60, a freelancer working long days and long weeks (but doing what I love!!)
      Kind regards from Germany Ruth

  64. Marcela says:

    What happens if I am allergic to fish? Should I take the fish oil?
    And something that always bothers me about supplements, it is that a good and healthy diet should be goood enough to get all my vitamins and minerals, if is not, then it is not a good and “healthy” diet

  65. Romina says:

    Thank you, Kris, for this article. It was really helpful to me. And thank you for the service you always bring to so many. ( I follow you from Buenos Aires, Argentina)
    HuGs! 🙂
    (Love your doggies)

  66. Terri Gibson says:

    I use Usana supplements they are top of the line and pharm grade. Using the best of natural resources in everything!! Love them all

  67. Amy says:

    Hi – thanks for the list! I’m curious as to why you recommend ground flax seed as opposed to whole flax seed. I usually sprinkle whole flax seeds on my food as I enjoy the crunchiness but now I’m curious if there is a nutritional difference between whole and ground?

  68. Melissa Brooks says:

    I believe in empowering the body to function as the perfect machine it is. I agree with her statement about reducing oxidative stress, but she doesn’t state anything about the pathway to turn in your own antioxidant enzymes to reduce the cellular stress. I personally do not take any multivitamins or specific vitamin/mineral supplement because of the research showing that they can be carcinogenic in the large doses that are sold on the market. My blood has never been more balanced since giving up those vitamins and addressing the underlying concern of cellular stress. I only take one scientifically-validated herbal supplement that turns on the body’s survival response. Make antioxidants, don’t take antioxidants.

  69. Rita says:

    For some reason I keep
    Getting bladder infections. It was such a problem that I was in the hospital almost monthly and then on antibiotics (BAD). So now I’ve been trying to figure out what’s causing the bladder issues while trying to fix the problems the antibiotics cause (oh brother). Probiotics are good for me right now. I’m also taking supplements for my angry liver & intestine and vitamin A for my skin…let’s hope
    It works!

    • Sofia says:

      I had the same problem. To the point where I was put under antibiotics for six months (taking it every other day). Two things solved the problem: cranberry capsules (this works wondefully! I took them for 3 months) and not forgetting to go pee right after having sex. Never had one since.

      • Joy says:

        yes, I can vouch for Cranberry Capsules also when my sister recommended them to me for a constant irritation….was surprised at how quickily it resolved itself…she was using it for a more intense infection and they cleared it up also.

    • Mojca says:

      Hi Rita,
      I used to have regular bladder infections a few years ago and found that uvae-ursi tincture really helps, even after only two or three doses you can notice the improvement. But I also believe that mind & body are tightly linked, so looking into yourself and checking where in your life you might be ‘pissed off’ (literal link!) and working on clearing it, that helped me clear them for good (haven’t had a relapse in 3 years).

  70. Kiyomi says:

    Happy to see I’m taking most of these. I take half the recommended dose of D3 though, and my last blood test showed I was deficient – I’m not crazy about the idea of increasing the dose, maybe I should just get more sunshine and hopefully it will help 🙂

  71. Lauren says:

    Hi! Thank you so much for this! I just started taking supplements because I became vegetarian 6 months ago but didn’t know I should be taking vitamin B and lost a lot of hair as a result. I’m still new to it all and it is pretty overwhelming. My question is is it safe to take all of these supplements at one time? Should you take each one every day or spread them out a bit throughout the week?

    • Kris Carr says:

      Hi Lauren, I checked in with Dr. Romm about your question & here’s what she had to say:

      “Hi Lauren, Great question. It is generally safe to combine all of the supplements recommended in this article, and take them daily. However, you want to make sure your combined supplement plan doesn’t exceed the daily max dose for any single nutrient. This is usually a risk with zinc (max dose 60 mg/day), vitamin B6 (max dose 100 mg/day), selenium (max dose 200 mcg/day), and you want to be careful with iodine, though usually low combined doses are ok. It’s also ok not to take every single supplement every day — I like to follow the 80% rule — if you’re getting them 80% of the time, that’s usually gonna’ do the trick.
      Hope this helps! – Aviva”

  72. Monica Navarro says:

    I Love this article Kris, I personally take E3live because it has over 65 different vitamins and Minerals. Surprisingly enough it has Folic Acid and I was able to take it during my pregnancy. I First read about this product in your Crazy Sexy Diet book and fell in love with it ever since. Thanks for always sharing great Information.

  73. Nancy Geib says:

    Great information but is really important and is only given a little attention to ~ is to get as much of our nutrient needs from our foods! This requires careful and selective shopping due to the GMO’s, processed, etc. but can be done! And how about those of us in our 50’s and up? We are all still vital, contributing beings who are going through, or are post, menopausal! I’m pretty supplement savvy but always like to keep my eye(ears) out for the latest research.

  74. Ana says:

    I suffer from migranes and in my quest to find what may trigger them I took the GENOVA food test. Found out I am highly sensitive to curry, less so to garlic, cinnamon, and a few others. Taking supplements I have to keep this list in mind so that I don’t add to my system components that actually do more harm. I would recommend everyone get a test first before making a plan for supplements. I find for me that fish oil and iodine are very beneficial!!! Although I do not have the MTHFR mutations, I have a problem with B12 absorption so switching to sublingual supplements has helped tremendously. I test my blood every 6 months and adjust supplements as needed.

    • Kris Carr says:

      Hi Ana, It’s great to hear that you’re being tested and finding the right supplements for your needs. Cheers to your health! xo

  75. I’m wondering if those recommendations are for healthy women or women with cancer, I understand that B12 promotes gene methylation, and because you can’t control which genes get methylated, you should perhaps not supplement with B12 if you have cancer–or at least use the inactive B12 supplement. I also understand there’s some research showing that people with cancer who have low thyroid function have better survival rates than those with full thyroid function–although that could be association and not necessarily cause. See

    Would it be possible to ask Dr. Romm if these suggestions are just for healthy women?

  76. Debbie says:

    I am really surprised with the recommendations in this article. We need to quit wasting our money on so many supplements and eat real food. Need Omega 3? Flame seed and chia seeds, not Mercury contaminated fish oil. Multivitamins? They are man made and our bodies have no idea what to do with them. If vitamins were the answer, we wouldn’t be an obese and chronically ill nation. Supplement with a high quality whole food supplement that doesn’t have added vitamins. The ingredients should be recognizable as food. Ask what research publications their results have been published in. We need to be way more careful about what we put into our bodies.

    • Kris Carr says:

      Eating whole foods is the foundation of my diet and lifestyle philosophy and something I teach daily here through my blog, books, on social media and while speaking at events. As mentioned in the blog, I recommend working with a functional medicine MD to determine your supplement needs and stress the importance of high-quality supplements. These recommendations should all be taken into consideration with your individual needs in mind and are meant to go hand-in-hand with a whole foods diet.

  77. cavasquezesq says:

    This is a great, comprehensive article. However, I wonder what you think it says to women – – like me – – who are over 50 and read recommended supplements for women in their “20s, 30s and early 40s” and a separate recommendation for pregnant/breastfeeding women. Should those of us over 50 simply curl up and die or just conclude that this blog isn’t meant for us at all? I’m fairly certain you don’t intend either of those messages (the former’s sarcasm particularly), but it’s really what jumped out at me – – that there’s no place for or interest in my age group here. The “early 40s” seems to be a clear indicator that supplement needs change and to simply end the discussion to the groups specified is hurtful, to say the least. I see from the comments that I’m not the only one who found this age group lacking. It’s a shocking oversight and, if deliberate, even worse. You could have addressed its absence if there was a specific reason and indicated you’d post an article targeted to perimenopausal and menopausal women, but there was simply a glaring omission that speaks volumes. So much for the sisterhood…..

    • Alysha says:

      There was a section devoted to women in their “wisdom years” as Aviva called it. Re- read a little closer!

    • Kris Carr says:

      We’ve spoken with Aviva for clarification and updated the blog. Thank you for your feedback. I am deeply committed to helping women of all ages and sisterhood matters deeply to me. Please check in with yourself the next time you post a comment here. The negativity and accusations surrounding your constructive criticism really bring your point down.

      • Femke says:

        Amen Kris. Thank you for today’s post. Love & light (also for your sweet dog). Femke

      • cavasquezesq says:

        Thank you for the clarification and for updating the blog. It is much appreciated. As I said at the very beginning of my prior comment, it’s a great and comprehensive article.

  78. Just this morning the Today Show reported a massive recall of supplements from big stores like Walmart and Target because they do not contain any of the ingredients listed on the label!!! So this article comes at a perfect time. Thanks!

  79. tgottula says:

    Yes! Any way to get clarification for post-menopause ladies like me?

  80. Mary vangelakos says:

    What multi vitamin brand do you take ?

    • Susanne says:

      Instead of a multi-vitamin, take a look at better than a multi for many reason, safety for one, whole food vs synthetic, not only are you getting the widest array of vitamins and minerals, you get phytonutrients and enzymes too! LOTS of scientific research done on this product, in humans, not animals, using the product itself to show that it goes to work in your blood! If you are going to take something, make sure it is doing something good for you!

  81. Candy says:

    I always struggle with getting so many stuff in one day… how can we rationalize it or can we get all that in a multivitamin? Pls help! :/

    • Monica Navarro says:

      Candy have you considered taking E3live? It’s a Natural Aqua Botanical with over 65 different vitamins and minerals. That is what I personally take. I read about it on one of Kris’s books 🙂

    • Susanne says:

      Getting your vitamins and minerals through a plant-based supplement is probably the safest way to go. Try Juice Plus!

      • Susanne says:

        But even Juice Plus has some limitations. you will still need to add the D3 and vit B12

        • Rose Essy says:

          Kris, Love your website Lots of great information ….glad I saw this blog, regarding supplements.
          I Have been hearing alot of great things about juice plus.

          • Jane Kaplenski says:

            I am taking juice Plus. I have Rheumatoid and Interstitial Lung Disease. I am adding Calcium, D3, B12, Turmeric with Curcurmin and Fish Oil. I just wonder of all this is necessary. I am going to see my Rheumatologist for follow up blood work.

    • Susan says:

      Harriet, I love your site! and am always copying and pasting parts to save as helps for best diet choices. I experienced breast cancer 5 yrs ago, so I am esp interested in your comments about methylation and iodine. The methyl thing is such a craze right now, it’s an eye opener that you noted it can turn ON the genes we want turned off! I’ll add that for cancer peeps, too much iron is to be avoided as well. thanks again for !

  82. Sheila says:

    It bothers me that there is a list of supplements that women should take daily. It goes completely against the idea that we should see a physician FIRST in order to find out if we are even deficient in anything.
    What if we’re not deficient in any of those things? Then we’re wasting money and potentially causing more harm then good. Supplements are such a big craze these days that a majority of women are going to read this article and just go out and buy all of the supplements you listed because well, they trust you. I wish this article was more about how important it is to see a physician FIRST so that we do not assume we are deficient in anything in the first place. Supplements are only for those who have a deficiency/absorption problem. For those who have adequate/normal stores, supplements either have no effect or a negative one by interfering with other nutrients. =

    • Morven Black says:

      I believe the first tip suggested is seek guidance from a health professional first.

    • Rita says:

      That’s what she said; consult you MD!
      But unless you’re eating a perfectly balanced diet, you’re not touching anything GMO’d or inflammatory foods like grain fed meat…or meat all together (to name a few) you’re body isn’t balanced. Some people are sensitive and start to react – as soon as I turned 30 my body ‘told’ me to stop eating certain things – other people’s body can endure it but then get things like ‘the big C’ later in life. No ones perfect, supplements just help suppliment what you’re missing. Go see your doctor but he/she may not have the answers. A naturalpath will. My doctor called me ‘relatively healthy’ when I was in her office, meanwhile I had inflamed cracking lips, sudden acne and was routinely in the hospital for my bladder…does that sound healthy to you?!

    • Donna says:

      I thought this was a great article, in fact I shared it on Facebook. But I have to respond to the “physician” comment from Shiela. Some of us don’t go to “physicians”. I don’t. I dislike them, they have not been able to help me with anything, only prescribe dangerous drugs which make us sick. I have never had a physician say, “Gee Donna, maybe you should try supplements” or, Ya know, Donna, I think I will test your blood for vitamin deficiencies, I am detecting signs of a B3 deficiency.” Have you? Didnt think so. Doctors havent a clue about nutrition, dont learn about it in med school, never suggest any type of nutritional healing. Nothing. In fact they tell people that it is OK to drink diet soda and use artificial sweetener! A doctor told my mother that she should drink diet soda to avoid diabetes! When I disagreed, she kicked me out of the room so she could continue her crusade. So no, dont ever get nutition advice from a doctor. A naturopath or homeopath, yes, but an MD? Never.

      • Joy says:

        Hi Donna. Love your passion and can relate. I wanted to add there a MD’s that have added nutritional training to their repertoire and are committed and open to nutritional healing. I have experienced both. Until I found them I only used physicians for diagnosis and I tell ya I did go through a few archaic scenarios! After not going to physicians for years I was surprised by some of their rigidity and lack of knowledge. It was a great education. Aren’t we so blessed that we have all these options and have access to this education Via Kris and others! All the Best! Joy

      • donna harris says:

        Hey there, just want to share that our physician does NOT pass out a perscription just because you go in to see him. He did take a blood test and saw that I was deficient in several areas and told me which ones to get. Not all physicians do but there are a few. And his partner left the firm and started her own practice using mostly natural medicine. That’s two doctors that I know of in our area.

    • Prenatal says:

      I’m going to echo the thoughts of many others and say that I’d prefer to get all my nutrients from foods. The problem is that a portion of my calories will always be from “junk” so I have to make up that nutrient deficiency somehow so I take multivitamins so I found this article really useful. In an ideal world I’d eat nothing but health food but hey, I’m not perfect!

    • FBnutrition says:

      Since 2001, Planet Nutrition Pvt Ltd has been proudly serving over 1,000,000 Indians, Providing the best in Sport Supplements at the lowest prices. Ph:- +91 9560504696

  83. Onica Ndala says:

    Hi thanks for your guide of taking supplements – I’m a woman of 57yrs and I do take them i.e. omega 3 plus oil, cal mag, Tree-en and full motion caps from GNLD and i’m also on gym 4 days per week. I’m now going to start with 2 glasses with lemon in the morning.

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