Interview

Supplements for kids and adults

For this month’s family issue, we reached out to Dr. McDonnell to get some advice on supplements helpful for kids and adults alike.

Dr. McDonnell is an expert in naturopathic medicine, a passion she discovered only after working on Wall Street for many years. After she took a pause in her career to start a family, she decided to go back to school and attend the University of Bridgeport School of Naturopathic Medicine. Graduating with honors, she took what she learned about science-based natural medicine and now works on using prevention as a tool for helping her clients maintain their health.
By guiding their lifestyle habits and supplement intake, Dr. McDonnell helps those with hormone imbalance, autoimmune diseases, digestive problems and more to regain a life they enjoy living.

For this month’s family issue, we reached out to Dr. McDonnell to get some advice on supplements helpful for kids and adults alike. Here is all she told us.

BWB: What vitamins do you recommend for children, especially in the winter?

For children, fish oil, probiotics, and a good multi-vitamin are a good start. I also like gentle immune boosting herbal syrups. For fish oil, tru Nordic Natural chewables; Nordic Fishies are a popular one. For a multi, I like Metagenics Phytomulti for Kids. For probiotics, Klaire Labs has a range of age-appropriate probiotic combos that are great for infants, toddlers and onwards. For as-needed herbal tonics, I like products like Vita-Kids Immune by Douglas Labs. These are all available online.

Increasing veggies and reducing milk and wheat is the best way to make teens feel more energetic and have fewer hormonal swings.

BWB: What about teenagers, with hormones changing and with the lack of sleep due to studying late?

Teenagers benefit from a good Multi-Vitamin. Twice Daily Multi by Designs for Health is great, and their Vitamin D Supreme is also effective if their blood work shows they are low. Increasing veggies and reducing milk and wheat is the best way to make teens feel more energetic and have fewer hormonal swings.

As they move closer to menopause, supporting the adrenals during times of stress is critical and could prevent long-term thyroid issues.

BWB: Do you also recommend certain vitamins for active women in the 30’s 50’s ?

For active women, a Multi may not be enough – they may need the added boost of a mineral supplement as well. Additionally, as they move closer to menopause, supporting the adrenals during times of stress is critical and could prevent long-term thyroid issues. Many great brands supply products that address these needs: Metagenics, Vital Nutrients, Pure Encapsulations, Designs for Health to name a few. In NYC, Wilner Chemists at Park and 41st carries these brands, and you can source them online as well.

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For post-menopause women I find that there is no perfect supplement combination; a personalized plan is key.

BWB: What about for post-menopause women?

Surprisingly, what I have seen in my practice over and over is that women and men over age 60 really benefit from good quality supplements. Marked differences in energy, cognition, and stamina can be seen between them and their peers. However I do find that there is no perfect supplement combination for this entire group; a personalized plan is key. Some benefit greatly from CoQ10, others do not. Some need some basic digestive work so they are better able to absorb nutrients; others do not. Others need extra brain support or cardiovascular support etc. They all should be cautious though; it’s easy to dive in and take too much.

For supplement advice, a licensed Naturopathic Physician is your best bet.

BWB: For our readers with more questions, should they ask their GP or is it better to see a nutritionist?

Some GP’s have training in supplements, but most do not. Nutritionists don’t have medical training to address specific illnesses with supplements, though they are terrific at general wellness guidelines and how diet can affect healthy change. For supplement advice, a licensed Naturopathic Physician is your best bet. They have four years of medical training under their belt, as well as deep training in nutrition, diet and herbs.

Lani Allen

Lani Allen is a junior at Columbia University majoring in Creative Writing with a concentration in Spanish. Having served as Vice President of her class for two years, she has since contributed written pieces and illustrations to many on-campus publications. As a writer with an interest in the beauty industry, Lani intends to pursue a career in either journalism or fashion marketing.

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