Balancing Food and Vitamin/Mineral supplements
Your best source of vitamins and minerals is through food. However, supplements should be used whenever you need to fill a nutrition "gap" between what you need and what you eat. Make sure you know the recommended doses of supplements before you shop for them; avoid overdosing. Your calcium needs vary by age, although people with myositis who are on steroids need at least 1200 mg per day - or 1500 mg if you are a woman who has reached the menopause or a man 65 or over. At least 800 units a day of vitamin D is recommended to enable your body to absorb calcium.
Milk is a particularly good source of nutrients because it has a mix of calcium, potassium, and magnesium that helps build bones and may lower blood pressure. If you are lactose intolerant, soy milk is a good source of calcium , also yogurt and cheese. However, yogurt is not fortified with vitamin D and studies have shown that the amount of vitamin D in “fortified” milk is variable, so almost everyone is advised to take supplemental Vitamin D. This is especially important if you are taking anti-inflammatory steroid therapy, such as prednisone
If your calcium intake is primarily through supplements, be sure to take them in divided doses - with breakfast and dinner - because your body cannot absorb too much calcium at once. For example, if you are taking 1200 mg of calcium a day through supplements, it is best for optimal absorption to take 600 mg in the morning and the remaining 600 mg in the evening. You can consider a pill that combines calcium and vitamin D, Such as Calcichew D3.
If you take a daily multivitamin, it is best to take it separately from your calcium supplement - by two to four hours - because the calcium supplement will interfere with your body's absorption of iron in the multivitamin. For this reason, do not take iron and calcium supplements at the same time.
Our bodies make creatine from the amino acids in protein. Good food sources are Herring, Cod, Beef, Pork, Salmon and Milk. Vegetarians seem to have lower stores of Creatine. The Jury is still out on the benefits of Creatine supplements to build muscle, and it generally believed to be harmless, however one of the side effects of Creatine can be decreased kidney function so discuss it with your doctor before taking Creatine Supplements.
Coenzyme Q10 ( CoQ10)
Coenzyme Q10 is produced by the human body and is necessary for the basic functioning of cells and acts as an antioxidant. CoQ10 levels are decreased in some people with muscle disease and therefore supplements are sometimes used to increase the body,s level. CoQ10 may interact with other medications so talk to your doctor before taking it.
Fish Oil (Omega-3 fatty acids)
(Omega-3 fatty acids) from fatty fish such as Salmon, Sardines and Mackerel have been found to decrease inflammation and cytokine production, although there is significant debate about whether the doses patients generally take have a significant effect. They are usually well tolerated but may interact with other medicines such as blood thinners. High doses may cause stomach discomfort.