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  • Jo Farren

My Most-Frequently-Recommended Supplements

Updated: May 16

I get asked a LOT about my favourite supplements, and whilst I am not in the business of giving blanket advice and guidance, I thought that sharing some of my faves might at least give you a jumping off point to explore these brands for yourself, or perhaps highlight the need for some bespoke support. Navigating this alone can be such a challenge and so I hope that this blog inspires you in some way. Now just as a note: I don't think you need ALL of these supplements, this list is a real random assortment of the things which I recommend most frequently.


  • Collagen

Collagen is something that's hailed as a miracle for skin (in particular wrinkles!) and I will admit that skin health and firmness was indeed one of my reasons for looking for a good collagen product. It is thought to help with skin elasticity and hydration (1), but collagen can also support the gut and our joint health - and we can't instruct that collagen to behave once it's in our body - and so if you're taking it, make your peace with that! But I decided that whatever it was going to do - I could use! Collagen is generally sourced from bovine or fish sources, and because it's a huge protein, it needs to be hydrolysed (broken down into smaller chunks) in order to be utilised in the body. Collagen in the skin, also needs vitamin C in order for it to be produced, so if you've got a product which also includes vitamin c then that's a win!

I started using Rejuvenated Collagen Shots - I've found them to be well tolerated, a good price, a good level of the collagen, and it tastes like summer fruit squash!


  • L- Theanine

I love L-Theanine for its impact on anxiety. As well as my trusted herbs, I add this in where I think that we need just a little bit extra. L-theanine is an amino acid which is responsible for the production of our neurotramsitter GABA, which has a calming but non-sedating impact, which is why it's useful for anxiety. L-Theanine is also found in green tea, however in a much lower dose, so for some a supplement like this one from Cytoplan can be a really useful addition to our regime. (2)


  • Bare Biology Omegas

I consider these omegas to be the best and I know that I'm not alone in thinking that! The benefits of omega 3 oils is quite wide reaching, from brain health to joint care, it's a great addition to your diet and lifestyle. The Life and Soul Pure Omega-3 liquid oil does have more bang for your buck, but may not be suited to everyones tastes, so they do offer a two-a-day capsule, or a four-a-day mini capsule for those who would prefer that.


Now I know that this is specifically for pregnancy, but I feel like this is such a good all-round multi and such a good price, that I couldn't not include it. So many of my patients are indeed on that TTC journey, or are in the pregnancy or postpartum stage, that having a good multivitamin for general use is vital as we work on other elements to support you along the way. I kept taking it way beyond the birth of my children. It's great for a multivitamin boost in the postpartum too, and it's easy to take and well tolerated.


A flat lay photo of bottles, jars and sprays of supplements

One for the young'uns! Cytoplan also do a Nutri Bears gummy multi for kids which is great if you have reluctant children, but this is a cost effective option which you can scale up quite easily using their guide on the side of the bottle. They have a by age/weight range, so for older children you can increase the dose, This is an especially helpful if have fussy eaters, and you want to make sure that they are taking in their daily RDA of essential micronutrients. I see this as an insurance policy, whilst you work with your family to find a range of

safe foods that perhaps span more colours than beige. If you know, you know!


Mushrooms are really popular as well as being big business right now. I see so many forums discussing the virtues of mushrooms, but then linking to (frankly) substandard products, or those with such a minuscule dose, that they wont be having the desired effect and often still costing a pretty penny. MycoNutri is a company that I love and trust and their Lion's Mane capsules I have found to be most helpful (they do also do a powder, too) . Commonly used for Mood, cognition and the nervous system (3), this fantastic fungi has also been reported by patients to have benefits for the menopause, too - with folks finding fewer issues with sleep disturbance, anxiety and hot flushes.


An overlooked oil, but one that I very much reach for when there's dryness, irritation or something just a bit off with the pelvic organs! Used to help moisturise and lubricate the vagina and urinary tract (4), if you're feeling that pinch of a UTI then this is one to reach for alongside the D-Mannose and Cranberry (which I haven't added as it's own bullet point as I'm trying to keep it to under ten!)


I struggled to pick one prebiotic product, because there are so many for so many uses, but this one is worthy of a spot. This is a prebiotic fibre, which can help moderate the gut (5) - whether you've got diarrhoea or constipation, it can support both! And it's an insoluble fibre which is a direct food source for the good bacteria in our gut, helping them to thrive and support a balanced microflora.


so this is a probiotic, not a prebiotic, so this is actual bacteria - well, to be specific its a non pathogenic yeast - which can help to support the gut particularly when we are thinking antibiotic diarrhoea (6)! Also a great one to add if you get a dodgy tummy when travelling, to help give the gut a boost to its defences.


I think we are familiar with the concept of needing to take a vitamin D supplement if we live in the Northern Hemisphere and/or don't get a lot of daylight, but the specifics of my recommendation here are for a reason! Vitamin D3 is the most absorbable and useful form of vitamin D for the body (7), ands the inclusion of the vitamin K2 helps the vitamin D to do its job in the support of good bone health (8,9). This spray by Bare Biology gives you a good dosage of both, and being a spray it allows some flexibility with dosage, too!


  • Iron

An important one to consider if you're of menstruating age, or in the postpartum. If your iron or ferritin (the protein which stores iron in your cells) levels are low, then supplementing with iron can be a good idea, but so many of the supplements out there are constipating - particularly unhelpful if you happen to be postpartum! Thorne Research Ferrasorb is is a well tolerated iron supplement, which I have had great successes with. It's not only well tolerated but it's well absorbed too. This is a key supplement if you've got low iron or ferritin levels and need to give a bit of a boost.


  • Evening Primrose Oil

This is rich in omega-6 oils which can be tremedously helpful in supporting hormone balance, particularly for things like PMS and hot flushes in the perimenopause (10). BioCare Evening Primrose Oil is a fabulous one-a-day supplement which gives you a good level of the oil. It is worth persisting with this for 1-2 months though, as that's when it's shown to be most effective.


  • Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a frequently requested supplement, often to help when you're battling a cold or virus, to help support the immune system response (11). Liposomal vitamin C has got a burst of popularity of late, as it is better absorbed, but it does tend to be on the expensive side. If your budget doesn't stretch to such items, then food state vitamins like this one, are a good one to go for. This means that they are sourced from whole foods, so well tolerated and absorbed, which is what you need with your vitamin C for sure.


  • B Complex

This is really popular to support energy production, mood and nervous system health (12), but some folks do have an issue with breaking down and utilising (methylating), b vitamins, so I tend towards using a methylated complex, which means that it's better absorbed and tolerated by everyone. BioCare do these in drops and also in one-a-day capsules if you prefer. The drops are a bit 'yeasty' in taste, but tolerable for sure: the dosage is four drops per day which does allow for some flexibility if you wanted to take a lower dose, as you could just use fewer drops.


*****


All of these are available from The Natural Dispensary, who I absolutely love for supplements, skincare, bath and shower products, and foodstuffs! If you use my code JMF010 then you get 10% off. These aren't affiliate links but my code is an affiliate code.


As well as the brands and products I've listed here, some of my other absolute fave supplement brands include Viridian, Nutri Advanced, BioKult and BetterYou (especially for their transdermal magnesium spray).


Is there anything on this list that you'd like to see and feel needs a spot?

Comment below or send me a message and I may pen a part two! Or if you're feeling like you could do with some bespoke support, please do book in for a discovery call to talk through your options.


  1. de Miranda RB, Weimer P, Rossi RC. Effects of hydrolyzed collagen supplementation on skin aging: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Dermatol. 2021 Dec;60(12):1449-1461. doi: 10.1111/ijd.15518. Epub 2021 Mar 20. PMID: 33742704.

  2. 2. Dietz C, Dekker M. Effect of Green Tea Phytochemicals on Mood and Cognition. Curr Pharm Des. 2017;23(19):2876-2905. doi: 10.2174/1381612823666170105151800. PMID: 28056735.

  3. Docherty S, Doughty FL, Smith EF. The Acute and Chronic Effects of Lion's Mane Mushroom Supplementation on Cognitive Function, Stress and Mood in Young Adults: A Double-Blind, Parallel Groups, Pilot Study. Nutrients. 2023 Nov 20;15(22):4842. doi: 10.3390/nu15224842. PMID: 38004235; PMCID: PMC10675414.

  4. Larmo PS, Yang B, Hyssälä J, Kallio HP, Erkkola R. Effects of sea buckthorn oil intake on vaginal atrophy in postmenopausal women: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Maturitas. 2014 Nov;79(3):316-21. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2014.07.010. Epub 2014 Jul 21. PMID: 25104582.

  5. Yasukawa Z, Inoue R, Ozeki M, Okubo T, Takagi T, Honda A, Naito Y. Effect of Repeated Consumption of Partially Hydrolyzed Guar Gum on Fecal Characteristics and Gut Microbiota: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, and Parallel-Group Clinical Trial. Nutrients. 2019 Sep 10;11(9):2170. doi: 10.3390/nu11092170. PMID: 31509971; PMCID: PMC6769658.

  6. McFarland LV. Systematic review and meta-analysis of Saccharomyces boulardii in adult patients. World J Gastroenterol. 2010 May 14;16(18):2202-22. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v16.i18.2202. PMID: 20458757; PMCID: PMC2868213.

  7. Martineau AR, Thummel KE, Wang Z, Jolliffe DA, Boucher BJ, Griffin SJ, Forouhi NG, Hitman GA. Differential Effects of Oral Boluses of Vitamin D2 vs Vitamin D3 on Vitamin D Metabolism: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2019 Dec 1;104(12):5831-5839. doi: 10.1210/jc.2019-00207. PMID: 31199458; PMCID: PMC6797055.

  8. Maresz K. Growing Evidence of a Proven Mechanism Shows Vitamin K2 Can Impact Health Conditions Beyond Bone and Cardiovascular. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2021 Aug;20(4):34-38. PMID: 34602875; PMCID: PMC8483258.

  9. Schröder M, Riksen EA, He J, Skallerud BH, Møller ME, Lian AM, Syversen U, Reseland JE. Vitamin K2 Modulates Vitamin D-Induced Mechanical Properties of Human 3D Bone Spheroids In Vitro. JBMR Plus. 2020 Aug 3;4(9):e10394. doi: 10.1002/jbm4.10394. PMID: 32995695; PMCID: PMC7507351.

  10. Mahboubi M. Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) Oil in Management of Female Ailments. J Menopausal Med. 2019 Aug;25(2):74-82. doi: 10.6118/jmm.18190. Epub 2019 Aug 5. PMID: 31497576; PMCID: PMC6718646.

  11. Hemilä H. Vitamin C and Infections. Nutrients. 2017 Mar 29;9(4):339. doi: 10.3390/nu9040339. PMID: 28353648; PMCID: PMC5409678.

  12. Sarris J, Mehta B, Óvári V, Ferreres Giménez I. Potential mental and physical benefits of supplementation with a high-dose, B-complex multivitamin/mineral supplement: What is the evidence? Nutr Hosp. 2021 Dec 9;38(6):1277-1286. English. doi: 10.20960/nh.03631. PMID: 34530623.

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