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 ?

4,320 Comments.

  1. Hi Paul,

    Can you all look into chia seeds and meal as an alternate form/ source of omega 3.
    Chia is promoted as an ancient grain/ seed.

  2. Hey Paul,

    In your book you said it was okay to eat the most of the gluten free products with the potato starch, rice flour, and tapioca. Those products usally contain vegetable oils. Do you ever consume these products?

  3. Hi, I have a couple of questions regarding the difference between your book and Dr Cordain’s Paleo Diet book. He doesn’t allow any dairy or butter, however you say it’s OK. Also he says no potatoes or rice however you say they are OK. He also advocates Omega 3 supplements, however after reading the section about fats in your book it seem Omega 3 should be limited. I must say I like the idea of being able to eat butter and cream? Hoping to hear from you.

    • Hi Robyn,

      You’re right about the differences. As a rough division, Loren Cordain discourages any foods not eaten in the Paleolithic, whereas we discourage any foods that are toxin-rich. There is a lot of overlap, but we use the Paleolithic diet as a starting point and then try to improve upon it based on scientific evidence, whereas Cordain is seeking more re-enactment of the Paleolithic diet.

      Re dairy, there are potential problems from casein and lactose, but dairy fats are extremely healthy, and it is an inexpensive food. Fermentation reduces the risk from lactose and casein. So we recommend fatty and fermented dairy, but not milk (as a drink, we use it in some recipes).

      Potatoes and similar tubers/corms were centerpieces of the Paleolithic don’t, so Loren shouldn’t oppose them, but he decided early on that Paleolithic man ate fruit and nuts (forest foods) which is inaccurate, and that high glycemic index foods are dangerous which is false (if they’re eaten properly).

      White rice is low in toxicity so it passes our test of healthfulness, even if it was not readily available in the Paleolithic. Paleo man would have eaten it if he could.

      Our book explains why omega-3 fats are best obtained from food and in moderation.

      • Hi Paul ! I’m a newcomer living in Belgium ! Wanna react to tatertot thread : this guy is amazing, don’t you think ?:) Your book is great ! Thanks ! Many things to implement.

        My question is : I’m used to eat at least 2.5 pounds potatoes each day.Less makes me hungry. Even with fat/prot adequate.I’d like to know whether it’s dangerous for glycemic status, on a long term diet.And is it “PHD” compatible. No fructose in my diet.(or so few). Are you ok to replace sugar with starch found in potatoes ? I do not like sugary veggies. Too “sugary” for me. In your experience, are potatoes healthy enough to be eaten each day for all lifeloong ?

        Kind regards !

        PS Would it be possible to let our email address to some of the bloggers here ? It would be so great to create a PHD community ?

        • Hi Star-chi,

          I agree about the community but I’m planning to launch a forum soon which will give opportunities for private messages.

          Yes, potatoes are a healthy food that can be eaten daily. 2.5 pounds potatoes is OK. This would put your macronutrient ratios in line with how most people eat, 50% carb, 15% protein, 35% fat.

          We actually have a number of PHDers who eat this way, either because they enjoy the food more or because they are lacto-ovo vegetarians (often of Indian descent) and it is easier to get calories from carbs as a vegetarian who eschews most vegetable seed oils.

          So, yes, it is PHD compatible, just a minor variation toward higher carbs and lower fat.

          We favor starch over sugars generally. See the book.

          Best, Paul

          • What a great news ! It’s so enjoyable to have found PHD : let’s mixing healthy food and pleasure ! it’s A must ! PHD is for Pleasure Healthy Diet !

            Anyway, in this point of view (2.5 pounds potatoes) can it be a problem for maintaining or loosing weight ?
            ! I ‘ll enjoy reading your book as soon as received ! (Ordered last week !) I stay in touch with the forum anyway, and would be glad to participate in a PHD community !! Kind regards !

          • It may be a bit harder to lose weight at 50% carb than it would be at 30% carb. See Chapter 17 in the book for reasons why. But you can still lose weight by restricting calories, it just may not be as much fun.

        • Hi Star-chi,

          I’m also in Belgium 🙂 Where are you located? Great to find other PHD fans nearby!

          I have a (very small) blog at http://oergezond.be if you’re a Dutch speaker.

  4. Thank you for answering so promptly and informatively. I am still making my way through your book and am finding it extremely interesting and eye-opening. Thank you again.

  5. Paul, do you recommend 1 or 2 capsules of b-50 complex by Nature’s Way per week? Do you think the millet in those are harmfull to gluten sensitive individuals?

    Thanks.

    • Hi Acai,

      One will do. You probably don’t need extra B vitamins at all, the B vitamin recommendation is just precautionary since they’re so safe.

      Millet is not good but the dose is small in a B-50 complex pill so if you don’t have celiac, it shouldn’t be a problem.

  6. Hi Paul,

    For someone who’s a bungler in the kitchen and can’t figure out how to get the yolks out of the eggs, is it alright to egg three whole eggs a day, that is the yolks plus the whites? Or are the whites bad protein?

    Thank you,

    Robert

    • Hi Robert,

      It’s OK, there’s nothing wrong with the whites.

      • is it safe to eat 5 egg yolks a day. I have just got my cholesterol down to 4.6, it used to be 6.4. I am trying to become pregnant but I have read that eating a high amount of eggs can increase cholesterol…..

        • Hi Michelle,

          If you don’t have an egg allergy and eat a low omega-6 diet it should be fine. Watch for any signs of egg allergy.

          You can also supplement choline or trimethylglycine as an alternative.

      • What about eating raw eggs? I get pasture-raised (sometimes organic) eggs, and that’s how I eat them most of the time.

        • There are risks from salmonella and other bacteria; the avidin in raw eggs depletes biotin, so you should supplement biotin; and there might be increased risk of developing an egg allergy. But if you are digesting them fine, the source is safe, and you supplement biotin, it’s probably OK.

  7. What are your feelings about supplementing with MSM? I’m taking your recommended dosage of biotin and read that this combination is beneficial.

  8. So for Iodine you recommend increasing it to 1 Iodoral/day (12.5 mg) if you have Hypothyroid symptoms. How long do you stay at that level? Until the Hypothroid symptoms go away? For one month and then you drop down to the 1mg level? Until the bromide detox bumps stop?

    The insert inside the bottle said that a study found that most people needed 3-4 tablets/day to keep their iodine level at optimal.

    • Hi Mike,

      In the new edition of the book we’re recommending 1 mg as a reasonable stopping point for most people, but 12.5 mg is a plausible destination also.

      I would consider 50 mg a therapeutic dose and at that level you should probably be regularly monitoring thyroid status with a physician, also tending carefully to selenium and other cofactors, plus be very wary of any drugs that may affect the thyroid. I wouldn’t consider it something people should routinely do.

      • Hi Paul, speaking of iodine, I recently bought some of Annie Chun’s DELICIOUS seaweed snacks. I think I ate too much (a package and a half yesterday)…I got a slight headache. I also drink carbonated mineral water which I haven’t had in months with it. Do you think that I increased iodine too quickly by incorporating the seaweed? Would carbonation have anything to do with it? The few days prior, I was eating a half a package, maybe a whole one. It’s just so good. I also worry a bit about the canola oil. Do you have any advice here? I went to 675 mcg. of iodine January 1st (for reference to where I am with iodine). Thank you!

  9. Hi Paul,

    Wow, that was an eye-opening statement regarding oxidative stress and an inflammatory immune response in regards to the hives I’ve been experiencing. I had a C-Reactive Protein test done a couple of months ago and everything was fine. I’m guessing that this could be something all together different? Could this also be because I had a little too much holiday food and drink that I normally don’t ingest? I can only hope that the only Omega 6’s I believe to over indulge in are nuts. Since I’ve eliminated them for the AIP for 30 days, that would be easier to deal with if I am allergic to them or if they are the culprit for underlying issues, such as allergies or arthritis, instead of eggs and potatoes! I have been currently taking the antioxidants in a multi-vitamin, by Source Naturals, so I’m a bit baffled by my recent dilemma. I do believe it has something to do with an overindulgence during the holidays and hopefully I can get back on board with better nutrition. Thank you so much for your help!

    Janis

  10. First off I just wanted to say Chris kresser was right,your book is on the top of the list,as far as health books go. I’ve just got the new version,and I am becoming a huge fan. I have a few questions

    If I don’t always have access to grassfed bones,should I be concerned about toxins in my broth that has bones from conventional raised animals?

    Or if I just trim off most of the meat and fat,will I avoid most of the toxins,when I make my broth?

    Do non grassfed bones, have less minerals than grassfed bones?

    I’m trying to wrap my head around that some synthetic supplements may be safe and compable to a all natural food based vitamin(garden of life,new chapter etc.)It’s just hard for me to trust synthetic.So I’m trying to get a majority of my supplements from a non-synthetic company(garden of life,megafoods).

    So besides iodine (which you recommend it only in synethic form,I believe) which
    other supplements do you prefer in synthetic form compared to a food based,whole food,all natural pill?

    I’m thinking of getting a zinc supplement from garden of life,it’s all natural,zinc
    comes from vegetables etc. Would that be as effective as other forms of synthetic
    zinc?

    • Hi Tim,

      I don’t know that conventional bones are toxic, but they certainly don’t taste as good and I think it’s worth the effort to try to find grassfed bones.

      The meat should be fairly safe, I would eat it.

      Food based sources of micronutrients are great, but it can be hard to find affordable formulations with the proper doses. If you can find suitable whole food supplements, go for it.

      • I gotcha thanks for replying.

        Just to clarify.

        Is iodine the ONLY supplement you recommend to get in synthetic form compared to all natural,food base supplement??

        AND

        Is Selenium the ONLY supplement you recommend to get in a whole food supplement and NEVER in synthetic form??

        Like which supplements should we NEVER buy in synthetic form?

        Which supplements should we ALWAYS buy in snythetic form?

        Also if one has no problems with it,what are your thoughts on drinking raw milk kefir or kombucha occassionaly?? You seem to not recommend it in your book,curious why you dont.

        • Hi Tim,

          Kefir and kombucha are fine for healthy people, I think people who have fungal infections should avoid them.

          The supplement question is a little complicated, but in most cases the synthetic form is identical to the natural form and so synthetic is fine. In other cases the synthetic form provides only one of many natural forms (vitamin E), a different form (folic acid), has both chiralities (vitamin K2), but in many cases there is little evidence that these are defects (eg, the wrong chirality of K2 is thought to be harmlessly excreted, and folic acid is thought to be 99% converted to folate). The synthetic is generally quite a bit cheaper. If we haven’t specifically recommended food as a source, then I don’t have strong feelings about the natural vs synthetic choice.

        • not that PHD requires any supplemental Vitamin A, but i thought it may be useful to some to mention it in regards to natural vs synthetic.

          from what i have read in the past, all studies of various forms of synthetic vitamin A, either do nothing or potentially have negative effects.

          The only natural animal source vitamin A i have seen (apart from in natural CLO) is a product by Calson Labs.
          ‘Vitamin A 10,000 IU Natural’ (from fish liver oil)

  11. I am a bit puzzled by the different forms of K2. My understanding at this point is that you need to take the MK 4 three times a day as it does not last in the body as long at the 7 does. other than that is ther any benefit from one vs the other?

    • Hi Ellen,

      Although the K2 disappears quickly from the blood, it doesn’t disappear quickly from the body — halflife about a week — so you don’t need to take it three times a day. Once a week is enough.

  12. Hi Paul,

    Is it ok to start iodine at a higher level than 225 mcg if you know you are low thyroid and also know it is not auto-immune? I had a TSH of 2.2 and no antibodies of any kind — I breastfed for several years and am guessing I just got seriously deficient in everything (was also low in iron and vit D and I assume other things, too, though was not tested for them). I am taking a low dose of Cytomel to get my thyroid levels up fast. Taking the hormone was like turning a light on (!) but I would not want to be on it forever.

    I’d like to get iodine from food as much as possible. Is dashi something I should avoid having often because of possible toxins? I make it at home with kelp harvested in Maine.

    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Kristen,

      I think it’s generally prudent to start low. 225 mcg is quite a bit more than the thyroid needs so in certain conditions where the thyroid isn’t regulated properly, eg hyperthyroidism, it is enough to reveal problems.

  13. Hi Paul. What do you think of the Vitamin Research Products, Vitamin K? It has 1.5 mg of Vitamin K (67% as K2 menatetrenone and 33% as phytonadione) It was one of the few higher doses of vit K I could find in the UK.

    • Hi Brett,

      It sounds good. The risk of high K1 is it may promote clotting in someone who sits a lot or is about to take a long drive or airplane trip. It’s nice to include some MK-7 which is better absorbed than the MK-4. But apart from those minor issues, that will provide plenty of vitamin K and is a good mix.

  14. Hi Paul,

    I asked you awhile back, but couldn’t locate our conversation among the thousands of inquiries, so I hope that I can ask you again! Are there any circumstances when a person shouldn’t take melatonin. I’m considering taking it, but thought I read something about people with “autoimmune” issues shouldn’t take it. I’m the one who just wrote to you about the hives, which seem to have gotten better, thank goodness and I have a mild form of vitiligo. I am going to purchase the antioxidants you recommended to me too. Thank you so much Paul.

    Janis

    • Hi Janis,

      If you have an excess of melatonin it will disturb your sleep. In general if your sleep improves when you take melatonin, it’s doing you good.

      • Hi Paul,

        Ok, great, thank you. I’ll give it a try. Have a good day!

        Janis

      • Hi Paul,

        Well, after taking 5mg of Melatonin for about 5 days or so, I see no difference. Sleep pattern is the same. I’m not staring at the ceiling or getting out of bed or anything, just seem to be in and out all night and I do not feel rested upon waking. Perhaps, like you said, I already have enough melatonin or should I try two tablets at 10mg and see how that works? Thanks Paul.

        Janis

        • Hi Janis,

          No, I would go back to the lower dose if there was no improvement with a doubling. Too much melatonin will make you groggy.

          • Hi Paul,

            Ok, I think I’ll try two tablets tonight and see if that helps, if it’s too much, I’ll go back to the regular dose. If I find that none of it worked, oh well, it was a shot! Perhaps it’s all hormonal due to menopause. Thank you!

            Janis

  15. Hello, really enjoying the book. The information is validating a lot of what I have been told by my alt med person, and have come to discover from my own eating habits. Thank you! I’m curious if you recommend eating dates and sesame seed (dressing) – two of my favorites.

  16. Are there any studies showing the benefits of bone broth and how it improves bone density? I’d like to show my doctor.

    Thanks!

  17. Okay so I’m trying to figure out what would be the essential four or five supplements to give my two yr old…25-30lbs.I don’t know if it’s different nutrients needed to be supplement,for a growing toddler,compared to a adult?

    Than with that said,would I than just do 1/2,1/3 or 1/4 of the dose that a phd recommend supplement for a adult…would that be a good guide? I just scared and lost now..I don’t want to overdose him,but I KNOW he definetly needs some essential supplements,now that I took him off the garden of life whole food multi for kids..it has manganese and half his recommended amount in folate.

    The perfect health diet for kids book or phd blog addressing kid supplements,daily,weekly dose etc..can’t come soon enough. Otherwise there’s a lot of parents left hanging,or unknowing giving their kids the wrong dose..or wrong nutrients..kids are our future and the sooner we properly feed/and properly supplement them..the better. We just gotta get some clear info..the caring parents will take it from there.

    • Hi Tim,

      I would do vitamins D, K2, and magnesium as a top 3. D to get serum 25OHD around 40 ng/ml. K2 about half adult levels. Magnesium maybe 1/4 adult levels. I don’t think a multi is desirable, rather nourishing whole foods along the PHD line.

      You’re right, we should do a PHD for kids book. We’ll get some information into the cookbook but it would make a good small book. It takes time to do all the appropriate research though.

    • Paul might see things differently, but here’s my opinion:

      You shouldn’t be giving your 2 year old child any supplements without a valid reason to. If you’re feeding him properly most or all supplements should be unnecessary, but more importantly you don’t want to risk doing him any damage.

      As you’ve already noticed, dosage of children can get complicated, and I can’t imagine many people have experience giving supplements to babies. It’s enough to be feeding him good food; don’t run the risk of doing harm to your child.

      You have to remember the risk we’re taking – it’s entirely possible that we’re wrong about some aspects of our diet – in fact, it’s entirely likely, especially considering how non mainstream diets (vegan, vegetarian, fruit only, etc) have done in the past – quite poorly. By rejecting elemnts of mainstream dietary science (in our case, red meat being bad for you, “heart healthy” whole grains, etc), we’re traversing into an area that’s a lot less rock solid. Treat any diet like this as an experiment – and last I checked, most people don’t believe in experimenting on their children.

      It’s hard to adequately articulate the point I’m trying to make, so I’ll leave it at this: while we’re most likely on the right path here, we’re still in the very beginning stages of optimizing the human diet. I believe J. Stanton put it: “There’s a giant book called ‘Human Nutrition’, and we’re only on the first page of it”.

      Remember, there’s people out there that think eating only fruits is healthy, or that we’re basically herbivores, and other crazy stuff. There’s even more people who have found a beneficial nutrient or practice and taken it too far – like the people taking 10,000 IU of vitamin D a day for years on end. The Perfect Health Diet seems to do a great job of staying in the safe yet effective range of health and nutrition, but stick to self experimentation.

      • Hi Anon,

        That’s quite plausible. You’re right, we don’t know much with confidence, and the natural way of whole foods and no supplements cannot be far from the optimum.

        In general, young children eat a lot per unit body weight so malnourishment is much less likely than in adults.

        I think vitamin D is an exception. They should get out in the sun 2 hours per day. But do they? Especially in the north during winter?

        K2 is harmless to supplement and widely deficient in children; and magnesium is widely deficient. I think a plausible case can be made for supplementation of those.

        Apart from those three, I can’t offhand think of a supplement I would give to a young child.

        • Paul I agree with those three def.But what about vitamin c(immune system)…a probiotic powder(kids don’t eat enough fermented things..atleast mine doesn’t like any)maybe 30mg or less..once a wk of zinc(how many kids eat oysters..where are they getting their zinc)and if they aren’t eating organ meats where will they get their copper..not to mention selenium if they don’t each much seafood(how many kids do). So I see you point on they eat more food per body weight..but wouldn’t they be lacking nutrients(in what i mentioned above)just by avoiding important foods(organ meat,fermented veggies,oysters)

          These would be all natural and whole food supplements..always..and lower doses def too.

          • Hi Tim,

            Yes, if your child won’t eat our “supplemental foods” then he/she might benefit from further supplements. Vitamin C is another fairly benign supplement. But as you say, foods are likely to be the best source if the child is willing to eat a diverse assortment.

      • I def would err on the side of giving him less than too much..of any suplement.Also I wouldn’t give him anything synthetic..I’m I strong advocate on if you must supplement(to fill gaps,we all have them,children too..even on a good diet..they avoid some powerhouse foods,fermented foods,organ meats)to make it a all natural whole food based supplement. I know it’s pricey but I’ll pay extra no prob over something cheap and synthetic. If we are concerned about are health being nutrient deprived..shouldn’t we be as concerned..if not more about are lil ones being nutrient deprived.Empasis on pushing real nutritous food first..and only when needed a few whole food natural supplements..not synthetic..and dose def smaller..to fill possible harmful gaps they may still have.

        Thank you..and Paul..for your takes on this subject.It is a interesting convo to have..with the phd compliant parents..I’d love to hear other concerned parents take.

        • So if needed..how much zinc..once a wk at 15mg?

          Than if he doesn’t eat organ meats..or seafood.. what would be

          Okay assuming he never takes a liking to organ meats,or seafood,oysters or shrimp..whats
          the low safe dose for copper or selenium..once a wk I know.. how low of a dose.

          Many children don’t eat diverse foods(organ meats,fermented veggies,seafood like oysters) Atleast not in the us..other cultures maybe. Plus it’s hard to fancy up.organ meats..fermented veggies..to make them more appealing. So since children in the u.s are often lacking in those key foods,it makes since to assume that often they are lacking in those key
          nutrients from those foods.

          lacking in those key foods,it only makessince that they would in those key nutrients.

          • See, this is what I was worried about. Over-optimization to this degree is dangerous if you’re not doing the scientific research yourself. The farther along the cutting edge you are, the greater the chance of the edge cutting you.

            I agree with supplementing the “major” vitamins since they tend to be quite safe (“major” vitamins meaning the ones Paul recommended up above), but there’s no reason not to try to get your child eating healthy foods. Getting him eating right at this stage will be huge for him later in life. Besides, if he’s not getting his vitamins/minerals from food sources, he’d have to pop 10 pills a day for optimal health, which is just crazy.

            There’s nothing wrong with taking some steps to prevent the major deficiencies, but getting crazy about copper, zinc, selenium, etc is taking it too far, in my opinion.

            Obviously, you’re the parent here and it’s completely your choice. I’m just saying that in the long run sticking to basic principles of health, rather than arduously optimizing every single micronutrient, is going to be the best – and safest – strategy for success.

            But yet again, I’m not the expert here, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. It’s worth considering, though.

          • I can see both sides of the equation, wanting your kid to have everything he/she needs to develop properly and be as healthy as possible. Kids bodies are extremely resilient and I think they can thrive even if things are less than perfect. I grew up on pizza pops, hot dogs and pop and I like to think I am doing well and have good health/reasonable intelligence. My kid eats everything from raw grass fed milk that I have to obtain illegally to garbage teddy bear crackers I grab off the shelf to keep him occupied in grocery stores. We give him a daily multi that we often miss and the occasional chewable vitamin C and he is developing much ahead of the curve of kids his age. It’s normal and parently to want the absolute best for your kid… just don’t be to stressed out about it.. the fact that you care enough to ask the question probably means your kid is better off than most! My last tip is to make a fruit smoothie and sneak healthy things into it! I trick my kid into eating things like dulse almost every day in a smoothie!

  18. Hi Paul,
    When you were going through your nutritonal healing you had an infection, I think you discovered it from a stool anlaysis? Did you deal with adrenal issues? I know I have adrenal issues but nothing I do seems to help it. Do you know anything that could help? I know you aren’t an expert on hormones but I thought I would try.

    • Hi Katie,

      I never had a stool test; I recovered with PHD and antibiotics before I realized that stool tests were a smart diagnostic tool.

      I did deal with adrenal issues that were probably secondary to other issues (thyroid, liver issues, food sensitivities associated with gut bloating) that were probably connected to infections. When other things improved the adrenal symptoms went away. I didn’t do anything specifically for adrenals.

      My belief is that the body naturally heals itself when causes of disease are removed.

      I do believe that circadian rhythm strategies are helpful in adrenal issues; and that one should minimize stress, so perhaps avoid fasting and such things.

      I would also treat any thyroid issues and support detoxification with salt, vitamin C, and such.

    • Hi katie,

      Just to add to what Paul is saying — I had adrenal issues (sensitivity to light and noise, generally super-triggered by stress, classic postpartum and work burnt out). Here are the things that helped me beyond the PHD diet (which by itself helped enormously).

      1. When I added NAC in the morning (without food) I could look at bright light. A few days after I started taking it, my husband and I took a road trip and drove straight into the sunlight. Halfway to our destination, I noticed that I didn’t have my dark sunglasses on. I was astonished. Bright light no longer triggers me.
      2. Treating my thyroid. It was low and when I treated it I stopped waking up with a racing heart.
      3. More carbs. I initially ate toward the low end of PHD, having come of age during the carb fear time. Now I eat toward the high end and have lost weight (though honestly I am small and weight is not a problem for me). If you’re small or thin, make sure you’re eating enough food. I wasn’t.
      4. Morning walk or cycle to work. Vitally important. This part is REALLY underplayed. Be in nature — even if your “nature” is in a big city, like me.
      5. Moving the intermittent fasting to night, and drinking bone broth then. I found that I needed to have breakfast at mid-morning to soothe my stress, but that if I tried to make it to lunch it would fry my nerves. So I would eat a 10 am breakfast (having woken up at 630) a 2 or 3 pm lunch (biggest meal) and then skip dinner in favor of brone broth. It’s not as sociable, but it did work better for my body.

      You may have already tried this, but adaptogenic herbs can also be helpful — ashwaganda, astragalus etc. TCM, too.

      Best wishes!

      • Hey kristen,
        Thanks for the advice, you seem like a fan of stop the thyroid madness. I tried t3cm for a month. I think it helped, I am going to take another salva test again just to see where I am at. My thyroid meds are pooling, I think adrenals. I need to retest everything and regroup. I am noticing that carbs do help (starch) I think I need to ramp it up :). I noticed to I have to eat breakfast or else I get sick to my stomach. I will try the broth at night, that seems like a good idea. Hopefully winter ends soon so I can bike to work. Thanks for the tips, everything helps. Taking iodine has also really helped, I think I am one of those people that need a lot of iodine.

        • Thanks for the info about stop the thyroid madness, Katie. I had never seen that site (!) but a lot of the info there makes sense. I was also extremely low in iron (long term breastfeeding and low carb in combo = bad scene). I am taking T3 as of about a month ago and it really was like having a light turned on. Iodine also helps, I agree. I wonder if menstruating women might need more generally. . . I know iodine totally changes my period for the better.

          Good luck!

  19. Paul:
    Does the 100 mcg. of K2 post any threat of
    blood clots…There’s been so much in the news
    lately about blood clots that I’m concerned about
    doing anything that might make that more likely…
    Thanks, as always,
    Linda

    • Hi Linda,

      I don’t think so. K1 has more of an effect on clotting than K2. I think 100 mcg of K2 will tend to normalize clotting. K2 supports anticlotting factors as well as clotting factors.

  20. Hi, Paul –

    I have a couple of questions about copper intake and supplementation. (I apologize if this is a double post. I thought I had posted it last night, but this morning I can’t find it anywhere!)

    You establish the optimal range for copper intake at 2-4 mg per day, and note that the upper limit is 10 mg as established by the US Food and Nutrition Board. You recommend daily supplementation of copper only if you don’t eat 1/4 lb of beef liver per week, which yields 12-16 mg for an average of nearly 2 mg per day. That leads me to some questions:

    1) Is copper a micronutrient that your body can store for use when it is needed? Your treatment of liver consumption would make it appear that way — since it’s likely that anyone consuming liver will get the 1/4 lb in a single sitting (Your liver paté with some hot sauce thrown in goes great with rice crackers — so eating 4 ounces is too easy!).

    2) Assuming copper is stored in the body, if you plan to achieve the liver consumption but fail, should you increase the supplementation of copper later in the week to compensate? For example, if you get through 5 days and realize you aren’t going to fit liver into the menu, would it be healthful to take 6 mg of copper on each of the two remaining days to get closer to the 2 mg per day average? Since I plan to supplement zinc at 50 mg per week (and probably on Monday so I don’t forget), I’m concerned about maintaining the right copper-zinc balance. Given the severe negative impacts of copper deficiency, upping the supplementation near the end of the week to stay in the plateau range seems like a logical step.

    I appreciate any insights!

    Jim

    • Hi Jim,

      All nutrients are stored in various compounds, for example zinc-copper superoxide dismutase, albumin, or ceruloplasmin in the case of copper. These disappear gradually from the body and are replenished when the nutrient is supplied. Typically it takes weeks to months for the compounds to become deficient. So it’s fine to take nutrients in lumpy doses, say once a week.

      I would say you should try to average 14 mg per week from foods like beef liver or supplements. It doesn’t have to be precise but if you go without for an extended period then I would try to make it up later.

      • Paul –

        Got it – thanks! We’re going to try to stick with liver as the primary source…my wife had her cookbooks out, looking for some different recipes. We’ve tried the paté, so I think the next one will be the beef/liver spaghetti bolognese!

        Jim

        • Hi Jim, Do you or anyone have the recipe for the beef and beef liver bolognese? I am making Paul’s pate’ this weekend. I haven’t found a pate’ recipe thus far that I love, but I bet I will love the Jaminet’s recipe since everything else I have tried of theirs is excellent. Thank you or anyone else in advance for the recipe. I also have grass fed lamb liver, so any recipes for that would be great also!

          • Hello Dede,
            No beef and liver bolognese,
            but my pate is not bad:
            fry 2-3 onions and garlic to taste (do not burn)in butter
            add liver (lamb, beef or chicken)approx 400 grams (sorry I am metric)
            add mustard powder, 1 heaping teaspoon
            add salt and pepper
            add one spoon of brandy or whiskey!
            when liver is done, add 50 grams of butter and homogenize in foodprocessor
            cool, refridgerate and eat with something sweetlike (e.g. fruit chutney, cranberry compote) on rice crackers.
            Sofie (the Netherlands)

          • Dede –

            I don’t have a recipe — I was just planning to make bolognese and substitute some liver for the ground beef.

            Jim

  21. Thank you Sofie! I have always loved pates with a dried fruit/or chutney component. I will try your recipe. Jim, I’ll look for a recipe and improvise. 🙂 I’ll post if it turns out yummy!

  22. Hi Paul,
    Is it prudent for a person who’s GI tract reacts negatively to cruciferous vegetables, garlic etc to supplement with sulphur in the form of MSM, or will animal protein supply enough? If supplementing, would MsM potentially serve as a food source for the same microbes that are causing trouble after ingestion of cruciferous vegetables?

    Specifically interested in micronutrient deficiencies that could contribute to weakening of connective tissue structures of eg intervertebral discs.

    Thanks!
    Lilian

    • Hi Lillian,

      Sulfur is one of these things where there’s no clear evidence as to optimal amount. There is a lot of sulfate in extracellular matrix and joint material so our bone/joint broth soups should help.

      Epsom salt baths (or a small bit of Epsom salt in water or food) is another possible source.

      I don’t have a good feeling for whether MSM or sulfur amino acids like cysteine and taurine can meet the body’s sulfur needs. I think joint broth or similar ECM-rich organs (eg tripe) might be the best source.

  23. Hi Paul-
    The Jarrow NAC sustained release formula you have listed contains “polyacrylate polymer.”Is this form of plastic a health concern?

    • Hi John,

      I’m not sure, good question. I did a quick search and didn’t see clear information. It probably inhibits absorption of some nutrients in the digestive tract. It may be how they implement delayed absorption. Not sure if it enters the body and if so how it is degraded or what it does.

  24. Hi Paul.
    I’ve read so many benefits of iodine but am confused regarding supplementation.
    I’m a lover of nori seaweed sheets and eat at least 3 a day.imunsure if I need to supplement ,and am I correct in thinking you don’t recommend kelp tablets as a supplement.here in the uk iodine supplements seem ess available.
    Ray peat in a reply to me regarding my psoriasis said that sometimes all that’s needed for improvement is some thyroid supplement but isn’t that a whole different ball game? Thankyou and am loving the book.
    Chris

    • Hi Chris,

      Do you have symptoms of hypothyroidism? Psoriasis isn’t generally the first thing that pops into mind as a hypothyroid symptom. If you have generally recognized symptoms and/or lab test numbers indicative of hypothyroidism, then I think thyroid hormone would be worth a try.

      3 nori seaweed sheets a day provides enough iodine to support thyroid hormone manufacture. There may be other benefits to higher iodine intakes, such as improved excretion of bromine, but the optimal iodine intake is a little unclear. We recommend getting up to 1 mg.

      • Hi Paul,

        Speaking of psoriasis, what are your thoughts on it and how would you go about healing it? Healing the gut first, no gluten, sugars, etc. and any specific antioxidants recommended? Thank you Paul for your time.

        Janis

        • Hi Paul, no I have no symptoms that I’m aware of.thanks for clarifying re the Nori.even one of my cats shares a sheet a day with me.

  25. One of the bizarre symptoms of being hypothyroid and severe adrenal fatiguewas unexplainable rashes and blisters that occurred on my arms and ankles. I had to go to the hospital twice, saw both a dermatologist and allergist. The rashes did not go away until I started natural thyroid replacement. No one thought anything of it as I didn’t have typical weight gain, I was underweight because I didn’t have the energy to eat!
    So if you think maybe about thyroid, get it checked out!

  26. HEY PAUL,
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR KNOWLEDGE. I STARTED EATING MORE WHITE RICE FOR MY SAFE STARCH. I HAVE NOTICED MORE WHITE RICE IN MY STOOL 😥 IS THAT COMMON OR AM I NOT DIEGESTED THINGS PROPERLY? ANY SUPPLEMET SUGGESTIONS? THANKS!

    • Hi Katie,

      I don’t think it’s common, I don’t notice any white rice in mine. Try chewing rice for 30 seconds before swallowing, so it is thoroughly mixed with saliva. I am not sure what else to suggest, possibly a pancreatic enzyme supplement, or a talk with your doctor if it doesn’t clear up after you’ve been eating rice for a while.

  27. Paul,

    Assuming I want to target 1000 mcg/day of iodine NET of daily flouride ingestion, how much iodine would I need in excess of this 1000 mcg/day to offset the equivalent pick up in iodine from:

    flouide toothpaste (3 times a day)
    64 oz of flouride treated water

    Or, does the 1000 mcg already acount for daily needs and these too adders above.

    thanks much

    • Hi Evan,

      I don’t think flouride matters as far as iodine dose. Take some dose equal to or less than 1000 mcg/day.

    • I stopped drinking fluoridated water and using fluoridated tooth paste over a year ago and my teeth are in better condition than they were at any other point in my life. Mercola make’s great natural toothpaste and fluoride free spring water is not overly expensive(my family of 3 spends about 30-35 a month on clean water.

  28. Hey Paul,

    I have a question, if you had to choose between eating more than the recommended amounts of glucose or fructose which would be preferable? Since they are both toxic in the body after a certain amount which is worse? also curious, things like beets and carrots should be counted towards daily glucose? or fructose? or how should I figure them into my equation? thanks again Paul.

    • Hi BS,

      I’d choose glucose/starch over fructose/sugar.

      Beets and carrots should be counted toward carbs, half their calories toward fructose. A pound a day of these foods is OK.

  29. So what’s your feelings on using microwaves?safe for only less than a minute?what do you think is the max amount of time to microwave something? Or do you think any amount of expose of microwave rays is safe,and the danger of them have been overblown?

    I may be starting a new job,and may have to microwave my lunch everyday. I’m worried about any risks of using a microwave in the longterm.

    Also I know you said fructose is more dangerous in the presence of omega 6.So in the context of a low omega 6 diet,how harmful is it to have bacon wrapped dates..omega 6 plus fructose…at the same meal…?

    Or would it be less harmful.. if we ate both…but just not together..instead bacon in one meal..dates in the next,spaced out over different meals throughout the day?

    .Or is it equally bad,just having the omega 6 and fructose..even if it wasn’t eaten together throughout the day?

    • Hi Tim,

      I think you can use microwaves as much as you want. I think microwaved food is safe.

      Natural fruits are OK. Just avoid added sugar. It adds up quickly. Ideally, if you’re going to eat a lot of bacon-wrapped dates, you’d get bacon made from pasture-raised pigs.

      Spacing would help somewhat, but the two are still bad even taken apart.

    • While I try to avoid microwaves as much as possible I don’t think they are terrible.. just not ideal.. but be sure to use glass containers.. heat+plastic=leeching.

  30. Paul,

    Any recommendations on when to take the supplements and with combining them? For example, can we just take all the once a week supps at once with breakfast or would it be beneficial to spread certain once out throughout the day or even on separate days to make sure they don’t interfere with others? Maybe take the extra B vitamins separate from the B-50 to spread the dose out or all at the same time to benefit from the synergy of them all? Sorry if this has been discussed I could not find an answer in the search.
    BTW love the new scribner version. I never read the first because I was holding out for this one and I think it was worth it!

  31. I have a high-dose B vitamin supplement. It contains 25 mg of niacin and 100 mg of niacinamide (125mg). Is that too much for me to take on a weekly basis?
    I’d prefer not to buy another supplement.

  32. I have another question 🙂
    I read a little bit about boron and arthritis:
    Jamaica -> low boron consumption -> high arthritis occurence and Israel -> high boron consumption -> very low rates of arthritis
    http://www.arthritistrust.org/Articles/Boron%20and%20Arthritis.pdf

    I thought that such a strong association, even though it does not prove causation, makes a causal link quite likely. Assuming that the estimates of daily boron intakes mentioned in the paper are correct, boron intake in Israel is 4-7mg higher than in the US, UK, NZ, AUS.

    I have TMJ and am diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my temporomandibular joint.
    (other symptoms I have are dizziness tinnitus, itchy scalp, flaky skin, burning eyes, problems with acid reflux) Could I benefit from daily boron supplementation? Are there any risks? I have not found any information that a daily low dosage could be harmful.

    I started the supplements yesterday. The only thing I’m still waiting for (ordered it online) is selenocysteine. I commented on here before. I’m the one who had all these side effects after taking high dose iodine about a year ago (over 100mg) that have not gone away (dizziness, tinnitus, hot flashes). I’m on high dose iodine again and don’t think it hurts me in these dosages (10mg per day). Took me a while to get used to it again, though. I used selenite before, but I grew suspicious when I had some side effects after taking 400 mcg and your book confirmed it. So I’m waiting for the ‘real’ selenium.
    I have the feeling that the supplements do something good, but I think I’ll have to give it sometime :mrgreen:

    • Hi Kevin,

      I think daily boron supplementation is probably beneficial, I wanted to be conservative in our recommendations where evidence is not strong and also not to place a financial burden on people, thus the weekly recommendation. I don’t think there’s much risk to daily boron supplementation. Interesting that it helps arthritis.

  33. Hi Paul,

    On Tuesday I started taking iodine at the 225mcg dosage. Later that same day I developed stomach pain that has continued through today, as well as constipation that finally eased up this morning. Do these sound like probable symptoms of iodine sensitivity? I ask because my diet also was not good (didn’t eat until dinner time on Tuesday, and then had LOTS of cheese), and I don’t want to drop the iodine too soon if the problems were more likely caused by other factors. What do you think?

    Might as well add: Thanks so much for answering everyone’s questions here. I am subscribed to the conversation via email, and I learn something from it every day. And the new edition of the book is great!

    Thanks again.
    Mike

    • Hi Mike,

      After the thyroid, the stomach is the major consumer of iodine, and it also is the major site of chlorine utilization, chlorine being a chemically similar halide.

      An excess of iodine will tend to show symptoms in the thyroid and stomach.

      I wouldn’t normally think that 225 mcg would be a problem except in the case of hyperthyroidism, but maybe something similar can occur in the stomach. Or it could be an adaptation issue, or you could have a salt/chlorine deficiency or some other issue that makes the iodine show negative symptoms.

      I would try eating extra salt and maybe cutting the 225 mcg tablets into small pieces and taking a lower dose daily for a while.

    • Did you take it on an empty stomach? I always take supplements after eating. I experience problems when taking anything on an empty stomach for some reason.

  34. Hi Paul. I’ve had long term problem of 3 am waking, excessive fatigue following exercise and some constipation. I have no trouble getting to sleep at all. I’ve been taking 2 mg of time release melatonin (and GABA) and I usually get 6.5 to 7 hours sleep (9.30 pm until 4.am or a bit later) . I feel ok in the day , but feel often very fatigued in afternoons round 1 pm and again early evening at 6pm. I know in the past Ive felt just amazing, fantastic when I get 8. My amount of sleep is the difference for me feeling ok, a bit tired, to feeling energised and wonderful. Do you recommend I increase the melatonin.?How long should I stay on it? I’m just a bit worried about increasing the dose, being dependent or is that not an issue. I saw in your recommendations you also recommend sublingual melatonin for early waking.Is that hard to get? . I live in Australia and we have to get it on prescription from the doctor. I can get a script for 3 mg time release but don’t think can get any higher.
    So very grateful for all you do.

    • Hi Evie,

      I’m not sure what to make of those symptoms. I do think it makes sense to find the dose of melatonin that works best for you. In the US you can get 5 mg time release melatonin easily, Amazon sells it. Perhaps you could try two pills to see if that works better, then go tell your doctor.

      I would try to address the constipation, that is usually pretty easy to figure out. One cause of constipation and poor sleep is magnesium deficiency. Try some of the steps in our constipation post: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/category/disease/constipation/

      Another possibility is gut dysbiosis, that can cause constipation and fatigue, sleep, and mood effects.

      • This sounds like adrenal fatigue – you should look into in. And possibly cortisol problems. If you fix these areas, they will fix your sleep problems. Good food, rest and taking the right supplements will help.
        If you can’t get melatonin, you can try magnesium…Paul will second that.

      • What helped me was not to eat 4 hours before sleep, and making sure I wasn’t thirsty (carbs require extra water). Then not eating again until waking. It took getting used to, but it gets better every day. It’s kind of a 12 hour intermittent fast.

  35. To add to my earlier question, what is your opinion of gaba? And are there other supplements I should take for improving length of sleep?

    • Hi Evie,

      I don’t have an opinion of GABA. I would consider it a therapeutic supplement, not an ordinary nutrient, and I’m not sufficiently knowledgeable about its clinical usage.

  36. Hi Paul,

    My main source of carbs (safe starch) is from white rice (99%) as i don’t think I do well with fiber. Are there any supplement recommendations you would recommend (increases in current recommendation or even new recommendations) that i should add above and beyond what you recommend from the book?

    erich

    • Hi erich,

      I wouldn’t recommend more supplements — maybe less as you don’t want to overnourish gut microbes — but I might suggest a stool test to see what is feeding on the fiber.

  37. Paul,

    Belated congrats on the new edition release!

    Quick question about the B-50 supplementation — and please excuse me if I missed you answering this somewhere; I looked for a good while and didn’t see it answered.

    You note in one of your posts tagged with “Folate / Folic Acid” that you don’t recommend supplementing with Folic Acid, but it is contained in all three B-50 supplements recommended here now.

    Is this something that has been updated in the new edition and I’m just reading some old info?

    Thanks again for all you do. I share your ideas and publications with many many people!

    • Hi Paul,

      We don’t recommend supplementing folic acid at the levels found in food (300-400 mcg/day) as this would double the dose and we don’t think that’s desirable.

      However, taking 400 mcg/week is only 57 mcg/day which is about a 20% increase in folate dose which is fine.

  38. The K2 supplement I’m currently using is 5g MK4. I’m assuming that this should be taken once weekly? Also, will taking it weekly be less effective than taking a smaller dose daily?

    • Hi Tim,

      Once a week should be enough for excellent health. There’s probably no harm to taking it more often however, that may have anti-cancer effects. But once weekly is sufficient.

      K-dependent proteins typically take more than a week to become deficient, so once a week ought to be enough — K in food will help maintain status during the week, especially if you eat fermented foods or aged cheese.

      • Thanks. So there’s no risk of toxicity or anything? When compared to the 100 mcg dose, 5g of mk4 is the equivalent of 50,000 doses if my math is correct.

        • From reading the book I remember they did a study in Japan with insanely high doses of K2 and they found no negative effects.. So I think you are safe.

        • Hi Tim,

          There is no 5 g dose. It is 5 mg, which is 50 times the 100 mcg dose.

          • Wow, you’re right. I was staring at the capsule and for some reason kept reading it as 5g. Thanks for the help, I really appreciate how active you are in responding to comments!

  39. Reading a lot about organic cod liver oil/butter oil supplements for building bone density and dental health. What is your opinion on this?. Would taking these replace the need to take the copper supplement you recommend? I don’t eat liver so have been following your recommendation.

    Thanks!

    • Paul, can you please answer my post? Thank you.

    • Hi Judy,

      Balancing omega-6 and omega-3, and getting sufficient vitamins A, D, and K2, are both important for bone mineral density. PHD achieves all 3 with salmon/sardines for omega-3 plus omega-6 restriction, liver and egg yolks for A, sunshine and supplements for D, fermented foods and supplements for K2.

      Organic cod liver oil is a source of omega-3 and vitamin A, butter oil provides K2. Thus these represent an alternative strategy for getting these nutrients.

      I don’t believe that cod liver oil or butter oil have copper, so no, they wouldn’t replace the need to eat liver or supplement copper.

      Best, Paul

  40. Paul,

    Are some magnesium supplements more absorbable?
    Mag Citrate as good as mag glycinate?

    Potassium iodide as absorbable as iodine in kelp capsules?

  41. Paul,

    After reading Allison’s story that you posted the other day I realized what has changed since I was sleeping better and having remembered vivid dreams, well at least one thing that has changed, is that I stopped taking the P5P version of B6 when my bottle ran out. (I am taking pretty much your recommmeded supplements though I am finishing off a bottle of B-100s that I have and will get B-50s after that.)

    After just two days of taking P5P again I slept better, and remembered having had a vivid dream.

    Does that indicate anything specific to you? Could I just be a bad convertor of the standard/cheap B6 into P5P? I’ll have to figure out if taking P5P less than daily works for me.

    • I recently went from cheap B-vitamins to coenzymated versions like P5P and even though I am taking big doses of b vitamins I am noticing my urine is barely changing colour where as before it was neon yellow always… maybe these forms are much more easily absorbed.

    • Hi Mike,

      if you don’t mind, which P5P product is it (got a link)?

      thx

      • Darrin,

        Previously I was taking the one from VRP: http://www.vrp.com/single-vitamins/b6-pyridoxal-5-phosphate

        I just started taking this one from Source Naturals, though I don’t like it much (Not a good taste for a sublingual: http://www.sourcenaturals.com/products/GP1404/

      • Thanks Mike,
        The sleep topic interests me.
        I am always tying to improve mine, & when it does improve, I never seem to be able to correlate why.

        You will have to ‘report back’ if you have success with your own experimentation with P5P.
        Including whether the time of day you take the supp makes a difference.

        In my own case, taking any B supplement in the evening/before bed seems to make my sleep worse. Tho if i take them early in the day, my sleep will not be negatively effected (& may improve, but hard to say for sure).

        I’ve never tried any sublingual supplements before, I am always put off by all the ‘extra’ ingredients you get with them.

    • Hi Mike,

      Some people are poor at converting B6 into P5P. I recall reading a paper that most autistic kids have that problem.

  42. Hi Darrin,
    Yes it was for you. Bet your in a sunnier place lol.
    Solgar do a good p5p by the way
    Chris

  43. I just found out that my magnesium supplement contains 100mg magnesium chelate and 66mg calcium per pill. Is this problematic?

  44. Hi Paul,

    Do you know of any resources for comparing the safety and/or purity of various nutritional supplement vendors?

    I notice that you recommend products from a number of different vendors above. Have you used any particular criteria for your selections?

    Thanks as always for the Perfect Health Diet and for your fastidious treatment of questions and comments!

    Jordan

    • Hi Jordan,

      No, I don’t. Consumer Reports did a few tests, otherwise I am unaware of any. If you find some let me know.

      • I found four organizations that certify or review nutritional supplement manufacturers:

        – ConsumerLab.com: This company is featured prominently in search results, but seems like a come-on. A subscription fee is necessary to access supplement reviews.

        – Natural Products Assocation: Certifies companies based on GMP standards. List of certified vendors here.

        – National Sanitation Foundation (NSF): List of certified products here.

        – U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP): Seems the most legitimate and systematic but also has the shortest list of certified vendors.

  45. Hi Paul. Another melatonin question. Is it appropriate for me to take when I have no problems what so ever falling asleep and sleep soundly but just long enough. I sleep most night from 10 until 4 . It’s summer in Australia ,so hard to get to sleep much earlier as its light. Is there any point taking melatonin before bed or should I just take it when I wake at 4 am? I usually take 3 mg slow release before bed. The last 2 night I have taken 1 mg when I woke at 4am, the first night I did get back to sleep but it took over an hour but the next night I didn’t get back to sleep. Thanks so much for your help and answers to my previous questions.

    • Hi Evie,

      I wouldn’t take melatonin at 4 am. You can try the time release form before bed, but I would look to other causes, eg the circadian rhythm tactics discussed in our book.

  46. Why not recommend a person eats 4-6 oysters a once a wk,instead of taking 50 mg of zinc,once a wk..according to USDA food nutrition database…that would be plenty of zinc. I know you recommend liver once a week (for copper)…so the right amount of oysters(zinc) once a week would valve that out.

    I also read in a older post,you telling someone that eating three nori sheets, a day would be enough iodine for thyroid. So why not recommend doing that over a pill or liquid form of iodine?

    It just seems like between zinc(oysters once a wk) and iodine(three nori sheets a day) you would be recommending we get these nutrients from food rather than supplements….but instead in the book…for zinc and iodine..you recommend we get both those from a pill/liquid supplement…instead of a food supplement recommendation that you sometimes make(ie.3 egg yolks a day,liver once a week)

    • Hi Tim,

      Yes, good observations. Probably would have been better to tell how to eat a food-only PHD, and then how to replace food with supplements if food was not feasible. Thanks for the suggestion.

      • So now don’t tell me we have to wait for the next revised version…haha..(I just bought the revised version) until we get the food supplement recommendation for zinc and iodine. ;

        So what do you yourself, personally eat and how much,to get enough zinc and iodine a wk….or just a couple food combinations that you know of that would give us enough(but not too much) zinc and iodine. The phd food only/mostly food fans would love to know! 😉

        As always,thanks a ton. I eternally grateful for any helpful info.

    • I’m slightly ocd about cooking all my.meals, and only buying the best quality. I live in SF, and spend an absurd amount on food and supplements, and STILL oysters are not an easy food to source or eat. Context matters, people. Adequate Zinc balance is still hard to achieve without supplementation especially in winter, as a male (ejaculation wastes zinc), during flu season etc.

  47. Pumpkin seeds have a fair zinc load I believe. Also lamb and beef

  48. Hi Paul. I have a question about blood lipids. According to your book, I need to raise my total and LDL cholesterol (159 and 60 respectively). My triglyceride (63)and HDL (86) are in alignment with your recommendations. Do your suggestions about raising total cholesterol raise LDL as well?

    Is it worth it for me to ask my doc for an NMR test to determine particle size?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Judy,

      I think if you’ve been eating a fat and cholesterol rich diet for a while, and sufficient calories, then I would look at the low LDL as possibly indicating some kind of protozoal infection (or genetic hypobetalipoproteinemia, or hyperthyroidism).

      I don’t think an NMR test is necessary. I do think it’s worth investigating why your LDL is so low.

    • Thanks Paul. I just began your protocol 2 weeks ago, and those blood results are from November. Before that I was eating a low fat low carb diet. I’d like to eat according to your suggestions and then have a new blood workup. How long should I wait before doing this?

      I will talk to my doc about the other causes for low LDL. My vLDL is 13. My 88 year old mom, who is active and in good health, has almost exactly the same lipid profile.

  49. Hi Paul,
    I have tried the beef liver pâté recepie and unfortunately didn’t care for it. I grew up on lots of chicken and pork liver, so I prefer the taste of them. I know you don’t recommend pork liver, how much of chicken liver should I make to get the same benefit as I would get from 1/4 lb of beef liver?

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