9 Steps to Perfect Health - #4: Supplement Wisely | Chris Kresser
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9 Steps to Perfect Health – #4: Supplement Wisely

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This content is part of an article series.

Check out the series here


In the first three articles in this series, we discussed which foods to eat and which foods to avoid. In this article we’re going to talk about when to supplement and how to do it wisely. We’ve got a lot of material to cover, so you might want to grab a cup of tea and get comfortable!

There are three principles to supplementing wisely:

  • Get nutrients from food whenever possible.
  • Take nutrients in their naturally occurring form whenever possible.
  • Be selective with your supplementation.

Get Nutrients from Food Whenever Possible

Humans are adapted to getting nutrients from whole foods. Most nutrients require enzymes, synergistic co-factors and organic mineral-activators to be properly absorbed. While these are naturally present in foods, they are often not included in synthetic vitamins with isolated nutrients.

In a paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition called Food Synergy: An Operational Concept For Understanding Nutrition emphasizing the importance of obtaining nutrients from whole foods, the authors concluded:

A person or animal eating a diet consisting solely of purified nutrients in their Dietary Reference Intake amounts, without benefit of the coordination inherent in food, may not thrive and probably would not have optimal health. This review argues for the primacy of food over supplements in meeting nutritional requirements of the population.

They cautioned against the risk of reductionist thinking, which is common in conventional medicine and nutritional supplementation. Instead, they urge us to consider the importance of what they call “food synergy”:

The concept of food synergy is based on the proposition that the interrelations between constituents in foods are significant. This significance is dependent on the balance between constituents within the food, how well the constituents survive digestion, and the extent to which they appear biologically active at the cellular level.

They go on to provide evidence that whole foods are more effective than supplements in meeting nutrient needs:

  • Tomato consumption has a greater effect on human prostate tissue than an equivalent amount of lycopene.
  • Whole pomegranates and broccoli had greater antiproliferative and in vitro chemical effects than did some of their individual constituents.
  • Free radicals were reduced by consumption of brassica vegetables, independent of micronutrient mix.

In short: get nutrients from food, not supplements, whenever you can.

Take Nutrients in Their Naturally Occurring Form Whenever Possible

Synthetic, isolated nutrients don’t always have the same effect on the body. It matters whether the nutrients have been produced by technologic or biological processes, because industrial processing sometimes creates an entirely new compound with different physiological actions.

Trans fat produced in ruminant animals (such as conjugated linoleic acids in dairy products) are beneficial to health, whereas trans fats produced in the processing of industrial seed oils are highly toxic.

Folic acid is another example. The naturally occurring form of folate is not folic acid, a compound not normally found in food or nature, but tetrahydrofolate. While folic acid can be converted into folate, that conversion is poor in humans. It’s also important to note that unlike natural folate, folic acid does not cross the placenta. This is significant because folate is a crucial nutrient for pregnancy, and while folic acid can prevent neural tube defects it doesn’t have the other beneficial effects of folate. What’s more, several studies have shown that folic acid – but not natural folate – increases cancer risk. Unfortunately, folic acid is what’s often used in multivitamins, because it’s significantly cheaper than natural folate.

Be Selective with Your Supplementation.

Multivitamins have become increasingly popular: half of Americans currently take one. But is this a good idea? Most studies show that multivitamins either provide no benefit, or may even cause harm. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that multivitamins have little to no influence on the risk of common cancers, CVD or total mortality in postmenopausal women. A now infamous meta-analysis in the Journal of American Medical Association, which looked at over 68 trials with 230,000 pooled participants, found that treatment with synthetic beta carotene, vitamin A and vitamin E may increase mortality.

The problem with multivitamins is that they contain too little of beneficial nutrients like magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K2, and too much of potentially toxic nutrients like folic acid, calcium, iron and vitamin E. This means that multivitamins can actually cause nutrient imbalances that contribute to disease. Another problem is that multivitamin manufacturers often use the cheapest possible ingredients, such as folic acid instead of natural folate – the consequences of which we discussed above.

Which Supplements May Be Necessary?

At this point you might be thinking I’m against supplementation entirely. Not so. No matter how well we eat, some nutrients are difficult to obtain enough of from food alone. There are also circumstances where are need for certain nutrients may increase, such as vitamin C during infections and magnesium with blood sugar imbalances or metabolic problems. In these cases, it makes sense to supplement selectively with beneficial nutrients.

The five nutrients I recommend most people supplement with are:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin K2
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin C

Vitamin A (Retinol)

Vitamin A is important catalyst for a variety of biochemical processes in the body. It’s required for assimilation of protein, minerals and water-soluble vitamins, and it also acts as antioxidant > protecting body against free-radical damage and diseases like cancer. Vitamin A plays a crucial role in reproduction, promoting full-term pregnancy and proper development of face (eyes, nose, dental arches & lips).

The RDA for vitamin A (2,600 IU) is woefully inadequate, and even then, over 25% of American consume less than half of the recommended amount. Native populations such as the traditional Inuit – which were free of modern, degenerative disease – got much more vitamin A than the average American. The Greenland Inuit of 1953, prior to much contact with the Western world, got about 35,000 IU of vitamin A per day.

Vitamin A (retinol) is only found in significant amounts in organ meats, which explains why many Americans don’t get enough of it. If you follow my recommendations in #2: Nourish Your Body, and you do eat organ meats (especially liver), you’re probably getting enough vitamin A and thus don’t need to supplement. However, if you’re like most Americans and you’ve never eaten liver in your life, you would benefit from supplementing with A.

There’s been a lot of discussion in the media about the toxicity of vitamin A. Some researchers and doctors now recommend avoiding cod liver oil because of this concern. Even Dr. Mercola has jumped on the “vitamin A is toxic” bandwagon. But is this true?

It is true that vitamin A is potentially toxic. Some evidence suggests that excess vitamin A increases the risk of osteoporosis. For example, this study showed both low and high serum A carried double risk of fractures as did optimal levels.

But if we dig deeper we find that excess vitamin A only causes problems against a backdrop of vitamin D deficiency. In his excellent article Vitamin A on Trial: Does Vitamin A Cause Osteoporosis, researcher Chris Masterjohn summarizes evidence demonstrating that vitamin D decreases the toxicity of and increases the dietary requirement for vitamin A. Studies show that supplementing with vitamin D radically increases the toxicity threshold of vitamin A. In a hypothetical 160 lb. person, vitamin D supplementation increases the toxicity threshold of vitamin A to more than 200,000 IU/d. You’d have to eat 22 ounces of beef liver or take 5 TBS of high vitamin CLO each day to get this amount. Not likely!

To meet vitamin A needs (assuming you’re not up for eating organ meats), I recommend taking high vitamin cod liver oil (CLO) to provide a dose of 10-15,000 IU per day. Cod liver oil is really more of a food than a supplement, but since it’s not a normal part of people’s diet we’ll consider it as a supplement.

CLO is an ideal vitamin A source because it also contains vitamin D, which as we just learned, protects against the toxicity of A.

Vitamin D

Much has been written about the need for and benefits of vitamin D supplementation over the past several years – and with good reason. It’s absolutely critical for health, and up to 50% of Americans are deficient.

We can get vitamin D from two sources: food, and sunshine. Seafood is the only significant source of vitamin D, but you’d still have to eat a lot of it to get enough. 8-9 ounces of herring provides about 2,000 IU of vitamin D, which is a minimum daily requirement for most people to maintain adequate blood levels.

Sunlight converts a precursor called 7-dehydro-cholesterol in our skin to vitamin D3. This D3, along with the D3 we get from food, gets converted by the liver into 25-hyrdroxy-vitamin D (25D), which is what typically gets measured when you have a vitamin D test. The optimal 25D level is somewhere between 35 and 50 ng/mL.

Contrary to what some researchers and doctors have recommended, there’s no evidence that raising blood levels of 25D above 50 ng/mL is beneficial, and there’s some evidence that it may cause harm. Studies show that bone mineral density peaks at 45 ng/mL and then falls again as 25D levels rise above 45. Other studies have shown that the risk of kidney stones and CVD increase with high 25D levels, due to elevated serum calcium levels that accompany excess vitamin D.

However, we also know that vitamin A and vitamin K2 protect against vitamin D toxicity, and vice versa. As I explained in the vitamin A section, fat soluble vitamins exist in a synergistic relationship. It’s possible that the people in the studies above that experienced problems with excess 25D levels were deficient in vitamin A or K2, or both. This is why it’s so important to supplement with all of the fat-soluble vitamins together.

What about sunlight? Well, in summer mid-day sun with pale skin, 30 minutes of direct sunlight will produce 10-20,000 IU of vitamin D. But this is a best case scenario. With darker skin, or different times of year, or buildings that block the sunlight, or increased time spent indoors, we won’t be producing that much. It’s also true that aging, overweight and inflammation reduce our conversion of sunlight to vitamin D. This is why sunlight alone isn’t normally a sufficient source of vitamin D.

With this in mind, most people should supplement with D. The amount needed to maintain blood levels of 35-50 ng/mL varies depending on some of the factors I’ve listed above, but in my clinical experience it’s usually somewhere between 2,000 – 5,000 IU.

With vitamin D, it’s important to test your levels, begin supplementation, and then re-test a few months later to determine the correct maintenance dose.

As with vitamin A, the best source of vitamin D is high-vitamin cod liver oil. It contains not only vitamins A & D, but also natural vitamin E and other quinones.

Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 may be the most important vitamin most people have never heard of. It’s needed to activate proteins and it also regulates calcium metabolism (keeping it in the bones and teeth where it belongs, and out of the soft tissue where it doesn’t belong). Elevated blood calcium significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), which explains why vitamin K2 has been shown to prevent atherosclerosis and heart attacks. It also strengthens bones.

Unfortunately, many (if not most) of Americans are deficient in vitamin K2. It’s important to point out that vitamin K2 is not the same as vitamin K1, which is found in green, leafy vegetables like kale and collards. Some K1 is converted into K2 in our bodies, but that conversion is inefficient in humans. It is efficient, however, in ruminant animals – which is why grass-fed dairy is the most convenient source of vitamin K2 in the diet. This is only true in animals raised on pasture, because it is eating the K1-rich grass that allows them to convert it into K2.

Most people should aim for at least 100 mcg/d from a combination of food and supplements. If you eat a large amount of cheese from grass-fed cows and pastured egg yolks, you may be able to get this amount from food alone. 100 g of hard cheese contains 67 mcg, and 6 pastured egg yolks contain about 32 mcg. Otherwise, supplementation is probably beneficial. I recommend a dosage of 1 mg/d in the MK-4 form, which is the form of vitamin K2 found in pastured dairy and the one shown to have the most benefit in clinical studies. There is another form, MK-7, that is found in fermented foods like natto, but it has not demonstrated the same properties as MK-4 in clinical studies.

Magnesium

There are few compounds in the body more important to overall health than magnesium.

Over 300 enzymes need it, including every enzyme associated with ATP, and enzymes required to synthesize DNA, RNA and proteins. Magnesium also plays an important role in bone and cell membranes, as it helps to transport ions across the membrane surface.

Studies show that most Americans are deficient in magnesium. The median intake across all racial groups is far below the RDA, which is 420 mg/d for men and 320-400 mg/d for women. Although half of Americans take a multivitamin daily, most don’t contain enough magnesium to prevent nutrient deficiencies.

Magnesium is also difficult to obtain from food. Nuts and seeds are the highest source, but it’s difficult to eat enough of them to meet magnesium needs without getting too much polyunsaturated fat. Another issue is that magnesium levels in food have dropped as modern soils have become increasingly depleted. What this means is that if you’re not supplementing with magnesium, you’re probably not getting enough.

And magnesium deficiency is no small thing. It has serious – even fatal – consequences. It produces symptoms like muscle cramps, heart arrhythmias, tremor, headaches & acid reflux, and it’s associated with CVD, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, migraines, PMS, asthma, hypothyroidism. In fact, it’s hard to find a modern disease magnesium deficiency isn’t associated with.

Because of this, I think everyone should supplement with magnesium. Intake of 400 – 800 mg/d from a combination of food and supplements is an optimal range to shoot for. Since most people get less than 250 mg/d from food, a dose of 400 – 600 mg/d in supplement form is ideal. I recommend using chelated forms of magnesium like glycinate and malate, because they’re better absorbed and tend to have fewer side effects.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is needed for building the structural components of the body, and for maintaining levels of glutathione, the master antioxidant in the body. But vitamin C deficiency is also common: studies suggest that 34% of men and 27% of women don’t get enough. This is especially true for the elderly and those struggling with chronic illness.

400 mg/d is the saturation range in healthy people, and that number is probably higher in the elderly and the sick. As with the other micronutrients in this article, it’s difficult to obtain adequate levels of vitamin C from the diet. Acerola cherries are the highest food source, with 1677 mg per 100g. A cup of cooked red peppers has 235 mg, which is one of the highest dietary sources.

I’m somewhat less certain about the need to supplement with vitamin C, but in general I recommend approximately 500 mg to 1 g of vitamin C each day. If you’re dealing with a chronic health challenge, or fighting an infection, you can take several grams a day with no toxic effects. It’s best to space the doses out to avoid diarrhea, however.

Other Contenders

In addition to the fat-soluble vitamins A, D & K2, and magnesium and vitamin C, some may want to consider supplementing with selenium and iodine. Selenium plays important role in thyroid function, which affects every aspect of physiology. The recommended dose is approximately 200 mcg/d.

Selenium is plentiful in organ meats, ocean fish, and in brazil nuts. One brazil nut contains 100 mcg of selenium, but it also contains a whopping 1 g of omega-6 linoleic acid, which as you know from previous articles in the series, we want to limit significantly. This is why I don’t recommend brazil nuts as a source of selenium. Ocean fish are also good sources of selenium. 100 g of cod contains about 150 mcg.

Iodine also plays a crucial role in thyroid function, and it prevents brain damage and strengthens the immune system. The amount iodine needed for thyroid function is incredibly small: we need about a teaspoon of iodine over a lifetime to avoid deficiency.

I’m not convinced humans need to supplement with iodine above what can be obtained from seafood, but some research does suggest that increased intake of iodine is beneficial. This is especially true if you’re fighting a chronic infection or dealing with a hypothyroidism caused by iodine deficiency.

But be careful: iodine can trigger and flare autoimmune diseases, especially Hashimoto’s and Graves'(autoimmune thyroid disease). In the U.S., 9 out of 10 women with hypothyroidism actually have Hashimoto’s, so the typical advice to supplement with iodine if you are hypothyroid is dangerous. I’ve written extensively about this in my special report on thyroid disease.

For those without autoimmune disease, a dose of 12.5 mg – 50 mg per day may be beneficial, but it’s best to work up slowly over time, beginning at a much lower dose.

170 Comments

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  1. Oh man, looking at green pastures – shipping alone is around 80 USD. Purchasing CLD from there will probably negate the intended effect since being poor is also bad for your health, right? Seems us northerners are out of luck.

  2. Beth: that’s exactly right. To my knowledge, all commercial CLO manufacturers remove the natural vitamins before processing, with one exception: Green Pasture fermented cod liver oil. Because it’s processed by fermentation rather than heat, they leave the natural vitamins intact. It’s the product I take myself and recommend.

    Tracee: yes, grass-fed butter definitely has K2. It’s one of the best sources.

  3. Read an article a while ago that suggested that some (many?) commercial cod liver oils strip the natural A & D vitamins out in processing and then add synthetic back in, sometimes at not healthy ratios. The recommendation, as I recall, was to be very picky about your choice of CLO supplement.

  4. Hi Chris,

    Many thanks for these educational posts! Here in Sweden there aren’t alot of alternatives when it comes to cod liver oil. Across the border in Norway, however, the state department of health recommends something called Möller’s tran for all citizens. Its content per 5 ml:
    Vitamin D 10 mcg
    Vitamin A 250 mcg
    Vitamin E 10 mg
    Omega-3 fatty acids 1.2 g
    – of which 0.6 g DHA
    – of which 0.4 g EPA

    As you can see, the dosage here (5 ml/day) is quite below your recomendations. What would be a reasonable ml/day in your opinon?

    • Hi Chris- what would be your daily dose rec on FCLO/BO pills? 6 pills? My kids are able to take the liquid with elderberry syrup, but I just can’t hold it down.

      Thanks,

      KR

  5. Chris
    What do you think about the fermented CLO and high vitamin butter oil combo offered by Green Pastures. The cod liver oil and the butter oil separately are quite expensive so I wondered if the combo would be effective. Also I know there’s this synergy between vitamin A & D in CLO and K2 in butter oil.

    Thanks for another really informative article.

    Anglea

  6. Jenn, my understanding of B12 is that most animal foods have a good supply as long as not everything you eat is horribly overcooked. But many people seem to have an absorption problem due to low stomach acid or lack of intrinsic factor. For that reason I’ve heard that the most effective B12 supplements are the sublingual lozenges.

    I’ve also heard that methyl B12 and dibencozide (adenosylcobalamin) are the only usable forms. I’d be interested to hear what Chris has to say about it.

  7. You say Vitamin E is toxic, but I think you’re just referring to the alpha-tocopherol. Would supplementing with a mixed tocopherol provide any benefit? It seems strange to me that you would recommend the other fat soluble vitamins and not Vitamin E.

  8. Bryan: in the case of these supplements, it doesn’t matter much. Magnesium and vitamin C may be better tolerated with food.

  9. Hey Chris. Another great article. Any recommendations on the timing of supplements? Should we take them all with breakfast? Spread them out over the day? or doesn’t really matter?

  10. DaninIdaho: no vitamin A in plant foods. That would be beta-carotene.

    Chris: it’s certainly not necessary. Whether it’s beneficial for you is impossible for me to say, but your diet seems great.

    Monte: yes, that’s a good dose of both. I recommend 5mL of each as a maintenance dose.

    Michelle: it depends on the supplement. I like Green Pasture fermented cod liver oil for A & D, and their butter oil for K2. Magnesium and Vitamin C I usually use Pure Prescriptions.

    • What flavor of Green Pastures Cod Liver oil do you recommend? I think you said Arctic Mint in another post, but what flavor butter oil do you like then? And if you get the combined kind, what flavor? Thank you.

    • Chris,
      Regarding your recommendation to take 5 ml (one teaspoon) butter oil daily:
      According to David Wetzel of Green Pastures, the predominant purveyor of butter oil, 5 to 6 pounds of heavy whipping cream, which has the same fat content as 2.5 pounds of butter, are required to make 8 ounces of butter oil. Eight ounces of butter oil therefore have the same vitamin K2 content as 2.5 pounds of butter, a five to one ratio. A dose of 5 ml of butter oil will therefore have the same vitamin K2 content as 25 grams of butter if all K2 is recovered in the processing. Assuming that the vitamin K2 content of butter is 15 mcg per 100 ml, the vitamin k2 content of butter oil would be 4.2 mcg which is a long way from the recommended 100 mcg daily intake.

      Of course, pasture butter is said to have higher vitamin K2 content than “regular” butter but how much more seems to be unknown. Green Pastures does not reveal the vitamin K2 content of their butter oil. It seems very unlikely, however, that one teaspoon of butter oil will provide anything close to 100 mcg of vitamin K2. Regardless of the vitamin K2 content of the milk from which the butter oil is made, the vitamin K2 content of a teaspoon of butter oil equates, at best, to the vitamin K2 content of 25 grams of the butter from which it is made.

      I get good raw milk pasture butter delivered for $10 a pound. At $10 per pound of butter and a ratio of 5;1 concentration of vitamin K2, it takes $25 worth of butter to get the same vitamin K2 content as $50 worth of butter oil at $50 per 8 ounces. In my opinion, butter is far more tasty than butter oil and, further, it contains many nutrients that are lost in making butter oil.

      The vitamin K2 content of my daily intake of butter is far more than that from a teaspoon of butter oil but, in my opinion, far less than needed and far less than my daily intake of K2 from other sources such as raw milk, aged raw milk cheese, liver, bone broth, meat and eggs.

      • The recommendation is for 2.5 mL of fermented cod liver oil as a maintenance dose, and 5mL as a therapeutic dose. I recommend 4 caps per day of the FCLO/BO blend. I don’t recommend 5mL of the butter oil alone.

        • You recommend that people should aim for 100 mcg of vitamin K2 from food and supplements but then go on to recommend 1 mg/day of mk-4 vitamin K2 which is 10 times the first recommendation of 100 mcg.

          I agree with your recommendations on cod liver oil but see value in taking it with butter oil which contributes very little to your recommended intake of 100 to 1000 mcg vitamin K2.

          Based on the published vitamin K2 content of butter of 15 mcg per 100 grams and a five to one concentration of the vitamin K2 in butter oil, a half teaspoon of butter oil contains about 2 mcg of vitamin K2 which is 2% of the recommended dose of 100 mcg and 0.2% of the recommended dose of 1 mg/day. The small amount of vitamin K2 in a half teaspoon of butter oil does not balance well with the vitamin A and vitamin D content of an equal amount of cod liver oil.

          The vitamin K2 content of butter from pastured cows may be higher than the published value of 15 mcg per 100 grams but no one seems to know what kind of butter the figure is based on. The manufacturers of butter oil do not publish the vitamin K2 content of their product. I see no reason to believe that the pastured butter used by butter oil used in making butter oil has any more vitamin K2 than the raw milk butter from pastured cows which is widely available. The sale of butter oil seems to be based on myth, not facts. Why not just eat butter made from milk of pastured cows?

    • I’m confused about K2 supplementation. I currently take a nice teaspoon of CLO/Vitamin Butter Oil blend, and I’m trying to understand if I still need to supplement further with K2.

      Also, you don’t mention Calcium. I’ve been taking a high quality Cal/Mag supplement – is that not a good idea? I also take a high quality Multi. Thanks so much.

      • Just to clarify – I meant is it beneficial to take additional magnesium alone as opposed to taking it in combination with Calcium? I eat wild canned salmon daily as well, so I’m getting Calcium there.

        In terms of CLO/Butter Oil blend dosages, I don’t take capsules, just eat it off the spoon. So, does a full teaspoon or a little more okay?

        Thanks again.

      • Debbie,

        Based on data given from David Wetzel, who was the first to produce butter oil around 1999 based on methods of Weston Price, the vitamin K2 content of a teaspoon of butter oil is calculated to be so low as to be almost worthless. The vitamin K2 content of butter oil is about the same as cheese and cheese is a lot cheaper and contains other beneficial nutrients as well.

        I eat about 2.5 ounces of raw milk cheese a day which provides a good part of the daily requirements of vitamin K2 and has about the same vitamin K2 content as 15 teaspoons of butter oil. I get more vitamin K2 from milk and butter. If you like dairy, ditch the butter oil and eat cheese milk and butter from pastured cows.

        Regarding calcium and magnesium, dairy products are and excellent source of calcium but a poor source of magnesium If you consume a lot of dairy you won’t need calcium supplements but you very much need magnesium supplements.

        • Debbie: CORRECTION: I erroneously based the foregoing comment on the vitamin K2 content of butter oil, not cod liver oil/butter oil blend.

          The blend contains 1/3 butter oil and 2/3 cod liver oil, so a teaspoon (5 ml) of the blend contains 1.67 ml butter oil.

          David Wetzel states that “It takes —five or six pounds of heavy cream to make eight ounces of X-factor Oil (butter oil).” Heavy cream is about 40% fat, butter is about 80% fat. Butter contains about 15 mcg vitamin K2 (mk4) per 100 mg.

          Based on the foregoing figures, 5 ml of butter oil blend contains about 1.4 mcg of vitamin K2 (mk-4) compared to the suggested (by many) daily supplement of 100 mcg.

          In contrast, the average intake of vitamin K2 of women in the Netherlands (Rotterdam study) was 27 mcg/day, of which 25% was mk4 and 75% mk5 and above. The majority of dietary vitamin K2 came from dairy, mostly cheese.

          The vitamin K2 content of butter varies greatly depending on soil conditions and nature of the grass that the cows feed on.. If the vitamin K2 content of the butter from which the butter oil is made is double that of the assumed 15 mcg K2 content of butter, the K2 content of a teaspoon of CO/BO blend would be 2.8 mcg which is a small percentage of the average daily intake of around 27 mcg and a smaller percentage of the suggested daily supplement of 100 mcg. Thus the benefits of “butter oil” seem largely imaginary.

  11. Thank you for discussing the difference between folic acid and folate, articles like yours will help this become a bit more widely known.

  12. Chris, do you think its okay to consume a bottle of FCLO along with a bottle of HVBO every 30 days?

    It works out to about 8ml of both FCLO and HVBO. In your experience what is a minimum effective dosage?

    I’ve already ordered both of them in preparation for an “orthodox” paleo diet I’m starting.

    Thank you.

  13. Hi Chris:

    Excellent post. I was wondering what your opinion was of ALCAR + r-ALA + ubiquinol. I’ve read some pretty convincing research on this stack, but am unsure if it’s necessary for a 25 year old consuming mostly grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, pastured butter & cream, coconut products, pastured eggs, and fermented veggies, with the inclusion of sweet potatos post-workout, and 1 “cheat window” per week – usually Saturday afternoons-evenings where the worst of the worst is indulged in with friends or family.

    Thanks!

  14. HI Chris. Wondering about V-A in sweet potatoes. I don’t eat lots of organ meats, but do eat tons of yams and sweet potatoes. Would you consider these ok sources or are they in the beta-carotene form which is different? Great series. Thanks.

  15. Great post…what are your thoughts on Vitamin B (I currently supplement B12, but am moving towards a B-complex to include 1, 2, & 6) –

    In searching for an answer to my chronic headaches – bloodwork indicated that I was low on Vit D (even after supplementing 4-8k daily) – and it was suggested that I supplement with B12 (I was normal range, but low end of normal). I’ve been taking 40k Vit D and 5k mcg of B12 daily for the last two months – and my headaches have greatly improved. I’m getting ready to have more bloodwork – so I can see how the Vit D levels are this time around.

    Also – how would you adjust these recommendations for children? I currently give them a probiotic and vitamin D, in addition to a multi…I’d like to see how their multi stacks up…

    Thanks –