Examine.com Supplement Stack Guides

A PHD reader and friend of the blog, Sol Orwell, and colleagues have compiled a comprehensive database of free information about nutritional supplements at Examine.com. Our own Kamal Patel is their nutrition director.

Examine.com supplement recommendations are research based, everything is cited to the literature, and recommendations are in line with PHD recommendations. Think of it like a super-PHD.

Although all the content is freely available, a huge online database is not easy to navigate. For example, their vitamin D page has 322 unique citations, and that’s far from the biggest page on the site. They have therefore worked to create paid products which distill the information down to more digestible pieces. I’ve previously recommended their Supplement Goals Reference Guide, but even that is over 1,000 pages.

So now they’ve come out with even more distilled set of guides, that they call “supplement stacks.” These are practical and actionable summaries of the evidence for how supplements can be used to address major health goals. The health goals are:

  • Testosterone Enhancement
  • Fat Loss
  • Muscle Gain & Exercise Performance
  • Mood and Depression
  • Heart Health
  • Sleep Quality
  • Insulin Sensitivity
  • Memory and Focus
  • Skin and Hair Quality
  • Libido and Sexual Enhancement
  • Liver Health
  • Allergies and Immunity
  • Bone Health
  • Joint Health
  • Vegetarianism/Veganism
  • Seniors

In each guide, supplements are classed according to the evidence for them. Base supplements are generally safe and often synergistic with other supplements, proven supplements have a good deal of evidence whether it’s meta-analyses or solid trials, unproven supplements show promise but may have caveats or not enough extended research in humans, and cautionary supplements are either overhyped or downright dangerous. Each guide wraps up with steps to assembling your stack depending on who you are and your goals.

Kamal tells me, “The Examine.com team has learned much from the Perfect Health Diet, and in addition to me (PHD resident blogger) our team includes a variety of health researchers, medical doctors, and other clinical practitioners. Examine also brought in specialists, including a PhD in toxicology and a specialist in pyschiatric pharmacology, to check over nutrient-supplement-medication interactions for each guide.”

The guides are updated for life. So when new studies come out, the evidence is re-assessed and new supplements may be introduced or lacklustre supplements may be shifted down in recommendation.

If you spend a lot of money on supplements, these guides can save you a lot of money as well as improve your health by steering you to beneficial, and only beneficial, supplements. I’ve reviewed a number of guides and they are excellent – also they get right to the point and are easy to read.

To find out more, visit the Examine.com Supplement Stack Guides. There is an introductory sale through midnight tonight.

  1. The information on Examine.com looks very interesting. I signed up for their “Senior” stack today. I remember and respect Kamal from when I used to frequent the Paleo Hacks site. I rarely go there anymore. I am doing very well following PHD, Mark’s Daily Apple and my own wisdom. My mother is 93 has been in good health and is suffering from minor complaints which could be a level of coeliac. She’s been told “Eat Gluten Free.” This is not enough. I hope to find more information to help her on Examine.com

  2. I have to say, I am blowed away by their info on so many things. I will be ordering their books myself. I am glad Paul has opened the door for this info for so many people.

  3. Paul, they dont seem to have much confidence in Saturated fats, what do you think of this?

    • I think they’ve done a fair review of the literature, but what’s missing is that the effect of saturated fats is heavily context dependent (on the rest of the diet and on lifestyle). The better the diet, the more beneficial saturated fats are. I’ll get into some of the issues in my upcoming Seth Roberts high-oil diet discussion.

  4. I’ve just bought Supplement/Goals Reference Guide from Examine.com.

    I totally agree that the site has great information. However, it’s horribly organized. What’s more, it was impossible for me to download the document I’ve bought.

    Then I had to talk to Sol Orwell through the site’s chat function and he finally sent me the document in an email. He was very helpful. I wish the site and their system was helpful as well.

  5. Paul, which of the supplements in your “Weekly Supplements” category in your Supp Recs, do you take? All, and is it pretty religiously or has an adhoc nature to it? Thanks

  6. Hey Everyone,

    I am trying to organize a group buy of examine.com complete stack guide. So far I have two people which brings the total cost for all of them down to $50 per person. If anyone is interested send me an e-mail at awmurphy@stevenscollege.edu with ‘Stack Guides’ as the subject!


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