Basic Program Suggestions
Supplements, as the name implies, are not a replacement for a sound diet. They help fill in nutritional holes that are found in even great diets and compensate 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 health professional. Laying a firm foundation with high quality fundamental supplements ultimately means that fewer supplements will be needed to work on various complaints.
I promise you that I don’t profit from a single company mentioned here! I may link to respected sponsors to show you what the product looks like, but I don’t work for them.
- Probiotics and Digestive Aids. You might be surprised to see this listed first. However, if you think about it, it is obvious that, if digestion isn’t good, you cannot make the best use 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. In my book, The Probiotic Cure, I recommended Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics and explained why. Also, as we age, our ability to create important stomach acid (HCL) and digestive enzymes can be impaired. .
- Multi-Vitamin/Mineral – This is a logical and proven way to get balanced nutritional insurance. Agricultural practices have depleted nutrients in food crops so that even a great diet may be incomplete. Health food store multi’s are way better than those highly advertised products in the mass market. Read my page on how to pick a multi.The best I know of is Molecular Multi and I explain why.
- Vitamin D – It has long been known that vitamin D is required to build bone. However, widespread deficiencies of vitamin D (due to lack of less sun in winter and staying out of the sun year-round and use of sunscreen) have called attention to other benefits. According to the non-profit Vitamin D Council, vitamin D 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.” Sun is the natural source of this vitamin and food provides very little. So, we supplement. But, multivitamin/minerals usually do not contain enough. See this article for a lot more information on D, testing and dosing. Note, magnesium and vitamin K2 are required for vitamin D to be absorbed and work properly.
- Fish Oil -We must really work at getting enough anti-inflammatory omega-3, especially because there is so much pro-inflammatory omega-6 in the food supply from vegetable oils. Essential omega-3 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 amount in 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. By the way, if you see “magnesium stearate” on a label, that is not there for nutritional benefit but rather to facilitate manufacturing, It is safe. Click here to read technical details about that ingredient.
- 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 also feel better with extra. 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 optimal around the clock and appear to even boost the level when we need more, such as when the body is under stress either physical or emotional. Read this page for a much more complete picture of vitamin C.
- Vitamin E Complex – Natural vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol, not the synthetic dL-alpha tocopherol) works much better. It is important to look for mixed tocopherols with the rest of the vitamin E family (gamma, delta and beta tocopherols and 4 Tocotrienols which are also part of the vitamin E family. Research has shown benefit for heart disease, diabetes and various cancers.) This is the supplement I recommend, a product from Jarrow Formulas.
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.
- Glutathione booster – Glutathione is the master antioxidant in the body and restores many of the others as well as being a detoxifier of, for example, pesticides and heavy metals. Unfortunately, we have lower levels as we age. Even expensive oral supplements of glutathione are not well absorbed. I greatly prefer to take a probiotic strain called ME-3. This friendly bacteria makes glutathione and greatly raises levels from inside us! It comes by itself and included in these in 3 Reg’Activ combinations along with complementary nutrients to support special purposes: Cardiovascular, Detox / Liver, and Immune / Vitality.
- Longevinex – Longevinex is the only well studied and most beneficial combination for slowing the ravages of aging and for prevention (or even reversal) of many chronic degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease and Macular Degeneration.
- Garlic – Garlic has been a popular heath food for thousands of years and any form will bring some benefit. But, there are over 850 scientific studies on Kyolic Aged Garlic. The variety of serious health conditions that show benefit is simply astounding.
- 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. Either use a ubiquinol form such as this fine product by Jarrow or at least take care to swallow the less expensive forms along with a meal that contains fat.
- Aloe vera. Along with other important benefits, science has shown that the ‘miracle plant’ (if Lily of the Desert brand) greatly helps absorption of dietary supplements.
Why isn’t calcium on the list by itself? That mineral has been virtually crammed down our throats and is now often 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 magnesium and 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 a handful of pharmaceuticals and worry about their side effects.
Copyright 2005-2020 by Martie Whittekin, CCN