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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
332 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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332 Comments on "Grok Didn’t Take Supplements, So Why Should I? (and a Giveaway)"

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Yoojin
Yoojin
1 month 1 day ago

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

Bryan Rotatori
Bryan Rotatori
1 month 1 day ago

What dose of vitamin D would you suggest?

Ethan
Ethan
1 month 1 day ago

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?

Sarah
Sarah
1 month 1 day ago

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.

Dan K
Dan K
1 month 1 day ago

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

Kathy
Kathy
1 month 1 day ago
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… Read more »
Rob
Rob
1 month 18 hours ago

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).

Time Traveler
Time Traveler
1 month 3 hours ago

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.

Brad
Brad
1 month 1 day ago

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

Brendan
Brendan
1 month 23 hours ago
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… Read more »
MarkT
MarkT
1 month 23 hours ago
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… Read more »
Alessandra Abdala
1 month 1 day ago

I do like taking supplements and agree that they are needed with all the modern day downsides. I worry about quality, though.

Michelle
Michelle
1 month 1 day ago

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

John
John
1 month 1 day ago

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.

Ron Lewen
Ron Lewen
1 month 1 day ago

Anther useful article! How about supplementing magnesium and potassium?

Timothy
1 month 1 day ago
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… Read more »
Curtis
Curtis
1 month 23 hours ago

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.

Timothy
1 month 4 hours ago
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… Read more »
suzanne
suzanne
29 days 18 hours ago

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.

Time Traveler
Time Traveler
1 month 3 hours ago

Tim, got a recipe for us? 🙂

Timothy
30 days 19 hours ago

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…

Time Traveler
Time Traveler
30 days 4 hours ago

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 🙂

Suzanne
Suzanne
1 month 1 day ago

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

Shary
Shary
1 month 1 day ago
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… Read more »
Lou
Lou
1 month 23 hours ago

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

Dr.RhondaPatrickFan
Dr.RhondaPatrickFan
1 month 1 day ago

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?

Marcia
Marcia
1 month 1 day ago

What fish oil type/blend do you recommend?

Terry Humphries
Terry Humphries
1 month 1 day ago

The Primal Probiotics helped my wife get off of Nexium

Damien Gray
Damien Gray
1 month 1 day ago

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?

Rob
Rob
1 month 1 day ago

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?

Sylvie
Sylvie
1 month 1 day ago
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… Read more »
Time Traveler
Time Traveler
1 month 3 hours ago

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.

Kimberly Isaak
Kimberly Isaak
1 month 1 day ago

What do you think about taking a multivitamin daily?

Nicole
Nicole
1 month 1 day ago
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… Read more »
Bethany
Bethany
1 month 1 day ago

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?

Cindy
1 month 1 day ago

What is the best brand of probiotics? Do you need to take them everyday?

Antonello
Antonello
1 month 1 day ago

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?

wildgrok
wildgrok
1 month 1 day ago

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

Svend
Svend
1 month 1 day ago

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

Stephen Lardie
Stephen Lardie
1 month 1 day ago
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… Read more »
Clay
Clay
1 month 20 hours ago

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.

Aaron
Aaron
1 month 1 day ago

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

John
John
1 month 1 day ago

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?

Fred
1 month 1 day ago

Awesome post! learned a ton and happily I do most!

Dave Sill
1 month 1 day ago

Recommendations for iodine supplementation? I know eating seaweed is good, but that’s a challenge.

Dave Sill
1 month 1 day ago

Also, any thoughts on l-citrulline for blood pressure, ED, etc?

Coccinelle
Coccinelle
1 month 1 day ago

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?

Samuel
Samuel
1 month 1 day ago

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.

Karen
Karen
1 month 1 day ago

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.

Gary
Gary
1 month 1 day ago

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

Michael
Michael
1 month 1 day ago

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?

Angela Fletcher
Angela Fletcher
1 month 1 day ago

What are your thoughts on taking 5-MTFH?

Dena Kelley
Dena Kelley
1 month 1 day ago

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.

Rachel Prendergast
Rachel Prendergast
1 month 1 day ago

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!!

Katie
Katie
1 month 1 day ago

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?

Shary
Shary
1 month 3 hours ago

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.

Anita Bonno Bernard
Anita Bonno Bernard
1 month 1 day ago

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!

Roxanne
Roxanne
1 month 1 day ago

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!

Mark
Mark
1 month 1 day ago

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

Shary
Shary
1 month 3 hours ago

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.

dawn
1 month 1 day ago

Any special vitamins or supplements I should be taking with an under active thyroid

HealthyHombre
HealthyHombre
1 month 1 day ago
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… Read more »
Gina
Gina
1 month 1 day ago

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?

Jeff
Jeff
1 month 1 day ago

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”

Ant
Ant
1 month 1 day ago

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?

Eve McGee-Malone
1 month 1 day ago

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!

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