Supplements: I recommend the top 5 (1-5) to everyone
Smart supplementation: Vitamins, minerals and superfoods (see below). Most (but not all) other supplements are a waste of your good money at best and harmful at worst.
Vitamins EVERYONE Needs
- How much? As close to 100% of the RDA of as many vitamins as possible.
- Brand example: Mason One a Day has 100% of more vitamins than any other brand, other brands are imbalanced with too much of some and not enough of other vitamins: https://www.amazon.com/Mason-Natural-Multiple-Vitamins-Essentials/dp/B003XXLWXU
- Reason: Cover your bases without going overboard on any individual vitamin.
2) Vitamin D
- The RDA of D is 200-400 IU per day which is far too low. So even though many multivitamins have D, many do not have enough.
- How much? Between 2,000 and 5,000 IU daily. More than 8,000 IU daily could cause overdose, with elevated calcium levels and increase risk of seizure. If you spend a lot of time outdoors with sun on exposed skin 2000 IU will likely be enough. Most folks need 4-5,000 IU daily.
- Brand example: Carlson Labs Super Daily D3 Vitamin, 2000 (if you spend a lot of time outdoors) or 4000 (if you are mostly indoors) IU these drops should last 1 year, recommended due to the oil.
- Reason: We used to get D from sunshine before we built houses and moved indoors, another source no longer available to most of us is liver or fatty tissue from animals that themselves got sunshine:
Minerals EVERYONE Needs (To counteract soil depletion)
3) Magnesium Oxide.
- How much? 240-400mg. Much more than 400 can irritate the digestive system
- Brand example http://www.naturemade.com/minerals/magnesium/magnesium-oxide
- Why mag oxide versus chelated magnesium or other formulations? The absorption benefit to chelated magnesium is about 10% but the size of chelated magnesium pills is much larger so you have to take more pills or pills so large that not everyone can easily swallow.
- Why do we need magnesium? Every cell in the body needs magnesium. Key functions include antioxidant defense (as a cofactor in antioxidant enzymes), bone and teeth, as well as brain and nervous system operations.
4) Zinc Picolinate, 22 mg- 50mg.
- Brand example: Solgar
- How much? 22-50mg. Much more than 50mg can irritate the digestive system.
- Notes on formulation: Zinc picolinate contains 20% elemental zinc. Therefore 50 mg of zinc picolinate contains 10 mg elemental zinc. The RDA for men and women is 11mg and 8mg respectively, and the upper tolerable limit is 40mg of elemental zinc. Too much gives many people digestive upset.
- Why do we need zinc? Every cell in the body needs zinc. Key functions include antioxidant defense (as a cofactor in antioxidant enzymes), immune system function, and DNA replication–making supplementation especially essential during pregnancy.
5) Bone Broth – Collagen
The nutrients in home-made bone stock are unique and represent a missing food group from most American’s diets.
RECIPES: Luke and I made a couple of how-to videos ourselves here. It’s not the easiest recipe, there are many others, but it’s the tastiest!
How much? The answer truly depends on what recipe and how much of the nutrients are concentrated in each cup. If you follow our recipe and the stock turns to gelatin in the fridge 1/2 cup per day is enough. If it does not gelatinize, then you need more, roughly 1-2 cups.
If you don’t have time to make bone stock from scratch and don’t like the boxed products (Kirkland brand organic chicken stock or Pacific Organic chicken or beef stock). I highly recommend these stand in products.
- Food Science of Vermont Superior Cartilage
- Ancestral Science Bovine Tracheal Cartilage
BEST!! Collagen + Cartilage Combo
- CB Supplements Multi Collagen Protein. Use promo code drcate to get $5 off this premium grade collagen powder. This is the only supplement I actually endorse.
Supplements for Specific Needs
Read carefully to see if any of these apply to you. This information is not meant to be a complete detailed replacement for a consultation for specific nutritional advice
COVID can cause prolonged fatigue after the fevers are gone.
To combat post covid fatigue I recommend getting the above 5 if you have not already.
Additionally, very important to recovery are B vitamins, which you can get from liver, nutritional yeast (best brand is on my shopping page) or take a vitamin B complex for 1-2 months, like this one from Naturemade.
Minerals for PEOPLE WHO CANT EAT CHEESE, YOGURT or OTHER DAIRY
- Brand example Pure Encapsulations https://www.pureformulas.com/calcium-citrate-180-vegetable-capsules-by-pure-encapsulations.html
- Formulation: Calcium Citrate
- How much? Between 250mg to 500mg.
- Notes on dose: More than about 500mg from supplements is associated with kidney stones and bone spurs.
Minerals for VEGANS and folks with THYROID disease
- For anyone with thyroid disease.
- Dulse Seaweed: This seaweed product is so high in Iodine it’s basically a supplement. Use one bag every 2 months, add to salad or just chew it when you’re standing around in the kitchen. Maine Coast Sea Vegetable Dulse – 2 oz bag
- Seak Kelp Iodine: 150-200mcg per day to supplement example https://www.amazon.com/Foods-150mcg-Natural-Iodine-Tablets/dp/B0001T0CL2/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_bs_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=GMEWDET4Q7474N8J4S2D
- Lugol’s Iodine: This over the counter pharmaceutical solution is very concentrated and a health risk for children who may get their hands on it. For that reason, I recommend sticking with food-based iodine supplements like seaweed or seaweed in capsules like those above for use in routine supplementation. (Unless you are under a physician’s care, of course.)
- Brazil nuts are very high in selenium.
- 10 nuts per month will get you what you need. Red meat eaters get lots of selenium because most grass is high in selenium and most cows are still at least weaned on grasses and can bioconcentrate this mineral in their tissues.
Vitamins for VEGANS And PEOPLE WITH COMMON DIETARY RESTRICTIONS
- Who needs? Mostly vegans who don’t get fermented foods on a daily basis. The non-live culture ferement food source for vegans is nutritional yeast. I recommend Foods Alive brand.
- How much? 100% of the RDA is plenty. More than 1000% of the RDA daily is likely too much.
- Example supplement: Mason One a Day has 250% of the RDA of B12 so you don’t need additional supplementation unless testing has showed you are deficient.
- Who needs? Folks who do not eat full fat cheese from pastured cows, liver or eggs from pastured and well-fed chickens.
- How much? The RDA has not yet been set.
- Example supplement: Innovix Labs MK4-MK7
Cartilage and Collagen (see #5 above)
These offer you the most bioavailable form of iron and several B vitamins. I have seen them correct longstanding anemia and other blood cell level abnormalities like high or low white counts for example. Lots of good brands out there, do try to get something organic and pasture raised. Two of my favorites are
- Mother’s Best Goat Liver Pills: http://www.mothersbestliverpills.com/
- Ancestral Supplements: https://ancestral-supplements.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/grassfed-beef-liver-supplement
- Turmeric paste recipe from fresh turmeric root, has helped more people with joint pains than the supplements have, in my experience: https://naturalfitfoodie.com/turmeric-paste/
Sleep Aid Supplements
- Pure Encapsulations has a track record of actually containing what the container promises. Many different formulations exist, and it’s really tough to know what will work for a given person so if you don’t have good luck with one, try another.
- Here’s an example, from a company that promises your satisfaction or your money back. (Check their 45 day return policy for details): https://supplementfirst.com/products/pure-encapsulations-best-rest-formula