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|
|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|
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|
|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|
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.