The following list of supplements address many areas of health including:
- Cardiovascular Health
- Cognitive Health
- Blood Sugar
- Digestive Health
- Immune Health
- Liver Health
- Sports Nutrition
This is just a small list of nutrients among many you can find at your natural health food store. With that said, I have experienced profound success with these supplements and most are included in my supplement regimen. In fact, I give much of the credit to my longevity in endurance racing to this great list of supplements. This list will grow as I experience successes with other supplements. These are my recommendations only. I encourage you to customize a supplement regimen based on your health history, goals and objectives and to consult a trusted health professional for information on other natural solutions.
In both liquid and capsule form, Alpha GPC is extremely well absorbed and crosses the blood brain barrier. Derived from lecithin, it is a phospholipid metabolite found concentrated in neuronal membrane. It supports brain function and learning processes by directly supporting the synthesis and secretion of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter. Alpha GPC protects neurons and improves signal transmission by serving as a precursor to membrane phospholipids.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)
A powerful antioxidant that protects cells from harmful free radicals. Studies show that ALA may improve diabetic neuropathy, glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. ALA also has the potential to lower blood sugar. Therefore, consult your healthcare professional so that pharmaceuticals can be adjusted.
A special grade of L-Carnitine, manufactured by the Swiss life sciences company Lonza. The company is the only L-Carnitine manufacturer capable of producing L-Carnitine in the same way as nature (a unique production process based on fermentation). The primary role of L-Carnitine within the body is to shuttle long chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, the ‘furnace of the cell’. Within the ‘furnace’, the fatty acids are broken down or burned and energy is produced. Thus, L-Carnitine is essential for the production of energy from fat! Extensive research has shown the effectiveness of L-Carnitine in applications such as exercise, heart health, weight management, brain wellness and infant nutrition.
An essential trace mineral that plays an important role in carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Chromium may also help body cells properly respond to insulin. In fact, studies have found low levels of chromium in people with diabetes. There are many promising studies suggesting chromium supplementation may be effective, but they are far from conclusive.
Citicoline has been tested extensively in clinical trials in the areas of memory, recognition, recall and cognition. Citicoline is a naturally occurring intermediate involved in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine, a major constituent of the grey matter of brain tissue. The mechanism behind this benefit is well known. Citicoline is a molecule that consists of cytidine and choline joined together. It is almost completely absorbed when consumed. Once Citicoline is ingested, it is broken down into its component parts and these readily cross into the brain and central nervous system. Both components are incorporated into the phospholipid fraction of the membranes and microsomes. Once in the brain, Citicoline promotes brain metabolism by enhancing the synthesis of acetylcholine, restoring phospholipid content and supporting the normal functioning of neuronal membranes.
Clary Sage Seed Oil
The mainstream media has been reporting on the benefits of Omega 3s for years – largely in the form of fish oil and krill oil. The wide ranging benefits of these oils are undeniable. However, I have recently discovered Clary Sage Seed Oil (CSSO), another healthy Omega 3 as a source for energy. CSSO contains 50% of the Omega 3 Alpha Linoleic Acid (ALA), the most stable Omega 3 found in nature. ALA does not oxidize at room temperature for up to two years. CSSO also contains 25% of the Omega 9 EFA (also found in olive oil), which reduces hypertension and is important for brain health and memory.
There are also more than 100 medicinal substances in active concentrations, among them CoQ10, the potent antioxidant agent sclareol, nine different types of natural sterols, which reduce LDL levels, and the four active forms of Vitamin E. In addition, there are many other antioxidants, anti-inflammatory substances and antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral compounds.
CoQ10 is one of those encompassing dietary supplements with both general health benefits (e.g., anti-aging, antioxidant) as well as specific health applications (e.g., cardiovascular, diabetes, etc). It is a fundamental component in energy production, immune response and protection against damage by free radicals.
Co-Q10 is part of the mitochondrial electron transport system and is synthesized in all cells. It is essential to the body’s production of energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This holds special importance for the heart, which is loaded with mitochondria and has the body’s highest concentration of Co-Q10 because of the significant demands made upon it.
Aging reduces access to Co-Q10. Although it is obtained from the diet (mainly from fatty fish, organ meats, and whole grains) as well as synthesized in small amounts, both of these routes decline with age. The body’s declining capacity to extract and assimilate Co-Q10 in later years plays a role in the development of various cardiovascular conditions.
Ubiquinol is the reduced form of CoQ10 and the most highly absorbed. Ubiquinol is directly used in human metabolism as a lipid-soluble antioxidant. While standard CoQ10 (ubiquinone) supplements can be converted into ubiquinol in the body, this conversion can be less efficient in some individuals, based on age, genetics, blood sugar status or level of oxidative stress.
Digestive enzymes are proteins that your body uses to break down the food we eat into useful nutrients and waste products. You can only get the full benefit of food and nutritional supplements if your body has enough enzymes to properly digest and absorb the nutrients. However, many digestive enzymes are found only in raw foods. We live in an age of processed foods so most of us eat little, if any, raw food. Additional digestive enzymes are produced by the body, but this process becomes less efficient with age. A lack of digestive enzymes can contribute to a myriad of illnesses including many digestive maladies. Many people supplement with digestive enzymes to increase digestive enzyme levels in the body which dramatically improves digestive health.
The mainstream media has been reporting on the benefits of fish oil for years. Studies have shown that the Omega-3s found in fish oil helps prevent and fight heart disease, cancer, depression, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, ulcers, diabetes, hyperactivity and other diseases. For my needs, the healthy fats found in fish oil increases energy levels and fights inflammation. While Omega-3s can be found in flaxseed, walnuts and a few other foods, the most beneficial form of Omega-3, containing 2 fatty acids – EPA and DHA – which are essential in preventing and fighting both physical and mental illness, can be found only in fish. Be sure to take fish oil products from companies that follow strict procedures to eliminate environmental contaminants to assure the highest purity of its fish oil supplements.
An amino acid which acts as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. GABA inhibits nerve transmission in the brain, which promotes a calming effect.
Glucosamine + Chondroitin + MSM combination
Glucosamine has been shown in clinical trials for decades to be effective at easing joint discomfort and increasing flexibility and mobility. Some studies indicate that glucosamine helps rebuild cartilage, something traditional NSAID pain relievers are unable to do. Chondroitin is another naturally occurring chemical found in cartilage around joints in the body and is a building block nutrient for promoting healthy joint tissues. MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is a naturally occurring sulfur compound and is a safe and effective natural remedy against the inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and gout. For centuries people have visited hot springs rich in the natural element sulfur to soothe muscle aches and pains, so it makes sense that they would seek out the health benefits of MSM to soothe similar ailments today. Together, these 3 nutrients are optimal for joint health.
Glycine Propionyl L-Carnitine (GPLC)
Backed by years of scientific research, GPLC (glycine propionyl-L-carnitine) has been shown to assist the body in a number of ways including:
- Cardiovascular Health: Studies show that GPLC is proven to increase nitric oxide retention, which is important to the regulation of blood circulation while improving the vasodilatory ability (increased blood flow capability) of blood vessels.
- Energy: GPLC is proven to increase nitric oxide levels in the human blood stream resulting in the optimization of endurance, stamina and recovery. GPLC assists the delivery of oxygen and nutrients through vasodilation, encourages blood flow, and helps the production of ATP energy while diminishing harmful free radical buildup in the body.
- Recovery: Through its antioxidant properties, GPLC aids in muscle recovery by not only speeding up post workout recovery, but also recovery time during training. This helps increase both endurance and stamina.
An excellent detox agent, taking Green Tea extract helps the body fight free radicals (unstable molecules or oxidants) that “damage cell proteins and genetic material,” making the body “vulnerable to cancer,” according to the National Cancer Institute. Catechins (antioxidants) deter free radicals’ enzyme and DNA damage that sometimes leads to cancer. Green tea’s detoxifying properties have links to weight reduction and fat burning, and they can fight bacteria, liver disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease.
People with type 2 diabetes are often deficient in magnesium. According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, adjusting magnesium levels in people with type 2 diabetes may help improve insulin response and action.
Promotes healthy brain function, healthy blood sugar and rock solid immune support. Medicinal Mushrooms include Maitake, Lion’s Mane, Shiitake, Reishi, Cordyc
The herb milk thistle could be called the liver’s best friend. This makes milk thistle a “must take” as the liver is the body’s key filtering organ. Regularly taking milk thistle not only protects the liver from toxins but it also plays an important healing role as well. Milk thistle helps to repair liver cells and promotes the regeneration of new cells. In short, milk thistle helps the liver carry out its daily tasks. Be sure to take a Milk Thistle product that meets label claims and is approved for quality. Ideally, a milk thistle extract should be standardized to contain 80% total Milk Thistle seed flavonoids, including the important Silymarin fractions isosilybinins A and B, silybinins A and B, silychristin and silydianin. This particular group of flavonoids, collectively known as Silymarin, supports liver function by raising protective glutathione levels.
For bone and cardiovascular health. MK-7 (Vitamin K2) helps to reduce the amount of calcium that circulates in your arteries where the calcium can negatively impact arterial health (and your heart). MK-7 helps direct calcium to your bones where health benefits occur. This makes vitamin K2 a must for healthy arteries and cardiovascular health.
You really need to be vigilant about what you eat to get all the recommended daily nutrients. If you’re busy and on-the-go like most of us, this could be a challenge. In my opinion, we all need to supplement our diet to truly get what the body needs. There are 13 essential vitamins (A, C, D, E, K, B12, and the 7 B-complex vitamins) that regulate crucial body systems. We acquire some nutrients from food. However, with processed foods being so prevalent today, nutrient intake from food is becoming much less efficient. For obvious reasons, we need to avoid nutrient deficiencies. Supplementation can reverse a wide range of maladies caused by vitamin deficiencies. Taking a multivitamin is a great start to any supplement regimen and everyone (from kids to adults) should be taking a multivitamin. Talk to your health care professional about which multivitamin is best for you.
NAC is an antioxidant and amino acid. It is a precursor in the body to the essential antioxidant glutathione, which is produced mainly by the liver. Glutathione detoxifies chemicals into less harmful compounds and assists in numerous protective efforts in the body, including intracellular defense against oxidative stress and detoxification. Acetaminophen and alcohol are known to decrease glutathione levels. NAC protects the body from acetaminophen toxicity and is used in hospitals for patients with acetaminophen poisoning. It has also been shown to be effective at treating liver failure from other causes as well. Additionally, it helps rid the body of heavy metals including lead and mercury.
PS is the single most important building block nutrient for healthy, alive, and functional brain cells. It is now known that the loss of memory, cognitive skills, and the ability to concentrate can deteriorate as much as 50% over the course of a lifetime in people who are otherwise healthy. It is also known that as this cognitive decline occurs, there is a corresponding loss of healthy and functional nerve cells in the brain. PS is naturally found in every cell membrane in the body, but in very high amounts in cell membranes in the brain. PS is the key nutrient that regulates how brain cells work. It regulates which nutrients enter brain cells, how waste gets out of brain cells, and communication between brain cells (neurotransmitter flow). PS may improve:
- mental focus
- short-term memory
I will never forget what a health professional told me years ago: “Health begins in the gut.” That’s why probiotics are critical. The intestinal tract is filled with an enormous number of beneficial bacteria called probiotic bacteria. They are called probiotic bacteria because the term “probiotic” means “for life”. The body is designed to have a symbiotic relationship with these probiotic bacteria. Probiotics help to digest food, kill harmful microorganisms and assist us in functioning properly in many ways. It is crucial to have a large population of probiotic bacteria in the digestive tract as this will promote proper digestion and keep harmful, disease-causing microorganisms at bay. If the percentage of good bacteria is too low, compared to the bad bacteria, the body will function poorly. For detoxifying purposes, consider the probiotic yeast Saccharomyces Boulardii. This probiotic yeast survives stomach acid and colonizes the intestinal tract. It promotes the health of the intestinal tract, helps protect its beneficial microbiota and enhances immune function and the detoxification process.
High-intensity exercise means different things to different people. However, simply put, it means stressing muscles beyond their normal limit. Regardless of how we individually define high-intensity, the effect on our bodies is the same. Intense exertion taxes our muscles to stay energized. The resulting energy demand/supply mismatch leads to a drain in energy, depleting the cellular energy pool. This loss of cellular energy is a disaster because re-supplying this energy is slow and metabolically costly. Ribose accentuates the body’s natural process of energy synthesis. It helps to reduce the loss of energy during stress and accelerates energy and tissue recovery. Through this action, ribose helps muscles regenerate lost energy and minimizes any physiological consequences when energy is depleted.
A remarkable substance, SAMe is utilized by the body in many ways. SAMe has been widely recognized as an effective way to treat depression and osteoarthritis, among other health benefits. It is used by the body to produce neurotransmitters, repair joints and it has been shown to be as effective as some antidepressant medications.
Silicon is a liquid supplement in the form of stabilized silicic acid and is an essential trace element for the construction of collagen in human metabolism. Collagen is the building block of the various tissues in the body, including bones, skin and arteries. Silicon has been shown to improve the strength and elasticity of these systems. Additionally, silicon has a role in the synthesis of GAGs glycosaminoglycans, a set of structural polysaccharides that are used to construct certain tissues like cartilage.
Increasingly, scientists are examining the role specific natural plant compounds (phytochemicals) may play in increasing the body’s natural defense system. In 1992, researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine identified sulforaphane, a compound that occurs naturally in broccoli. Johns Hopkins researchers believe that many phytochemicals, including sulforaphane, may help explain why diets rich in fruits and cruciferous vegetables are associated with a reduced risk of cancer. The basis for this belief is from laboratory research on animals and it is being confirmed in humans. Sulforaphane, in the form of its natural precursor, sulforaphane glucosinolate, is also found in foods such as kale and cabbage. Johns Hopkins University researchers found that young broccoli sprouts, in particular, contained high concentrations of SGS. The scientists believe that SGS boosts the body’s own antioxidant defense system, including Phase 2 detoxification enzymes, which promote long-lasting antioxidant activity in the body. According to Eilat, phytochemicals, such as sulforaphane, have either antioxidant or hormone-like actions. “There is evidence that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains reduces the risk of certain types of cancer and other diseases,” he says. “Researchers are looking for specific compounds in these foods and certain extracts that may account for the beneficial effects in humans.”
One of the chemicals found in green tea and is used to reduce stress and anxiety without the tranquilizing effects found in many other calming agents. Studies show that Theanine stimulates the brain’s production of alpha waves, promoting a relaxed feeling without drowsiness. Theanine also helps the body produce other calming amino acids, such as dopamine, GABA and tryptophan.
Vitamin D is essential for the health of your bones. If you are not getting enough vitamin D can this could lead to bone density problems. For overall good health, it’s essential to meet daily vitamin D requirements as determined by your health professional. If your vitamin D blood level is low your doctor may prescribe higher dosages.
Whey protein is an excellent protein choice for anyone whose wants to maintain and improve their health and for healthy aging. Whey protein isolate, the purest form available, is unsurpassed as a source of the essential amino acids required in the daily diet. Essential amino acids are the building blocks for healthy muscles, skin, nails and other body tissue.
For my purposes, endurance athletes need more protein in their diet, often as much as twice the recommended daily allowance for optimal performance. Whey Protein makes a difference for the following reasons:
- Whey protein is a naturally complete protein, meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids required in the daily diet. It has the ideal combination of amino acids to help improve body composition and enhance athletic performance.
- Whey protein is a rich source of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), containing the highest known levels of any natural food source. BCAAs are important for athletes since unlike the other essential amino acids, they are metabolized directly into muscle tissue and are the first ones used during periods of exercise and resistance training. Whey protein provides the body with BCAAs to replenish depleted levels and start repairing and rebuilding lean muscle tissue.
- Whey protein is an excellent source of the essential amino acid, leucine. Leucine is important for athletes as it plays a key role in promoting muscle protein synthesis and muscle growth. Research has shown that individuals who exercise benefit from diets high in leucine and have more lean muscle tissue and less body fat compared to individuals whose diet contains lower levels of leucine.
- Whey protein is a soluble, easy to digest protein and is efficiently absorbed into the body. It is often referred to as a “fast” protein for its ability to quickly provide nourishment to muscles.
- Whey protein helps athletes maintain a healthy immune system by increasing the levels of glutathione in the body. Glutathione is an antioxidant required for a healthy immune system. Exercise and resistance training may reduce glutathione levels.