The Eight Supplements Everyone Should Take

No one can afford to take every supplement out there—nor do you need to. Every day you are bombarded by ads to make yourself healthier by taking some pill. It is false to think any pill collection will make up for bad diet and sedentary lifestyle. But it is also false that vitamins just make “expensive urine”–although that is a favorite bit of disinformation doctors blithely repeat for the benefit of Pharmaceutical salesmen. The truth is there really are compelling reasons to take supplements. But not all supplements. So how do you choose? Ultimately, there are genetic, substrate analysis and cellular growth tests that can pinpoint deficiencies. These tests can certainly be worthwhile to fine tune your supplements when every other part of your wellness has been attended to. But to start, there are some supplements that everyone should take because in many cases there is literally a world-wide or regional deficiency of the vital nutrient.

Why Use Our Supplements?

Given enough time and research you can find some good supplements. But we are trying to make the process simple and cost effective.

1..We provide only “Pharmaceutical grade” supplements. For example, the average probiotic in the grocery contains 16% of the live bacteria listed, and even if all were present, the Pharmaceutical grade choices contain much more.

2. We have chosen from a variety of suppliers to give you “best in class”. You don’t have to compare 20 versions of Vitamin D3—we’ve done it for you. We choose what is consistent with the latest scientific knowledge.

3. We are selling our supplements at the best price we can afford to do. If you find a better deal for same quality/quantity item, you let us know.

4. Our supplements have not been standing on a box store loading dock in heat or cold, nor gathering dust on a shelf. We buy small amounts and keep the stock fresh.

How to make your supplements effective.

Supplements taken infrequently are of little value. I know you live in a busy world, so make it convenient to take your supplements with you. I buy a number of 1 week jumbo pill boxes that have seven compartments for days in them. (You may use large or small depending on the number of supplements plus medication you regularly take.). Then once every two to three months I fill my boxes with my morning hormones (or medicines) and my supplements. When I’m home, I dump the pills into a little dish and take with breakfast or morning green tea. When I drive to work or am on vacation I empty a day’s pills into a snack baggie and take with me. The key is to take your medications when they need to be taken, then supplements can be taken anytime. Consistency is the key.

Vitamin D3

If you had to choose one Vitamin, this is it.  Vitamin D is not really a vitamin but a hormone.  Specifically, Vitamin D is a “secosteroid”, a multifunction molecule that is key to energy balance, important in body composition, cancer prevention, obesity and diabetes.  It improves bone, decreases dementia, decreases arrhythmia, and is generally essential to good health–because it heals the ends of the DNA molecule.  The active form, Vitamin D3 is really your most important anti-aging hormone. The current recommendations of 400-2000 iu/ day are woefully out of date and too low.  Nature gives people who live near the equator 30,000-40,000 iu a day from the sun.  I myself take 10,000 iu a day, and believe that someday even this will be shown to be too low.  In any case, in people not on renal dialysis, there has never been an overdose of Vit D3 reported at 10,000 iu a day.

Magnesium

Nearly everyone as they get older becomes deficient in Magnesium. This may be due to depletion of this vital mineral from our soils. Testing is not helpful usually, because, by the time blood studies detect a deficiency, cells have been low for decades. Deficiency, even before a low level appears on blood studies results in leg cramping, constipation, inadequate calcium handling, bone fragility, and contributes to hypertension and neurologic impairment. Not all forms of magnesium are well absorbed. Do not take Magnesium Oxide which has the worst absorption. Use either Magnesium malate, Magnesium Citrate, or Magnesium Glycinate. Magnesium glycinate makes you sleepy so take it at night. Any form of Magnesium may cause loose stools at first as the bowel improves its peristalsis (squeezing). (As they say, “This too shall pass.”) If you do have frequent or loose stools, take smaller doses and work slowly up to the recommended 400-800 mg/ day. Even larger doses can be taken to reduce blood pressure.

Iodine

The Midwest is known as the “goiter belt” because of the number of people with enlarged thyroid glands (goiters). This occurs because Midwest diets are lacking in seafood and therefore iodine. We landlocked people, even with modern food systems, are lucky if we get 100 micrograms a day from our salt. The Japanese eat seaweed and get about 12.5 mg/ day from this diet. Iodine not only improves your thyroid, it is an anti-cancer supplement.. The Japanese have the lowest rate of breast cancer in the world. Iodine has been shown to decrease cancer rates in rats, and to kill cancer cells in laboratory tests. A large study was done by a group of physicians known as the “Iodine Project” which details the many benefits of this wonderful and critically important mineral. Our supplement is the Japanese dose of 12.5 mg.

Zinc

Everyone—even children—seem to be deficient in zinc–when tested using new highly sensitive testing. Again, this is probably due to depletion in our soils. Supplementation with zinc has been shown to be effective in shortening cold duration, and in improved skin healing after plastic surgery. If we were getting enough zinc in our diet to optimize our metabolic functions, no such wound healing effect would be seen. Zinc is critical in cell to cell signaling. You can get a small dose of zinc in most multivitamins. But recent studies show that deficiency of zinc causes the body to substitute copper, and this elevated copper/zinc ratio is associated with cancer. In human case studies of terminal cancer with metastases, infusions of zinc into the cancers killed both the primary and the metastases without patient harm. So a bigger zinc supplement has large potential benefit. I try to take at least 16 mg if not more of zinc a day.

Liposomal Vitamin C

Vitamin C is necessary for health in a variety of ways because it renews the internal anti-oxidant system. Linus Pauling was a brilliant researcher and the only person to be given two Nobel prizes in two “hard” sciences—chemistry and physics. He made a very serious argument that arterial aging was unrecognized “scurvy”—or Vitamin C deficiency. He also proposed that Vitamin C could help fight the common cold and cancer—but he couldn’t prove it because the vitamin C he had at the time was not well absorbed. After his death, others pursued his research, advocating IV Vitamin C which could be given in big doses without causing diarrhea. That was an improvement because it was enough Vitamin C to saturate the immune white cells. At the first sign of an infectious intruder, your body’s white cells suck up all the C they can find from the surrounding tissue. The problem remained that only those immune cells in the vascular system could really benefit from old fashioned Vitamin C. But today liposomal encapsulation (wrapping the C into a gel) allows the Vitamin C to pass through the body’s membranes with ease—getting the Vitamin to the tissues that need it. 10 mg of liposomal Vitamin C is probably the equivalent of 50 gm IV. In the past, experimentally, I have taken 50 gm of Vitamin C IV with some immediate effect during a viral illness. But more recently I have taken 10-12 grams of liposomal Vitamin C and had complete reversal of cold symptoms. I have gone from being run down with runny nose, sore throat, watery eyes in the morning, to feeling great and going to the gym in the afternoon. Many of my patients, and I have had this experience–stopping the virus in its tracks with Liposomal Vitamin C. Of course, it’s not the C, it’s your immune system which fights illness, and so Vitamin C is not a 100% solution to all colds and illness. But I for one now never leave home on a trip without a bottle of Liposomal Vitamin C.

MK-7

You are as old as your oldest part. For most people that part is their arterial system. Aging of the arteries produces stiffness followed by narrowing. And sadly, this is followed by Stroke, Heart Attack, Dissecting Aneurysm, Valve dysfunction and death. There are multiple lifestyle factors which contribute to this and should be corrected. But now, new evidence has emerged that Vitamin K is critical to keeping arteries flexible. Vitamin K activates special proteins in arteries and other soft tissues to keep calcium out, thereby helping to protect the artery from stiffness and plaque formation. At the same time, Vitamin K activates calcium binding proteins which add calcium to your bone improving skeletal strength. So K is a win, win by keeping Calcium where it needs to be. Recently, a long acting form of Vitamin K called MK-7 has been shown to reverse arterial stiffness. MK-7 is the preferred way to take you K vitamin, so it has been recently added to my top tier of supplements.

Mito Q. (a CoQ10 product)

This is a special formulation of CoQ10 that gets into your mitochondria where you need it. As the science of aging progresses we are focused more and more on the mitochondria. The mitochondria are the tiny intra-cellular factories that produce energy for the body using an “electron transport chain”. Coenzyme Q10 is vital for this energy production. As a metaphor I think of mitochondria as little coal power plants. The primary job is to take fuel (food for mitochondria, coal for power plants) and turn it into energy. Like a conveyor belt moving coal to the furnace, CoQ10 helps transport your broken down food so the mitochondria can turn it into energy. Some people produce a lot of CoQ10, others genetically are marginal. And, today we are bombarded with environmental factors that deplete our mitochondrial CoQ10. These environmental agents include general anesthesia, drugs such as Cipro, and most frequently statin drugs–which deplete CoQ10 from the basilar membrane of the mitochondria.
Depletion of CoQ10 can cause people to have muscle aches and pains, fatigue, neurologic symptoms, and can contribute to heart failure. Recently the American Academy of Cardiology showed that giving patients CoQ10 actually lowered death and disability from heart disease. Why MitoQ? Standard CoQ10 is very inefficient at getting into the place its needed—the mitochondria. MitoQ has a charged particle attached to the CoQ-10 which allows it to pass into the mitochondria and supply antioxidant where it’s needed. You can buy cheaper CoQ10 and to some degree it helps. But it is rather like water from a fireman’s hose that can’t reach the inside of the burning building. MitoQ passes through the walls to the fire. Although at our clinic, we remain very skeptical about most topical skin creams, we use Mito-Q am and pm topical creams to improve skin quality with great effect, because it is able to get to the target. Mito-Q truly supports our goal of “wellness and beauty from the inside out”.

Selenium

Selenium importance was known to others, but slipped by me until the Covid fiasco, when I heard several doctors comment that Selenium is “Birth Control for viruses”. Fortunately our Enlighten Omaha brand Iodine supplement contains 40mcg Selenium, so I had been adding some to my regular dietary intake. It is interesting to note that Chinese soils are woefully deficient in Selenium, and in some areas children were dying of a selenium related cardiac disorder before the government added selenium to the fertilizer in the regions. Perhaps this explains some of the reason this virus was more deadly in China than it proved elsewhere. Selenium is a potent antioxidant, and has been shown to tamp down inflammation at the level of DNA by inhibiting NFkB. This has led scientists to believe Selenium plays a major role in the prevention of cancer, as well as Type 2 Diabetes, and vascular disease—the three major scourges of our time. Don’t take more that 220 mcg a day.

More Supplements to follow: In the (hopefully) near future, we will be publishing a simple handbook of supplements that will be easy to read, easy to carry with you and give you a simple yet scientifically elegant guide to the subject.