Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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January 24 2018

Grok Didn’t Take Supplements, So Why Should I? (and a Giveaway)

By Mark Sisson
334 Comments

Young serious men in red shirt holding some pill hand. IsolatedThe main objective of following the Primal Blueprint is to extract the healthiest, happiest, longest and most productive life possible from our bodies – and to look and feel good in the process.

Our 10,000-year-old Primal genes expect us to emulate the way our ancestors ate and moved; and the Primal Blueprint says we should do exactly as they expect. While there are many things we can do (or eat) today that very closely approximate what Grok did to trigger positive gene expression, there are also a number of obstacles that can thwart our attempts to be as Primal as possible. Artificial light prompts us to stay up too late and sleep too little. Electronic entertainment competes for our time when we should be out walking and basking in sunlight. We don’t always have access to ideal foods. We shower too much in water that’s too hot. We use medicines to mask our symptoms instead of allowing our bodies to deal directly with the problem. You get my point. You can’t go back to the paleolithic.

One of my tasks is to find the shortcuts—the easy ways to get the same genetic expression benefits Grok got—but by using 21st century technology or just plain old common sense. Working out in Vibram Fivefingers to simulate going barefoot is an example. Or learning how to spend time in the sun without sunscreen AND without burning. Getting more from a 20-minute full-body exercise routine than from a 3-hour cardio workout is yet another example. And given the lack of certain critical nutrients in even the healthiest diets, finding the best supplements is another.

Here are a few of the best categories of supplements I can recommend to just about everyone:

1. Antioxidant Booster

Some people claim exogenous antioxidants are useless or even harmful because we already have our three main internal “onboard” antioxidant systems that take care of most of the normal oxidative damage when we are healthy, unstressed and eating well (catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione). But these systems can come up short when we are under stress (who isn’t), eating too many sugars and other carbs, trans and hydrogenated fats, or drinking alcohol, or when we are exercising inappropriately. Theoretically, that still ought to be no problem, because our bodies were designed to get additional antioxidant support—and hormetic stimulus— from the foods we eat.

Unfortunately, many of our historically healthy sources of dietary antioxidants have gone extinct or have been rendered impotent by today’s aggressive factory farming techniques. In the fruit industry, for example, obtaining the highest possible sugar content has replaced antioxidants as the focus. Fruit is bred for sugar and durability, rather than nutrient content.

That’s one reason why I’ve always emphasized and encouraged the consumption of non-starchy veggies and brightly colored berries—they’re some of the most antioxidant-rich produce around. But I believe that we also need a broader mix of different antioxidants in order to emulate the wide variety of wild plant foods we evolved consuming. That means taking a supplement to obtain hard-to-get nutrients like full spectrum vitamin E (not just alpha tocopherol), mixed carotenoids (not just beta carotene), tocotrienols, NAC, alpha lipoic acid, curcumin, resveratrol, milk thistle, CoQ10 and quercetin to name a few. Now, you could make sure to eat all the foods that contain those nutrients, and in an ideal world I’d prefer you do that. But not everyone can, or even wants to. The convenience of modern technology is a reality, a tool that can be used to good effect.

Of course, too much of any one single antioxidant (in the absence of others) has been shown to have potentially negative effects. But when you take a good broad-spectrum antioxidant formula, all these antioxidants can work synergistically to mitigate oxidative damage and then help each other recycle back to their potent antioxidant form after donating an electron to the antioxidant effort. For that reason, I take a high-potency multi-vitamin loaded with extra antioxidants on an irregular basis.

Irregular? Huh?

Nowadays, I’ve got my health dialed in. I eat right, move correctly, sleep well, and kinda-sorta handle stress adequately. I don’t need to take an antioxidant supplement on a daily basis, so I take it intermittently. One pill after breakfast one day, three the next day, and none for half a week. Then I’ll take it every other day at varying dosages, then back off for another half week. That’s just an example, not a prescription. I jump around, basically. What’s funny is that because I’m fairly healthy, taking Master Formula every day could conceivably offer diminishing, or even negative returns. The same negative effects you see bandied about. Taking it the way I do now has a hormetic effect, the phenomenon whereby a moderate stressor upregulates your own antioxidant mechanisms to make you healthier and more robust.

2. Probiotics

Grok ate dirt. All day, every day. Hey, when you never wash your hands or your food (or anything for that matter) you pretty much can’t avoid it. But with all that soil came billions of soil-based organisms (mostly bacteria and yeast) that entered his mouth daily and populated his gut. Most were “friendly” bacteria that actually helped him better digest food and ward off infections. In fact, much of Grok’s (and our) immune system evolved to depend on these healthy gut bacteria living in us symbiotically. Grok also ate the occasional “unfriendly” organisms that had the potential to cause illness, but as long as the healthy flora well-outnumbered the bad guys, all was well. Several trillion bacteria live symbiotically in our gut today – some good and some bad. Much of your health depends on which of the two is winning the war.

The problem today is that we don’t eat dirt; we wash everything. Of course, given the crap that’s in and on the dirt around us, it’s probably best that we do wash it all. But in the process we never get a chance to ingest the healthy bacteria that our genes expect us to. In most healthy people this doesn’t usually present a problem. As long as there are some healthy gut bacteria present, as long as we don’t get too stressed out (stress hormones wreck the gut), too sick (diarrhea and vomiting are ways the body purges bad bacteria – but it purges good bacteria with them), or take antibiotics (antibiotics tend to kill both pathogenic and beneficial bacteria), and as long as we are eating well, those healthy bacteria can flourish and keep us well.

Unfortunately, we live in a time when stress is everywhere, where we do tend to get sick or take antibiotics, where certain processed foods support the growth of unhealthy bacteria and yeast forms while choking out the healthy flora. Many people whose diets include daily doses of yogurt or acidophilus are able to maintain healthy gut flora, but these sources aren’t always reliable (pasteurizing and added sugars can reduce their effectiveness), and not everyone can tolerate dairy that well.

For that reason, I think it’s wise to take probiotic supplements on occasion. Not necessarily every day, since once these “seeds” have been planted in a healthy gut, they tend to multiply and flourish easily on their own, especially if you feed them (see the next section). I’d certainly take extra probiotics under times of great stress or when you’ve been sick or are taking (or have just taken) a course of antibiotics. The reversal of fortune from a few days of taking probiotics can be dramatic. Better than eating dirt, I always say.

3. Prebiotics

For most of human history (and prehistory), carbohydrates were different. Rather than refined grains, white sugar, and white rice, we had wild tubers. There’s something to understand about the wild tuber: They generally don’t turn into creamy smooth starchy goodness when baked. They’re tough, fibrous things that provide a fraction of the usable energy modern cultivars provide (PDF). Whereas your typical kilogram of potato offers over 1000 calories, a kilo of many wild tuber varieties hover at around 300 calories. Eating these would have provided a moderate dose of glucose – akin to, perhaps, butternut squash—plus a load of prebiotic fiber for the gut bacteria.

That’s very important. Prebiotics are carbohydrates that we cannot digest. When we eat them, they pass through to the colon where our gut bacteria consume them. In doing so, they create short chain fatty acids like butyrate and propionate, which have a host of health benefits. This is in addition to supporting the growth and stability of our healthy gut bacteria.

We get a lot of prebiotics through foods like garlic, onions, leafy greens, and other plant matter. But it’s often easier and more reliable and more commensurate to the doses our ancestors commonly ate to take prebiotic supplements like inulin and raw potato starch (a source of a particularly potent prebiotic, resistant starch).

5. Fish Oil

In Grok’s day, virtually every animal he consumed was a decent source of vital Omega 3 fatty acids. The fish he caught had eaten algae to produce Omega 3 fatty acids rich in EPA and DHA (which helped build the larger human brain over a few hundred thousand years). The animals he hunted grazed on plants that generated high levels of Omega 3 in these meats. Even the vegetation Grok consumed provided higher levels Omega 3s than today’s vegetables. In Grok’s diet, the ratio of pro-inflammatory (bad) Omega 6 to anti-inflammatory (good and healthful) Omega 3 was close to 1:1.

Unfortunately, most people with a typical American diet today get way too much Omega 6 from seed oils and way too little Omega 3 from seafood and pastured meat, and that unhealthy ratio tends to keep many of us in a constant state of systemic inflammation. Since Omega 3 oils are found in fewer and fewer modern foods (fish being one of the few, but fresh fish also being impractical to eat regularly due to heavy-metal content) the single easiest way to overcome this serious deficit and rebalance your Omegas is to take highly purified Omega 3 fish oil supplements. The research on fish oils is extraordinary, showing benefits across the board from decreased risk for heart disease and cancer to lowering triglycerides, improving joint mobility, decreasing insulin resistance and improving brain function and mood. The drug companies are even starting to recognize the power of this “natural” medicine and have begun promoting prescription fish oil (at four times the normal price, of course!).

Nobody “needs” fish oil. But not everyone’s willing to eat seafood on a regular basis and avoid seed oils high in omega-6 fats/

6. Meal Replacement

The reality of modern life means that sometimes there just isn’t enough to time to lovingly cook a real Primal meal. Sometimes you need something quick, easy, and nourishing. To fit these requirements, I created Primal Fuel. It combines coconut milk (for healthy saturated fats, including medium chain triglycerides for easy ketone production), whey protein isolate (single most bioavailable protein around), and prebiotic fiber for a low-carb, moderate-fat, high-protein meal. Add a few ice cubes, a cup of water, maybe some greens or berries, blend it all together, and you’ve got yourself a legitimate meal in a cup. The coconut milk provides creaminess and texture, so it tastes almost exactly like a milk shake.

I’m a busy guy, though. That’s why I needed something like this to have on hand. I just find it useful to have something quick and shelf-stable that doesn’t compromise my eating regimen or health. Eating low carb often means being at a loss as to what to have for a snack or a small meal. We are so used to reaching for the bagel, a few pieces of fruit or something sweet as a snack. On the other hand, there are also times when we just don’t feel like fixing a full meal or we are strapped for time.

7.  Collagen Powder

In a world full of shrinkwrapped steaks, roasts, ground meat, and other examples of lean muscle meat, people often forget that about half of a cow is “other stuff.” That other stuff includes marrow, liver, kidney, heart, and other organs, but the vast majority of the other stuff is bone and connective tissues like tendons, ligaments, and cartilage.

These days, the bones and connective tissue usually go into pet food, glue, and other industrial products. But for millions of years, right up until your grandparents’ time, hominids consumed as much of the animal as possible. They made soups, stocks, broths, aspics, head cheese. They ate the tendons straight up. They gnawed the gristly bits at the end of bones. In other words, they consumed a lot of collagen along with the muscle meat.

Most modern people eat only the muscle meat, and this is significant. Muscle meat has a totally different amino acid profile than collagen. Meat is rich in methionine. Collagen is rich in glycine. Methionine metabolism requires and depletes glycine. In animal studies, diets high in methionine lower lifespan and cause a range of health issues—unless the diet is also balanced with glycine. We see glimpses of this occurring in humans, too.

To skirt around it, and to reduce the need to spend all my time making bone broth (which I still do, just not enough), I take collagen powder.

8. Vitamin D3

For tens of thousands of years, we lived and worked “outside.” This was the situation because, for all intents and purposes, “inside” didn’t exist. Now, we spend all day inside. Many of us simply can’t get the amount of sunlight our genes expect because of where we live, like the Toronto transplant whose ancestors evolved along the equator. For many, it’s a rare treat to see the sun, feel its rays, and make some vitamin D the old fashioned way, yet our bodies are set up to obtain vitamin D from sun exposure. It’s safer that way—we only produce as much as we need. It’s more enjoyable that way—we make endogenous opioids in response to sun exposure.

We can get vitamin D from foods, but it’s tough. Unless you want to exist entirely on a diet of sockeye salmon (there are worse things to eat, I guess) and cod liver oil, you won’t get enough vitamin D from your diet.

It’s true that sun itself carries some unique benefits separate from vitamin D. We should strive to get moderate sun exposure. But vitamin D is the most important benefit of sun exposure, and it’s coincidentally a really easy—and incredibly important—one to replace with supplementation.

9. Vitamin K2

We can eat it in natto (a sticky, gooey fermented soybean from Japan), aged gouda (my preferred method), goose liver (I always grab goose paté when I see it), and some other foods—see here for a comprehensive database—but the most reliable way to obtain this scarce yet vital nutrient is through supplementation.

Why do we care so much?

Vitamin K2 essentially directs calcium to the right spots. If you have good vitamin K2 status, calcium goes to teeth and bones. If you have bad vitamin K2 status, calcium may go to the arteries, leading to calcification.

10. Primal Calm

Instead of facing the kinds of chronic “made-up” stress we have today—like jobs we hate, traffic we hate more, and other trappings of modern society—our early ancestors faced acute stress—like encounters with dangerous animals or enemy tribes and intense hunting sessions. That’s the environment in which we evolved: big spikes in stress followed by long valleys. The environment we have now: constant elevations in stress with very little respite. The situations have flipped. Our bodies are set up to deal with acute stressors and woefully unequipped to deal with chronic stressors. That’s where supplementation can come in.

Phosphatidylserine is the lead ingredient in Primal Calm, a custom formulation that blunts the spike of cortisol in the bloodstream in response to stress. As I mentioned in yesterday’s video, my old training partner Brad and I used PS for over 20 years to help speed recovery from our crazy training binges, but PS and the supportive ingredients in Primal Calm are also effective against routine modern life stressors like jet travel, hectic daily routines, work stress, compromised sleep, and so on. 

While I don’t categorize this as a daily supplement (long-term anyway), it wouldn’t be unsafe to use Primal Calm that way if that fits your needs (just check with your doctor if you have a health condition or take any medications—standard suggestions for any supplement protocol). Personally, I’ve benefited from using Primal Calm as a “situational” supplement—taking a few capsules when my body and/or emotions are under extra stress.

Now for the Giveaway…

For one randomly chosen commenter on today’s post, I’m giving away a bottle of Primal Damage Control, a Primal Essentials Kit (Primal Omegas, Primal Sun, and Primal Probiotics) and a package of my unflavored Collagen Peptides. It’s a full Primal arsenal of nutritional support for your health and performance.

Just tell me what questions you have about supplementation. Are you wondering about specific nutrients? Special circumstances or health conditions? Particular uses or formulations? Don’t be shy.

*Be sure to comment before midnight tonight (1/24/18 PST) to be eligible to win.

I hope this post opens up the conversation to a topic I feel quite strongly about. If you have any questions or comments please drop me a line in the comment board.

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334 thoughts on “Grok Didn’t Take Supplements, So Why Should I? (and a Giveaway)”

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  1. I’d love to know your thoughts on multivitamins! Are they preferred over specific letter vitamins so that you’re covered overall?

  2. For something like a multi-vitamin. If we don’t do blood testing can we run a risk of getting too much of a nutrient that could cause bad effects?

    Iron is an example, but suppose too much vitamin K is an issue at too high of a level and we aren’t aware of that yet. If I just take multi-vitamins day in day out can I get to a toxic level?

  3. I incorporate collagen into my diet along with fermented foods, but, as I have moved into the keno reset and beyond, I wonder which, in the plethora of supplements out there, are the better ketone supplements for when an energy boost is needed.

  4. What are your thoughts on consuming actual cod livers canned in their own oil as a source of vitamin D and A. I prefer for my food to be my supplements and thus strive to eat canned sardines a few times a week and cod livers every now and then.

    Also as far as healing joints and connective tissues from overuse, is collagen my best bet or glucosamine chondroitin?

    Thanks

    1. Watch out with cod liver oil. I had an anomaly in bloodwork a year ago indicating liver trouble though I felt fine. I stopped taking cod liver oil and a few months later my tests were fine. I suspect that cod liver oil plus a diet high in colorful veggies and healthy fats led to excess vitamin A storage. But between the discovery of the problem and the time it disappeared with no explanation from my doctors, I got run through eight blood tests, an ultrasound, a CAT scan with all the radiation that brings, and an MRI requiring an injection of heavy metal for contrast. Every time they found nothing wrong they indicated that it only meant that my situation was even more alarming. I’m still getting frequent blood tests indicating no problem. My clinic acts like I’m at death’s door even though I feel great (except for the stress). You don’t want this! Cod liver’s benefits may not be worth it.

      1. This is the first I’ve heard of cod liver oil causing any problems related to excess Vitamin A. I eat the canned cod livers that Dan mentioned above, and have never had any problems. I don’t eat it every day……..maybe a few times a week I will eat a spoonful of it with one of my daily meals. I’ve also used the cod liver oil capsules, with no negative effects. I would personally rather consume cod liver oil than fish oil, specifically because it contains some Vitamin A (and a little Vitamin D, as well).

      2. Which brand was it? I eat “officer” smoked cod liver (in fact has some today with avocado, olives and a pickle on the side) and had never issues with my liver blood work. I will caution against eating it too often due to its high vitamin A content.

  5. Is there an advantage in paying for brand name supplements as opposed to picking them up at the big box store for way cheaper?

    1. I am not expert, but my understanding is that name brand supplements often are much more beneficial to the consumer! Many big box supplements use corn-based binding agents (which can be terrible for absorption to corn sensitive people like myself) and lower quality ingredients which affects bioavailability and absorption.

      In the research that I have done (consumer, not scientist), Thorne, Organika, and New Chapter are generally accepted as being high-quality brands. That being said, this isn’t to put down any other brands, some fantastic brands may not be available to me in Canada, causing me to be unaware of their quality. There are also other brands that I see in the store like Sisu where I just don’t know if the price matches quality.

      You are best served Googling each brand before purchase, but generally, yes, better brands can be worth the extra buck.

      Hope this helps

    2. Avoid big box store vitamins like the plague.

      Why? For more reasons than I have time to go over. Here are just a few.

      Let’s consider vitamin E. Vitamin E comes in a natural occurring form called D-alpha-tocopherol. Vitamin E can also be synthetically produced and is in the form of DI-alpha-tocopherol. The synthetic version is less than 50% absorbable by the body and is often not recognized by the bodies chemical receptors as Vitamin E so it is just simply stored as fat or flushed. There is even some speculation that DI-alpha-tochopheryl ties up the recpetor and bloskc the use of the actual d-alph-tochpheryl but that has not been scientifily proven yet.

      I will give you one guess as to which one is cheaper. Yep the synthetic junk they put in the big box vitamins to lower the price.

      Then there is the concept of balance. For instance your body needs Magnesium to process Calcium. You have weak bones so you took mega doses of Calcium but no Magnesium. Where do you think your body gets the Magnesium to process the calcium. Yep, form your bones. So your body strips bone tissue down and separates out the Magnesium so it can process the Calcium.

      Did you know that vitamin A, is fat soluble and can build up in the body and cause liver problems, bone pain and vision issues? Did you know that you can take Beta-Carotene in absolutely obscene amounts with no ill effects and your body will automatically convert beta-carotene into what ever amount of vitamin A it needs? That was how we naturally got our A in Groks time so it’s not so amazing that it is safer.

      I am a huge fan of vitamins and they can do some absolutely amazing things for your health and longevity. Advantages Grok never had. But if you are not willing to educate yourself, or if you are unable to swim through all the sales claims and get to the raw science of vitamins, or just don’t have the time; than don’t screw around with putting synthetic chemicals in your body to save a buck and go to a real health food store and get some advice on what to take.

      Mark’s article above is an excellent start so why not start there. Cheers!

  6. Can you please address supplementation in children? What supplements (if any) should our children be taking?

  7. Does bone broth help balance the intake of red meat? Or is it still a good idea to to consume other parts of the animal?

    I’ve experimented with liver, kidney, heart, tongue, and speen, and can enjoy some of the heart and tongue (muscle meats, of course), but the others I’ve yet to find recipes that bring them to the ‘look forward to’ category.

  8. Anther useful article! How about supplementing magnesium and potassium?

  9. We ask ourselves: is there a way to get these vital nutrients from whole foods, rather than supplementing a la carte?

    If there was, we could get better results for less money.

    Over years of experimentation, we have found the best answer to all ten items above are organ meats, raw greens, fermented vegetables, and fermented dairy.

    I am currently on an all raw-liver-shake diet and have eaten nothing but the above for a week and a half. The results are astonishing. Fat loss and performance gains so fast that I would be concerned if I didn’t feel so extremely well.

    We wonder how much money people are willing to pay, and how much health and happiness they are willing to abandon, simply to avoid drinking a raw liver shake even once.

    1. Definitely agree. I will say I’m not the most diligent in consistently eating fermented foods though, so I do take Primal Probiotics as a “safety net.” We also add a multimineral supplement because if you do any real digging into the fertility of our soil, it’s seriously lacking in minerals for the past 60 years or so. Even eating the foods that SHOULD be rich in minerals doesn’t insure you’ll attain what you think you’re getting. It’s a nominal daily expense of .22, and I do notice my sleep is not as great if I miss a day.

      1. Supplements are better than nothing and using multivitamin as cheap insurance against deficiencies is a low-risk strategy with potentially high returns.

        Yet we all know at least one person with a cabinet full of expensive supplements and a totally inadequate diet of real foods, and very suboptimal health

        Part of the problem is that there’s a lot more money to be made selling supplements than real foods.

        That means that when we research nutrition, we hear a lot more about the alleged virtues of supplements — both in advertising copy and in academic studies.

        This web site has gone back and forth on that issue. It’s good to see both opinions expressed here.

        Because the truth always wins 😉

      2. Investigate a product called RESTORE, a liquid from ancient fossil beds. Claims are we don’t need to take probiotics because this will help one’s body to create their own bacteria.

      1. One pound organic raw liver (bison preferred; it’s leaner and tastier)

        Half quart kefir (from raw milk if possible)

        1/2 to 1 cup kimchi

        Handful of leafy greens

        Small clamshell of sprouts (broccoli if possible for sulforaphane)

        Add water to fill blender to two quarts. Blend on high for as long as possible to avoid liver chunks.

        Try it and see how you feel during the next day’s physical activities!

        Reports from others who have tried this have been very positive. If you try it please let me know what you think…

        1. Thanks! It would be challenging obtaining bison liver. Whatever Bison exist here, is mainly used for its dairy. Would Lamb liver do? I like it mildness over that of beef and it’s more nutritious. Will also have to sub for sauerkraut (can’t do kimchi due as it contains red pepper due to autoimmunity issues) but it should be alright, wouldn’t eat? The whole mix sounds odd flavor wise but I trust your judgment 🙂

  10. I am wondering how these supplements impact insulin resistance and insulin regulation. Thanks Mark

  11. NFL quarterbacks eat dirt. They lick their fingers constantly while on the field and maybe even when they aren’t. The rest of us are probably a lot cleaner than we need to be. That’s probably good when cooking but not in general.

    I tend to be a supplement minimalist. I don’t like taking them unless they’re necessary. I do take D3 and magnesium glycinate pretty regularly because I know I need both of them. I’ve been known to take probiotics on occasion, but only when my GI tract tells me to. I’ve started using powdered collagen to see if it helps a couple of joints that tend to get achy. Otherwise, I stay pretty healthy with a diverse, nutrient-rich diet.

    I think the key is to mostly avoid grain products and sweets since they can contribute to inflammation. It also pays to know if you’re sensitive to histamines, purines, and various allergens. Avoiding foods your body doesn’t like can make a world of difference in how you feel.

    1. Quarterbacks eat dirt? I think they probably eat more artificial turf with its own issues. LOL

  12. How about supplements, specifically vitamin K2 for kids? I have a hard time getting them to eat anything but breads, let alone fermented foods, so where’s a good source for kids supplements? How much collagen powder for them? Is one scoop of Great Lakes powder enough?

  13. Dr. Terry Wahls claimed her diet would remove the need for supplements. When I read her book, it looks like it would handle most of the vitamins and minerals, but would be off on things like the omega-3s. Comments?

  14. Related to vitamin D supplementation – even though I currently take some vitamin D, my most recent labwork came back showing me below the range. Other than taking more, are there things I can do to make sure I get the most out of the vitamin D I am already taking?

  15. I’m an older woman on a limited budget. For about 3 years I took an array of supplements aimed at healing fatigue and gut issues — including Omega 3, vitamins C, D3, B12, 5 MTFH (because I have the genetic defect), multivitamin, digestive enzymes, HcL, probiotics, with various forays into adaptogens and some of the amino acids. Fine and dandy. I saw no miracle cures, with the exception of the B12 and 5-MTFH, which markedly increased my energy. But there were more subtle shifts toward better health.

    My question: now that I can’t afford all that, what would you recommend I prioritize? The B vitamins, D3, and omega 3 feel like basics, and I’ve cut down the amounts of HcL and digestive enzymes I take. But what of all the other stuff? And would it be advisable and useful to switch back and forth–e.g., omega 3, then an adaptogen, then back to omega 3?

    As always, I’m grateful for all the wisdom here. Thanks, Mark.

    1. Not Mark, obviously but Liver is a multivitamin in a class by itself and cheaper then a supplement. If you haven’t already you should eat it at least once a week.

  16. I would like to know more about affordable ways to find out whether you are deficient or not. Vitamin D supplementation has really made a noticeable difference in how I feel (I take one with 10k IU). I didn’t think I needed it for the longest time because I live in FL, but my doc recommended a blood test which showed I was deficient. Testing helps me know where to spend my resources – I’d rather not spend a fortune on supplements if I don’t have to. Then again, wouldn’t be great to spend a fortune on blood tests that my insurance doesn’t cover either.

  17. Any recommendations on bare-minimum supplements for someone on a budget? ie. If you can only buy 1-2 things, what are most worth it?

  18. Most of the probiotics I see on the counters are mostly few species of lactic acid fermenters: big doses of what I would get with Yogurt, Buttermilk or Sauerkraut, and very different than the pletora of species found in hunter-gatherers (blame our low fiber few species highly sterile diet I guess). Are they really that effective once your diet includes good amount of raw and fermented food?

  19. I would like to have a Definitive Guide to iodine supplementation, with your opinion on Lugol, the big store combination supplements, seaweed, kelp, etc

  20. Interesting piece – thought provoking and actionable. A rare combination.

  21. My go to lunch spot it Chipotle because of the choices and quality of the ingredients. I fast often and eat as clean as possible but I feel my body needs the white rice and beans every now and then. What do you think about beans? I’ve heard Kresser say he doesn’t think they are a big deal and you often hear them talked about a staple in Blue Zones. Plant Paradox and other sources are against beans. I have a feeling beans are good to feed my gut. I don’t have any digestion issues with them but I want to know if you think I need to cut them from my diet.

    1. From my understanding Mark has revised his thoughts on beans, rice and legumes. Rice is considered benign so if your carb load can handle it, fine, enjoy your rice. Beans and legumes are fine if you handle them well as the benefits outweigh the negatives.

      I eat black beans everyday.

  22. Would love to hear the best cocktail of supplements for us probably CrossFitters!

  23. Thoughts on cycling different supplement manufacturers? For example, if I take Primal Probiotics for a month, is there a benefit to switching to say a GNC brand for the next month and then back to yout Primal brand? (Which I take) Varying the strains / potency? Or am I better off not taking any probiotics for a awhile and then restarting Primal?

  24. Is there other supplements that should be taken randomly like you take your antioxydants? I mean that it should be better to take them randomly than everyday?

  25. How much fish oil is good to target? I’ve limited fish consumption due to concerns over heavy metals/mercury, so I’m trying to supplement with omega-3s fish oil.

  26. Despite my best efforts, some of my children are picky eaters and do not eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. I’m wondering which supplements would be best, and if the recommendations change with age.

  27. I’m curious about the need to use K2 with D3 supplement, is this necessary?

  28. What is a good collagen supplement, and how do you take it? I’ve seen a bodybuilder that mixes it with his coffee, would that be effective?

  29. Is the collagen supplement safe for people with histamine sensitivity? My histamine sensitivity prevents me from consuming bone broth as the slow cook method of making it produces high histamine levels. I’m curious if the collagen supplement is produced in a manner that would be low in histamine.

  30. Hi Mark! I love the Primal Collagen and Peptides as well. However I have also been experimenting with dipping in and out of Ketosis. Wondering your thoughts on taking the collagen in relation to staying in a ketotic state (i.e. do you recommend skipping the extra protein during fasting phases). Thanks in Advance!!

  31. I’m just not sure how to tell if anything I’m taking is working or not. I seem the same taking them as not taking them, which is good – so I guess that’s good? Is there anything I could look for that I’m missing?

    1. If you don’t notice any difference you could be wasting your money. For instance, I know I need to take D3 because blood tests have measured it as being low without supplementation. Also, I take magnesium glycinate because I have a tendency to get muscle spasms without it. For me, those supplements DO make a difference. Otherwise I wouldn’t take them.

  32. I had facial clay in my shower and when I was pregnant I craved eating it! So I took a smidge every time I showered. Discuss!

  33. I’d love to know more about supplementation for young children. A lot of products are listed for ages 4 and up which will finally be ok soon as my daughter is turning 4 soon. Could your products be used, but in smaller dosages for her or could you recommend some good products for the little ones? Thank you for all the wonderful articles and thoughts that you provide us with!

  34. I eat a very healthy diet full of meats, vegetables and fruits. Why should I ever need supplements?

    1. If you’re healthy, have plenty of energy, and are still fairly young, you probably don’t need supplements, but keep it in mind for later on. We tend to lose our ability to absorb nutrients as efficiently as we age.

  35. I have been biohacking myself with supplements for 40+ years, I could write a book about my opinion on the subject … but since I have no credentials to do so I won’t LOL. Check check check and check on everything listed. I will add this one tidbit, not cheap, but I have become quite interested in the mitochondria enhancement potential of Nicotinamide Riboside and also PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline Quinone). Not sure if they are doing anything that can be measured, although I do feel like I have a bit more energy, but never discount the placebo affect. I think Mark made some good cases for taking supplements, but for those who want to assert “you can get all the nutrients you need from food”, more power to you. My heart murmurs have vanished since I started taking C0Q10 and my sinus problems improved vastly once I started taking quercetin, so for me at least in some cases I’m sold on using whatever tools you can to improve health. Start with smaller doses at first when you try a new supplement and make sure to buy from a high quality vendor. In many cases it’s good to cycle on and off a supplement, especially adaptogens and herbs.

  36. The list of recommended supplements is looooong ( especially if you read various in-depth articles on this blog about gut health, brain health, hormone health etc.) So my question is how do I time the 12+ supplements throughout the time of the day and in relation to meals. Also, if one to select the top 5, what the supplements be?

  37. Curious to get more information re: “Of course, too much of any one single antioxidant (in the absence of others) has been shown to have potentially negative effects”

  38. I would love a primal take on WHEN AND WITH WHAT to take ones supplement. With fat? Protein? Empty belly? Are all methods equal or do some promote better absorption?

  39. Concerning Probiotics and a fish oil supplement, what is something that a relatively healthy (no medications, overweight but losing) 42-year-old female should be looking for? I eat fish once or twice a week and eat fermented foods (sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, kombucha) daily.

    Also, what is the best way to take them? With food? Empty stomach? Time of day? Thanks!

  40. If a relative won’t change their lifestyle and insists on their statins, what supplements best mitigate the problem?

  41. Hey Mark! I am wondering how to incorporate Vitamin D3 in my diet if I practice intermittent fasting through the morning. If I take Vitmain D is the afternoon or night, will it affect my internal circadian clock by making my body think its daytime/sunny? I don’t really want to take D3 in the morning if I am not consuming any fats for absorption. Thank you, would love to try new products!

  42. I had radioactive iodine treatment on my thyroid over twenty years ago. i take natural hormone replacement but there are days when I just have no energy. What should i add to improve this situation.

  43. I’ve heard conflicting arguments regarding mineral supplements like calcium, magnesium, and zinc. The issue isn’t as how much or when to take, but if you feel you need them, what is the best form to take? Which forms are most bio-available is the question, I suppose. If my water supply is hard and high in calcium and magnesium (primarily as carbonate?), is that helpful or not?

  44. What are your thoughts on Exogenous Ketone supplements? I understand that they cannot fix a bad diet, but do you find that they work/are worth it to get more efficiently get back into ketosis? and/or as a good fuel source to skip a meal for fat loss?

    If the answer to any of this is yes, is there a brand/product that you believe in? (I don’t believe you sell them)

    Thanks!

  45. I’m curious about pre-natal supplementation and what you recommend – I know you had a guest post about it before but would love to know if you have any updates. I’m also particularly interested in pre-natal supplementation in relation to your statement about taking the Master formula irregularly for hormetic effects. Should we be doing that with all supplements (e.g., pre-natals)?

  46. I take Prescript Assist for my gut health! It really works to balance everything out! I also grow my own kefir, but it hard to find unpasturized milk. My sister-in-law who lives in Italy has easy access to it and her grains are very happy. My grow like mad! I use the kefir as yogurt and to make salad dressings.

  47. I’ve seen kelp recommended for iodine. What do you think about that – is it necessary?

  48. There are way too many companies and versions of supplements out there; how can one be really secure that what he buys is actually what’s inside? Besides companies that “guarantee” their products are the best/non-GMO/organic, who really check to ensure people get “what they paid for”?

  49. Thanks for writing this! It’s always nice to hear what others are doing. Can you provide some insight on supplements for hair loss? More specifically, hair loss associated to nutrient deficiency, stress, and/or hormone imbalance. I’ve started supplementing with zinc, b vitamins, and selenium… it would be awesome if you could talk about how all of these vitamins work together (or don’t)!

  50. I seem to have an auto-immune issue I can’t get in front of …Other than sauerkraut and pickles, what are good foods that are probiotic (I don’t care for kombucha) and a good supplement?

  51. Can you expand more on the benefits of whole food nutrients versus synthetic vitamins? Most of the OTC vitamin supplements are synthetic and are nearly as bioavailable as getting them from a whole food source.

  52. Great recommendations! Like Mark I’ve been supplementing irregularly for years and it seems to work. I will take something for awhile then stop and start up. Keep probiotics on hand all the time but don’t take daily because everything is pretty balanced now. I do like the Master Formula for a super comprehensive multi, but I just take one pack a day rather than two since I am pretty small. And totally on board with collagen peptides! One question I have is about vitamin D. I’m all for getting it from the sun, but living in PA there’s only a few months out of the year that I’m getting much of it. Heard from someone (maybe Chris Kresser) that it’s ok to let your D levels fluctuate a bit and go lower in the winter. Curious about that idea. Not currently taking a D supplement but eat sardines and/or salmon multiple times per week.

  53. I’d love to know what you think about BCAA’s and WHEY. Not in general, but for bodybuilders and power lifters.

  54. I take a lot of supplements, I’d really like to get more information on when to take each supplement and how (am, pm, with vitamin c, don’t take X supplement with X supplement, etc)

  55. Thanks for the info. A few things i hadn’t known, will order Primal powder it looks good.

  56. I see you didn’t mention electrolyte supplementation here which I found surprising given your recent posts regarding keto. What are your thoughts on magnesium and potassium supplementation as well as sodium? Do you currently supplement those nutrients outside of your diet?

  57. Hi Mark, I just finished reading The Keto Reset Diet and loved it! Do you have any suggestions about supplements for people who are trying to eat keto and don’t have a gall bladder? I also don’t eat much meat, and consume zero seafood…

  58. This is an excellent Article. I’ve always felt that I have a week immune system since I often get colds, flu, sinus infections an diarrhea. I’m allergic to all man-made chemicals used for scents, get sick on most vacations and as a worrier feel stressed most of the time. I would love to know what supplements strengthen the immune system? I shall re-read the above article carefully for the answer.

  59. I am currently very overweight and energy is almost non existent or was till I started taking a supplement called Thrive, by the Level company. It has helped me to begin the process of getting healthier. I have been taking it for several months, but it’s very expensive, so I would like to try some of your suggestions here. We are currently, slowly removing harmful things from our diet. It’s pretty tough with kids! But I am even more passionate about helping them to be more food conscious. Any suggestions for our transition? And I’d love to hear your thoughts on Thrive.

  60. i’ve kept my hypo thyroid at a stand still for a year now and I am really pumping in a lot of vitamins and herbs. What always gets me are the “other ingredients” and that of the capsule. What’s good what’s bad? What are the best grouping you suggest for a thyroid supplement?

  61. Thanks Mark! What are your thoughts on D3 quality? Is there a specific type we should be taking, or is “standard” OTC D3 OK? Also, thoughts on pairing D3 with K2?

  62. Hello I just ordered the Primal blueprint Master Formula, in addition to the Master Formula can you help guide me on why I would also need the vitamin D fish oil and damage control, it appears to me that the Master Formula has majority of what I would need from a vitamin perspective am I missing something?

  63. My son is 10 years old and has a congenital myopathy. I believe that these supplements would greatly benefit his condition. The problem is that I can’t get him to take anything because he claims everything tastes bad. If you had any suggestions about how to get children on-board, I would truly appreciate it, as would he if he could only imagine the benefits. Thanks!

  64. Colostrum powder instead of collagen powder? I trust Surthrival’s colostrum.

  65. Great post! I haven’t taken supplements in a few months (mostly due to laziness but then from being evacuated from my house over the past month from the fires and mudslide), but I typically take a multivitamin, vit D, fish oil, probiotic, and turmeric. I’ve heard turmeric is great for many things, particularly inflammation. Do you suggest taking turmeric as well, Mark? Also, I’ve recently been hearing more on collagen powder and want to buy some soon!! Thanks for the great stuff!

  66. I’ve always wondered if it’s okay to take one’s supplements on an empty stomach. My husband and I have received startling benefits by following a varied fasting protocol (sometimes 48hrs or 72hrs with the occasional 96hr fast thrown in – btw amazing benefits as he’s completely OFF all 3 of the blood pressure meds he’s taken for 25+years, but I digress. Is it OK to take supplements on the days we don’t eat or should we wait until we “feed?” Does anyone have any experience or thoughts about this?

    1. I checked with customer service about taking Master Formula while fasting. As long as you find it tolerable, it’s fine, and I have done so through fasts up to five days. We have always chosen supplements that are fine on an empty stomach (formerly depending on the Synergy Company’s multi’s for years). It’s worth remembering something that Mark seems to confirm here viz. you don’t need everything every day. It’s easy to get sort of superstitious about missing a day…

      1. Thanks, David – that makes perfect sense. I appreciate the reassurance, because fasting has been SO beneficial for me so far!

  67. I think all of these are important to use. My body tells me that I need magnesium also. I alternate between a bath of magnesium crystals or supplementation through pills.
    What’s your take on magnesium?

  68. As someone whose body has been decimated by high levels of antibiotics, would these supplements only begin to scratch the surface? Are there “Level Two” supplements that would work for those of us who have high levels of inflammation-chronic illness?? Thank you for the awesome giveaway!!

  69. I am interested in healing leaky gut, I have alot of symptoms. I think this is where to start, with an elimination diet. How should I support the dietary measures to heal leaky gut?

  70. Is there a risk of your body becoming dependent on these supplements? For example if I go on vacation for two weeks, will I notice a big difference in my health?

  71. I’ve just been put on a prescription for Doxycycline and am wondering how best to continue healing my gut flora while taking this. Probiotic supplement? How to time it? Is my kombucha okay to drink while I’m on this?

  72. I’m just learning about callogen and its importance. Just wondering how much is needed daily to reap it’s benifits. And is there a loading and then maintenance levels?

  73. I cannot get away with taking collagen due to the high amount of arginine in it triggering herpes outbreaks. I know that lysine helps to neutralize the affect of arginine, so I supplement with that. However, I wonder if there are limits to how much lysine I can safely take or if there is another way I can get the benefits of collagen without all the arginine. I would really appreciate this being addressed, as it doesn’t get discussed much and herpes is a very common condition. Thank you.

  74. How much of each vitamin is ideal and how often should I take it? Is there a certain amount each person should get or does it depend on our own personal deficiencies? Do you like multivitamins or only the ones you specified?

  75. I would suspect that the supplements mentioned in the article would be a good defense against the bad flu season we are having?

  76. How are supplements made? How do we know about the quality and additives? Thank you.

  77. Great article! I have polycystic ovarian syndrome and eating primal/paleo has been the best way to manage my symptoms. With it, many women are extremely low in vitamin D, calcium, iron and magnesium. Do you recommend taking multiple supplements or finding a high quality multi vitamin?

  78. Can you please recommend a one supplement to replace the 5-HTP, PS , St John Wort which I’m using to help with the depression from the periomenopause. Refused doctors rx drugs and feeling pretty good but not quite back to myself. I’m using collagen powder and Biotin but its doesn’t seem to be working for the dry parched skin and hair I’ve also developed with this change of life. Also I’ve been reading where lack of Vitamin D can can mimic the same symptoms as periomenopause.

  79. Are there supplements that could cause a rise in blood sugar? My fasting blood sugar has been high and I can’t figure out why. I don’t eat sugar or starch. I do use stevia in raw cacao powder for a drink several times a day. Any thoughts….

  80. I’m wondering what aids in chronic fatigue support? I can’t seem to fight off this seasonal depression with all the rain in the pacific nw and my chronic fatigue makes it worse! Glad to hear about the mood supplement!

  81. I’ve been reading your keto book and trying to convert to a full keto diet. I’ve heard that some supplements can take you out of ketosis. Do you have any information on this? I’m specifically wondering about pre and post-workout supplements such as BCAA’s.

  82. Hey and Hi, My concern is low iron, but taking a ferrous sulfate tends to give me “vapor lock” read constipation. I have tried Mega Foods “Blood Booster” supplement but it didn’t increase my hemoglobin. My diet is in my mind rich in food w/ iron: green leafy vegetables, spinach, beetroot, tofu, asparagus, chicken liver, whole egg, oysters, apple, pomegranate, apricot, watermelon, prunes, pumpkin seeds, dates, almonds, raisins. However, when I have my annual wellness check my complete blood count [CBC] shows low iron. Another concern is potentially toxic from TOO many of certain vitamins

  83. I take potassium and magnesium supplements on an irregular basis to support my physically active lifestyle (and someone prone to calf cramps when running). Where would these supplements fall on the list, or would you consider them essential at all?

  84. I’ve been told that a daily magnesium supplement is important for muscle support. In your opinion is that necessary when following the Primal Blueprint?

  85. I live in the pacific northwest, and worry that my kids don’t get enough vitamin d. Is there a specific form of vitamin d that I can feel good about giving them to supplement?

  86. Hi Mark. Thank you for the very good info. My question is about the poly phenols and gene expression- what do know about this?
    Thanks
    Mark

  87. Are there certain supplements that should not be taken together? What time of day is ideal for these? With food or on empty stomachs?

  88. Perfect opportunity to ask this question. I’ve been trying to supplement with vit D3 but have noticed a reaction that consists of chest anxiety pain. It goes away if I stop the D but became quite severe before I figured out what was causing it. How many other people experience this and what do they do about it? Here in Canada vit D blood tests are not done normally and are apparently expensive. The doc will test me only at the end of Feb when I will surely be at my lowest. I have tried 6 different brands of D. Am of northern European stock, mixed with Mediterranean. Almost no sun here in the winter. Opinions and advice welcome.

  89. I currently take a men’s multivitamin, magnesium and fish oil. Would I continue on those in addition to the Primal Essentials Kit?

  90. I am currently taking a multivitamin, magnesium and fish oil. Would I continue those in addition the the Primal Essentials Kit?

  91. Do you recommend different levels of supplementation depending on age and activity levels?

  92. My 19 year old son currently takes the Primal Master Formula, enjoys the PK Collagen Fuel on occasion and also takes a probiotic. He started on these products due to poor health/immune system issues but has felt GREAT for well over a year now. Would you recommend he back off/begin taking some of these items more irregularly?

  93. Might be off subject but how about Good Gut bacteria? and fecal transplants?
    Cut and pasted here from the blog paleohacks is states: “good” gut bacteria improve digestion, strengthen the immune system, and manufacture the vitamins your body needs”

  94. I have a couple questions, one I take a “complete” concentrated organic palmfruit for Vit E and Vit A, it sounded complete but really have no knowledge of the Red palm, did you have any thoughts on that.
    Second is a lipsomal Vit D3 and K2 supplement, is lipospheric really as good as everyone is touting or is it just a newest thing hype deal?

  95. I would be interested in finding out any natural supplements to counteract the panic attacks that started as I entered perimenopause.

    1. I would recommend some ashwaganda and rhodiola rosea tiinctures those work pretty well I’ve found

    2. Supplements would need to address the source of what might be causing the panic attacks, so try to make sure that you don’t have histamine intolerance or thyroid issues, both of which can trigger panic attack like symptoms as your hormones change.

    1. I’ve seen info that 100 to 200 mg/day of CoQ10 can be helpful if you have dental problems. What works best, IMO, is a good daily home care system (flossing, brushing, waterpik, and/or interstitial brushes for between the teeth) plus regular professional cleaning.

  96. I am convinced that I need supplements, but I’m unsure of the best way to take them. I know it’s better to take calcium with food, for instance, but are there supplements that are better to take on an empty stomach? Is it better to take them at a different time than my medications? Right now, I’m winging it but this stuff is expensive and I want to make sure it works at maximum capacity.

  97. I have been trying to get collagen into my wife and I’s diet using bone broth, unsuccessfully so far due to not having enough connective tissue to work with. My question is, are gelatin and collagen similarly effective or is it best to take a collagen peptide supplement along with a really gelatinous broth.

  98. For primal enthusiasts on a budget, would you list these same recommendations in order of priority? Or, give a few rules for how you might choose if you could only take two or three? Thanks!

  99. I tried using black seed oil about the same time I tried to go keto, but not having a Gall Bladder I ended up sick with terrible pain and other G.I. upset. I’m afraid to try again. Maybe just the keto without the black seed oil?

  100. As an older Grok-ette (65) I find taking some supplements quite useful, especially because of a hypothyroid condition. D3, omega 3, probiotic, magnesium, and periodic high quality mutivites keep me functioning better.

  101. So should we take a multi or have to take each individual vitamin?

  102. I’d never heard not to take probiotics every day before – my osteopath recommended I take one daily but maybe it’s because I’m breastfeeding?
    Also I’d like to hear your thoughts on hemp protein powder, my mum bought a bag recently which we use in kale+bokchoy+fruit smoothies but I’m not convinced it’s preferable to other clean protein powders (and frankly it doesn’t taste that good either!)

  103. I have taken daily vitamins for 45 years! I realized that I lacked protein, so for convenience I now also take bone broth protein capsules. I hope this will help joint issues since I have both osteo- and psoriatic- arthritis.

  104. What do you think of supplementing with minerals,esp stuff like zinc. Should men avoid supplements with iron in it?

    1. Are you concerned about rancidity? If so, buy a reputable brand bottled as a liquid instead of capsules. High quality liquid fish oil will be almost flavorless, not fishy tasting, and you’ll immediately know if it’s gone bad. OTOH, there’s no way of knowing what’s hidden in capsules unless you bite into one. I did that once, and the oil was VERY rancid.

  105. Are there any buying guides to identify which protein powders are safe? This is in response to the Consumer Reports study of heavy metals in many of them.

  106. Mark, I’ve read that supplementing with vitamin C is important to aid in absorption when supplementing with collagen powders – what’s your take?

  107. I already take fish oil supplements, and I’m absolutely convinced that they help boost the immune and nervous system, but I’m still confused about the options available. Do you recommend regular fish oil, cod liver or krill oil? And is there any benefit to fermented fish oil over non-fermented? Or does it not make a difference, as long as the levels of Omega-3s and other nutrients are present?

  108. So many food items and recipes have coconut in them. I can’t have coconut. Then there is no dairy. This makes solection difficult.

  109. I would love to know how to support Grok jr’s when it comes to knowing what the best supplements are and what’s beneficial for often very active little ones and preteens. Thanks!

  110. I wonder why creatine is not included on your list of supplements? Especially with recent research showing benefits for all ages, specifically the elderly and the potential to diminish the onset of dementia. Also, the general muscle building it promotes almost goes hand-in-hand with your suggestion for a meal replacement. So, why not creatine, what brand would you suggest if any?

  111. How about magnesium, do you recommend daily supplementation of magnesium due to severely depleted soil?

  112. What are your thoughts on magnesium supplementation? I’ve heard that modern soil is mineral deficient.

  113. I definitely believe in supplementation. I”m a holistic nutritionist and I was shocked to see the results of my blood work a year ago that indicated nutrient deficiencies, inflammation, and elevated thyroid antibodies. It explained the fatigue, anger, and frustration I was feeling on a daily basis.

    Once I went grain free, increased my Omegas, vitamin D & K, Ubiquinol through supplementation, and spent more time focusing my health rather than everyone else’s (self-care is so important). Almost all my numbers turned around, with the exception of Omega 3 and Vitamin D levels. This is just a protocol I’ve accepted for the long-haul. I do think the quality of supplements matter and found it incredibly interesting to learn that most of the supplements found in health food stores all source their ingredients from the same manufacturer. With the exception of Garden of Life products and Standard Process and MediHerb (to name a few), we may be paying more for the exact same quality of ingredient.

    All to say, that I want to be more aware of quality control in supplementation, especially given that it will be a necessary practice for the both the unhealthy and the healthiest of the human race.

  114. Would like an exact schedule of these types of supplements you take and at what time.

  115. I was looking forward to trying Primal Fuel until I read the ingredient list. Do you think you’ll ever make a variety without stevia? I can’t be the only one who finds the taste unbearable.

    1. I completely agree, and find it baffling that producers assume that the primal/paleo/LCHF community requires stuff to taste sweet, especially after we spend years re-tooling our tastes and metabolism. A little honey on rare occasions is sufficient for me.

  116. What is your cost on a cost/benefit analysis of Supplements. It seems that if you take more than you need or can absorb, or if you don’t take them properly it can be a real waste of money. How can a layman ever be sure?

  117. Do you recommend phasing in this group of supplements one at a time or all at once as a group?

  118. I’ve been hearing a lot about magnesium, but you didn’t include that in your list of recommended supplements. Should it be included in the ‘good’ list?

  119. Great article, thanks. Should we do an irregular cycle for all supplements similar to your approach to multi-vitamins?

  120. I’m wondering about incorporating primal fuel whey protein. If I have a known dairy intolerance (mostly skin issues), is whey something I should also avoid? Is it sufficient to use primal collagen in its place?

  121. I’m interested in your opinion/response to the “studies” that have been done that show that supplements have “virtually” no effect on the human body. The internet is full of posts that are fairly specific about this. Thank you.

  122. Hi Mark and all. I’m a big fan of Primal, so thanks up front for all the good data. I think supplementing is a two step question. Do I need it? How often? A sense able approach is to use your nose. If a pure fish oil smells good- you need it. If it smells bad it’s a no go. All supplements can be sniffed for value, and all of them will change as your diet changes. Surprise your senses, ask them what they think then decide. Full Disclosure: This is how our tribe manages the question of what to take to supplement our diets. Other than that your list is a great start.Thanks!

  123. Would Primal Fuel be compatible with a ketogenic diet? I need to find the link and go check the ingredients. I’m looking for a healthy “shake” option for those busy days!

  124. Those are interesting points. I’m a less is more type, figuring I’ll do something if I feel a bit less than peak. Food is one part of the equation added to mindfulness, exercise, genes. I look at supplements as lacking science for individualized dosage. It’s one size fits all and may be Miracle Grow for people with some conditions like cancer. Some things can trigger gout…ouch! On the other hand, two-time Nobel prize winner, Linus Pauling, swore by Vitamin C. Because there’s no new drug to come from it, there’s no funding to prove it out.

  125. With all of the vitamins on the market it can be hard to discern which are going to do what we want them to. How to choose? Also, so many contain soy, which I definitely don’t want to ingest. Are there options or a one stop shop for all the things we need to stay well?

  126. Hello! Love your writings, and use them in my discussions with others. Today’s information was great, and I’ll be re-reading.
    My question: do you have a snappy answer for all the people who day we must use sunscreen? I have seen studies where some skin cancer patients are rarely in the sun, or have it in spots not exposed! Thank you and look forward to being a winner?

  127. Is when and combinations of supplements as important? Also I have to have lumbar surgery in February any recommendations for before and after? Thank you for sharing!

  128. If you are not taking a good multiple vitamin/mineral you are seriously shortchanging yourself and your family. Vitamin means vital to life. For instance vitamin B-1 is the catalyst along with magnesium- turning food into energy. Without energy there’s no life. Definciencys add up over time. Symptoms present themselves. Then we are dumbfounded by the cause. Optimal health needs vitamins!!

    1. I disagree. I think you are buying way too much into the scare tactics. Supplements are a multi-billion dollar business. Follow the money. Unless deficiencies are verified (versus assumed or imagined), optimal health can be had from a nutrient-dense diet, with the possible exception of vitamin D.

  129. No matter your diet, it is IMPOSSIBLE to get all the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, EFAs, etc. without supplementation. Avoid consumer grade supplements and look into professional grade.

  130. I didn’t know there was a supplement for stress!

    I’m curious about your take on supplementation while breastfeeding? I’m currently taking a prenatal and a probiotic. I’m just now learning I don’t eat as much as I should, so I’m working on that. In the meantime, is there anything else you might suggest supplement wise?

  131. When I take multivitamins, I become agitated, angry, and emotional. I’ve tried drug store brands, whole food blends, and methylated vitamins. I believe it may be the B vitamins that I can’t tolerate. Does anyone have any insight into this?

  132. I’m curious about what to take when you are getting sick… I’m pretty sure my little vector, errr preschooler, is carrying germs even Grok wouldn’t have been able to withstand.

  133. Do you recommend COQ10 for mitochondrial support for those of us who are older as it diminishes with age and is especially important to heart health where the mitochondria are found more densely concentrated than in other muscles? Restricted time eating (no food from supper on for 12+hours) provides a period of fasting and thus access to fat stores and ketones but also reduces the time to eat all the vitamins and minerals needed for good health. It is an easy, effective and sustainable way to drop fat pounds. However leaves me researching what kind of supplementation I need.

  134. What is your go to Prebiotic supplement and what kind of Fish oil do you recommend to someone who hates fish?

  135. I am very intrigued by the controversy of fats in diet and cholesterol not being the true culprit of arthlerscosis. (Rather inflamation ?) My curiosity is your thoughts on dietary / natural supplements alternatives. Much of what you recommend here; K2, D3, prebiotics, and antioxidants, and healthy fats are what I am finding to be alternate options for addressing this I am 40 and want to avoid meds. The lies and confusion around fat need to stop! Your info gave me a lot of help and hope! Any support is helpful and appreciated…
    #fatdidntdoit #stresskills #inflamationnation …#help

  136. Interesting read Mark, thank you for all of this information. I think I will experiment with cycling my vitamin and probiotics.

  137. What is the best time of day to take supplements? My chiropractor recommends evening to facilitate healing and repair while I sleep.

  138. How important would you say it is to test nutritional status and other biomarkers when supplementing? I’ve been following Chris Masterjohn’s work lately and he seems to have great info. I guess the answer to my question is “It depends”.

  139. I had a terrible reaction to fish oil capsules when I started taking them earlier this year, so I stopped taking them. Now I’m wondering if it’s possible to get enough omega 3 from whole food sources, without fish oil supplements? Also, I’ve heard that plant-based omega 3’s don’t provide the same health benefits as animal-based omega 3’s, and I’d be interested to hear more about that. Thanks!

  140. I’d like to know the suggested dosage of collagen and whether potassium should be supplemented.

    Thanks!

  141. This is one of my favorite articles- got hungry for all the things mentioned!!! Wondering where on your antioxiidants list turmeric falls, and what is the best way to absorb it? Thanks for all!

  142. very interesting, thank you.
    I take D3 and fish oil daily. Used to take Primal Calm during heavy training, and found it helpful.

    We bought a pasture-raised lamb from a local farm and got the head as well as everything else. We didn’t know what to do with it but a friend of my wife’s at church, old (96 years) Greek lady, had several recipes for it.. could use up an entire carcass, nothing got thrown away. Bone broth indeed.
    When I cook pheasants from hunting, always make a broth from the remnants and freeze it for later use.

  143. Even though I very much believe in cooking down bones to make bone broth and collagen I’ve had 2 different instances where I ended up with something quite nasty smelling after a few hours. I’m wondering if you know what this is caused by and how to avoid it. Looking it up on the web I see it is definitely something that other people have experienced but I haven’t found any definitive answer to the problem.

  144. I’d love some info about the most commonly overdone supplements and the side effects.

  145. Are benefits received from the bodies conversion process of sunlight to D, that are not present when taking D as a supplement?

  146. Thank you for a very informative post. I’ve noticed that you don’t offer different supplements for men and women under your primal line. I’ve ordered some of your products to try, but was wondering if you would suggest supplementing with iron and folic acid as well, since those seemed to be included in most products marketed to pre-menopausal women?

  147. Love your Collagen Fuel. I mix the chocolate one with coffee and the vanilla one with chai . . . a healthy way to jump-start a cold Ohio morning.
    Question: Although I’ve eaten organic for many years, I am concerned about pesticide residue and heavy metals that may still be trapped in gut from times past . . .(mercury dental fillings since replaced). What can I use to clean things up?

  148. Do you have a recommendation for the best Curcumin- some say powdered isn’t bioavailable but the Longvida processing is supposed to be better. It’s very confusing.
    Thanks!!

  149. Could you rank these suggestions in order of importance, based on how difficult they are to achieve in the real world?

    For example, I make it a point to get sunlight even during the east coast winter.
    And I have no problem making my own bone broth.

    Which of these are essentials we are unlikely to replicate with real food?

  150. Hey Mark, great post. My concern about supplements is that there is very little information about how and when to take them: morning noon or night, with or without food, and most importantly, which supplements are contraindicated with which others?? I know this is a complicated question, but maybe it could the subject of a blog post? Thanks, MIchael

  151. SO MANYPEOPLE HAVE MULTI- HEALTH ISSUES BUT LACK OF EASY SLEEP IS THE BIGGEST ONE I HAVE SEEN AS HEALTH PRACTITIONER. PLEASE ADVISE YOUR BEST SUGGESTIONS FOR EASY RESTFUL SLEEP.

  152. One question — I just got my Vit D tested and whoa, it was low! (like 25 or so) I live in SoCal, am in the sun everyday at midday and take Primal Master Formula which has 2,000mg of D in it. I was shocked. How much Vit D can I take in a day safely? Clearly I need more.

  153. I’ve been looking into supplements lately and love that you’ve posted this. There’s so much information it’s really hard to figure out what supplements I should be taking, particularly for certain nutrients that I always hear “I probably don’t get enough of”, such as calcium. Do you have any recommended ways to choose supplementations that are right for you? And how do you find good quality supplements?

  154. Interesting that Vit D made your list. I just had a test at my Dr and was put on supplemental Vit D due to low levels.

  155. Another question — how do you determine when you take the anti-oxidants and when you don’t? Is it just random, or when you think about it? Or do you feel a particular way and that prompts it?

  156. Is it better to take fermented fish oil? If so, what is a recommended brand?

  157. My question is related to the effectiveness of vitamin supplements on a cellular level. I use vitamin supplements on a regular basis, as you mentioned due to our fast paced world. I am aware that every cell has receptors that take the goodness from the food and supplements we consume, but how do we ensure that we are healthy on a cellular level to maximise the effect to our bodies of our supplements and the goodness of our food.

  158. Obviously your products are well researched and are of good quality, but how do we separate the good from the bad at the local grocery store or supplement shop? Which common brands out there would obtain the MDA seal of approval if our Master Formula bottle was empty and we got a hankering for some vitamins/minerals?

  159. Is unflavored collagen peptides really unflavored? What’s the best way to use it?

  160. Like a few other commenters, I usually do intermittent fasting. I am curious if I should take my supplements before eating or wait until after?

  161. I’m interested to know more about the importance of supplement quality and specific brand recommendations. Thanks!

  162. I would love to try the primal fuel (Meal Replacement) – does it come in different flavors?

  163. I’ve had allergic reaction to rhodiola and I see it’s in your primal calm. Any other suggestions for a supplement of that nature that doesn’t have it?

  164. As someone new to supplements, what do I need to look for as far as quality products are concerned?

  165. I have read that folic acid may be linked to increases in the risk of some types of cancer. I would be very interested to get your thoughts on this.

  166. What is the best source of glutathione? Does it really work as a supplement?

  167. Why do you use and recommend whey protein isolate over whey protein concentrate? I, too, would also like to know your thoughts on whole food multivitamins. Thank you.

  168. how about determining supplements for those of us with autoimmune disease? Whey (a dairy product) not recommended for those of us with dairy issues.

  169. How about glutamine for healing gut? Also can we get enough magnesium potassium and zinc from real Salt or Himalayan? And food like avocados and dark chocolate? Especially in ketosis?

  170. Thank you, Mark, for your informative article.

    For a family of 5 who are health conscious, but limited by our financial budget, which two supplements would you recommend as being the most beneficial for our overall health to start with?

  171. I have been wbpaking around 3am with a pounding heartbeat. My doctor had me wear a heart monitor and it recorded my heart rate at 149bpm while I was asleep. Finally it was determined it was being caused by cortisol spikes. I have been looking for a supplement to help. Would love to win so I can try your Primal calm. Thanks!

  172. I feel supplementation is necessary in today’s environment. I’ve actuall just received my first order of sone of your supplements. Can’t wait to feel the benefits.

  173. Are there reasonable methods for regulaly assessing levels of these supplements tou suggest, plus others like the magnesium you should take if you are tsking vit D3 supplements? How about zinc, calcium, etc? I have discovered so many supplements can interfere with one another in significant ways that I have been seeking the simplest tests for adequate levels of important nutrients/minerals/vitamins. It seems nutty to simply supplement at some arbitrary level with random supplements, even lists like Dave Asprey’s essentials, in the complete dark about levels and changes.

  174. What are some general tips to ensure the supplements are being optimally absorbed and put to work by the body? (E.g- ideal time of day to take them, eat with meal, or eat with fat, etc)

  175. I’ve been taking Fish Oil, about 3000 mg per day – it’s just the COSTCO brand but I’ve noticed two things – more bruising especially on my legs and a change in body odour. I really want to keep benefiting from Omega 3 supplementation, but I’m not sure Fish Oil is the best source for me. Or maybe it’s the brand. It states that it’s “Purified”. Any thoughts?

  176. I have been taking your collagen for about 4 months now, and coincidentally or not, my symptoms from SIBO have improved. I have been told that probiotics and prebotics feed the SIBO from my GE and to stay away from them. Because of my FODMAP diet, and collagen, and well as other supplements fro my Osteo Doctor, I am feeling that I should try to boost the good bacteria in my stomach but am wondering how I should start and with what, since supposedly they die in the system before entering your gut. Western doctors are basically at a loss with SIBO (I have the hydrogen kind), and i am feeling like I can finally take control without suffering a setback (which happened after a Thanksgiving). My exhaustion and other symptoms from my autoimmune diseases has also improved. What are your thoughts on beginning either a pro/prebiotic regimen?

  177. Everytime I read about probiotics, one question comes to mind. What effect, if any, does chlorinated water have on gut flora?

  178. Thanks for the wonderful explanation for each of your important supplements! Just wondering though if there is a combination of another vitamin or supplement needed to make them effective?

  179. I supplement vitamin D but my levels are chronically very low. I have tried many supplements. Any suggestions?

  180. I previously read about the different types of collagen and that certain ones should be taken together and others taken separately. Is this necessary to receive optimal benefits?

  181. So if I take Krill oil (Costco 750mg)- how much is enough? I also consume wild caught sardines at least once a week and wild salmon when my budget allows. I am worried about mercury…

  182. Wondering what supplementation you might recommend for those of us who have hereditary hemochromatosis? There’s not much information out there as to what types of supplements can help or hurt people with high iron levels, other than avoiding vitamins with added iron. Does your Primal Master Formula have added iron? Also do you have any suggestions on how to prevent cramping and muscle spasms besides taking stand alone magnesium supplements?

  183. Would you recommend taking the majority of these supplements daily? weekly? and what doses do you find to be most effective?

  184. Thoughts on phosphatidylserine vs phosphatidylcholine? I’ve read that PC is the preferred form but can’t recall why.

  185. I have been thinking about adding supplements to my diet now that I am working into the Keto reset. This is very helpful, thanks Mark,

  186. In addition to the health benefits of collagen powder, it also helps hold off the grumbling of an empty stomach during a fasting period. Mixed with a hot herbal tea at night or a hot or cold beverage in the morning makes it much easier to sustain a long fasting period.

  187. I have my 2 young grandsons every other week. I know the week they are not with me, they eat mostly fast food and school breakfast and lunches. When they are at my house, I give them each a multi vit., a probiotic, a tsp. fish oil and a B-complex, every day. They eat well, not too picky. Am I covering all the bases?

  188. I’ve looked at several supplements like vitamin C (Pauling) and Kurzweil’s recommendations on anti-aging. (I’ve even written a few posts on them at my place). Your thoughts?

  189. Would you recommend any adjustments and/or specific supplements for someone who has lived their entire life in temperate climate zones and now lives in a dry arid region to which they are finding it difficult to adjust?

  190. All of this is such amazing knowledge that I have been searching for. Thank you!

  191. You have folic acid listed as an ingredient in the primal master fuel, what about this for MTHFR sufferers? Also, what are your thoughts on polyphenol supplements? Should they be treated like antioxidants and cycled intermittently?

  192. I’d love to know if there is an effective way to monitor your vitamin levels at home to hone in on what one should and shouldn’t supplement- without needing to have extensive blood work done to fine out

  193. I avoid the synthetic vits and only take a food based B or multi. The D, zinc and K I take every third day.

  194. I’m curious about supplementing potassium I know it’s readily available in veggies but I’m still not sure if I’m getting enough. The current supplement I have says it’s 2% of my daily value, is that even worth it?

  195. I’m interested in learning about supplements for Hashimoto’s and anemia. I suffer with terrible fatigue and the thyroid medicine isn’t addressing that. I used to take Armour, but am taking a different brand that’s the same type.

  196. My mom recently had a mastectomy and lymphadenectomy. Thankfully the lymph nodes they removed all turned out negative. She will be meeting with an oncologist to determine if she needs radiation treatment. What supplements do you recommend to aid her in her recovery and what are your thoughts on turkey tail mushrooms for this?

  197. Mark, curious about your stance on testosterone replacement/supplementation. I am almost 27 years old. I feel great, but should I ever worry about it? Or when should I begin to worry? Do you supplement or does the Primal Blueprint take care of all your testosterone needs?

  198. When taking vitamins and supplements, is there a specific time of day this should be done. I usually take d, b complex, and cod liver oil, all first thing in the morning.

  199. I tend to take all my supplements together in the morning. Is that ok? Are there some that should be taken separately? Once I’ve taken them, does this mean I’ve ended my fast?

  200. Hi Mark,

    What are your thoughts on green powder supplements? Most of them contain a lot of grasses (wheat grass, barley grass, etc), and I’ve heard some argue that since we never evolved to eat grass, that it can be difficult to digest grass based foods properly. Some clarification on the science behind human grass consumption would be great! Thank you.

    Stefan B

  201. What about Vitamin C and Vitamin B complex? I see these are included in your Master Formula, so would you suggest just taking that? I thought it was interesting how you said you take the Master Formula, if someone hasn’t taken them before would you recommend taking how it’s labled on the bottle? TIA

  202. I’d love to know your thoughts about nutrient combinations and timings. Should pre- and probiotics be taken together? What about supplements taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach Vs with a meal?
    —> As always – thanks for the brilliant content.

  203. My body seems to have a huge need for ionic liquid magnesium or else I get horrible nighttime bone pains. Any comment on this? Maybe there’s something I need to take in addition to the magnesium…

  204. Might you know of grest sources of delicious liver spreads and organ meat foods, as most see are not of highest quality? Love liverwurst but organ meats collect many toxins soI have given up on them.

  205. What about cranberry or magnesium? I’ve taken these to regulate imbalances in my last. Would proper eating eliminate both of these ass needed add-ins?

  206. I’ve recently been reading about Monolaurin which comes from coconuts. Would love to hear what you know/think of this supplement which reportedly balances the gut biome and boosts immune system.

  207. I have started taking Grok’s Master formula and noticed a difference in my immunity status. Everyone around me is sick with the flu or upper respiratory viruses and I even traveled on a plane with a woman hacking out her lungs and was sure I would be ill. Along with my Primal diet and Master formula, I am impressed. Thank you for the great idea to be sporadic or irregular in taking the vitamins. That is a great idea!

  208. I’d be game. I have psoriasis and refuse to accept that only a major drug will fix my situation. I am steadily cutting out foods that i have an intolerance to. Adding supplements seems like another good move.

    1. Alison — I also have psoriasis, and dietary changes helped (in particular, abolishing nightshades). I still use a little clobetasol, but now only twice a week instead of twice a day. Dermatologists are useless and unwilling to consider the role diet plays in skin diseases.

  209. Awesome post as always Mark. Im currently on a healthfield track. Chronic stress/tension from school/clinicals/work has affected me several different ways. My top question would be what kind of probiotic strains should I look for, for immune help, and mental health, as they say the gut is our 2nd brain. Thank you!

  210. Last summer after an endoscopic ultrasound I was diagnosed with some hardening of the pancreas (calcification). The gastroenterologist said, oh it’s caused by all the supplements you take. Supplements I take that are recommended to me by an integrative doctor. Kind of what I expect from a conventional doctor but still disturbing. My general practitioner suggested it could be from the Lisinopril I took for years for high blood pressure (before getting off of it with help from the integrative doctor – diet, exercise, supplements.) I’m wondering if it might be the Lisinopril and/or all the calcium I took for years.

  211. Appreciate the post. There didn’t appear to be a reference to magnesium which has been promoted by both Bulletproof and Dr. Mercola. Interested in your views on magnesium and the appropriated daily dosage. Are there any potential negative impacts from taking too much?

    Additionally, where are the best resources to find out the recommended amount of daily supplements?

    Thanks again for the continued great info – Love the podcasts!

  212. please don’t consume or in any way support the goose liver industry. It is inhumane.

  213. I have been taking supplements for many years. It seems like they fall in and out of favor. There is so much confusion concerning what is absorbed and what goes down the tub. Are there any reliable resources that you trust to get an answer to the question-Are they really doing any good or do we have very expensive urine?

  214. Mark,
    Thanks for all the great info! I’ve been going back and forth for some time about supplementation vs just eating healthy and assuming my body will do the rest just fine on its own, so this was really helpful!

  215. What about a real food multi-B complex for women? Or a B12 supplement for women? Thoughts on folic acid for women of child-bearing age? Thanks!

  216. What is the connection to supplementation and eating according to the seasons and following nature’s guide to health a bit more closely?

  217. Love to hear that there is a benefit to “forgetting” a days worths of supplements. Sometimes I feel guilty when I miss!

  218. I’m wondering if you can take primal calm while breastfeeding. My infant ended up in the hospital, the PICU for 10 days. The stress affected my milk supply, so primal calm sounds perfect for this situation, unless it would have a negative impact on milk or baby. Thanks!

  219. Skimmed over the article, so apologies if this is covered in the text:

    Do you think it is advisable to occasionally take a few weeks break from supplements to see what effects they are actually having on your body? Like how you become acclimated to the “buzz” of coffee after awhile? Is there a “supplement resistance” effect from “chronic” exposure?

  220. How about a broad spectrum multi mineral for those of us who don’t drink bottled mineral water? I’m cognizant of avoiding multis that have iron or calcium in them, and I heard too much potassium is potentially problematic.

  221. So, i routinely take a Magnesium and Zinc supplement. Plus, I take a Vit. D&K supplement regularly. I also take Ashwagandha and Shilajit supplements. However, my immunity remains low. I get allergic asthma and catch a cold easily. What supplementation should I add/change/reduce?
    Thank You.

  222. How can I make sure I’m covering all the bases with my diet supplements without becoming completely obsessed with this topic?

  223. On a day when I don’t get any sunlight, how much supplementation of vitamin D3 is recommended? Should you vary your dosage based on how much sun you are getting each day?

  224. I’ve read about potential positive benefits of PQQ caps (Pyrrolquinoline Quinone), by Life Extension with regards to mitochondrial bio-genesis. Any thoughts on this supplement?

  225. Our crossfit box is starting the 21 Day Primal Challenge Monday and I am SO excited. I bought the book and the video cooking classes. Reading through the book, I’m getting a better understanding of the supplements needed. One day at a time. 🙂

  226. Great information! What in the way of supplements would you change if you are fighting a virus?

  227. When comparing supplement brands is there an ingredient that we should look out for or even a specific amount of the supplement per serving that we should be looking for?

  228. Vitamin K2 s growing in popularity . I know it aids in decreasing calcification in the blood vessels. My question is if calcifications already exist in the vessels could the K2 cause the already existing calcification break loose and cause problems like blockage of the arteries? Thanks

  229. Is there anything to taking D3 later in the afternoon? I remember you referencing a study that said it was the optimal time of day. What would be the evolutionary context for this? Thanks

  230. Did anyone notice #4 is missing from the list? : )

    All in all a great list!

  231. I have a 20 year old son in college who doesn’t like taking pills. What would be the one supplement he could take that would have the biggest impact for overall health?

  232. Can you say some things about specific supplement suggestions for menopausal women? Beyond bone health, what else should we be looking at in terms of hormone balance, energy, etc?

  233. As a Primal product user, I’d love to see an article from you comparing Primal Damage Control and the Master Formula. Pros and cons of one vs. the other, and how best for us to assess which better fits our needs. Thank you for all of the great information (and products) that you put out there for us!

  234. Hi Mark. I just wanted to know your opinion on store bought bone broth that is in the pouches? My son has UC, and he doesn’t cook or have a girlfriend to help him out. I know that homemade is best. What would you recommend?

  235. Mark, what do you think about supplementing with Cissus Quadrangularis? I started taking it intermittently for joint support (I roughly alternate between this and fish oil, taking one regularly at any given time) following the recommendation in the 4 Hour Body several years ago. Anecdotally (n=1), it seems to help with joint soreness following heavy/frequent squat sessions, but would love to hear your thoughts. Given the Omega 3:6 benefits of fish oil, it seems like using both (or just fish oil instead) might be forth considering.

  236. Sorry, again with pregnancy questions…
    I’ve heard dozens (hundreds) of times pregnant women should not eat raw foods.

    What about probiotics? Are there certain bacteria or formulas that are ok and others are dangerous?

    Just been turned onto the aged Gouda thanks to some samples at the grocery store. A few blocks of cheese later…

  237. This is an important reminder. We may be able to emulate many aspects of the diets of our ancestors but we cannot emulate much of their lifestyles. This will always create some limitations and it’s easy to see why supplements can be critical.

  238. What do you think about inositol? A psychologist recommended it to me and I tried it at a high dose (a few grams) for a few months but didn’t notice anything really.

    Also any information on certain primal things that can help with OCD and anxiety disorders would be awesome!

    1. Why does your vitamin D contain D2? D3 is well known as the best way to supplement vitamin D.

  239. I’d love to know the relationship between these supplements (most of which I already take) and their effect on depression/anxiety. What are some natural ways to treat these (other than st. john’s wort, exercise, and traditional medication.)

  240. I’ve learned vitamin K2 is necessary for the uptake of vitamin D3. Is there a specific ratio of vitamins K2/D3 to take? There are times when it’s necessary to up the vitamin D and don’t know how to compensate the vitamin K2.

  241. I would appreciate your recommendations on how to use supplements (in addition to exercise) for bone health?

  242. Dr. Rhonda Patrick mentions VSL #3 being one of the only probiotics backed by research. It also comes on ice. Should all probiotics come cold and stay that way?

  243. After adpatimg ketogenically do you ever reintroduce fruits in your diet? What are good low card sources of fiber?

  244. I have looked into fish oil before and found there are many sources, different types and even different concentrations/strength! What type/strength of fish oil would you suggest?

  245. Although green tea is not a supplement in this case I’d be using it as one. On his last episode of the JRE Ben Greenfield talks about drinking green tea post workout to blunt some of the oxidative stress without affecting the bodies natural inflammatory response to exercise. I usually fast for a 2-3 hours post workout but after hearing this I am curious whether drinking some green tea post exercise would be beneficial. Please let me know what you know about the subject. Thanks!

  246. I am very interested in glutathione supplements. I also have trouble figuring out which supplements should be taken together and those that should be taken at a different time or not taken with a specific supplement. In regards to the glutathione, I have read that only IV theraphy is effective, my doctor suggested liquid form. Any insight?

  247. I’m wondering why you didn’t mention taking magnesium, the ambassador of the functioning of our cells, as well as general all around minerals, such as using a variety of sea salts as well as mineral drops in water (Sea MD or 40,000 Volts.) These minerals have been game changers for me and my health in the last few years.

  248. Mark,
    I’m wondering what supplements, if any, could help me with immune modulation to control my severe rosacea. Also, are there any that can improve periodontal disease? Primal diet has helped considerably, but looking for any boost I can get. What about eye health? I am at risk for macular degeneration, and would like to keep that risk as low as possible.
    Thanks for all the valuable info I’ve gleaned from you over the years! Will continue to follow!