When people are leaving on a trip and don't want to pack all their supplements they often wonder which are priority. Though the answer depends on your individual situation, there are a few basic considerations to help you decide. At Optimum Health we are working on getting compact airtight containers that you can dispense your daily supplements into for each day before departing. They are super handy. But for those who can’t be bothered, the following are our best recommendations:
Since our diet often "slips" a fair bit when traveling, I have always been a proponent of getting a baseline full-spectrum of micronutrients from a multi-vitamin mineral supplement to plug the holes....particularly the B-vitamins. I like CanPrev's Immuno Multi the best for its combination of nutrients and phytochemicals, but whichever you choose try to find one where you actually notice a positive difference in how you feel when you take it. If you notice nothing there is probably a multi better suited to you. For those who tend to get constipated when travelling, throwing in extra magnesium can be very helpful.
Gut problems while eating abroad are common, and being confined to the bathroom can definitely put a damper on a vacation. A good probiotic can help keep our intestines happy. A temperature stable probiotic such as our Opti-Elite Probiotics means that the potency is guaranteed till expiry at room temperature. Still, even temperature stable probiotics will maintain potency better when stored at cooler temperatures, such as in the fridge. Since our gut bacteria is as individual as our fingerprint, finding a product that works for you may require some experimentation. Once again, try not to settle for noticing nothing from your probiotic, even if it is simply better digestion. Worthy of note, the DDS acidophilus (found in our Opti-Elite Probiotics) was recently awarded claims from Health Canada for helping to alleviate IBS in both adolescents and adults. If relief of diarrhea is the main issue Saccharomyces boulardi is also commonly used with success. On the other hand, if it is allergies you are dealing with on your vacation, as we have written about many times, the DDS and Bifido strains in the Opti-Elite Probitics have hands-down the best chance of helping!
Though most encapsulated oils will be reasonably stable for the duration of a holiday, Krill Oil is particularly temperature resistant and won't turn rancid. This can be useful if you are going somewhere hot, and krill also has the benefit of the extremely well-absorbed omega-3's preserved with its natural astaxanthin content to provide powerful antioxidant protection against excess UV rays, pollution, or partying you may encounter on your holiday!
Speaking of partying, for those who consume alcohol, summer holidays often involve excess. Combine this with persistent organic pollutants like BPA, or herbicides/insecticides, or flame retardants, or basic air pollution commonly encountered in vacation spots or airplanes, and your liver can definitely use some extra support. Opti-Liv Extra contains liver-specific herbs and antioxidants to help you detoxify. Used before a night (or day) of liver stress, herbs like milk thistle and schizandra, or glutathione boosters like NAC, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, or selenium, help you process and package-up toxins to get them out of your body.
An area of research that is exploding deals with extremely protective plant chemicals called Nrf2 activators. To date the most potent of these appears to be sulforaphane in broccoli sprout extract, and Broccogen 10 provides a highly concentrated source in each capsule. Alone, or combined with other Nrf2 activating combinations like Opti-A.I. Extra, Broccogen 10 provides broad-spectrum defense against virtually any kind of physical, oxidative or inflammatory stressors, including all those commonly encountered in travel and holidays! Nrf2 activators are set to become a major weapon in our fight against chronic disease!
Vitamin D + K2
You may not have to pack Vitamin D depending on how much sunshine your destination promises. Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin, its a hormone, and virtually all of your cells have receptors for it. In Canada we produce Vitamin D from actual exposure to the summer sun, or all year round in areas closer to the equator. I say "actual" because it isn't good enough to be out in the sun with no exposed skin, or slathered in sunscreen. To get a healthy daily dose you have to have plenty of skin exposed for at least 10 minutes. 10 minutes of full sun exposure in a swim suit for caucasians will produce about 10,000 IU...the darker you are, the less you produce. Whether from sun exposure or a Vitamin D supplement, I would get some at least every second day.
And as many are now aware, combining Vitamin D with Vitamin K2 is well-advised, in order to make sure the calcium in your body stays in your hard tissues such as bones, and out of your soft tissues such as your arteries.
First Aid Kit
Catching a cold or flu on vacation is a total bummer. For protection, virtually nothing is more useful than oregano oil, which can be taken as needed to prevent bugs from invading, or at the first signs that one has taken up residence! It can also be a god-send if you experience nausea after thinking, "Oh-oh...maybe I shouldn't have eaten that." Opti-Silver Solution can also be used almost interchangeably with oregano, you just need more of it for internal use. So packing enough is often fairly heavy. But what I find it ultra-useful for is as a topical spray. You can spray 10 ppm-concentration silver solutions in your mouth, ears, nose, or eyes if you get hacked or sneezed-on, and it works great for burns, cuts, scrapes, infections or irritated insect bites. Regarding topical applications on infections, recent research shows that once a bacteria takes the silver particles in and dies, it then leaches the silver out to its comrades, killing them too. (It is being used for many applications in hospitals, for dressings, etc.)
If you use either oregano or a silver solution internally don't forget your probiotic!
Hope you have a good summer, and that these suggestions help you get more enjoyment out of your holidays!
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your physician.