In this article you will learn:
What "The Basics" of a complete nutrition program are and how to incorporate them into your routine safely
What genes affect your nutrition and supplementation
The exact products I use and where to get them, and how you can account for nearly everything for less than $10/day
Lazy Author Alert:
All of this information is the result of 16 years of nutrition research and experimentation, but if you want the full details then grab yourself a copy of my book, Dance Your Way Through Life: A No Bullshit Guide to Hacking Your Body, Mind & Soul for Success where I share over 1500+ scientific references, action plans and everything there is to know about health.
You should always consult your health team before making any changes to your current regimen. This article is based on research and the suggestions are designed to be safe and effective, but treat this information as education and always consult other resources within your network before making a decision about your health.
There are many places to start in the wide world of nutrition and supplementation, and health can be pretty complicated. Having a safe, effective and generalized starting point is invaluable, and this is what "The Basics" mean to me. I describe these in detail in my book, but they are 5 simple pillars that you must include for optimal health:
This is the first principle - stick to The Basics. These are the most fundamental ingredients that your body needs to be able to do its thing, and while not the sexiest or quickest route to health - it is the safest and most sustainable longterm. Taking 5HTP (a serotonin supplement) may help your mood right now, but it is not a longterm solution and comes with potential issues because you're messing around with higher level processes (like neurotransmitters), instead of supporting your body with the vitamins and minerals (and a good diet) that will help it produce serotonin in the first place.
The second important principle is that you always want to have a heavily inverted benefits-to-risk profile. What this means is that everything you do, for the most part, should have a high amount of benefit with very little risk. It's just like investing. This skewed profile is stable longterm, and will help you avoid crashing and burning, derailing, having to restart, having to deal with other consequences, etc. In this regard, there are a few other things that I recommend to people (and use on a regular basis) that are well worth the benefits and have little to no risk. I consider these "special nutrients," and I'll share them with you in this article.
In the following sections I'm going to just blitz you with information on what to take and where to get it. I realize it's detail intensive, but once you get into a rhythm it really isn't hard. If you need help with this, jump on a 30 minute call with me and let's get you all of the support you need.
Vitamins are important chemicals that you need every day and come from both animal and plant sources. Most every vitamin has different forms, and some are more absorbable than others. In general, you want "whole food" vitamins (sourced from food, more expensive) compared to synthetic ones. Below are my vitamin guidelines, with product names and where to buy listed below.
Take 2 of the Essential DAK1K2 per day.
Take 1-2 Optimal Whole C chewables per day.
Take 1 Opti-Methyl B per day.
Consider adding 1 Essential P5P for extra vitamin B6.
Visit AC Grace on Amazon here
Take 1 of AC Grace’s mixed tocopherol product for vitamin E
Consider adding 1 of their tocotrienols product, but take it 2 hours apart
Total Pills per Day: 5-7
Total Cost per Day: ~$1.84 to $2.67
Nutrients covered: Vitamins D, A, K, E, C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12
GENES TO CONSIDER: VDR (vitamin D), VKORC1, GGCX, CYP2C9 (vitamin K), CYP4F2
(vitamin K + E), TTPA (vitamin E), BCO1 (vitamin A), SLC23A1, SLC23A2 (vitamin C),
MTHFR (vitamin B9 + B12), MTR, MTRR, FUT2 (vitamin B12), ALPL, NBPF3, ALDH7A1
(vitamin B6), SLC52A3 (vitamin B2), SLC19A1/2/3 (vitamin B1), PANK1/2/3/4 (vitamin
B5), SLC6A19, HCAR2/3 (vitamin B3)
Also consider a personalized Vitamins Report on Self Decode
Vitamin B6 is also a cofactor in many reactions and genetic pathways. The following genes increase demand, so consider adding additional B6 in P5P form: GAD1, GAD2, MAOA, MAOB, COMT, CYP1A1, CYP1B1, CYP2D6, CYP3A4, CYP3A5
Minerals are compounds, like metals, that catalyze important reactions in your body, build tissues and have a number of roles. You need a variety of minerals, and in this article I do not talk about: zinc, copper, manganese, iron or iodine. All of these are necessary, but remember that the point of this article is to create an initial beginning, with testing, planning, learning the story of your genes, coaching and experimentation leading to a more developed routine.
Copper is important, and so is iron, but taking these every day is not something you want to do unless you are testing and these can be obtained through the diet. Zinc and manganese are harder to obtain in the diet, but should also be taken in moderation since too much zinc (anything over 50mg per day) can begin to chelate copper from your body and you may create a deficiency. Manganese when taken in excess (over 10mg per day) can drop blood sugar rapidly and lead to low blood sugar which may be an issue in some people. Nevertheless zinc, manganese and iron should always be taken as amino acid chelates. Do not settle for anything less with these important minerals when you do incorporate them.
Magnesium, on the other hand, is something everyone should be taking every day for optimal health and has no issues other than the potential for a loose stool if you’ve taken too much.
You can also use a highly bioavailable calcium supplement from Optimal Health Systems called BonePlus. This product uses the Albion patented chelate plus adds additional nutrients for bioavailability for those needing to strengthen their bones.
Take 400mg (3-4 pills) of Albion chelated magnesium per day.
Take 1 Albion chelated chromium per day.
Take 360-540mg of Albion calcium (2-3 pills) per day.
Order boron from Hakala Labs here. Make sure to use promo code “tudor10yay” (without quotes) when creating an account before ordering for a 10% discount :)
Take 1 BoroTab (boron) per day (15mg-35mg)
This simple protocol stabilizes your electrolytes, blood sugar and several other important pathways while you learn more about demands in other areas. Remember that this plan does not account for zinc, iron, manganese, iodine and copper – utilize the
proper health testing to determine your needs in these areas as they have the
potential for toxicity if mishandled or used longterm without awareness.
I go over all of this in great detail and research in my book, and you can always get in touch for a 30 minute chat to put this together if you're having trouble.
Total Pills per Day: 7-9
Total Cost per Day: ~$0.65 to $1.40
Nutrients covered: Calcium, Magnesium, Boron, Chromium
GENES TO CONSIDER: SLC31A1, ATP7B (copper), SLC5A5, DIO1/2/3 (iodine) and SLC30A10, SLC39A14, SLC39A8 (manganese).
Also consider a personalized Minerals Report on Self Decode
Once you setup good nutrition practices and investigate these genes, as well as use
regular health testing, you will have a more accurate idea of how to start intervening
since you may need more or less based on these genes.
Enzymes are a broad category of chemicals that facilitate reactions by "speeding them up" many-fold so that life can happen. In a sense, we age because our enzyme potential reduces to some degree. Minerals and vitamins play a role in maintaining your enzyme potential, hence why they are essential, and there are many kinds of enzymes for many kinds of reactions. Here, I just focus on digestive enzymes, and I have just one recommendation:
Take 3 Optimal Digestion per day, 1 with each meal.
This is a critical ingredient in supporting optimal digestion and mitigating any issues you may have with processing food like SIBO, brainfog, inflammation and so on. Alongside other interventions for digestive health that I discuss in my book, this is just a no-brainer that everyone should include per day.
Total Pills per Day: 3
Total Cost per Day: ~$1
Nutrients covered: Protease, Amylase, Lipase, Cellulase (and many other digestive enzymes)
This is also a wide area of supplementation, and depending on your issue you may require a very specific plan. Not all probiotics work, and you may not need certain strains versus others. The gold standard is to take a highly sensitive test, like the Gut Zoomer from Vibrant Wellness (I can help you with this) and see what's inside. Not fun, but do it in the name of science and learning :)
The product I use (one of them) was originally based off of Dr. Shahani's work (a pioneer in probiotics) and is a resistant strain of bacteria that can make it into the colon. It is an affordable and good place to start.
Take 3 Optimal Flora per day, 1 with each meal.
If you've had a lot of gut issues, a history of antibiotic (or recent) usage, you can also try the Flora Blitz program and reboot your gut in 21 days (pictured above)
Total Pills per Day: 3
Total Cost per Day: ~$1
Nutrients covered: comprehensive gut flora probiotics and pre-biotics
Antioxidants are also a broad category of nutrients that serve to fight aging, eliminate toxins and repair collateral damage from chemical reactions happening in your body. Almost anything can be an "antioxidant," and remember that your body has the most powerful one, glutathione (among a few others like SOD, catalase, etc.), so rather than dropping coin on expensive supplements, your efforts should be on supporting your body's natural production.
There are a few exceptions, like resveratrol, that may be useful depending on your genes, but in general my recommendations stick to simple things you can do every day with no issues, i.e. The Basics. Below are the products I use/recommend:
Take either 1 Essential Resveratrol per day OR
1 Opti Mito Force per day OR
1 scoop of the Fruit & Veggie Plus per day
For selenium, the main building block of glutathione, find it at Swanson Vitamins or Amazon (as Blue Bonnet brand):
Take 1 Albion chelated selenium per day (200mcg)
This plan gives your body the raw ingredient for glutathione (selenium) and also provides powerful support for your genes and aging pathways through resveratrol and
Opti Mito Force, which has a lot of traditionally researched antioxidants in it as well as PQQ (also a powerful compound that has come up in the research).
Total Pills per Day: 2-3
Total Cost per Day: ~$0.65 to $1.95
Nutrients covered: Selenium, Resveratrol, PQQ, 12+ antioxidants, 30+ antioxidant rich foods
GENES TO CONSIDER: NOS1, NOS2, NOS3, CAT, SOD1, SOD2, SOD3, DAO, SIRT1,
APOE, CBS (selenium), CYP1B1, CYP2B4, CYP3A4, GPX1/3/4 (selenium)
Also consider a personalized Longevity Report on Self Decode
This is the final group of nutrients that I mentioned at the beginning of this article that are high benefit/low risk. These nutrients have an incredible safety profile and a vast amount of anti-inflammatory and supportive benefits for the gut, brain, heart and joints. They are also super cheap.
All of the following can be ordered on Amazon.
Take 2000mg of Taurine per day. I use this one.
Take 500-1000mg of boswellia per day. I use this one.
Take at least 200mg of butyric acid per day. I use this one.
Total Pills per Day: 6-8
Total Cost per Day: ~$0.75
Nutrients covered: Taurine, Boswellia, Butyric Acid
Also consider a personalized Inflammation Report on Self Decode
This article is designed as a resource that gets straight to the point. I have skipped a lot of explaining, so if you want that then grab yourself a copy of my book and a 30 minute chat to clear up any questions, but all in all this entire program would cost you less than $10 per day and account for the basic building blocks your body needs to repair and stay in optimal health sustainably and safely with high quality nutrition.
Keep in mind the value of ongoing health testing and developing a practice of understanding your genes and body. While everything here is safe, everyone's story is different and you may require less or more of a given nutrient based on several factors, and also things change over time and must be monitored. In my book I outline over 50+ valuable health tests that you can employ (not all at once!!) to plot this story out over time, but overall this is a great starting point to create a comprehensive nutrition protocol foundation and build outward from there.