I'm putting together a list of supplements I take. Below is the list so far.
Vitamin D acts on over 1,000 different genes and serves as a substrate for sex hormones like testosterone, human growth hormone, and estrogen. It moderates immune function and inflammation. It assists in calcium metabolism and bone formation. It’s no coincidence this is one of the few vitamins humans can make on their own, with a little bit of sunshine. Without it – we’d be dead. It’s true that you can get adequate vitamin D from sun exposure, but for non-nudist non-equatorial dwellers, sun alone is not enough. And for those concerned about toxicity from supplementation: if you’re getting adequate vitamin A, it’s almost impossible to overdose on D.
Dose: 1,000 IU / 15 kg of body weight.
Form: D3 with vitamin K
Take it: In the morning
This is almost as important as vitamin D, and almost as underappreciated. Magnesium is used in over 300 enzymatic processes, including all of those involved in ATP (energy) production. It’s also vital for proper transcription of DNA and RNA.
Magnesium deficiency is a serious problem. Symptoms include heart arrhythmias, tachycardia, headaches, muscle cramps, nausea, metabolic syndrome, migraines, and pretty much everything else you don’t want. It’s also associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, anxiety disorders, and PMS.
Due to soil depletion and poor farming practices, it’s almost impossible to get enough magnesium from diet alone. Without a doubt – everyone should supplement with magnesium.
Dose: 200-800mg /
Forms: Citrate, malate, glycinate, threonate, or orotate
Take it: Before bedtime.
Unless you grew up eating only grass-fed meat and raw milk – you’re deficient in vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is a fat soluble vitamin involved in calcium metabolism. Excess calcium is deposited in arteries, leading to calcification and decreased vascular function. This is why vitamin K2 could play a role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and bone loss.
Vitamin K1 is the kind of vitamin K found in leafy vegetables, and vitamin K2 is the kind found in grass-fed animal products. Ruminant animals like cows and sheep convert K1 into K2 in their stomachs, but humans don’t convert K1 to K2 as efficiently.
There are two subsets of vitamin K2: MK-4, and MK-7. MK-4 is the kind shown to produce the most benefit, but MK-7 is still important. You should consume a total of at least 2,000mcg per day of K1 and K2, at least 100mcg of which should be the MK-7 form.
Dose: 2,000mcg / day (100mcg MK-7 form)
Take it: At meal time, along with some fat and your vitamin D supplement.
This is one of the safest, most effective supplements you can take. Vitamin C is needed for collagen and connective tissue formation. It’s used to manufacture glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant in the body. Vitamin C can enhance immune function and help quench free radical damage. Studies show you can take up to 120 grams of vitamin C a day with no side effects, not that I recommend this amount.
It’s hard to get enough vitamin C from food, which is why 30 percent of the population is deficient.
Some fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin C, but cooking and storage methods can deplete vitamin C content. Supplementation with at least 500mg per day is optimal. You should take a lot more if you are suffering from chronic infections or healing from injury.
Dose: 1-2 grams / day
Forms: Ascorbic acid crystals or time release capsules.
Take it: In the morning and evening, but it’s best not to take it after a workout as isolated antioxidants can negate the insulin sensitivity gained from exercise.
Iodine is crucial for proper thyroid function and metabolism. It also enhances immune function and prevents brain damage. Iodine deficiency is widespread, so supplementation is wise. Physically active people are at especially high risk for deficiency because you lose iodine through sweat. You can get some iodine from seafood, but unless you’re eating it with every meal, you probably won’t get enough. If you suffer from a thyroid condition, consult your functional medicine doctor before you supplement with iodine.
Dose: 150 mcg to 1000 mcg (1 mg) / day
Forms: Kelp powder or potassium iodide capsules
Take it: Once daily, with food
EPA/DHA (krill oil)
This is a tricky one. Small doses of high-quality fish oil reduce inflammation, improve brain function, and even enhance muscle growth, but poor quality or high doses can cause more problems than they help to solve. Not all fish oil is created equal. Most of the brands you are likely to buy at your local grocery are contaminated, oxidized, and low potency. If you can’t find a good fish oil, you’re much better off avoiding it altogether.
That’s why I recommend krill oil over fish oil. Krill is more stable and it is phosphorylated, meaning it’s easier for your brain to use. It also comes with astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant.
There are real benefits to taking EPA and DHA, but most of these are strongest if your diet is deficient in omega-3s, or too high in omega-6’s. Most people don’t get nearly enough omega-3s through diet alone. Humans need 350mg of DHA and EPA a day to have optimal brain function. If you’re eating grass-fed meat and wild-caught fish several times a week, this is easily obtainable. If you can’t find grass-fed meat or wild caught seafood, you should supplement with 500-1000mg of krill oil per day.
Dose: 2000mg / day
Forms: Krill Oil
Take it: With meals
Note: I was recently in my local vitamin shop. They had no Krill Oil. The shopkeeper said they thought it might be because farming it was not good for the environment. If this is true then soon you’ll not be able to get it. And if it is indeed bad for the environment then don’t buy it. Instead get the best quality fish oil you can find.
These are just a few basic supplements I think most people would benefit from. If you’re looking for a more robust regimen, take a look at some of the following:
This is essential if you aren’t eating organ meats like beef liver, kidney, and heart. Vitamin A is an important cofactor for numerous metabolic reactions and bodily functions. An important thing to remember is that you can’t get vitamin A from plants. Plants don’t have vitamin A, they have beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is poorly converted into vitamin A, which is why some populations develop vitamin A deficiency despite consuming far more than they should have required.
Dose: 3,000-10,000 IU / day.
Forms: Retinol (a good source of vitamin A is cod liver oil, which also has vitamin D)
Take it: With meals
Zinc + Copper
Zinc and copper both serve hundreds of critical tasks to keep you healthy, and I take them together for a couple reasons:
1) Too much zinc can decrease copper levels in your body.
2) Together, zinc and copper form the antioxidant copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD), one of your body’s most critical natural defence mechanisms.
Zinc is a key mineral in the support of healthy immune function, energy production, and mood. It’s important to supplement because it can be tough to get a meaningful amount from food, and your body doesn’t store it, meaning you need to replenish each day.
You need copper to work in conjunction with zinc, and for proper vascular and heart function. Copper intake has fallen over the last century due to modern farming and dietary practices. Modern fruits, vegetables, and conventional meats are low in copper, containing 75 percent less than they used to.
Dose: 15mg zinc orotate and 1-2mg copper orotate per day
Take it: Outside of meals/supplements containing iron, calcium, and phytates, which can decrease absorption of zinc.
Methyl B-12 and Methyl Folate
Most people are deficient in B12. Vitamin B12 can protect against dementia, increase immune function, maintain nerves, and regenerate cells. B12 lowers homocysteine and protects against atherosclerosis. It’s necessary for maintaining methylation reactions that repair DNA and prevent cancer. One of the most crucial areas for B12 is the brain.
Folate deficiency can also cause mental symptoms, although B12 is more likely to be a problem. Folate and B12 are both required for mental function, and a deficiency in one produces a deficiency in the other, but folate will not correct a B12 deficiency in the brain. Folate also supports a healthy heart and nervous system. If you make the mistake of treating B12 deficiency without folate, you can get permanent brain damage. Likewise, high amounts of folate without adequate B12 can cause neurological conditions. That’s why I take them together.
Dose: 5mg+ of methylcobalamin or hydroxocobalamin and 800mcg+ of folate (5-MTHF or folinic acid, NOT folic acid)
Forms: Capsule and/or lozenge
Take it: Daily with food
Extras. The next set of supplements are more for specific times like during the Christmas period or when you need to study for a test. I will add to these when they come to mind.
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that boosts mood, cognition, physical and mental stress response, and healthy glandular function. It quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier to increase the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. It’s also a building block for thyroid hormone. Your body can make it, but it depletes when you’re stressed, and with modern living, most people’s production can’t keep up. Studies have shown that cadets in combat training supplementing with L-Tyrosine had reduced negative effects from physical and psychosocial stress on mental performance.
Dose: 500-2000mg per day.
Forms: Pure L-Tyrosine
Take it: Whenever you want.
Toxins from low-quality, processed food, and environmental pollution sap your energy and contribute to brain fog and digestive issues. Chronic exposure to toxins causes cellular damage, allergic reactions, compromised immunity, and rapid aging. Regular use of activated charcoal can remove unwanted toxins from your body, leaving you feeling renewed and more vibrant, often in minutes.
After digesting foods like beans, the decomposition process from bacteria in your body creates by-products like gas or diarrhoea. Activated charcoal enters the digestive tract and counteracts this process by binding to by-products and easing these digestive issues.
When to avoid taking charcoal: Never take activated charcoal with prescription medications or with other supplements. Charcoal binds a lot of substances — even prescription medications, vitamins, and minerals. Wait 2-3 hours after taking charcoal to take other supplements or meds and talk to your doctor about the details.
Drink plenty of water: Excessive charcoal consumption, especially without magnesium, can result in constipation. Take 300-400 mg magnesium glycate about 3 hours after taking charcoal and drink plenty of water to avoid constipation.