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Doctor-approved: 10 transformative supplements worth trying

Here are the top supplements that appear on top doctors’ recommendation lists repeatedly, with an overview of what they do, who should consider them, and how much to take. 

Navigating the supplement aisle is enough to make anyone’s head spin with the overwhelming amount of options and labels that will make you feel like you need a PhD in chemistry to understand. As a long-time health journalist and certified nutritionist, I’m here to help.

Over the years, I've had the opportunity to pick the brains of countless functional medicine docs, chat with insightful dietitians, and sift through mountains of scientifically backed articles. And guess what? The consensus among the top experts, including luminaries like Dr. Will Cole and Dr. Mark Hyman, remains steadfast: certain supplements are absolute game-changers.

Now, don't get me wrong. Most pros will preach about the wonders of a well-rounded diet before pushing supplements, and they're not wrong. But let's face it, maintaining that perfect balance in every meal isn't always realistic for everyone, all the time, which is why having a solid supplement routine is a great insurance policy for thriving health and longevity. 

Here are the top supplements that appear on top doctors’ recommendation lists repeatedly, with an overview of what they do, who should consider them, and how much to take. 


1. A Multivitamin

A good multi is the first supplement topping our list and a great place to start if you prefer not to take too many. Multivitamins provide a comprehensive blend of essential vitamins and minerals to support overall health, and studies have shown that they can help keep cardiovascular disease, cancer, eye disease and cognitive decline at bay. There are various multivitamin formulations available, including ones tailored for men, women, seniors, athletes, vegetarians, and vegans. Follow the instructions on the product label for dosage guidance.

2. Vitamin D

Think of Vitamin D as your sunshine vitamin, crucial for strong bones, your immune system, and even keeping mood boosted. And it’s especially handy during those gloomy winter months when the sun plays hide and seek here in Ontario. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the most common and effective form of vitamin D you’ll find in supplement form, and it supports bone health because it helps to absorb calcium and phosphorus better, and it also shows potential in reducing cancer cell growth, controlling infections, and managing inflammation. The recommended daily intake is 600 to 800 IU.

3. Probiotics

Probiotics are the good bacteria in our microbiome—our gut—and by maintaining a healthy balance of gut bacteria, you’ll support a strong immune system, improved digestion, better mood and mental health, reduced inflammation, and more. You can keep your gut flora happy by eating plenty of yogourt and fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut but taking a daily probiotic in addition to all that is the best way to ensure you’re getting enough—and the right balance. Probiotic supplements come in various strains and concentrations, targeting different aspects of gut health. Follow the product instructions for dosage.

4. Omega-3s

These are the healthy fats that your heart and brain absolutely love. They're like the superheroes of your diet, swooping in to fight inflammation, support heart health, and keep your brain sharp. Omega-3 supplements are especially important for those with a low intake of fatty fish or seeking cardiovascular and cognitive support. The recommended daily intake is typically 250-500 mg of EPA and DHA combined.

5. Magnesium

Imagine this as your relaxation mineral, helping your muscles chill out and recover, boosting your energy levels, and even lending a hand in stress management. It's like a soothing spa day for your nervous system. Magnesium supplements come in various forms, so be sure to determine which is best for you. If you exercise regularly, experience stress, or have inadequate dietary intake from foods like seeds and spinach, then a magnesium supplement is for you. The recommended daily intake ranges from 310-420 mg. 


6. Vitamin C

This is your go-to for immune system support and glowing skin. It's like a burst of freshness in your system, fighting off viruses and giving your skin that healthy, radiant glow. Acting as a powerful antioxidant, boosting immune function, and aiding in collagen production, Vitamin C supplements are ideal for those looking to support their immune system or glow from the inside out. The recommended daily intake is around 75-90 mg.

7. B Complex

Think of this as your energy booster pack, keeping your metabolism revved up, your nerves firing smoothly, and even helping out with red blood cell production. It's like your daily dose of get-up-and-go. Essential for energy metabolism, nerve function, and red blood cell production, B Complex supplements are recommended for individuals who don’t get enough in their diet from meat, fish, dairy and eggs or with increased stress levels. Follow the label guidelines for the recommended daily intake.

8. Collagen

Meet your beauty and mobility bestie, supporting your skin's elasticity, keeping your joints buttery, and even giving your gut lining some love. It's basically your secret weapon for supple joints and a youthful glow. Take it in capsule, powder or liquid form. Powdered collagens mix well with your daily protein shake or smoothie. Depending on the source you go with, follow product recommendations.

9. Coenzyme Q10

Say “Hello” to your cellular energy manager, ensuring your cells have the power they need to function at their best and hum along smoothly. Supporting cellular energy production and acting as an antioxidant, Coenzyme Q10 supplements are beneficial for individuals seeking cardiovascular support or for folks on statin medications. The recommended daily intake is typically 100-200 mg.

10. Curcumin

Introducing your inflammation-fighting warrior, supporting joint health, cognitive function, and overall wellness. It's like your personal anti-inflammatory superhero, tackling inflammation from all angles. Seriously consider a curcumin supplement if you are dealing with inflammatory conditions or looking for cognitive support but know that’s also an excellent preventative supplement anyone can take. The recommended daily intake is 500-1,000 mg.

About the Author


Alicia is a journalist and editor in digital and print media specializing in health, nutrition, fitness, and wellness. She was previously the Editorial Director of Clean Eating and Vegetarian Times. Her work has also appeared in Hone Health The Edge, Yoga Journal, Women’s Running, and Oxygen, among others. In addition to being a content creator, she's an ISSA-certified nutritionist, certified personal trainer, and fitness studio owner in Toronto. Alicia loves spreading the word about helpful, science-backed health information, and she can be contacted via her website at