Lets begin with a high level overview of Dr Rhonda Patrick’s supplement list. This list is up to date as of October 2018, and uses the latest information from Rhonda’s Twitter, podcasts, videos and exclusive Patreon subscriber content.

Dr Rhonda Patrick’s Daily Supplements

Additional Supplements Rhonda Uses:

Rhonda’s Preferred Nootropics:

  • Choline – Alpha GPC – NOW – Alpha GPC 300mg – Taken for public speaking events or podcasts to increase mental acuity
  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom – Four Sigmatic Mushroom Elixir – Taken specifically for intense periods of work
  • Sulforaphane – From self-grown broccoli sprouts

Additional Recommendations:

  • Beet Powder – Activz Organic – Rhonda has recommended to her family members with high blood pressure
  • Wild Salmon Roe Caviar – from Vital Choice – Natural source of EPA & DHA phospholipids
  • Methylated B Vitamins – Swanson’s B Complex – Rhonda has recommended to family members with MTHFR mutation

Rhonda’s Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Supplement Regimen

Rhonda’s Base Supplement List (Details)

Multivitamin

Rhonda takes Pure Encapsulations O.N.E multivitamin daily, which contains a broad spectrum of essential micronutrients. With adequate doses of the essential micronutrients, in highly bioavailable forms.

For those aware they have the MTHFR mutation which reduces folic acid absorption, O.N.E contains methyl folate instead of folic acid.

Rhonda knows the importance of consuming adequate amounts of essential micronutrients, and thus has chosen a supplement that ticks as many of those boxes as possible. The only essential micronutrients it doesn’t contain (and isn’t covered in her additional supplements) are calcium, iron & copper; which Rhonda aims to get from her diet.

Pure Encapsulations O.N.E comes in 2 sizes, 60 capsules and 120 capsules.

Dosage: 1 capsule/daily

N.B. For those outside the USA, or in places where Pure Encapsulations O.N.E is hard to obtain, see this section on comparable alternative multivitamins.

Vitamin D3

Rhonda views vitamin D intake as incredibly important to staying happy and healthy. Getting technical for a minute, vitamin D plays a big role in serotonin regulation, and serotonin in turn regulates things like executive function, sensory gating, and social behaviour (see this paper for more details on vitamin D’s function).

To add to complexity, its not only negative to get too little vitamin D, its also negative to get too much. This is ignored by many supplement companies who liberally promote 5,000IU+ supplements. Its very hard to say exactly how much each person should supplement, because it depends on factors like diet, sun exposure and body composition.

Rhonda calibrates her vitamin D dosage by aiming to maintain 40 – 60ng/ml blood concentration. To achieve this, she suggests 4,000IU of daily supplementation, which she says should be enough to bring people who are deficient up to 30ng/ml safely (source: Rhonda’s vitamin D infographic).

Rhonda’s preferred vitamin D3 source is Thorne Research D-1000. This comes in 1,000IU capsules, which allows for fine tuning total dosage.

Rhonda takes 4,000iu of vitamin D3 daily (on average). She takes 2,000IU of D3 via her multivitamin supplement (above), and then adds 2,000IU of Thorne D-1000, to make a total of 4,000IU.

Dosage: 2 capsules/daily

Vitamin K2

Vitamin K is required by the body to create proteins that are pre-requisites to blood coagulation (useful!), and it is used in efficient calcium transport for bones and other tissues.

Rhonda suplements K2, despite already getting significant amounts of K1 through her consumption of leafy green vegetables.

When Rhonda supplements K2, its her insurance policy in case the K1 she consumes isn’t doing enough. The main worry with insufficient vitamin K consumption, is that it causes inadequate calcium transport, and thus deposits of calcium end up in the arteries. Later on this could result in higher blood pressure and risk of stroke.

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

Rhonda uses Thorne Research’s – K2/D3 liquid drops. Each drop contains 100mcg of K2 MK4 and 500iu of D3. This doesn’t replace her D3 supplementation, which she likes to keep at around 4,000iu per day. I say “around”, because she tests her blood levels of D3 and adjusts dosage based on the results.

Previously when she was taking NOW Vitamin’s K2-MK7, which contain 100mcg per capsule, she was using it every 2-3 days. I would imagine that she is now using 1 drop of Thorne’s K2 every 2-3 days also (in her below update she didn’t mention frequency, only dosage).

Rhonda discussed switching to Thorne on her FoundMyFitness discussion board:

Dosage: 1 drop/every 2-3 days

Omega-3 Fish Oil

Omega-3 oils, EPA & DHA, are essential fatty acids. Specifically, they are incorporated into cell membranes all over the body, but are particularly concentrated in the brain and eyes (retina). They are also vital to processes that mediate lipids, which can be beneficial in the prevention of several diseases. And are essential for proper fetal development and heathy ageing. Read more on their role here.

Rhonda currently takes an omega-3 supplement called Norwegian PURE-3, which is touted as being both extremely high quality, and having very low levels of oxidation. Specifically Rhonda supplements the high DHA version they sell, which has pink packaging. See this section of her Crowdcast where she mentions it.

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 soon.

Prior to this product, Rhonda was taking fish oil from Nordic Naturals called ProOmega 2000. Nordic Naturals make high quality omega-3s, and are somewhat easier to get ahold of on retail channels like Amazon.com.

See her below 2017 tweet where she mentions Nordic Naturals ProOmega 2000 (click it to go to the actual tweet URL):

Dosage: 6 capsules/daily of Norwegian Pure-3 DHA

Krill Oil / Omega-3 Phospholipids

Until recently Rhonda was supplementing Omega-3 phospholipids in addition to her regular Omega-3 supplementation. Specifically Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Phospholipids.

Side note – I take the Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Phospholipids as part of my supplement stack, and its 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!

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

Rhonda currently gets her omega-3 phospholipids via wild salmon roe caviar, rather than using supplements. She bulk buys her caviar from Vital Choice, who offer it in 2.2lbs packages that can be frozen, and then defrosted one quarter at a time. Consuming this in addition to her regular omega-3 supplementation.

Prior to the Nordic Naturals, Rhonda was taking her omega-3 phospholipids via NOW Neptune Krill Oil 1000:

Magnesium

Magnesium can be found concentrated in leafy green vegetables (it actually composes part of the chlorophyll molecule). 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 it.

Rhonda supplements with Thorne’s Magnesium Citramate supplement; this contains a blend of magnesium citrate and magnesium malt. The combination helps increase absorption.

Dosage: 1 capsule/daily

Additional supplements Rhonda uses

Nicotinamide Riboside

Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) is a recently discovered form of vitamin B3 that can increase levels of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+). NAD+ is a key co-enzyme used by the mitochondria in every cell of our bodies. With natural ageing or disease or chronic inflammation NAD+ levels drop. The hope is that by supplementing NR we can in turn increase NAD+, and make muscles, organs and tissues perform closer to younger versions of themselves.

Rhonda talked about this supplement in the Tim Ferriss podcast titled “Exploring Smart Drugs, Fasting, and Fat Loss”. Where she said (transcript source):

I mix in some other supplements like the meriva formulation of curcumin, which I already talked about earlier, and I am just starting to mix in a little nicotinamide riboside into the mix.

I’m afraid that the supplement I’m taking right now, which is by Thorne and only has 125 mg per capsule, won’t quite cut it to meet some of the robust results being seen in animal studies. I think there is potential here but more studies in humans definitely need to be done at this point. Still interested though.

Rhonda takes Thorne’s NiaCel, which contains 125mg of nicotinamide riboside chloride as the only ingredient. Actually, she took it before her pregnancy, then stopped during pregnancy (to be safe), and plans to resume once she finishes breastfeeding her son.

Dosage: 1 capsule/daily

PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline Quinone)

On a recent Q&A webinar for her Patreon subscribers, Rhonda mentioned that she had started taking PQQ.

In a paper published in 2016 (link), Japanese researchers found that PQQ improves cognitive function (measured using the stroop test), by increasing blood flow and oxygen metabolism to the right prefrontal cortex. Which in theory is exciting, especially as PQQ is naturally produced by the body, thus you’re not introducing a foreign substance to it. However when I dug into the research on PQQ, the evidence for its effectiveness seemed borderline inaccurate, and it definitely needs more study. I’ve summarised my analysis of PQQ in this post.

Rhonda takes 1 capsule daily(20mg per serving) of Life Extension- PQQ Caps with BioPQQ. BioPQQ is the PQQ disodium salt that was used in the above study.

Dosage: 1 capsule/daily

Meriva (Curcumin Phytosome)

Rhonda on Meriva, and how she likes the Jarrow, Thorne or NOW brands for it.

Rhonda uses Meriva as an anti-inflammatory, in the same way that someone might use Ibuprofen or other NSAIDs (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs). Whilst ibuprofen is very effective, the goal with using Meriva is to be able to use it on a long term basis without risk of side effects.

Meriva is derived from the turmeric root, which contains a natural anti-inflammatory in its pigment called curcumin. Tangentially, it’s actually curcumin that gives curries their yellow colouring. To produce Meriva the curcumin gets extracted and concentrated, then combined with phosphatidylcholine complex from sunflower seeds. By packaging the curcumin in a phospholipid its possible to increase its absorption within the body.

The way in which curcumin extract (Meriva) reduces inflammation is really clever. Inflammation itself is not a bad thing, in fact its an incredibly important survival mechanism that helps our bodies fight illness and heal injuries. However if there’s too much inflammation, or inflammation in the wrong places we have a problem.

Proteins within our body called cytokines control cell signalling to stimulate or reduce inflammation. When this system has issues regulating itself correctly, this results in unnecessary inflammation of the body. Curcumin has been shown to reduce release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (source).

Thorne’s Meriva-SF formulation is 250mg per pill (serving of 2 capsules, so 500mg total). However, they also so a higher strength version called Meriva-500-SF (500mg per pill, 1g per serving).

 

Rhonda also likes to utilize turmeric in its organic form for her smoothies. A recent 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 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).

For more on turmeric/curcumin & Rhonda Patrick, see this longer post I wrote.

Probiotics

Rhonda is keenly aware of the importance of a healthy gut microbiome. Currently she takes Visbiome probiotics once per week or once every fortnight to top up on healthy gut bacteria, and the rest of the time relies on her diet to meet those needs.

She used to take VSL #3 probiotic, which has been the subject of over 25 publishes studies, showing efficacy in IBS, IBD, colitis and c. diff.

More recently, Rhonda takes Visbiome probiotic. It’s actually the same formulation VSL #3 were using prior to Jan 2016, and is marginally cheaper. The reason for two products with the same formulation is that the creator of VSL #3 moved companies in 2016, after his agreement to licence the original formula to VSL Pharmaceuticals expired, spawning the creation of Visbiome. See this comparison table between VSL #3 and Visbiome for more details.

Last year Rhonda had a baby boy, and began breastfeeding. During this process she was taking Visbiome sachets once daily. This move was based on research from a study that showed mothers who supplement with the probiotic Visbiome during late pregnancy and, while nursing, lowered inflammatory biomarkers in the breastmilk and improved symptoms of colic in their newborns.

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

Dosage: 1 sachet/Every 1-2 weeks

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 hydrolysed collagen actually make it intact to cartilage, which suggests its beneficial for joint health (source).

And 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 hemoglobin was found in the skin dermis suggesting improved microcirculation (study source).

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

Rhonda’s Preferred Nootropics

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

Rhonda actually chooses to stay away from compounds that inhibit enzymes in the brain, which rules out some more common nootropics. She also chooses to avoid compounds that humans didn’t evolve alongside, because they haven’t been around long enough to fully understand their side effects. Therefore this list is interesting, as its very “safe” and passes her scientific due diligence.

Choline – Alpha GPC

Rhonda 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 to improve 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 chooses Alpha GPC because it is quick to cross the blood-brain barrier. She takes 600mg, noting that 300mg didn’t appear to be enough to make a difference.

Dosage: 2 capsules of NOW – Alpha GPC 300mg

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lion’s Mane is a mushroom that grows naturally on hardwoods across most of the world. For many people, the concept of consuming mushrooms for health sounds bizarre. However, going back to 200BC, there are writings of Chinese Emperors revering the use of medicinal mushrooms. Then in Europe 3100BC, a human nicknamed Ötzi the iceman was found mummified by ice in the alps. Amongst his belongings were two types polypore mushrooms with a leather string through them for carrying, both known to have medicinal effects. So humans have had the benefits of medicinal mushrooms figured out for a long time.

Lion’s Mane mushroom 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 nerve cells (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. 4 weeks after stopping the lion’s mane supplementation their scores decreased significantly.

Rhonda has said she uses Lion’s Mane for intense periods of writing and creative work.

Dosage: 2x 1.5g packs of Four Sigmatic’s Mushroom Elixir

For more

Sulforaphane – From Self Grown Broccoli Sprouts

There’s two things to talk about here, the first is regarding sulforaphane; what it is & why Rhonda ensures she gets a lot of it. The second thing to discuss is how to get sulforaphane, whether you’re self growing broccoli sprouts, or you’re taking a supplement.

The What & Why of Sulforaphane

Plants contain chemicals which are used for their self defence (phytochemicals). Generally the 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 phyonutrients 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 betweeen 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:

Products of NRF2 Target Genes Role in Cytoprotection
Glutathione (non-enzyme)
(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 the above is just a snapshot, NRF2 affects even more. Info in the table 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.

Getting Sulforaphane via Self Grown Broccoli Sprouts

Rhonda opts to get her sulforaphane primarily through self-grown broccoli sprouts. These are really easy to grow with a bit of initiative. To emulate Rhonda’s exact broccoli sprout growing setup you’ll want:

See her IG post for the size of mason jars she uses, and see her video on heating sprouts for brand of jars. She runs 6 jars in rotation, freezing them in ziplocks as soon as they’re ready.

Dosage

Rhonda suggests that the best data we have on dosage comes from the clinical trials done. See the table below for the key studies and how much they used:

Study Result Amount of Sulforaphane Used Amount of Broccoli Sprouts Needed
Slow the doubling rate of a cancer biomarker (known as prostate specific antigen or PSA) by 86% 60mg sulforaphane
(Tablets)
140g broccoli sprouts
Lower serum triglycerides by 18% and lower oxidized LDL  ratio by 13%. Overall, this reduced the trial participants atherogenic index by 50%. 40mg sulforaphane
(Broccoli sprout powder)
100g broccoli sprouts
Reductions of inflammation in type 2 diabetics: TNF-alpha by 11%, CRP by 16%. 40mg sulforaphane
(Broccoli sprout powder)
100g broccoli sprouts

The above 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 latest 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 flavours. You want to avoid juicing, as this will discard the pre-biotic fibre that is beneficial to our gut microbiome.

Increasing Broccoli Sprouts Bioavailability

Rhonda’s video on tripling the bioavailability of sulforaphane in your sprouts is worth a look. By heating the sprouts to 70C, it disables the epithiospecifier protein, but avoids disabling the myrocinase enzyme (which converts glucoraphanin to sulforaphane).

Glucoraphanin can be converted into two forms of sulforaphane – sulforaphane we want, and, sulforaphane nitrile, which does not activate NRF2. By deactivating the epithiospecifier protein, which is needed for converting glucoraphanin to sulforaphane nitrile, we increase potential conversion to the useful sulforaphane.

Sulforaphane Supplements

Whilst the ultimate low cost alternative to high end sulforaphane supplements is sprouting your own (see above), often this can be inconvenient. It takes time, preparation, and isn’t always possible when travelling or busy with work. Below we’ll take a look at the top 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 – Average bioavailability of 10%*

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

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

Prostaphane

A french manufacturer called Nutrinov currently make the only pure sulforaphane supplement on the market; Prostaphane. So far its only available in France. Rather than containing sulforaphane glucosinolate like most sulforaphane products, it contains a free-form stabilized version of sulforaphane.

Avmacol

For those outside of France, the best 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 approximately 25% 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 – such that they contain what they say. Contrasting with many broccoli sprout supplements they have tested 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.

Additional Recommendations

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. Apparently beets are 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. Her Mum was taking 9g per day for 2 weeks before she got her blood pressure re-tested.

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).

Omega-3 phospholipids are great for a few reasons, firstly, they are readily absorbed by the brain via the mfsd2a transporter. Secondly they contain astaxanthin, which protects the omega-3s from oxidation, and does the same for neurons.

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 VitalChoice. It comes frozen in quarters, allowing you to use one section at a time.

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 $79 service. Once that’s done you can export your SNP data to services like Promethease ($10) or Rhonda’s genetics tool ($10).

Multivitamin Alternatives

For those outside mainland USA, Rhonda’s multivitamin; Pure Encapsulations O.N.E can be difficult to purchase. Four comparable multivitamins that have broad coverage of essential micronutrients are:

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 good options if Thorne products are hard to come by.

Rhonda’s Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Supplement Regimen

First & Second Trimesters

Rhonda’s regular supplement regime contains products such as Lion’s Mane mushrooms and Nicotinamide Riboside that haven’t been tested in pregnancy 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 has the same formulation as VSL#3). 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.

Breastfeeding Supplement Regimen

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

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 childrens 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 defect1. 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 normal2
  • 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 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 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, ensuring they do not contain undeclared ingredients or contaminants. Due to the rigorous testing and inspection, NSF certification is a useful guideline when looking for safe supplement brands. Use the NSF site to search for brands you may want to buy.

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

Closing Remarks

In case they’re of value, here are some further posts I’ve written on Dr Rhonda Patrick related content:

  • A detailed post on Rhonda’s diet – including examples of her breakfast, lunch and dinner (link)
  • Notes on many of the key things Rhonda has discussed about pregnancy & baby health – based on her journey into motherhood (link)
  • Rhonda on Cancer – Things she would DO & things she would AVOID if she had cancer (link)
  • Rhonda on Curcumin – discussing the potential medicinal benefits of the plant (link)

Post Changelog

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

Sources

  1. Multivitamin/Folic Acid Supplementation in Early Pregnancy Reduces the Prevalence of Neural Tube Defects – https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/379576
  2. Association between MTHFR C677T polymorphism and neural tube defect risks: A comprehensive evaluation in three groups of NTD patients, mothers, and fathers – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23056169
Alex

Posted by Alex

Hi, I’m Alex, a writer with a broad interest in nutrition, hormones, cancer prevention and gerontology (study of ageing). I write this blog to answer questions I myself have had at one stage or another. With the hope that others find it useful.

35 Comments

  1. Hi Alex, question: did Rhonda mentioned she used a Brocolli sprout extract suplement while breastfeeding? She talks about it at 2:04:20 on the JRE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9M8X_bs_fzI&t=4668s

    Don’t know if she used it while being pregnant, since brocolli sprouts can be easily contaminated but she is a big fan of sulphorphane (sp.?). A couple of minutes later she mentions 2 good quality brands. My wife is early pregnant so I just want to know haha!

    Reply

    1. Alex

      Hi Joey, thanks for the comment & YouTube link.

      That’s correct RE Rhonda not taking broccoli sprouts whilst pregnant, for the primary reason you mention (high risk of contamination to the sprouts). She also previously talked about how whilst pregnant she cut out everything that wasn’t essential in her supplement regime (which I wrote about in this post) – and I’d guess that’s probably (?) why she didn’t supplement sulforaphane whilst pregnant – for caution.

      Then with regards to breastfeeding, as you say, Rhonda talks about taking prostaphane whilst breastfeeding. Presumably she is using the supplement to avoid contamination of the sprouts (which she normally would consume). Prostaphane is currently only available in France, so I believe she has it shipped over via a friend/service. Nutramaz’s Avmacol is the next best alternative in terms of bioavailability, and then after that, Thorne’s Crucera SGS.

      Reply

    1. Alex

      Thanks for the kind comment, glad its been useful!

      Reply

  2. Thanks a lot from Holland, great list!

    Reply

    1. Alex

      Thanks Bas! Appreciate the message.

      Reply

  3. Hey Alex,

    On the last podcast with Joe Rogan, Rhonda said she consumes 6 capsules of n-pure DHA now. I don’t think she mentioned Nordic naturals. Anyways, if so, might have to look into it and potentially update!

    Reply

    1. Alex

      Hey John. Yes, that’s correct RE Rhonda mentioning Npure-3 on the latest Joe Rogan podcast. She didn’t mention Nordic Naturals, however she has talked previously about Nordic Naturals many times; both on Twitter on podcasts. They were her go to omega-3 supplement prior to Npure-3, and she still recommends them for those who can’t easily get Npure-3 – in particular for their low oxidation and high quality.

      Reply

  4. Thanks so much for putting together this resource!

    Reply

    1. Alex

      Thanks Ella! Hope you’ve been able to get something out of it.

      Reply

  5. I noticed that in the preliminary overview you state that Rhonda takes/has taken 2 capsules a day of the Nordic Naturals Phospholipids, but in the details section it states that the dosage is 4 capsules a day. I am curious which dosage is recommended? I also realize that you state that she no longer gets these nutrients from supplements. Thanks for all of this information!

    Reply

    1. Alex

      Hi Tom, thanks for the message. Good spot on the incongruency, the overview should have said 4, not 2. When Rhonda was taking the omega-3 phospholipids she was taking 4 capsules. This is the URL of the tweet I’m basing the information off: https://twitter.com/foundmyfitness/status/739131225416208386

      In terms of what dosage is recommended, presumably that is hard to say. Certainly Nordic Naturals say the suggested serving size is 2.

      As you mention, Rhonda has since switched to getting her omega-3 phospholipids primarily through salmon roe. However I’ve left the supplement in the list, because for some people a supplement will be more practical than bulk buying salmon roe.

      Reply

  6. Hi,

    Great work here – I’m really grateful!

    Only thing that doesn’t tally is the K2. On her website she responded (9 months ago) to someone’s Q by saying:

    “I previously used MK-7 (50 micrograms) by NOW brand but have switched to use Thorne vitamin D and vitamin k2 drops which contains MK-4. One drop contains 100 micrograms. (I also supplement with additional vitamin D capsules from thorne). The reason for the switch has do do with the fact that Thorne is a trusted brand whereas NOW is a soso brand. Both Mk-4 and Mk-7 are good. More studies have used MK-4 but Mk-7 has a longer half-life which is why 100 micrograms of MK-4 is what I take.”

    It’s interesting also that her dose of K2 is a fair amount lower than generally prescribed. Would love to get to the bottom of it – I’m still not sure what levels or even what varient of K2 to go for.

    Reply

    1. Alex

      Hi Jim, good spot, thanks for providing that info. I’ve updated the post with it.

      With regards to vitamin K, given the relative abundance of K1 in leafy green vegetables, my personal #1 goal is getting enough kale, spinach, cabbage etc. Then following Rhonda’s lead, use a relatively low dose of K2 (~50mcg per day, or 100mcg every couple of days) as a “backup”.

      Reply

  7. Hey Alex, the information you compiled on Rhonda’s supplements is AMAZING!

    I was looking for something just like this as I TTC and overall health. I’ve watched most of her videos and enjoy all the information. Thank you for your time and effort into all of this.. i’ll check back regularly for updates 🙂

    Reply

    1. Alex

      Hi Natasha! Thanks for the comment, glad it helped. Yep, the aim is to keep the info up to date as it evolves. If you do spot anything that’s out of line I might have missed, let me know.

      Reply

  8. Shannon D Vaughn July 12, 2018 at 3:57 am

    Hi there,

    First of all – THANK YOU for this compilation! You’ve put in some very apparent time and effort, and I am so appreciative. This is extremely helpful to find all in one place.

    Question for you. I’m assuming that Rhonda stopped all other supplements (other than the specific supplements listed in the pregnancy section) while pregnant. Is this your understanding, too?

    Thanks again for your efforts!

    Reply

    1. Alex

      Hi Shannon, thanks for the message. Yes, that’s correct about Rhonda modifying her supplements both while she was pregnant and whilst breastfeeding. As you’ve seen, I’ve listed the modified supplement regimen for that period. Let me know if you’ve any particular questions about it and I’ll try to answer.

      Reply

  9. Alex,
    Very helpful page, thank you. What is the timing for taking these supplements for best absorption? Is it okay to take all of them first thing in the morning with breakfast or should some be taken separately throughout the day? Should I avoid certain types of food (dairy – calcium) when taking any of them?

    Reply

    1. Alex

      Hi Justin! Thanks for the message.
      That’s a good question, and one I wonder about also. My main “concern” with taking the supplements is that I consume them with a decent sized meal. Have had one too many experiences of supplements on an empty stomach that leaves me feeling sub optimal! Certainly I haven’t heard Rhonda talk about supplement timing for optimal absorbtion.

      She’s of the camp that avoids eating late at night, so she adheres to a 10 hour eating window, and doesn’t disrupt her sleep with digestion. So for her, late night supplements would be unlikely.

      With regards to avoiding certain foods, nothing comes to mind in relationship to the supplements. If you choose to avoid foods, it’ll primarily be for other reasons, rather than than because of supplements.

      With regards to calcium, from my research I remember Rhonda used to take a calcium & magnesium supplement. But in her recent discussions of supplements, she hasn’t mentioned it. So I can only presume she has dropped it.

      Not sure if you saw the post on Rhonda’s diet – it’s very light on dairy. There was one meal where she topped some pear with cheese, but that’s all I could find.

      She said previously that (one reason) she adds coconut milk to her smoothies, rather than milk, is because milk contains salivary proteins which bind to anthocyanins and polyphenols and limits their bioavailability.

      Reply

  10. Hi Alex, do you find it strange that Rhonda takes so many supplements? I don’t feel entirely comfortable taking 10 pills a day. Which ones do you think can easily be replaced with a normal diet? I feel I can get omega 3’s from walnuts/flax, magnesium from leafy greens, and so forth.

    Or maybe I should ask, which ones are the most essential if I was only going to take, say, 2 of them? I was thinking the multivitamin and the PPQ supplement. I can get some PPQ from celery but I don’t know if that’s enough.

    Reply

    1. Alex

      Hi James. Good question.

      I don’t think it’s entirely strange that Rhonda takes a good amount of supplements, given that in the past she worked alongside Bruce Ames, who was the first person to understand that there is a detrimental affect (for longevity) to mild micronutrient deficiency over time. Before his work, people generally thought that unless you are suffering from the extremes of micronutrient deficiency (think scurvy for vitamin C), then you were fine.

      Unfortunately there’s a lot of people who still hold that view – and aren’t even aware of Bruce Ames’ work on what he calls ‘Triage Theory’.

      Getting back to your question, I definitely wouldn’t prioritize PQQ if you’re only looking to take 2 pills. I’ve written a blog post specifically on PQQ and my scepticism with regards to its current body of literature.

      Picking two, I would just go for the multivitamin and omega-3s.

      The multivitamin because it’s really hard to know for sure you’re covering all micronutrient bases with your diet, so it can act as a fall back. Especially one like Pure Encapsulations ONE, which isn’t overly high in any of the microntrients, such that you risk over doing it on any one of the ingredients combined with your diet. Additionally, with modern agriculture’s re-use of soil time and time again (not rotating crops), its hard to know if some of the less common minerals are making it into the food (I think).

      Yes, agreed, with a good amount of daily leafy greens you will get enough magnesium. Given that magnesium is bound up with the chlorophyll molecule. But that’s just one micronutrient.

      Then with regards to the choice of Omega-3s, there seems to be very little data that suggests you can over-do it with omega-3s (actually I’m not aware of any study that suggests this, but I’d imagine like most things, there is a tipping point. Unlike vitamin D, where it’s much easier to get too much if not careful.). Additionally, more seems to be better in general. So unless you’re eating oily fish on a regular basis, I think supplementing it is probably a good idea.

      Lastly, in terms of what is “essential” – there is a finite list of what we know of as essential micronutrients. I.e, these are substances that our body can’t synthesize from other components. Thus if we don’t get them from diet, we go short. This post I made actually has a table of them – and most of them are found in the multivitamin she takes.

      Hope that helps.

      Reply

  11. Dr. Patrick,

    Your work is appreciated. I was previously keeping my dizziness and brain fog episodes a secret (prior to age 41). Luckily I have always been athletic and above average balance so I hide it well but close friends can tell changes in my eyes when episodes happen. I did have numerous concussions as a youth from sports, 1 really bad auto accident, and exposed to a lot explosions serving in the military. I have had brain CT scans that came back normal. They cannot figure if it neurological or vestibular-occular.

    Since implementing several of your talking points have noticed a decrease in symptoms. So Thank you for your work!

    Reply

    1. Alex

      Hi AC, thanks for your comment.

      Just to clarify, I’m not Rhonda Patrick, and thus your kind message hasn’t yet reached her.

      If you want to drop her a message to thank her for her work, I would probably suggest signing up as a Patreon supporter (if you haven’t already), donating from as little as $1 per month. And then drop her a message to her Patreon account.

      Out of interest, I’d love to know which particular suggestions of Rhonda’s you’ve implemented, and thus have had an effect on your dizziness and brain fog episodes.

      Given that you’ve had a number of forced traumas to the head, you might also find the work of Dr Mark Gordon & Andrew Marr interesting – they work with veterans who’ve had brain trauma. Treating their hormone profiles with great results. In particular looking at supplementing things like testosterone and allopregnanolone. They’ve been on the Joe Rogan podcast talking about their work, and the conversations are quite interesting.

      Reply

  12. Rick Heckenlively May 26, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Does the discovery of the ‘interstitium’ impact her research and recommendations?

    Reply

    1. Alex

      Good question. It’s not something I’ve heard Rhonda discuss yet.
      I presume given its recent discovery, we will all be learning more about its role/function as time goes on.

      Reply

  13. Hello,
    I see the supplements Rhonda was taking while breast feeding. Would there be any suggested supplements to enhance milk production?

    Reply

    1. Alex

      Hi Kelsey, I’m not aware of Rhonda suggesting any supplements to help with milk production. Regarding that subject, I’d only have access to the same online resources as you do.

      Reply

  14. PQQ has been shown to have a synergistic effect when taken with COQ10, but I don’t see that on your list. Thoughts about COQ10, especially since you’re taking PQQ?

    Reply

    1. Alex

      Hi Joe, just to clarify, this is a list of supplements that Dr Rhonda Patrick has discussed taking. There’s a few supplements she has discussed, and doesn’t take, and thus I’ve highlighted that in their descriptions (specifically the beet powder and B vitamin complex – for which she has recommended to family members).

      With regards to PQQ, I did my own research into this, and decided the studies that I can find thus far are not convincing in its efficacy. See the post for specific details:
      https://fastlifehacks.com/dr-rhonda-patrick-pqq/

      With regards to PQQ + COQ10, the main study I found appears to come from the same company that backed the other PQQ studies I analyzed; Mitsubushi Gas Chemical Co.

      In this study:
      https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jcbn/42/1/42_2008005/_pdf/-char/ja

      They say:

      “Rats fed a PQQ-supplemented diet showed better learning ability than rats fed a CoQ10 supplemented diet at the early stage of the Morris water maze test. The combination of both compounds resulted in no significant improvement in the learning ability compared with the supplementation of PQQ alone. At the late stage of the test, rats fed PQQ, CoQ10 and PQQ + CoQ10 supplemented diets showed similar improved learning abilities. When all the groups were subjected to hyperoxia as oxidative stress for 48 h, rats fed the PQQ and CoQ10 supplemented diets showed better memory function than the control rats.”

      So firstly, that study is in rats. Secondly, until they over oxygenated the rats, the PQQ + COQ10 wasn’t showing any advantage over PQQ on its own.

      Personally I’d like to see that study replicated, or improved upon, and ideally a test in humans, before buying into the idea that PQQ + COQ10 are a highly synergistic combination.

      Reply

  15. Hi! Thank you so much for putting up all this info! My only question is: on one of her Instagram pictures in which she is showing the broccoli sprouts, she wrote as a caption that “i am not currently eating sprouts while pregnant” Are pregnant women not supposed to consume broccoli sprout?
    Would you have an idea of why she says that? Thanks in advance! 🙂
    (Excuse my grammar, im french lol)

    Reply

    1. Alex

      Hi Lisa. Ah yes, I remember Rhonda talking about this, because I too was puzzled. The reason Rhonda stopped taking broccoli sprouts whilst pregnant was primarily due to the risk of bacteria in the sprouts. When they’re growing, it’s possible to “accidentally” grow bacteria such as E. coli alongside them, if you don’t have everything absolutely sterile. Therefore Rhonda wanted to avoid any potential risks of illness, because that could affect her unborn baby more than it would affect her adult immune system.

      You can imagine that to an adult, a bacterial illness would be an inconvenience, but one would survive unscathed most likely. But whilst pregnant, the consequences to the baby could be greater.

      That was how she explained stopping the sprouts.

      She also said something else though which is worth mentioning, which was that whilst pregnant she cut out everything that wasn’t absolutely essential. So for example she wouldn’t have taken any of Lion’s Mane mushrooms or nicotinamide riboside that she otherwise has been supplementing. Essentially being as careful as possible.

      Reply

      1. Ohhhh i see, okay that totally makes sense! Thank you so much for answering me back so quickly, youre awesome!

        Reply

  16. Do you know if Rhonda takes those methylated B vitamins in addition to the B vitamins in her multivitamin??

    Reply

    1. Alex

      Good question, no Rhonda doesn’t supplement additional B vitamins beyond the ones in her multivitamin. But she has previously dicussed additional B vitamin supplements being of use to people with an MTHFR mutation that reduces their ability to absorb B vitamins such as folic acid.

      Reply

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *