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 ?

4,437 Comments.

  1. Dear Paul,
    I keep Oregano Oil P73 on hand for a wide variety of uses. I read about it in the book The Cure is in the Cupboard and also at this website. Are you familiar with this supplement? It cites that it (oregamax) is a natural source of calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and copper. I follow your PHD basic Supplement Recommendations. If I decide to include this (oregamax) into my regime, would you advise I no longer supplement the above minerals separately?
    Here are the links to the site with the FAQ and the specific one to Oregamax.

    http://www.oreganopro.com/oreganofaq.asp#research
    http://www.oreganopro.com/oregamax.asp

    I am very grateful for you input on this.
    P.S. My leg achiness is gone. ? ? Maybe just one of those things, I guess.

  2. I am a tad confused by your zinc/copper recommendations. Copper only in weeks when liver is NOT eaten, I get that. But zinc doesn’t say that, so appears to be needed at about 50mg a week above, (on a 2011 posting about constipation you say to get 30-50 a day, so I was confused there) but then it says to be sure to get the copper as well…which I’m not taking because I am eating liver. So now I am not sure what to do with zinc. The OptiZinc has 30mg zing, 300 mcg copper in it; is that balanced enough by itself to take, maybe twice a week? Take it by itself when I eat liver, and add copper if I don’t eat liver that week?

  3. Hello Paul
    I desperately need to know how to proceed with my selenium & iodine dosing. I have hasimotos and I kept my selenium at 200 micrograms daily and increased iodine slowly each month for 4 months until I hit 225 micrograms, then my thyroid swelled. At what level should I keep them at to heal?
    Thanks

    • Hi Paul,

      First, don’t take so much selenium. You may be overdosing and that will lead to thyroid problems by itself. PHD food is selenium rich (beef, lamb, seafood, eggs). I don’t supplement selenium at all but 200 mcg/week is OK.

      I would keep the iodine at a dose that you tolerated, maybe 112 mcg/day, and stop the selenium for a month.

      • Regarding the Selenium/Iodine question. I would check into Dr. Brownstein’s work. For people with Hashimotos, it is recommended to ALWAYS supplement selenium when supplementing iodine. Otherwise, one could end up feeling pretty badly. They work hand in hand. Selenium works in the liver, to help conversion of T4 to T3, which is normally poor in a Hashi’s patient. Iodine works to stimulate the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormone. Between the two, sometimes a Hashi’s patient can somewhat normalize the ups and downs of the disease and make things a bit more stable.

        In addition, iodine can help to detox halogens, which are a big problem in our current environment. So, taking larger doses (more than 12mg) may cause HERX reactions, which seem to be worse in Hashi’s patients. I have several individuals in my family with Hashi’s, so I’ve done quite a lot of research on it. Check out Dr. Brownstein’s work.

  4. Paul, could you comment on this latest warning:
    Suspect: Selenium

    Charge: Selenium is a mineral found in poultry, fish, wheat and liver. It was once thought to be potentially beneficial in preventing cancer. However, several studies have shown that it is not only ineffective, but also potentially dangerous.

    Verdict: Don’t take it.

    Studies have shown it does not prevent skin, lung, prostate, stomach and esophageal cancer. Furthermore, research conflicts as to whether it may increase risk for a type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma. Last year, a trial examining vitamin E and selenium for prostate cancer prevention was halted after researchers noted a small increase in diabetes among men who took selenium.

  5. From mcancer.org

  6. Two questions about dosage:

    I’ve read that, for therapeutic purposes at least, lithium orotate can be taken in much smaller doses than lithium carbonate. Are 2 mg of lithium from lithium carbonate (which is presumably the form found in water and food) comparable to 2 mg of lithium from lithium orotate? I’ve noticed that taking 2 mg of lithium orotate can induce a pleasurable drug-like effect, whereas drinking San Pellegrino or eating lots of nightshades (which are supposedly high in lithium) doesn’t produce any noticeable effect. Wouldn’t it be preferable to take small amounts of lithium carbonate, since this is the form found in nature?

    I recently came across a mini B vitamin product by Nature Made that contains exactly 100% of RDA of all B vitamins and nothing else. Wouldn’t such a product be safer and more effective (as far as arriving at the plateau) than mega-dose B vitamins?

  7. Hi Paul,

    Your book states ” high dose iodine supplementation should not begin until wheat has been eliminated from diet…” It is difficult for me to rid the remaining 15-20% wheat/ grains based foods from my diet.

    Is it still OK to start with potassium iodide tablets at 225 mcg a day gradually moving up to max 1-2 mg a day?

    Anyone with experience please feel free to advise too. Thks!

  8. Any thoughts on coconut butter as a fasting food?

  9. Or 86% dark chocolate? Will it interfere with the fast?

  10. From what has been written, I get the sense that almost anything except for animal protein and starches should be fine during a fast.

  11. Perhaps an intuitive way to think about it is as follows: paleolithic foods that don’t require cooking (coconut butter and raw plants) are “fasting foods”, whereas paleolithic foods that require cooking (starches and meat) are “non-fasting foods”. Is this basically right?

  12. The idea would be that our ancestors didn’t cook until later in the day/early evening, so morning foods would have consisted of raw plants, which by their very nature tend to be lower in starch and protein. Such foods are less likely to interfere with autophagy.

    Is that basically right?

  13. At the equator, you have a 12-hour eating—12-hour fasting cycle; but for the first part of that eating window, you eat raw foods, which are, by their nature, low in protein and starch.

  14. Hello,

    I see that duck, chicken liver are recommended while pregnant. However all articles i have read seem to say liver while pregnant is not recommended. Any recommendations concerning liver, portions and pregnancy? Also is turkey liver considered in same caterory as duck or chicken liver?

    Thank you

  15. Two questions.
    The Vitamin K I purchased does not have the “MK-….” designation anywhere on it. Just says Vitamin K and some reference to alfalfa. Should I be taking something else?I do not eat liver but I eat about 12-15 eggs a week. I eat leafy greens but am a bit inconsistent with it.

    Second, do you have any recommendations or references to sites/information about dosage for magnesium supplement for children (5 year old girl) who is dealing with some constipation.

    Thank you for all your time and generosity!
    Lonce

  16. Hi, are there any suggestions of foods to eat, or not eat, to help with hot flashes due to menopause?
    Thanks!

  17. Wow… I just tried to find online sources for all those supplements. I don’t live in the US. Without any of the optional supplements, and taking the lower end of the recommended range, I’ll pay about $70 per month only in supplements. Any ideas on how to lower those costs?

    • I guess we’ll have to make a PHD multivitamin for you.

      • I’d be in 🙂
        Well, i was tired yesterday, and actually it amounts to $35 in supplements and $35 in stupidity. My calculations assumed (against my will) that i’d take the weekly supplements daily. Now it looks more manageable. Interestingly, about 1/3rd of the $35 is the vitamin K2. So a cheaper source for that (delivering to germany) would really help me.

        Anyway, i still support the “phd multivitamin” idea 🙂

  18. Put me down for your single pill too.

  19. We’d be game for a singe pill!

    We have 2 adults and 2 teenagers and paying for multiple supplements every month for all of us isn’t easy. Not to mention having to take them. UGH!

    1 pill daily and 1 pill weekly would be great!

  20. Hi, Paul.

    This NYTimes article from a few days ago (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/12/why-vitamins-may-be-bad-for-your-workout/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0) describes two studies suggesting that mitochondrial function, blood pressure and cholesterol are benefited by exercise but not when people are taking antioxidant supplements such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E and resveratrol. The theory is that free radicals may serve some sort of messenger function, “nudging genes and other bodily systems into starting the various biochemical reactions that end in stronger muscles and better metabolic health. Without free radicals, those reactions don’t begin. And large doses of antioxidant supplements absorb most of the free radicals produced by exercise.” I know you don’t specifically recommend resveratrol, but you do recommend Vitamin C and E (though not daily supplementation of the latter). Do you have any views on the validity of these studies or other thoughts on this? Thanks.

    • A personal anecdote: when I mega-dose vitamin C, i.e., 500 mg or more, a fast 4 mile run feels like nothing to me; I feel little stress during the run, I experience no runners high at all, and the next day my body feels unfazed.

      However, when I eat foods that are high in C such as red bell peppers and arugula and do the same run, it’s excruciating, I experience a runners high and the next day I have all sorts sore muscles and aches.

      Mega-dosing vitamin C is certainly fun, but it makes me feel like my body is not made of flesh and blood. And curiously, eating lots of vitamin C rich foods, e.g., two bell peppers a day, has no comparable effect, which makes me very suspicious.

      Paul cites a study that suggests that the body has need of at least 400 mg a day, but how did we ever manage to obtain this amount of vitamin C in the paleolithic? Rose hips?

      (Independently of the issues you’ve raised, there may be a concern that vitamin C supplementation interferes with gut flora. Both issues have led me to choose vitamin C rich foods over C supplementation. I no longer feel superhuman, but I’m not sure I’m supposed to.)

      • bell peppers are nightshades…may be you don’t do will with nightshades…

        • Thanks for the suggestion. My point was that intense exercise is probably supposed to give one a runner’s high and cause a fair amount stress. (And perhaps the normal stress response is a prerequisite for some of the health benefits discussed in the above comment.) The fact that I don’t experience a runner’s high or a normal level of stress when I mega-dose vitamin C is to me a sign that mega-dose vitamin C is probably not natural.

          I also think there is a legitimate question as to how our ancestors would have obtained something on the order of 400 mg of C from food. A lime only contains about 30 mg.

          But even when I eat large quantities of the highest vitamin C foods, such as red bell peppers, it doesn’t have the result of preventing a runner’s high. And to me this is an additional sign that there’s something odd about mega-dose ascorbic acid.

          • There would appear to be an assumption that micro-nutrtents fall into two categories: (1) those that can taken above “the plateau range of benefit” without toxic effects and (2) those that cannot be taken above “the plateau range of benefit” without toxic effects. But what does toxic mean? Something like K2 (MK-4) is considered to be non-toxic at any dose, but it is also understood that mega-quantities of K2 do interfere with normal physiological functions.

            It seems as though “interference with normal physiological functions” is a property we need to worry about in addition to the property of “toxicity,” narrowly defined.

            And, is it not a reasonable hypothesis that taking vitamins over “the plateau range of benefit” might interfere with normal physiological functions, regardless of whether there are also “toxic effects”? My own personal experience would suggest that this hypothesis has validity.

        • i follow you now. good question.

          i just skimmed your q before, & saw ‘bell peppers’ & ‘sore muscles and aches’

    • If I recall, in the first edition of their book, they said something along the lines of—if you take vitamin C and are concerned about its impact on the health benefits of exercise, then you should just increase the intensity of your workouts.

      Personally, I find it is much easier to increase the intensity of my workouts if I take the PHD vitamins, so I guess it’s fair advice! 🙂

    • Here’s what the Jaminet’s write in the first edition:

      “A recent study reported that supplementing with 400 IU vitamin E and 1 gram vitamin C reduces the oxidative stress of exercise and may reduce its benefits. This may argue for limiting vitamin C to 500 mg/day, for avoiding vitamin E, or for exercising more intensely if you take vitamin C in order to make exercise more stressful.”

  21. Hello Paul,
    I’m sorry if you talk about this in your book…I haven’t finished it yet but am reading. I’ve been taking supplements from a naturopathic doctor. I have had health improvements but they are very expensive. Is there an advantage to taking these vitamins over the ones you recommend or is it waste of money? Thanks!

  22. Are there any other affordable but effective lights recommended for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The NatureBright link listed here goes to Amazon but they say it’s no longer available because it’s under review for some reason.

  23. Do you have any recommendations for supplementation for children? Thank you.

  24. One question that’s a little off-topic:
    What health-related markers are easy to measure without expensive equipment? I have quite some interest in science (coming from a physics background) and would like to see hard numbers. I already bought a body fat caliper and a blood pressure monitor. What else could i easily measure?

  25. Pulse rate
    breaths per minute
    get a CBC lab done with thyroid t3 and t4 and TSH, liver enzymes, glomerular filtration rate, alkaline phos and CRP. you might be able to get it on line too.

    • How do you get lab work done online?

      • Hi erp, I think the way that works is that you can go to a site like accesalabs.com or direct health labs. I know the site stopthethyroidmadness has a list of websites and recommended tests, and I’m sure there are others. You pay for the test online and then either the company will send a kit in the mail or they will direct you to a lab like QuestLabs where someone will draw blood and mark what tests are to be performed.

        I think certain states like NY don’t allow this and you must also certify that you’re not getting the testing done for a condition that is dire, etc.

        Hope that helps.

      • there are several places. they send you to the lab. I do the same thing for long distance patients. also include glucose as someone said and a Hemoglobin A1C

    • Blood glucose

  26. most vitamin C’s are just ascorbic acid. Whole vitamin C by Standard Process or Systemic Formulas includes an iron atom and a fat molecule. See Pottinger for cats given lemon juice vs ascorbic acid and how they did. Real C is a different animal!

  27. I’ll check it out. Thanks. Here in Florida they need a script from a doctor and won’t even send you a copy of a test a doctor orders. You have to get a copy from the doctor.

  28. Hi Paul,
    First, want to say that I love this diet, and am thankful to you and your wife for sharing all of your hard work and dedicated research with us!
    My husband and I have been taking Magnesium, Vit C and Vitamin D/K for a number of weeks, but just recently added Copper (we don’t eat liver) and 225 mcg of iodine a day. Since the additional supplements my husband is experiencing stomach pain, anxiety and difficulty sleeping and I have experienced an unpleasant metallic dryness in the back of my throat. Could this be caused from the Iodine? We’re trying to determine the cause, as my husband has missed work this week due to his symptoms. If so, any suggestions on how to remedy the problems?
    Thanks so much!!

    • Hi Jen,

      Yes, it could be iodine. Try dropping the iodine for a bit and see if the bad feelings go away. Then try adding seaweed and see if that reproduces them.

      You and your husband should supplement vitamin A and choline as well as copper if you are not eating liver. Both of those are important for gut health and your husband may be deficient.

      • Paul, thanks for the fast response! How much of choline and Vit. A do you recommend? Also, if we narrow down the problem to the iodine, do you suggest starting at an even lower dose than 225 mcg and very gradually increasing?

  29. I am so grateful for the ideas on this website and in your book! I really appreciate your willingness to “open-source” your wisdom and opinions…

    My family’s healing journey has been an adventurous one (my son was dealing with ASD and severe anorexia at age six, and the rest of us had varyingly challenging Other Issues, including autoimmunity and gut dysbiosis).

    I am currently interested in finding additional ways to address my significantly disordered Mood, which is always worst between ovulation and menstruation. Do you have (or do you know anyone who specializes in) recommendations for getting Hormones into whack?

    I was a vegetarian for the first thirty years of my life; then a GAPS-style gut-healing diet for four years; for the past two months have started incorporating your suggestions re: “safe starch”, intermittent fasting, and iodine supplementation.

    I imagine that you are extremely busy – thanks for taking the time to read so many comments, even if you don’t have time to respond!

    Regards,
    Sarabeth

  30. Hi Paul
    I’ve been experiencing tingling electrical like currents running down both my legs, I mainly notice it at night. I’m not deficient in zinc, D3, B12, folate, or iron. So I’ve been supplementing with magnesium 200gms in the early evening, but strangely this is making the symptoms worse. Can you explain why Mg might have this effect (if it is the Mg).
    thank you

  31. Hi Paul! I bought your book on my Kindle two or three weeks ago, and then had to purchase a paper copy so that I could access the index and mark all the parts of the book at will! It is a rare thing for me to purchase the same book in both formats, so I hope you understand how very much I LOVE this book!

    I’ve started using coconut oil, after letting it sit in the cabinet for a week while I debated whether it was going to “taste” like coconut. (I like coconuts…I didn’t want everything I eat to taste like them tho!) OMGosh! I LOVE this stuff! I was already practicing IF one to two days a week (24-48 hrs) and this has made that even easier. (Prior to that, I took only a small amount of dark chocolate on those days, also high in fat.) Based on your recommendations, I have also decided that a 24 hr fast is long enough. (Yes, I did read that 16 hrs was sufficient but IF is part of a dietary program I am already participating in.)

    And thanks so much for the info on legumes. I will continue to consume them, and was relieved to see that decreasing toxins was both possible and relatively simple. We are great fans of soups/chili etc, and would miss them terribly!

    I’ve recommended your book to several friends, esp other nurses. I have two physician friends that I am hoping to entice into reading it!

    Two questions for anyone that can sort them out for me–before I open the bottles. I was only able to find Boron as Tetra-Boron. Good? Bad? I can return it if it’s a “no”. And, I was only able to find Choline with Inositol, so same question: good or bad? I can always order from other sources, but was able to find these at our local health food stores.

    Looking forward to slowly incorporating all of your suggestions into our diet. Am still experimenting with GF products to find ones that keep us from feeling deprived. Thank you again for such a fine book!

  32. Teresa, if you eat eggs, you won’t need to supplement choline. I cook 6 each morning in an egg cooker, we both have one each hardboiled going out the door, right after half a banana each, 2 strips of uncured bacon each to eat in the car, org coffee, too.

    I pack us big salads with greens, vegs, org chicken or salmon, a cut up hardboiled egg on that, dressing on the side and after we get home, appetizers always include the other two eggs deviled, olives, cheese, etc. I found a wonderful farmer who I get eggs from and they are huge with nearly orange yolks, happy, happy chickens. He lets me collect them myself which is a blast.

  33. Thanks Val! I do eat eggs, but not nearly enough over a week to get enough choline that way. I just can’t find enough info on Inositol to know whether is is good or bad for me.

    I’ll definitely be buying some copper as well b/c liver will not be passing these lips. While I like dark chocolate, I don’t see myself eating 30 g/d, so I figure I’ll supplement with Cu just 3 days a week.

  34. Liver was hard to get used to in our house. If you soak it in milk or buttermilk before cooking and use lots of onions, it’s actually very tasty. We try to eat it once a week and always from grass fed beef. US Wellness Meats and LaCense Beef, our faves.

    Shrimp has more choline than eggs, also tuna, chicken and even collards, another dish to grow on ya 😉 high in choline.

  35. Thanks again, Val! I could easily do shrimp/tuna. And while I’m not crazy about collards, I like home-made Kale chips. I’ll check choline on those since they’re kissin’ cousins.

    We don’t eat a lot of pasta or bread, but I’m going to learn how to make my own sourdough. (I read a study that showed that fermentation could make it darn near GF! Yay!) Any recommendations on a favorite brand of GF pasta?

    Thanks so much!

  36. We stick straight to PHD apple. So, no bread or pasta, but yes to rice and potatoes, yay. I took their book to Kinko’s, enlarged the apple, laminated and framed it and never stray from foods listed.

    Following this plan, my husband has lost 44 lbs and I’ve lost 30. Our paleo doctor said 2 wks ago that we’re both in our perfect weight charts. We both do 5 miles walk/run on treadmill everyday, if weather is nice, thru the neighborhood. It’s usually 2.5 miles for me twice daily, but hubs does 5 miles as soon as he hits the floor every morning. It’s the greatest plan out there!!!! It’s easy, it works and it’ll go the distance.

  37. Hello Dr Jaminet. I am unsure of the correct way to contact you but hope this is an appropriate site! I am looking for ways of improving my general health and more specifically, to help prevent MS detioration. I have bought your book and read it. There is much to take in but I know much valuable research has gone into its content. But could you please point me in the direction of specific nutrients/foods to take to avoid for this particular illness.I have been following your diet for a month now and do feel very well but would like to follow any specific recommendations you may have. There is a wealth of info on your site but I am a little overwhelmed 🙂 Thank you so much.

  38. Would you recommend taking a multivitamin? If so, would the dosages for these recommended supplements need to be lowered to account for the vitamins/minerals already in the multivitamin or is that already taken into account?

  39. I wanted to offer the following as a suggestion for a pared-down approach to supplementation. With this approach, I experience fewer side effects (relative to PHD recommendations) and possibly some benefit to mood (relative to not supplementing at all).

    Pills:
    1. 250 mg of C, (hopefully low enough to not interfere with the benefits of exercise, but high enough that when combined with food brings one to about 400 mg)
    2. 400 IU of D, (prevents deficiency; most D should come from sun)
    3. 90 mcg of K2 (mk-7), (probably prudent to take K2, however synthetic MK-4 seems problematic)
    4. Small dose of cod liver oil (consistent and reliable source of A and D and DHA)
    5. 100% of RDA of B vitamins (i.e., mini-B vitamins), a couple times a week, when needed (this avoids megadoses, which are taxing)

    Other:
    6. Epsom Salts, when needed (probably not very often)
    7. Red Palm Oil for vitamin E
    8. Seaweeds
    9. Mineral Water for lithium and silicon
    10. Spices (seem to have a tonic effect)

    • The vitamin D supplmentation is very low for those of us who live in the northern 2/3 of North America or in most of Europe, for example. It is not possible for us to make vitamin D from the sun all during the winter, as well as mid to late autumn, or early spring. Not even on bright, clear, sunny days if we even could stay outside long enough with at least 25 – 30% total skin area exposed in sub-freezing temperatures.

      Supplementation of at least several thousand IU per day of D3 is necessary for many of us to reach even fairly minimal serum vitamin D3 levels of 40 ng/mL, especially this time of the year

      • I’m sure you are correct about that.

        I experience side-effects from taking 1000 IU or more. Whereas spending 30 mins in the summer sun doesn’t lead to the same unpleasant effects. This leads me to assume that the oral form of D is less than ideal.

        One needs to consider, is it better to take something that causes side effects even if it helps you get closer to a theoretically optimal blood level?

        These are hard questions which have no answers. E.g., let’s say that you can achieve 30 ng/dl from sunlight alone. Should you take something that causes minor side effects simply because it gets you to the theoretically optimal level?

        It is unlikely that we will ever obtain evidence that will allow us to sort out these sorts of questions with any degree of certainty. At some level one has to fall back on good sense and judgment. And good sense and judgment is not a function of access to scientific knowledge, but, as Aristotle might have said, of upbringing, virtues of character, intelligence, and life experience.

        If the judgment of the authors of the PHD weren’t just as impressive as their scientific insight and knowledge, I doubt we would regard their diet as holding the prospect of perfect health.

        • What side effects can you have from taking over 1000 IU Vitamin D?

          • You can end up with hypercalcemia.

            For me I have found that about 400 IU/day, from cod liver oil, works very well, according to my recent test (58 ng/mL), and I am in Portland, OR so get very little sun light.

          • At 1000 IU or more I experience

            a. changes in body oder,
            b. high energy followed by torpor
            c. perspiration while sedentary,
            d. grumbling stomach and suppression of appetite

    • Personally, my plan, for now at least, is to take only 90 mcg of K2 and see if I feel I need anything else.

  40. One can define a “perfect health diet” as “a diet which brings all nutrients into the plateau range while keeping toxins at a minimum”. That’s a great definition, but it doesn’t mean that there won’t be hard cases. E.g, what if a supplement, which helps bring a nutrient into a theoretically determined plateau range, also has some toxic effects? What do you do? There’s no easy answer. But I guess my preferred approach, in light of such a hypothetical conflict, would be to minimize toxicity or side effects even at the expense of not achieving a theoretical optimum.

    • Completely agree with you, Euthyphro:

      The principal of the Hippocratic Oath to “never do harm” still stands. So, if in the process of trying to achieve some “theoretical optimum” you are subjecting yourself to an increase of toxicity or side effects, I don’t think it’s prudent to do so. At least, I would hesitate to do it. But, then again, it’s a personal choice one has to make.

  41. Does anyone here know how much Choline and Vitamin A to supplement each day for those of us who are not eating liver weekly? Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

  42. Help! I’ve been following the PHD diet for two weeks now, including all the supplements, and my skin has become incredibly, embarrassingly oily! What could be the cause of this, and will it last?

    Jenny

    • Hi Jenny,

      I don’t know what has caused that. I would try supplementing pantothenic acid.

    • I get severe dandruff on my scalp and face when I supplement. The dandruff subsides when I stop supplementation. This is true even on the pared-down regimen I referenced above. Without any supplements my face is also less puffy and my scalp is less oily.

      If the Jaminet’s are right about the importance of micro-nutrients, which they surely are, then it seems to me as though there would be almost nothing more important in life than learning how to obtain micronutrients from food sources alone—especially micronutrients which are difficult to obtain from American foods, such as C, zinc, K2, iodine, magnesium, potassium, choline. And yet there has been little that has been formally and systemically written on this topic. Such a how-to food-only-micro-nutrient book would be far more valuable in the greater scheme of things than a book of paleo compatible recipes. It would also be interesting to learn, e.g., how primitive peoples obtained the RDA of vitamin C. Perhaps I’ll try to write this book someday, if no one else does. It would be a perfect health diet compatible food-only micronutrient guide.

  43. Thank you Paul!

    I’ve been taking the pantothenic acid once a week with the other B’s…I’ll try upping that supplement, though, and see if that helps. I read somewhere too that copper can cause oily skin…should I reduce that supplement and see if that’s the cause? (haven’t started with the liver yet…)

  44. Is there a reason why PHD is reluctant to supplement potassium outside of food sources? Given how important it is, and how easily diet can fall short of the required amounts, is there any harm in just using potassium chloride as a salt substitute with each meal? Particularly with rice, this seems like a natural combination since white rice is deficient in potassium compared to tubers.

    If we do supplement potassium, do you recommend potassium chloride or some other form? At what levels would we see potassium toxicity?

    • Potassium supplements are limited to 99 mg for risk of kidney damage. Vegetables and fruit provide far more. If you eat an appropriate amount of food you’ll get an appropriate amount of potassium. A pound of food typically has about 1200 mg potassium, and we recommend almost 4 pounds of food a day. That’s enough potassium.

      • I’m buying potassium chloride in a bulk supplement powder form, so I’m not clear on the 99 mg limitation. Why would a separate supplement be limited to 99 mg if 100 grams of Yam has 670 mg? Is there more absorption of a separate supplement?

        Where is toxicity here? I had read in some sources that toxicity was somewhere around 18 grams which seems well out of reach of someone just using potassium as a salt replacement?

  45. What about people who cannot tolerate vegetables ( fiber)? Still a no on the potassium supplementation? Or did a person like that get sufficient amounts of potassium from meat and starches?

  46. If i have a hard time finding grass-fed liver, would you recommend buying beef or chicken liver from unknown (probably not healthy-fed) sources (supermarket), or rather taking supplements for copper?
    I can get grass-fed beef liver, but i’ll have to pre-order and wait for the next time they slaughter an animal.
    I’ll search for other local sources, but so far i only found one local farmer with organic, grass-fed beef.

    • We have found US Wellness Meats (http://www.grasslandbeef.com/StoreFront.bok) a great option when local is unavailable. We have looked into ordering liver but have not done so yet. We have ordered beef in the past and are pleased with their quality. Also, bulk orders qualify for significant discounts….so let others in on the order with you. 😉 Hope this is helpful. 100% Grass fed Grass Finished.
      Lisa

      • I am looking for any farm in the US who does not raise their chickens with supplemental grain feeds. If you look at the FAQ of the site you reference above, their chickens are 50% supplemented with corn grain, and I find that is very typical for most “organic” “grass-fed” chickens. Raising them without supplemental grain calories is quite expensive. I have yet to find a single commercial farm that does this.

      • I’ve enjoyed excellent beef from TX Bar Organics in California (www.txbarorganics.com). You can save 10% using code: latestinpaleo,

    • Hi Chris,

      You can eat non-grassfed liver but it’s not as tasty and not as healthy. If it’s hard to find locally, you can order grassfed liver over the Internet from US Wellness Meats and others. Get a bunch, cut it into chunks, and freeze them until you need them.

  47. Hello Paul,
    I just came across this article. Do you have an insights to share? Thanks.

    Nobel-winner Watson: Do antioxidants promote cancer?

    19 March 2013 by James Watson
    Magazine issue 2908. Subscribe and save
    For similar stories, visit the The Big Idea and Cancer Topic Guides
    Antioxidant foods and pills could heighten the risk of cancer and diabetes, argues the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA

  48. A good source for grass-fed beef:
    http://www.lgbeef.com/Default.asp

  49. Hello Paul

    Would you give some advice please when is the optimal time/meal to take the daily and weekly supplements. Ie with food in am or after a meal pm etc. Many thanks.

    Your book is brilliant in its detail and sources which of course is what gives it validity above other ‘health’ books. Just a suggestion please, if your supplement recommendations are updated, would you please put the relevant date at the top of the page to avoid unnecessary checks. Thanks again.

    • Hi Elsie!
      I would take the supplements with the meals (as that is often recommended by the label on the supplements). And maybe it is good to spread the supplements out over the different meals (i.e. vit. D + K2 at breakfast, iodine + magnesium at lunch, vit C at dinner). I just made that up because i got a bit of nausea today, and when you spread your supplements out, it is easier to find the one responsible for bad reactions. I took all my supps at breakfast, but will divide them over the meals starting tomorrow. Then i’ll find out which one might need dosage adjustment. 🙂

      If anyone knows a reason why that might not be a good idea, please correct me!

      • Magnesium is best taken at dinner since it has a calming effect. Iodine (if taken) should be 15-30 minutes apart from vitamin C so the vitamin does not interfere with it. I would also take the D at breakfast.

        • Can iodine be taken on an empty stomach? Does iodine have to be taken in the am to prevent insomnia?

          • This is the way I am taking it so it doesn’t interfere with my other supplements, especially with Vitamin C. If taken with a glass of water in which you’ve disolved half a teaspoon of salt and some apple cider vinegar, it takes 15-30 minutes to get fully absorbed.

        • hi Mihnea,
          when you say,
          “Iodine (if taken) should be 15-30 minutes apart from vitamin C so the vitamin does not interfere with it”
          do you have a ref for this info?…
          i actually remember asking Paul J about this quite a while back,
          because i read that Vit C converted the iodine to iodide,
          Paul’ response at the time was that it did not matter & there was no need to keep eat away from Vit C (or orange juice etc)

          • typo fix…Paul’ response at the time was that it did not matter & there was no need to keep it (iodine) away from Vit C (or orange juice etc)

          • Hi Darrin,
            Paul is right, the Iodine supplementation protocol does not recommend taking Iodine and Vitamin C separately. You can have a look here:
            http://www.steppingstonesliving.com at the guide published by Stephanie Buist of the Yahoo Iodine group.

            But there was another ebook I read about Iondine supplementation called Iodine Remedies: Secrets From
            The Sea by Chris Robin. He mentiones the negative interraction between Iondine and vit C.

  50. Tthank you Chris for your suggestions . I’ll try this method.

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