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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Leave a comment ?

4,343 Comments.

  1. Thanks Paul. The information is very helpful.
    I had my gall bladder removed about 45 days back or so. My doctor hasnt advised me any Bile salts/supplements but I have read that such supplements are helpful. Is that really necessary or should i include any particular supplement or whole food in the diet ?

    Thanks.

    • Hi Ali,

      If your stool is coming out oily and loose, suggesting that it contains undigested fats, then you need to take bile supplements with meals, or other bile support supplements.

  2. Hi Paul: My mom is going to start to supplement with NAC as you recommend for gut diseases.She has IBS and mild stomach acidity. She has found web sources preventing from taking NAC for people with high blood pressure, as it is her case. Do you have an advise about that?

    Kind regards,

    Christian

  3. Thanks for the reply Paul.
    I have searched few multi minerals,most of them contain Vit A & D in this figure 12500 IU : 200 IU. Would it be safe to consume such pills or to avoid Vit A toxicity would it be safe to avoid them ?

    There’s one supplement that I found however which only contains minerals. Pls have a look @ its supplement Facts http://i45.tinypic.com/69m5cp.jpg

    Would it be safe to take this ? It has magnesium in a higher dose than we discussed tho.

    Thanks.

  4. Hi Paul, re:”do NOT take fish oil capsules…” is there any distinction between supplementing fish oil capsules vs bottled liquid? Thanks, Jeff

  5. Hi Paul,
    If you get a chance, could i get your advise on my Zinc & Copper supplementation.
    Firstly i should mention that; I do not eat beef or lamb liver. & i do not take a multi-vit (i prefer to cherry pick the best minerals & vitamins individually).

    To my question; somehow i have ended up with four different zinc/copper “balance” supplements. I wonder if you could advise which may have the best amounts and zinc/copper ratio out of the following;
    supp1: Zinc 15mg Copper 2.5mg (ratio 6:1).
    supp2: Zinc 27.5mg Copper 3.33mg (ratio 8:1).
    supp3: Zinc 25mg Copper 1.66mg (ratio 15:1).
    supp4: Zinc 15mg Copper 1mg (ratio 15:1) or 30mg and 2mg if i take two pills.

    I have currently been taking supp2: Zinc 27.5mg Copper 3.33mg (ratio 8:1), as both the amounts and ratio looked good (ideal?) the last time i investigated the subject.

    thanks

    • Hi Darrin,

      I think 10-12 : 1 is probably a good ratio. Maybe 2.5 mg copper 30 mg zinc a good daily dose including food. I wouldn’t go higher than 4 mg copper 50 mg zinc total.

      Ideally, you would track food for a week and see what your food intake is, then work backwards from a target to see what you would supplement.

    • Hi Darrin,

      I actually just went through this exercise myself using FitDay for the week of 5/13-5/19 as I’ve also stopped talking a multivitamin and wanted to check my micronutrients.

      I eat the PHD recommended 1/4 lb beef liver per week. No oysters which have lots of zinc (1 oyster: 12.7 mg zinc, 0.6 copper; 1 pacific oyster: 43.6 mg zinc, 2.1 copper).

      Daily PHD recommends
      Copper = 4 mg 2-5 mg
      Zinc = 11 mg 30-50 mg
      Selenium = 130 mcg 200 mcg
      Magnesium = 357 mg 400 mg
      Vitamin A = 49846 IU <= 12000 IU; D=4000 IU; A-to-D ratio < 3 IU to 1 IU
      Potassium = 4489 mg ? (RDA 4700 mg)
      Vitamin E = 10 mg ? food only (RDA 15 mg)

      My copper is good and so I need to supplement zinc 29 mg/day to get to 40 mg/day for a 10:1 zinc:copper ratio. The PHD book indicates to “respect the Food and Nutrition Board’s upper limit of 40 mg/day” zinc, since zinc promotes pathogen growth and the importance of copper to health. Without the 1/4 lb beef liver, I would be at 1.7 mg/day copper, since 1/4 lb/week beef liver is 2.3 mg/day copper (16 mg/week).

      I also found Selenium and Magnesium to be a little low wrt PHD recommendations. Potassium and Vitamin E were low wrt RDA.

      Here is my public FitDay food journal to see the foods I ate during the week of 5/13-5/19, as an example. Clicking the individual food links will show their micronutrient breakdown.

      Thanks,
      Mark

    • Thanks Paul and thanks Mark.

      Mark, Am i right in reading your Vitamin A intake is 49,846 IU.
      Is that a normal day?
      Seems quite high to me, what do you think.

    • Just doing a cursory check of zinc & copper in my diet. currently zinc is probably a lot easier for me to get from food than copper, esp when/if i eat oysters.

      The other thing i have found out (tho i could be wrong), is that the half-life of zinc in the body is much greater than coper, ie. months versus hours.
      So it would seem (based on that info) that its more important to make sure you get some copper every day (but not in excess), whereas zinc is not as critical as it gets stored & can be used when needed. So you do not need to worry about getting zinc every day, as long as you get enough averaged out over time.

    • Hi Darrin,

      Yeah, the vitamin A looks high doesn’t it … that’s my daily based on my week/7. It’s mostly from daily sweet potato and leafy greens – e.g. 26000 sweet potato (5 oz), 11000 spinach, 10000 kale. I guess Paul says plant carotenoids are not converted to active vitamin A if you’re replete so that vitamin A count is greatly exaggerated … but it still has me wondering how do I measure proper vitamin A content as compare to the <12000 IU guideline (only count animal vitamin A?). BTW, 4 oz beef liver is 35000 IU (which is 5000 of that 49846).

      About zinc, I'm curious if you get to 30 mg/day levels from only food w/o oysters? It seems oysters would be required. Beef is a good source (~4-5 mg zinc in 4 oz), but it would be too high PHD protein to get that much zinc.

      Thanks,
      Mark

    • Mark, yep i am meeting my zinc requirements from eating canned oysters. I knew they had zinc, but i had no idea how much til you mentioned it.
      I definitely would have been over supplementing with zinc around the times i have eaten oysters.
      I will make an adjustment from now on.

    • For more info on your Vitamin A intake. Have a look at this site
      http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminA/index.html
      Go to the heading “Retinol activity equivalents (RAE)”
      eg.
      dietary beta-carotene is estimated as 1/12th the equiv of Retinol, and,
      dietary alpha-carotene is estimated as 1/24th the equiv of Retinol

    • Thanks for sharing that link, Darrin, interesting info.

      Fitday doesn’t show the Vitamin A breakdown, so another source like the USDA database is needed to see RAE and Retinol.

      So with the idea that carotenoids are not converted to active Vitamin A when replete, the Retinol (i.e. from animal/supplement) seems to be the key source to control intake.

      One interesting thing was the possible connection between high LDL lowering toxic levels of Vitamin A.

      2333/3000 IU (Female/Male) : (RDA) for Vitamin A as Preformed Vitamin A (Retinol Activity Equivalents)
      10000 IU : (UL) for Preformed Vitamin A (Retinol)

      … retinol intakes of 5,000 IU/day may be associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis in older adults …

      Toxicity

      The condition caused by vitamin A toxicity is called hypervitaminosis A. It is caused by overconsumption of preformed vitamin A, not carotenoids. Preformed vitamin A is rapidly absorbed and slowly cleared from the body.

      There is evidence that some populations may be more susceptible to toxicity at lower doses, including the elderly, chronic alcohol users, and some people with a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol (8).

      8. Russell RM. The vitamin A spectrum: from deficiency to toxicity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;71(4):878-884. (PubMed http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=10731492&dopt=Abstract; http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=10731492)

      The fall-off in blood retinyl esters was significantly delayed ?2-fold in older individuals than in younger individuals, which allowed for a transfer of vitamin A esters from chylomicrons into other lipoprotein particles such as LDLs. Once in LDL, potentially toxic retinyl esters are able to exist for ?1 wk in the circulation as opposed to hours.

      Thanks,
      Mark

    • I have read something along the lines of
      “Vitamin D protects against vitamin A toxicity and visa versa, but we don’t know why”.

      So may be some of the issues with over doing the Vitamin A intake are only present when deficient in Vitamin D.

  6. Any glutathione brand recommendations?

  7. I am trying to apply the information that I am reading from the book but I am confused about chromium. When looking for suppliments I have found two kinds: GTF and picolinate. In the book it says to take the picolinate but I also read online that there have been some questions about the safety of picolinate. Which should I be taking?

  8. Paul:
    I am reading finding quite a bit of information
    on the dangers of binding too much iron in the blood. and that many supplements can cause this problem, even if they don’t contain iron…
    Do you agre and how can someone reduce the amount of ferritin and iron saturation in the blood that
    is the result of diet and supplementation?

    • Hi Linda,

      Can you give me a link? I need more specifics.

      Iron is bound in the blood as part of the immune response, the purpose is to lock it away from pathogens.

  9. Here is one link, Paul:

    http://www.irondisorders.org/diet/

    See what you think. There are other chapters
    on this site that may be helpful also…
    Linda

    • Hi Linda,

      Unless you have anemia I wouldn’t worry about those things. The body regulates iron absorption in the intestine up or down by ~factor of 10 to optimize iron absorption. Unless you’re deficient and eating a low iron diet, these things are not going to affect your iron status.

  10. Paul:
    Because iron can be a pro-oxidant, I’m more concerned about absorbing too much iron…
    Also, I’ve had high normal serum ferriting levels
    in the past. Now I think that may have been because of taking large daily doses of Vitamin C…
    I’m thinking it’s best to reduce iron absorption,
    in general…considering how many foods are fortified with iron…
    Thanks,
    Linda

  11. Hopefully no one here is eating iron fortified foods:)

    Linda, it would seem that in your case, the best solution may be to simply test ferritin again and occasionally?

    If it’s still high in spite of no fortified foods and no iron supplementation good solutions may include

    1) blood donation
    2) drink coffee or tea (the polyphenols reduce iron absorption)
    3) moderating meat protein intake (all meat significantly increases absorption of non-heme iron…beef increases absorption of non-heme iron the most)

    Not sure if acidic foods increase the absorption of heme iron like they do with non-heme iron, but if they do, then that’s a possibility to consider.

    Seem worth taking any of the above actions rather than loosing the benefits provided by C sufficiency.

  12. This has been mentioned on the blog before, but high ferritin can indicate chronic infection. Fix the infection, fix the ferritin.

  13. Thank You, Katherine…
    Linda

  14. Michelle:
    Thank you for that insight on Ferritin.
    I wasn’t aware of the connection with infection
    and Ferritin levels…
    Linda

  15. I don’t have the background to digest scientific articles, but if you do, look into the work of Eugene D. Weinberg at Indiana University for more about the role of iron & ferritin & infection.

  16. Hey! What would be your recommendation for acid reflux/GERD? I’ve read a bunch of articles saying too many carbs/starches are the problem, but it looks like you’d say the opposite. Please, let me know what you think. I’m very interested in your opinions! Thanks!

    Jon

    • Hi Jon,

      I think GERD is usually due to small intestinal dysbiosis. I’m planning to write some posts on it, but for now you might check out the bowel disorders series. It might not hurt to get tested for SIBO or H pylori. Betaine HCl for more stomach acid often helps, sufficient acid clears pathogens out of the stomach and small intestine.

      • Would it help to take something like Now Food Super Enzymes? I’m not sure where that series is–is it in the book? I was tested for H. pylori: negative. Might need to get tested for SIBO though. I notice you mostly differ from paleo in the starchy carbs section of things. I had been avoiding starches and eating more vegetables, but should I reverse that and follow the dietary recommendations on the “About The Diet” section (more starches and good fats w/ some protein over vegetables)?

        Thanks, Dr. Jaminet!

        Jon

  17. I don’t know what Paul will say but I am struggling with this issue. I have minimal issue when I eliminate starch. But adding back any amount of starch, even a few tbsp of potato or rice, triggers my GERD issues.

    Yet I need some starch in order to sleep and for healthy mucous membranes. At least for me, there is not an easy answer.

  18. A friend, age 56, was dx with microvascular cranial nerve palsy. She has double vision and has to wear an eye patch. Her eye doctor says nothing can be done to speed healing. She has no history of diabetes or hypertension. Are there any supplements that could possibly help?
    Thanks for any suggestions you might have.

  19. Is vitamin K2 safe for breastfeeding? A warning came on the bottle and my health practitioner/lactation consultant had never encountered it. Is there any research on this?

  20. Hello. Does anyone have thoughts on the following amino acids: http://masteraminoacidpattern.com. Is the extra cost, basically 4 times as much,worth it over the NOW Foods Branch chain aminos posted above (Now foods capsule for 10 cents L-Leucine 0.4g, L-Valine 0.04 g, L-Isoleusine 0.04 g). MAP Ingredients: 1 tablet for 42 cents contains the following amino acids: L-Leucine 0.2g, L-Valine 0.16 g, L-Isoleusine 0.15 g, L-Lysine 0.14 g, L-Phenylalanine 0.13 g, L-Methionine 0.07 g, L-Tryptophan 0.04 g, L-Threonine ? g. I am following PHD and primarily use the aminos to improve muscle recovery/strength for triathlon training. Not sure if the additional aminos and different ratios make scientific sense at 4 times the cost.
    Thank you!

  21. Didn’t know where to leave this message. Have read the book twice and am doing local cable tv shows on the topic and giving you two credit. Have a peak at the show. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwxchcKKiOg&feature=plcp
    so happy you two did this work of science. it has cleared up so many issues for me.

    Dr. Cyrus Thomas D.C., DNBHE, MDH
    Optimum Health Clinic
    712 D Street Medical Bldg. Suite L
    San Rafael, CA 94901
    415-847-5020

    Learn from our television program: Nutritional Medicine by Lab Analysis :
    http://www.youtube.com/user/integrativemedicines/video
    Website with Case Histories: http://www.IntegrativeAlternativeMedicines.info

  22. Hi Paul,
    Do you recommend any specific blood tests to check for mineral deficiencies?
    Thanks,
    Sara

  23. I have three questions. Assuming I’m an average male following the PHD with the goal of weight loss.
    1. If you could only pick 5 supplements from your list, what would they be?
    2. I have read several Primal/Paleo books recently and they all say to buy Grass-fed/free range/organic ect. meats, eggs and veges. If we choose to buy “feed lot” we should buy lean and remove all visible fat. Is it safe to buy full fat chain store meats?
    3. I did not see any Whey protein on your supplement list. Do you recommend it? If so, do I just add healthy fat to make it PHD?

    Thank you.

    • 1. Magnesium, iodine, vitamin K, vitamin D if you don’t get sun, vitamin C.

      This assumes you’re eating nourishing foods – those are the most difficult to get from food.

      2. I think so. It’s not like they’re getting sprayed with pesticides. I worry about organs, bones, dairy but not much about muscle meats.

      3. I have no objection to whey but I don’t think it’s necessary. Food protein is just as good, and comes with more nutrition. Fish protein is excellent for instance.

  24. Hi Paul!

    You don’t recommend fish oil, but what about krill oil with astaxanthin?

    What about astaxanthin by itself?

    Thanks!

    • Astaxanthin is fine. Krill oil is fine … but I distrust capsules. It’s capsules I don’t recommend, fish oil is OK if it’s fresh.

      • Just to be sure, you mean that bottled oil is no good either due to oxidation? You have to hold the spoon under the krill press?

        Or is bottled oil safe because you taste it and can tell if it goes rancid?

        • I’m willing to drink bottled oil that’s been kept refrigerated. It’s much less likely to be rancid…. But we eat enough fish that I don’t need any other source.

  25. Paul: Can you use Great Lakes Gelatin instead of making bone broth? tough to find grass fed bones, and easier than cooking. How would u use the Great Lakes if ok. Thanks

  26. Hi Paul, what specific supplements or diet can help Dupuytrens Contracture? I am already taking E, C, B complex, MSM, etc.

  27. Hi. My wife is having surgery next week (c-section). Do you have any additional supplement recommendations pre and/or post surgery? Thank you for your time. BSG

    • Hi BSG,

      I wouldn’t do anything different before delivery, but after to support wound healing I would try to eat joint soups (eg oxtail, ox hooves, chicken feet, fish bone soups, etc) and take extra vitamin C.

  28. Hi Paul, Having not enough money to buy all the recommended supplements, do you think following PHD without any supp. is “safe” or is it better to adjust the diet in another way to provide more sufficient nutrients ? For example, I follow the PHD diet within the range recommended, but I can notice I miss protein ❓ . I always feel hungry when I eat within the higher protein range recommended.. Is it a sign of a missing nutrient..? Or MayBe it could refer to the Mercola’s type diet ? I mean,,do you agree with the fact that some people could better response to a specific diet for protein” type or “mix type or “vegetables “type ..?Thanks for your answer ! Best, Maya

    • Hi Maya,

      The important ones are: magnesium, iodine, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K2. Maybe a B-complex once in a while, not frequently.

      These are pretty inexpensive.

      I don’t agree with the “type” diets. I’m not sure I understand your situation. Do you get hungrier when you eat more protein?

      • Thanks Paul for your answer ! In fact, I can experience being less hungrier when I eat more protein than the level you recommend. I should normally, setting my height and age,being fully satisfied with 80gr of protein per day..but I’m not..even if I eat more carbs to balance :sad:.Would you recommend one nutrient for this case ? (I have a leaky gut syndrom and a bowel movement issue) Or can we imagine a “personal” PHD _ with higher protein level and fewer carbs, or with much fat_ that would not be damaging for longevity.. 😕 ?Thanks a lot, Maya.

        • If you feel better with more protein, then I think it’s good to eat more protein. It’s possible your digestive issues reduce absorption. It’s generally a good idea to listen to your body and follow your appetite.

          You might look into whether you have low stomach acid, that would impair protein digestion. Try taking betaine hydrochloride supplements with meals, and eating a bit more salt. If you do seem to have low stomach acid, you might check for an H. pylori infection, and treat it if it’s there.

          Best, Paul

          • Thanks so much Paul !! 😛 I try and come back to you … Do you think betaine HCL is to be taken for a long period ? 💡 Best,Maya

  29. Hi Paul, I see that the Iodine recommendation has been lowered considerably. I was following the old recommendation and had gotten up to 6 mg. Now I’d like to decrease that down to 1 mg. and see how I do with that. Is it important that I decrease it gradually?
    Thanks!
    -Connie

  30. Francesca Spalluto

    Hi, I know Paul is busy but maybe someone has a suggestion.

    I just started to supplement

    • Multicentrum women under 50
    • Vitamin D3 2,000 IU
    • Vitamin K2 100 mcg
    • Magnesium citrate 200 mg
    • No copper (I eat liver regularly)
    • I’m eating Brazil nuts for selenium and eat shellfish
    • Vitamin C 500 mg-1g

    I’m not taking iodine or Chronium for now.

    Just after 3 days I can feel very dry eyes and dry skin especially at my feet. I’m thinking of interrupting and reintroducing one at the time.
    Any thoughts?

    thanks

    • Hi Francesca,

      dry eyes can come from not eating enough carbs, did you lower your intake?

      Personally I alleviated my somewhat dry skin by eating PHD, I have the impression butter may have been important for me there, but only when I started supplementing Iodine did my skin really become silky smooth and glowing (started a few months ago, I’m now at 1mg).

      So maybe my thyroid was involved? No idea.

      • Hi Wout,
        Thanks to help. 😛 !! Paul has probably answered my coming question.. 💡 but I can’t find it via the research box. Can Iodine supplement be replaced by seaweeds : wakame, Nori,dulse and so on..? And how much to eat to be sure having the right rate ? 🙄 Thanks all of yours ! Nice blog, nice people ! 😉

      • Francesca Spalluto

        Hi Wout! Thanks for your suggestion. I’m not following a PHD, I eat a French/Italian diet. So, beside eating lot of offals (foie gras is not that expensive here in France), oyster, fats, I do eat my share of pasta and grains, definitely I’m not on a very low carb diet.

        I’ve just had a bad UTI experience (first time ever) with tons of antibiotics (which I didn’t take for years and I’m not sure if I’m done), need to test in the next couple days and I had a subsequent vaginal yeast infection.

        To add to this, I’ve been breastfeeding for the last 4 years and half, so that I don’t know how much this influence my vitamins requirement. I also discovered, when my baby was 4 months (now she is 17 months) that I was lacking very badly vit. D, so I took 100,000 IU every two weeks for 5 months. Need to check that now. Maybe would be better for me to find a doctor not easy around here.

        • Hi Francesca,

          I think it’s a good idea to switch out supplements starting with the multivitamin, but it sounds most likely that the infections or some sort of allergy would be responsible for the dry eyes and feet. Have you tried taking an antihistamine to see if that helps? Maybe you’re allergic to something in a supplement.

  31. Linda Seidman

    Paul:
    Do you think refined coconut oil is acceptable
    for people who can’t handle that strong coconut
    flavor? Is it a big loss in health benefits from
    the extra virgin kind???
    Linda

  32. Linda Seidman

    Paul:
    Can you suggest a days worth of food
    on an all ketogenic diet day???
    Thank you.
    Linda

  33. Hi Paul,

    I’ve followed your diet for a year now, and a typical paleo diet for a year before that. But I’m still dealing with some acne. Bentonite clay really helped, almost to the point of it being completely gone. But I started NAC a few days ago and it really threw me back, as I broke out pretty bad on my forehead and chin. Do you know why this is? Am I having a bad reaction and therefore should stop taking it? Or do you think this is my body detoxifying and it’ll be worth waiting it out for now?

    Thanks,
    Jordan

  34. Hi.
    Any general thoughts on vitamin supplements for newborns/infants? We were not planning on doing anything early on but our Pediatrician recommended A,D, & C drops. Mom is eating 2-3 eggs a day, combination of sun and D3 supplements, and taking some vitamin C so I would assume the milk has all the baby needs.
    Thank you!

    • Hi BSG,

      Well, the baby should get a bit of sun exposure as well as breast milk. Did the pediatrician measure the baby’s 25OHD level?

      If mom is well nourished then I would tend to agree that supplementation other than vitamin D is unnecessary. Mom should be getting iodine, magnesium, and vitamin K2 also.

      • Hi Paul.
        Thank you for the quick response! Our baby is 5 days old and doing great. The hospital tests take 3 weeks (not sure if 25OHD is included) but she took a separate sample today that she said should take 2-3 days.

  35. Linda Seidman

    What are your thoughts on a mostly raw diet.
    There’s lots of info online recommending a mostly
    raw diet…
    Concerns, of course, about bacteria and that some foods need cooking to reduce toxins..
    Your thoughts, please…
    Also, recommendations for a ketogenic day…
    specific foods to consume through the day
    Linda

  36. Hi Paul,

    I’m just wondering if you’ve ever heard of someone having a bad reaction from taking NAC? In my case, my acne got a lot worse. I thought it was going to help. Is this a case where I might be getting better before I get worse? Or should I just stop taking it as it might not be for me? Any advice, regarding the NAC or acne in general, would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Jordan

  37. Does anyone have a comment on the use of magnesium ascorbate as a supplement? It is more expensive than sodium ascorbate but would seem to kill two birds with one stone – magnesium and vitamin C.

  38. Hi, I’m new to you and your site. I was just wondering why you recommended Centrum Silver for us over 50? Why that brand over all of the others out there? Looking for an overall good vitamin and some antioxidants as we age!!! Thank you.

    • Hi Janis,

      Actually, I’ll soon be updating the recommendations and we’ll no longer be recommending a multi at all.

      • Hi Paul,

        Thank you so much for your response. Well, that’s what I’ve been hearing from most like, Chris Kresser, just maybe some Vit A, Vit C, Vit D,Vit K2, Magnesium and Selenium, but to mostly acquire these from the foods we eat. Not sure if my husband and I do that yet! I’ve been “paleo” for over a year now and am doing pretty well, except for a few painful fingers in the morning (arthritis) I suppose I should adapt to the Autoimmune protocol and not eat the certain yummy veggies growing in our garden. So what would you tell someone with some sort of arthritic pain, not to take UCii undenatured collagen or NEM, or antioxidants? I’m looking forward to your updates! Thank you so much.

  39. Paul,
    I am just getting started with the phd, and I’m a bit cautious about supplements. Can you tell me which supplements that you’ve recommended can be obtained from food sources? I see that you have notes for some, such as eating brazil nuts for selenium. I’d prefer to eat foods to gain these micronutrients where possible. Thank you so much!

    Monique

  40. Paul,
    given your personal history with vit.C, or rather lack thereof, I would greatly appreciate your input.

    I don’t tolerate any vitamin C supplements (ascorbic acid, mineral ascorbates, whole food based C supplements, vit C with a liposomal delivery system are some I’ve tried). They all give me significant and rather painful bloating and gas, which doesn’t exactly seem like a sign of good absorption..:^). Due to digestive issues I eat no fruit and rarely any vegetables, and worry about my vitamin C intake, especially since I also seem to suffer from some degree of Adrenal fatigue.

    Are there any food or supplement sources that might be better tolerated?

    • Hi Lilian,

      I would check out this list of possible interactions with vitamin C: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/vitamin-c-000994.htm. Iron might also interact with it, so you might get iron status checked.

      I’d also get a stool test, see if there is something in your gut that benefits from the C.

      I’d also get a thyroid panel, looking for thyroid issues. Vitamin C is an alternative for thyroid hormone in some pathways and maybe there is an interaction going on.

      You could also try less acidic forms of vitamin C or take it with bicarbonate. Are you sensitive to other acids? Vitamin C can burn tissues if there is a lack of mucus.

      I think the thing to do is figure out the reason for the C intolerance. I suppose you could ask a doctor for a vitamin C injection and see if that causes the symptoms, that would distinguish gut from systemic (thyroid etc) causes.

      • Thanks, Paul, I really appreciate your taking the time to brainstorm.

        I’ve done the Metametrix test per your suggestion. It shows no pathogens but a Clostridium sp. predominance. I can’t find anything on how it interacts with C, though. I’m on no sythetic meds so I can’t see an interaction there. I am hypothyroid due to a conversion problem of unknown etiology and on dessicated thryoid for that.

        I have of course disussed this problem with MDs, you can probably guess the outcome of that..:^)I’m not aware of being sensitive to anything else that is acidic; usually it is fibrous and corbohydrate-rich food that causes a similar problem. (Per your suggestion I use rice syrup and rice bread as carbohydrate sources, and tolerate those. Not very rich in vitamin C, though…:^)

        • Hi Lilian,

          Well, I don’t know, you have a rather mysterious condition. I would bet it’s connected to the thyroid issue.

          Another thing I forgot to mention is that if you dissolve the C in water it might be better tolerated than taking a pill whole.

  41. Thanks, that’s helpful regarding the possible thyroid connection. I’ll look into that!

    • Paul,
      one more thought, do you think there is anything to the frequent claim that the adverse effects of Vitamin C I described could be a Herxheimer reaction? Could C be toxic to certain pathogens?

  42. I was using the Sunkist vit.c for years. I just found out that it’s made from corn. Check to see if your vit c is made from corn, you may be sensitive to it

  43. are ‘wheat germ oil’ and ‘soybean oil’ in a supplement anything to worry about?
    & if so, why? & is one worse than the other?

    thx

    • They’re high omega-6, so they’ll go rancid a lot more easily than saturated fats would. If they’re accompanied by antioxidants, it’s not so bad. I guess the main concern would be what does oxidation due to the nutrients contained in the supplement.

      • the supps i was looking at, that raised my question were Vitamin E (in very low doses, not exceeding RDA) in gelcaps or liquid drops.

  44. Hi Paul,

    I was wondering about melatonin. I saw a report that it has demonstrated a tendency to stimulate inflammation in patients with autoimmune disorders. Stimulated immune cells to release inflammatory cytokines. With this in mind, if it is true, and sometimes we all need a little assistance, what do you think about homeopathic sleep remedies? Thank You!

    • Hi Janis,

      It might be true. Melatonin does support immune function, I suppose it could exacerbate an autoimmune issue.

      I don’t have knowledge of homeopathic sleep remedies.

      • Hi Paul,

        Thank you for your response. I think I’ll just rely on my own sleep patterns and deal with it naturally. Not so bad.

  45. Homeopathic sleep remedies should be prescribed by a seasoned classical homeopath. Much deliberation is required to make the correct prescrip.
    Cyrus

  46. I have insomnia, andi started taking Relora by Now 3 x per day , and I am sleeping so much better, 7-10 hours per night, prior to Relora, I was lucky to sleep 4 hours.

    • Thanks Shomna for your recommendation. I don’t have insomnia, just an occasional restless thoughtfilled mind that won’t shut off and keeps me awake. I’ll look into Relora.

  47. Please tell me if you think that using Organic Palm Oil may also be used. Thanks

      • whats wrong with safflower oil and sunflower oil?

          • http://www.spectrumorganics.com/?id=6
            Spectrum
            High Heat Sunflower Oil , Refined, OrganicNutrition Facts
            Serving Size 1 Tbsp (14g)

            Amount per Serving

            Calories 120

            Calories from Fat 120

            % Daily Value*

            Total Fat 14g 22%

            Saturated Fat 1.5g 5%
            Trans Fat 0g

            Cholesterol 0mg 0%

            Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5g †

            Monounsaturated Fat 11g †

            Spectrum
            High Heat Safflower Oil, Refined

            Nutrition Facts
            Serving Size 1 Tbsp (14g)

            Amount per Serving

            Calories 120

            Calories from Fat 120

            % Daily Value*

            Total Fat 14g 22%

            Saturated Fat 1g 6%
            Trans Fat 0g

            Cholesterol 0mg 0%

            Polyunsaturated Fat 2g †

            Monounsaturated Fat 11g

          • http://www.spectrumorganics.com/?id=55Spectrum
            Mediterranean Olive Oil, Extra Virgin, Organic

            Nutrition Facts
            Serving Size 1 Tbsp (14g)

            Amount per Serving

            Calories 120

            Calories from Fat 120

            % Daily Value*

            Total Fat 14g 22%

            Saturated Fat 2g 10%
            Trans Fat 0g

            Cholesterol 0mg 0%

            Polyunsaturated Fat 1g †

            Monounsaturated Fat 11g †

            So does this .5-1g diffrence in poly couse it should be higgh in omega-6?

        • Hi Herb,

          the high-oleic versions of these oils do contain less PUFA but they are still seed oils; this means that the oils may contain seed toxins, and the processing steps (high heat/steam/pressure) may damage the PUFA.

          See this allergy board for some indications that e.g. sunflower oil can be problematic for some people.

          Until there is some double-blind study comparing health outcomes of olive oil vs high-oleic seed oil consumption we’ll never know for sure which is best, not that such a study will ever happen. (plus butter trumps both 😉 )

          I can also tell you that high-oleic sunflower mayonnaise tastes good 😉

          • Thanks Wout , but Paul wrote its “high in omega-6” which i don’t understand since he allows 4% of calories from pufa which is 80 calories and in 1 Tbs u have 2g
            pufa = 16 calories . and Mark also claims it’s high in omega 6 http://www.marksdailyapple.com/#axzz23XMCQgDg so i gess i am missing somthing .

            Then about toxins i realy don’t understand it, u can’t call anything toxins becouse u feel like it. First what toxin and who said it has . All fruit and seed have peels to protect them that they could grow nice and good .

            and if is toxin why wouldn’t cooking take care of it?

          • Hi Herb,

            The high-oleic versions are not high in PUFA, and so OK from that perspective.

            However, the unmodified versions of those oils are high in omega-6.

            Many toxins survive cooking. Peanut oil for instance has toxins. I don’t know whether high-oleic sunflower oil does, but since I’m happy with coconut oil, butter, beef tallow, and olive oil, I don’t feel a need to try it.

          • Thanks Paul,

            So there are 2 kinds, 1)high-oleic unmodified and 2) high-oleic modified and that is recognised by the PUFA, and the modified is better, that’s intersting.

            4 mo. oooohhhhhhh . if not for less omega6 in the diet i woudn’t know how to handel it.

  48. Paul, how many podcasts have you done? I found four.

  49. Can anyone recommend a white rice or potato or
    healthy starch bread available commercially,
    whole foods market, etc., without toxic oils???
    I’d love to find something ready made and store
    available…
    Thanks,
    Linda

    • Udi’s gluten-free is PHD compliant.

      • Perhaps they used to be. I skip Udi’s thanks to the predominance of “NON-GMO VEGETABLE OIL (CANOLA OR SUNFLOWER OR SAFFLOWER)” in their ingredients.

        http://udisglutenfree.com/products/classic-hot-dog-buns/

        To be fair, it’s only a few grams, but still.

        I tend to buy Ener-G brand, which uses high-oleic safflower. I guess better in terms of n6. It’s available at Vitacost and iHerb and keeps forever. But you need to toast (or tolerate) it to enjoy.

      • Unfortunately, even toasted and slathered with butter it still tastes like cardboard that’s gone bad.

        A nice surprise is that gluten-free Bisquik waffles made with light olive oil actually taste pretty good, especially slathered with lots of butter and real maple syrup — in moderation of course. 😎 It does contain sugar, but since this is a major league treat only, I think it’s allowable.

  50. Paul:
    UDI’s Bakery was bought by
    SMART BALANCE in July of 2012.
    Do you still think it’s PHD compliant
    with SMART BALANCES emphasis
    On PUFA toxic oils?
    Linda

    • Hi Linda,

      I didn’t know that. Have they changed the ingredients in Udi’s bread? I just look at the labels in Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, but haven’t looked since last winter.

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