Your Personal Supplement Program

With all the information available, how do you go about setting up a personal dietary supplement program for yourself? There are so many different supplements and so many approaches to health programs that it may seem confusing. Many sources of information on supplements will tell you of the value of some of them, but will leave you unsure of where to begin your own program. Because of this confusion, many people give up in frustration, but it is important to your health to get started now.

In this chapter you will find some basic guidelines and some sample programs for health enhancement and preventive medicine. You will also find some sample treatment programs for specific conditions. Consider them as guidelines, not prescriptions. When reading these recommendations, always keep in mind that your particular needs may require more or less than what you see here. This is for both the specific supplements you might need and the amounts of any one of them.

If you are a physician, remember: it is an error to try to treat diagnoses rather than people. Everyone is an individual, and frequently health problems occur in combinations. There are also specific life situations that demand personal attention in designing a health program. Keep this in mind when recommending supplements or any other health program for your patients. More physician training is available in this field, especially through the American College for Advancement in Medicine.

Supplements Are Supplements

First, a reminder that supplements are just that: additions to a healthy diet and support for many health practices. They neither replace good foods nor eliminate the need for exercise and stress management, laughter and a positive attitude. I have often known people who think that supplements could relieve them of the discipline required to change their health habits. No one health practice cures or prevents all illness and degeneration, even though any one of them will help to some degree.

Second, remember to keep any health program simple enough to follow. If you make it too complex, chances are you will fall off the program and lose all of the potential benefits. Take any dietary supplements at breakfast, dinner or bedtime, unless you have unusual discipline and can remember lunchtime doses. There is some small benefit in absorption of nutrients from dividing your intake of water-soluble supplements into three daily doses, but not if you do not remember to take them.

If you do not eat breakfast, it is time to reconsider your health habits, since breakfast is an important meal. Even if it is just a piece of fruit with some whole grain toast and a few almonds, or some whole grain cereal, try to eat something to start your day. If you absolutely cannot face food before noon, take the first dose of supplements with your lunch, and the second dose with your evening meal at least 6–8 hours later.

General Prevention

For general preventive medicine, you may wish to start with the basic supplements essential for health promotion, assuming you are in good health. These would be the Basic Multiple formula, some extra vitamins C and E, and probably some natural carotenes. The extra E and carotenes can be taken any time of day, since they are fat soluble and not rapidly turned over. If you do not divide the water-soluble supplements into at least two doses per day, some of them will be less well-absorbed and excreted more rapidly. They will still benefit you, but perhaps not as much. If you are concerned that you might not tolerate some of the supplements because of unusual sensitivities, you might wish to start with one at a time for a few days. If you wish, take one formula, as indicated below, for 2 or 3 days, and if there is no problem with that one add another for 2 or 3 days, and so on. The following table represents such a basic supplement program:



























AM PM
Basic Multiple Formula 3 3
Vitamin C 1000 mg 2 2
Vitamin E 400 IU natural, mixed 1
Natural carotenes 25,000 IU 1


Stronger Protection

If you wish to pursue a stronger preventive medicine program, if you exercise heavily, or if you are exposed to toxic chemicals in your environment or are under unusual emotional stress, it is advisable to take extra supplements. Vitamins E and C, an essential fatty acid supplement, and a few other antioxidants, such as the mixed bioflavonoids, are likely to be helpful. I would also recommend additional magnesium and some coenzyme Q10, especially if you are over 40 years old. This supplement program is represented in the following table:















































AM PM
Basic Multiple Formula 3 3
Vitamin C 1000 mg 3 3
Bioflavonoid mix 1000 mg 1 1
Magnesium aspartate 200 mg 1
GLA 240 mg (borage oil) 1
Vitamin E 400 IU natural mixed 1 1
Natural carotenes 25,000 IU 1
Coenzyme Q10 50–100 mg 1


Vigorous Life Enhancement

For more vigorous protection from free radicals and to slow or even reverse some of the effects of aging, you will need extra dietary supplements and higher doses of some. Include additional vitamin C and magnesium, higher amounts of coenzyme Q10, and some more phytochemical flavonoids, as reflected in the following table:

























































AM PM
Basic Multiple Formula 3 3
Vitamin C 1000 mg 4 4
Bioflavonoid mix 1000 mg 1 1
Quercetin 400 mg 1
Magnesium aspartate 200 mg 1 1
GLA 240 mg (borage oil) 1
Vitamin E 400 IU natural mixed 1 1
Natural carotenes 25,000 IU 1 1
Coenzyme Q10 100–200 mg 1
Proanthocyanidins 50 mg mixed 1 1


As You Age

These previous programs are by no means the most extreme programs that some people are following. As you age, for example into your fifties and sixties, you may wish to add those nutrients that further help to protect memory, vision, liver function, and gastrointestinal health, in addition to preventing cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. This further list of supplements might include extra selenium, Ginkgo biloba, silymarin, bilberry, glutamine, melatonin, and carnitine. Admittedly, this is a vigorous program with many pills to take and greater expense. However, even if it were 10 dollars a day, it would be less than what some people spend on cigarettes, coffee, colas, hotdogs, and doughnuts! The following table represents such a program:






























































































AM PM
Basic Multiple Formula 3 3
Vitamin C 1000 mg 4 4
Bioflavonoid mix 1000 mg 1 1
Quercetin 400 mg 1 1
Magnesium aspartate 200 mg
1 1
GLA 240 mg (from borage oil) 1
Vitamin E 400 IU natural mixed 1 1
Natural carotenes 25,000 IU 1 1
Coenzyme Q10 200 mg 1
l-Glutamine 500 mg 2 2
l-Carnitine 250 mg 2 2
Ginkgo biloba extract 60 mg 1 1
Bilberry 100 mg 1 1
Selenium 200 mcg 1
Proanthocyanidins 50 mg mixed 1 1
Silymarin 150 mg (80% standardized) 1 1
Melatonin 3 mg 1-2



If you have specific health problems, it is important to have them diagnosed first. If they are chronic degenerative conditions, or your health practitioner says, “Well, what do you expect at your age?” then it is time to consider some of the therapeutic supplements that are described in the previous chapters. (You might also try to find a more responsive health practitioner.)

Your attempt to enhance your health is not a substitute for diagnosis and proper treatment of medical conditions. You can, however, enhance your health and increase the likelihood of success of any other treatment regimen. You will also probably decrease the side effects of medication and increase the rate of healing after surgery or other treatment.

Other Supplement Programs



Notes On Your Health Program

Various treatment programs for different health conditions have many similarities. This is because many of the same supplements help a variety of health problems. Also, sometimes different supplements help the same problem, and what works will vary from one person to another. For example, individual needs for the same nutrient may vary up to 40 times.

Your response to herbs and flavonoids may be quite different from the response of your neighbor, or even that of another family member. This is the nature of biochemical individuality. Fortunately, there are also a lot of similarities among people, and this allows physicians to learn what to do for one person from our experience with another. However, the differences between people may require adjusting what we learn and adapting it for the individual. This is part of the art of healing.

This program is a useful starting point for your own needs, or if you are a physician, it can be used as a foundation for developing treatment programs for your patients. You do not have to try everything at once. Whether you are just beginning a dietary supplement health program, or if you are a physician just starting in the field, you will benefit by trying only one or a few supplements and adding new ones as you become more familiar with the substances.

You know your body’s individual responses better than anyone else, in some ways even better than your health practitioner, and you have to use that information to create your own health or to help your health practitioner guide you. If your practitioners are unfamiliar with this information about dietary supplements, you can help them begin to understand it by giving them a copy of my book “Vitamin Revolution.” This will help you to become a partner in your health care.

Avatar Written by Michael Janson MD

Get the Healthiest Newsletter!

Get a dose of Healthy delivered straight to your inbox. Each FREE issue features amazing content that will elevate your Body, Mind, and Spirit.

Your data is never shared with 3rd parties

Body+Mind+Spirit

TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE?

Try the Internet's Longest-Running Wellness Program.