Basic Program Suggestions
Of course, supplements are just that, not a replacement for a sound diet. They do help fill in nutritional holes and make up for a person’s unique metabolic needs. This page describes a program for an average person. However, YOU are not average and may find from experience and testing that you need more or less. If you have a special health concern, please consult a nutrition-oriented physician. Laying a firm foundation with high quality fundamental supplements ultimately means that fewer supplements will be needed to work on specific complaints.
I promise you that I don’t own stock in a single company mentioned here! I may link to sponsors to show you what the product looks like, but I don’t work for them either.
- Probiotics and Digestive Aids. You might be surprised to see this listed first. However, if you think about it, you will realize that if digestion isn’t good, you won’t make the best of the nutrients in your food or your other supplements. After reading about all the many jobs performed by your probiotics (friendly bacteria) it is clear why this is at the top of the list. As we age, our ability to create stomach acid (HCL) and digestive enzymes is impaired. So, I often recommend those as well.
- Multi-Vitamin/Mineral – This is a necessary bit of nutritional insurance to fill (in a balanced way) the nutrient gaps in our diet…agricultural practices have depleted nutrients so that even a great diet may be incomplete. There are a lot of good choices in a health food store. Some key attributes to look for:
- B vitamins at high levels and in the active form the body uses.
- Natural vitamin E. (D-alpha, not Dl-alpha) The synthetic doesn’t work as well and it occupies sites that the natural would otherwise use. (If supplementing E separately, use the complete family of E types as shown below.)
- Absorbable forms of minerals such as chelates. Some highly advertised brands have cheap rock-like forms.
- No nickel. I have never seen a client that needed to increase their levels of nickel. (In reports from testing for minerals and toxins, nickle is listed on the toxic side.)
- Free of chemical junk. Some highly-advertised brands put in all kinds of stuff for marketability and their tableting convenience: sugar, artificial colors that contain aluminum, artificial flavors, chemicals, carnauba wax, paint pigments & anti-freeze to name a few. No kidding! AVOID these. Look at this label. It is an example of one of those highly-advertised vitamin supplements that contains many of these unnecessary ingredients, as well as low amounts of nutrients (mostly in synthetic and less absorbable forms). I believe you get a better value with a natural product instead.
- You can’t do better than Molecular Multi formulated by Bill Sardi. It contains not only the best forms of the nutrients, but includes ones you wouldn’t even think to ask for and are not provided in the likes of Centrum Silver®. The mineral boron is an example. This link is to an interesting article about its benefits.
- Vitamin D – It has long been known that vitamin D is required to build bone. However, widespread deficiencies of vitamin D have begun to call attention to other benefits. The non-profit Vitamin D Council says that the vitamin is “a major factor in the pathology of at least 17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, and more.” Deficiency is due mainly to people following advice to stay out of the sun and to use sunscreen. (Sun is the natural source of this vitamin.) Food is not a good source. And multivitamin/minerals usually contain very little. Mainstream sources say tht the daily amount should be 1-2,000 IU. Other noted natural medicine authorities say that the average adult needs 7,000 IU per day including what is in the multi. Testing is clearly the best idea. The correct test is 25 Hydroxy Vitamin D ( NOT 125 Hydroxy Vitamin D. 20% of docs mistakenly order that test which may show high levels when you are really deficient). See this article for a lot more information on D.
- Fish Oil -We have to really work at getting enough anti-inflammatory omega-3, especially because there is so much pro-inflammatory omega-6 in the food supply. This essential fat has been shown to be of benefit in prevention of heart disease, cancer and depression. It helps lower of triglycerides, reduces inflammation, improves bone health and aids dozens of other conditions. If you re-taste the supplement after you swallow it that is a sign it might not be fresh.
- Magnesium – If the total elemental magnesium in your multi plus the bone combination and other supplements doesn’t add up to at least 450 mg, you might want to consider a separate magnesium supplement. See the Magnesium page for information on this crucial but often deficient mineral.
- Vitamin C – Even conservative government-sponsored research shows that 500 mg of this basic antioxidant is needed for most people. Other studies show that a person who is toxic or sick may need a great deal more, even up to several thousand milligrams per day. Vitamin C has antihistamine properties, so allergy sufferers may feel better with more. If higher amounts produce a loose stool, then reduce the amount and/or change the form. An innovative product, Formula 216, helps the blood levels of C stay high around the clock and appear to even boost the level when we need more, like when the body is under stress either physical or emotional.
After you’ve laid a good foundation, if you have the resources to take additional supplements, these are supplements to consider because they have broad benefits.
- CoQ10 – This is a “co-enzyme” produced by the body and found in the cells of all breathing, living things. It is an essential nutrient that helps support cellular and cardiovascular function. It does this by supplying the biochemical ‘spark’ that creates cellular energy. Our supply of CoQ10 diminishes as we age and takes a dramatic dip when “statin” cholesterol-lowering drugs are used. CoQ10 is one of the most important supplements for anyone with congestive heart failure and for those on a statin drug which depletes CoQ10. Either use a ubiquinol form such as this fine product by Jarrow or at least take care to take the less expensive forms along with a meal that contains fat.
- Glutathione booster – Glutathione is the master antioxidant in the body and restores many of the others as well as being a detoxifier of pesticides and heavy metals. Unfortunately we have lower levels as we age. Oral supplements of glutathione are not well absorbed. I prefer to take a probiotic strain called ME-3 that greatly raises Glutathione from the inside! It comes in 3 Reg’Activ combinations with other nutrients for special purposes: Cardiovascular, Detox / Liver, and Immune / Vitality.
- Longevinex – Longevinex is the most well studied and beneficial combination I am aware of for slowing the ravages of aging and for prevention (and even reversal) of many chronic diseases such as Macular Degeneration.
- Vitamin E Complex – It is also important to look for mixed tocopherols. They supply the rest of the vitamin E family-gamma, delta and beta tocopherols. Tocotrienols are also part of the vitamin E family and research has shown benefit for heart disease, diabetes and various cancers. This is the supplement I take, again a product from Jarrow Formulas.
Why isn’t calcium on the list by itself? That mineral has been virtually crammed down our throats and is now being consumed to excess by those in middle age and beyond. I don’t recommend supplementing calcium unless there is a documented reason and it is combined with vitamin K2 to make sure it goes into bone, not the arteries. Here is an important book on Vitamin K2 and another on the problems with excess calcium.
I do not apologize for taking a handful of supplements because that has allow me to get pretty old without having to take any pharmaceuticals.
Copyright 2005-2020 by Martie Whittekin, CCN