What Supplements Do You Take, Dr E?

Health Tips / What Supplements Do You Take, Dr E?
What Supplements Do You Take, Dr E?

It’s a question I’m asked with some regularity. Last week, when I told you about our new WholeHealth Supplement Plans for personalized monthly supplement delivery (which we started offering yesterday), I ended that Health Tip by mentioning that I swallow 18 supplements twice a day. You might have thought it weird and/or nauseating. But, hey, I’m still here!

If you’re ever curious beyond the information in this Health Tip, just ask our apothecary manager. She knows my supplement list (and has my permission to share it) because it’s stored in our computer, as is yours in case you come in to replenish your stock and forget the name of something you’ve been taking.

When we created WholeHealth Plans, I based the supplement selections on my personal list. If you read last week’s Health Tip, you know we organize supplements into two groups: health maintenance (the basics) and specific health concerns.

In upcoming weeks you’ll come to appreciate that you and I have distinctive health needs. For example, my guess is that you require nothing for prostate health (though we do have some patients who might be interested).

Also, it’s unlikely you’re anywhere near my age. Believe me, as the years go by you’ll notice an increased concern on your part about preventing what’s euphemistically called age-related memory decline. Well, I’m having none of that, thank you. So four of my specific health concern choices fall under the heading of nootropics, supplements that enhance memory and focus.

For the same threat of impending dotage, you’ll appreciate my interest in anti-aging medicine. I’ll list these supplements in future Health Tips and, by the time I finish up this series, you’ll see I do take quite a few pills daily.

Most of the products I use are made by Integrative Therapeutics Inc (ITI), Metagenics, or Xymogen, three of the largest supplement manufacturers selling primarily to health care professionals. Because of their close relationship with physicians, the quality of these companies is exacting–obsessive, even–and I appreciate that.

I’ve organized my supplements by category. First, the basics:

Multiple vitamin

Large clinical trials have confirmed that taking a multiple vitamin will reduce your risk of developing cancer as well as a variety of unpleasant chronic illnesses. However, it remains uncertain whether it’s the vitamins themselves or the fact that vitamin takers are simply more health conscious, probably a combination. I do know our food is not as nourishing as it once was and most of us aren’t getting the recommended five servings of fruit and veggies every day. I personally take ITI Multiplex without iron (the only people who need the with-iron version are menstruating women), one capsule twice daily.

Vitamin C

To me, vitamin C has been our immune superstar ever since Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling made the world aware of his findings more than 50 years ago. Without supplementation, we’re chronically deficient in C because our bodies can’t produce it. Although conventional doctors were initially skeptical about Pauling’s work, today they pretty much agree he was right all along. Most physicians pop vitamin C daily. I take Buffered Vitamin C, one capsule twice daily, again by Integrative Therapeutics. Here’s an article I wrote about vitamin C.

Vitamin D

It’s only been in the past ten years or so that vitamin D came front and center as one of our most important disease-preventing nutritional supplements. Over the years, I’ve written at least half a dozen articles on the importance of vitamin D, including one about low D increasing susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2.

There are many excellent manufacturers, but Xymogen K2/D3 5,000 IU stands out because of its added vitamin K. You probably know vitamin D enhances absorption of calcium from your diet. The added K helps to incorporate that calcium into bone building. The dose is one capsule daily.

Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil)

At first there was skepticism among conventional physicians that fish oil could do anything useful. Today it’s garnered worldwide acceptance as a major factor in disease prevention (heart, cancer, mental illness, inflammation). Eating more fish and taking daily fish oil is a no-brainer. I wrote a summary article here and recommend OmegaGenics (by Metagenics), one capsule twice daily.

Curcumin (turmeric)

It seems that every month yet another article appears extolling the benefits of this bright orange spice. As an antioxidant, it’s just as potent as vitamin C. But it’s also an anti-inflammatory, an immune booster, an antiviral, and even helps lower cholesterol. The anti-inflammatory effect can reach the brain and the unusually low incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in India is attributed to the widespread use of curcumin as a daily spice.

Most recently, studies have shown that curcumin prevents age-related DNA damage, so it’s now included on lists of anti-aging supplements. I personally take either Theracurmin HP (by Integrative Therapeutics) or Xymogen Circuplex-95, one capsule twice daily.

Immune Boosting Mushroom Blends

The Covid-19 pandemic certainly pushed us to ponder the status of our immune systems. Vaccine or not, the virus is still out there, changing forms and (yikes) ready to strike again. The next surge, predicted for late autumn of this year, will strike the unvaccinated, who are currently (and selfishly) relying on the kindness and courage of everyone else to keep them protected.

Medical mushrooms are called immune modulators because they increase the efficiency of your body’s immune system when it confronts an infection, but tones down your immune system if it’s unnecessarily hyperactive, which happens with autoimmune disorders. My selection here is based on availability. The mushroom companies are small, the demand very high, and thus good products can be on temporary backorder. I like Five Defenders (Real Mushrooms), Mycotaki (Metagenics),  and Immune Blend (Fufluns). Dose is one capsule twice a day.

Probiotics

Thanks to naturopathic and functional medicine physicians, conventional doctors are finally beginning to accept Hippocrates’ sage words that all disease begins in the gut. Well, not all disease, of course, but many chronic metabolic conditions are hypothesized to be caused or influenced by chronic gut inflammation and we’re learning more every year about the microbiome. Here’s a link to an article from the Harvard Health Letter on the importance of taking probiotics for disease prevention.

I recommend one of our largest-selling supplements, UltraFlora Balance by Metagenics. Other excellent products include Orthobiotic (by OrthoMolecular) and ProBioMax (Xymogen). Dosing of probiotics is one capsule daily.

And so those are my supplement basics. As mentioned, there are quite a few more I take for specific needs. We’ll cover them in the weeks to come. Click here to get your own monthly supply started.

Be well,

David Edelberg, MD

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