Walking through the vitamin aisle at the pharmacy or grocery store is one word: overwhelming. Without a little guidance, it’s hard to know where to even begin. Unfortunately, instead of doing our research, many of us, especially at my age, just assume supplementing is a problem to face down the road.
A couple of years ago, my parents participated in the 23andMe genetic test and chose to have their results further broken down, which connected our family with the amazing Dr. Jackie Poirot. Since then, Dr. Poirot has helped me better understand my own genetic makeup and decide which supplements will help me achieve an ideal state of health.
Dr. Poirot is a functional medicine practitioner and clinical pharmacist who looks beyond prescription drugs to understand her patients holistically. She examines how both genetic and lifestyle factors work together to determine every individual’s profile of health.
Back when she was beginning her work, Dr. Poirot explains that she was administering pharmaceuticals to patients, yet she felt something was majorly lacking. The healthcare model present today relies almost completely on treatment, largely ignoring prevention. Realizing this, she returned to school for a Masters in Nutrition, and about this same time, her son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She recalls feeling dissatisfied by the treatment and advice he received from doctors, and thus began her journey into the world of functional and preventive medicine.
Her work today takes into account patients in their entirety, including all of the genetic and lifestyle factors present for each individual. This more personalized approach to health often begins with assessing genetic predispositions, deformities and deficiencies discovered through blood tests.
From there, Dr. Poirot creates a well-rounded view of her patients by learning about their lifestyle, nutrition intake, exercise routine and so on. From this information, she is able to determine the types of supplements and changes that will improve the wellbeing of every patient.
Luckily, Dr. Poirot assured me that it’s never too late to begin supplementing. Yet she stresses the importance of starting in our 20s and 30s, as most diseases begin 10 years before they actually manifest. The choices we make now in regards to our diet, how we supplement and the environmental toxins we expose ourselves to largely determine our fate down the road.
Dr. Poirot offers incredible personal services for her clients (to learn more about custom consulting and her practice, Poirot Pharmacy Services, check out her website), but not everyone has the time or resources to dedicate to a complete deep dive. For those who still would like to begin taking charge of their health, I picked Dr. Poirot’s brain for her top supplement recommendations that everyone can benefit from.
Specifically, she notes the four key supplements below that all women in their 20s and 30s should incorporate into their daily routines:
B Vitamins: Most birth control prescriptions deplete these essential vitamins, which decrease red blood cell production as a result. B-vitamins likewise directly influence mood centers in the brain, so a deficiency can cause the irregularity that leads to PMS symptoms.
Multi Vitamin with Iron: A high quality multivitamin is helpful in myriad ways. Yet women are particularly susceptible to anemia, and thus should be aware of their iron intake, especially during that time of month.
Liver Support: During this period in our lives, we might indulge in more alcohol, yet liver protection applies to everyone. This vital organ detoxifies the body from all pollutants, which is especially important for those living in large cities to remove those nasty impurities.
Vitamin D: Over 42% of Americans are deficient in this essential vitamin, which every single cell in the body requires and has receptors for. We tend to blame this on a lack of sunlight, but stress likewise impacts the depletion of vitamin D.
Finally, supplements’ quality plays a key role in their potency and effectiveness, so below are Dr. Poirot’s top brands to achieve optimal results. Happy supplementing!