Now that you know what to eat, what not to eat, and how to cleanse your digestive tract and liver, you are ready to begin supplementing with vitamins. We all need to take certain vitamins in order to prevent modern diseases and encourage optimal health because it is impractical to get optimal doses of all nutrients through diet in a modern life.
Here are five supplements you need for optimal long term health.
1) Vitamin D:
Get your blood levels to 80.
To do this the natural way, sunbathe naked at noon daily or eat wild salmon or sardines at each meal. Do enough of this to maintain desired blood levels of D. Or take a vitamin supplement called D3.
Start at 5,000 iu daily. Check blood level in 6 weeks, then adjust D sources accordingly and retest in an additional 6 weeks. Repeat until satisfied that D levels are stable. Recheck every spring and every fall indefinitely. This will greatly (like by 70%) lower your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, pregnancy complications, and autoimmune diseases.
If you do the liver cleanse from the last chapter, you will absorb D better and need much less to reach desired blood levels. In fact if your D levels won’t come up to 80 no matter how much D you ingest, this means your liver is not making enough bile to absorb the D from your gut. Or it means that your liver is not converting the D from food and supplement into the form that is tested in the blood. Either way you need to clean the liver. (Read article on cleansing here.)
How can D prevent so much?
It turns out that it is a powerful hormone that allows each cell in the body to do its job. Without D, the cell can’t function. D is like the foreman at a construction site. Blood levels of 80 mean the foreman is overseeing all processes perfectly. Less D means the foreman is around, but not as often or not as attentive. The less the foreman is around, the less quality work done by his crew. All the nutrients below are like the tools used by the crew to assemble the materials (proteins), but vitamin D directs the crew to use the tools properly and in a timely manner.
2) Omega 3
Eat raw wild seafood at each meal. Or take omega 3 supplement to achieve the same. Be careful to only take the freshest and cleanest omega 3 oil supplements. It is worse to take rancid omega 3 supplements than to take none at all. Take 1,000 to 2,000 mg of total omega 3 daily.
Nordic naturals is the brand I use and trust. They are readily available even at many grocery stores. They infuse their capsules and oils with lemon oil antioxidants to prevent spoilage while on the shelf.
To test your brand of omega 3, smell the open bottle. If it smells strongly of fish, it is likely rancid. If not, then chew it up. If it tastes strongly of fish instantly, it is likely rancid. If it takes a good 5-10 seconds to taste the slight fishiness, then it might be okay. Or just buy Nordic naturals.
Omega 3 cannot be made by the body and must be acquired through the diet. No known animals make omega 3, only plants do. The omega 3 found in fish comes from the base of their food chain: algae.
For this reason, farmed fish fed mainly soy, corn, and wheat derivatives contain very little omega 3 in their flesh. Omega 3 is used by the body to turn off inflammation. The hallmark of all chronic diseases as well as the top four causes of US death (cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disease) is inflammation.
Hmm… Maybe one part of US disease crisis is insufficient omega 3?
Taking a high quality fresh omega 3 supplement regularly will likely prevent another 10% of all modern diseases. Together with vitamin D this brings us up to 80% protection (in my opinion).
3) Vitamin C
All animals make their own vitamin C except humans, guinee pigs, and a certain fruit eating bat. Humans have the gene that codes for the enzyme that converts glucose into C, but for some reason we don’t express the gene.
Somewhere in our evolutionary past we lost the ability to make C. So we must get C from our diets. The hunter gatherer diet we evolved on in Africa is essentially unknowable, but obviously it had enough C in it to render endogenous C manufacturing obsolete at the time. Otherwise, our C producing ancestors would have lived on instead of our non-C producing ancestors.
But now that our diet has changed from whatever it was when we lost the ability to make C, we might no longer be ingesting optimal amounts of C. A clue into how much C our bodies once made is found by looking at how much animals make for themselves daily. They make the equivalent of 3,000 mg of C per day per 150 pounds of body weight.
And when they are ill, they make 10,000-30,000 mg daily. This is why researchers originally used guinea pigs as test animals, because to study disease in an animal, you first have to produce that disease in the animal. It turns out that high levels of C prevent toxins from damaging the body, so it’s incredibly hard to produce diseases in animals with toxins in the lab.
Hmm, seems like the studies should have stopped there: let’s all just take lots of C! C is the perfect anti-toxin. So any toxic chemical the researcher injected into the animal would just be neutralized by increased production of C. But alas, the poor guinee pig can’t make C.
Optimal C also allows for proper tissue repair. Severe C deficiency is marked by bleeding gums called scurvy because the body can’t repair the daily damage to the gums caused by chewing food fast enough to prevent bleeding. Mild C deficiency makes it difficult to repair the tissue damage caused by daily life, speeding up the ageing process.
So take 500-1,000 mg with each meal. C is excreted by the kidneys over a few hours, so it is best to take it throughout day. Stress also uses up C, so more should be taken after large bouts of stress or injury or after bites or stings. If you have symptoms, take 1,000 mg of C hourly, or to bowel tolerance (the main side effect of too much C is a loose stool) to see if you get relief.
Or eat raw organ meats and handfuls of rose hips or other non-sweet high C fruits three times daily. Most fruits today have inadequate levels of C and high levels of fructose (toxic in large amounts).
It is very difficult to get 3,000 mg of C daily from most fruit without getting too much sugar. Likely there was some sources of food that humans ate millions of years ago that had very high levels of C with low levels of sugar. These foods are either extinct or lost and forgotten.
Usually at most, only 1,000 mg of C can be absorbed per dose. Although there is evidence that much higher amounts can be absorbed per oral dose when the body decides to do so (usually when exposed to toxins, venoms, sunburns, or acute injuries). But, liposomal C can be absorbed completely with no apparent limit. But it is much more expensive.
With routine use of vitamin C, we could prevent another 10% of modern disease. So with D, omega 3, and C we’re at 90% prevention of modern disease!
Take 10 drops daily of Biotics liquid iodine forte for 7 days, then 20 drops 7 days, then 40 drops 7 days, then take 1 tablet of Iodizyme HP daily forever.
Or you can eat seafood including seaweed at each meal. One tablet of Iodizyme HP is the iodine equivalent of the daily iodine intake of the traditional Japanese diet (which is 100 times the U.S. Recommend daily intake!).
Excess iodine is excreted by the kidneys. As long as you don’t have an autoimmune thyroid disorder, there is no danger to taking iodine. Without iodine you would be chronically ill and die prematurely. Iodine deficiency is the number one nutritional deficit globally, though most severe in countries with higher poverty rates.
Iodine is needed for optimal thyroid, immune, scar, ovary, breast, uterus, lung, GI, prostate, sinus, skin and mucus function. Some signs of low iodine include:
* any thyroid symptom (an exhaustive list)
* over production of scar tissue
* cysts of any kind
* fibroids of any kind
* thick mucus
* chronic colds and flus
* chronic infections, dry skin, warts, nail fungus, thick skin
One sign of too much iodine is drippy sinus or heart palpitations.
But there are other causes of these. If you aren’t currently taking extra iodine and you have these last two, they are not due to iodine excess.
There is no such thing as an iodine allergy, only drugs-that-contain-iodine allergies like iodine containing medical imaging dyes and drugs like amidarone. When someone has an allergic reaction to these compounds, the blame has erroneously been placed on iodine alone, rather than the entire dye or drug compound that happens to contain iodine in it. If drippy sinus, heart palpitations, or any other new symptoms start happening after you begin supplementing with iodine, stop the iodine and seek the advice of a health practitioner who has experience treating thyroid conditions who can rule out an autoimmune thyroid disease. This is mostly done with thyroid antibody blood tests. If you test positive for this, then read my article on leaky gut.
Peanuts are rich in potassium, so are peanut allergies really potassium allergies? Of course not. Iodine is severely depleted from most soils, more so than any other mineral. It for some reason easily gets washed from the land to the sea. This is why seafood is relatively high in iodine and why kelp makes a good plant fertilizer. And so food produced on land is notoriously low in iodine.
Supplementing properly with iodine will likely prevent another 5% of modern disease.
If you eat right, have a clean liver, a functional stomach and small intestine, then you can get plenty of most other nutrients from your diet.
However, a good multivitamin/multimineral is good assurance that you aren’t missing something vital. Multivitamins tend to have modest levels of all major essential micro-nutrients. They tend not to contain any omega 3, and only minimal D, C, and iodine. The rest are in good numbers.
A good Multi usually consists of 3-6 tablets per day. These are to be split into 3 doses, one dose per meal.
However, I advise to never take a supplement with iron in it. Especially avoid iron if you are a male or a post-menopausal woman. Iron builds up in the body over time with no natural way to get rid of excesses.
A Warning About Iron supplements
The only way to lose iron in large amounts is by losing blood. Many water sources are high in iron, and many water pipes are made with iron that can leach into the water. Too much iron leads to inflammation of the joints, the liver, the heart, and the brain among other organs. It also lowers the immune system and stimulates microbial growth.
Even if you are a menstruating female, do not take iron unless diagnosed specifically with iron deficiency. Anemia is not iron deficiency. Low iron is one cause of anemia, but most anemia cases have nothing to do with low iron. Most anemias are caused by B vitamin deficiency due to either poor diet, side effects of medications like birth control pills, or inflammation of the gut leading to mal-absorption. Gut inflammation can be corrected by cutting out bad oils and bad sugars and by following the protocols in the cleansing and supplement chapters. Severe cases may need to cut out gluten and casein found in bread and dairy products respectively.
If you are actually iron deficient, this means you are bleeding internally, have a super heavy menstrual flow, or have donated too much blood. But sometimes even low iron blood tests still don’t mean you should supplement with iron. Certain autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and certain cases of chronic infection can present with low iron blood tests because the iron is being sequestered by the body outside the blood stream as a side effect of the disease. Taking more iron will likely aggravate these situations.
The first step is to heal the autoimmune diseases, then see if the low iron persists. If so, only then supplement with iron, and only for short periods, recheck blood tests monthly, stop iron once blood levels normalize.