Supplements

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Supplemental Foods

We recommend eating these “supplemental foods” on a regular schedule:

  • 3 egg yolks daily, 5 yolks daily for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant (for choline, folate, vitamin A)
  • A bowl of soup made from bone, joint, tendon, foot, or hoof stock, 3 days per week (for calcium, phosphorus, and collagen)
  • Fermented vegetables such as kimchi, sauerkraut, or fermented mixed vegetables (for nucleotides, probiotic bacteria, and vitamins K2 and B12), and other vegetables such as tomato, avocado, potato, sweet potato, banana, green leafy vegetables, and seaweeds such as dulse, daily (for potassium)
  • ¼ lb beef or lamb liver, weekly (copper, vitamin A, folate, choline). If you like, substitute ¼ lb chicken, duck, or goose liver weekly plus 30 g 85% dark chocolate daily
  • fish, shellfish, eggs, and kidneys, weekly (for selenium)

Daily Supplements

These are supplements we recommend be taken daily:

  • Sunshine and vitamin D3 as needed to achieve serum 25OHD of 40 ng/ml.
  • Vitamin K2 100 mcg or more
  • Magnesium 200 mg
  • Iodine 225 mcg
  • Vitamin C 1 g
  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5) 500 mg
Vitamin D3
  • Seek total dose from sun, food, and supplements of 4,000 IU/day
  • Adjust to 25OHD level of 40 ng/ml (whites/Asians), 30 ng/ml (blacks)
Vitamin K2
  • Recommended dose: 100 mcg MK-7
  • Pharmacological, possibly therapeutic doses: 1000 mcg to 5 mg MK-4
Magnesium
  • Use chelate (e.g. glycinate) or citrate
  • Daily dose 200 mg
Iodine
  • Recommended dose 225 mcg/day (one tablet)
  • Nori sheets have about 50 mcg each; 2-4 per day replaces supplements
  • Supplementation is to prevent lengthy iodine droughts
Vitamin C
  • Low dose: 500 mg – 1 g per day
  • Under stress or viral infections, more may be needed
  • Powder is least expensive way to get large doses
Vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid or pantethine)
  • 500 mg per day; we suggest daily due to its extreme safety
  • Acne/skin blemishes or low energy/endurance are symptoms of deficiency

Weekly Supplements

These are supplements we recommend be taken once a week:

  • B vitamins:
    • 50 to 100 mg each of B1, B2, and B6
    • 5 mg biotin
    • 500 mcg B12
  • Zinc 50 to 100 mg
  • Boron 3 mg
B1 (thiamin)
  • 50-100 mg weekly
B2 (riboflavin)
  • 100 mg per week
B6
  • For those who don’t take a B-50 complex
  • We recommend 50 mg to 100 mg per week
Biotin
  • We recommend 5 mg once per week
B12
  • We recommend 500 mcg to 1 mg once per week
  • Sublingual methylcobalamin is preferred
Zinc
  • We recommend about 50 mg per week
  • Be sure to follow our copper recommendations as copper-zinc balance is crucial
Boron
  • The 3 mg dose can be taken one to three times per week

Prenatal Supplements

The most important prenatal supplements are:

  • Extra duck, goose, or pastured chicken liver.
  • Extra egg yolks.

The following supplements may also be helpful during pregnancy or in the months leading up to conception. Note: We do not recommend prenatal multivitamins.

Choline
  • Not necessary if you eat enough egg yolks and liver
  • But extremely important during pregnancy, and safe
Inositol plus Choline
  • Not necessary if you eat enough egg yolks and liver
  • If supplementing choline, good to mix in some inositol
Iron (optional)
  • About 30% of pregnant women develop iron deficiency anemia
  • Don’t guess, test; blood tests will indicate if you need iron supplements

Optional Supplements


These supplements may be helpful for a significant fraction of the population. Experiment to see if they help you:

  • Probiotics
  • Chromium, 200-400 mcg per week (not necessary if you cook in stainless steel pots) and (optional) vanadium, 25 mcg per week
  • Lithium 5 to 10 mg per week
  • Silicon 5 mg to 25 mg daily
  • FOR PEOPLE WHO DO NOT EAT LIVER: Copper 2 mg per day
  • FOR PEOPLE WHO DO NOT EAT LIVER: Vitamin A from cod liver oil, 50,000 IU/week
  • FOR PEOPLE WHO DO NOT EAT MAKE BONE STOCK OR DRINK MINERAL WATER: Calcium up to 400 mg/day
  • B-50 complex (as a substitute for individual B supplements if you prefer fewer pills
  • Molybdenum 150 mcg per week
  • Taurine 500 mg to 5000 mg per week (higher doses may be therapeutic for small intestinal or systemic infections)
  • Selenium 0 or 200 mcg per week depending on selenium content of food (if food is produced in dry, flat areas = high selenium, no supplements; rainy, well-drained areas = 200 mcg/wk)
Probiotics
  • Bifidobacterium spp can help with leanness and weight loss.
  • Lactobacillus spp can help with acid reflux, bloating, SIBO, prediabetes, high triglycerides
More Probiotics
  • Bifidobacterium spp can help with leanness and weight loss.
  • Lactobacillus spp can help with small intestinal issues
More Probiotics
  • VSL#3 is a good mix for inflammatory bowel diseases.
  • Prescript Assist includes soil-based organisms that are a little riskier and should be taken only occasionally, not continuously, for therapeutic reasons.
Chromium
  • If you don’t cook in stainless steel, we recommend 200 mcg chromium one to three times per week
  • Stainless steel pots may release 88 mcg chromium per day of use
  • Optional: vanadium 25 mcg one to two times per week
Lithium
  • Best is to take 1 mg per day; 5 mg once or twice per week is next best
  • Caution: too much lithium can exacerbate hypothyroidism and increase potassium excretion
Silicon
  • Up to 25 mg per day
  • Most people would benefit from more silicon
  • Seaweed is a good food source
Copper (Only If Liver Is Not Eaten)
  • Target of 2-3 mg/day can be met by eating 1/4 lb beef or lamb liver per week
  • Do not supplement copper if you eat liver
Vitamin A (Only If Liver Is Not Eaten)
  • Target of 50,000 IU/week with remaining A needs met from carotenoids (green leafy vegetables and orange plants like carrots)
  • Do not supplement vitamin A if you eat liver, unless for therapeutic reasons
Calcium (If No Mineral Water or Bone Stock)
  • PHD foods may fall short of calcium target by up to 400 mg/day
  • Standard PHD prescription is to make up the difference with bone stock and/or mineral water
  • These supplements also replace magnesium supplement; aim for 300-500 mg calcium and 150-250 mg magnesium per day
B-50 complex
  • An alternative to the other B vitamins for those who prefer to take fewer pills
  • Not recommended more than once per week due to folic acid and niacin content
Molybdenum
  • We recommend 150 mcg to 1 mg per week
Taurine
  • We recommend 500 to 1000 mg weekly for healthy persons
  • Supports production of bile salts
Vitamin E
  • Red palm oil is a good food source
  • If supplementing, take mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols

Therapeutic Supplements

These supplements are unnecessary for healthy people but may be helpful in various disease conditions.

N-acetylcysteine
  • Precursor to glutathione
  • Recommended dose is 500 mg
  • Can take more in cases of severe chronic infection
Glycine
  • Supports collagen production, bile conjugation, and glutathione production
  • Desirable if you don’t eat daily extracellular matrix (bones, joints, tendons, skin, hooves)
  • Up to 2 teaspoons (10 g) per day
Creatine
  • Supports muscle growth and preservation; especially valuable for the elderly
  • Up to 1 teaspoon (5 g) per day
Melatonin
  • An important sleep hormone, deficient in many brain diseases, has antimicrobial activity
  • Take 1 mg sublingually just before bedtime
  • For larger doses, combine 5 mg time-release with 1 mg sublingual
Detoxification Aids
  • These can help bind toxins and excrete them in feces, preventing them from being re-absorbed in the colon
  • Likely to be helpful for most people suffering from chronic infection or environmental mold.

Miscellaneous


These items may be helpful in implementing Perfect Health Diet and Lifestyle advice.

Pill boxes
  • Set out pills once per week, aids remembering to take them
Pill cutter
  • For cutting tablets to reduce the dose

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Leave a comment ?

4,034 Comments.

  1. What supplements do you recommend for children? Especially in high northern latitude with poor sun.

  2. Hello Paul,
    I’m 46 years old female with thyroid removed 20 years ago. There is only 1/8 left. Should I supplement with iodine and how much?
    I’m taking all the co supplements: Mg, Zn, Krill oil, vit A, vitamin C, b-complex once a week + 1000mcg b-12, kelp/potassium iodine 110mcg, following non-gluten diet, don’t smoke.
    Thank you Paul! You are great!

  3. Philip Madison

    Dear Paul,
    When taking larger dosages of iodine for gut infections (5-10mg/day) isn’t there the danger to completely sterilize our gut flora and kill even our heritage strains which cannot be recovered?
    Also what are your general recommendations for gut infections other than Iodine?
    Thanks.

    • Hi Philip,

      We don’t recommend large doses of iodine, rather 225 mcg/day. For gut infections the primary nutrient keys are vitamins A and D, vitamin C, vinegar, egg yolks, extracellular matrix or glycine, taurine. Intermittent fasting and circadian rhythm entrainment are also important.

      Best, Paul

  4. I’m curious why the liver recommendations are beef/lamb liver OR chicken/duck/goose liver plus dark chocolate.

    What is missing in the bird liver that needs dark chocolate to be included.

    And also why bird liver only included in the pre-natal recommendation?
    Thanks

    • Hi Josh,

      Ruminant livers are rich in copper, bird livers are not. Chocolate compensates for that. Pre-natal moms can eat beef or lamb liver, but they have to stop at 1/4 lb per week to avoid a copper excess, whereas they can eat up to 1/2 lb per week of bird livers. Pre-natal moms need some extra zinc and vitamin A, and excessive copper intake could compete for zinc.

      Best, Paul

  5. Hi Paul

    Would you recommend taking magnesium taurate and magnesium glycinate as a good way of getting magnesium, taurine and glycine? In these supplements I don’t think the amount of the amino acid component is stated – only the amount of magnesium.

    I know you’d say ideally glycine should be taken in the form of bone broth but I wondered if Mg glycinate would be good enough for those who don’t make as much bone broth as they’d like to due to time and energy!

    Thanks
    Harry

    • Hi Harry,

      Mg glycinate provides about 6x more glycine than Mg by weight, while Mg taurate provides about 10x as much taurine as magnesium.

      However, you need perhaps 25x as much supplemental glycine as supplemental magnesium, but only perhaps 2x as much supplemental taurine as supplemental magnesium.

      So taking 200 milligrams of magnesium as Mg taurate once or twice a week should take care of taurine too (although it’s probably more expensive than taking Mg citrate plus pure taurine).

      But there’s no way to get close to enough glycine from Mg glycinate without overdosing on Mg — if you don’t want to drink more bone broth, I’d try taking pure glycine powder for that.

      Best,
      -Eric

  6. I just read the book, I’m very surprise we should take that many pills :O

    John

    • Hi Jonathan,

      You can do a food-only version – Eric has been doing that. The supplement recommendations are based on a balance of risk vs reward and are focused on specific nutrients that are very safe in high doses, for which deficiency is very harmful, and in which deficiencies are common for reasons (many described in the book), such as water purification which removes soluble elements, lack of sunshine from indoor living which depletes vitamin D, lack of consumption of organ meats, cooking of food which reduces vitamin C content, and lack of time to eat vegetables. They are relevant to the average person who wants to implement the diet in the most convenient possible way.

      Best, Paul

    • Hi Johnathan,

      If you want to try a food-only version of PHD, here are a couple suggestions:

      (1) If you can get a nutrient from animal foods, make sure to do so — you don’t have to worry about toxicity from animal foods, so you want as much wiggle room as possible when it comes to plant foods.

      For example, animal foods in a typical week for me might be:
      – 3/4 pound salmon
      – 1/2 pound bird liver
      – 1/4 pound other organ meat such as kidney
      – 1 pound oysters (of the Pacific variety, which have about half as much zinc as Atlantic oysters — meaning you can eat more of them, thereby obtaining more of other nutrients)
      – 1 pound other bivalve shellfish
      – 12 duck egg yolks (equivalent to 20 chicken egg yolks by weight and micronutrient content, but lower in polyunsaturated fat — thus giving you more wiggle room when selecting plant foods)
      – 15 cups of bone broth (for extracellular matrix); you could also substitute some tendon if you like (1 cup bone broth = 1.5 oz tendon).

      Extra liver and other organ meats takes care of B2; all the shellfish takes care of B12 and taurine; extra liver (together with a normal amount of egg yolks) takes care of biotin; oysters take care of zinc.

      (2) Do not eat any ruminant liver — eat bird livers instead. And only eat small amounts of chocolate. Otherwise you will overdose on copper before you optimize everything else!

      (3) Steam food or make soups, which don’t require cooking oil. Replace the cooking oil with fatty plants like avocados (5 per week replaces the boron supplement), macadamia nuts (contributes to replacing the vitamin B1 supplement), or coconut milk — but not too much chocolate (see (2)).

      (4) For safe starches, focus on potatoes, sweet potatoes, and taro, which are more nutritious than white rice or plantains. This will take care of the B6 supplement (and help with a number of the others).

      (5) For sweet plants, select options that provide lots of vitamin C per gram of fructose — guava and bell pepper have the most; strawberries, oranges, papaya, kiwi, starfruit, and cranberries, are also decent sources.

      (6) Eat seaweed for iodine (4 sheets of nori replaces supplements); eat plenty of dark leafy greens like spinach both for B1 (along with macadamia nuts), and for magnesium.

      (7) Eat lots of low-calorie vegetables, and prefer those that are rich in vitamin C and pantothenic acid (the hardest nutrients to optimize from food alone). Examples include most varieties of mushrooms, endive, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, bitter melon, acorn squash, butternut squash, cucumber, celery, radish, watercress, mustard greens, bok choy, chard, and arugula.

      You’ll still have to supplement vitamin D. It should be possible to get K2 from food too, but I haven’t experimented with that yet.

      Best,
      -Eric

      • Eric, this is so helpful – thx! I’m supplementing right now, as I learn to work in more home cooking. Some day hope to get all my nutrients from food. This is a great roadmap.

  7. Thanks Eric

    OK I think I’ll stick to my magnesium glycinate for magnesium and take taurine separately. May consider higher doses of glycine separately.

    On the other hand, I’m trying to stay in ketosis for neurological symptoms and I believe Paul’s mentioned glycine may inhibit ketosis as it’s an exclusively glycolytic amino acid…

  8. Is there a big difference between all the vitamin choices like D3 one is 13 the other 30$

    • Hi Jonathan,

      The price difference is partly due to a quantity difference, one has 200 softgels and the other has 360 and a better oil. But, we don’t endorse any brand in particular, these just seemed to be good choices at the time we made the selection.

      Best, Paul

  9. Hi Paul, what do you think about the health headline news yesterday from the American Heart Association about Coconut oil being bad? P.S., thanks very much for responding to people on your website.

  10. Hi Paul, is it conceivable to create PHD for vegans, inclusive supplements?

    • Not really. We need some animal sourced nutrients for best health, so we would have to rename the diet. You can come pretty close however on a vegetarian diet that includes eggs and dairy. A pescetarian diet with eggs, dairy, and seafood would be just fine.

      Best, Paul

  11. Hi Paul,

    If you could recommend just one daily multivitamin, which would it be? I’m having trouble cross-referencing your recommendations against the available options. I’m trying to simplify and get my wife to take her vitamins. Wondering if you have any opinions.

    Thank you!
    Ryan

  12. Mr. Jaminet, thank you so much for this wonderful information. Greatly appreciated! My question is, can a daily kelp tablet replace the iodine recommendation above? Or possibly daily consumption of canned sardines? Thank you again.

  13. Hi Paul, long time no comment (from me);

    Should i count intranasally administered Iodine the same, dose for dose, as orally taken Iodine ? what do you think ?

    I read somewhere that sublingual usage of iodine is a valid way to get Iodine, ie. “placing drops directly under the tongue”.
    So i was thinking intranasal administration would work along the same lines.

    background: i started using a weak iodine solution (potassium iodide) via an intranasal spray in an attempt to resolve my chronic rhinosinusitis. It seems to helping, so i’m sticking with it.

    Thanks for all your help. 🙂

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