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On June 8, 2014, I wrote a blog post #15, “Is taking multivitamin and supplements helpful, harmless or harmful?” There I described my thinking on this subject and what I was taking at that time as supplements. Back then I was taking supplement in 29 pills. These days, it is up to 42 pills! So, to anyone watching, it must feel a little more than crazy.

Over the holidays, when family and friends saw me take all those supplement pills, I kept getting these questions:

“What are all these pills you are taking?”

Do you need all these supplements?

Is it even safe to take all these on a daily basis?

Finally, I pulled out my bag of supplements and gave them the full tour. I particularly wanted to hear my niece’s opinion, who is a cardiologist, to understand if I was doing anything wrong.

So, I thought this was a good topic to revisit.

Here is what I am taking these days and why, and a little background how I got there. The following chart summarizes the supplements, their brand names and generally what there are for.

No. Vendor Name Description # Pills per Day
1.

 

Xtendlife Total Balance Men’s Premium Daily multivitamins, minerals. It also have many other items generally considered beneficial 7
2. Xtendlife Omega 3/ QH Ultra Fish Oil, Omega 6, Omega 9, Ubiqunol 4
3. Nature’s Bounty Flaxseed Oil 1200 mg each Flaxseed Oil 2
4. Nature’s Bounty D3-2000 2000 mg each Vitamin D3 2
5. LifeExtension Glucosamine / Chondroitin Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin Sulfate – for joint health 2
6. NOW Calcium Citrate

250 mg calcium each

Along with Vitamin D, Manganese, Zinc, Copper and Magnesium required for absorption – for bone health 2
7. Nature’s Plus Red Rice Yeast

600 mg each

To manage cholesterol 2
8. Xtendlife Male Rejuvinator For prostate health 6
9. Life Extension Super Miaforte For Low T 4
10. RAW Probiotics Ultimate Care-100 Billion Garden of Life 34 different strains of bacteria 1
11. VitaminShoppe B-Complex 50 All B Vitamins – recommended by Genova Diagnostics 1
12. Life Extension Optimized Folate

L-Methylfolate 1000 mg

Metabolically active form of folic acid -– recommended by Genova Diagnostics 1
13. MethylCobamin Vitamin B-12 1mg Recommended by Genova Diagnostics 1
14. SOLGRID Chelated Molybdenum Recommended by Genova Diagnostics 1
15. VitaminShoppe Alpha Lipoic Acid 100 mg Recommended by Genova Diagnostics 1
16. KAL Magnesium 400mg each Recommended by Genova Diagnostics 1
17. VitaminShoppe CoQ-10

200 mg

Additional amount for allergies and liver support 1
18. VitaminShoppe NAC N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine 600mg For hay fever/ rag weed allergies and liver support 2
19. VitaminShoppe Milk Thistle extract 300mg For hay fever/ rag weed allergies and liver support 1

Here is the story of how I got to my current 42 pills a day regime.

I started with the daily multivitamin.

That is the most basic. I know that many people, including some of the physicians I have had, believe that it is best to get the basic vitamins and minerals “in a natural way”. I guess that means from what we eat or drink. But doing the research on this topic I have decided that there isn’t much “natural” about our lifestyle.

Eating foods that include pizzas, fried ice creams, drinking caramel macchiatos, going through eating and dieting binges, living in temperature controlled houses and offices, using gadgets and gizmos for everything, rushing to doctors for prescription for every symptom, I am not sure what it really means to get nutrients that body needs in a “natural way”. And, with all the technology that we use to grow our food these days, even fruits and vegetable can hardly be called “natural”.

Any doctor will tell you, yes if you are deficit in any of the basic vitamins and minerals, you can develop health issues. The way I look at it, why would I want to chance having deficit of any of these essential items? So, as far as I am concerned, daily dose of all essential vitamins and minerals is a must.

My search for the best multivitamin in the marketplace led me to Xtendlife. And, as you can see in this table below, their super-duper multivitamin product is Total Balance Men’s Premium – which includes lots of other well-known herbs and molecules in additional to the essential vitamins and minerals. So, that is what I have been taking. In the table, each underscored item is a hyperlink to the detail about that item on Xtendlife’s website. In many cases, hyperlink shows the literature they have used to determine the daily optimal dose, which in some cases you will notice is much more than 100% for USDA recommended daily allowance (RDA).

Supplement Facts (Total Balance Men’s Premium multivitamin) Serving size: 7 Tablets Servings per container: 15
Amount Per Serving % Daily Value*
Calories 25
     Calories from fat 5
Vitamin A 5000 IU 100%
(from Natural mixed carotenoids)
Vitamin C 285 mg 480%
(from 180 mg of Calcium ascorbate, 200 mg of Potassium ascorbate and 40 mg of  Ascorbyl palmitate)
Vitamin D3 500 IU 130%
(as Cholecalciferol)
Vitamin E 100 IU 330%
(as D-Alpha tocopheryl succinate from vegetable and soy bean oils 1 mg = 1.21 IU)
Vitamin K2 180 mcg 230%
(as Menaquinone)
Thiamin 10 mg 670%
(from 14 mg of Thiamin hydrochloride)
Riboflavin 10 mg 590%
(from 21 mg of Riboflavin-5-phosphate)
Niacin 27 mg 140%
(from 15 mg of Nicotinic acid, 15 mg of Niacinamide and 0.97 mg Chromium nicotinate)
Vitamin B6  8mg 400%
(from 12 mg of Pyridoxal-5-phosphate)
Folic Acid 300 mcg 80%
Vitamin B12  25 mcg 420%
(as Cobamamide)
Biotin 400 mcg 130%
Pantothenic acid 41 mg 410%
(from 48 mg Calcium pantothenate)
Calcium 50 mg 6%
(from 90 mg of Dicalcium phosphate, 180 mg of Calcium ascorbate, 60 mg of Calcium magnesium inositol hexaphosphate and 48 mg of Calcium pantothenate)
Phosphorus 28 mg 4%
(from 90 mg of Dicalcium phosphate, 60 mg of Calcium magnesium inositol hexaphosphate, 21 mg of  Riboflavin- 5-phosphate and 12 mg of Pyridoxal- 5-phosphate)
Iodine 150 mcg 100%
(from 197 mcg Potassium iodide)
Magnesium 67 mg 20%
(from 200 mg of Magnesium citrate, 102 mg of Magnesium stearate and 60 mg of Calcium magnesium inositol hexaphosphate)
Zinc 19 mg 130%
(from 33 mg of Zinc acetate dihydrate and 31 mg of Zinc citrate)
Selenium 100 mcg 140%
(from 250 mcg of L-selenomethionine)
Copper 0.2 mg 10%
(from 1.43 mg of Copper gluconate)
Manganese 2 mg 100%
(from 8 mg of Manganese citrate)
Chromium 106 mcg 90%
(from 970 mcg of Chromium nicotinate)
Molybdenum 64 mcg 90%
(from 163 mcg of Sodium molybdate)
Potassium 74 mg 2%
(from 200 mg of Potassium ascorbate, 100 mg of Tripotassium citrate and 0.197 mg of Potassium iodide)
RNA 150 mg **
(Ribonucleic acid, from yeast)
Green tea extract 100 mg **
(from Camellia sinensis, leaf)
(providing 80 mg of catechins)
Milk thistle extract  100 mg **
(from Silybum marianum, seed)
(providing 80 mg of silymarins)
Soy lecithin 100 mg **
(a source of Phosphatidyl choline)
Betain HCL 99 mg **
MSM 99 mg **
(Methylsulfonyl methane)
Choline bitartrate 93 mg **
DMG HCL 90 mg **
N-acetyl glucosamine  79 mg **
(from Crustacean shells)
Hesperidin 78 mg **
(from Citrus aurantium (Bitter orange) fruit)
N-acetyl L-cysteine 74 mg **
Horsetail extract 60 mg **
(from Equisetum arvense, stem & leaf)
Inositol 59 mg **
(from 50 mg of Inositol and 60 mg of Calcium magnesium inositol hexaphosphate)
SAMe 51 mg **
(from 98 mg S-adenosylmethionine tosylate)
Alpha lipoic acid 50 mg **
Bacopa extract 50 mg **
(from Bacopa monnieri, leaf)
(providing 15 mg of bacosides)
Black cumin extract  50 mg **
(from Nigella sativa, seed)
(equivalent to 190 mg of Black cumin seeds)
Ginger extract 50 mg **
(from Zingiber officinale, root)
(providing 2.5mg of gingerols)
Ginkgo extract 50 mg **
(from Ginkgo Biloba,leaf)
(providing 12.5 mg of ginkgo flavonoglycosides and 3 mg of terpene lactones)
Guggul gum extract 50 mg **
(from Commiphora mukul, gum exudate)
(providing 1.25 mg of guggulsterones)
PABA 50 mg **
(p-Aminobenzoic acid)
Pine bark extract  50 mg **
(from Pinus massoniana, bark)
Turmeric extract 50 mg **
(from Curcuma longa, root)
(providing 47.5 mg of curcuminoids)
5-Hydroxytryptophan  49 mg **
(from Griffonia simplicifolia, seed)
Myricetin 49 mg **
(from 70 mg of Myrica cerifera (Bayberry), leaf)
Grape seed extract  30 mg **
(from Vitis vinifera, species)
(providing at least 450 mg/g phenolics)
Mineral sea salts 30 mg **
(providing trace elements including strontium, tungsten and rubidium)
Piperine 28 mg **
(from 30 mg of Piper nigrum extract (Black pepper), fruit extract)
Trans-resveratrol 25 mg **
(from 50 mg of Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum), root)
Isoflavones 20 mg **
(from 50 mg of Soybean extract)
Coenzyme Q-10  19 mg **
Luteolin 18 mg **
(from Arachis hypogaea (Peanut), shell)
Alfalfa extract  10 mg **
(from Medicago sativa, aerial parts)
(equivalent to 110 mg of fresh alfalfa)
Phosphatidyl L-serine  9 mg **
(from 50 mg of Soybean lecithin)
Policosanol 8 mg **
(from 17 mg of Sugar cane extract)
Red clover extract  7 mg **
(from Trifolium pratense, aerial parts)
(providing 2.5 mg of isoflavones)
ATP 5 mg **
(Adenosine triphosphate, from Yeast)
Tocotrienol/tocopherol complex 2 mg **
(from 10 mg of Tocomin® (from Palm tree oil))
Vinpocetine 2 mg **
(from Criocerus longiflorus, whole plant)
Boron 720 mcg **
(from 12 mg of Boron citrate)
Amino Acid Blend
L-lysine HCL 164.00 mg **
L-carnosine 148.50 mg **
L-tyrosine 100.00 mg **
L-arginine HCL 90.00 mg **
L-methionine 89.55 mg **
L-ornithine HCL 50.00 mg **
L-proline 50.00 mg **
L-cysteine 49.75 mg **
L-glutamine 49.75 mg **
L-pyroglutamic acid 49.75 mg **
Taurine 49.25 mg **
(Reduced) L-glutathione 49.00 mg **
Male Health Support Blend
Phytosterols 190 mg **
(from 200 mg Soybean extract)
Saw palmetto extract  160 mg **
(from Serenoa repens fruit)
(providing 40 mg of fatty acids)
Nettle extract 100 mg **
(from Urticae dioica root)
Chrysin 99 mg **
(from Oroxylum indicum bark)
Zinc acetate dihydrate 33 mg **
Lycopene 99 mcg **
(from 15 mg of Tomato extract)
Enzyme Blend
Bromelain 50 mg **
(from Pineapple stem)
Nattozimes® 50 mg **
(Protease from fermentation of Aspergillus oryzae & Aspergillus melleus)
Amylase 30 mg **
(from fermentation of Aspergillus oryzae)
Lipase 20 mg **
(from fermentation of Aspergillus niger)
Immunity Stimulating Blend
Aloe vera  50 mg **
(from Aloe barbadensis leaf juice powder)
(equivalent to 10,000 mg of Aloe leaf juice)
Olive leaf extract  50 mg **
(from Olea europaea, leaf)
(providing 7.5 mg of oleuropein)
Beta glucan 35 mg **
(from yeast)
Tea polysaccharides 12 mg **
(from 50 mg of Camellia sinensis leaf)
Eye Health Blend
Bilberry extract 40 mg **
(from Vaccinum myrtillus fruit)
(providing 10 mg of proanthocyanins and anthocyanins)
Rutin  9 mg **
(from Saphorae japonica bud)
Lutein  2.4 mg **
(from 50 mg of Aztec marigold flower)
Astaxanthin 800 mcg **
(from 40 mg of Haematococcus pluvialis)
Zeaxanthin 475 mcg **
(from 10 mg of Aztec marigold flower)

I had started taking Vitamin D-3, several years ago, when my routine blood work showed deficiency. Statistics show that over 70% of people living in Northern hemisphere are deficient in Vitamin D-3. There are over 500 different genes that Vitamin D can switch on and off. And, every single cell in our body has a receptor for Vitamin D. Looks like a must supplement to me! Two pills a day of Nature’s bounty 2000mg per day is the dose I have chosen.

Next must for me after the multivitamins and Vitamin D is Omega 3. I have been taking both based on Fish Oil and Flax Seed Oil. Again, I found Xtendlife Omega 3 as the best product in the market. I have chosen to take to their super-duper product, Ultra QH, which in additional to Omega 3, contains Omega 6, Omega 9 and Ubiqunol. For flax seed oil, I selected Nature’s Bounty product. There are different recommendations on minimum vs. optimal. I have settled on four pills of Ultra QH and 2 pills of flax seed oil.

To these I added Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin Sulfate for joint health. Most primary physicians are recommending these for over-50 patients for joint health. Add to that Calcium Citrate for bone health (again physicians recommend these routinely for over-50 patients, especially women).

When I told my physician that I wanted to get off Lipitor and demonstrated to him that with exercise and nutrition I had gotten to within striking range of the target of 100 for LDL, he recommended Red Rice Yeast as “natural statin”. In the last two tests, my LDL has been 90 and 88. So, I am keeping on with Red Rice yeast.

My primary physician had recommended Saw Palmetto for prostate health. I found a good formulation, at VitaminShoppe of Saw Palmetto & Pygeum Complex. That worked well for me. Then I found even a better formulation, Male Rejuvinator at Xtendlife.

Early last year, I did a full hormone panel of tests and found that my Testosterone was quite low. In my search for supplements to rebuild Testosterone, I came across a formulation called Super Miaforte from Life Extension. I have been taking Super Miaforte for about nine months now. Follow up test results for Testosterone have been very encouraging so far.

So, in the middle of last year, I made an appointment with University of Maryland Medical Center, School of Integrative Medicine clinic. There I met with Dr. Lauren Richter, a functional medicine specialist. I told her my objective of purposely living to 120, discussed my lifestyle, showed her all the supplements I was taking and posed to her this question: So, what supplement should I take for an optimal health?

Instead of looking at me cross-eyed, she said that she (and functional medicine specialists) has a very specific approach to figuring out the optimal nutrition in-take. She recommended that I go through blood/urine test called NutrEval FMV by Genova Diagnostics. The tests involve looking at a large number of metabolic biomarkers, and then as a result, deducing very specific recommendations about supplements for optimal health.

Test results pointed out high need for me for the entire B-complex (Thimain -B1, Riboflavin -B2, Niacin-B3, Pyridxine-B6, Biotin-B7, Folic Acid -B9, and Cobalamin-B12), Magnesium and need for me to add Vitamin C, alpha-Lipoic Acid, Molybdenum and Zinc and Probiotics to what I was already taking. Results contained very specific quantities for these. Dr. Richter reviewed what I was already taking and told to me to continue taking those.

Finally, when I discussed with Dr. Richter, my past history of hay fever/allergies, which had re-emerged for a couple of weeks at the beginning of this past fall, she recommended I take Milk Thistle, up the quantity of CoQ10 and add N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) 600mg –all in support of the liver.

So, at that point, I added these recommended supplements to my regime.

I have been doing this full regime faithfully now for about five months. I definitely have had more energy than before. I have not really experienced any side effects so far.

So, there you have it – full story of my supplement regime.

What do you think?

What is your practice/experience/research on supplements?

I would love to hear.

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