Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of nutritional supplements you find yourself taking? I haven’t done an official count of what I take, but a quick mental calculation says it’s about 35 or so, and I have a specific reason for each one. I have hesitated to share this in the past, because nobody really likes being outside what we consider “the norm” by a standard deviation or so.
In my conversations with people over the years, many feel that even 6 or 7 supplements are “a lot.” To gain some perspective on this, consider the case of Ray Kurzweil. An extremely accomplished baby boomer with an impressive list of technical accomplishments, innovations and inventions in areas such as optical character recognition, flatbed scanners, music synthesizers (some of which are named after him), Kurzweil is a successful author, a sought-after speaker, a Grammy winner, and a director at Google. You can (and should) read more about him by doing your usual Internet searching.
Like more and more of us, Ray Kurzweil has come to the conclusion that to be healthy, he has to better understand his body’s limitations and use supplements to fill the gaps. As we age, we tend to need more physiological help with our health. This can easily be explained by the evolutionary notion that genetic traits that don’t limit reproduction are easily passed on to the next generation. As we age, we are more likely to run into these health-limiting genetic roadblocks because they weren’t selected out over time.
Ray’s current list of different supplements is about 77. That’s over 10x what most of us consider the “normal” amount. In case you’re as curious as I was when I first heard this, here is the list (click here for the source of this information). Afterwards, I do want to talk about the list a bit and make a few comments of my own.
- For anti-oxidation and general health: comprehensive multi-vitamin, Coenzyme Q10, grapeseed extract, Resveratrol, bilberry extract, Lycopene, Silymarine, Linoleic acid, Lecithin-acetyl-cystein, garlic, L-carnitine, Pyrodoxal-5-phosphate, echinacea, B12 shots, and herbs prescribed by his physician
- For treating Type II diabetes: chromium, Metformine, Gymnema sylvestra
- For LDL and HDL levels: Policosanol, Gugulipid, plant sterols, Niacin, oat bran, grapefruit powder, Psyllium, Lipitor
- For blood vessel health: Arginine, TMG, Choline
- To reduce blood viscosity: aspirin, Lumbrokinase
- To reduce inflammation: EPA/DHA, Curcumin
- To reduce homocystein levels: Folic acid, B6
- For detoxification: EDTA, DMPS
- For the liver: intravenous glutathione
- For cell membranes: Intravenous phosphatidylcholine
- For testosterone levels: PtC, DHEA, testosterone, I-3-C, Chrysin, nettle, ginger
- For the prostate: saw palmetto complex
- For stress: L-theonine, Beta-sitosterol, Phosphatidylserine, green tea extract
- For the brain: GABA, Melatonin, Glycerylphosphatidylcholine, Nextrutine, Quercetin
- For the eyes: Lutein
- For the skin: antioxidant skin creams
- For digestion: Betaine HCL, Gentian root, peppermint, Acidophilus bifodobacter, Fructooligosaccharides, fish proteins, L-glutamine, N-acetyl-D-glucosamine
- To inhibit glycolsylated end products: N-acetyl-carnitine, Carnosine, Alphoa lipoic acid
This is a great list to have, and many people could use this as their own reference to design a comprehensive supplement plan. However, it’s important to know which supplements are right for you before you just start following someone else’s list. For instance, curcumin could be good or bad for you, depending on your genetic predispositions. The same is true of quercetin. B12 shots may or may not be helpful – the most common type of B12, methyl cobalamin, is OK for certain genotypes and contraindicated for others.
We have an article and a video on our website all about GABA. I don’t recommend taking it as a supplement. GABA is a relatively large molecule and shouldn’t cross the blood-brain barrier. If it does, your attention should change to gut barrier and blood-brain barrier repair (these are linked). You can tell if GABA crosses the BBB if you feel relaxed or agitated (again, depending on your physiology) a few minutes after taking it on an empty stomach.
Lipitor? What kind of healthy regimen adds Lipitor? Most people can control HDL and LDL with diet and red yeast rice.
Metformin? Again, most people can avoid meds for their diabetes with diet and supplements. Metformin is generally used for Type II/Adult Onset diabetes. Strict diet control and supplements like Glysen and Protoglysen from Apex Energetics can help with this condition.
Glutathione levels are critical for a long, healthy life. IV Glutathione can be a good approach for some cases, but I routinely recommend LifeWave Glutathione Patches, NAC and EuroMedica Clinical Glutathione over intravenous options.
We’re big fans of L-arginine to help with cardiovascular integrity. We have seen great things from this supplement with regard to controlling heart arrhythmias. Our favorite form at this time is from Pure Encapsulations.
Will Ray Kurzweil’s strategy pay off? Each of us is a one-off experiment in longevity, since we don’t have two or three identical bodies to compare and contrast different strategies. I wish him all the best, and hopefully he’ll find this blog and follow the changes to his routine I recommend. Like the rest of us, Kurzweil has to gather information and take his best shot. Whether you’re an award-winning futurist, or just you or I, the best way to gather that data and stay informed about your health is through lab testing.
If you are planning to head down this road, there are a couple of tests I like to recommend to everybody. We like a good blood test (not just the spot check of a few items that seems to be typical these days), a genetic profile from 23andme and a supplement analysis by Nutrahacker along with Spectracell tests for micronutrients. Of course, you also need to know which foods your body thinks are nourishment and which it thinks are poison, which is covered by a Cyrex Array 3, 4 and 10. We can facilitate all of these tests for anyone with a Nevada or California address.