Supplements

This page lists our supplement recommendations with links to products at Amazon. By purchasing via links on this page, you support the blog at no cost to yourself. Thank you for supporting our work!

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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3,995 Comments.

  1. There is an MD in the UK who has success with using high doses of Mg for chronic fatigue and joint pain. She has the ‘formula’ to mix epsom salts with plain moisturising cream (like E45)to absorb Mg through the skin. Also, showing how much an epsom salt bath raises the Mg levels. (this interested me a lot due to my dd’s asthma responding to Mg, too)
    Link: http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Magnesium
    Scroll down to: Magnesium absorption through the skin.

    Thanks for the list and links, it saved much time for me!
    Krissie

  2. Thanks so much for the links and choices for the supplements! It will help enormously! Thanks for all your hard work!

    Ed

  3. Perfect Health Diet » Ox Feet Broth, Miso Soup, and Other Soups - pingback on January 2, 2011 at 9:56 pm
  4. What a fabulous resource. I just replenished by stash of supplements, but next time I’ll order from here. Again, you guys are national treasures!

  5. The Korean seaweeds listed here have either canola or corn oil in them. On a related note…You recommend rice crackers (on “the diet” page); but I can’t seem to find any white rice crackers that don’t also contain seed oils. Alternately, I can find plain brown rice crackers. Between the two, which would you advise for daily snacking?

  6. Hi Art,

    Thanks, I’ve updated it so the current versions use olive oil and sesame oil …

    Also, I think we’ll make some at home using coconut oil or beef tallow and sesame oil and put it up as a Sunday recipe. I’ll link to that when it’s up.

    The rice cracker question is a tough one. Some people get acute symptoms from brown rice and they should go with the white rice crackers. The seed oil content is small, but they seem to pick especially poor kinds like corn oil and safflower oil. Tough call. I would go for taste I guess.

    If readers find products on Amazon that are superior to ones we’ve recommended, we’d appreciate a link and will replace our recommendations.

  7. i have some questions regarding vitamin K2 supplements; my son and i both have dental carries, (the cause is a long story) but i want to find the most appropriate form of vit k2, and am confused about the different types.

    the mk-7 by Jarrow, which is derived from natto is available locally for me, but from my own reading i understand that animal derived vit k2, in the mk-4 form, may be the better one for teeth and bones. so which is it, or is it both?

    also what is the chemical name for the two so i can discern which ones to get when reading supplement labels. any idea what dosage would be best/safest for a 9 year old vs. an adult woman? thanks so much.

  8. Hi Liz,

    Both MK-4 and MK-7 are beneficial and will help teeth.

    Paleolithic humans naturally got some of each — MK-7 from gut bacterial fermentation of fiber and fermented foods, MK-4 from liver modification of plant K1 and some animal foods.

    MK stands for “menaquinone” and the numbers refer to the number of isoprenoids in their side chain. More isoprenoids = more ability to carboxylate proteins per K2 molecule.

    MK-4 is also called menatetrenone.

    Everyone should get 100 mcg. That will provide most of the benefit. Since there is no known toxicity, it’s OK to go higher, but the benefit gets smaller with higher doses. Higher doses like 1 mg or more probably provide a small additional benefit for adults. 100 mcg/day is probably sufficient for a 9 year old. If you do go above 1 mg/day, increase the dose slowly to let your body get used to it. Going immediately to 5 mg/day might disturb clotting for a time.

  9. thanks so much for your prompt reply!

  10. I have some questions regarding vitamin K2 supplements.

    Assuming that the body does not require 1000 mcg of MK-4, how does it deal with the excess? Does it just take what it needs and then discard the excess or does it store the excess in fats for later use. If this is the case, I would probably take the supplement that contains 1000 mcg of MK-4 and 100 mcg of MK-7; but I would take it every fourth day so that my average intake was about 300 mcg. Will this work or does the body need to be supplied on a daily basis?

    On page 191 of the Perfect Health Diet book, it states that “Vitamin K has no significant storage pool in the body, so deficiencies develop quickly. Infants on vitamin K-free formula develop a K2 deficiency in 7-10 days”.

    Based on the above paragraph, it seems that some extra vitamin K2 can be stored (7 to 10 days worth). Therefore, does my above comment about taking 1000 mcg every fourth day make sense?

  11. Hi William,

    I don’t know how excess vitamin K2 is metabolized; good question. The Japanese studies giving 45 mg/day for long periods have found it to be very safe, but I’m not aware of what happens to excess K2.

    Taking it every 4 days is fine, for just the reason you cite. That’s a good way to save money. Most of the benefit comes from the first 100 mcg/day, or 200 mcg/day, so there’s only a small benefit from taking larger doses every day.

    Best, Paul

  12. Perfect Health Diet » Homemade Seasoned Seaweed - pingback on January 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm
  13. Below is the liquid vitamin D-3 supplement I sometimes use. It’s in MCT oil. I like to avoid PUFA in supplements. 🙂

    http://www.amazon.com/Foods-Liquid-Vitamin-5000Iu-Dropper/dp/B001N4JYX6/ref=sr_1_17?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1294916355&sr=1-17

    Each drop contains 100 IU of D-3: 4 drops provide 400 IU, 20 drops provide 2,000 IU. A full dropper provides approximately 50 drops, or 5,000 IU.

    It’s easy to take small or larger amounts.

    It doesn’t have much of a taste, so I find that it mixes well into food (after cooking of course), or I just drop it straight into my mouth.

    Ray Peat uses this one too, it turns out. I asked him about that.

  14. Can I take D3 supplement (about 3000IU) in one piece or should be divided?

  15. Thanks, Lillea. I’ve added that as one of the choices.

    Hi Wood,

    One dose is fine. D3 lasts weeks in the body, so no need to try to even out the levels.

  16. Thanks Paul. But should be taken every day, right?

  17. I think that’s best … Take it daily during daylight hours to mimic natural sun exposure pattern and support circadian rhythms …

  18. I’ve been reading Chris Masterjohn’s recent posts on fatty liver & choline. Paul, do you have any supplement recommendations for reserving fatty liver and restoring the liver’s sensitivity to insulin?

  19. Hi Michelle,

    I also did a post on choline back in November, http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?cat=84. In the book we suggest choline supplements for pregnant women and vegetarians. Regular consumption of egg yolks, beef liver, and other choline rich foods should be sufficient even for pregnant women; but there’s nothing wrong with supplementing it.

    Our normal supplements are also good for fatty liver disease. Antioxidants are important: Selenium and vitamin C directly support glutathione levels, and zinc (in the multivitamin) and copper support another important antioxidant. Vitamins D and K2 are protective for almost all diseases; K2 might be especially important for clearance of fibrin. Iodine has broad benefits, as does magnesium.

    One could also take NAC and the B vitamins listed above, but it probably isn’t necessary if one is eating a healthy diet. B6 and B12 helps with homocysteine/cysteine/methionine/choline pathways, and thiamin, riboflavin, and biotin are generally important vitamins. NAC supports glutathione synthesis.

    Avoiding toxins is extremely important. Polyunsaturated fats and fructose/alcohol should be kept very low, and never consumed at the same time.

    Best, Paul

  20. Thank you Paul, for going over that. I had forgotten about your post, and I have your book!

    Supplements for memory next?

  21. 1 more question about D vit. A do 2 24 hours fast a week. Can I take D vitamin when I fast? Or it should be taken with meal becasue of the fat?

  22. Hi Michelle, If you find ones that work let me know!

    Hi Wood, I wouldn’t worry about taking it while fasting. Absorption might be reduced a bit, but I don’t believe it’s enough to merit disturbing a daily routine.

  23. I’m not seeing links to recommended purchases of these, but that’s probably just my weird computer setup. I was wondering though if anyone knows of anywhere reputable to get custom formula supplements. It’d be nice to have all this (or at least some–I don’t tolerate oral magnesium at all well) in one capsule rather than a handful of ’em.

  24. Hi Paul,

    I got some kidney issues so magnesium supplements are a no no, so where can I get mg from? I was about to include quinoa (soaked) for my mg source but I read somewhere that their saponins can damage the gut, so Im on stand by for the moment, can you recommend a safe mg source?

    Best,

    Jaime

  25. Hi Jaime,

    You might consult your doctor; I think they are more concerned with laxatives (which typically contain several grams of magnesium) than with the 200 mg supplements we recommend.

    If even that much is too much, and you have to get magnesium from food only, then I would consult http://nutritiondata.com and use their “Nutrient Search Tool” to generate a list of the foods with highest amounts of magnesium per 100 g. Then you can pick some out of there that you like, and eat those.

    Foods high in magnesium that fit our diet include seaweed, nuts, fish roe / caviar, dark chocolate, tea, many spices, shellfish, tomatoes, peppers.

    Best, Paul

  26. I get (I hope) my magnesium by taking baths with Epsom salts several times a week. I use about two and a half cups per bath and stay in long enough to finish at least one chapter of a good book.

  27. Hi Paul,

    Excellent feature, and I applaud the diligence it must have taken to put this together for your blogsite.

    Two things:

    1) Why do you specifically recommend Chromium Picolinate? I have been using Chelavite(R), a chromium-niacin chelate from Albion Labs. Using Subscribe & Save, $7.78 buys 250 tabs, 200mcg ea. http://www.amazon.com/NOW-Foods-Chromium-200mcg-Tablets/dp/B0013HPP0E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1295281264&sr=8-1

    2) For higher dose Vit C, may I recommend Source Naturals’ Sodium Ascorbate granules. A
    Also available from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Source-Naturals-Vitamin-Ascorbate-Crystals/dp/B000GFPCO8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1295280422&sr=8-1 Again, with Subscribe & Save, this 16oz container yields ~380g Vit C (1/4t. = 1g. C) @ $12.56, no s/h.

    Best, KKC

  28. Hi KKC,

    Thanks for the suggestions, I’ve added each to the page.

    We recommend chromium picolinate because that’s what most of the literature evidence is about, and it’s cheaper than GTF chromium. But we don’t object to GTF chromium.

    Best, Paul

  29. Hi Paul,
    Long time lurker, first post here. Love your blog and I’ve just received your book, and I’m looking forward to reading it!

    I’d like to recommend Vitamin C from Pure Radiance. It comes naturally from organic berries and wildcrafted camu camu. No GMOs, additives, or fillers, and no synthetic ascorbic acid.
    In short is Vitamin C from organic whole foods.

    Check it out.

    Best, Jorge

  30. Paul,
    Recently finished reading your wonderful book and plan to read it a second time in order to catch all the bits that I missed the first time around.

    I’ve started taking a mineral supplement called Min-Rx from Xymogen, here’s a link:
    http://www.xymogen.com/2008/formula.asp?code=000043

    It comes fairly close to your recommendations for Mg, Selenium, Copper, and Chromium. The Calcium content is relatively low compared to other multi-minerals that I’ve looked it. Just wanted to know your thoughts.

    Cheers!

  31. Hi Wheatless,

    It looks like very good proportions! A nice formula.

    I’m actually considering trying lithium orotate myself, so maybe in six months that will make its way into our recommendations too.

    One qualm I have is that since you have to take 4 pills to get the recommended dose, it doesn’t really reduce the number of pills much compared to taking each mineral individually. I wonder how the expense compares to taking minerals individually.

    Best, Paul

  32. Hey Paul,

    That interesting you mention lithium. I’ve been wondering what anyone (like Chris maybe) thinks of it’s nutritional essentially.

    Here’s one paper I read on it awhile back:
    http://www.jacn.org/cgi/content/full/21/1/14

    I first learned of it on ImmInst supplement forums, have you ever checked them out?

  33. Forgot to proofread that last comment. “Essentially” should be “Essentiality “

  34. Thanks, Wheatless!

    Hi Justin, thanks for the link. That one is in my notes, and it’s a good summary of the case for lithium. I’m not familiar with ImmInst, no.

    Best, Paul

  35. Imminst has their own multivitamin now, with lithium, which is where I first heard of it.

    http://www.imminst.org/vimmortal

  36. I’d like to support your great blog but I can’t order from amazon.com. Couldn’t you add a column with amazon.co.uk for Europeans ?

  37. Hi Albedo,

    I’ll look into that. Thanks for your support!

  38. Hi Paul,

    I’ve seen several articles about the dangers of folic acid — here’s one of them: http://www.mattmetzgar.com/matt_metzgar/2011/01/folic-acid.html — which is part of the Centrum supplement. What do you think of the safety of taking folic acid?

    Also, yout high dose K2 supplementation specifies MK-4 only. Is MK-7 not needed then?

    Thank you.

  39. Hi Robert,

    We agree that folic acid is dangerous, that is why it is not among our recommended supplements. The evidence is discussed in detail in the book. We agree that folate would be much better than folic acid for multis. But the 400 mcg in multivitamins is probably not that bad. The dangers seem to be clearly attested only at doses of 800 mcg/day or higher.

    MK-7 is good, you should get some of each. I haven’t seen combined MK-4 / MK-7 supplements in doses higher than the LEF Super K.

    Best, Paul

  40. Thanks for this list! I purchased your book and I am learning so much, it is one of the best I have read thus far about nutrition and health 🙂
    I usually buy all my supplements from vitacost.com because it saves me so much money compared to other sites. The multivite I have taken for years is made by Dr. Weil and it is an excellent value compared to others and uses high quality ingredients http://www.vitacost.com/Dr-Weil-Daily-Multivitamin-for-Optimum-Health .
    I have been taking some additional supplements for a year based on recommendations from Dr. Eades like Co-Q10 and alpha lipoic acid, nutrients that are naturally high in organ meats I believe. I also take glucosamin/chondroiten, krill oil, and tumeric because of long standing issues with inflammation and pain from a knee disability (they seem to help). In your opinion is it neccesary and/or safe to supplement with these if you don’t eat any offal or organ animal foods (I just can’t make myself eat them)? I only eat the muscle meats and animal fats and I worry I would be missing out on key micronutrients if I stopped taking the above mentioned supplements. But I sure would enjoy taking less pills everyday if possible! Thank You 🙂

  41. Hi Leah,

    I think it’s safe to take those things. Whether it’s necessary is hard to say! You’ll have to judge that.

    My experiences: When I had scurvy any antioxidants were a big help, including CoQ10. Once I started taking vitamin C, I didn’t notice any effect any more. Similarly, you might find that you benefit from glucosamine on a low-carb diet, but not if you eat more starches.

    Upon looking into the research, we concluded that the elementary vitamins and minerals – like C, selenium, zinc, copper – were the critical ones to take and that the evidence was unclear whether adding the others would have benefits. We didn’t recommend them because, as you say, no one wants to take a long list of pills.

    But personal experience trumps research. If extra supplements help your knee pain, I would keep taking them!

    Best, Paul

  42. Hi there, Paul.

    Thanks so much to you and Shou-Ching for all the thought and work you have put into your blog and book. As a low carber with kidney stones, I especially appreciated your kidney stone post.

    I am writing here because I just today found the Amazon links. I have a Mac. They do not show up for me on Safari or Chrome. They do show up on Firefox.

    All the best to you both.

    Dennis

  43. Dear Paul,

    I’m looking at the Rainbow Light Men’s Just Once formula and it contains the recommended quantities of many of your “essential supplements” do you recommend additional supplementation beyond this (e.g. the multi has 2 mg copper, do you recommend an additional 2 mg)?

    Thank you

  44. Hi Shawn,

    I don’t think it’s necessary to supplement beyond that. We recommend 2-4 mg per day. Most people get 1 mg from food. Our multi has 1 mg and we eat a quarter-pound of beef liver per week, which is the equivalent of supplementing another 2 mg/day.

    You might just eat beef liver occasionally and you should be all set with your multi.

  45. What about quality? The 3 most important issues concerning selecting a vitamin/mineral supplement are:

    1. Is it safe? Many products contain ingredients not listed on the label.

    2. Does it get absorbed? Many products on the market are not bioavailable.

    3. Is the company science-based? Do they have cutting edge research and science behind their products?

    I asked myself these 3 questions, did my due diligence, and found a company I can trust with products that are guaranteed for completeness, absorbability, purity, potency and safety.

    The nutritionals are rated #1 by The Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements (available on Amazon). It’s the only independent, third-party guide of its kind. Do you know it?

  46. Hi Gina,

    You’re a supplement salesperson for a multilevel marketing company and your comment is spam. Since it’s civil spam I’m leaving it up, but with this reply as a warning to the unwary.

    Best, Paul

  47. Hi Paul,

    Really great book, I think this is the best nutrition book available.

    What do you think about Kurt Harris’ recent comment that iodine down-regulates thyroid synthesis:

    “Iodine – even though humans evolved the capability to live with a huge range of iodine in the diet – a nonsense book by Brownstein claims that 90% of the population is iodine deficient – actual science shows that iodine downregulates thyroid hormone synthesis and can flare Hashimoto’s”

    -http://www.paleonu.com/panu-weblog/2011/2/8/therapy-versus-life.html

    Thank you!

    Tyler Simmons

  48. Hi Tyler,

    I saw your review at Amazon, thank you!

    Re iodine:

    (1) It’s true that the thyroid evolved a capability to maintain proper thyroid hormone levels over a wide range of iodine intakes … but iodine is beneficial for non-thyroid functions too, apart from its role in thyroid hormone, e.g. immune function gets better as iodine levels increase. So this is not an argument against iodine supplementation. In fact it proves that we can flourish with high iodine intakes!

    (2) “90% is iodine deficient” – this depends on your definition of “deficient.” I would agree with Brownstein that 90% of the population would improve their health with higher iodine intakes. I would agree with Harris that most would not fit the clinical usage of “deficient” — usually, there is an intermediate category, “deprived”, to handle this. When you’re deficient you have acute clinical disease; when you’re deprived your health is not what it could be but there’s no obvious clinical disease.

    Thus, for instance, we’ve noted in several posts that optimal TSH is below 1.0, while most Americans are much higher. Most are therefore thyroid hormone deprived, and would probably benefit from iodine. But clinical hypothyroidism usually doesn’t start until a TSH of 3.0 or higher.

    (3) “Iodine downregulates thyroid hormone synthesis” – this may refer to the feedback effect mentioned in (1), which is the healthful adaptation to maintain constant thyroid hormone levels with varying iodine intake. Or it may refer to the reactive hypothyroidism which sometimes occurs when iodine intake is increased too rapidly. Similarly, flares of Hashimoto’s, I believe, are usually due to increasing iodine dose too rapidly. I haven’t heard of these symptoms appearing in anyone who increased iodine sufficiently slowly (starting at 500 mcg, never increasing dose by no more than one doubling per month).

    Since many Hashimoto’s sufferers have gotten benefit from high iodine doses, including our Mario, I think the balance of evidence favors iodine supplementation adopted in a very slow, gradual manner over ~6 months.

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