The supplements aisle contains a dizzying amount of products. (Valerian root? Horny goat weed?) Come Black Friday, you’ll be able to shop plenty of these dietary supplements at a major price cut. To help you sort through what’s worth your dollars—and what simply is not—I consulted Matthew Kohler, MD, and Rajivan Maniam, MD, functional medicine doctors and co-founders of Ospina Medical in New York City.
Despite the countless options on the shelf, Dr. Kohler and Dr. Maniam say the average person really only needs to consider five supplements. As always, you should consult your own doctor before adding new supplements to your diet.
The vitamins and supplements to buy on Black Friday
1. Vitamin D
“Vitamin D, the ‘sunshine vitamin,’ has long been pinned as one of the most common vitamin deficiencies that many of us suffer from,” says Dr. Maniam. “While seemingly benign, deficiency in Vitamin D may in fact be propagating pain. To date, there are several observational studies showing an association between vitamin D deficiency and different pain conditions including low back pain, menstrual cramps, and chronic pain.” Dr. Maniam adds that taking vitamin D supplements has the possibility of offering many positives with no known negative side effects, so hey, it’s worth a shot!
Shop Black Friday sale: Vitamin D, $10 (originally $12)
2. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is like catnip for the brain—and Dr. Kohler recommends it for anyone who wants some extra cognitive sharpness. “Vitamin B12 is essential for many biological functions and offers numerous known benefits including energy production and assisting in more efficient cellular reproduction,” he says. B12 is also credited with improving your mood, supporting fetal development, and improving memory—so yeah, it’s worth adding to your medicine cabinet with your doc’s okay.
Shop Black Friday sale: Vitamin B12, up to 50 percent off $10
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C may be best known for its immune system-boosting abilities, but Dr. Kohler recommends it for another reason. “Vitamin C is a critical nutrient for patients with pain or recent injuries—not only for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and pain-relieving abilities but also for its role in tissue repair and regeneration,” says Dr. Kohler. “Vitamin C helps accelerate the healing process and protects the body from free radical damage. This becomes especially important in patients who have sports injuries such as tendonitis or ligament sprains.” Athletes, this supplement’s for you.
Shop Black Friday sale: Ancient Nutrients Vitamin C + Probiotics, $14 (originally $19)
4. Vitamin K
“Vitamin K works as an enzyme cofactor that has been implicated in inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and osteoarthritis,” says Dr. Maniam. “Inflammation is recognized as a crucial component of many chronic aging diseases and evidence suggests vitamin K has an anti-inflammatory action.”
Shop Black Friday sale: Swanson K-2, Buy one at $10 and get one free
4. Vitamin E
Dr. Maniam says vitamin C is another one that’s essential for anyone who takes their workout routine seriously. “Several studies have found that vitamin E may play a role in helping to reduce muscle soreness after a hard workout. Vitamin E is a strong anti-oxidant that is able to scavenge free radicals that are formed after a rigorous workout and neutralize them before they can lead to muscle soreness and pain,” he says. Just make sure not to go overboard, about 1,000 milligrams per day will do the trick.
Shop now: HUM Red Carpet with Vitamin E, up to 50 percent off $25
More information on supplements—straight from a dietitian:
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