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 ?

4,278 Comments.

  1. Hello Paul,

    Some questions for the updated recs. I did a research in your blog, hopefully I didn’t miss posts with the answer already there.
    How long should I be on wheat free diet (PHD) before I can supplement with iodine? I have an Hashimoto Thyroiditis with very antibodies levels. I stopped wheat 1 month ago and moving to PHD gradually.
    Is Kelp safe for me since I had heavy metals intoxication with mercury (treated with EDTA and DMPS)?
    I do not eat beef or lamb liver, can I supplement copper with sesame seeds and dark chocolate (which quantities)?
    Shall I buy B-50 complex and in addition all the other supplements listed on the same row or are those alternatives?
    I found Chromium + Vanadium from BIOVEA but it is 200mcg + 1mg Vanadium. It seems too high, right?
    Molybdenum only in form of 200mcg on internet.
    Which are the optionals you suggest me if I aslo suffer of hypochlorhydria (bakteria infections very often)?

    Thanks & Regards

    Ciro

    • Hi Ciro,

      I recommend 6 months without wheat before trying any high doses of iodine. But you can try 225 mcg of iodine either weekly or up to daily before then.

      I would avoid kelp. It concentrates toxic metals as well as iodine.

      I would recommend taking copper supplements if you don’t eat liver.

      I’ll put up specific supplement recommendations this week.

  2. Hi Paul,

    1.I’ve been known here and there in some very interesting reports on IP6 and inositol effects on human health.

    Could you give your advice on those sup. IP6 seems to be a derived form of inositol.
    As IP6 is also named “phytic acid”, would you recommend it for our no-grain diet ?
    By the way, inositol is said to taste sweet, would it be ok on PHD diet ?
    2. I’ve noticed some amino acid are also recommended for particular goals. http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/02/ketogenic-diets-i-ways-to-make-a-diet-ketogenic/comment-page-2/#comment-90318
    Are those amino acid metabolized as “protein” or .. are they safe to be used on long time period ? (I was thinking of lysine, leucine, NAC, glycine…).

    3. About glycine, as it is classified as a glucogenic one, could we imagine it can be taken during fast period to help the body turn glucose reserve in fuel during this IF and letting the IF less stressful ?

    Thanks in advance, looking forward reading your new edition !! (Maybe a pdf version- a short one _ could be available or readable before the D-Day ?? 🙄 🙂 ➡ )
    Best ,Maya

    • Hi Maya,

      I don’t recommend taking IP6, though it might have certain medicinal uses. Inositol is healthy in moderation.

      Every amino acid has specific effects and usages. In general you want a balanced mix of amino acids but on low protein & ketogenic diets more leucine is desirable. Lysine can help against some viruses, glycine supports bile, NAC supports glutathione/immunity/detox/methylation, we could go on. But food has a mix of all the ones you need and I would generally recommend food over amino acid supplements.

      Best, Paul

  3. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for the great info. Adding more safe starch to my diet has been helpful. I am curious to know what core supplements you would recommend to a broke college student that already spends to much food money on supplements. Especially for someone recovering from cortisol issues from too much exercise with too little carbohydrate intake.

    Sincerely, Robert

  4. Paul, do you think there is any additional supplementation needed for nursing mothers? (It’s common for docs to keep moms on a prenatal super-folic-acid-bomb throughout nursing, not that I give that any credence.)

    Also: on the weekly supps, do you recommend taking them all at once or staggering them — or does it matter? (Incidentally, hoooo boy do I have some neon urine after my weekly round of B-vitamins/zinc/chromium/etc!)

    • Hi John,

      It’s less important than pre-conception or during gestation.

      I think just eating a healthy diet is enough. I wouldn’t do anything different, but I would be more careful to get some fish once a week, egg yolks daily, liver once a week, green leafy vegetables and seaweed and shellfish.

      I don’t think the timing matters much. I’m not expecting that there will be deficiencies so competition for absorption shouldn’t matter much.

  5. Hi Paul-
    I was getting very good results with your original recommendation of iodine(lower blood pressure and easy body fat loss)but since you recommended backing off the higher amount,the loss of body fat is much slower and my BP eased up to about 123/70.I had slowly moved up to 5 mg,but now backed off to 2 1/2mg.Would it be prudent to go back to 5 mg,and if so,do I have to ease back to 5 mg again?

  6. Paul:
    Does once a week chicken liver meet the
    requirement for liver???
    I’m not clear (though, perhaps, I should be)
    why you so strongly recommend iodine..
    It seems to be involved in so many processes,
    from all the questions that come in on it.
    And is there a safer form: liquid or tablet?
    Thanks, as usual…
    Linda

    • We don’t have a requirement for chicken liver. We recommend 1/4 lb beef or lamb liver for copper, and 3 egg yolks a day for choline and vitamin A. But if people are allergic to eggs, then chicken liver can substitute for the egg yolks. You can’t eat more beef or lamb liver because of copper toxicity, but chicken liver can be eaten in large quantities. However, chicken liver doesn’t meet copper needs.

      I think both forms of iodine are safe, as long as the dose is small enough.

      • Hi Paul,

        Regarding egg yolks… is it ok to eat them cooked or we have to eat them raw?

        Thank you,

        • It’s OK to eat them cooked but they should be cooked gently to reduce oxidation of cholesterol.

          • Ok then, but I have to ask… is it better to eat them raw?

            When you suggest to eat them, do you imply them to be raw or cooked?

            Is there much less good stuff in them after they are cooked or pretty much the same?

            Thank you for making it clearer for me 🙂

          • Just to be more specified, I like to eat them hard boiled. Is that good or does it effect the cholesterol?

          • Personally, I usually have my egg yolks at lunch with rice or potatoes and some broth, meat, and vegetables and microwave the mix. So they may or may not solidify but they can’t go to very high temperatures.

            Hard-boiled eggs are fine.

  7. Thank you, Paul.
    Linda

  8. On the updated recs, you didn’t mention Brazil Nuts as source of selenium – any reason for this? I have a bag of good quality brazil nuts…

  9. Hi. How much dark chocolate is recommended daily and how much would you consider too much?

  10. Hi Paul, I know you are planning to put up new links for your new supp recs when you have the time.
    Any chance of some info on your Boron recommendation, did you research a preferred type/form?
    These are the options/choices i am seeing,
    1. Boron as a boron citrate/aspartate/glycinate complex, or
    2. Boron from Calcium Borogluconate, or
    3. Boron as Boron Picolinate.

    thx

    • Hi Darrin,

      Generally speaking any amino acid chelate or citrate form will be digested similarly, so they should be equally good. Picolinate also works. I’m not familiar with calcium borogluconate, but I believe the gluconates are standard forms for mineral delivery, so they should work too.

  11. Paul,
    I’ve started the daily supplements and had a question on the vitamin k. I have MK-7 Vitamin k-2, 100mcg. It says on the bottle that it is derived from natto, which I understand is a type of soy product. Memories of articles I’d read elsewhere about avoiding soy supplements due to possible increased cancer risk, came to mind. Can you clarify if natto-derived supplements are the type that are of concern for possible link to cancer?
    Thank you so much for all your hard work!
    Monique

    • Hi Monique,

      That’s a safe product. The vitamin K2 is produced by bacteria fermenting the soy, and is purified so there should be minimal soy protein and omega-6 fats in the supplement.

  12. 2 GAPS questions re: Supplements and Sauerkraut | PaleoZine.com - pingback on September 18, 2012 at 6:36 am
  13. Hi Paul,
    I just ordered most of the supplements you recommend here(the updated list) and have a question about Iodine. I have Hypothyroidism(probably Hashimotos but Doctor never said so) and I plan to introduce Iodine slowly as per your recommendations but I thought I should ask first because I am very sensitive to most medicines etc.I see that you are no longer recommending Selenium but wanted to share my experience with that as it pertains to my question.
    *About 3 months ago I started taking a regimen of Selenium (200 mcg per day) planning to later add Iodine,and had some rather severe side effects: difficulty breathing, heart racing and a strange tightening in my abdomen and chest. I already have some trouble at night with my heart racing anyway and definitely didn’t want to add to the mix. It was the only thing new that I introduced and I stopped taking it after five days(that’s when the syptoms really kicked in). I stayed away from it for 3 weeks and then tried 1 pill and had the same side effects as before. Needless to say, I am staying away from Selenium but it makes me wonder if it was due to my sensitivities.
    I don’t know if it was due to some other cause (I also have PCOS)but I thought I should ask you if you had heard of anyone having sensitivities
    to any of these supplements and most specifically with Iodine since I am especially interested in helping heal my symptoms of Hypothyroidism.

    Thank You,
    ~Jackie

    • Hi Jackie,

      Thanks for reporting your side effects. I’m not sure what to make of that – I don’t recognize those as selenium overdose symptoms; they sound a bit like hyperthyroid symptoms — maybe there is something odd going on with your thyroid or adrenals.

      If you eat foods rich in selenium like kidney do you have similar effects? I would give that a test.

      Best, Paul

      • Paul,

        I have to admit I haven’t eaten much Kidney to be able to tell (need more Organ meats for sure) – but I haven’t noticed anything with other Selenium rich foods. I agree it looks like hyperthyroid symptoms, which is another reason I was concerned over starting Iodine (I’ve been on Thyroid medication for a number of years and still feel tired and sluggish. Except at night when I’m trying to sleep!)I have been working on getting my Adrenals straight as well (it’s pretty tough to tell what’s what when things are so interconnected and you’re trying to fix a couple of things at once.)
        Just wondering though, with all these things going on, do you suggest I hold off on starting the iodine?

        Thanks again,
        ~Jackie

        • Hi Jackie,

          In most cases iodine is beneficial unless you have hyperthyroid nodules that turn all iodine into thyroid hormone.

          I would test it starting with a very low dose. We list some 225 mcg iodine tablets on our supplement recs page and you can cut them into quarters to test 56 mcg.

          I assume you’re on levothyroxine? Have you tried varying the dose and seeing what makes you feel best? Don’t just follow the doctor’s prescribed amount, find the lowest dose that makes you feel as good as possible.

          • Paul,

            I will try quartering the iodine when I begin and yes I am taking levothyroxine but I hadn’t thought of lowering that dosage because a few years ago I complained to the doctor that I was still tired and sluggish so he increased the dose
            even though I was still within ‘Normal Range’. I will be lowering that dose immediately to see how I do.

            I really appreciate your helpful advice here – it’s nice to have a place to go to and know you’ll get accurate information.

            Regards,
            ~Jackie

    • I had had heart palpitations until adrenals were healed and the correct dosage of natural thyroid replacement. Are you just starting to get the correct dosage for you?

  14. Paul,

    Maybe you have already commented it somewhere else: what is your view of coconut palm sugar?

    Thanks,

    Jo

  15. Thank, Paul. Will order some rice syrup. I could not find it in store but I see it listed in your supplement list.

    Jo

  16. Paul-As I understand it,athletes should have a macro nutrient ratio of 30% carbs,20% protein, and 50% fat…Would there also be a slight micro nutrient adjustment for athletes and heavy weight lifters?

  17. Thank you,Paul

  18. Paul, does pure cocoa powder have the same benefits as dark chocolate? Dark chocolate bars are hard on my stomach so I’m hoping mixing cocoa powder into a smoothie or drinking it as hot chocolate might be easier on my stomach.

  19. Hi Paul, thanks for the information.

    I’ve also been wondering, what is the total intake of daily calcium you recommend for young women? My daughter who is in her early 20’s has been asking me about this as she cannot eat dairy.

  20. Paul,

    what are your calcium recommendations for pregnant versus lactating/nursing mothers?

  21. HI Paul, looking forward to receiving the new book.

    I’m sure you’re getting on to the supplement recs- what kind of Lithium are you going to recommend Aspartate or Orotate?

    thanks.

  22. Oh dear, I just purchased selenium and copper!
    Is it ok to take them? I got them because of being hypo and rising glucose.
    I am afraid liver won’t make into my household.

    Also you didn’t mention coconut oil as a supplement.
    I have been using virgin coconut oil, and getting amazing energy results.

    • Hi Missbb,

      If you don’t eat liver then you should be supplementing copper at 2 mg/day.

      The selenium is OK to take but only twice a week at most.

      • Thanks for letting me know. I was putting in selenium everyday.
        Have to go through a week of supplements, then will reduce. I can’t figure out which is the selenium in pill of pills 🙂

  23. I am confused about iron. Thestopthethyroidmadness website recommends bringing iron up. My iron was on their low side and I took supplements to bring it into their recommended range. I do feel better. So supplement or not supplement?
    Should I stop taking because I am on the paleo diet and consuming more red meat?

    Also I know people are going to have concerns about consuming palm oil.
    Many people are opposed to using palm because of rain forest destruction etc.
    Are their alternatives to the red palm?

    • Hi Missbb,

      How you feel is a good guide. You can also ask your doctor to test your iron status.

      For most people, consuming red meat should be enough to achieve good iron status. The tendency is for menstruating and pregnant women to be a bit low in iron and non-menstruating women and men to be a bit high, but everyone’s situation can vary.

  24. I would love to see a list of alternatives to what you all have recently recommended!
    So if you don’t have access to red palm oil, other alternatives.
    Basically an alternative list for people, who may not be able to get all these foods into their diet weekly, or who don’t like liver or red palm oil etc.
    In an ideal world and schedule one would eat the perfect health diet!
    Multivitamin not on the list but if you can’t eat perfectly are these thumbs or down?

  25. Hi Paul,

    Do you still recommend 2 tablespoons of coconut oil daily, as you did in the first edition of the book? I was surprised not to see coconut oil in the “supplemental foods” section above.

    Thank you,
    Adam

  26. I would caution anybody in taking higher doses of supplements. Even 2 100 mg tablets of vitamin C taken over 2 meals seems to spike my heart rate and blood pressure.

  27. That must be a problem particular to you, @tam. At different times in my life, for various health conditions, under direction of my doctor, I’ve taken somewhere around 5 or 6 grams of Vit C a day for a period of time.

  28. Red Palm Oil: I want to buy it but most of the reviews on various sites have comments about it tasting spoiled. Is that just the way it tastes normally or is it common to have it be spoiled? Any input on where to purchase this would be appreciated. If I know it just tastes off I will go with amazon.
    Best,
    BSG

    • It does have a different taste, kinda spicy. I actually like it and think it goes well with curry type dishes or potatoes and eggs.

      Tropical Traditions is one option I’ve tried:
      http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/red_palm_oil.htm

      They also have some comments related to the environmental concerns:

      Tropical Traditions Virgin Palm Oil comes from West Africa, NOT South East Asia. Palm oil is native to the tropical areas of Africa, where it grows wild. It is a traditional oil used for more than 5000 years in African countries, where small-scale family farms flourish. When you purchase Tropical Traditions Virgin Palm Oil, you are supporting small scale family producers in Africa, and NOT large corporate plantations in South East Asia.

      It is expensive, but at only 1 tbsp per week, it’ll last a while.

      Although, I just realized it is currently back-ordered. 🙁

    • I was wondering the same thing–
      I hadn’t ever heard of it and never researched it, but a few weeks ago I saw a jar of it (Jungle Products brand, product of Brazil) at my health food store so I just bought it. To me it tastes kind of like plastic with some kind of flavor, maybe spicy was a good description. But I’ve been wondering if I just got a bad jar or if indeed this is the way it is supposed to taste. For me personally it’s almost unbearable… 1 T. alone followed by something to drink is fine, but I can’t use it in recipes if I can taste it at all. A few weeks ago I put less than 1 T. in a salad dressing I was making and I ended up throwing it all out because no matter how much I diluted it with other ingredients to correct the taste, I could still taste that plastic-like taste! But maybe another brand might be better? I’ll let you know after another 8 months or so when I finish this jar!
      On the plus side– I have been using it to continually reseason my cast iron pan and it’s working great for that (apparently it has a high smoke point).
      Anyway, others might like it, this is just my personal opinion.

      • I typically won’t have 1T all at one time, but rather spread out over the week. Sometimes in dishes where I’ll have leftovers to eat on multiple days.

        Yeah I could see the flavor would be more pronounced in the lighter flavors of salad. I find it goes well with hearty dishes, like beef.

  29. I just bought the garden of life primal defense and I noticed when I took it last night that it has barley and oat grass in it… There is no definitive answer about if barley grass and oat grass contain gluten, so you are recommending a possibly – gluten containing probiotic?

    • Hi LJ,

      The gluten is in the grains rather than the grass, so far as I know. If you are celiac it might be an issue but the dose must be too tiny to matter for anyone else.

  30. Just doing some reading on Boron.
    & am wondering if the 3mg per week should apply to everyone.
    The 2 main points of my concern are;
    1. Boron deficiency may be involved with hyperthyroidism.
    2. Boron supplementation supplementation can increase estradiol (estrogen) in men and women.

    This seems like a good place to start http://www.ithyroid.com/boron.htm if looking for info. or use google.

    So, just i’m thinking that, boron may not be so good for;
    a) men?
    b) hypothyroid (or near hypothyroid) people?

    this is my laypersons view.
    any thoughts ?

    • Hi Darrin,

      The Russian paper at the link showing negative thyroid effects seems to have a misprint, the paper is about bromine not boron.

      The elevation of estradiol AND testosterone was in postmenopausal women and was probably good for them.

      I think there’s an excellent chance boron is good for everyone but given the modest amount of data available I purposely set the dose low enough (3 mg/wk) that it’s unlikely to do any harm.

  31. Darrin thats intersting…I take it once a week but am estrogen dominant. The last thing I need is increased estrogen. can’t wait to see some input.

  32. Are you still recommending coconut oil?
    I have had great luck with it. Increased energy!
    I use it everyday…and I think I can decrease my thyroid meds!
    I have been taking about 3 tablespoons a day in a smoothie.
    The red palm oil seems to be the most difficult to acquire-there
    are a number of sellers on Amazon, but who know if you are getting
    fresh oil?!

    • I could not find it in stores here (Birmingham, AL) either. Ordered some online from one of the top 3 search results. The stores selling it as a health food seem concerned about quality, so hopefully freshness is not a problem.

      It’s pretty ironic to me it’s hard to find in stores, since according to wikipedia, outside the US it’s one of the most popular cooking oils worldwide. Even my local Mediterranean / Asian grocers didn’t have it. I didn’t check the Mexican grocers.

    • Yes, we do recommend coconut oil or coconut milk. 3 tbsp coconut milk has 1 tbsp coconut oil.

      It’s possible to take vitamin E supplements instead of red palm oil, if so take mixed tocopherols / tocotrienols, and not every day.

  33. What is the purpose of the red palm oil??
    Thanks .
    Linda

    • I think it’s mainly for Vit E. I don’t know much about E, but I think for one thing it’s a co-factor that helps with utilization of Vit C.

    • It’s a low PUFA source of vitamin E. A low PUFA diet, like PHD, will tend to be lower in vitamin E and plant sources of vitamin E tend to be high PUFA.

      Red palm oil also contains the highly regarded tocotrienols form of vitamin E.

  34. Boron boosts testosterone and reduces estradiol and provides many other benefits. Just don’t believe any thing you read at every site when people don’t really follow the science…

    http://www.ergo-log.com/boron.html

    • interesting info Enrique, thx
      That article actually refers to disodium tetraborate (Borax) not Boron.

      All the studies i been able to find on Boron itself talk about it raising estradiol.

      Do you have any other links handy.

      • Borax is a source of Boron. I remember seeing it on some supplements, so it has been used as a cheap boron source for human consumption. It’s used as a million-uses remedy, just like iodine.

        There’s a patented ORGANIC (nature identical form) form of boron with benefits on inflammation, Vitamin D levels, magnesium and calcium retention, increases testosterone, etc.

        Boron protects against cancer, including prostate cancer (and estradiol has been implicated in it).

        “”Borax is used as a food additive in some countries with the E number E285, but is banned in the United States. Its use is similar to salt, and it appears in French and Iranian caviar.”

        “The French diet is reported to contain about 36 mg of boron daily”

        http://www.health-science-spirit.com/borax.htm

        http://fruitexb.com/

        Interesting studies:
        Low frequency of infertility among workers in a borate processing facility.

        There’s other very interesting information about boron, in areas like congnition, pathogens, flouride toxicity, etc.

      • http://www.health-science-spirit.com/borax.htm

        This explains the fraud of hiding some beneficial studies on the use of boron (borax).

  35. Iodine question for anyone who knows –
    I just increased the dose of some kelp iodine I have (it’s that food seasoning brand where 1/4 tsp = 3mg) and am feeling a little fatigued the past few days. I know that iodine isn’t supposed to have noticeable effects for 2 to 3 weeks, but is it possible I’m experiencing the mercury/heavy metals some have mentioned when taking kelp?

    • How’s your iron (ferritin) levels?

    • Allergy, dysbiosis, gut issues and contamination (metals and toxins) of the kelp are possible.

      Gut reactions ARE extremely overlooked.

      I believe positive immediate reactions to iodine are due to gut effects and NOT the thyroid, which takes more time to react.

      • Does this mean taking iodine supplements via kelp capsules is a bad idea?

        • Not necessarily, but you can try Lugol’s o Iodoral, that way you can assess the effect of pure iodine and not other components of kelp. Introduce kelp later, and see if you get any symptoms again.

    • Thank you all –
      I’m not noticing any effects today though I’ve continued the kelp/iodine, so it may not be connected. I may try those other sources of iodine at some point though.

      • Hi Tim,

        Actually the most noticeable effects usually occur right away and then fade over 3-4 weeks as the thyroid gland adjusts.

        There are other possibilities besides iodine-thyroid gland interactions. Kelp can contain impurities so it isn’t a good source for high doses of iodine. 3 mg iodine is too much to get from kelp.

  36. Kelp can be contaminated. You can use lugols iodine available at jcrow
    Or iodoral tablets- these are standardized. People often have reactions starting iodine.
    You can join the iodine group on yahoo and get more information about how
    Much,, what type and what kind of supplements you need to prevent
    Reaction symptoms.
    Not everyone can taken
    Iodine, if you have hashimotos it can mark it worse.
    Look on Amazon for iodine by browser won for more info.

  37. What does the red palm oil taste like???
    Are you folks using it in salad dressings???
    Any other ways to use the red palm oil?
    Thanks.
    Linda

  38. I bought some. The taste is Nora’s pleasant as olive oil.
    It’s best covered up with strong spices. I took a teaspoon and chased it down
    With water.

  39. The red palm oil I got (from Wilderness Family Naturals online) doesn’t taste strong at all to me.

    I was surprised that its Vit E content is listed as 15% of RDA (per tbsp.) Maybe it’s the form of Vit E in red palm that’s beneficial more-so than the quantity? However it does have a whomping 600% RDA of Vit A.

  40. Hi,

    Why do you no longer recommend supplementing selenium? I do not eat kidneys so if I am taking 1mg of iodine should I have some brazil nuts instead.

    Loved your book btw!

    Regards

    • Hi Gareth,

      You can eat Brazil nuts, or you can supplement selenium one or two days a week.

      We’re just concerned about selenium overdose since our foods — beef, lamb, shellfish, seafood, seaweed, organ meats, eggs — are selenium rich. Selenium levels can vary widely based on location, so overdose is a real possibility.

  41. For those of you that have already bought or at least tried some red palm oil, do you think mine might be rancid? (I posted somewhere above how the flavor of mine makes me think somewhat of plastic?? its almost unbearable to me.) I have nothing to compare it to, but since some of you said it tastes fine and pleasant, I’m really starting to wonder… I just had a tablespoon this morning and I’ve been (very unfortunately!) burping every once in a while (which isnt the norm for me, so i think its not being properly digested?) and that unwelcomed flavor keeps revisiting 🙁 Does anyone else have a similar experience with it?
    Maybe I should try another brand…

    • its probably fine (along as its within the ‘use by’ date).
      i think its an acquired taste, one that i have Not acquired. I would never personally attempt to take it on its own.
      If you do try other brands, just make sure they are 100% red palm fruit oil (i have seen some mixed with soy).
      Here’s some ideas/recipes on using it,
      http://paleohacks.com/questions/93374/what-foods-and-spices-pair-well-with-red-palm-oil

    • Thank you Missbb and Darrin for your replies. I think I will wait a while and find another vit E source for now and then decide later if I want to try it again with another brand. I’m not such a picky eater, but I think in those few times I took a tablespoon of the oil, I’ve developed a strong aversion and I really think if I try it again soon I will surely throw up. I think that’s so strange but I really feel like that would happen for some reason…? So, I’m going to just listen to my body. Hopefully the case is that I just got a rancid bottle of it, so maybe if I try it in the future I’ll be pleasantly surprised.
      Also, I just checked to make sure and the exp date is 2014 and it says 100% organic unrefined virgin red palm oil.
      Thanks again!

    • Ours (bought at Whole Foods) has a very strong spicy taste, so we use it heavily diluted as a flavoring/spice.

  42. I am tryin another brand as mine tastes unpleasant and smells rancid.
    In Bruce Fife book he even recommends trying different brands as
    Processing can vary, and the taste does too.

  43. You previously had recommended 200 mcg Chromium daily; now it looks like once per week on your updated recommendations. Is that a typo, or why would the frequency be reduced so much?

    • Hi JR,

      I think daily is also good. We reduced the recommendation to weekly because (a) now we have weekly pills, which we didn’t have before, and (b) there’s not a lot of evidence indicating the optimal dose, and we decided to err in the direction of minimizing the number of pills. Once a week is probably enough to substantially eliminate deficiency conditions.

  44. Hey Paul,

    (Can’t wait for the new book!)

    What are the aspects in particular that have made you nervous about multivitamins? (vitamin A, iron, etc)

    My wife is nervous about giving up her multi – if I must look for the best compromise, is there anything to avoid/look for in a multivitamin?

    Thanks!

  45. I have a question. If someone is prone to canker sores and herpes, besides generally boosting the immune system, there are supplementes that might particularly help to speed recovery?

    Thanks

  46. Hi Paul,

    Should women in their 20s take iron?

    • Hi Wendy,

      Usually, but if food contains sufficient iron then supplements may be unnecessary.

      The best way to know is get an iron panel. Usually ferritin should be in the 50-100 range and other iron tests should be normal. Ferritin may dip lower if tested immediately after menstruation, but it shouldn’t be chronically low.

  47. Hi Paul,

    Red palm oil is really foul tasting for me. I assumed that my first purchase was rancid so I bought several other brands—all organic and not industrially processed. All tasted foul and I realized that I simply hate the taste of this oil. My wife agrees. After reading up on it, I have decided that I will put up with it on a weekly basis because it does seem to be remarkably nutritious, particularly for vitamin E. However, it does make me wonder a few things. First, why aren’t there any good PHD alternatives? All of the items that are a part of this healthy diet seem have multiple sources. It is hard to believe that our ancestors would have been nutritionally deficient had they not been raised in west Africa or Brazil. Second, given the limited availability of vitamin E sources (aside from grains) makes me wonder whether either the need for E is overstated or we have evolved some nutritional dependence on grains.

    Thanks

    • Hi Mike,

      I sympathize re the taste.

      Re the need, it is limited in people who have been following PHD for a long time; but in people coming from SAD or losing weight it is probably higher. There is probably an elevated need for about the first 4 years after transitioning from SAD — it takes that long to deplete omega-6 from the body.

      There’s no harm from low doses of natural vitamin E so it seemed prudent to recommend it. But if you want to skip that I would consider it no big deal.

      There are also supplements – get mixed tocopherols/tocotrienols if you go that route.

  48. Leafy green vegetables are one of the best sources for Vitamin E. Fitday lists Mustard Greens, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Kale and Collard Greens as top food sources for Vitamin E. Also olive oil has vitamin E. http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/vitamins-minerals/10-vitamin-e-rich-foods.html

  49. Vitamin C binds iron so for anyone having iron
    problems it could be linked to intake of Vitamin C
    if it’s a highter dose..
    Linda

  50. Hey Paul,
    Many pages back in these comments, you assured another reader that taking a b-vitamin complex all at once each week may be even better than doing smaller doses once daily.

    If you have the time, will you please refer me and other readers to the studies that suggest this?

    I’ve been told that, as they’re water soluble, b-vitamins in excess are merely excreted and thus it’s better to take them daily. Are they stored in another way?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Blake,

      Your question presumes that you want to have a high level of B vitamins available at all times. I don’t think that’s the case. I think you want to have a high level available occasionally so that cells can take them up and build the enzymes/cofactors/molecules they need to make from them, but the cells won’t be depleted of these immediately, and so it’s OK to let the B vitamin levels get lower for a few days.

      The downside of a continuous excess is that microbes also use B vitamins.

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