Recommended Supplements
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Health is determined by the nutrients you happen to not get.

WHY  About safety, see [Comments]Where & what to buy: see [Nuts & Bolts]
Vitamin E

Three very large studies found 40% heart disease risk reduction with supplements. 

Anti-Alzheimer's; helps diabetes and dialysis problems and it's an important anti-inflammatory.

about 200 IU type 'd', not 'dl'. MIXED 'tocopherols' best. Relaxes arteries. Always take in oil or fatty meal -AJCN: 1-2004]
Here's a summary of the excellent 1999 book The Vitamin E factor
Antioxidant; protects blood fats; keeps cholesterol "happy".  Prevents blood sticking, clots and artery damage.  Like vitamin C, keeps blood and cell fats non-toxic.

Very important.  Take during "fattiest" meal.  Natural (d) type doubly effective --also consider: mixed "tocopherols" and possibly "mixed tocotrienols".  Consider starting with lower dose.  IF on Coumadin (warfarin), aspirin and/or high fish oil, use lowest dose: while preventing clotting, you could promote excessive bleeding.

As with the heart-healthy omega-3 oils, E's cardio benefits increase with time.  The evidence for prevention is stronger than for E as a cure.

Vitamin C--not Ester-C

238 references in Am J Cl Nutr; June '99.

Beneficial roles of very high doses in disease are probable but not well established.

C, easy to take for granted, hard to underestimate!

1/2 - 4 grams.
At or above lower dose in health, higher in illness.

If prone to oxalate type kidney stones, stay below 1 g, drink sufficient water, consider vitamin B6, low salt, low protein and high calcium foods.

Antioxidant.  Works with and recycles vitamin E; Keeps blood vessels healthy; raises 'good' & lowers Lp(a) cholesterol; speeds up bowel, reduces length & severity of colds.  Improves general health: point 2 in [31 Comments] and the Linus Pauling Institute.

Anti-viral.  At 4 ¢/g, best health bargain around.  99.9% of animals make their own in "mega" amounts as do all plants.  We, monkeys and guinea pigs do not.  Very high dose is remarkably safe: "..take as much as you like" [from the L. Pauling Institute's Top Ten, May 2000]. Very important.  Nature's nitroglycerin, like arginine & vitamin E.

The B's  --No reported toxicity in doses mentioned.

(B2), B6, B12 & folic acid will lower artery toxic homocysteine in anyone.

Take as a multi and not individually unless there is a special reason.

B1   25-100 mg
B2   25-100 mg
B3 50-600 mg
B6   25-100 mg
B12  100 mcg+

B9 = folic acid 800 - 2000 mcg

Pantothenic acid  (B5) 25-200 mg 

They help digest fats and sugars, lower homocysteine (-best in higher than RDA amounts) and reduce plaque.
Very high dose plain B3 niacin (about 0.7g taken after each of meals) is by far the best & cheapest cholesterol "modifying" drug, raising HDL while lowering LDL, Lp(a), fibrinogen and triglycerides -must take with a daily multi.  B3 is also good for your liver and brain.

The B's are needed for 100's of processes in the body.  Ultra high doses of some have anti-Alzheimer's, schizophrenia & depression links. 

The higher doses mentioned resemble Pauling's.  Very important.  Very high B6 may help carpal tunnel problems.

Calcium (see minerals, below) + Vitamin D, the sun shine vitamin (very important). I'd use calcium combined with magnesium. Calcium 1.2 gr. + Vitamin D 1200 IU (BMJ; Nov. 28 '98); up to 100 mcg = 4000 IU likely safe AJCN; Dec. '01) 1.2g Ca + 800IU D prevent bone loss and fracture at age 84! (here's your reference).  Calcium is heart healthy: bone, boiled egg shell, oyster shell, dolomite, milk (may be) & soy, and green leaf or cabbage type veggie (which also have the bone-building vitamin K).  D = extremely important: fish liver [oil], fatty fish, high-sun on skin; science ref's: "D"-council & Oregon State.
Magnesium (for more, and for potassium** see minerals, below) 1/2 - 1 gr. Crucial for heart function; it, and potassium** regulate heart beat.  Mg is needed for 325 reactions, not least the lowering of toxic blood homocysteine.  90% of Mg is removed from refined grains and rice!  Most Americans don't get the RDA of about 0.4 gr. Very important and few side effects.
Selenium (see minerals, below) 200 mcg (max. 800 mcg) Antioxidant, works with vitamins E and C.  A lack causes heart disease, some virus diseases & cancer which are, in part, selenium deficiency diseases. Very important.
CoQ10 (CoenzymeQ10,  or ubiquinone) 60 to 300 mg  Essential for heart & blood pressure; larger dose for serious heart trouble or cancer; vital when taking a "statin" drug.  Body makes less when older (using most B vitamins and magnesium).  Safe but expensive ($1/100mg).  Doubly absorbed when chewed in oily food.
Vitamin F -with the F from Fat ... 
An old term that shouldn't be lost.

α-Linolenic; omega-3 (ω-3 or n-3) type oil.

Linoleic; omega-6 (ω-6 or n-6) type oil.

Omega-3: 1 to 2 tea spoons flax/lin or fish, or 2 table spoons canola oil [like: colza, rape, raap, kool, mustard], or soy -only if you can't find canola.

Other types of omega-3 in fatty fish.

Most people get too much n-6.

True vitamins: needed for heart-health. The only 2 fat types ("poly"-unsaturates) the body can not make itself.

Omega-3 type alpha-linolenic is scarce in the Western food supply but key to heart, general and mental health.  Fish oil works like a-linolenic, see: [Good Food] and point 1 in [31 Comments] and lowers triglycerides.

Omega-6 type linoleic (corn, sun, saff, soy, cotton) is rarely lacking and is often excessive in relation to n-3 linolenic.  Probably the most common "vitamin overdose" in Western diets at 2x-3x the ISSFAL maximum for most people.  The cancer-link keeps on popping up in the high omega-6 research.

*Minerals are complicated as there are many and it is possible to overdose.  Intakes depend on the degree of food processing and amounts in the soil.  Plants make vitamins but must mine their minerals -if not in the soil, it won't be in the plant.  Here's some info about their roles -not necessarily as supplements- in health and disease.
Selenium: vital: US Nat. Inst. of Health

200 mcg before and in HIV / AIDS & virus infections (book or free 700k pdf): low selenium lowers resistance -including to viruses that steal your selenium- making things seriously worse.

Low selenium makes every infection worse since it's needed in your T lymphocyte defense system.

NE, SE and NW N-Am. & North Europe, New Zealand, parts of China: under 50 mcg/day & often insufficient.

Southern Europe and a central N-S band in N-Am. seem to have adequate amounts in the soil.  Large local differences (also: point 14 in Comments).


The higher dose is above what is generally accepted as safe but may well slash the US cancer death rate by about one quarter [my guess] as well as the spread of AIDS [someone else's guess].

Zero reported deaths from supplements. Toxicity likely at 2500 mcg/d.

Cancer, heart disease, heart muscle, muscle, cataracts, blood pressure, some virus diseases, aging

Overdose risk -as per the top link in the left column- should be weighed against potentially 6 fewer cancer deaths per 100 N. Americans on high dose selenium.

Some whole grains, fish, Brazil nuts, kidney and, more reliably, supplements:

Twinlab's Daily One Cap, a Best Buy, almost uniquely contains an excellent 200 mcg, see [Nuts, Bolts] for all sources.

Silicon 20 - 50 mg (not well absorbed) 5 - 10 mg or higher Bones, joints, heart, skin, poor (weak) collagen Unrefined plants and greens, whole grain, horsetail plant. Dietary fiber (oats, barley, and rice) and wine. 
Chromium 30 mcg (US) often insufficient 200-400 mcg 
with selenium
Diabetes; helps insulin, cholesterol, acne, sugar use Liver, grains, root veggies, green pepper.
Vanadium 10 - 60 mg often insufficient 100 mcg+ Diabetes; higher doses replace insulin Shell fish, parsley, some processed foods, grains, beans.
Boron 1.5 mg often insufficient 3 - 9 mg Bone health, diabetes, infection, arthritis Water, fruits, veggies.
Manganese 2.5 - 4 mg often insufficient 5-15 mg Bone, cartilage, heart, epilepsy, diabetes, cataracts  Unrefined vegetarian; not in animal products. 

The ONLY nutrient deficiency known to raise LDL cholesterol.

Without it artery structure is not made, or repaired!

0.7 -1.5 mg often insufficient


1-2 mg (1/10th of your zinc intake) 

Like selenium & iron, don't overdose on copper

Heart, arthritis, hair color, artery bursts (aneurysm, stroke), bad collagen, high LDL, poor clotting, Parkinson's Nuts, grains, bracelets, supplements.
Soft or acidic water: excessive amounts from copper pipes.
Zinc --Part of 300 enzymes, the nutritional screw drivers, hammers and pliers of our body (protein and fancy oils being the nuts, bolts and batteries, and glucose or fats the fuel). 7-14 mg Low intake is linked to 1.4% of the world's deaths! [WHO]

Rules 2000 cell functions in addition to those 300 enzymes!

10 - 30 mg Arthritis, skin, infection, bad collagen, vision, prostate, diabetes, etc.  Much more from BMJ; 2002-11-9. Shell fish, nuts, grains, beans, potatoes, fish and meat.
Molybdenum 75-250 mcg or less ? 75-250 mcg Organs, enzymes, cancer Whole grains, beans, liver.
Potassium** U.S. (AIM; 2000-9-11): young adults: 3.4 g/d; high fruit + veggies: 8 - 11 g/d; urban whites: 2.4 g/d; often elderly or Blacks: ~1 g/d.   20% of hospitalized patients have low potassium. varies; often insufficient --in relation to sodium i.e. kitchen salt; lost in processing. 2 - 5.6 gr (US RDA)**

Try to get it from your food 

Heart, heart failure, stroke, hypertension, cell function, sweating, diuretics, irregular heart beat**, muscle, fatigue, nerves, etc. etc. Bananas, celery, fruits (prune, orange) and veggies (potato, broccoli, beets), meat, fish, salt substitutes.

Zero in: white flour, sugar & fats. 

Sodium (salt) most often high or excessive 1/10th of potassium Cell function, always sufficient; raises blood pressure Salted foods; source of vital iodine -check your area.
Iron  I'd only supplement -or use iron fortified foods- if a medical need has been established. 16 mg (Sweden) often insufficient 10 - 15 mg 
don't overdose
Blood; premeno- pausal women only; some infants, teens & elderly Liver, nuts, grains & greens; vitamin C increases absorption
Magnesium (see above) Mg has it's own amazing site hereHere's the US N.I.H. and here's a Medline heart disease link. 300 mg (Sweden)
often insufficient; very important
500 - 1000 mg (at least half of calcium intake) Heart, heart failure, irregular heart beat, bone, PMS, cramps, fatigue, diabetes, stroke, diuretic use, etc. Whole grains, nuts, soy, greens, root veggies & supplements
Calcium (see above) 500 mg (Belgium)
often insufficient
1000 - 2000 mg (1-2g) Bone, heart, general, blood pressure Bone, greens, grains, nuts & milk. Not in meats. 
Mineral needs are complicated because each person's situation is unique while you or your health-advisor will never know which minerals were in the soil where your food was grown, how much was taken up, or by how much milling and cooking reduced their amount.
Each nutrient is important and wise supplementation with some minerals is a practical way to insure that you get the optimum amounts. 
**POTASSIUM "It now appears quite possible that a lack of potassium in the coronary muscles may be the major cause of death from heart disease in humans " [Adelle Davis, '72].  95% of potassium is inside cells, as opposed to sodium, and magnesium keeps it there.  Because raw plant-based diets are high in potassium & low in sodium, well functioning kidneys remove potassium faster than sodium.  Disposal of vegetable cook-water, high salt or low magnesium diets, sweating and most diuretics can cause fatal depletions of potassium and/or magnesium.  References: 1.) irregular heart beat: JAMA; '99-6-16; 2.) blood pressure: JAMA; '97-5-28; 3.) stroke: NEJM;'87-1-29 [60% of risk at 4.3 vs. 2.4g/d]; 4.) review BMJ; '01-9-1 [10 mmole = ~0.4 g].




P.S.  High selenium -100-200 mcg- is a bench mark of a great multi.   2017-4-12

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[Diabetes & Weight] [Where] [Cholesterol] [Why] [More on Causes] [31 Tips & Info] [Index]