Upgrade Your Energy, Optimize Your Supplements

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There are three groups of people when it comes to supplements.

The first group is those who shun all forms of supplementation because “it isn’t natural” or because “cavemen didn’t have supplements.”  They often say, “I don’t need supplements because I get all my nutrients from food.”

My reply to that is, “Then you must get all your toxins from nature.”

The second group are those who think supplements can make up for a poor diet, high stress levels, and pretty much everything else.

The final group is somewhere in between.  In my opinion, this is the best place to be.

Supplements are a double edged sword.  The wrong ones can do more damage than good, but the right ones can massively improve your health, even if you eat a great diet.  In this article, you’re going to get an overview of the problems with generic supplements, how to pick the right supplements, and the list of supplements almost everyone should be taking.

Throw Away Your Multivitamins

With half of the U.S. population taking a multivitamin, many people seem to think multivitamins are the first line of defense against malnutrition and disease.  In fact, the opposite is true.  Multivitamins can actually do more harm than good.  We won’t go into the full details here, but here are two reasons to choose targeted supplements over multivitamins.

1. Imbalance of nutrients.

Most multivitamins have too much of some nutrients (like vitamin A or B6) and not enough of others (like magnesium).  The result is overdosing and underdosing at the same time.  In order to get enough of some vitamins and minerals, you would have to take far more than you should of others. It is a common practice to use very small amounts of expensive nutrients, which allows manufacturers to still list them on the label. Average consumers don’t notice there are meaningless amounts of some nutrients, and they only want to take one pill anyway. There is no way to fit “a complete spectrum” of nutrients in one single pill.

2. Low quality.

Nutrients come in different forms that behave differently inside your body.  Folate is an essential B vitamin, but folic acid, the kind found in generic multivitamins, increases your risk of cancer.  This may be why many studies show no benefit to taking multivitamins (although honestly, that’s more likely because pharmaceutical companies funded those studies…)  In fact, much of the research shows an increased risk of mortality.  This is assuming you even absorb the ingredients.  Many multivitamins are made with fillers and additives which are poorly utilized by the body – to the extent some nursing homes call them “bedpan bullets”.  Even if they have the right amount of a nutrient on the label, very little may reach your cells.

In the end, you get what you pay for with supplements.  You can delude yourself and buy the generic multivitamins at Costco, or you can spend a little extra and actually do something to improve your health.

Before we get into the exact supplements you should take, here are some general criteria for supplementation.

  1. Get the majority of your nutrients from food.
  2. Consume supplements in their highest performance form.
  3. When in doubt – go without.
  4. Recognize that some supplements can help your performance – and health – more than food.

Get the majority of your nutrients from food.

You don’t eat nutrients – you eat food.  Whole foods behave differently from their individual parts.  The nutrients from a piece of meat are more bioavailable than consuming the equivalent nutrients from a pill.  Studies have shown that grass-fed meat boosts plasma omega-3 levels far more than what could be explained by the actual omega-3 content of the meat.  Antioxidants from food are usually beneficial, but taking mega-doses of some synthetic antioxidants increases your risk of death.  The nutrients in food work together in a process known as food synergy.  In short, this means food is more powerful than the sum of its parts.  The good news is the Bulletproof Diet is the most nutrient packed diet in the world.  If you haven’t yet, take the time to read the first article in this series to learn more about the Bulletproof Diet.

Consume supplements in their highest performance form.

Artificial forms of nutrients are not as effective as the real thing.  When you do supplement, you should still try to get them from whole food sources.  Isolated nutrients often compete for the same absorption pathways.  For example, iron and calcium inhibit the absorption of one another, but  synthetic nutrients are often damaging.  For these reasons, nutrients should be consumed in their most natural form possible.

When in doubt – go without.

There is always a risk with supplements.  Even the most natural forms can contain high levels of heavy metals, contaminants, and byproducts from processing.  Food is not guaranteed to be free from these substances, but it’s far less likely to contain them.  In many cases, the biggest downside to taking supplements you don’t need is simply expensive urine, but in other cases it’s better to go without than to take something you shouldn’t have.

What Supplements You Should Take

I take over 40 pills a day, carefully selected for my own needs using testing over the last decade. That’s why this isn’t called “the complete guide to supplementation.”  This list does not cover my recommendations for smart drugs or most brain enhancing nutrients.  Those topics will come in a later post.  These are the basic supplements that most everyone should be taking.

For each nutrient, you will get a:

  • Dosage recommendation.
  • The correct form it should be taken in.
  • The time it should be taken.
  • A recommended brand.

In an effort to save time and make it easier/safer for you to take these nutrients in their highest performing form, I have been following cutting-edge research to source and develop some of these nutrients in their most proven/pure form and dose. It takes a lot of effort and resources to develop a truly exceptional supplement. If I haven’t been able to do that yet, I will recommend another product I trust and use. I have no relation or affiliation to those companies.

Here are the ten nutrients (almost) everyone should supplement with.

  1. Vitamin D
  2. Magnesium
  3. Vitamin K2
  4. Vitamin C
  5. Iodine
  6. Krill Oil
  7. Vitamin A
  8. L-Tyrosine
  9. Copper
  10. Folinic Acid with B12

Vitamin D

Vitamin D isn’t just the most important supplement – it is possibly the most important biohack.  Vitamin D acts on over 1000 different genes and serves as a substrate for sex hormones like testosterone, human growth hormone, and estrogen.  It moderates immune function and inflammation.  It assists in calcium metabolism and bone formation.  It’s no coincidence this is one of the few vitamins humans can make on their own.  Without it – we’d be dead.  It’s true that you can get adequate vitamin D from sun exposure, but for non-nudist non-equatorial dwellers it’s not enough.  If you’re getting adequate vitamin A, it’s almost impossible to overdose on D.

Dose: 1000 IU / 25 pounds of body weight.*

Form: D3

Time Taken: Morning

Recommended Brand: Jarrow Formulas D3

*People with brown/black skin don’t convert sunlight into vitamin D as quickly as lighter skinned people.  If you’re brown skinned, a safe bet is 1500 IU / 25 pounds of body weight, but you should always test your blood levels because individual response to dosage varies.


This is almost as important as vitamin D, and almost as under appreciated.  Magnesium is used in over 300 enzymatic processes, including all of those involved in ATP production.  It’s also vital for proper transcription of DNA and RNA.

Magnesium deficiency is a serious problem.  Symptoms include heart arrhythmias, tachycardia, headaches, muscle cramps, nausea, metabolic syndrome, migraines, and pretty much everything else you don’t want.  It’s also associated with cardiovascular disease diabetes, asthma, anxiety disorders, and PMS.

Almost all Americans are deficient in magnesium.  The majority of people don’t meet the RDA, which is already too low.  Due to soil depletion and poor farming practices, it’s almost impossible to get enough magnesium from your diet.  Without a doubt – everyone should supplement with magnesium.

Dose: 600-800mg / day

Forms: Citrate, malate, glycinate, threonate, or orotate

Time Taken: before bedtime.

Recommended Brand: Life Extension

Vitamin K2

Unless you grew up eating only grass-fed meat and raw milk – you’re deficient in vitamin K2.  Vitamin K2 is a fat soluble vitamin involved in calcium metabolism.  Excess calcium is deposited in arteries, leading to calcification and decreased vascular function.  This is why vitamin K2 could play a role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. K2 also has been found to reduce bone loss.

Vitamin K1 is the kind of vitamin K found in leafy vegetables, and vitamin K2 is the kind found in grass-fed animal products.  Humans don’t convert vitamin K1 into K2 efficiently.  Ruminant animals like cows and sheep convert K1 into K2 in their stomachs.  This is another reason you should eat grass-fed animals, because they can only get K1 from grass – not grains.

There are two subsets of vitamin K2: MK-4, and MK-7.  MK-4 is the kind shown to produce the most benefit, but MK-7 is still important.  You should consume a total of at least 2,000mcg per day of K2, at least 100mcg of which should be the MK-7 form.

Dose: 2,000mcg / day (100mcg MK-7 form)

Forms: MK-4, and MK-7

Time Taken: Doesn’t really matter, but it’s best to take this with vitamin D, so morning is best.

Recommended Brand: Life Extension

Vitamin C

This is one of the safest, most effect supplements you can take.  Vitamin C is needed for collagen and connective tissue formation.  It’s used to manufacture glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant in the body.  Vitamin C can enhance immune function and help quench free radical damage.  Studies have shown you can take up to 120 grams of vitamin C a day with no side effects (besides loose stool).

It’s hard to get enough vitamin C from food, which is why 30 percent of the population is deficient.

Some fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin C, but cooking and storage methods can deplete vitamin C content.  Supplementation with at least 500mg per day is optimal.  You should take a lot more if you are suffering from chronic infections or healing from injury.

Dose: 1-2 grams / day

Forms: Ascorbic acid crystals or time release capsules.

Time Taken: Morning and evening, but it’s best not to take it after a workout as isolated antioxidants can negate the insulin sensitivity gained from exercise.

Recommended Brand: Solaray


Iodine is crucial for proper thyroid function and metabolism.  It also enhances immune function and prevents brain damage.  Iodine deficiency is widespread, so supplementation is wise. Physically active people are at especially high risk for deficiency because you lose iodine through sweat. You can get some iodine from seafood, but unless you’re eating it with every meal, you probably won’t get enough.

Dose: 150 mcg to 1000 mcg (1 mg) / day

Forms: Kelp powder or potassium iodide capsules

Time Taken: Once daily, with food

Recommended Brand: Bulletproof Iodine from Icelandic kelp

EPA/DHA (Krill oil)

This is a tricky one.  Small doses of high quality fish oil reduce inflammation, improve brain function, and even enhance muscle growth, but poor quality or high doses can cause more problems than they help to solve. Not all fish oil is created equal.  Most of the brands you are likely to buy at your local grocery are contaminated, oxidized, and low potency.  If you can’t find a good fish oil  – you’re much better off avoiding it all together.

That’s why I recommend krill oil over fish oil altogether. Krill is more stable and it is phosphorylated, meaning it’s easier for your brain to use. It also comes with astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant.

There are real benefits to taking EPA and DHA, but most of these are strongest if your diet is deficient in omega-’3s, or too high in omega-6’s.  If you’re eating a Bulletproof Diet, this won’t be a problem.  Humans only need 350mg of DHA and EPA a day to have optimal brain function.  If you’re eating grass-fed meat and wild caught fish, this is easily obtainable.  If you can’t find grass-fed meat or wild caught seafood, you should supplement with at least 1000mg of krill oil per day.

Dose: 1000mg / day

Forms: Krill Oil

Time Taken: With meals.

Recommended Brand: Jarrow Krill oil


In addition to these basic supplements, there are a few others you should also consider taking.

Vitamin A

This is essential if you aren’t eating organ meats like beef liver, kidney, and heart (you should).  Vitamin A is an important cofactor for numerous metabolic reactions and bodily functions.  A quarter of Americans consume less than half the RDA, which is already too low.  An important thing to remember is that you can’t get vitamin A from plants.  Plants don’t have vitamin A, they have beta-carotene.  Beta carotene is poorly converted into vitamin a which is why some populations develop vitamin A deficiency despite consuming far more than they should have required.  Sorry vegetarians and vegans, carrots don’t count.

Dose: 10,000-15,000 IU / day.

Forms: Retinol (A good source of vitamin A is cod liver oil, which also has vitamin D)

Time Taken: With meals.

Recommended Brand: Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil (Arctic Mint flavor)


L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that boosts mood, cognition, physical and mental stress response, and healthy glandular function. It quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier to increase the neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. It’s also a building block for thyroid hormone. Your body can make it, but it depletes when you’re stressed, and with modern living, most people’s production can’t keep up. Studies have shown that cadets in combat training supplementing with L-Tyrosine had reduced negative effects from physical and psychosocial stress on mental performance. Take 500mg to 2000mg per day.

Dose: 500-2000mg per day.

Forms: Pure L-Tyrosine

Time Taken: Doesn’t matter

Recommended Brand: Bulletproof L-Tyrosine


Copper is needed for proper vascular and heart function.  Most of the U.S. Is woefully deficient in copper, consuming only .8mg per day.  This is worrying since less than 1mg per day is enough to cause heart attacks.  Copper intake has fallen over the last century due to modern farming and dietary practices.  Modern fruits, vegetables, and conventional meats are low in copper, containing 75 percent less than they used to.

Luckily, beef and lamb liver have a massive amount of copper.  If you’re eating at least four ounces of beef liver per week, you can meet your copper needs.  Other good sources of copper include cocoa (dark chocolate – look for low toxin Bulletproof Chocolate Fuel Bars), cashews, and lobster.  If you aren’t eating beef or lamb liver weekly, you should supplement with at least 1mg per day.

Dose: 1mg / day

Forms: Capsule

Time Taken: Doesn’t matter.

Recommended Brand: Pure Encapsulations

B-12 and folinic acid

Most people are deficient in B12.  B12 can protect against dementia, increase immune function, maintain nerves, and regenerate cells. B12 lowers homocysteine and protects against atherosclerosis. It’s necessary for maintaining methylation reactions that repair DNA and prevent cancer. One of the most crucial areas for B12 is the brain.

Folate deficiency can also cause mental symptoms, although B12 is more likely to be a problem. Folate and B12 are both required for mental function, and a deficiency in one produces a deficiency in the other, but folate will not correct a B12 deficiency in the brain. Folate also supports a healthy heart and nervous system. If you make the mistake of treating B12 deficiency without folate, you can get permanent brain damage. (hear that, vegans?)  Likewise, high amounts of folate without adequate B12 can cause neurological conditions. That’s why I take them together.

Dose: 5mg+ of methylcobalamin or hydroxocobalamin and 800mcg+ of folate (5-MTHF or folinic acid, NOT folic acid)

Forms: Capsule and/or Lozenge

Time Taken: Daily with food

Recommended Brand: Bulletproof Methyl Folate and Bulletproof Methyl B-12 

Supplementation is something everyone should do, but how much depends on your diet and other lifestyle factors.  Athletes need more of some supplements than other people.  In general, you should try to get as much nutrition from food as possible.  You should consume nutrients in their most natural form.  When you do supplement – you get what you pay for.  It’s worth it to buy quality supplements. It’ll cost you more to pay health bills in the long term.

Looking for more?

The list above was a small portion of supplements to consider taking.  This will provide you with a foundation for further supplementation with things like smart drugs and sleep hacking supplements.  And don’t forget the post about calcium-d-glucarate! Sign up for the Bulletproof Newsletter below for more on how to upgrade your biology. Thanks for reading and have a great week!

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By Dave Asprey

  • cogrick2

    Thank you for this excellent summary.

  • Zack_Leman

    Does avoiding “isolated antioxidants” after a work out also mean avoiding ALA and EGCG? These two are know to increase GLUT-4 transporters on cells to help facilitate the transport of carbs and other nutrients into cells.

    • Dave Asprey

      Take them before lifting!

      • Josh

        Dave have you seen the recent post on ALA over at Suppversity?
        I believe his basic conclusion is – it is likely beneficial for overweight people trying to lose weight, but for those already lean it may impede muscle growth.

    • ALA increases insulin sensitivity of fat cells too. Take them as far from workouts as possible, preferably with real food.

  • Excellent post, been waiting for a supplement list. It’s funny, just from following the podcasts, blogs, and forums I have been taking everything on this list already.

    Dave – I have been taking this multi-mineral from Vitamin Shoppe – Do you think this is good? http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/store/en/browse/sku_detail.jsp?id=VS-1689
    I know it’s a multi, but i figured since you generally need less trace minerals you could probably get what you need from a multi. I’m just concerned with the quality and the form.

    • Dave Asprey

      Discount in house brands rarely make the cut. Oxide and carbonated are hardly very absorbable!

  • Josh

    Great list Dave – And I like the fact that certain foods eg. liver can lessen or eliminate the need to supplement with certain things.

    I am going over your past podcasts and did you ever ge Takashi’s raw liver recipe from Chris Masterjohn?? Really want to give that a go.

    • Dave Asprey

      Missed takashis raw liver recipe but had it there live last month!

      • Josh

        How wow lucky you!
        Was it as good as everyone says?
        I’ll see if I can find the recipe and let you know.

        • Dave Asprey

          It was awesome. I’d have had it again last night if my flight wasn’t delayed.

        • Josh

          Awesome, I hope it was a productive trip.

  • Howard Lee Harkness

    You left out B12. While you are at an age where B12 is probably not a problem, some of us have trouble absorbing enough, and the absorption problem generally starts getting worse in your mid-50’s. It’s cheap, and safe (no known LD50). There are no known side-effects from getting 1000x RDA or more. See my articles at http://nequals1health.com/could-it-be-b12/ and http://celtic-fiddler.com/fiddler/2011/07/could_it_be_b12/ about the significant improvement I experienced in my hearing after starting high-dosage (2.5mg) sublingual B12.

    Also, B3 (niacin). 1500mg/day will significantly boost HDL. It will lower LDL better than any statin drug currently on the market, without making you feel like you’ve had the crap beaten out of you (at least in my case). It does have one harmless, but uncomfortable, side-effect: Flushing. It took me a year of gradual increase to get to 1500mg/day with only minor flushing.

    Copper: Ouch. I tried taking 1mg/day, and immediately started having severe leg cramps at night. I tried taking it every other day for a couple of weeks, and consistently got leg cramps only on the nights that I took the copper. I’m not doing that any more.

    • Dave Asprey

      It’s hard to write these because of individual variations. Excess copper vs zinc is bad news but more people supplement zinc than copper so that is a more common imbalance. Niacin almost made the list and I take it, but Jaminets work in it has me on the fence. B12 is on the list; wasn’t in the unedited one that leaked out!

  • MT_Dreams

    Hello, regarding copper, which type of copper is the best choice (Copper Sebacate, copper bisglycinate chelate, copper gluconate, copper glycinate, etc)? is there any difference?
    thanks in advance,

  • Jacidi

    I’m looking forward most to your nootropics/brain supplement list — please don’t hold back!

    • Dave Asprey

      Definitely not holding back, just balancing all this with being a dad and in NYC on a business trip. I could write about this for years if I wasn’t keeping my family fed! 😉

      • Excellent level of detail! I am also keen to read your smart drugs. Calcium D-Glucarate would definitely be on my top 10 recommendations. It is very hard to write these generalised posts and keep them relevant to everyone!

        Have you ever tried Poliquin supplements? I use them for everything and believe them to be exceptionally high quality and potency. Specifically EPA/DHA, D3 and

        Finally, I’m sure you will rehash your article about Modafinil and it’s uses, but have you found much variation between brands and have you read about Armodafinil? I (along with many others here I’m sure) would be keen to hear your thoughts on it.


        • Dave Asprey

          Never tried the Poloquin stuff but Upgraded Whey will do more based on its formulation vs. Poloquin. Armodafinil causes liver problems so Provigil/Nuvigil is better. ?

        • Thanks for the response. Glad I ordered the Provigil!

          To clarify, I definitely think Bulletproof Whey is superior (I recently bought 6 packets!), I was actually asking about the supplementation you have outlined in the article being purchased from Poliquin, as he intentionally sources high quality ingredients.

        • Dave Asprey

          Oh, I get it. I agree – his standards appear to be very high. ?

        • Caleb

          David, any comments re: the above claims that it’s Adrafinil and not Nuvigil/Armodafinil that causes liver problems? Thanks.

        • Joyce

          My psychiatrist prescribes Provigil and/or Nuvigil because I’m always sleepy and tired especially when driving. Still take it with the rest of the supplements?
          Respond to this post and to cudisappear@comcast.net
          I’m a newbie

        • Winslow

          Dave, I think you mean that Adrafinil can cause liver problems. If armodafinil did, then so would modafinil, as armodafinil is 50% of modafinil (it’s one of the two enantiomers of the molecule).

        • Dinkus

          I think you mean adrafinil causes liver problems. Nuvigil IS armodafinil.

  • Jade

    Dave — Please be very careful about implying that folic acid causes cancer! The study states that folic acid “could be associated with additional risk for colon cancer.” OK, however, it is widely known and accepted that woman taking folic acid supplementation at least 3mn prior to becoming pregnant reduce the risk for neural tube defects in their babies by 50-70%. We’re fighting hard to get women in the habit of taking good — folic acid — prenatal vitamins in order to save babies. This needs to be said before we scare people away by claiming it causes cancer.

    • Dave Asprey

      The problem is that many people aren’t capable of converting the synthetic form (folic acid) into the active form (folinic acid), so the synthetic form builds up. That’s bad news. So while some people can benefit from folic acid, many do not. However, everyone benefits equally from taking folinic acid (folate), so that’s what we recommend for everyone.
      Put another way, if you have one supplement that always works, and one that sometimes works but is dangerous the rest of the time, which would you recommend? ?

  • Joshua Whiteman

    What about cycling these supplements? Is there any benefits to taking them for 1-2 days then taking 1 or 2 days off?

    • Dave Asprey

      Yes, cycling aids hormesis.

  • Guest

    Dave, what’s your view on “Nutreince” by Calton Nutrition?

    • Dave Asprey

      Have a sample but haven’t tried it yet.

      • E.A.

        Hi Dave,
        Im wondering if you tried the Nutrience yet and if you have any opinions and thoughts on it.

        • Willow

          Same here, have you tried the nutreince yet Dave? Thanks

  • John

    I’d opt for the Nutrigold D3 as a quality replacement for the purity products. Purity is $40 for 30 servings of 5000 IU. Nutrigold is $14 for 360 servings of 5000 IU. I understand the whole ‘get what you pay for’ mantra but these ingredients look identical and no possible way to justify that price, unless I am missing something?

    • Dave Asprey

      I don’t know that brand – it may be fine. Strength and absorbability of D3 varies widely – an in-house “cheap” D3 raised my blood levels half as much as a name brand.

      • Joshua Titus

        Dave, what are your thoughts on NOW Foods vitamins, in particular they have a 5000 IU 240 softgels Vit D3 for about $13 on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/NOW-Foods-Vitamin-5000-Softgels/dp/B0032BH76O

        Is this an example of the “cheap” vitamins you’re talking about, or do you use NOW products?

        • Nick_FPH

          If you look above, Dave recommends NOW for Iodine. Just bought myself some and tried it for the first time. Interesting stuff!

          For D3, I went with Life Extension (another brand Dave recommends above for vit K)

        • Dave Asprey

          NOW is like a Honda. Not the best you can get, but good quality for the money. I use basic supplements like carnosine from them. Compared to Upgraded Aging type supplements, they are pretty different.

        • Christian Lobaugh

          Here’s an idea for a post. List some of your favorite supplement providers, with notes like you did here.

  • Dr.House

    Hi Dave, whatdo you think about “Alpha Brain” by Onnit??

    • Dave Asprey

      Not a huge fan. Pterostilbene is at marketing-level (very low) doses, and other ingredients are ho-hum except one I haven’t heard of with limited research. In the brain vitamin mix, it’s probably a 5/10. Not bad, but not amazing either. Certainly not harmful.

      • Dr.House

        Thanks, so what nootropics do you suggest in order to improve memory and concentration???

      • Your assessment of it seems to jibe with the way I felt when taking it, i.e., I didn’t feel different at all. Finished the bottle, but won’t be buying again.

  • Kevin Crawford

    Any thoughts on to why magnesium supplements are keeping me awake when taken close to bed time? I usually have no issues falling asleep, but when taking magnesium (happens with either 200 or 400mg doses), I seem to just lay there.

    Taking the 100% chelated tablets in the morning seems to have a similar effect as coffee (not sure how to actually test this, i suppose it could just be confirmation bias).

    Any thoughts/ideas? I’ve only tried this one product and haven’t tried epsom salts or other brands.

    • Josh

      I remember Robb Wolf mentioning for MOST people Magnesium relaxes but there are some people where it has the opposite effect. So morning would probably be best for you.

    • How are you sure the magnesium is causing your sleeplessness?

      • Dave Asprey

        This one is obvious! The yeast chelate is something you’re allergic to!

  • Georgialorge

    Thank you. I would love to see a info graph like you created for the diet… Just a thought. 🙂

  • Thankyou for taking the time to make this post, I know a lot of people have been looking forward to it – it’s hard to piece it together just from listening to the podcasts.

  • I’m interested in hearing about how you implement this for your kids since dosing for a little person is bound to be different.

    I have a 2 year old daughter and she gets Vitamin D3 based on the 1000 IU / 25 lbs of weight but I’m curious about how to scale K2 and magnesium specifically.

    BTW, thanks again for the recommendations back in FebruaryMarch. I’m still doing well with sleep on magnesium citrate 🙂

    • Dave Asprey

      So glad to have helped. I generally does my kids based on body weight for k2 and magnesium.

      • Thea

        What are your recommendations for weight for magnesium and k2. I have found mixed dosages with online searches and different advice from nutritionalists.

  • Eric Ripa

    Thanks a lot for this great article. I have a question. Is there anything to think about or that I should adjust for my pregnant wife? Today she supplements with Omega 3 and Vitamin D3+K2

    I have been trying to get her to supplement with some magnesium but she’s afraid that too much is dangerous for the fetus.

    • Nick_FPH

      Dude, I hear everywhere that cod liver oil is excellent for having a healthy baby. I know dave recommends that (perhaps on his betterbabybook site) and Chris Kresser recommends this as well (healthy baby code).

      Look up a couple articles and then order some up! They all recommend Green Pasture brand (expensive, but should be worth it for 9 months!). The only other brand that I’ve heard good things about is Quantum. Just ordered my first bottle today at radiantlifecatalog.

      Good luck!

  • Bdm4

    Is it necessary to supplement with Vitamin K2 if you’re already eating lots of grass-fed meat and butter?

  • Thanks for this list. I am in the process of figuring out why I feel like crap all the time. Cutting out wheat really helped but I am not totally there yet. I’m thinking some minerals/vitamins are what I need but I don’t have the cash to get an expensive vitamin/mineral blood test performed. You’ll probably be disappointed to know I’m about to go to Costco to get these items because they are on sale right now… (D3, K2, and Mag specifically). I think the magnesium will be interesting to see if it makes my headaches/nausea go away.

    My question is – is it best to take the K2 in the morning with food? Specifically fatty food such as a coconut oil fried egg?

    • Nick_FPH

      Dave says time doesn’t matter for K2, but it’s better to take it with vit D (which he recommends taking in the morning). So morning!

      Headaches and nausea? Are you getting enough water and calories?

  • Thanks for this super informative list. Just forwarded it to my parents, hopefully it will help bring them into the fold…

    • Nick_FPH

      I did the same! My dad ordered some B-12 and Folinic right away… even before me, and I had a head start!

      • Dave Asprey

        Even better if this helps people’s parents! It took years for me to get mine on good vitamins!

        • Nick_FPH

          My parents are in their mid 50’s and I had them both read your excellent article. I’m still trying to convince my mom to cancel her New Chapter 1 daily multi and her CalMag and replace them with your list above. It’s absurd how low/far away they are from the recommended dosages!

        • TimR

          I take a small amount of Natural Vitality’s CalMag twice a day (morning/evening.) Is that okay? The thing is I don’t eat much dairy besides butter (seems to inflame acne) so I get very little calcium through diet (I’d like to make bone broth soups but it just doesn’t happen.)

        • Nick_FPH

          You know… I really don’t know on that one because we don’t know how accurate the RDA for calcium is. I’d say you could probably do without if you ate more dark leafy greens and supplemented with vitamin K (necessary for calcium retention).

          I am curious what Dave’s take is on getting enough calcium on the Bulletproof diet… he doesn’t seem to have any info on that topic! Dave?

        • TimR

          I do eat greens fairly often, though not in vast quantities. I also eat sardines and salmon that have some small bones in them.
          Looking at a list of calcium-rich foods just now I was surprised to see sesame seeds are high in calcium – and I think they’ve got a bunch of other micronutrients too so maybe I need to get some.
          I think I might drop the CalMag for a while and just do a powdered magnesium drink. And re-try K2, that will test if it was indeed Life Extension’s K2 causing those weird foot flushing symptoms I had.

        • TimR

          Life Extension’s Super K I should say, it has K1 and K2.

  • Zack_Leman

    1. Are there any foods we should not eat after a workout, which will slow recovery?
    2. Should we avoid selenium, B-vitamins, and Vitamin K2 the night after a workout if they function as antioxidants too?

    • Dave Asprey

      Don’t do coffee right after a workout because of mtor. The other vitamins appeared to be okay.

      • Zack_Leman

        Could vitamin E found in my selenium suppement have any adverse effects taken post workout at dinner?

        • Dave Asprey

          Prob not

        • NobHillSF

          Sorry, what’s mtor? funnest part of the ride stopping for a coffee at Mojo….

        • Dave Asprey

          It’s in the BP intermittent fast post. Mammalian target of rampamycin, muscle builder.

      • DS

        How long after workout can you drink coffee? + Are there any multivitamins youd recommend?

        • Rod

          I would assume at least a couple hours to be on the safe side, maybe even 3. Dave doesn’t recommend Multivitamins because of over and or under dosage of some vitamins in the pill.

  • Zack_Leman

    What do you think about Magnesium Stearate as an additional ingredient in supplements? Do you think that it inhibits the full absorption of certain supplements? Would you go out of your way to avoid it in specific supplements?

    • Dave Asprey

      I’m okay with that

      • Karen

        According to Dr. Mercola, a highly respected and knowlegeable physician IMO, I found in of his recent articles on the web, that he is of a different opinion regarding magnesium stearate. He states that it is a potentially hazardous ingredient. “Magnesium stearate is essentially a chalk-like substance, which prevents the supplements from sticking together and allows the machinery to run smoother and faster, which equates to cost savings during the manufacturing process. Magnesium stearate is not a source of magnesium and has no benefits, but may have a detrimental effect on your immune function as stearic acid has been linked to suppression of T cells. The filler also stimulates your gut to form a biofilm, which can prevent proper absorption of nutrients in your digestive tract…”

        • Dave Asprey

          Highly respected? Hardly. http://www.bulletproofexec.com/its-official-dr-mercola-just-copied-the-bulletproof-diet/
          Funny, the Mercola page includes an interview with Dr. Klinghardt, who is the source of the biofilm idea. I respect him a lot – in fact I shared a hotel room with him at an American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine conference once. I’ve taken some courses from Dr. K. too. Now HE is credible…
          Mercola says, “I realize that there is very little research published on this…but some highly respected clinicians like Dr. Klinghardt and others have extensive experience with this issue. Magnesium stearate is not a supplemental source of magnesium but it is a form of stearic acid and is used as a flow agent. The ONLY purpose of it in the supplement is to help the raw materials become more slippery and flow through the machines that create the supplements.”
          I agree with Dr. Klinghardt about titanium dioxide (it’s not safe). But magnesium stearate is the magnesium form of stearic acid, which is a common fatty acid in meat. Without some sort of study about it, it’s hard to believe this is dangerous.
          To prevent the biofilm hypothesis, always take your vitamins with food so it will mix before hit hits the small intestine.

        • Karen

          Thank you for replying to my comment. I appreciate that you took the time and offered a more thorough explanation regarding magnesium stearate.

  • J-Rizzle

    Very good post! I only have one issue. While I agree that iodine is important. I’ve read that too much or the improper kind can build up in the body and actually have the opposite effect. I experienced severe dizziness when I accidentally took just one drop too much.

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  • Joshua Titus

    A couple more suggestions for your advanced supplements list:

    Alpha GPC (L-alphaglycerophosphatidylcholine, Cholinergic Nootropic)
    Huperzine A (Cholinergic Nootropic)
    L-Tyrosine (N-Acetyl Tyrosine, Dopaminergic Nootropic)
    CoQ10 (works well with PQQ)
    Rhodiola Rosea (Adaptogenic herb)

    These might have already been on your list, but just thought I’d throw them out there in case!

    • manom

      what is the purpose of l-thyrosine in here?

  • Bouh

    Fantastic post Dave. Clear, simple and to-the-point. Much appreciated.

  • Gartur6162

    good article. do you take your magnesium dose all at once? or spread throughout the day?

    • Gartur6162

      also im interested in supplementing iodine, but have read that kelp is not a safe method of doing so.
      could you please provide some more information…

    • Dave Asprey

      At night.

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  • Jules

    Dave, great post. I have 3 questions:

    -You recommend 1-2 grams of Vitamin C here, but in your podcasts you say you yourself take 10g a day. Why the discrepancy? Could you add to the list the doses you personally take for each?

    -Can you explain why you recommend such and such brand? Have you been testing with blood work or…?

    -Many of these brands aren’t available in Asia and Amazon won’t ship here. Any suggestions on how to ascertain a brand’s quality, when you can’t get the ones you recommend here?

    Many thanks!

    • Stef Brin.

      Yeah, I’m also unsure about this. Some of what he said he was taking in the podcasts is different from what I read here (different by a factor of 5x, not by a little bit).

      As a result I’m not sure what to do. Hope he answers.

      • Dave Asprey

        Too much vitamin c will cause you to get the runs. You can take it up to bowel tolerance. Individual needs vary greatly depending on how stressed you are or how sick you are. I can go from 3 g to 10 g very easily, but if I get a cold or something, I can often new 50+ grams a day without getting runs. The short answer is that your mileage may vary but you need enough vitamin c to make glutathione in your liver and collagen and the rest of your tissues. A couple grams does that for most people.

        • Reka

          well, call me naive but I can hardly imagine that you still get a cold sometimes 😀

        • Dave Asprey

          LOL keep in mind that I fly 100 times a year, around the world 2x/ year at least, and sleep odd hours in hotels. But it’s unusual! ?

  • Marisa Schwartz

    Dave, what about magnesium oil? It seems like that’s the best way to get it in your body – do you agree?

    • Dave Asprey

      Mag oil is a good source for sure, but it’s inconvenient in the extreme for lots of people compared to capsules. I use both, but oil more rarely.

  • SW

    In one of the podcasts you mentioned that you don’t take B-Complex formulas because they usually have too much B6 in them. I’ve read from several sources that the upper limit for long term B6 intake is 100 mg per day. Is this what you also believe is the upper limit or do you think 100 mg per day is too much? Thanks for the great work here at the Bulletproof Executive.

    • Dave Asprey

      Depends on individual biochemistry. P5P is probably superior.

  • Tug4u

    A colleague recommended this site, and after witnessing the positive benefits of the bulletproof diet, I thought i’d give it a go.

    July 1st is D-Day! (Not procrastinating, (honestly!), just difficult to get the recommended supplements here in the UK, and incredibly lengthy delivery from elsewhere.)

    But after spending over 600 GBP for 3/12 supplement stock, I’m almost good to go!

    But a wee heads up to the like minded…

  • Tug4u

    …the Green Pasture Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver…

    They don’t label the concentration of Vitamin A or D! A bit perturbed at first, but on checking out their site, they explain the considerable discrepancy in results, via certified lab testing, which makes it difficult to stick an absolute on a label. (There’s a very informative recorded call from a customer asking about this on their website, check it out!)

    Quite understandable, but also making it terribly difficult to supplement effectively without overdosing

    • Rod

      Yea, I’m trying to figure out how much Green Pasture Blue Ice FCLO would equate to the recommended 10-15,000 IU for Vitamin A. There must be a conversion of how many mg of X= IU…I’ll report back If I find anything.

      • Steve

        Have you found out anything in regards to this?

  • Tug4u

    It’s a great company tho, and a great product! But as I’ll be taking a D3 and am unsure of the Vit A content, I’ll resist for now! (So have free bottle of the Arctic Mint flavour to anyone that wants it! :-))

    Maybe more importantly, the informative owner states that CLO naturally contains D2 rather than D3, and the Vit A is Palmitate rather than Retinol. Tho CLO has been doing folk good for centuries, so no matter what, still seems rightfully listed.

  • m walk

    How do these supplements that are best taken with food work in with BP intermittent fasting?

  • One of the amazon reviews for Life Extension K2 says that it is derived from natto, or soy beans. Is there another you would recommend? I want to stay away from soy products. Thanks!


    • Has anyone tried this brand? It’s a really high 15MG dose of k2 in MK4 form.


      • Robert Katz

        An outfit in Canada, Advanced Molecular Research, cited studies showing the benefit of 45mg (milli, not micro) of MK4 for bone health. For quite a while, I took three of those 15mg capsules from Relentless Improvement. I didn’t break any bones, and it didn’t seem to be harmful, but I’ve cut back to 5mg capsules from Carlson Labs.

        • Dave Asprey

          It’s Advanced Orthomolecular Research, and they are very good vitamin formulators.

    • I don’t see how the reviewer could determine this. Just got my order today and checked the label. It only says “contains tree nuts (coconut).”

      I would think they’d be required to include soy if it contained any…

  • Robert Katz

    HI Dave,

    What is the K2 solution if one is on coumadin? Just stop the coumadin?

    Thank you.


    • Dave Asprey

      Replace Coumadin with serrapeptase and nattokinase with your doctor’s permission and guidance, then take k2. ;-0

      • Robert Katz

        Thank you, Dave!

  • TimR

    Very useful, and this is not meant to be critical but I have to say I’m extremely wary of supplements these days. I’ve been trying to follow Paul Jaminet’s protocol (whose work is great by the way) but I’ve run into so many side-effects and reactions it’s difficult.

    For instance I started getting this warm flushing feeling in my feet, which then became a hard-to-describe semi-tingling in my arms as well. I started cutting all my supplements to see if that was the cause. Finally I cut the K2 (from LE) that I was taking every four days. Did not seem likely based on supposed low risk of side effects, but my symptoms did stop and have not returned even as I’ve added back some other supplements. There are so many variables maybe I’m wrong, but I’m wary of starting K2 again. Could it be that the high K2 aggravated an A deficiency? (I’m not good about eating beef liver because it seems to coincide with bloating/ constipation/ digestive issues. Other A sources have their own issues, though I’m trying to get at least weekly chicken livers.)

    You see what I mean though, it gets quite complicated!

    Not only do you have to understand the supplements themselves, you have to understand their “co-factors” and interactions with other minerals and nutrients, and your body’s current status, or risk “drawing down” something that’s low by suddenly introducing a high dose of something.

    Another time I was having bizarre nightmares that would cause me to wake feeling anxious and very uneasy and sleep fitfully after that. I definitely pegged it to liquid Vit D3 supplements, because it would reliably happen that night after taking D3 in the morning, and not happen if I skipped the D3. Also it happened with multiple brands of liquid D3. Still don’t know what this response really means, I just know I’m only getting D from sunlight for now..!

    • SW

      Sounds like your warm flushing feeling could be a niacin flush which is actually harmless. But it is a common side effect of taking niacin.

      • TimR

        Well it’s gone now – but I wasn’t / don’t take niacin. I don’t even eat niacin enriched products (isn’t niacin a typical “enrichment” nutrient for bread, rice, etc…?)

      • Dave Asprey

        Weird. Jaminet doesn’t like niacin so that’s not it. Could be a return of circulation or nervous system function, or it could be an excess of b6.

  • Tracy

    Thanks for the supplement list. My Gynecologist suggested I take Vitamin E for cystic breasts. What are your thoughts on women and vitamin E? Do you know any research sources on this? Thanks,


    • Dave Asprey

      I would read Wiley “Sex Lies Menopause” for that…

    • sunnysideup

      I have mild hypothyroidism and my doc started me on kelp (600mg/day). I had also been experiencing some significant breast cysts. They disappeared completely after a month on kelp, and I was cyst free for 2 years. Now that my thyroid seems to be perking up, my doc said to go ahead and skip the kelp. Within two weeks of no kelp I have a cyst. Coincidence?

  • Robert Katz

    Well, I’m neither an nudist nor do I dwell at the equator, but I get one hour of solar-noon sun on my face, back, legs, and chest right here in Little Arkansas. I decided to test my levels. The report just came back:

    Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy 49.1 ng/mL; reference interval 30.0 — 100.0

    Is that high enough? What’s a good level? Is it a good idea to take 1,000IU/25lb-bodyweight in addition to the sun?

    Thank you,


    • TimR

      On Paul Jaminet’s site he says around 40 ng/ml is ideal, so yours sounds fine to me. See http://perfecthealthdiet.com/category/nutrients/vitamin-d/

      (I’m sure Dave has addressed this somewhere, I’m just more familiar with Jaminet’s site.)

      On the supplementation, I think it’s only recommended if you’re not getting enough through sun.

      • Dave Asprey

        I tend to favor 70-90, but anything 50 or above is going to help. Above 90 may cause more inflammation.

  • Has anyone tried out https://www.consumerlab.com?
    They review vitamins and report on the best brands. I want to know if it is worth a membership.

  • Nick_FPH

    Dave, my parents and I are getting loose bowels/diarrhea, we are taking all the recommended supplements except copper. What can we do?

    • Dave Asprey

      Back off on mct, don’t stop it, just give your body time to get used to it. Add betaine hcl and lipase with fatty meals. Your bodies are getting used to burning fat for energy. This is a very temporary problem.

      • Nick_FPH

        We’ve been doing well with MCT for the last month, and have been eating paleo for about a year now. The only recent change has been adding in vitamin C, magnesium, selenium, b12 and folinic acid, and an increase in vitamin D intake…

        • Dave Asprey

          Then the culprit is probably excess magnesium. Take it in divided doses or back off a bit!

        • Thanks!

        • Rod

          Hey Nick, any update? Did that work out for you?


      • Laura Grace

        My girlfriend experiences the same from coffee w/ gf butter and coconut oil. Is the solution the same? Powering through the temporary problem combined with taking lipase and betaine hcl? Our coffee is not upgraded yet although that is definitely the plan.

  • Jeff Miller

    So I need some help here. The doctor has asked me to up my fish oil intake (and by that, I assume he meant omega 3) to 4g daily. Let’s assume I eat a less than perfect BPD…which is true. If I wanted to substitute krill oil for the fish oil, what should my daily dosage be? 1g of krill oil won’t provide an adequate amount of omega 3, at least that’s what appears to be the case by comparing fish/krill labels.

    Should I be more concerned about the total krill oil dosage, or the amount of omega 3s I’m getting?

    • Dave Asprey

      Since your dr. is recommending the omega-3, you should work with him on this. He is going to have a much more complete picture of your health. I would be concerned about 4 g of fish oil because it can be easily oxidized in your tissues.

      • Jeff Miller

        The good news is that by taking the fish oil, I’ve managed to pick up an extra 200mg of CoQ10 and 2000IU of vitamin D3 a day.

        And the magnesium suggestion has been a life saver! That was enough to recommend this article to others.

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  • Julia

    Wonderful list of supplements. Why do you recommend Jarrow krill? I’ve been looking for a brand of krill oil that is not rancid, but not sure where to find this information.

    • Dave Asprey

      Mix of price and performance.

  • Very helpful list – thank you! I’ve been taking a combo D3/K2 from Thorne, wonder if you know anything about it quality-wise? (Not sure if I can put a link in here – don’t want to get flagged as a spammer)

    • Dave Asprey

      Thorne is pricey but very high quality. Recommend highly.

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  • NobHillSF

    just wondering what you thought of Grass-fed raised whole milk. Whole Foods carries it as”Grassmilk”- Organic Valley brand from Humboldt, about twice the price of regular milk. Same fat, application as Kerrygold butter? Use it plain or for protein drinks…

  • Elle

    Hi Dave, Is there a less expensive substitute for D3 you could recommend? Its $60 for purity products’ D3.
    What about life extension’s D3? That’s the one I was on last and its much more affordable……Thanks so much

    • limone

      Pure Encapsulations d3 1000iu $27

    • Naomi

      Garden of Life’s Raw D3 is quite affordable and high quality. 60-ct 5,000 IU caps for about $16. Great company. I’ve been taking them since discovering the BP lifestyle and I feel pretty great!

      • Gina

        Ditto this! Garden of life products are excellent!

    • shark

      Seeking Health has the simplest and cheapest D3 supplement, shipping international with MyUS is expensive though.

    • onewitness

      If you go to your doctor and get tested for vitamin D deficiency (most are), then you can get a prescription of up to 50,000iu per pill. Take one a week and they are around $1 a pill with insurance.

      • John V

        Why do my replies always get deleted? Vitamin D by prescription is ironically of the inferior synthetic D2.

        • Todd Adams

          True, but we measure D3 when assessing response to this treatment because D2 is converted to D3 in the kidney just like the vitamin D we produce ourselves.

  • manom


    Two questions

    1. Dr Mercola mentions in one of his auditions oral Vitamin D is not a good idea to supplement with, He recommends Vitamin D sulphate. The best way to get it, according to him, is from sun beds that are magnetic field free. Whats your take on that?

    2. Many supplements, including PS-100 or whey contain small amounts of soy (GM free) or are derived from soy. Are they not contributing to estrogen elevation?


    • Alex James

      You might be referring to this article: ‘Taking Oral Vitamin D? Avoid Making This Serious Mistake’ http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/02/23/oral-vitamin-d-mistake.aspx

      Dr Mercola doesn’t recommend against taking vitamin D. He does say that sunlight or safe tanning bed exposure are preferable to oral supplementation, because it promotes natural synthesis of cholecalciferol AND other compounds he believes beneficial (cholesterol sulphate, cholecalciferol sulphate). But, in his own words “if neither of these are feasible options, then you should take an oral
      vitamin D3 supplement. It will certainly be better than no vitamin D at

      This comes with the caveat that you are supplementing D3 (cholecalciferol) specifically, and not artificial D2 (ergocalciferol), which has been shown to marginally increase mortality. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22552031)

  • Olav

    Would it be possible to obtain an optimal VITAMIN D level merely by a tanning bed?

    • Absolutely not. In addition, you are risking skin damage and potentially cancer.

  • Olav

    What if folinic acid is not available where I live? Should I take folic acid? In my country it’s named “Vitamin B11” by the way.

  • Jason

    Dave, awesome write up and props for interacting with your readers, very refreshing. Quick question – what you think of the Albion chelated minerals/vitamins by Vitacost?

    Much appreciated.

  • sam

    Hey dave, I have been Following your blog in the last few months, and I was curious about something. My girlfriend had a thyroidectomy about a year ago(recently got her medication right), now eats a bulletproof diet, and exercises and sleeps well but still seems to carry a lot of bodyfat around her glute region to the point of cellulite wheras the rest of her body is very lean. We thought it was and estrogen problem but blood tests proved otherwise, Testosterone was about 24ng/dl and estrogen was about 64. Overall, I was curious what your thoughts on normal ranges for testosterone levels for women should be. Various studies seem to go all over the place.

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  • The problem with the dated suggestion of “getting everything you need from food” is that the food is no longer real. It lacks considerable amounts of nutrition that we need. Correct and personalized supplementation is a must in today’s world.

    • Garrett K

      If you’re following the Bulletproof Diet, then the foods that you eat are, in fact, real.

      This being said, it’s still a good idea to supplement, even when switching/switched over to Bulletproof, since most people have been eating food which is ‘no longer real’. Thus the people are nutrient deficient. So they need to make up for lost ground, even when beginning to consume high quality food (Bulletproof).

      • Rachel Fleming

        But even the ‘real’ foods have changed correct? So, supplementation can still be very important for many even on the whole foods diet/ Bulletproof diet/ Paleo/ etc.

    • Gus Echon

      With all due respect, Doc – many cannot afford to supplement to such a degree. What then? Is it still better to eat LCHF/Paleo/ Bulletproof even if your budget only allows for non-grass fed meats and pesticide-laden fruits and veggies? What recourse do we have, as private citizen -consumers, to demand that all meat and vegetables be of the highest quality, and not just only accessible to the higher income earning subset of our population? It seems to me to be the elephant in the room (the quality of the world’s food supply and the ability to afford such nutritious food). It seems like an unintentional eugenics program by all appearances and I mean that in a non-conspiratorial way. I’d like your thoughts on these issues.

      • Steppinwolf

        Yo, Gus. You might check out your local area for CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture). I’ve been a member of Stonebridge Farm as both a paying and work-trade member for many years. Work-trade is 7-11am for the summer months on Saturdays and gets you one full share for labor…and it’s fun in the dirt. Meet some great folks, too. There are also deals with local meat, fruit shares, and now we’re even connected to some family owned wild-caught fish like salmon. The style of the CSA can really vary, but SB is very hands-on and product vs. pretty oriented. If you have a choice, shop around for the farmers you click with. J & K are a couple of my best friends.

        Dug yer comment on Alternet – “hearts and souls of the working class.” Assume you work in 10ths. Grew up in machinist land, myself. Had a buddy that could TIG two gum wrappers together. 😉 Peace and Bern.

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  • madrid

    I’m finding it hard to find the forms of magnesium mentioned above where I live. To improve sleeping, would other forms such as carbonate, chloride or hydroxide do?

    • Dave Asprey

      Chloride is very potent so do research before using it internally (works as a soak). Oxide is better than nothing but poorly absorbed.
      Sent from an iphone. That means it’s spelled wrong…and I’m probably lost. You understand… -Dave

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  • Ash

    Hey Dave,

    Any update on the advanced supplements for biohacking post? Really looking forward to it.
    By the way, the Magnesium is a major biohack for sleep! Consistently wake up refreshed after only 4-5 hours of sleep. Amazing! Real good work.

  • sam

    Im curious about the iodine supplementation. I do not have a thyroid as i had radio active iodine treatment many years ago. Any idea how an iodine suppliment would effect me?

    • Taking too much iodine can actually over stress your thyroid. Do you have Hashamotos?

      • Molly Tinsley

        THIS ! If you have autoimmune thyroiditis under NO circumstances should you take iodine supplementation – it can cause a thyroid storm. Its one of the most common forms of hypothyroidism and its really, really important to establish if you have it (via Thyroid antibody testing) before supplementing with iodine. Iodine deficiency is rarer than you’d think as cooking salt is iodised. (And bread flour here in Australia, not that we eats grains 🙂 I would honestly suggest eating more small, oily fish and using iodised cooking salt if you want to increase your iodine intake. I seriously wouldn’t supplement – apart from anything else, too much kelp can actually cause hypothyroidism….

  • nuzzi

    Is anyone using Magnesium Chloride? If so, in what form? bath salts, oil etc

    • Steve

      Using magnesium chloride flakes in the bath along with magnesium sulfate.

  • Charles

    B12 dosage: is it really 5 MILIGRAMS? Shouldn’t that be MCG?

    5MG is an insane megadose?

  • Jade

    Not trying to be a dick coz I am a big fan of your diet and biohacking tips. But why did you basically praise Alpha Brain on Rogan’s podcast yet you say on here that you are not a huge fan? I have recently started taking it but given the price would gladly switch over to something else if there’s a better nutropic product on the market.

    • Palo Alto Savage

      Brah Try Nuero Optimizer by Jarrow Forumulas

      • Aaron

        does yarrow use gmo’s? I don’t know for sure but i read, solaray, that dave endorse as his go to vit c is made in china, is this true or untrue? and is it also gmo?

    • Steve

      Where does he say that?

      • Dave Asprey

        Right here, Steve.

        Alpha Brain is an overpriced rip-off. You can get even more brain nutrients in a fresh load of grass-fed semen. I’ve been taking loads of it in my mouth every day for the past ten or so years now, and I feel great!

        I’ve been tinkering in my kitchen trying to make a good jizz smoothie recipe to put on my blog. But whenever my wife catches me jerking off into the blender, she doesn’t sleep with me for the next week.

        Asprey out.

    • Adam

      If you’re that far off from spelling ‘because’ and ‘nootropic’ I’d suggest that some schooling would be your best bet for now.

      • Mitts

        Jade does have a point: Dave does praise Alpha Brain on Rogan’s podcast. He did it int he most recent episode Nov/2013.

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  • Rasputin

    Any thoughts on Calcium Pyruvate?

  • Jack

    Hey Dave, I read that Kelp, being often grown in polluted oceans might contain high levels of arsenic. What do you think about that?!

  • Michele

    What form of supplements are best – Gel/Capsules/Tablets?

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  • Brett

    Does anyone know much about ordering vitamin K in Canada. iHerb.com says it cannot be imported into Canada, but it is hard to find this documented anywhere on a government website. I’ve heard that the import restriction is 120mcg and noticed that among Canadian online retailers, I only see vitamin K supplements being sold with 120 mcg or less. Why the restriction? Why is it okay to take the 2000 mcg recommended above given this restriction? How can one order vitamin K in Canada. Dave – you live in Victoria… what is your experience with this?

    • thea

      I order life extensions Super K from iherb no problem…ships find to canada.

  • TianZarco

    Hey Dave,

    For the Cod Liver Oil, you mean Green “Pastures” as the recommended brand right?

  • TianZarco

    How worried are you about taking supplements like the Life Extension K2 you’ve suggested or something like nattinokase considering they’re derived from Natto which is itself derived from soybeans?

    Are the phytoestrogenic properties of these an issue or do the benefits outweigh the cost?

  • Dave is this the Vitamin D3 you recommended in your article? I don’t see where it says D3– please confirm. I did see a D3 for men by Purity Products, but I want to buy one for both genders. Thanks in advance 🙂

  • Pat

    Is that a typo for K2? 2,000 mcg seems high. Is it 200 mcg?

  • Looking for Purity Products Vitamin D3 and all I find is “Dr. Cannell’s Advanced D” which says it includes magnesium, but doesn’t say how much. I’m looking to supplement both (looking at Jigsaw Health Magnesium w/SRT as recommended by The Magnesium Man). Any clarification on the inclusion of magnesium with Advanced D?

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  • Molly Tinsley

    Comes to $106 if ordered from iHerb + $10 shipping to Australia. I didn’t count the D3 as I already have a huge jar of them – I get the Healthy Origins Brand at $16.95 for 360 at 5,000iu per capsule. I also wanted some NAC and went with the Jarrow non-slow release.

    Speaking as someone with Hashimotos, who has to take huge amounts of supplements due to a malfunctioning autoimmune system, I actually don’t think this is too bad in terms of a supplementation regime. I’ve walked out of a Doctors with $300 worth of supplements before – and often for a 2 month supply. The above order will last me 3 months at least, and some, like the D3 are a year’s supply.

    I also take the Solar sublingual b12, the Now Milk thistle (I do a course once or twice a year) and the Now borage oil. I find Optimoz do the best prices for the MCT Oil, coffee etc http://www.optimoz.com.au/

    Its all good, but I have to say that most of my friends think I’m nuts. I was showing my girlfriends my pill case yesterday and I got some raised eyebrows. I think that unless you’ve had a chronic illness which doesn’t respond well to medication, you can’t really understand what a difference it makes to find a supplement which allows you to function better.

    I don’t got to all this trouble and expense so that I can hone a finely developed physique and mental performance….. I do this so that I can function without falling asleep at 1pm in the afternoon, or hitting 300 pounds.

    I find it very useful to have Bodyhackers do the footwork for me. Hell, maybe one of these days I may even lose some weight 😀

    Thanks Dave!

    • Lauren

      Hi Molly,

      I am new to the site, and am very interested in improving my mental and physical well being. Unfortunately, I fall in the same boat as you with my diagnoses of Hashimotos. It was discovered in my sophomore year of highschool, and I am now 20 years old. My doctor seems to think it may have been caused by a virus because my thyroid levels are now stable. I was just curious as to what supplements you are taking specifically for the maintenance of Hashimotos.

      Thank you,


      • John

        Selenium 200mcg daily, (helps the conversion of thyroid hormones), Magnesium 400mg, Vit E 400iu, Restveratrol, Vit A, NAC, Zinc, Iron (Ferritin is often low in people with Hash so if lower than 50 then supplement, but get levels tested), B12 and a B complex vitamin, 50 billion CFU probiotic, good quality Fish oil, Turmeric/Curriculum and Vit D and K if your levels are low, which they probably are. And stop eating gluten and make sure all your supplements are gluten and soy free.

    • Alex James

      I hope you’ve been careful supplementing iodine with a preexisting thyroid condition. Some people do not respond well to sudden increases/decreases in iodine intake, even without a compromising health condition. I’d recommend anyone with even mild symptoms of problematic thyroid be tested before supplementing iodine or kelp products.

    • Joyce

      Strange. I have 3 autoimmune disorders. Only one in my family. Maybe I should be tested for Hashimotos what’s the test involve.
      I’m a newbie.

      • John

        Generally if you have one immune disease then you have more coming eventually, especially if you don’t get the initial one under control. To test for Hash is easy, just ask your doctor for a Thyroid Antibody test along with a full thyroid panel. The best book you can buy regarding supplement advice and diet for Hashimotos/AI conditions is “The Root Cause” by Izabella Wenz. Lastly if you AI conditions get out of control then you can always give Low Dose Naltrexone a go but do your research on it first. Good luck!

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  • Eric C

    I’ve heard Dave say no to all mushrooms, but I’ve heard great things about mushrooms, especially lions mane to induce brain growth, can anyone shed light on this topic?

    • David N.

      I believe he meant to avoid them in large quantities as a food source because of the carbs. He’s mentioned using medicinal types like reishi, cordyceps, lions mane, etc. and my friends and I use these as part of our BP protocol.

  • Vee

    I’ve read that the best way to supplement magnesium was transdermally (sp?) I use a homemade magnesium lotion made from mag oil (also homemade), beeswax and Shea butter. Is this ok or is a pill better?

  • Vee

    Iv’e read that the best way to supplement magnesium was through transdermal absorption. Is this true? I use a homemade lotion that is made from magnesium oil (also homemade). I appreciate your thoughts.

  • Maggie

    I noticed you recommend Natural Calm as a magnesium supplement. I recently read online that it was tested by ConsumerLab and found to have high levels of lead. Has anyone else come across this information as well?


  • walter

    Be careful with vitamin C as ascorbic acid because it kills the bad and the good gut bacteria. It is being added to juices and other foods as preservative because of that reason. Even a couple grams is enough to wipe out most of your good flora you worked so hard for – than it’s effect is more detrimental to your health than it does good! Try rose-hips and other natural sources, they don’t have that effect.

  • alex

    Hey Dave, how young to do suggest for people to start taking these supplements?

  • ray

    I take mark sissons damage control master formula+his fish oil+his vitamin d+ his probiotic. Shouldn’t this be enough and cover every vitamin supplement needed?

  • Evan Dahme

    Do you really mean 5MG of B12 or did you mean mcg? Mg seems like a extremely high dose and I can’t find a supplement even close. Can you clarify?

    • Armistead Legge

      5MG = 5,000 mcg.

      Also, you’re a dumbass.

      • Evan Dahme

        Very mature. No wonder your not on the podcast anymore.

        I know 5mg = 5000 mcg. My question was did he mean 5mcg. There’s no B12 supplement that comes even close to 5mg.

        Man, had no idea you were such a prick.

        • Armistead Legge

          Whatever, homo. You’re the one who doesn’t know that most B12 supplements come in 5000 mcg form. I have no idea how with the entirety of the internet and a drugstore on every corner you haven’t figured that out yet.

          And I have my own podcast, thank you very much. It’s called impruvism, and it’s way better. So go fuck your mother.

        • Evan Dahme

          Did you get beat up as a kid? Seems like it. I can always tell when I’m talking to a teenager (and a virgin). Makes sense due to your unprovoked hostility. Grow up.

          Again, kicked off your own podcast.

        • Armistead Legge

          Whatever, dickbag. I get more pussy than Dave gets grassfed butter. When he keels over one day due to stuffing his arteries with cholesterol, my podcast will still be going strong.

        • Evan Dahme

          Right, I’m sure.

          I feel sorry for you.

        • Jesse Ryan

          LOL what did he say the comments are deleted!

        • Thor
  • Sarah Boxer

    I heard some amazing things about Dr Max Powers Burn Pills on a forum website so I decided to purchase it.

    Weight loss? I am already a healthy eater and dieter, so I’m losing weight regardless. But the Dr Max Powers Burn completely took away my sleeping problems. I wake up about 4-5 times a night. After the first day of using this product in my morning drink I slept soundly the whole night, and continued to sleep wonderfully as I used it.

    Energy? It replaced coffee for me. It keeps me energized and I’m surprised. I haven’t felt this good since high school.

    • Ben

      what ingredients do you think took away sleeping problems and increased energy? Im curious…

  • Dawn

    I know if you are looking to boost energy and focus there are two great all-natural supplements with vitamins and minerals that you could take. To find out more information on this please visit http://silvelf.blogspot.com/2013/07/best-supplements-for-energy-and-focus.html

  • Mark

    I think it is silly to recommend a retinol dosage that is above the upper limit.

  • Miriam Hyde

    Hi Dave, just found this while searching for different things. I have a LOT of physical issues. I’m taking a number of supplements (which I will now review!) but have question on heavy metals and iodine. I had a defective hip replacement, and three years after three revision surgeries, my Cobalt levels are too high; chromium goes up and down. So, I’m a bit concerned about taking any others. I developed CKD from the Cobalt (I’ve been stable at 40%), and wondered about these or other supplement I should take or avoid. And I have had hypothyroidism for many years, resulting from lots of years of lithium…which I stopped in the early 2000’s, after having urinary issues. And what about Iodine?

    Can you respond via email? I don’t know when or if you may respond without notice. Thanks!

  • Mark


    A good reason NOT to take that much retinol.

    • Mark

      I’m just curious where did you get the idea that that much retinol is good for you? Weston Price foundation?

  • Rick Yarussi

    Can you comment more on the folate to B12 ratio? Some quick googling (yeah, dangerous, I know) pulls up a 2:1 ratio:

    Maybe it’s only 2:1 up to a certain point? The ratio given in the post is 1:6, or 12x more B12.

    Steve Fowkes mentioned that the ratios of the B vitamins in the RDA are about right, but the overall doses are 10x-20x too low.

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  • Rick

    Great article, just one small nit to pick. Calling ascorbic acid “Vitamin C” is like going to a tire store, pointing to 4 tires and saying you have a car. They’re assuredly part of a car, but if that’s all you’ve got, you’re not going anywhere. When the body receives ascorbic acid it’s also expecting to receive a number of other phyto-compounds that allow the body to properly utilize it. Taking ascorbic acid by itself is essentially taking a drug, not a nutrient. Not saying that’s a bad thing, but if you want “Vitamin C”, I’d suggest a food-based product like the excellent one from The Synergy Company, Pure Radiance C. I don’t work for them, I’ve just used the product for a few years and found it to be very beneficial. I”ll occasionally use straight ascorbic acid when dealing with certain issues, but I use the above product as my daily vitamin C supplement.

  • Nathan Corbett

    I can vouch for the toxicity of Folate supplementation gone awry. In an attempt to remediate low energy from what I suspected was a B12 deficiency, I grabbed a normal B12 supplement (Jameson’s, I think) and started dutifully taking it as recommended each day. Initially, I felt a more energetic and on the ball, but within a week I was experiencing brain fog, mild dizziness, and visual distortions. On stopping, things returned to normal, but what a surprising effect!

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  • Ryan Critchett

    Love it. Been really feeling the benefits of Vitamin D lately. One question Dave: what’s your take on Choline supplements? I’ve heard you say some people are choline dominant, and shouldn’t take choline supps. – Sure, I eat eggs, and GF steak, but I’m an entrepreneur, burning acetylcholine daily, and a runner (burning more acetylcholine 3 times weekly, in runs). CDP Choline, about a gram, restores a lot of my brain function depleted from running and the demand from my business endeavors. — What’s your take on that?

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  • Luke

    Magnesium citrate is recommended but from a little bit of research all i have seen about Mag citrate is that it is used as a laxative. Please could you say why its recommended and if indeed it is a laxative, that would be much appreciated.

  • Trent

    I just started vit D, K2, iodine, C, mag & fish oil liquid. This all costs quite a bit especially when grouped in with crazy expensive food. My biggest question is Vitamin D. This will cost me about $80 a month alone to buy those you recommended for my weight (240 lbs). Can you recommend another one or is this much better?

    • Tracker

      Get something like http://www.iherb.com/Nature-s-Answer-Vitamin-D-3-Drops-4000-IU-15-ml/20745. 300 servings of 4000 IU for about $12. Even if you take 5x that daily it should still last you 2 months.

    • Hudson

      D3 is D3. you can get it for pennies a day if you buy liquid. Go with a good brand like Life Extension and there are no issues. don’t know why he mentioned the most expensive one– not everyone is a Silicon Valley executive.

    • GM

      is this stuff working for you? gotta be more than $80/mo..! I’m thinking Vodka is much cheaper..!

    • Prudence Noble

      Trent, you can also try something called Sundew Transdermal D3 Crème. It’s put out by Longevity Warehouse. Runs about $60 for the jar. You apply topically; 2,000IU per application.

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  • reed

    my wife is nursing. can she take all these supplements and the recommended doses?

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  • Blair Ellertson

    How do you feel about Vitamin D-3 injections. I have some from a pharmacist and for 1 ml is 100,000 iU’s which is obviously way too much. Would love to know if the dosing is the same for liquid injectables.

  • Kyle K

    Hey, I can’t seem to justify putting isolated vitamins that were made in a lab into my system (have you ever read the work of Brian Clements). I want to upgrade myself as much as possible, but this seems like it could be downgrading your body. Just doesn’t seem like it would help your body or be beneficial. Where is the proof? I know multis have shown to lead to shorter lifespans. Sounds like the pharma companies are just trying to make another buck off this conspiracy. Your insight would be greatly appreciated Dave/guys

    • Kyle K

      Dr. Brian Clement sorry

    • Rachel Fleming

      I think being aware of the fact that you can screw up what is going on in your body if you take isolated supplements is important. Having said that, I think there are very specific reasons for the ones mentioned above.

      I also think you have to know what deficiency you are treating in your body and why… and follow up with blood tests. As my friend Kevin says, you SHOULD be able to get everything you need through diet. But there are also factors that make food less nutritionally satisfying today than the food we ate many years ago.

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  • Liat

    Has anyone experienced difficulty locating Natural Calm or VRP magnesium online? I’ve done quite a bit of searching, but to no avail. Any help is appreciated. Thanks 🙂

  • Mort

    What’s your opinion on “synthetic vs. Natural” vitamin forms. is there any benefit from taking B-vitiamins derived from Whole food/YEAST as opposed to an isolated form….for instance?

  • Frasier Linde

    As others have mentioned, 5 mg seems like a very high dose of B12 for most people. I was taking 0.5-1 mg per day and eating rare beef liver weekly, and ended up with a blood level of 1474 pg/mL, almost double the high end of most reference ranges. Where did you get the 5 mg recommendation?

  • Rolf Rau

    viva labs krill oil seems way better than from jarrows… look at the amazon reviews

  • Michael Attanasio

    Just thought I’d share this Vitamin A supplement for those who do not feel like spending an arm and a leg. It does NOT have soybean oil but it is a mix of retinol and palmitate which is kind of a let down. Cheap as dirt though ($4.76 for 100 soft gells and a serving is 1 soft gel): http://www.iherb.com/product-reviews/Country-Life-Gluten-Free-Vitamin-A-10-000-IU-100-Softgels/11689/?p=1&fr=4

  • Abed

    For some of the vitamins, such as K2 and D, your recommendations are a few or many times the recommended daily allowance. Why do you recommend people to buy expensive vitamins in amounts they don’t need?
    Plus, Vitamin A in high doses as recommended by you might cause side effects and can even turn toxic if taken regularly for a long term.

  • 2 supplements I take right now are biotin and ginkgo biloba. I was surprised not to see either mentioned on this or the top 11 list. The former promotes cellular energy production and the latter improves cognitive grain function and short term memory. I was wondering what your thoughts are on those 2 supplements?

  • Mike

    Im surprised Zinc, SAM-e, and NAC isn’t on the list…

    • Rachel Fleming

      I’ve heard about NAC before, what is the benefit?

  • Thaddeus

    Does anyone know where can I get a K2 that has MK-7 and MK-4 without the K-1?

  • Amanda

    Overwhelmed myself a bit trying to tackle all of these at once, but it turns out life extension makes a vitamin D – vitamin K – iodine (all in one) supplement in just about exactly the forms and amounts you suggest. Not sure if anyone else found it, but thought it was worth the mention! Got it on amazon.

    • Peggy Croes


      • Stephanie

        Thanks, girl! Got it.

  • Rachel Fleming

    Has anyone read anything about magnesium stearate in supplements? I’m in France right now and I seem to only be able to find ‘Solgar’ branded vitamins at Naturalia. I thought I remembered hearing that magnesium stearate could be detrimental to your health/ prevent you from actually absorbing vitamins.

    Anyone have any insight into this?

  • Pedro feilke

    Dave, my girlfriend is becoming paleo, and I am reading your work. She has growing cysts in her kidneys, do you have any suggestions? Thank you!

    • John

      Flaxseed oil, Vit E and Vit B3

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  • Rachel Fleming

    Could eating canned cod liver replace the need to get a Vitamin A supplement?

    The first two times I ate it, I noticed I felt really great. After that, however, I felt normal. Of course, it depends on the brand, where it came from..etc. I am curious about what I can expect in terms of nutrient content from canned fish, however…


  • NewYorker

    Amazing list. Thank you Dave for all your work. Have a dilemma now and looking for help. I have been taking these vitamins for a year, so recently I did various blood tests to measure my vitamin levels and ran into a problem of not being able to read the results properly. My doctor has no idea of what is normal. He uses lab’s ranges to track “normal.”. So…perhaps someday you will update this vitamins page with what “normal” vitamin levels should be in the tests for someone who is BP healthy? Million thank yous once again.

  • ff

    would disagree with respect to copper. zinc and copper are antagonists. most people get way to much copper relative to zinc nowadays and should instead of supplementing copper be supplementing zinc.

  • getwell

    Thanks so much for this info, its invaluable, and in a very easy to read format. Could you comment on some of the risks that have been published on Vit C, D, and DHA contributing to kidney stones? As a guy who just had a 1 cm stone removed, I have stopped most of my supplements in fear. K2, FCLO and vit A are still in the mix, but I dropped high doses of D and C. Thank you.

  • noelle federico

    Thanks for sharing the nice information with us. I am agree with you that in market there is use of low quality supplement also. But if we choose the good brand company which provides the best energy supplements it will help us alot. As I know one of the best brand leading in USA is Natures youth which provides the best energy pills with 100 percent natural ingredients and it helps alot to the person.

  • gnoober

    You should really mention that magnesium citrate =/= magnesium.
    1,9 grams of magnesium citrate equal about 315 mg of magnesium.

    I was a little concerned at first about the high dosage of my supplement since you only recommend up to 800 mg, but then I realized I need to take 4-5 grams of magnesium citrate to reach 700-800mg magnesium from it.

    So definitely room for confusion there.

  • noelle

    Thanks for sharing the nice article on energy supplements. Always take the natural energy pills which can boost up the energy level all day. For that we can consider natural energy pills.

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  • Suan

    HI BPE team,
    You may want to put a warning/contraindication on the B-12 & Folinic Acid supplement recommendation. If someone who is undermythelated takes that recommendation, they might deteriorate and not know why. I just finished reading Dr. Walsh’s book.

  • Luke

    Hi Dave for B12 do you said 5mg is this correct or is it 5mcg? all the supplements I can find here in Spain are 5mcg..

    • Hendo

      Hi Luke,
      Search iHerb for the following:
      – Source Naturals, Methylcobalamin Fast Melt, 5 mg, 60 Tablets
      – Thorne Research, 5-MTHF, 1 mg, 60 Veggie Caps

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  • Mad Martigan

    Hi, what does the IU in “10,000-15,000 IU / day” stand for?? Am I just being simple?

    • Hendo

      Hello MM, IU stands for ‘International Unit’

      The volume or mass that makes up one International unit is dependent on the concentration or potency of the substance and therefore varies from substance to substance depending on what is being measured.

      Further reading here:

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  • payman

    15000 iu retinol is too much , and its bad for bones !!!

  • Sarah

    I know this is an older article but I hope maybe someone will still see my question and answer, I cannot find a supplement of B12 and Folate that is not folic acid and has the right dosage, can anyone suggest a brand, that is the only one that in Dave’s list that does not have a suggested brand… thank you in advance!

    • Hendo

      Hi Sarah,
      Search iHerb for the following:
      – Source Naturals, Methylcobalamin Fast Melt, 5 mg, 60 Tablets
      – Thorne Research, 5-MTHF, 1 mg, 60 Veggie Caps

  • matt

    your recommending way too much vitamin a to people. after you just said multivitamins contain too much. what a contradiction .

  • Leona james

    The best is providing by this blog’s the vitamins are necessary for our life, the blog is define the many types of vitamins and its advantages of daily routine life i really appreciate that work that they have done, i Evan like your all over stuff please keep it up and spread the knowledge to the unknown people so they have gate advantage from these vitamins.

  • paulz9

    K2 question … the brand recommended is Life Extension, but when I look on Amazon the only 2 Life Extension options are 1) very low-dose K2 or a K1/K2 combo that has 1,000 mcg of each. Thoughts/alternate brand? Thanks!

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  • David

    If I am following the Bulletproof intermittent fasting, will taking something like Vitamin D in the morning (since that’s the time that Dave recommends) break the fast? Or would this work similar to drinking Bulletproof Coffee in the morning which does not break the fasting that’s been going on since the previous night?

  • Amy

    Make sure you ask a doctor before you take anything….especially if you are on blood thinners, or have a bleeding disorder. Just my .02

  • PghPammy

    Based on your recommendations in Upgrade Your Supplements ” Dose: >5mg of methylcobalamin or hydroxycobalamin and >800mcg of folate (5-MTHF or folinic acid, NOT folic acid)” I’ve been taking 5mg of methylcobalamin and 800 5-MTHF daily.

    I’ve been looking at my MTHFR SNPs from 23andme and it’s looking like I should be avoiding Methyl donors, specifically I should be taking hydroxycobalamin NOT methylcobalamin. Why would you say to use either when certain people should not use one form? Or is supplementing with any B12 preferable to being deficient?

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  • Mr.Saito

    On Vitamin K2:

    The recommended K2 dosage in this article is “Dose: 2,000mcg / day (100mcg MK-7 form)”, yet on Bulletproof radio podcast # 106, titled “The Powers of Vitamin K2” which featured Dr. Kate Rhéaume-Bleue, she states:

    “…120 micrograms per day. That is close to the adult dose that I do talk about in my book.” and later

    “…If you were eating one serving of natto per day, you’d be getting about 350 to 400 micrograms. I’m using that as my new guideline for nutritional intake.”

    So she recommends 350 to 400 micrograms, but Dave states that 2,000 mcg/day is optimal? That’s a quite a discrepancy in recommended dosages.

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  • Good morning Dave,

    The I completely agree with your philosophy behind supplementation. Unfortunately many supplement users have extraordinarily expensive urine because little to know research was performed on nutrient abosorption and the actual ingredients that go into the supplements consume. I firmly believe that a consistent exercise program coupled with a diverse nutrient rich whole food diet with selectively chosen supplements unique to each person is the way to go.

    Garrett A. Thierry


    • Joyce

      Do these supplements have to have USP stamp of approval?

      Somebody….. please

  • David Sherer

    Where can you find the Folinic Acid with B12 > 5mg with 800 mcg of folate?

  • Opal

    Sadly, I’ve been taking what I thought was a good idea.. a multivitamin, by life extension along with extra D(3) and a few other things to compensate for a vegetarian eating plan.. been veggie since 94 and only miss bacon now. Just wondering, are some of the life extension products less quality than others? I’ve been quite aware of Dirk and Sandy since the 80s and considered them to be of good reputation.
    Oh.. and do you have any general thoughts on liposomal vitamin C?

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  • Ron

    1mg of iodine seems high. 10x the RDA , would you help explain why so much.


  • Lena

    Hi Dave, Solaray Vitamin C is no longer sold in Canada. I was wondering if you have any other recommendations for a Vitamins C?


  • Randy

    Copper the rec is life extension and 1mg/day. Life extensions is 2mg each. Is that too much?
    Also see to take krill oil and then also fermented cod liver oil for vitamin A. Is that overkill to do both?

  • Captain Carl

    Since you brought it up. How can you cram good nutrients into a chalky white pill? How is that Paleo. Or Bulletproof? Eat everything Dave suggests and grow every sprout and grass that’s edible. Use composted soil, rock dust, and good sunshine. Set up a full blown operation in your living room or deck. In season, grow intense garden/containers. All organic produce is grown in depleted soil that used to be treated with herbicide pesticide fertilizer etc. read the qualifications for “organic” classifications/qualifications. It’s semantics.

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  • Dean Hoffman

    What about probiotics?

    • John

      The best ones out there are VSL #3

  • Steve Hord

    Thanks for the post mate. As i started following your posts and work I thought most of your stuff was way over the top…however as I have meticulously biohacked myself over the last few years I can see and feel the benefits in the little things you do. Upon learning thatmy body is unable to process folic acid and because I work out in the Pilbara in Western AustraliaI have been keen to find a Multi that even coms close to meeting my needs!
    This supplement regime could be it! you can so easily personalise it, and change it day to day to suit your varying requirements.

    Cheers and much appreciated Mate


  • bioreflector

    Hi, what supps do you take with bulletproof coffee in the morning (during “fast”) and what supps do you take with the FIRST meal?

    • I was downing my full stack with my bp coffee for a year but then my stomach just could not handle it. So when trying to be in ketosis I ended up taking my stack around 2pm aka the first time I would eat that day. Else when not in ketosis I would just have an egg or something with my bp coffee then have my stack right after so as to not feel nauseous. I follow the stack above but also throw in some creatine.

  • Cheeky Kent

    “Learn about 11 more advanced biohacking supplements when you sign up for the Bulletproof Toolbox”

    I signed up, but don’t see anything mentioning 11 more supplements. Where can I find those?

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  • George

    I need some advice about the cod liver oil and krill oil. I took 2 ml. yesterday along with 1000 mg. of Krill oil with my 1st meal of the day. It was a little hard on my stomach, bit of a stomachache and I kept belching up fish taste. Can anyone help?

  • Rahul Sharma

    Great insightful article. I’m a personal trainer and I try to tell my clients all the time that supplements and vitamins aren’t always necessary. The marketing by companies now have brainwashed so many into thinking they absolutely NEED various products in order to achieve optimal health. Great nutrition and a balanced diet will give you almost everything you need daily.

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  • Nicolas Echeverria

    Green Pastures does not list the Retinol dosage on their Fermented Cod Liver Oil. How much is everyone else taking? The recommended does is 2mL. Is it possible that I am getting too much Retinol with this dosage?

    Also, can anyone recommend another brand of ‘Bulletproof’ Retinol supplement? Preferably one that is less expensive, in capsule form, and has a minimal amount of ‘anti-nutrients’ (mercury, GMOs, etc.)

    Sidenote: Do not buy Green Pastures Cod Liver Oil from Amazon. Get it directly from the manufacturer. 20% mark-ups on Amazon.

  • JP

    I think your recommendation for Vitamin A is very high, particularly if someone is drinking bulletproof coffee w grass fed butter. I recently got Vitamin A toxicity (blurry vision) from 10,000 IU Retinol every other day (along with lots of grass fed butter). Stopped the supplemental A and butter and the blurry vision went away in a few days. Now I’m back on the butter.

  • Michelle Hamilton

    I bought the recommended cod liver oil. Dave says to take 10,000-15,000 IUs a day. How do I measure that? What would that be in ml’s?

    • Michelle Hamilton

      I found it.

  • maria

    I had heard of your Bulletproof coffee, but, didn’t really know about it. I listened to your very informative interview on James Altucher’s podcast while waiting in line at McDonald’s. I ate my 20-piece chicken McNugget meal and diet coke while watching this video. I’m going out to buy your book now and start working on myself. Brain fog, attention deficit, sleep deprivation, joint pains, weight gain…. My habits for my health are terrible and it really does affect every area of one’s life. Thank you for being the guinea pig for all of us. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens from here!

  • Its a fact that we need to upgrade or enhance our energy supplements as with the time our body needs also changes. So, its good to optimize the supplements we are using. If you are thinking of up-gradation you can opt for the best energizer from hgh, I am sure that will serve the purpose for you. Thanks for sharing this post.

  • Justin B

    I dont know if anyone watches this forum or not, but I’ve bought most of the supplements above to give it a shot, and my wife pointed out that each supplement comes with “inactive ingredients” (e.g., the gelatin capsule), and with all of those supplements taking every day, it may or may not be an insignificant amount of inactive ingredients over time. Has this been discussed anywhere? I figured I’d ask considering the basis for this way of eating is that everything you put into your body is important. Thanks in advance for any guidance / info!

  • Annabella


    I think you should take copper off of your list of supplements that most everyone should take. This mineral may be beneficial for those who are actually deficient, but could be incredibly dangerous for others. Especially for women (estrogen tends to naturally increase copper levels in the body, and many can easily become toxic) Before taking any mineral supplements, find out whether you actually need them. One size does not fit all when it comes to supplements, it is best find out who you are as an individual.

    Any internet search on ‘copper toxicity’ or ‘copper overload’ and you will find that excess copper has been correlated to a range of conditions including postpartum depression/psychosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, insomnia, rheumatoid arthritis, and a host of mental health disorders including schizophrenia.

    An excellent summary can be found here: Copper Overload – Too much of a good thing http://www.courtneysnydermd.com/blog/copper-overload-too-much-of-a-good-thing3

    See also for testing information: http://www.arltma.com/Articles/CopperToxDoc.htm

    I am commenting on this because I have had an autoimmune/chronic health condition that has been getting progressively worse over the years. I thought I was supporting my health and immune system by taking a multivitamin, but always ended up feeling worse and more fatigued afterwards and never knew why. That is until I got a hair element analysis done. It revealed very high levels of copper in my system. Taking the multivitamin supplements was probably making things worse for me.

    Something to keep in mind for others out there who are looking for answers and trying to heal themselves. I would advise people to find out what your nutrient and metabolic status is before supplementing with any vitamins or minerals. The one size fits all approach can have disastrous results.

  • Annabella

    I think it is irresponsible to advise copper as a mineral of choice for everyone and here is why:

    In the book “Nutrient Power” by Dr. William Walsh. He says the following about supplementing: “After clinical experience with thousands of mental health patients, I was surprised to learn that nutrient overloads usually cause more mischief than deficiencies. This explains why most mutivitamin/mineral products are ineffective for mentally ill patients and can cause more harm than good. Patients with an overload of copper, methionine, folic acid, or iron are likely to deteriorate if they take supplements containing these nutrients. In most cases people cannot become well using a special diet or indiscriminately stuffing themselves with amino acids, vitamins and minerals. The challenge is to carefully identify the specific nutrient overloads and deficiencies possessed by an individual and to provide treatments that normalize blood and brain levels of these chemicals.”

    We are not all created equal, find out what your individual needs are for mineral supplements, especially copper. What works well in one person’s nutritional regimen could spell disaster for another.

    • Annabella

      See http://www.courtneysnydermd.com/blog/copper-overload-too-much-of-a-good-thing3 For a psychiatrists perspective on copper overload.

    • pennypacker

      I’ve been reading up on Walsh’s approach and his 5 Biotypes of Depression. Copper supplementiaton can be a problem with Pyroluria, which typically causes copper overload. But sometimes the excess can be sequestered, and there will actually be a deficiency of bioavailable copper. So you could be overloaded and yet needing dietary copper, i believe.

  • Alex

    I am going to begin a regimen soon according to the list above, dose anyone know about how long it takes for a noticeable difference to occur?

  • Jodie E Druce

    I am really high in copper and certainly don’t need to supplement it. Instead I need zinc supplements to counteract it.

  • I’d disagree strongly on the need to supplement with vitamin c and other direct-acting antioxidants. Cells activate their own defenses by using bioavtive compounds from food ( mostly plants) to activate signalling pathways that ‘switch on’ the genes that code for the cell’s own antioxidant enzymes and other protective compounds. Studies have shown that greTer than dietary amounts of vitamin c and e block the cell’s signalling. What this means is that the cell will not receive the signals needed to produce glutathione, superoxide dismutase and around 2000 other protective compounds.

  • Stephanie

    Suggestions on a high quality B-12 anyone? I was taking the Garden of Life Kind Organics B-12 spray but wondering if there are better options. Thanks! 🙂

    • Vicky Prest

      Where are you located in the world Stephanie?

      • Stephanie

        Hi Vicky, I’m located in Minneapolis, MN. 🙂

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  • Dara Merin

    Dave, I really am curious what the next best recommendation for Vitamin A is now that the Green Pastures fermented cod liver oil has a whole scandal around it. Since it’s one of your Top Ten, I think it’s worth addressing alternatives. Thank you!!!

    • pennypacker

      For Vit A… Have seen recommendations for Rosita brand CLO from a couple good sources. There’s also beef liver in the form of desiccated capsules, or liverwurst, or fresh liver.

  • Robyn Cohen

    I began consuming Bulletproof coffee before it even became a fad and immediately I knew that you were on to something Mr. Asprey. However, regarding supplements, I don’t see how consuming 40 supplements a day is healthy. Furthermore, what is the difference between consuming a multivitamin versus all those separate supplements? I would imagine it’s still challenging for our bodies to break everything down. Finally, what is the difference between folic acid and folinic acid, especially as it relates to pre-natal supplementation. Thanks!

  • Hi – Any update on a specific brand for a high quality B-12 and folinic acid supplement? A recent blood test showed I have a vitamin B deficiency. Thanks in advance!

  • vinsin

    What about zinc? Except oysters, there is no food worth mentioning.

  • optionbets

    Dave, At the Linus Pauling website it says the Tolerable upper intake level for supplemental (key word: supplemental) magnesium is 350mg/day even though an adult male should get 400-420 total a day. Sounds like more seems to cause stress on the kidneys and causes diahrea. You suggest more than that even. Can you weigh in on why you believe more is okay/safe?

    I know you say no multivitamins, but Jarrow’s Formula Mineral balance seems to kill several birds with one stone and cover a lot of trace minerals I estimate to be deficient in. (Based upon excel spreadsheet looking at a typical day of food intake and tracking the data and using Linus Pauling website to find the suggested amounts.)

    But unlike most, I’m not using it to be lazy and over/under supplement. I found the upper intake for most to be safe with my diet combined with this supplement. My two concerns are magnesium has 400mcg in a serving of 6 capsules which is over what Linus Pauling website says. (I would be about 75-100mcg short without any magnesium supplements). And with one serving, Calcium very likely puts me near, at, or above the UL of 2500mcg depending on how tall of glass of milk and how many I have on a given day.

    I’m not really sure if I should just make sure I don’t have spinach and/or milk on the same day I supplement, or if I should just supplement with a half serving since either one will get me enough without over supplementing, except for the former having too much magnesium… (Which you seem to be okay with).

    Does the “when in doubt go without” apply to situations where you know you aren’t getting quite enough of a nutrient but are close enough to not really need a supplement very often at all, (within 5%) or would you consider that a situation where you should supplement… But far less frequently.
    I.E. is it okay if I have a Coenzymated complex B vitamin supplement once a week or once a month or something if I’m not very deficient at all, but my daily intake is coming either just short, or just barely enough for most all B vitamins?

    Is the UI usually an average thing or if you take 2000 one day and 500 the next 5 and the upper intake is 1000 is that a “no no”?

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  • Jim Simmonds

    ‘Dose: >5mg of methylcobalamin or hydroxycobalamin and >800mcg of folate (5-MTHF or folinic acid, NOT folic acid)’….Can someone clarify these doses? 5mg of b12 seems extreme, even by Davids standards

  • Yes there are no overdose in taking vitamins but here are the possible side effects in taking too much vitamin D: vomiting, nausea, dry mouth, loss of appetite, headache, sleepiness, fatigue and weakness. Don’t just take it. Have your blood levels tested before trying.

    • Vicky Prest

      I take a Vitamin D12 supplement as suggested in a morning but I get really bad waves of nausea. They don’t last long, but do you think it could be this supplement that’s causing the discomfort?

      • If its possible for you to stop taking it for 2-3 days, try it and see if it improves your discomfort. And if it does, it might be best to consult your doctor. 🙂

        • Vicky Prest

          Thanks Daniel, i’ll try that 🙂 I’ve been having more coffee in a morning and waiting until I drink the entire flask rather than just a small cup before work and it seems to be slightly better. Thanks for your advice 🙂

  • Vicky Prest

    I get really bad waves of Nausea in a morning when I take all the supplements recommended. I’m on the Bulletproof Rapid Weight Loss Protocol so I am fasting for 6 days, taking the recommended supplements and then eating on the 7th day. I’m not sure which supplement it is that’s making me feel sick and it usually passes pretty quickly. I’m trying today to drink all my coffee first and take the supplements rather than taking them on just 1 small cup and having the rest of the BPC later on. Any advice would be appreciated

    • JonNy 5M1Th

      that is copper. isn’t it just the worst feeling ever. a cold rush and the feeling like you could vomit at any moment. my mornings became so much better when I stopped taking copper tablets.

      • Pierre P. Joseph

        I find that taking copper with a meal helps with the nausea.

  • Rino Marcus Gallo

    Hi guys, Isn’t K2 MK-7 the best of the best? Why MK-4 is the best? Any evidence?

  • Great review! Make sure to have your blood levels tested first before taking vitamin D. Yes there are no overdose in taking vitamins but there can be some negative effects. Ideally, you shouldn’t be taking more that 4000 iu per day otherwise you’ll feel nauseated, weak with several occasions of headache.

  • MichaelPaone

    Dave – What about the effects of supplements on the liver? Is 40 supplements taxing out your liver functioning? I’ve often felt my liver area sore while taking multi-vitamins and supplements like DHEA, fish oil, and others.

  • Invest_It

    One thought regarding Iodine
    My Holistic MD, Dr. Brownstein, instruct his patients use Lugol’s or Iodoral that is a blend of iodine AND potassium iodide for reasons I would have to look up in my chart to explain or the book to explain why the blend is better. I have been on a dose of 25 to 50 mg for two years now.
    Also a good real salt such as Celtic Sea Salt added to each glass of water is amazing and you’ll find your body craves it. I take roughly a tsp and a half a day.
    Did anyone else try Alpha Brain?
    I bought it when it was first being sold on the BP site and it gave me horrible headaches.

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  • Nate C

    probably shouldnt burn that costco bridge Dave. They could sell your coffee someday ! haha

  • Life Extension no longer sells a copper supplement.

  • vish

    Great article, but the supplement suggestions are flawed–please forgive me.

    Iodine: Forget Life Extension, go with Nascent Iodine–it is the best, read about HOW to take it by reading articles by Dr Mark Sircus, humans need way more than they are told.

    MAGNESIUM: Best form is TRANSDERMAL MAGNESIUM OIL by Ancient Minerals. Again research it.

    EPA/DHA: Buy fermented cod liver oil by GREEN PASTURES, it’s expensive, but if you buy directly from their site in bulk you can get great deals and it lasts for half a year or longer. It’s the ONLY cod liver oil that is NOT a waste of your hard-earned cash.

    VITAMIN C Only buy LIPOSOMAL vitamin C, or again you’re just wasting money, it is the closest thing
    to vitamin c injections. And we need a lot of Vitamin C considering our toxic environment. Yes, you should also purchase whole food vit c supps–BUT, I would be remiss if I didn’t urge you to take a very powerful Vitamin C supplement–DAILY. For further information, please read the writings of Dr. Thomas Levy and Dr Frederick Klenner–both personal heroes of mine.
    Suggestion: Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C Buy it on Amazon

    SELENIUM–Organic raw brazil nuts offer better bioavailable selenium than selenium capsules, and as for overdosing, well…the Japanese consume up to 700mcg daily from their meals with no toxic effects. I eat about 8 or 9 brazil nuts daily, as each one give or take is around 50mcg or so. MIght I suggest Sunfood’s Wild Raw Brazil Nuts–very delicious. I have been known to eat large amounts when stressed–I never died, so I am unwilling to believe that a whole food form of selenium is as dangerous as its synthetic capsuled counterpart.

    COPPER: You may want to try the mineral supplements by Dr Joel Wallach; MAJESTIC MINERALS or OSTEO FX, which contain colloidal copper in a more bioavailable form. I, too, am careful with copper, I tread carefully, and try to obtain most of my copper amounts as naturally as possible with raw organic cacao.

    Okay, that’s it. Sorry to oppose Dave on his site and all, but I am an extreme health fanatic, so, I only supplement with the very best, and it takes years to come across all of this kind of information. Cheers.

    • pennypacker

      There is a lot of controversy around Green Pasture FCLO. There was an independent study that showed some batches were rancid, and some i believe were not cod liver oil at all (the source was another type of fish) and thus less potent than advertised. Rosita brand CLO is supposed to be a good option.

      Agree about brazil nuts. Cant imagine choosing selenium isolate over eating a few nuts each day.

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  • Michele Hansen

    Hi Dave, would you mind elaborating a bit more on the dangers of folic acid? I understand it is needed for the development of a healthy embryo, and should be taken if a woman is trying to get pregnant or is pregnant. I would very much appreciate your understanding on this.

  • Johnny

    Awesome, at last somebody who does not confuse Folate with Folic acid (synthetic).
    This alone has convinced me of your bona fides

  • Sharon Buckley

    I use to be low on vitamin D I switched to USANA and my levels have been fine ever since

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  • Caitlin Winters

    why does he say to take so much magnesium? that’s double the recommended intake. i got heart palpitations from his recommended dosage and it definitely made it HARDER to fall asleep

    • Magnesium generally aides sleep however some folks can get the opposite effect. All vitamins and combination of vitamins can effect everyone differently. I believe magnesium to be safe and I personally think 600mg is a good level. You could try magnesium spray or epsom salts baths with just a little in the tablet form. You really need to experiment with supplements and not do multiples together from the get-go. Sleep or any issue could even be caused by anxiety over taking too much magnesium. The brain is damn funny. Go slow.

      • Caitlin Winters

        thank you!

    • Mariano Muruzábal

      What type of Mg are you taking? I tried all types of Mg and one of the best is Magnesium 2AEP which is a formula designed by Hans Nieper. 2AEP facilitates absortion in the brain and it´s just awesome. The only time Dave mentioned that was in the podcast with the author of Women are from Mars…but for a suplement that´s called Membrane Complex. You might want to google that.

      • Caitlin Winters

        thanks very much!

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  • Barbie Hester

    Ok question: I officially received all products above… Can someone give me a basic layout of which above should be taken together at which parts of the day? I know some supplements work synergistically and some don’t work well together and wondering if someone can break this down easily for me. Thanks!

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  • A great list. Thank you!

  • Mia Sawer

    hello, which one of these supplements are best taken away from food and which one is best during the meal? thank you

  • Myles O’Bery

    Is vit c, vit k and d3 all good to take together in the morning? And should it be with or without food?

  • Gerardo Morillo

    Thanks for the good vitamin and nutrients tips. This covers the general micronutrients issues and where to get them!

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  • Scott

    I realize that Dave is not a fan of nuts but it appears that a brazil nut or 2 would suffice as a selenium supplement while providing other mineral’s and vitamins. Assuming a good source for fresh raw nuts, preferably in the shell. I know the O-3/O-6 ratio is terrible but with just a nut or 2 is that really a problem?

    • genericalyspeaking

      Brazil nuts have lots of bad molds, according to Dave. Use at your own risk.

  • Peggy

    My blood tests have come back with a slightly low red blood count. I have picked up Garden of Life Vitamin Code Healthy Blood supplements. I’m wondering when is the best time of day to take blood building supplements? I’m thinking bed time because of slow motility and better absorption? thanks in advance for your thoughts.

  • Natural Stacks has a Krill Oil supplement out now that has more DHA than EPA, the reverse of the Jarrow Formulas Krill Oil. Does the ratio matter? Do we want more DHA than EPA? Or vice versa?

  • dave l

    Right on thanks for this super good info!!!

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  • Eddie Garza

    Great recommendations. I’d add Ubiquinol to the list. If you are going to take omega 3, make sure it’s mercury free. You don’t want that in your system. Fish has a lot of mercury. Vitamin E is also a must.

  • Hanna

    Dear Dave, I am a little confused about your recommendations. I am a big fan of your blog and also of your first book “the better baby Book”. I am pregnant myself and therefore interested in how and what to supplement. In your Book you advise not to take any vitamin a during pregnancy because of the risk of overdosing. Instead you recommend eating a lot of carrots/Beta-carotine. Now in this Article, you recommend generally to take cod liver oil and say that Beta-carotine is only poorly converted and is not a good substitute for vitamin a. Also, from other sources I have read that Vitamin a is espespially Important during pregnancy and that the fear of fetal malformation is actually not backed by scientific studies as widely assumed.

    I would really like to hear your thoughts on vitamin a supplementation during pregnancy!

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  • Tom McMullen

    If I take ZMA should I still take Magnisium?

  • Claire Young

    Hi there,
    was checking this post again and notice Selenium is no longer on it.
    What’s the reasoning for that? Thanks!

    • Aurora K Moore

      I was just wondering that too.

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  • pennypacker

    Agree about the copper. Some are no doubt deficient but I would not supplement unless I knew for sure. People with pyroluria in particular are advised to avoid copper, since they are already likely zinc deficient. Have read same about B12 and B9 and undermethylation. B6 in that case seems the critical B.

  • Alethea Black

    Many people with chronic illness have an underlying condition called Pyroluria (also called pyrrole disorder – PD), where we are deficient in Omega-6 fatty acids. For us, fish oil makes us worse (further throws off the Omega-3 : Omega-6 ratio); what we need is an Omega-6 such as Borage or Evening Primrose oil (EPO). In fact, if you react poorly to fish oil, this is reason to consider if you might have PD.

    Evening Primrose oil contains gamma linoleic acid (GLA) which is a precursor to anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. Linoleic acid (found in vegetable seed oil, nuts, seeds, etc.) is acted on by the enzyme delta 6 desaturase to convert it into GLA. Delta 6 desaturase requires zinc, B6 and magnesium to function, which is why people with Pyroluria — essentially a zinc and B6 deficiency — have issues with it. We can get enough of the longer chain omega 3 and 6 fats from meat and fish, but we don’t seem to be able to work backwards from long chain to short chain fats, so we often benefit from taking GLA to bypass the delta 6 desaturase enzyme blockage.

    The only other error on this list is copper. Those with chronic illness — and especially Moldies — will likely be deficient in copper (the body’s natural anti-fungal). However this deficiency will be made much, much worse by copper supplementation. This is because the problem is not mere deficiency but rather dysregulation — there is too little bioavailable copper while at the same time too much unbound (“toxic”) copper. Supplementing will only add to the toxic copper. What is really in short supply is ceruloplasmin — the copper-binding protein made by the liver. Without it, all copper — even the copper in such foods as chocolate and shellfish — will be toxic and should be avoided. Many people are even getting “toxic” (unbound) copper from drinking acid tap water that has run through copper pipes.

    The answer to copper dysregulation is to take B6 and zinc. Zinc is what prompts the adrenals to tell the liver to make ceruloplasmin. IMHO Zinc should be on this list far ahead of copper. Between stress, vegetarianism, and high-phytate diets (phytate binds to zinc and prevents its absorption), and H Pylori infections — which shut off the stomach acid necessary for zinc absorption and are often sub-clinical — most if not all people with chronic illness are zinc-deficient.

    There’s a new supplement made by MitoSynergy that chelates copper with B3, making it “bioavailable” in a way that precludes the need for ceruloplasmin. If people were to take any form of copper, I’d suggest the low-dose version of that (called MitoActivator) — but only after making certain their zinc status was sufficient (zinc and copper compete). There are zinc tally tests where you can check your status by seeing if zinc sulfate has any taste. Other common signs of zinc deficiency include stretch marks, white spots on nails, poor night vision, and (paradoxically) intolerance to meat.

    It took me a while to figure all this out … I hope this helps someone!

    • Alex

      do you have your own blog on any media site? I’d rather follow yours as it make a lot more sense to me. Thanks.

      • Alethea Black

        Thanks, Alex, that is such a nice compliment and it also gave me a laugh. (I’m just someone who has been in the illness trenches, not a practitioner.) There are some great groups on Facebook with knowledgeable members where I’ve learned a lot (Pyroluria, Trying Low Oxalates, Mold Avoiders). Also the Pfeiffer Treatment Center in Chicago has specialized in fixing copper-zinc imbalance — often a key component of chronic illness — for many years; they were instrumental in my recovery. “Copper dysregulation” is finally becoming something people know about and talk about … to be honest I was surprised to find this old-school advice here!
        Good luck to you!

        • genericalyspeaking

          Dave is a bio-hacker and as such would say that you should use the list as a starting point and modify to your needs. He has mentioned many times that he hates to make these lists but everyone wants the easy answers. With that said I found your posts very informative 2. Those of us who have been broken know how valuable others experiences are to getting optimum health, not that a cookie cutter approach will ever work. Copper seems to be one of the supplements that is difficult to optimize in a general way. I have always been fascinated with cooper and use some in my shampoo and on my beard to keep the grey away. I may fork out some money to get some copper tests done (I do have stretch marks but found by accident that Magnesium chloride applied to skin works to remove stretch marks), but I do need to be more religious about getting my zinc. B3 is also a interesting vitamin as some say it helps detox heavy metals and it certainly make you sweat. God bless all Celiacs and double bless those Celiacs who remain ignorant Celiacs.

    • The Randomone

      Thank you so much. You are the first person who has mentioned what I could be struggling with – the smell of mold!!! Thank you so much!!

    • Rob B.


    • pennypacker

      I was dx’d with Pyrrole Disorder via urine test thru Vitamin Diagnostics. HPL was sky high. I don’t notice anything much when I take fish oil OR primrose oil. And B6 and Zinc supplementiaton have not made any difference either.

      • Alethea Black

        It took close to a year for me to see significant improvement. Also: are you sure the levels you’re taking are therapeutic? I need close to 100 mg zinc (as picolinate) and 400 B6 (300 as B6 and 100 as P5P). Some practitioners start slowly and work up.

  • Tiffany

    What about adding ionic minerals to your water? I use a reverse osmosis Aqua True water filtration system. Which would you suggest I add?

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  • Karl Lange

    I’d love to hear what you think about ASEA (the worlds only Redox Signaling Supplement–I am involved with them), as well as the Nrf2 activators out there like protandim (I’m not involved with them but they are increasing glutathione which is part of Redox). ASEA claims to increase cellular efficiency of glutathione by 500% and SOD by 800% and it is a Nrf2 activator. We are the only nontoxic pro oxidant/free radical product out there. Their research studies aren’t the greatest but still is worth taking a look at. Call me if you wish. My number is 520-591-7117 I’d love to show you around the production facility….

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  • Mike Longo

    Mr. Asprey recommends 1 mg of copper, but the link for the recommended brand is 2 mg. He also recommends 6-800 mg of magnesium but the link for the recommended brand is 500 mg. I don’t get it.

  • Mike Longo

    Does anyone know why he says magnesium forms Citrate, malate, glycinate, threonate, or orotate are the best but recommends Life Extension magnesium caps which contains 480 mg of magnesium oxide out of the 500 mg in the cap which I heard is poorly absorbed in the body.

  • Al

    1000 mcg of vitamin K2? How did you come up with this dose? I have seen recommendations for doses from 10 0mcg upto 300 mcg a day.

    Additionally, please explain on difference between MK-4 and MK-7? I have read that MK-7 does all the jobs that MK-4 does, but with (better) longer half-life.

    • disqus_3V0EQV9Ro2

      I don’t think he will reply. It’s a shame he doesn’t respond to any of these comments

    • Lorn Yoon

      if you are taking it in mk-7 form, low dosage should work just fine.

  • Rob Power

    Is Vitamin E and B5 not as essential as what people make out then? Or are these easily accessible via foods? I heard B5 is important for optimising male hormones?

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