With the recent pandemic, Rhonda has adjusted her supplement regime (with the aim) to provide additional immune system support.

First we’ll look at the supplements she’s taking with an emphasis on immune function, then we will go on to discuss the rest.

It’s important to note that Rhonda has no affiliation with any of the brands mentioned – instead she uses them because her research, or her colleagues research, suggest they are good.

Whilst it’s interesting to look at what Rhonda does for herself, it’s important to note that everyone is different, and it’s essential to customize supplementation to your individual medical, genetic and dietary needs.

Rhonda’s Daily Supplements – Focused on Immune Function

Rhonda’s Additional Daily Supplements

Supplements Rhonda Uses Intermittently:

Previously Recommended to Family Members:

  • Beet Powder – Activz Organic – Rhonda has recommended to family members with high blood pressure
  • Methylated B Vitamins – Swanson’s B Complex – Rhonda has recommended to family with MTHFR mutation

Not Currently Taking

Rhonda’s Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Supplement Regimen

Rhonda’s Daily Supplements – Focused on Immune Function

The below section is drawn from Rhonda’s two recent Q&A’s (March & April 2020) for her Crowd Sponsors, where she discussed the supplements she is currently taking, with an emphasis on providing additional immune support. For those who are crowd sponsors, and missed the Q&A’s, all the links to replay them are in the members dashboard (FYI).

Multivitamin

Rhonda continues to take the same multivitamin she has for some time – Pure Encapsulations ONE. However, she notes that it is more important now than ever, given that her access to fresh vegetables has become more limited during the lockdowns. Having the multi helps ensure she gets adequate amounts of essential micro-nutrients.

N.B. For those outside the USA, where Pure Encapsulations O.N.E can be hard to obtain, see this section on comparable alternative multivitamins she has mentioned.

Vitamin D

Rhonda has recently upped her intake of Vitamin D3 from 3,000iu/day to 5,000iu.

On her recent appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast, Rhonda pointed to a possible link between low vitamin D levels, and increased severity of Covid-19 disease. Specifically citing a Phillipines study, Indonesian study and New Orleans study. For more details on the Phillipines and Indonesian study, see this post where I’ve covered them in more detail.

Of particular interest she says, is a meta-analysis in the British Medical Journal (link) that looked at 25 randomized controlled trials, and found “vitamin D supplementation was safe and it protected against acute respiratory tract infection“.

This is on top of an existing body of knowledge that suggests vitamin D plays a “major role regulating the immune system, perhaps including immune responses to viral infection”1.

Rhonda aims to keep her vitamin D levels at between 40 and 60 ng/ml, saying she generally hovers around 55 ng/ml. Note that some geographies measure in nmol/L instead – so:

  • 40 to 60 ng/ml = 100 to 150 nmol/L

For converting you can multiply ng/ml by 2.5, or use an online units calculator.

Whereas we can get adequate amounts of most micro nutrients through our diet, it’s hard to do that with vitamin D. Instead our bodies rely upon UV-B light from the sun, which we don’t always get enough of. This makes supplementation important.

Vitamin D is fat soluble (unlike, for instance, vitamin C), which means the body *can* store it, and your vitamin D levels *can* get too high. Therefore it’s important to use blood testing to ensure you’re staying within the healthy range. This can be done without having to get blood drawn at the doctors, using at home finger-prick blood tests such as Everlywell’s.

Rhonda’s previous source of D3 was Thorne Research D-1000. She would get 2,000iu from her multivitamin, then add 1,000iu of Thorne D3. Currently she’s taking 5,000iu – which Thorne also offer in single 5,000iu capsules – Thorne Research D-5000. Another brand Rhonda commonly uses is Life Extension – D3 5,000iu.

Vitamin C

With immune function in mind, Rhonda recently did a deep dive into the literature on vitamin C. Her research began with some skepticism, but after pouring through the data, is convinced that the benefits are appreciable.

In March when she talked about this (early in Covid outbreak) she was taking 1-2 grams, 4 times per day. This dosage allows her to maintain vitamin C blood level at around 200 micromol/l. Which is close to the maximum you can achieve (220 micromol/l) without use of intravenous vitamin C. Unlike fat soluble vitamins, vitamin C is quickly excreted, and doesn’t stay in the system long.

Rhonda spoke specifically about vitamin C supplementation at 59mins 10secs of her March 7 Q&A for crowd sponsors. She created a comprehensive Vitamin C topic page based on her research.

In terms of which form to take, Rhonda takes it as regular ascorbic acid. She hasn’t seen any convincing evidence that it needs to be taken alongside flavonoids or in a liposomal form.

Rhonda hasn’t specified which brand of vitamin C she favours, but typically she opts for brands like Thorne – Ascorbic Acid or Pure Encapsulations – Ascorbic Acid. Both have 1g (1,000mg) per capsule.

Given the higher doses Rhonda is temporarily using (up to 8 grams daily), the cost could add up fast. Another option is to look at bulk suppliers of ascorbic acid (which is vitamin C). For example:

Brand Quantity Price Price per gram
Bulk Supplements 2.2lbs (1,000 grams) $30 $0.024 / gram
Micro Ingredients 2.2lbs (1,000 grams) $28 $0.028 / gram
Nutricost 2lbs (907 grams) $30 $0.033 / gram

Zinc

Zinc plays a vital role in a healthy immune system, and also appears to inhibit replication in some viruses2.

As such, Rhonda is topping up the daily dose in her multivitamin with an additional 15mg to 30mg daily.

Rhonda didn’t mention which form of zinc she is taking, nor the brand. I’ve linked to Pure Encapsulations – Zinc Picolinate 15 and Pure Encapsulations – Zinc Picolinate 30 because it’s a brand she commonly uses, with appropriate doses. In terms of the type of zinc, a study found the picolate form increased zinc levels higher than citrate or gluconate3. If I get more details on this, I’ll update.

Quercetin

Quercetin is a naturally occurring plant polyphenol, found in small quantities in foods such as capers, cilantro, kale and more (see list).

Rhonda is particularly interested in quercetin for the research suggesting it may act as a “zinc ionophore” – helping to get zinc into cells, which can be otherwise hard. This relates back to the above idea, that zinc may inhibit viral replication.

“Ionophores”, by the way, are substances which can transport particular ions across a lipid membrane in a cell.

Rhonda is currently supplementing 250mg per day (so would be 1 capsule of the below). She didn’t mention which specific brand she is using, but typically she opts for brands like Pure Encapsulations  – Quercetin or Thorne Research – Quercetin.

On the subject of quercetin, Rhonda has also taken up drinking Buckwheat Tea, which contains quercetin in small amounts. In addition to being a zinc ionophore, quercetin also has senolytic properties, which Rhonda talks about more on Instagram here (senolytics are compounds that can remove senescent cells). If you’re new to Buckwheat tea, and would like to try it, you’d be looking for a roasted blend (rather than raw) which brings out more flavor.

N-acetyl L-cysteine

N-acetyl L-cysteine, or NAC, is a derivative of the amino acid L-cysteine, and is a precursor in the formation of the antioxidant glutathione in the body.

It isn’t something Rhonda normally takes, however her recent interest is around NAC’s effect on the lungs. A study showed that NAC improved oxidative stress and inflammatory response in patients with community acquired pneumonia4.

As a precursor in glutathione production, taking NAC can also boost glutathione levels, for which we look more at below.

Rhonda is currently taking 1200mg per day. She didn’t mention which specific brand she is using, but brands she typically opts for include Pure Encapsulations – N-acetyl-L-cysteine and Life Extension – N-acetyl-L-cysteine.

Liposomal Glutathione

Glutathione plays a crucial role in the body. Of particular recent interest is research suggesting that supplementation of liposomal glutathione was able to boost certain markers of immune function in healthy adults. Including elevating NK cell cytotoxicity up to 400%, and elevating lymphocyte proliferation by up to 60% – after 2 weeks of supplementation5.

Rhonda notes that this is based on very limited science, and needs further study, including randomized controlled trials, in order to be something we can say for certain.

Regular glutathione does not get absorbed properly, and as such the liposomal form is needed.

Rhonda notes she is taking this brand: Pure Encapsulations – Liposomal Glutathione. She didn’t mention the dose, but in the study above found 500mg was the minimum effective dose, so it’s possible she’s taking 500mg (2 capsules) to achieve this.

Probiotics

Rhonda is keenly aware of the importance of a healthy gut microbiome. Typically she takes Visbiome probiotics every few weeks, to top up her healthy gut bacteria. However, with the recent pandemic, she is taking Visbiome daily in order to provide immune support.

For example, probiotics can help regulate the innate and adaptive immune responses by modulating the functions of dendritic cells, macrophages, and T and B lymphocytes67.

Visbiome comes in sachet and pill form. Rhonda opts for the sachets which contain 4x as many live bacteria.

Before switching over to Visbiome, Rhonda was taking VSL #3 probiotic, which had been the subject of over 25 publishes studies, showing efficacy in IBS, IBD, colitis and c. diff. However, it turns out the new formulation of VSL #3 differs significantly from the old one8, and thus should be treated with caution at minimum, and at maximum, avoided. I mention this section because for some people Visbiome is hard to get hold of, and up until now, it was thought VSL #3 was a satisfactory alternative. Below summarizes the details:

VSL #3 was originally created by Professor Claudio De Simone, and produced by VSL Inc. All the clinical studies before 2016 were performed on the "original formula" of VSL#3. However, when Di Simone parted ways with VSL Inc. in 2016, manufacturing was switched from USA to Italy and the formulation was changed. Between 2016 and 2019, VSL Inc. claimed that the beneficial effects of the formula remained the same. However in a federal lawsuit that concluded in 2019, VSL Inc. were found liable for false advertising related to the composition and clinical history of the new VSL #3 formula. This was in part backed up by a study9 performed by De Simone, showing that the new VSL#3 formula was materially different to the old one.

For those looking for the benefits of the original VSL# 3 formula, this continues to exist under the Visbiome brand.

Dosage: 1 sachet/daily

Sulforaphane & Moringa

Rhonda has always been a big fan of sulforaphane – discussed in more detail below. Recently, she’s been encouraged by a randomized double-blinded study that found sulforaphane from broccoli sprouts increased the body’s immune function against the influenza virus10 . Specifically, it increased Natural Killer cells production of an enzyme that may enhance antiviral defence responses.

With this in mind, Rhonda continues to take the sulforaphane supplement Prostaphane daily, and in addition is consuming Moringa powder. The addition of Moringa comes from Jed Fahey’s research at John Hopkins. Moringa is derived from the leaves of the Drumstick Tree, which are harvested, dried and then powdered. It contains an isothiocynate with similar properties to sulforaphane, called Moringin.

In Jed’s studies using Moringa, participants consumed it as a cold-brewed tea. This can be made by adding moringa to room temperature water and leaving to stand for at least 10 minutes. They suggest a ratio of 1:100, powder to water. The reason for not making a hot tea, is that the myrocinase enzyme in moringa is sensitive to heat, and its important to preserve it.

In terms of which Moringa to use, Jed’s studies used Kuli Kuli Moringa. He notes in their FAQs that excessive sunlight or heat after harvest will rapidly degrade some of the phytochemicals and vitamins of interest in the leaves – so it’s worth caution when sourcing.

Rhonda’s Additional Daily Supplements

The following supplements Rhonda takes daily, but unlike the above, are not focused specifically on providing immune system support.

Omega-3 Fish Oil

Rhonda currently takes an omega-3 supplement called Norwegian PURE-3, which is touted as being both high quality, and having low levels of total oxidation (TOTOX). Rhonda was previously taking the high DHA version during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding her son – with the intention that the DHA was important for her child’s developmental process. Since then Rhonda alternates between the high DHA and high EPA version.

Norwegian PURE-3 is currently only available direct from the manufacturer, who offer international shipping from their base in Norway. However, Rhonda suggests they will be on Amazon.com in the near future.

Rhonda’s Dosage: 6 capsules (3g)/daily

Norwegian PURE-3 Alternative?

On a recent crowd cast Q&A, Rhonda was asked which fish oil would she suggest whilst Norwegian PURE-3 are out of stock?

She said the way she would do it is to search labdoor.com and the International Fish Oil Standards site for good products. Specifically utilizing both websites’ testing of purity, heavy metals and oxidation.

As I also had this problem; needing an alternative whilst NPure-3 were out of stock, I did some research. After a few days of digging around, I concluded that Viva Naturals – Triple Strength seemed to be a good option. Specifically it has low oxidation levels, low cost per gram of Omega-3, and no flavoring or other unnecessary ingredients.

Note that Viva Naturals product has different ratios of omega-3 than NPure-3, as laid out in the table below. It’s closest in composition to NPure-3s EPA product.

Per 2 capsule serving Viva Naturals – Triple Strength NPure-3 EPA NPure-3 DHA
EPA 1,400 mg 1,000 mg 400 mg
DHA 480 mg 400 mg 1,000 mg
Other omega-3s 120 mg 300 mg 300 mg

For more about how I arrived at the conclusion that Viva Naturals product may be a viable alternative (whilst NPure-3 is out of stock), expand the dropdown below:

Firstly, in terms of the two websites; labdoor.com and the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS), they're slightly different in what they offer. With labdoor they test on a per product basis, and then rank them, so it's quite easy to navigate. With IFOS you need to search by brand first, then look at the individual products within the brand. For some of the products you can access a "batch report" which covers a wide gambit of testing, but for other products reports aren't available. Instead they just say that they're "IFOS certified".

The way I personally analyzed the options was to check what's ranking well in labdoor.com, and then cross-check they're IFOS approved also.

One product that ranks very highly on labdoor.com that I chose to ignore was WHC UnoCardio 1000. This is because WHC add orange flavoring to their products. Flavoring unfortunately breaks one of the tests (para-anisidine) used to find the total oxidation score. See this document for info on why flavoring breaks the para-anisidine test. If it's not possible to get an accurate oxidation score for the WHC product, I'd rather ignore it.

I then narrowed my shortlist down to products made by Viva Naturals and OmegaVia.

They both showed extremely low levels of heavy metals and other impurities, so to differentiate I focused on total oxidation, price per gram of omega-3, (and for pescatarians) what the capsule is made from:

  Viva Naturals - Triple Strength OmegaVia - Ultra Concentrated
Total Oxidation (2x peroxide + anisidine) ✅6.71 TOTOX ❌12.44 TOTOX
Price per gram of Omega-3 ✅~$0.21 per gram ❌~$0.43 per gram
Gelatine capsule Bovine source Fish source
  IFOS link IFOS link
  Labdoor link Labdoor link

For the total oxidation values above, I took the average of the last 5 batches tested on the IFOS site. This seemed potentially more reliable than the single score listed on labdoor. (Something worth noting, because it confused me initially, is that Viva Naturals "Triple Strength", used to be called "Ultra Strength" - and on the IFOS site it still calls it Ultra Strength).

So based on the lower total oxidation score, and the cheaper price per gram of omega-3s, the Viva Naturals - Triple Strength looked most interesting to me.

One thing to note is that they are both EPA to DHA heavy (~3:1). Whereas with N-PURE3, there's the option to choose between EPA heavy or DHA heavy. Where the OmegaVia brand looks interesting, is with their high DHA product DHA 600. Unfortunately though it's DHA only, rather than both. It works out to be ~$0.36 per gram of DHA, and it's TOTOX based on the only 2 batches IFOS tested is ~11.

 

On top of Rhonda’s fish oil supplementation she often eats wild salmon roe caviar (from Vital Choice) for its omega-3 phospholipid concentration. More on this further down the page.

Vitamin K2

Rhonda currently takes a vitamin K2 supplement 1 to 2 times per week. She takes it on the basis that it’s an “insurance policy”, in case she doesn’t get enough K1.

For more background on the interplay between vitamin K1 and K2, Rhonda describes it as follows…

Vitamin K is an essential micronutrient, that’s plays a crucial role in the ability to form blood clots, and to transport calcium around the body.

It comes in 2 different forms, vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinone).

Vitamin K1 is the most abundant in a western diet, primarily found in leafy green vegetables. Vitamin K2 on the other hand is found in fermented foods, which are less common in a western diet. A source that’s particularly high in K2 are fermented soya beans, also known as “natto” in Japan.

Vitamin K1, once absorbed by the body, is prioritized for use in the liver to produce proteins essential for blood clotting. When that task is satisfied, then the level of K1 increases in the blood, and helps to transport calcium for use around the body.

Unfortunately, many people are low in vitamin K1, and therefore may have inadequate levels of K1 to support adequate calcium transport. The NHANES 2011-2012 study found only 57% of men and 37.5% of women (N = 4,306) met the “adequate intake” of K111. This could lead to increased cardiovascular risk as a result12, although more research needed.

So where does the vitamin K2 supplementation come in?

Whilst vitamin K1 is prioritized for use in the liver, vitamin K2 appears to be prioritized for use in the periphery, which will support calcium transport13.

In terms of supplementing K2 (menaquinone), there are two key forms; MK4 & MK7. MK7 has a longer half-life, but MK4 is more studied.

Previously Rhonda was taking 100mcg of MK7 a couple times per week, but on her latest podcast with Joe Rogan (#1474) she mentioned using the MK4 form. She didn’t say which brand, and her normal go-to brands don’t offer 100mcg of MK4. Therefore I’ve listed NOW’s K2 MK-4 100mcg – which is probably very similar to what she’s taking – given she does use their products from time-to-time. They also do a similar MK7 product – NOW K2 MK-7 100mcg.

Rhonda’s Dosage: 1 capsule, 1-2 times per week

 

PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline Quinone)

PQQ is a compound found in plants that has been found to decrease inflammation and improve mitochondrial efficacy in humans.14. That said, it’s still relatively under studied compared to common vitamins and minerals.

In a paper published in 2016, Japanese researchers found that PQQ improves cognitive function (measured using the stroop test), by increasing blood flow and oxygen metabolism to the right prefrontal cortex15

Rhonda takes 2 capsules daily of Life Extension- PQQ Caps. This comes in the disodium salt form that was used in the above study.

Rhonda’s Dosage: 2 capsules/daily

Cocoa Extract

Rhonda first mentioned taking a cocoa flavanol supplement in her December 2019 supporters crowdcast, and then more recently discussed it in her May 2020 crowdcast.

She says she’s taking 2 capsules of CococaVia daily, specifically in the morning, because it contains a small amount of caffeine. She notes she has no affiliation with the brand. At the time of writing, Cocoavia are offering $10 off website purchases with coupon code CVNEW20, and shipping is free.

Rhonda cites 3 potential benefits of cocoa flavanols – enhanced circulation, increased cognition, and improvements to skin (decreased wrinkles and increased skin elasticity).

Studies she mentions in regards to enhanced circulation:

  • Dark chocolate (85% cocoa), but not milk chocolate (35% cocoa), improved walking ability in elderly patients with peripheral artery disease.16
  • Increased endurance performance in young male cyclists who consumed dark chocolate – showing a performance increase of 17% vs consuming white chocolate17
  • Cocoa consumption decreased blood pressure in healthy individuals, in a dose dependent manner 18

Then studies in regards to enhance cognition:

  • Increased cognition in young adults, measured via a cognitively demanding test19
  • Protection from cognitive decline in the elderly20

Then lastly, a korean study showed 320mg of cocoa daily reduced wrinkles and increased skin elasticity (measured after 24 weeks)21.

Of course, it’s worth noting that the amount of cocoa in regular chocolate is low – so you want to be consuming high cacao content products to receive these benefits. The studies specifically reference the cocoa flavanol content as a quantitative marker, and CocoaVia contains 450mg of cocoa flavanols per serving.

In an Instagram post (link) Rhonda mentions studies have shown that many cocoa products have high levels of cadmium and lead22. That’s a blow for dark chocolate fans (myself included) who hadn’t considered heavy metal consumption might be a risk. She goes on to say that in a Consumer Lab report, the CocoaVia brand was shown to have almost undetectable levels of cadmium and lead – making it a safe option, and a key reason she opted for it.

It’s perhaps worth noting that since September 1st, CocoaVia have lunched a new product called Memory+ (in a blue bottle). It’s a higher dose product (750mg vs 450mg), based on clinical studies2324 using this dose that showed improved word recall and faster spatial memory vs placebo. Interestingly, at price per gram of flavanols, it also works out cheaper than the original version ($2.22/gram vs $3.33/gram). This version just came out, so it’s not the one Rhonda previously mentioned taking, but it is by the same brand.

Rhonda’s Dosage: 2 capsules/daily

Sulforaphane

The What & Why of Sulforaphane

Plants contain chemicals which are used for their self-defence (phytochemicals). Generally, plants evolved these chemicals to be toxic to organisms smaller than humans (for example pathogens). Thus, what may be toxic to a pathogen, has a lesser effect on a human. Ingested in small amounts, some of these phytonutrients exhibit positive effects in humans. But if you consume them at high amounts; they become toxic. This is referred to as hormesis, or, the hormetic effect – and is illustrated by the image below:

Bringing this back to sulforaphane, which is a product of a chemical reaction between glucoraphanin and myrocinase, the glucoraphanin itself is a plant-based phytonutrient that triggers a positive hormetic affect in humans.

Specifically, ingested sulforaphane activates what’s called the NRF2 pathway, which increases expression of a battery of cell protective genes, that regulate things like:

  • Glutathione (GSH) – Essential in function of Glutathione peroxidase and GST for redox balance and detoxification.
  • Haemoxygenase-1 (HO-1) – Redox-regulating, broad protection against oxidative stress. Anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating properties.
  • Quinone reductase (NQO1) – A multifunctional redox-regulating and detoxifying enzyme, including protection against oestrogen quinone metabolites. Stabilises the p53 tumor suppressor protein.
  • Metallothionein – Removal of heavy metals such as mercury and cadmium.
  • Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor – Regulator of adipogenesis and central integrator of glucose metabolism, energy homeostasis and skeletal metabolism.

And that’s just a snapshot, NRF2 affects even more. This information comes via an incredible paper by Christine Houghton et al. (source) – which is highly worth reading.

As a result, sulforaphane is under continued study for its potential role in life extension, cancer prevention and more. To learn more about Sulforaphane, see Rhonda’s highly detailed video on the subject.

Whilst the ultimate low-cost alternative to high end sulforaphane supplements is sprouting your own (see below), often this can be inconvenient. It takes time, preparation, and isn’t always possible when travelling or busy with work.

Since Rhonda had a child, her time is more limited, and at least for now she is opting to take sulforaphane as a supplement – rather than sprouting her own.

Below we’ll look at the best sulforaphane supplements on the market.

Jed Fahey of John Hopkins University, one of the leading researchers in sulforaphane/NRF2, warns us to be careful of which supplement we use. His lab, which has analyzed dozens of supplements over the years, has found that many are terrible, and don’t contain what they say they do. For more info on Jed, see Rhonda’s interview with him.

To complicate matters, there are 3 main ways to consume sulforaphane:

  • Pure Sulforaphane – Average bioavailability of 70%*
  • Glucoraphanin + Myrosinase – Average bioavailability of 35%*
  • Glucoraphanin only – Average bioavailability of 10%*

* Bioavailability numbers come from Jed Fahey’s research at John Hopkins (source).

Below is a list of the sulforaphane supplements tested and used by Jed Fahey’s team at John Hopkins University in their clinical studies:

Prostaphane

A French manufacturer called Nutrinov currently makes the only free-form stabilized sulforaphane supplement on the market; Prostaphane. So far it’s only available in France. Rather than containing sulforaphane glucosinolate like most sulforaphane products, it contains a free-form stabilized version of sulforaphane. They market it to help with an aging prostate, but as it’s pure sulforaphane, it has many other benefits.

Avmacol

For those outside of France, the easiest alternative is a product by Nutramax Laboratories called Avmacol. It contains the glucoraphanin (sulforaphane glucosinolate) extracted from broccoli seeds, alongside the activation enzyme myrocinase. Adding the myrocinase makes the glucoraphanin more bioavailable than without it.

Crucera-SGS

The last sulforaphane supplement that has been tested by Jed Fahey and his team is Thorne’s Crucera-SGS. This contains glucoraphanin (sulforaphane glucosinolate, or SGS), but doesn’t contain the additional myrocinase enzyme. Interestingly, our guts do contain bacteria that convert glucoraphanin into sulforaphane. The amounts vary from person to person, and aren’t as optimal as consuming active myrocinase.

In summary:

  • The 3 supplements above have been tested and used in clinical trials by John Hopkins University – so we can trust they contain what they say, unlike many other broccoli sprout supplements that are ineffective.
  • The most bioavailable supplement is Prostaphane, but this is only distributed in France.
  • The next most bioavailable product is Avmacol, which is available in the USA.

Another benefit of using Avmacol over home grown sprouts is for situations where risk of infection must be minimized – including pregnant mothers and those with compromised immune systems. Home grown sprouts run the risk of bacterial contamination, if they’re not kept completely sterile, whereas sprouts processed into Avmacol do not carry this risk.

Rhonda’s dosage: 1 tablet of Prostaphane per day

Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone produced by our bodies to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. We produce melatonin as the sun sets and night sets in, and we reduce production as the sun rises and our body preps for wakefulness.

Rhonda suggests that melatonin can be useful as we age (particularly for those 50+), because over time our natural production decreases.

The aspect of melatonin production decreasing with age is important (see this study for more discussion). We know that good sleep is absolutely crucial to overall health, so if we can supplement melatonin and measure a noticeable positive impact on sleep, that’s a big (easy) win. This can be coupled with exercise, which also improves sleep quality (for both younger and older people).

Rhonda was previously using a low dose melatonin supplement (300mcg by Life Extension), based on this research by MIT.

She has since switched to taking a high dose (9mg), which she says helps keep her night terrors at bay. See this section of her recent Joe Rogan interview for where she mentions it.

The specific figure of 9mg likely comes from a string of research papers on sleep disruption, where 9mg was the dose used.

During the interview she didn’t specifically mention which specific brand she’s using, but her go-to brands with relevant doses include Life Extension – Melatonin 3mg and Pure Encapsulations – Melatonin 3mg

Rhonda’s Dosage: 9mg / nightly

Supplements Used Intermittently

Magnesium

In a recent podcast with Kevin Rose (Jan 2020 – link), Rhonda discussed magnesium and how she aims to get it largely from her diet, in particular leafy green vegetables.

The reason that leafy green vegetables are a good source, is that magnesium composes part of the chlorophyll molecule, the green pigment in plants that helps absorb light. So, if you see dark green vegetables, you know you’ll be getting some of the bound-up magnesium from it. Despite this, approximately 1/2 the US population are thought to be deficient in it25

When Rhonda feels she may not be getting enough magnesium from her diet, she says she will supplement with magnesium bisglycenate, at approximately 200mg. In the podcast she didn’t actually mention which brand she uses for this, but I’d imagine it’s something like Thorne’s Magnesium Bisglycinate, given that she often uses Thorne products, and they happen to make one with exactly 200mg/dose.

Rhonda’s Dosage: 200mg – when needed

Omega-3 Phospholipids

Rhonda carries one ApoE4 allele, which makes omega-3 phospholipids particularly interesting. ApoE4 (and aging!) can cause omega-3 DHA uptake by the brain to become less efficient. Omega-3 phospholipids get around this because the body has a separate transporter for them (MSF2DA26), thus improving DHA uptake in a situation where it would otherwise be poor. Rhonda has written more on this subject in a paper she published, and I summarized here. Another benefit of phospholipid omega-3s are that they contain astaxanthin, which protects the omega-3s (EPA & DHA) from oxidation, and similarly protects brain cells from oxidation27.

Wild Salmon Roe Caviar

Rhonda is a big fan of wild salmon roe caviar, which is a potent source of omega-3 phospholipids (~438 mg of EPA and ~514 mg of DHA per ounce).

See this post and this post on Instagram for Rhonda talking more about caviar.

Rhonda buys her salmon roe caviar in 2.2lbs bulk quantity from Vital Choice. It comes frozen in quarters, allowing you to use one section at a time.

Previously she was supplementing Omega-3 phospholipids using Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Phospholipids.

Side note – I’ve taken Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Phospholipids as part of my supplement stack, and it’s worth noting, they’re really “strong” tasting – stronger than regular fish oil. You definitely want to throw them down with a substantial meal, don’t try them on an empty stomach!

Previous Dosage: 4 capsules/daily of Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Phospholipids

Prior to the Nordic Naturals, Rhonda was taking her omega-3 phospholipids via NOW Neptune Krill Oil 1000. However she no longer believes Krill Oil to be an optimal source of omega-3 phospholipids – given the small amounts of EPA & DHA per serving when compared with other sources.

Hydrolyzed Collagen

Rhonda has been using hydrolyzed collagen powder for a couple of years to help her joints. She consumes it by adding to smoothies and hot beverages.

Her original interest was inspired by a study that showed peptides in hydrolyzed collagen actually make it intact to cartilage, which suggests its beneficial for joint health (source).

More recently, Rhonda’s interest was piqued by another study showing that in 26 healthy females who displayed visible signs of natural and photoaging in the face, daily supplementation with 1 gram of hydrolyzed collagen powder for 12 weeks led to a 76% reduction of skin dryness/scaling and a 13% decrease in global lines and wrinkles. Additionally, an 18% increase in the content of haemoglobin was found in the skin dermis suggesting improved microcirculation (study source).

See Rhonda’s Instagram post on hydrolyzed collagen for more info, where she discusses using Great Lakes Hydrolyzed Collagen.

Choline – Alpha GPC

In a May 2017 podcast episode with Tim Ferriss, Rhonda discussed the 3 different nootropics that she uses and approves of. Nootropics are a category of drugs to enhance cognitive performance; aspects such as concentration, memory and mental alertness.

Rhonda’s approach when evaluating nootropic safety is:

  • Avoid compounds that inhibit enzymes in the brain
  • Avoid compounds that humans didn’t evolve alongside, because they haven’t been around long enough to fully understand their side effects

The three supplements she named were:

  • Alpha GPC Choline – discussed below
  • Sulforaphane – discussed here
  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom – discussed here

Rhonda said she takes a Choline supplement on rare occasions when she is doing a lot of writing, or there’s an event she is speaking at. She finds it improves her focus and attention.

Rhonda also makes a point of including natural sources of choline in her diet, such as eggs, almonds, spinach, broccoli and chicken.

There are different forms of choline that can be supplemented, and Rhonda likes Alpha GPC because it is quick to cross the blood-brain barrier. She would take 600mg doses, noting that 300mg didn’t appear to be enough to make a difference.

Dosage: 2 capsules of NOW – Alpha GPC

Sulforaphane – From Self Grown Broccoli Sprouts

When Rhonda has the time, she opts to get her sulforaphane through self-grown broccoli sprouts. Sprouts are easy to grow with a bit of initiative. To emulate Rhonda’s exact broccoli sprout growing setup you’ll want:

**Its been pointed out in the comments that a number of broccoli seed retailers are, in fact, selling "Rapini/Raab/Rabe" seeds - marketed as regular broccoli speeds. They're actually a different family of brassicas than broccoli - despite looking vaguely similar when fully grown. Until research says otherwise, we don't know if they contain sulforaphane, so is worth watching out for (to avoid) when buying seeds. The sprout house seeds linked above, according to the seller, are "usually the cultivar Calabrese" (link) - which is a regular broccoli type that will contain sulforaphane.

Out of curiosity I bought both seed types, in case it was possible to visually tell the difference between the unsprouted seeds (it's very hard) - you can view the pictures here.

See Rhonda’s IG post for the size of mason jars she uses, and see her video on heating sprouts for brand of jars. She was previously running 6 jars in rotation, freezing them in ziplocks as soon as they’re ready. However, more recently (mentioned in her August 2018 crowdcast) she has stopped freezing them, instead opting to put them in the fridge post-harvest. This is because (for unknown reasons) her and her partner Dan were finding they had stomach distress on the sprouts consumed from frozen, compared to if they consumed them fresh.

Rhonda harvests every 3 days, based on research from Jed Fahey, suggesting the sprouts contain more glucoraphanin whilst young.

Dosage

Rhonda suggests that the best data we have on dosage comes from the clinical trials done. She references these 3 in her sulforaphane video:

  • 60mg sulforaphane tablets (= 140g fresh broccoli sprouts) – Study showed sulforaphane slowed the doubling rate of a cancer biomarker (known as prostate specific antigen or PSA) by 86%
  • 40mg sulforaphane sprout powder (= 100g fresh broccoli sprouts) – Study showed sulforaphane lowered serum triglycerides by 18% and lower oxidized LDL ratio by 13%. Overall, this reduced the trial participants atherogenic index by 50%.
  • 40mg sulforaphane sprout powder (= 100g fresh broccoli sprouts) – Study showed sulforaphane reduced inflammation in type 2 diabetics: TNF-alpha by 11%, CRP by 16%.

These studies suggest you want to aim for between 40mg & 60mg sulforaphane (100g to 140g fresh weight sprouts) if you want to emulate their results. This is based on the approximation that 1 gram of fresh weight sprouts is equivalent to 0.425mg of sulforaphane.

To put this into perspective, the quart size Ball mason jars Rhonda uses yield approximately 280g fresh weight per jar when full – which brings 1 jar close to 120mg sulforaphane content.

Rhonda said (on her last Tim Ferriss podcast) she consumes up to 4 ounces (113g) of broccoli sprouts a few times per week.

In terms of consuming them, you’ll probably want to emulate Rhonda, who adds the sprouts to smoothies and blends them in her Blendtec – to mask the taste with other flavors. You want to avoid juicing, as this will discard the pre-biotic fiber that is beneficial to our gut microbiome.

Increasing Broccoli Sprouts Bioavailability

Rhonda had previously created a video on tripling the bioavailability of sulforaphane in the sprouts via heating. However, after discussing the process with John Hopkins researchers Jed Fahey, she has since stopped it – based on Jed suggesting that this is not necessarily. This also avoids the risk of overheating the sprouts, and therefore disabling the myrocinase enzyme – which would be sub-optimal.

Recommendations for Family

Beet Powder

Whilst Rhonda doesn’t supplement beet powder herself, she did use it successfully to lower her mother and mother-in-law’s blood pressure, and thus avoid them getting on blood pressure medication (see Rhonda’s Instagram post on this topic for more info).

Additionally, she talks about the many studies that have shown positive effects of beets on blood pressure, endothelial function, heart health, improved blood flow to the brain, and endurance performance. Beets are apparently one of the highest sources of nitrate (which then gets converted into nitric oxide) and is thought to increase blood flow to the brain. Beets are also high in vitamin C, which prevents the conversion of nitrates into nitrosamines (those carcinogens that are formed from the nitrites which are used as preservatives).

The Activz Organic Beet Powder Rhonda used for her family has the equivalent of 1 cup of beet juice per 9 gram scoop (~3 teaspoons). Her Mum was taking 9g per day for 2 weeks before she got her blood pressure re-tested.

Unfortunately Activz Organic Beet Powder appears to be out of stock everywhere, so have listed some potential alternatives below. Unfortunately was unable to find an option that’s both made in USA and organic. The options where the beets are grown in India is both organic, and well priced, I just don’t know much about the rigor of India’s organic produce.

ProductPrice per 100gNon GMO?Organic?Country of Production
LaJoie Beet Powder$5.93Non GMONot organicUSA
Antler Farms Beet Powder$15.00Non GMOOrganicNew Zeland
Micro Ingredients Beet Powder$5.94Non GMOOrganicIndia

Vitamin B Complex

Rhonda doesn’t take B vitamins in addition to the B vitamins in her multivitamin. In part, because Rhonda does not have 677CT or 677TT MTHFR mutations that indicate poor vitamin B absorption.

However, for those like her mum who are T-homozygous the MTHFR gene (SNP = rs1801133), which leads to poor uptake of folate, they may benefit from up to 800 micrograms supplementation of 5 methylfolate. If you were to take O.N.E multivitamin, which contains 400mcg, you would need an additional source such as Swansons B-Complex, which has 400 micrograms per capsule. Other B vitamins that may be of benefit for this issue are B6 and B12.

Swanson’s B-Complex is the B vitamin Rhonda took previously (source), before she cut back on B vitamins, and its particularly useful because it contains methylated versions of the B vitamins. Which is an exception, rather than the rule for vitamin B complex supplements.

To understand your own bodies ability to absorb vitamin B, you need to sequence your SNPs. The cheapest way to do that is to use 23andMe’s $99 service (you don’t need their $199 service) or Ancestry’s $99 service. Once that’s done you can export your SNP data to services like Promethease ($10) and/or Rhonda’s genetics tool ($10).

Not Currently Taking

This section covers supplements that Rhonda has previously taken but isn’t currently. I could just strike them from the list, but I think for some this list (and the rationales) may be of interest.

Curcumin

Rhonda had previously discussed taking a curcumin supplement (Thorne Meriva) for its anti-inflammatory effects – initially talking about using it to help with inflammation and pain (including the discomfort experienced with PMS), and later transitioning to taking it daily as part of her supplement regime.

Whilst she no longer mentions taking it daily, she still appears to be enthusiastic about the benefits of Meriva for mild pain relief, having discussed it again recently on a Crowdcast. Note there are 2 versions, the “regular” 250mg per capsule version (link) and the 500mg per capsule version (link).

Related to curcumin, Rhonda discussed the herb it’s derived from, Turmeric, in an Instagram post (link). She expressed her concern at lead chromate being added to turmeric during processing to enhance the yellow color.

Note: the easiest way to find this comment thread on her Instagram is to open the post via the Instagram mobile app – where this is the top comment. If instead you view via a web browser, then the comment isn’t at the top, and it may be hard to locate.

For more info on turmeric and lead chromate, see these studies:

  • Ground Turmeric as a Source of Lead Exposure in the United States – link
  • Lead chromate pigments added to turmeric threaten public health across Bangladesh – link

Rhonda continues to utilize turmeric in its organic form (which doesn’t have lead chromate added) – both as juices and in smoothies. It has a host of potential benefits, including:

  • A randomized controlled trial showed that a bioavailable form of curcumin improved memory in older people with mild memory complaints. The curcumin group had a 28% improvement in their memory/attention abilities and fewer amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain, compared to the placebo. The latter (amyloid plaques and tau tangles) affect optimal brain function, and are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Additionally a double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial showed antidepressive effects in patients with major depression28

The bioavailability of curcumin can be increased with the addition of fat and a component of black pepper called piperine. For fat sources, Rhonda adds avocado to her smoothies that have turmeric (see her Instagram post on this).

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Rhonda was using Four Sigmatic’s Lion’s Mane tea for intense periods of writing and creative work up until she became pregnant in 2017. At which point she stopped all non-essential supplementation, including Lion’s Mane, in order to minimize any risk to her baby.

On her August 2018 crowdcast, Rhonda mentioned she hasn’t yet gone back to Lion’s Mane, due to concern over heavy metals, which mushrooms are good at absorbing from soil. She plans to look into it more in the future and check lab tests.

Off the back of her comment, I did look briefly into Four Sigmatic’s testing, and it appears they do indeed test for heavy metals (lead, cadmium, mercury) + other toxins & chemicals (source). They apparently used to provide lab reports on request, but have stopped doing so since having multiple batches live for sale at any one time, such that the report they send may not apply exactly to the batch you have. That said, they guarantee to have < 1 PPM of arsenic, < 0.1 PPM of Cadmium, <1 PPM of lead and < 0.05 PPM of Mercury.

Briefly – About Lion’s Mane Mushroom…

The Lion’s Mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is generally consumed for its cognitive benefits. A study (source) showed that it can increase nerve growth factor, which is involved primarily in the growth, maintenance, proliferation, and survival of neurons.

Another study (source) showed that it improved cognitive impairment in a placebo controlled group of 30 adults aged 50-80. They consumed 3g per day of Lion’s Mane powder for 16 weeks. At weeks 8, 12 & 16 they showed significantly increased scores on the cognitive function scale compared with the placebo group. Four weeks after stopping the Lion’s Mane supplementation their scores decreased significantly.

Rhonda’s Previous Dosage: 1x 3g pack of Four Sigmatic’s Mushroom Elixir

Nicotinamide Riboside

Prior to having her son, Rhonda was experimenting with a Nicotinamide Riboside supplement by Thorne. However whilst pregnant, Rhonda stopped taking any non-essential supplements (including Nicotinamide Riboside) that could pose even the slightest risk to her child.

The nicotinamide riboside product she was taking before was called Thorne NiaCel (now discontinued) – which contained Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride made by Chromadex. Chromadex also produce Nicotinamide Riboside under their own brand; called Tru Niagen.

As of yet, Rhonda hasn’t come back to taking Nicotinamide Riboside, and has said she is waiting for more human research to be completed.

Resveratrol

Rhonda has had David Sinclair on the podcast discussing the positive effects of Resveratrol. Since that podcast, Rhonda has posted a literary review of Resveratrol on her site.

In her Dec 2019 Ask Me Anything (AMA) discussion, she discussed Resveratrol, saying that she doesn’t take it currently, but is considering taking it.

She says her interest in resveratrol stems mainly from preliminary clinical trials showing positive benefits in cognition for older and cognitively impaired adults, including:

  • A study, 200mg/daily resveratrol supplementation improved healthy 50-75 year olds memory recall29.
  • In another study, patients with alzheimer’s disease who took resveratrol saw improvements in cognition, and decreases in biomarkers of alzheimers disease and inflammation30.

Her current reservation is around a study that showed 250mg/day of resveratrol blunted the positive effects of exercise31. However, another study using 500mg showed synergistic effects in combination with exercise32. Rhonda’s current hypothesis for why is that at lower doses resveratrol may act as a mild antioxidant, which then blunts the positive effects of exercise (similar to high dose Vitamin E).

When asked what type of resveratrol she would take, she said a micronized powder form, and that a company called RevGenetics make that (noting again that she has no connection with them or any other supplement company).

For more on David Sinclair and the supplements he takes, including Resveratrol and NMN, see this separate post.

Metformin

Metformin has been studied in humans since the 1950’s, and is most commonly taken to battle type 2 diabetes. In recent years its become popular amongst biohackers looking to extend their healthspan + lifespan. As this novel, off-label use has become more popular, its invited further research into whether this approach makes sense.

In a recent podcast with Kevin Rose (Jan 2020 – link), Rhonda discussed the use of metformin for longevity.

She notes that exercise is better at preventing type 2 diabetes than metformin, citing a randomized controlled trial involving 3,200 people33. She also questions the value of metformin in healthy individuals who exercise. This is because the health benefits of exercise are vast and well documented, and it appears that metformin inhibits a number of these. Namely:

  • Reduction in gaining lean muscle mass whilst on an exercise program, compared to placebo34.
  • Inhibition of mitochondrial adaptations and improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness by 50 percent and diminished whole-body insulin sensitivity after aerobic exercise35.

So when it comes to healthy individuals who exercise, she doesn’t see any synergy with the use of metformin for improving healthspan and lifespan. However, for people who don’t exercise, then the use of metformin may warrant further inspection. See Rhonda’s research section on metformin for more info.

Note that if you’re interested in taking the prescription drug metformin for off-label use, you should consult with a doctor on the subject. The above does not construe medical advice in any shape or form.

Multivitamin Alternatives

For those outside mainland USA, Rhonda’s multivitamin; Pure Encapsulations O.N.E can sometimes be difficult to obtain. A good alternative (Rhonda used one of Thorne’s multivitamins during pregnancy) is:

Other comparable options include:

The two options by Thorne contain methylated B vitamins, including folate in place of folic acid. With the Elite version containing extras such as vitamin K, curcumin phytosome and choline.

The Now Foods & Optimum Nutrition options don’t contain methylated B vitamins, but are still reasonable options if Thorne products are hard to come by.

This ends the main list of supplements.

Below we’ll look at supplements Rhonda used during her pregnancy (a section which, of course, won’t be applicable to all). You can instead skip to the next section – Rhonda’s Method for Choosing Supplement Brands.

Rhonda’s Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Supplement Regimen

This section just includes a summary of the supplements Rhonda used whilst pregnant and breastfeeding. For the full post on the subject, see here.

First & Second Trimesters

Rhonda’s regular supplement regime contained products such as Lion’s Mane mushrooms and Nicotinamide Riboside that haven’t been tested in pregnant women. Therefore to maintain absolute safety, Rhonda removed all these supplements from her diet whilst pregnant, and only used the following:

Third Trimester

  • Rhonda continued using the products above, and added Visbiome probiotics – 1 sachet/day (Visbiome was created by the same person as VSL#3, has a similar formulation, and typically costs less). She didn’t take probiotics first or second trimester.
  • Her third trimester blood test results came back showing iron deficiency, so she added an extra iron supplement: Thorne Research – Iron Bisglycinate. This won’t be necessary unless your blood test results indicate low levels. The prenatal multivitamin already contains 45mg of iron bisglycinate.
  • Rhonda increased her Wild Alaskan Salmon Roe intake to daily (source) – on the basis that in the last 13 weeks of pregnancy, the babies brain triples in weight, and the cerebellum (involved in motor control) increases surface area by 30x.
    So by consuming the salmon roe, she provides her baby with a good source of phospholipid DHA (absorbed 10x better in the developing brain than regular DHA), and DHA is one of the major components of the brain. Rhonda buys her salmon roe in bulk from Vital Choice. See the section below for info around safety & amount to consume.

Breastfeeding Supplement Regimen

[1] Rhonda added back sulforaphane whilst breastfeeding (after taking a break whilst pregnant) but opted for Prostaphane capsules, to avoid any risk of contaminated broccoli sprouts, and to free up time for baby duties. I’ve talked about Prostaphane and sulforaphane more in this post. Prostaphane is actually only sold in France, so has to be exported. The closest equivalent available in USA is Avmacol.

The source for details on Rhonda’s breastfeeding supplement regime is 1hr 38mins into her October crowdcast video for Patreon supporters.

Toddler Supplements – For a list of the supplements Rhonda is giving to her growing toddler, see this separate post.

Prenatal Multivitamin

(It’s worth noting with the above study, that it was performed on people in rural China. It’s possible they were already mildly deficient in micronutrients, thus the multivitamin supplement had a noticeable impact on their children’s IQ. That being said, we know that even in developed countries like the USA, segments of the population are mildly deficient in essential micronutrients, so the study still holds value. What has not been proven is that a multivitamin could improve IQ where no deficiency exists).

Research has shown that pregnant women need more of certain nutrients than they would otherwise. Rhonda opted to use a multivitamin by Thorne, called Basic Prenatal. This has a number of key benefits:

  • Supplementation of folic acid reduces the risk of having a child born with brain of spinal cord birth defect36. Basic Prenatal uses the methylated form of folate (5-MTHF), which is optimal even for those with an MTHFR mutation that makes them less efficient at utilizing folic acid. Actually, for those women with the aforementioned MTHFR mutation, neural tube defects are a bigger risk than normal37
  • As well as using an optimal version of folic acid, Basic Prenatal also uses a well absorbed version of iron, iron bisglycinate, which meets a pregnant woman’s need for increased iron, whilst being easy on the stomach and non-constipating.
  • It contains several of Basic Prenatal’s ingredients (including vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin K) have been demonstrated to benefit morning sickness.
  • Lastly, it doesn’t contain any additives like stearates, colorants or preservatives – unlike some mainstream prenatal supplements.

For more information on approaches Rhonda took to her pregnancy and breastfeeding, see this detailed post I’ve written up on the subject.

Rhonda’s Method for Choosing Supplement Brands

The supplement industry, surprisingly, is largely unregulated. Especially when compared to the stringent regulations that are imposed on the pharmaceutical industry. This amplifies the importance of choosing a supplement that you can rely upon. In a Tim Ferriss interview Rhonda recommended that you check if the supplement brand you’re looking to buy is certified by the NSF (National Sanitary Foundation). Their role is to independently test and certify supplements, to ensure they do not contain undeclared ingredients or contaminants.

As a guideline, below is the list of brands that Rhonda often uses (either currently, or in the past):

Then separately, Rhonda has dicussed using labdoor.com in order to check supplements for contaminants. For example, when she was choosing a cocoa supplement, she went to labdoor to see which were low in heavy metals.

Closing Remarks

Hopefully the above post has been interesting, and you’ve taken away something useful from it.

If you value the research and content that Rhonda is putting out, consider signing up become a premium member on her site. Firstly, this crowd sponsored support allows her to continue to work independently, without being reliant on sponsors or grants. Secondly, premium members get a number of exclusive benefits, including members only emails, monthly Ask Me Anything live streams and open access to use her genetics reports.

If you’re looking for further Rhonda Patrick related content, below are some related posts I’ve written:

  • A detailed post on Rhonda’s diet – including examples of her breakfast, lunch and dinner (link)
  • A post on Rhonda’s approach to exercise + examples of what she does (link)
  • Notes on many of the key things Rhonda has discussed about pregnancy, breastfeeding & baby health – based on her journey into motherhood (link)

Post Change Log

For those curious, see this post for a log of the key changes to this article, starting from August 17 2018.

See Post Sources Below:

  1. Vitamin D and the anti-viral state – Beart et al. (2011)
  2. Effect of zinc salts on respiratory syncytial virus replication – Suara et al. (2004)
  3. Comparative absorption of zinc picolinate, zinc citrate and zinc gluconate in humans – Barrie et al. (1987)
  4. N-acetylcysteine improves oxidative stress and inflammatory response in patients with community acquired pneumonia – Zhang et al. (2018)
  5. Oral supplementation with liposomal glutathione elevates body stores of glutathione and markers of immune function – Sinha et al (2017)
  6. Mechanisms of probiotic action: Implications for therapeutic applications in inflammatory bowel diseases – Vanderpool et al. (2008)
  7. Probiotics: progress toward novel therapies for intestinal diseases – Yan et al. (2010)
  8. P884 No shared mechanisms among “old” and “new” VSL#3: Implications for claims and guidelines - C De Simone (2018)
  9. P884 No shared mechanisms among “old” and “new” VSL#3: Implications for claims and guidelines - C De Simone (2018)
  10. Effect of Broccoli Sprouts and Live Attenuated Influenza Virus on Peripheral Blood Natural Killer Cells: A Randomized, Double-Blind Study – Müller et al. (2016)
  11. Vegetables and Mixed Dishes Are Top Contributors to Phylloquinone Intake in US Adults: Data from the 2011-2012 NHANES – Harshman et al. (2017)
  12. Circulating uncarboxylated matrix Gla protein, a marker of vitamin K status, as a risk factor of cardiovascular disease – van den Heuvel et al. (2014)
  13. The relationship between vitamin K and peripheral arterial disease – Vissers et al. (2016)
  14. Dietary pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) alters indicators of inflammation and mitochondrial-related metabolism in human subjects – Harris et al (2013)
  15. Effect of the Antioxidant Supplement Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Disodium Salt (BioPQQ) on Cognitive Functions – Itoh et al (2016)
  16. Dark Chocolate Acutely Improves Walking Autonomy in Patients With Peripheral Artery Disease – Violi et al. (2014)
  17. Dark chocolate supplementation reduces the oxygen cost of moderate intensity cycling – Patel et al. (2015)
  18. Cocoa consumption dose-dependently improves flow-mediated dilation and arterial stiffness decreasing blood pressure in healthy individuals – Claudio et al. (2015)
  19. The effect of flavanol-rich cocoa on the fMRI response to a cognitive task in healthy young people – Francis et al (2006)
  20. Benefits in cognitive function, blood pressure, and insulin resistance through cocoa flavanol consumption in elderly subjects with mild cognitive impairment: the Cocoa, Cognition, and Aging (CoCoA) study – Desideri et al. (2012)
  21. Cocoa Flavanol Supplementation Influences Skin Conditions of Photo-Aged Women: A 24-Week Double-Blind, Randomized, Controlled Trial – Chung et al. (2015)
  22. Cadmium and lead in cocoa powder and chocolate products in the US Market – Abt et al (2017)
  23. Cocoa flavanol consumption improves cognitive function, blood pressure control, and metabolic profile in elderly subjects: the Cocoa, Cognition, and Aging (CoCoA) Study—a randomized controlled trial – Mastroiacovo et al. (2014)
  24. Enhancing dentate gyrus function with dietary flavanols improves cognition in older adults – Brickman et al. (2014)
  25. Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States: are the health consequences underestimated? – Rosanoff et al. (2012)
  26. Mfsd2a is a transporter for the essential omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid – Nguyen et al (2014)
  27. Amelioration of oxidative stress and protection against early brain injury by astaxanthin after experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage – Zhang et al (2014)
  28. Add-on Treatment with Curcumin Has Antidepressive Effects in Thai Patients with Major Depression: Results of a Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study – Kanchanatawan et al. (2018)
  29. Effects of Resveratrol on Memory Performance, Hippocampal Functional Connectivity, and Glucose Metabolism in Healthy Older Adults – Witte et al. (2014)
  30. Resveratrol regulates neuro-inflammation and induces adaptive immunity in Alzheimer’s disease – Moussa et al. (2017)
  31. Resveratrol blunts the positive effects of exercise training on cardiovascular health in aged men – Gliemann et al (2013)
  32. Resveratrol Enhances Exercise-Induced Cellular and Functional Adaptations of Skeletal Muscle in Older Men and Women – Alway et al. (2017)
  33. Reduction in the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes with Lifestyle Intervention or Metformin – Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group (2002)
  34. Metformin blunts muscle hypertrophy in response to progressive resistance exercise training in older adults: A randomized, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled, multicenter trial: The MASTERS trial – Walton et al (Sept 2019)
  35. Metformin inhibits mitochondrial adaptations to aerobic exercise training in older adults – Konopka et al (2018)
  36. Multivitamin/Folic Acid Supplementation in Early Pregnancy Reduces the Prevalence of Neural Tube Defects – Milunsky et al. (1989)
  37. Association between MTHFR C677T polymorphism and neural tube defect risks: A comprehensive evaluation in three groups of NTD patients, mothers, and fathers – Yan et al. (2012)
John Alexander

Posted by John Alexander

Note: Not a Medical Doctor or PhD. I'm a researcher and writer, with a focus on the subjects of health and longevity. My intent is to write about scientific research in an accessible, understandable way. If you believe something I've stated needs a reference, and I haven't done so, please let me know in the comments. Follow on: Twitter

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
125 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Anne
Anne
20 days ago

There is an image of Baby’s Super Daily Vitamin D3 in the pregnancy section, but no text explaining how Dr. Patrick used it. Mind explaining?

Sherry
Sherry
29 days ago

This is all very helpful! I do wonder how much Salmon Roe? 30 gms? How many times a week? Does anyone know what is suggested?

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

RE: quercetin as a zinc ionophore. My understanding of the mechanism is to allow the zinc to pass into the cell to achieve its anti-viral capability. This is stated to be one of the same mechanisms exhibited by hydroxychloroquine with zinc. My question is if there is any literature you have found discussing a daily supplement of zinc and any ionophore to achieve that mechanism over a long period, as opposed to using the combination as a finite treatment protocol? It seems if cells normally don’t allow zinc inside, then daily supplementation represents a permanent change to the cell, rather… Read more »

Mimi
Mimi
1 month ago

I’m glad I scrolled all the way down through the comments to see your list John. As others have said, I really appreciate this summary–your work is exemplary and invaluable! That said, who else wants to know the IQ of Rhonda’s baby after all that DHA supplementation?!

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago

Regarding PYRROLOQUINOLINE QUINONE (PQQ): I would think that PQQ would probably be a good Zinc ionophore. PQQ, I believe, is derived from quinine (like hydroxychloroquine,) However, I can’t find any data on this. I’d be interested in Dr. Rhonda Patrick looking into this.

Edward
Edward
1 month ago

Smoothie update on 7/11 Q&A: Kale, avocado, blueberries, egg white protein, hydrolyzed collagen powder and water. She didn’t give amounts. I would just use the amounts from smoothie #2 and use the same amount of egg white powder as the collagen. Much simpler than cutting up all those veggies in the first smoothie!
1 tsp of moringa powder might be useful.

Korey
Korey
2 months ago

Is it ok to take all of your supplements at the same time or do they compete for gut absorption? Also a side not, the fish oil rhonda takes has twice as much dha but less epa than the alternative you suggested. I think hers would make more sense for brain health but 6 PILLS!!? 3000mg of dha she takes!?

ACP
ACP
Reply to  John Alexander
1 month ago

Vitamin C *increases* the absorption of iron.

Rana
Rana
3 months ago

Thanks for this post is is fantastic! I am a little suprised actually shocked Rhonda takes melatonin! If she has such a healthy lifestyle ( which she does) and taking all those supplements, why does she need it? Did she mention why she has that need. I know you mentioned she said night terrors ( but even that show she has something out of balance if she has that all the time. I trust her she is fantastic but I am truly curious. Have you heard her talking about why she needs melatonin? Again with the way she lives her… Read more »

Rana Olson
Rana Olson
Reply to  John Alexander
3 months ago

John, thanks so much for the link! It explains a lot to me that in the beginning she kinda was talking about it t in an embarrassed manner (almost like a confessing)manner. Which tells me she wishes she is not on it. And its amazing she can resolve such bad night terrors with it. Also, stress is such an interesting thing (she said she has more terrors when she is stressed out) I know its part of being a human but you can be one of the smartest people on earth, exercises use the best supplements eat the best food… Read more »

Philippe
Philippe
4 months ago

Hey, on the latest JRE, Rhonda says that she takes Vitamin K2 MK-4. She didn’t mention MK-7.

Edward
Edward
4 months ago

On May 14th on Joe Rogan 1474, Rhonda said she is now taking 9mg of Melatonin per day.

Shelly Foster
Shelly Foster
4 months ago

Just FYI a couple days ago on the Joe rogan podcast Rhoda states that she now takes 9mg of melatonin each night.

Sam
Sam
4 months ago

I always thought that you need a lot of extra vitamin e when supplementing fish oil, but she doesn’t take any extra. Don’t you need some kind of protection that those high doses of EPA and DHA won’t oxidize in body?

Kamil
Kamil
4 months ago

Where did Rhonda Patrick say/write that she takes 1-2 grams of vitamin c 4x a day?
I would love to watch/read it.

Lauren
Lauren
4 months ago

Hi! I just had a question if anyone could help out. Just a bit confused on how much sulforaphane should be taken a day with the sprouts. Is Rhonda ingesting a total of 4 oz./week or 4 oz. each day (2-3 days)? Sorry if confusing! Thanks!

Lauren
Lauren
Reply to  John Alexander
4 months ago

Thank you!!!!

Sean
Sean
5 months ago

Hi John, do you have any recommendations for Sulforaphane supplements in the UK?

Steve
Steve
Reply to  John Alexander
3 months ago

Hello, I’m wondering if it’s advisable to take both Avmacol and Crucera at the same time, or best to stick with one or the other. Thanks in advance!

Mary Howard
Mary Howard
7 months ago

Hey John,

Wanted to start by mentioning that youre doing Gods work by summarizing and outlining Rhondas work and making it even more accessible! Thank you!
So I recently started buying avmacol for sulphuraphane supplements and wanted to know if you knew what website/service Rhonda utilized to get Phostaphane delivered to her in the US. Also, are you aware what dose per serving was delivered in phostaphane? Because I wanted to match it with my avmocol supplements where serving size is 475mg Propietary Sulpherophane Glucosinate & Myrosinase blend per day.

Dottie
Dottie
7 months ago

I purchased the – Life Extension Low-Dose Vitamin K2 (MK-7), but I am wondering, since I am not someone who eats a lot of green leafy vegetables should I take more of the Vitamin K2 than the 3x a week ?

Charles George
Charles George
8 months ago

It looks like they don’t make the beet powder anymore, is there another one?

Paul Wasserman
Paul Wasserman
11 months ago

If I’m understanding correctly, Rhonda has replaced the Phosphiloid supplement with Salmon Roe. How much salmon roe per day is recommended?

Nathan Barley
Nathan Barley
1 year ago

I see that on Twitter Jed Fahey has recommended a dose of 25g-50g of broccoli sprouts per day. I suspect that Rhonda Patrick would defer to him on this.

Fantastic page by the way. Thank you!

Maureen Forney
Maureen Forney
1 year ago

For a healthy 42 year old woman who can’t afford all these supplements would you tell me a good healthy start? A few of the most important ones?Thank you so much 🙏🏼

Matt
Matt
1 year ago

Hi John,
Is there is a general rule to choose powder filled capsules or gel cap supplements, as opposed to hard-pressed tablets? Just looking at Rhonda’s daily supplements, it appears that she doesn’t take anything in tablet form, which I assumed was for a better rate of absorption. However, one of the alternative multivitamins listed here, Opti-Men, comes in a tablet form.

Elaine
Elaine
Reply to  John Alexander
1 year ago

Hi John! I buy my sprouts from sproutpeople.org and although there may be better sources out there, they’re high quality and I go through a lot, so they’re affordable. Thanks for your comment, I checked their site and they sell Green Sprouting Calabrese which is true broccoli, they also ship out of country. Good luck! I had a mini panic attack for a minute there as I just bought a bunch of sprouting seeds, and I didn’t want to discard. 🙂

Lorie Mackey
Lorie Mackey
1 year ago

Thank you for this! It is super helpful. I don’t know if four sigmatic has changed their lions mane elixer since the original posting, but at the moment, each packet contains 3g ;the same amount used in the referenced study. I only mention it, because the stuff is pretty expensive, and I was relieved to find that I only “needed” half as much as I’d originally thought.
Thank You again!

L

Nick Michael
Nick Michael
1 year ago

Hello! My name is Nicholas Michael thank you for all this wonderful information!!
This is with no doubt the single best source of cutting edge beneficial nutritional supplements. I’m proud to be a follower and subscriber! Also a contributor to this powerful movement!
If I may ask a question regarding a horrible disease that members of my family carry over generations!
alzheimer’s And dimensia!!!
Would you know off any helpful supporting supplements for this disease???
Please help! Thank you

Jake
Jake
1 year ago

Wow. I just became a big fan of Rhonda Patrick. This is very well done. Site bookmarked.

Mark Giannini
Mark Giannini
1 year ago

Hi John,

I saw that Nestle bought Pure as parent for the multivitamin supplement and some users noticed a difference in their pills. Any chance Rhonda has made any comments on this you’re aware of?

Mark Giannini
Mark Giannini
Reply to  John Alexander
1 year ago

Thanks for you’re response and hard work John. You are much appreciated amongst the Rhonda community.

Stephen
Stephen
1 year ago

Thanks for putting together such an amazing resource! I was wondering whether you know whether broccoli raab sprouting seeds are ok to use? I’ve just finished growing my first batch of sprouts and noticed that they are seeds for broccoli raab (also called broccoli rabe or rapini).

Stephen
Stephen
Reply to  John Alexander
1 year ago

Thanks John! That’s what I was worried about. It seems quite difficult to buy proper broccoli seeds here in the UK that are not actually Rapini seeds. I contacted a few suppliers and although their products were labeled as broccoli seeds, they said they were the Raab variety when I questioned them. One person I contacted said that the normal broccoli seeds will not grow well in a mason jar sprouter type set up and have to be grown in soil. They said that virtually everywhere that sells broccoli seeds for sprouting will be selling the raab kind. I guess… Read more »

Stephen
Stephen
Reply to  John Alexander
1 year ago

Hi John, sorry, I realize I was a bit unclear in my comment. I’ve got no idea how to visually distinguish between sprouting Rapini seeds and broccoli seeds. I only realized I had sprouted Rapini seeds when I looked more closely at the packaging and noticed they were referred to as Raab broccoli seeds. I googled Raab broccoli and then became worried whether I had the right kind of seeds. These are the ones I bought:
Natures Root
Hopefully I can find a source of (non-Rapini) broccoli seeds somewhere.

Stephen
Stephen
Reply to  John Alexander
1 year ago

Hi John, not sure why but I can’t reply directly under your last comment. Anyway, one of the companies I contacted sells the Aconbury Organic seeds that you’ve used in the past and although it says “broccoli seeds” on the packaging, when I asked them to confirm what type they were with Aconbury, it turned out they were actually Rappini seeds. This is what they said: ” they say that they also sell the raab seeds as these are the most common seeds used for sprouting as the traditional broccoli seeds that you would use to grow a broccoli plant… Read more »

Stephen
Stephen
Reply to  John Alexander
1 year ago

Thanks John,
Yes, it’s a bit frustrating as I’m very keen to include some sulforaphane in my diet and the supplements are hard to come by in the UK. Feel free to post details of good suppliers of genuine broccoli seeds in your blog update too if you come across any 🙂 Thanks again for the great site.

Keenan
Keenan
1 year ago

Any recommendations for a multivitamin powder (or liquid) comparable to Pure Encapsulations O.N.E at least as far as D3 and Magnesium? Looking to take my multivitamin via my daily smoothie.

John
John
1 year ago

how much chromium do we need to supplement? That multi-vitamin seems high in it. I tossed all my multi-vitamins because I don’t trust them.

noir
noir
1 year ago

aloha!
first of all, thanks john!
i got pure all in one, optiMSM, omega3 and spirulina & chlorella supplements. can i take all at ones in the morning? or how should i handle it.

Archie
Archie
Reply to  noir
1 month ago

Hi Noir, I don’t see chlorella in her list, which one did you buy and how did you research it?