7 Supplements Doctors Say to Stop Wasting Money On

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, stop wasting your money on these seven supplements.

#1 Calcium Supplements

I’ll bet you, your doctor is telling you you need calcium for strong bones. I bet you all the milk advertisements you see on TV tell you you need calcium for strong bones.

While it’s true, calcium is a part of the makeup of bone structure, there is no evidence that a calcium supplement will actually have any benefit in actually making the calcium go to your bones. In fact, there’s some evidence that calcium supplements will deposit calcium in your blood vessels where you don’t want it.

So you get plenty of bioavailable calcium in the food you eat, particularly in vegetables and dark leafy greens. There’s actually a not insignificant amount of calcium in animal protein and fish. Interestingly enough, people who have some of the longest life expectancy, the Acciallori’s in southern Italy, are small fish eaters, anchovy eaters and sardine eaters. What are they eating? They’re eating the calcium in the little bones of these fish.

And so if you really want to spend your money on a calcium supplement, buy some sardines or buy some anchovies. That’s the way to get your calcium.

#2 Multivitamins

Multivitamins have been around forever. Unfortunately, multivitamins were developed based on examination of 20 college students in New York City in the 1920s when the federal government was trying to determine what would be the bare minimum amount of various vitamins and minerals that somebody should have to avoid diseases like beriberi and pallegra, which you probably never heard of.

And they wanted to find the bare minimum that would be necessary. So they looked at the blood work of 20 college students and said, well, this is what these kids are eating and this is what their blood work looks like and they’re healthy college students. So that’s probably what we need. And that was actually the basis for the recommendations of the minimal daily requirement of vitamins and minerals.

Now, the minimum daily requirement unfortunately has nothing to do with the amount you need for good health. That’s totally different. I’ll give you an example. The minimum daily requirement for vitamin D is about 400 international units a day. And yet the University of California San Diego research shows that the minimum daily requirement for the prevention of cancer is 9,600 international units of vitamin D3 daily. And that’s nowhere near 400 international units.

Recently, there’s been a very good paper showing the higher your vitamin D level is in your brain, the better your neurons work. Exactly the opposite of what a minimum daily requirement of vitamin D would say. 80% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D.

#3 Regular Vitamin C Tablets

Now, vitamin C is essential, let’s make no mistake about it. We unfortunately, like most other animals, do not manufacture our own vitamin C. So we have to acquire vitamin C from our diet. How do we do that?

Well, long ago, it’s conjectured that great apes and us stopped making vitamin C because we were always eating vitamin C living in tropical rainforests. Not only in the fruits, but also in the leaves of the plants that we were eating. Guinea pigs don’t make vitamin C for the same reason. They get it from their diet.

Strangely enough, vitamin C is made from glucose and there are five genes that control this five enzymatic steps that take glucose and turn it into vitamin C. We lack the fifth gene. It’s a ghost gene.

Why is that important? Let’s take rats. Let’s genetically engineer them so that they carry the human vitamin C producing pathway where the fifth gene is a ghost. Those rats live 50% shorter lives than rats who manufacture their vitamin C. Woah, 50% shorter lives.

Now, here’s the exciting news. If you put vitamin C in the drinking water of those vitamin C deficient rats, they will live exactly as long as the rats who make their own vitamin C. So what does that tell you? We really have to have a continuous source of vitamin C in our diet.

How do you do that? Well, if you just swallow a vitamin C tablet, that vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin and it will be gone out of your system in about 2 to 4 hours. So the options are take timed release vitamin C. I personally take 1000 mg twice a day of time to release vitamin C.

If that’s too much to ask, get yourself some chewable vitamin C tablets or carry around some 500 mg vitamin C tablets and swallow them four times a day. But what you’re looking for is a continuous exposure in your body to the benefits of vitamin C. But just swallowing one once a day is really not going to do you much good.

#4 Ketone Drinks

Okay. Ketone drinks are a hot item. You want to be able to swallow your ketones. Here’s the problem. Ketone drinks quite frankly, taste terrible and they’re really expensive and there’s so much easier, cheaper ways to make ketones. And that is MCT oil.

So if you’re gonna have a ketone shot, just have a tablespoon of MCT oil. The MCT oil will produce ketones automatically and it’s cheap and you can even buy it at Costco. Don’t waste your money on expensive ketone drinks.

#5 Low Quality Probiotics

Here’s the problem with probiotics. The vast majority of probiotics you’re gonna spend your hard-earned money on are probably not gonna make it past the acid in your stomach to populate the gut that you need.

So, if you’re going to get probiotics, look for either spore forming probiotics that will resist gastric digestion, or look for probiotics that are enteric coated, that resist gastric acid and will dissolve once the probiotics get to their destination in your intestines.

So, gotta know the delivery device. Now, the other thing that’s important to realize about probiotics is that almost all of these probiotics are not native to our gut and they will go on vacation in our gut if they can get to your gut, but they’ll leave after a couple of weeks.

So, probiotics are something that should be a part of a continuous maintenance program for your gut. The vast majority though of probiotics don’t have these characteristics, don’t waste your money.

#6 Vitamin E

Vitamin E, most vitamin E that you’re going to buy either in a multiple vitamin or separately is actually the wrong form. The wrong isomer of vitamin E. And you should realize that vitamin E is actually two different classifications of vitamin E.

There are tocotrienols and tocopherols and there are only certain ones of the tocopherol family and the tocotrienol family that are any good. And if you take one with a broad spectrum vitamin E, the benefits of some will cancel out the benefits of the other.

So don’t waste your money on vitamin E supplements.

#7 Iron

As many of you know who have read and followed me, iron is one of those compounds that ages us. We rust from iron and studies show that people who donate blood actually live seven years longer than people who don’t donate blood. And women live seven years longer than men.

Partially because as you know, you donate blood once a month for a good half of your life, whereas men don’t donate blood every month for half of our lives. Yes. Occasionally you can be iron deficient and you should have your iron level checked periodically.

Some women have very heavy periods and may need supplementation temporarily with iron. Men, if you have an iron deficiency, or women, after menopause, if you have an iron deficiency, that’s cause for your doctor to go looking for why that is. Because blood loss is the cause of iron deficiency as we get older and there’s nothing in you that you should have blood loss.

So back to the subject, that supplements don’t help. Recently, you may have seen a big study in GAMA that these sort of supplements don’t help and that they’re all a waste of money. Which is what I started with.

Remember, these are studies looking at the USDA recommended dosages of supplements. And quite frankly, it’s no wonder that they couldn’t find that these supplements help because the dose was much too small.

So any time you see, these studies, don’t throw supplements under the bus. Always look with a critical eye as to what the dose of these supplements they were studying. And it’s how much you take of a particular supplement that’s really the key.

Supplements are great for you. As long as you know what the dose you really need to have an effective is.

I think you’re gonna love this one. Most of the blue zones, one of the things that I talk about, most of the blue zones eat only about 10% of their calories as protein.