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The Top 6 Most Valuable Supplements : Exclusive Renegade Health Article

Thursday Sep 8, 2011 | BY |
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essential-fatty-acids
These fatty acids are essential for our RV, but I wouldn’t recommend supplementing them in your diet.

Compiling a list of top supplements is a little tricky…

The reason why is because some people may need particular ones that won’t make this list. Some others may be able to get those nutrients from foods they eat and finally, some people may not need supplements at all.

Another reason why this is tricky, is because food can be used as a supplement to the diet as well. So for me, I tend to think green juice is a supplement that can help with a high raw, primarily plant based diet. Some people just assume that if I say “supplement” that it has to be in a jar, bottle or capsule – this is not always the case.

So what I recommend is getting your blood tested and then using this as a tool to help determine what supplements (or foods as supplement) you need.

For the purposes of this article, I’m going to talk about the products you can find in a bottle, capsule or jar… not every day foods that could be used as supplements. The products that I talk about (or nutrients) are ones that I’ve seen most people benefit from – or have the widest application range.

Let’s get started…

1. Vitamin D

Some people call Vitamin D a vitamin and others a hormone. Regardless of what it is, it’s showing up to be very promising in terms of supporting the immune system by fighting infection as well as its use in the prevention of cancers.

You can take Vitamin D in both D2 and D3 forms. The D2 is vegan, but about 60% as effective as D3.

Many people have low vitamin D levels, even if they’ve been out in the sun for significant amounts of time. This is confirmed through blood testing.

My level was low at 22 a while back and I raised it by taking D3 on a regular basis.

Usage: It’s fairly well known now that the daily recommendation is more than 400 IU – which was previously established. Some say 1000 IU and some even say more than 4000 IU is needed – all the way up to 20,000-50,000 IU under medical supervision.

The best way to determine what works best for you is to get a 25-hydroxy Vitamin D test, look at your levels and determine a plan of action to either maintain or raise your levels.

2. HCL – Betaine Hydrochloric Acid

This supplement is not for everyone, but for those who need it, it will work wonders.

As you age, the production of HCL – a digestive acid – decreases. This makes it more difficult to break down your food for great assimilation. HCL helps in the denaturing of proteins so they can be more easily broken down into amino acids and it also helps release minerals from food matter.

HCL, single-handedly, has helped my mom’s digestion as well as thousands upon thousands of others.

Usage: HCL is a little tricky, because for those who don’t need it it could actually create too much digestive fire. So if you suffer from digestive unrest, heartburn or leaky gut issues – you may want to try HCL in small doses (increasing as needed) to determine how much you should take.

3. Ionic Minerals

Minerals distribute electricity in the body, help balance system pH and are the raw materials for many of your body’s fluids, organs and systems. Minerals are also very important for kidney and adrenal function – so since we’re all stressed to some degree or another, we need to feed our adrenals well.

To say they’re essential is an understatement.

The body prefers minerals in ionic form, so a supplement that contains these types of organic minerals is best.

Usage: Take daily in supplement form, juices, or high mineral rich foods. Mix it up if you like, since each food or supplement may contain different amounts of each trace mineral.

4. B-12 or B-Complex

Many of you know that many people (plant based eaters or not) are deficient in vitamin B-12. This B vitamin is essential for neurological function. B-Complex vitamins are essential for just about everything including cardiovascular health, adrenal health, digestion, gut health, healthy hair and skin and more.

Plant based eaters tend to be low in some B-Complex vitamins like B-12 and others, while people who eat animal products tend to be low in folate (B-9) – which is generally very high in plant based eaters.

Basically, what it comes down to is making sure that you get the right amount of B-Complex – whether it’s in supplement or food based form.

Usage: You can try a few things to get your B-Complex. Food based sources like pasture raised, organic meats and eggs, whole grains and nutritional yeast are a good place to start. (Obviously, if you don’t eat animals or animal products, you’d skip the first two!)

If these aren’t enough, you can supplement with a B-Complex formula that works for you.

For B-12 specifically, I use B-12 Patches – which you can find here.

5. Essential Fatty Acids

Essential fatty acids or EFAs are important for mood enhancement, brain function, reduction of inflammation and healthy cells.

EFAs can be found in plants, nuts, algae and animal products like fish, eggs and naturally pastured meats.

Regardless of where you get it from, you need to be aware that you’re either getting enough from your food or supplementing to get the amount you need.

It’s up to you which source you want to use. Each has it’s pluses and minuses.

EFAs from fish, krill or other marine animals are already converted into long-chain fatty acids, which make them more easy to assimilate. On the negative side, these are more likely to be contaminated by heavy metals or other environmental toxins. (Many good companies screen for at least heavy metals.)

EFAs from plants and algae do not tend to be in long-chain form, so the body needs to convert them. Some people do fine with this conversion, others don’t. So this is a potential negative.

Your best bet is to give one kind that you feel is appropriate a shot and test your levels with a medical practitioner or nutritionist and see where you’re at.

Usage: Like I said, some people work well with plant based EFA supplements, other people don’t. Some of the best sources are krill, fish, algae, sacha inchi oil, chia, hemp oil and walnuts.

Too much of a good thing can thin your blood, so don’t under or overdo EFAs.

6. Digestive Enzymes

Just like HCL is important for digestion, so are digestive enzymes. Enzymes are catalysts for chemical reactions and in the case of digestive enzymes they help break down macronutrients and other organic materials into nutrients our body can assimilate and use.

As you age, your body slows the production and release of digestive enzymes and it can be helpful to supplement with these to aid the digestive process.

Usage: Take one or two capsules just before or during a meal. I like this brand here.

Like I said in the beginning, this is not by any means a complete list of supplements that I feel are necessary for any individual. Some may need more in their particular case, others may need one or two and some may not need any.

The best way to determine what supplements you may or may not need is to get your blood tested and develop a plan based on the results and any other symptoms you are experiencing. This way you can take only products you need and get the best, targeted results (it also will save you money!)

Also, it’s important to note that even if you feel good right now, this may not be a 100% assurance that everything is running smoothly and you don’t have any deficiencies. This is why preventative blood testing is so important.

I want to know your thoughts: What supplements have changed your life? Which supplements do you take daily?

Live Awesome!
Kev

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

28 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

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  1. Great article – we’ve obviously been reading the same kind of research as it’s pretty close to what I recommend to my patients.

    However I would place probiotics on the list rather than betaine HCl.

    I would also, after 8 months of experimenting with this, add the “raw” supplement I call the Secret Supplement as despite it being 35 years old, and fully researched, very few people have heard of it!

  2. Karen says:

    One supplement that I really could feel was liquid minerals from Baseline Nutritionals. It made me feel really good. Adya Clarity also makes me feel good. I take other things too, but these are the only two I can actually feel.

  3. Beth says:

    My answer was:

    Vit D
    EFA
    Probiotics
    CoQ10
    Vit C
    B complex multiple
    Iodine

  4. Jane says:

    Digestive Enzyme, Apple cider vinegar and magnesium are the key ones that change my life.

  5. I agree Kevin and I take all 6 that you mentioned. I also take CoQ10 which I think the whole world may want to take. It strengthens muscles, gums and heart. Also extra probiotics even though we keep a huge jar of khem-chi around all the time!!
    Blessings to you and Ann Marie from Boulder Colorado!! When are you coming back????

    Namaste,
    Kathryn :)

  6. Gail says:

    I find a hydroponic grown blend of minerals from Indian mustard and B vitamins from a food base works well for me. It’s called Phytomatrix. Also a phytosteroid supplement helps with hormonal issues.

  7. Teresa says:

    Taking L-Carnitine has helped with chest pain when I exercise, also Hyaluronic Acid (40 mg.) has helped alleviate my arthritis pain in my fingers.

  8. Findabair says:

    Vit D. When I stopped taking this, I became very depressed.

  9. Frank says:

    I agree with Karen. Adya Clarity has 98 minerals. I use it to purify our drinking water

  10. Tristan says:

    Astaxanthin has made a huge difference in my life. It has markedly improved recovery from work outs, daily energy levels, and it even seems to be helping my vision!

  11. Ira Edwards says:

    Kevin,
    Very good choices, and good explanations. Most people would have a change or two in what belongs in the top 6, as I do. I would put curcumin near #1. Other plant pigments like astaxanthin, quercetin, lutein, pterostilbene, and others are highly valuable. Resveratrol, too.
    EFA’s? Yes, but remember polyunsaturated fats are highly subject to oxidation, and excess in inflammatory. Chris Masterjohn make a strong case for using only small amounts.
    Most of us are low in iodine. Joe Mercola, who knows much about many supplements, uses few, but includes iodine. Many of us also are low in magnesium.
    B12! A good form is methylcobalamine. It is available in 5 mg amounts, nearly 1000 times DV. For an acute inflammation like Bell’s palsy, 10 pills a day for six days often cures it. That’s 10,000 times the DV, and totally safe.
    Betaine HCL without the acid is trimethyl glycine, valuable counter to homocysteine.
    It’s good to have both forms of betaine on hand.

  12. Gail says:

    Because this is jaggedly raw on my brain right now, I am hoping and praying that Dr Schulze or Dr Christopher’s Eyebright formula will be the most important supplement in my LIFE right now as I am needing serious help for my out of control Glaucoma and have read remarkable testimonies about these two products.
    Therefore, if it will help me, it will be PRECIOUS to me.
    I have also heard that Mirtogenol will assist in reducing the IOP – again, that makes it PRECIOUS to me.
    Unfortunately, I can’t say I have had anything that has actually made a remarkable difference for me whatsoever, other than Milk Thistle..and that’s because I inherited liver issues, and yes, it does work in helping the liver.
    I take supplements, but can’t say I notice anything.

  13. Peg says:

    Just want to tell you about my experience with betaine HCL–For years I suffered from heartburn. I used the usual OTC stuff–tums, etc. Finally, I read an article by some wise person about the fact that many people are actually lacking in acid-that acid is needed to process the food that we eat. That was an “Aha moment”. I bought some Betaine HCL and started to use it–my indigestion episodes decreased dramatically.

    Then I learned about green smoothies and all those wonderful raw foods–after increasing the greens, I did not need the Betaine HCL.

    One more note–one day I was in a local pharmacy and was aghast at the rows and rows of antacids. I spoke to one of the pharmacists and told her that they should be telling customers that maybe they really do not need all that antacid. Oh my–that was not well received. hehe I was told that what I was doing (taking betaine HCL) was dangerous…sigh. Well, we do what we can.

    As always, I am so grateful to the Giannis and the others who are teaching us about real health and healing. Thank you!

  14. James says:

    > … is to get your blood tested …

    Is there a “test” for essential fatty acids – either deficiency or too much?

  15. rose says:

    coral calcium is my recent miracle supplement. for calcium and pH.
    but i am concerned its bad calcium!

    im not sure what ionic minerals are.
    are they also called colloidal?
    can you elaborate on this please?

  16. Excellent list Kevin. Tests are essential to see what you really need as you point out. I would never have guessed what EFA’s I was lacking in without a test. It’s very important to get them balanced as they regulate so much of what goes in and out of our cells.

    I have never found an ionic mineral supplement that did not contain toxic minerals as well. I know they say your body only takes what it needs but when I did a toxic metal test I had high levels of the toxic metals that were in the Ionic Mineral supplement. Would be glad to know if anyone has found one.

  17. Cindy says:

    The only thing I take daily right now is Adya Clarity, but I can’t really comment on it yet. I just started taking Supershots a few days ago, so I’m waiting to see what happens in a few weeks. Other things I take during the week, but not daily, are apple cider vinegar, Berry Green, spirulina/chlorella, kelp powder, & chia seeds. I also keep on hand Kyolic Formula 103, & take it anytime I feel like I’m coming down with something.

    For Sandy: Kelp powder is full of minerals, & Adya Clarity contains ionic minerals without any toxins.

  18. zyxomma says:

    When I was recovering from a severe injury (torn ligaments and multiple small fractures), I took MSM, Vitamin C (acerola cherry powder), boswellia, ginger, turmeric, and an over-the-counter Chinese medicine for severe traumatic injury (Chin Koo Tieh Shang Wan), in a higher dose than that recommended on the bottle. I’ve recovered.

    Gail at #12: The naturopath I trained with recommends for glaucoma that every day, you chop onion till it makes you cry flowing tears. Also, use fresh young coconut water as an eye wash (with a glass eye cup, sold at all pharmacies), several times a day. Put the coconut water through a fine sieve before you use it so there’s no particulate matter in the water. Please don’t refer to it as “my” glaucoma. This is true of every health condition. Best of luck.

    The accident I referred to above brought about trauma-induced menopause. I had not one single symptom (other than having only one period six months after the accident), and believe that it’s a combination of my high-raw vegan diet and that I was eating maca powder (in smoothies or soups) at least twice a week. I’m pleased that I don’t know what a hot flash feels like, never got brain fog, mood swings, or the rest of the common symptoms, and glad the boyfriend and I don’t need to practice birth control anymore!

    Supplementing with Iosol helped balance my thyroid; my whole family tends toward low thyroid. I eat a lot of sea vegetables to keep it humming.

  19. Maggie says:

    A great source of omega 3 long chain fatty acids is the weed perslain. It is the only vegetable long chain source of omega 3 so the body is not having to break it down. Perslain (or is is lane?) grows all over the world in a wild state so look it up, pick it and have it as a salad. Its fantastic.

  20. Mist says:

    I’ve been taking fish oil daily for years. A couple of years ago, my left foot got severely inflamed. It was swollen and painful; I had to use crutches to move around and keep it elevated to alleviate the pain. I knew I didn’t physically injure it, and x-ray taken at the doctor’s didn’t show any fracture or break.

    To reduce the inflammation, I took grape seed extract and fish oil. I had to stop the grape seed extract due to unpleasant side effects, so I just kept with the fish oil, taking up to six 1-gram caps with each meal. It worked quite well and fast; within a couple of weeks the pain and swelling subsided.

    It appeared that the inflammation was caused by eating too much nuts (high omega-6 fatty acid.) I noticed that when I eat some nuts, my foot will start acting up again.

  21. Jeff says:

    Vitamineral Green, royal jelly, digestive AND systemic enzymes, pine pollen, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, shilajit, mushroom complex extracts, msm, chia, probiotics, aloe juice, ionic trace mins, brown rice bran (super high in B-complex and magnesium).

  22. Tonya Ruiz says:

    Also, I believe it inportant to mention that we must first detoxify our bodies or we cannot even get the vitamins into our system. Detoxifying the toxins leaves room in the bloodstream for the vitamins.

  23. wdmorgan says:

    You left out Vit-L…Love.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I have an incurable bone marrow cancer and over the last two years, I have defied death on several occasions. I am recovering from a stem cell transplant and I am now back in control of my own diet after being fed poisonous rubbish by hospitals and professional carers.

    My diet is derived from several different systems Raw, Nutritional typing, Paleo etc. I eat as much food as I can raw. That which I cook is mainly poached or lightly steamed. I eat low fructose, low starchy carbs, higher fat and protein. I incorporate Apple & Perry Cider Vinegar (with mother) and also sauerkraut. I eat plenty of garlic, ginger and chilli. I use lots of black pepper as I can’t get hold of Piperine and I am a big fan of Himalayan Crystal Salt. I work Turmeric into as many meals as I can.

    I supplement with Krill Oil, High dose Vitamin C & Co-Q10, Turmeric & Artichoke extract and now the winter is upon us, Vitamins D3 & K2.

    The hospital prescribed me a Calcium supplement but I don’t take it as my blood results show I’m at the upper end of the range, just through my diet.

    I have very bad peripheral neuropathy in my hands, feet and legs. The hospital would like me to take a drug used for epilepsy to treat it. I have refused in favour of Vitamin B12 which seems to be helping.

    The hospital are flummoxed as my test results are consistently improving and showing positive things that shouldn’t be happening.

    They can’t understand it! ??? Can you?

  25. Anonymous says:

    I forgot to say I also take Manuka 10+ Honey. I also source my foods and supplements from organic, free range/grass fed suppliers.

    The hospital tries to force prophylactic antibiotics antiviral, antibacterial, anti this, anti that pills at me.

    Now they want to re-vaccinate me because they say I have no immunity after intense chemotherapy.

    However, I’ve held off so far as my levels of immunity are steadily rising according to my regular blood results.

    I am very grateful that they have saved my life but I feel it is up to me now, to take educated control of it’s maintenance with their help and support.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Again I forgot another important food that I use daily. Virgin Coconut Oil. I begin the day ‘oil pulling’ with this or organic sunflower oil.

    Coconut oil is so versatile. I use it for cooking, dressings, on my skin, in my hair. I drink it by the spoonful occasionally.

    I have extensive permanent damage caused by multiple fractures of the sternum, ribs and spine which has also caused spinal compression and trapped nerves. It would be very easy to lie back and take it easy but instead I have devised an exercise programme modified to suit my new lifestyle. Gone are the days of walking miles in the countryside with my dogs.

    However, if one wants to be healthy and enjoy life regardless of obstacles, wherever possible there is no substitute for a healthy diet, enough exercise and good friends! I know I’m blessed!

    I hope all this helps others out there.

  27. Patrick says:

    Adrenal Response from Innate Response is fantastic for any stress related problems. Al whole food RAW food supplements from the same company are great (only company that i have found so far that do NOT use spray/drum drying or freeze drying).

  28. steve says:

    HI Kevin; I’m a raw vegan (90%) and my question is two part. 1: I hear V~B12 recommendations all over the board and I didn’t here yours, I take 250 IU every other day, what is you recommendation on dosages? Two: I know there are very good digestive enzymes in pineapple and mango should this be eat just before you have a dinner, or while you have a dinner such as a big salad? We have our fruits in the morning and I’m not sure I’m getting the full benefits

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