This post covers Dr Rhonda Patrick supplements list as of December 2019. Looking at what she takes daily, as well as products she takes from time to time. For each supplement we will go into details further down the page.

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 should be of quality. 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.

Dr Rhonda Patrick’s Daily Supplements

Supplements Rhonda Uses Intermittently:

Recommended to Family:

  • 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 Base Supplement List – In Detail

Multivitamin

Rhonda takes Pure Encapsulations O.N.E multivitamin daily, which contains a broad spectrum of 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 aren’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.

Rhonda’s Dosage: 1 capsule/daily

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 D3

Rhonda views vitamin D intake as incredibly important to staying happy and healthy. Vitamin D plays a key role in serotonin regulation, which in turn regulates things like executive function, sensory gating, and social behaviour (see this paper for more details).

It’s not only negative to get too little vitamin D, it’s also negative to get too much. This uncomfortable truth is often ignored by supplement companies who liberally promote 5,000IU – 10,000IU capsules. It’s hard to say exactly how much each person should supplement, because it depends on factors like diet, sun exposure and body composition. To get an accurate reading it’s necessary to get a blood test, which is the same way Rhonda checks hers.

Rhonda calibrates her vitamin D dosage by aiming to maintain between 40 and 60 ng/ml blood concentration of the metabolite 25-hydroxyvitamin D. To achieve this, she suggests around 4,000IU of daily supplementation, which 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 currently takes 3,000iu of vitamin D3 daily. 2,000IU of D3 via her multivitamin supplement (mentioned above), and then adds 1,000IU of Thorne D-1000. She says that she varies her vitamin D supplementation amount based on time of year, and how much sunlight she is getting.

Rhonda’s Dosage: 1 capsules/daily

Vitamin K2

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

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

When Rhonda supplements K2, its her insurance policy in case the K1 she consumes isn’t doing enough. A key 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 Life Extension – Vitamin K2 (MK-7) – which is their “low dose” version. She opts to take it approximately 3x per week, deciding daily dosing is unnecessary.

Rhonda’s Dosage: 1 drop/3 times per week

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. Additionally, they 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 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.

On top of her 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.

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

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

See her 2017 tweet below where she mentions Nordic Naturals ProOmega 2000 – tweet link here:

PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline Quinone)

PQQ is a compound found in plants that has been found to decrease inflammation and improve mitochondrial efficacy in humans.1. 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 cortex2

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 recently mentioned on her December 2019 CrowdCast that she is taking 2 capsules of CococaVia daily.

Cocoa has a number of health benefits including:

  • Increased cognition in young adults3
  • Protection from cognitive decline in the elderly4
  • Increased endurance performance – study showing improvement of 17% by reducing the amount of oxygen used when cycling5

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 375mg 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 lead6. 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.

Rhonda’s Dosage: 2 capsules/daily

Sulforaphane

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 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 currently takes 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 is currently supplementing a low dose melatonin supplement nightly to help regulate her sleep cycle.

She suggests 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 huge (easy) win. This can be coupled with exercise, which also improves sleep quality (for both younger and older people).

With melatonin, it’s easy to fall into the trap of more = better. However an MIT study found that supplementing no more 300mcg (microgram) was ideal. Doses above this induced hypothermia (being too cold during sleep) and caused melatonin levels in the blood to remain elevated the next day (which can lead to grogginess).

It’s actually not so easy to get low dose melatonin supplement, because most are measuring in mg (milligram) range (such as 2mg, 5mg etc) which is much higher than 300mcg, but a company called Life Extension do offer a 300mcg supplement – which fits into the parameters of the MIT study.

Rhonda’s Dosage: 1 capsule/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 it7

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 (MSF2DA8), 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 oxidation9.

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.

Probiotics

Rhonda is keenly aware of the importance of a healthy gut microbiome. Rhonda takes Visbiome probiotics sachets every few weeks to top up on healthy gut bacteria. The rest of the time she relies on her diet to meet those needs.

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, had lowered inflammatory biomarkers in their breast milk. It also improved symptoms of colic in their newborns10.

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 one11, 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 study12 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/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 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. She has now stopped taking curcumin daily.

However 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” 500mg per dose version (link) and the double strength 1,000mg per 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 depression13

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 recall14.
  • In another study, patients with alzheimer’s disease who took resveratrol saw improvements in cognition, and decreases in biomarkers of alzheimers disease and inflammation15.

Her current reservation is around a study that showed 250mg/day of resveratrol blunted the positive effects of exercise16. However, another study using 500mg showed synergistic effects in combination with exercise17. 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 people18. 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 placebo19.
  • Inhibition of mitochondrial adaptations and improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness by 50 percent and diminished whole-body insulin sensitivity after aerobic exercise20.

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

First & Second Trimesters

Rhonda’s regular supplement regime contains products such as Lion’s Mane mushrooms and Nicotinamide Riboside that haven’t been tested on 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. 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.

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 defect21. 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 normal22
  • 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. 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 often uses (either currently, or in the past):

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. Dietary pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) alters indicators of inflammation and mitochondrial-related metabolism in human subjects – Harris et al (2013)
  2. Effect of the Antioxidant Supplement Pyrroloquinoline Quinone Disodium Salt (BioPQQ) on Cognitive Functions – Itoh et al (2016)
  3. The effect of flavanol-rich cocoa on the fMRI response to a cognitive task in healthy young people – Francis et al (2006)
  4. 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)
  5. Dark chocolate supplementation reduces the oxygen cost of moderate intensity cycling – Patel et al. (2015)
  6. Cadmium and lead in cocoa powder and chocolate products in the US Market – Abt et al (2017)
  7. Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States: are the health consequences underestimated? – Rosanoff et al. (2012)
  8. Mfsd2a is a transporter for the essential omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid – Nguyen et al (2014)
  9. Amelioration of oxidative stress and protection against early brain injury by astaxanthin after experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage – Zhang et al (2014)
  10. Administration of a Multi-Strain Probiotic Product to Women in the Perinatal Period Differentially Affects the Breast Milk Cytokine Profile and May Have Beneficial Effects on Neonatal Gastrointestinal Functional Symptoms. A Randomized Clinical Trial – Baldasarre et al. (2016)
  11. P884 No shared mechanisms among “old” and “new” VSL#3: Implications for claims and guidelines - C De Simone (2018)
  12. P884 No shared mechanisms among “old” and “new” VSL#3: Implications for claims and guidelines - C De Simone (2018)
  13. 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) – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29327213
  14. Effects of Resveratrol on Memory Performance, Hippocampal Functional Connectivity, and Glucose Metabolism in Healthy Older Adults – Witte et al. (2014)
  15. Resveratrol regulates neuro-inflammation and induces adaptive immunity in Alzheimer’s disease – Moussa et al. (2017)
  16. Resveratrol blunts the positive effects of exercise training on cardiovascular health in aged men – Gliemann et al (2013)
  17. Resveratrol Enhances Exercise-Induced Cellular and Functional Adaptations of Skeletal Muscle in Older Men and Women – Alway et al. (2017)
  18. Reduction in the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes with Lifestyle Intervention or Metformin – Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group (2002)
  19. 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)
  20. Metformin inhibits mitochondrial adaptations to aerobic exercise training in older adults – Konopka et al (2018)
  21. Multivitamin/Folic Acid Supplementation in Early Pregnancy Reduces the Prevalence of Neural Tube Defects – https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/379576
  22. 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

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Mary Howard
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Mary Howard

Hey Alex,

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
Guest
Dottie

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
Guest
Charles George

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

Paul Wasserman
Guest
Paul Wasserman

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

Nathan Barley
Guest
Nathan Barley

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
Guest
Maureen Forney

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
Guest
Matt

Hi Alex,
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.

Lorie Mackey
Guest
Lorie Mackey

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
Guest
Nick Michael

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
Guest
Jake

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

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

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).

Keenan
Guest
Keenan

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.

Mark Giannini
Guest
Mark Giannini

Hi Alex,

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?

John
Guest
John

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
Guest
noir

aloha!
first of all, thanks alex!
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.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Thanks for posting and also keeping the list updated!

Alexis
Guest
Alexis

I’m super thankful that I found your site. Your work and research have been super helpful and informative for me and others in my life!

Phil
Guest
Phil

Hi Alex,

Appreciate all the work you’ve put in to this.

Out of curiosity, what supplements do you take daily? I’m just starting to develop an interest in this and I’m wondering if I should just go with everything Rhonda takes.

Thanks

Keenan
Guest
Keenan

Awesome resource. I wish I could get a Rhonda Recommendation for a fish oil as I would prefer not to swallow a handful of capsules daily.

Gian
Guest
Gian

Thank you for doing this.
Literally a time and life saver.

Joey
Guest
Joey

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!

Vic
Guest
Vic

Thank youuu!

Bas
Guest
Bas

Thanks a lot from Holland, great list!

John
Guest
John

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!

Ella
Guest
Ella

Thanks so much for putting together this resource!

Tom
Guest
Tom

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!

Jim
Guest
Jim

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… Read more »

Natasha
Guest
Natasha

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 🙂

Shannon D Vaughn
Guest
Shannon D Vaughn

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!

Justin
Guest
Justin

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?