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What supplements do you take? (multivitimins/protein powder/fish oil ect...)

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  • What supplements do you take? (multivitimins/protein powder/fish oil ect...)

    Apologies if this has already been discussed, but I can't seem to see such a topic.

    The question is simple; what supplements, if any, do you take?

    By supplements I mean anything that isn't a 'natural' food, be it a multivitimin or omega 3 oils or even things like protein powders.

    The reason I'm asking is that I'm considering whether to start supplementing my diet; I'm very aware that it's no substitute for a good diet, and I could have sworn that I've seen some articles citing research that suggested that multivitims were bad for you!

    Also, this may be a silly question, but if you take a multivitimin say once a day, which is loaded with vitimins, for how much of the day do you get the 'effect' of these vitimins? It just seems a bit silly to pop one pill a day with a massive loading of vitimins, would it not make more sense to take supplements say 4 times a day, one with each meal, which over the course of the day help you get your required vitimins/minerals/antioxidents? Or does that not make any sense at all??

  • #2
    Hi: you're probably going to see a *wide* variety of answers to your question! Did you see this article on the blog? It's a great place to start for the "official" PB take on supplements:

    For myself, I take the Primal Nutrition Damage Control Master Formula (half first meal of the day, the other half at my second meal...) & Vital Omegas (not cheap for both normally, but considering what's included, it's a decent deal IMO -- plus since I get the Damage Control on autoship, the Vital Omegas are included free and there's no shipping charge). I'll occasionally drink whey powder (there are a few really "clean" powders out there but I had to hunt for them) with coconut milk and a little almond butter if the day is just crazy and I'm running low on protein; I've also been trying out some BCAA before weight sessions a couple of times a week, which does seem to help working out fasted.


    • #3
      I take a multivitamin, ~4000 iu of vitamin D, 50 mg of zinc, and 4-8 g of wild salmon oil
      You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!


      • #4
        I take an 03 supplement (flax because I'm allergic to fish - I recall Mark saying that if the fish oil is refined it should not be a problem but still I don't want to risk it) daily and magnesium a few times a week. I take protein powder maybe once a month out of convenience.


        • #5
          My multi is orange triad, by Controlled Labs
          I also take CLA by Primaforce, Sesamin and EFA's by Scivation


          • #6
            Blue Ice Fermented Cod live oil/High vitamin butter oil 2 capsules/day.
            Fish oil: 2 capsules/day.


            • #7
              Every morning I take a multivitamin and a fish oil pill (684 mg O3). At lunch I usually take another fish oil. A few times a week (and daily during the winter months) I also take a Cal-Mag-Zinc-D3 supplement.


              • #8
                what brand zinc supplements d you guys take
                Get on my Level


                • #9
                  I take 4000 mg of fish oil, 6000 iu of Vit D3 and 3000 mg of Vit K2 everyday.


                  • #10
                    A multivitamin, 2 cod liver oil pills, and 2000 iu of vit d with my first real meal. When summer really gets here and I can consistently exercise shirtless outdoors, I'll stop the vit d. I just want to take a moderate amount of supplements daily all at once, instead of worrying about it twice a day. If I forget, it's no biggie.
                    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least and this (personal fave):


                    • #11
                      In the morning I take a "women's" multivitamin and a fish oil pill (or, now that I'm skipping breakfast, at lunch), and in the evening I take a calcium+magnesium+D and another fish oil pill.
                      "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

                      I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.


                      • #12
                        I take 3 to 4 1,200 mg Fish Oil caps per day (too broke to afford grass-fed meat), plus 5,000 iu Vit D3. I took 10k units over the winter months, but I'm getting out in the sun now


                        • #13
                          more than mos


                          details at the above link but multi, fish oil, neptune krill oil, zinc, d3, some amino acids, magnesium and calcium as/if needed to round out dietary intake, enzymes if/as needed, grapeseed extract, pycnogenol......


                          iherb referral code CIL457- $5 off first order


                          • #14
                            I take:
                            Vit D3 - 2000 units
                            Fish oil - 2 capsules
                            Carlson's Cod Liver Oil - 1 Tablespoon
                            Flax seed oil - 2 tsps

                            I can't get enough Vit D from sunlight at my northern latitude most of the year so must supplement to get an adequate amount. But I try to get the rest of my vitamins and minerals from my diet. I supplement with all the oils to improve my omega 3/omega 6 ratio and I have noticed a huge difference in how I feel - more energy, less anxiety and depression. I eat lots of leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, bone broths, and fermented foods.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Barb View Post
                              I take:
                              Vit D3 - 2000 units
                              Fish oil - 2 capsules
                              2000 IU is still not quite enough vitamin D - most likely. Typically, adults not getting D from sun will need 5000 IU per day from all sources or even more specifically 1,000 IU per 25 lbs body weight per day.

                              Vitamin D Dosing and Levels

                              nmoL - units used to measure D most places in the world
                              ng/mL - units used in the US
                              ** Please be sure to pay attention to the units given on your lab report.
                              ** Quest Labs -problems remain. See the end of the paper for citations.

                              ☑ A tan does not necessarily indicate sufficient vitamin D levels. It's easy to tan from UVA
                              without getting sufficient UVB to raise D levels.

                              What should my vitamin D level be?
                              see below for information on various vitamin D levels........

                              ❍ 32 ng/mL (80 nmol/L) is the bottom of the current reference range. Still
                              leaves us in a state of substrate starvation which isn't good. And if Quest** did
                              your test - see note above - you need to divide by 1.3

                              ❍ 40 ng/mL (100 nmol/L) the minimum recommended by currently by
                              any major D researcher (see

                              ❍ 50 ng/mL (125 nmol/L) is the point at which we have sufficient substrate
                              for managing calcium levels and have additional to use for other necessary
                              physiological functions - including gene expression (300+ other functions in our bodies)

                              ❍ 60-65 ng/mL (150-162.5 nmol/L) is the 'middle of the current reference range
                              for the major US labs. European and canadian labs are behind the times on this
                              one and are still generally using a much lower range that accepts truly
                              deficient levels as normal.

                              ❍ 80 ng/mL (200 nmol/L) is the higher end of normal but still within the physiological
                              range of what we could achieve from significant midday sun exposure.

                              ❍ 100 ng/mL (250 nmol/L) a level still obtainable by extensive sun exposure -
                              think lifeguards in South Florida. That it's achieved only through sun exposure
                              implies that this is still a physiologically appropriate level.

                              ❍ 200 ng/mL (500 nmol/L) is the lowest blood level of 25(OH)D at which there
                              has been documented D toxicity. There has never been a case reported at levels
                              lower than that.

                              ☑ 1000 IU (25 mcg) per 25 lbs body weight per day is a very reasonable dose of
                              D3 for someone who avoid sun by
                              → working indoors midday
                              → wearing clothes midday
                              → avoiding sun midday (too hot etc)
                              → wearing any amount of sunscreen midday

                              ☑ 10,000 IU-50,000 IU vitamin D3 is produced in the skin upon full body exposure
                              to sunlight......with the average of the studies being about 20,000 IU. However,
                              adults should not take more than 5000 IU per dayweight per day and children should
                              not take more than 1000 IU per 25lbs body weight per day (400 IU per 10 lbs body
                              weight per day) without periodic testing of 25(OH)D levels.

                              ☑ Don't be afraid to take as much D3 as is required to raise your serum 25(OH)D to
                              50-80 ng/mL (125 nmol/L to 250 nmol/L) There is a 25-50% variation in serum
                              vitamin d levels at 'x' amount of supplementation rate due to genetic variations
                              in vitamin d binding protein.
                              Clin Biochem. 2009 Jul;42(10-11):1174-7. Epub 2009 Mar 18.Common genetic variants of the
                              vitamin D binding protein (DBP) predict differences in response of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin
                              D [25(OH)D] to vitamin D supplementation.Fu L, Yun F, Oczak M, Wong BY, Vieth R, Cole DE.
                              Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1L5.

                              ☑Testing: use LabCorp or ZRT
                              →consider joining the D Action study, they use ZRT's home test
                              details at
                              →or order ZRT's test from
                              ZRT donates $10 to that worthy organzation when you order it through them
                              →you can also order it directly through ZRT
                              →Quest/LabCorp testing project. Test on the same day using Quest and LabCorp -
                              get reimursed for up to $100 of your cost:

                              ☑ Early AM and later afternoon sun exposure on face, hands and arms is not sufficient
                              to raise vitamin D levels or maintain optimal vitamin D levels.

                              ☑ Fall, Winter and Spring sun exposure is not generally sufficient to raise viamin D levels
                              or to maintain optimal D levels.

                              ☑ A person (tan or not) who's been getting
                              →summer exposure
                              →on most body skin
                              to the point just before a burn occurs, may have optimal D levels during the summer.

                              ☑ The Vitamin D Council ( has all of the D research, reference cites
                              and links to peer reviewed journal articles that you'd ever want to read, plus several thousand extra

                              ☑ has a tremendous amount of good information as well.

                              ☑ Stanford and other major D research centers have podcasts in iTunes that are excellent resources.

                              ☑Quest's test: What's the problem?
                              excerpted from The Vitamin D Council's July '08 newsletter. Written by John Cannell, MD
                              "The two most common are mass spectrometry and a chemiluminescence method, Liaison. The first, mass spectrometry, is highly accurate in the hands of experienced technicians given enough time to do the test properly. However, in the hands of a normally trained technician at a commercial reference lab overwhelmed with 25(OH)D tests, it may give falsely elevated readings, that is, it tells you are ok when in fact you are vitamin D deficient. The second method, Liaison, was recently developed and is the most accurate of the screening, high throughput, methods; LabCorp uses it. Quest Diagnostics reference lab uses mass spec. Again, both Quest and LabCorp are overwhelmed by 25(OH)D requests. The problem is that the faster the technicians do the mass spec test, the more inaccurate it is likely to be. If your 25(OH)D blood test says "Quest Diagnostics" on the top, do not believe you have an adequate level (> 50 ng/ml). You may or may not; the test may be falsely elevated. Let me give you an example. A doctor at my hospital had Quest Diagnostics do a 25(OH)D. It came back as 99 ng/ml of ergocalciferol. He is not taking ergocalciferol (D2), he has never taken ergocalciferol, only cholecalciferol (D3), and he is not taking enough to get a level of 99 ng/ml, 50 ng/ml at the most.
                              excerpted from The Vitamin D Council's July '08 newsletter. Answer written by John Cannell, MD
                              Q: "I thought you got Quest to fix their Vitamin D test. On 3/12/09 my vitamin D,25 hydroxy test at Quest Labs came out as 62 ng/mL Whereas on 3/29 at Lab Corps the same test showed 44.2 ng/mL. What's up? Nancy, Rhode Island"

                              Cannell answers "Remember, to compare the technique Quest uses to the technique Lab Corp uses you must divide Quest's result by 1.3. So your Quest result was really 48 ng/mL, which is close to Lab Corp's results."


                              "One only has to look at the Wake Forest group's methods section. Unlike the Washington study, which used the gold standard to measure vitamin D (DiaSorin RIA), Wake Forest decided to send their samples out to, you guessed it, Quest Diagnostics. [Katherine's note: literally every research group studying vitamin D uses LabCorp's DiaSorin to test D - Wake Forest seriously missed the boat on this one. Huge misstep. ] For new readers, this newsletter was the first to report Quest's 25(OH)D results were suspicious, in a July 2008 newsletter. [see link and cite above] The New York Times picked up on the story six months later."

                              "Dr. Binkley said that a few years ago he sent a sample of his blood to six laboratories and got results that ranged from 14 nanograms a milliliter, which would be a deficient level, to 41 nanograms — a level three times as high and considered adequate. While the tests’ consistency has improved since then, there can still be substantial variability, he said."

                              "Quest’s problems with the vitamin D analysis arose after it shifted in 2006 and 2007 to a new test of its own design, replacing an older F.D.A.-approved test. The new test promised to be more accurate and offer more detailed information, Quest executives said. But the test relied on a sophisticated instrument called a mass spectrometer, which can be tricky to use, especially for high-volume testing."

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