Natural Supplements for Good Health
Here's a list of recommended natural supplements that you may want to consider adding to your ketogenic diet regimen. I have included the reasons why you would take these supplements, and any effects you might experience as your body gets used to them.
Many of the reasons for taking these natural supplements have to do with supporting cellular respiration and reducing inflammation through increasing antioxidant intake.
Vibrant cellular mitochondria health is the bedrock for good body health. If cellular respiration is well, than all the body systems will be well.
Note of Caution: if you have a kidney or heart condition, or take medicines for blood pressure or cholesterol, please check with your doctor first before taking any of these supplements.
In addition, L-glutamine is a great supplement to take when you are dealing with sugar cravings, because the brain can burn it instead of glucose for fuel.
IMPORTANT NOTE: if you are have cancer, you should avoid glutamine supplements, as cancer cells can use this amino acid as fuel when glucose is low.
Without CoQ10, the cell mitochondria cannot function correctly, and energy production will be reduced, resulting in fatigue. Worse, the mitochondria in your cells would quickly succumb to free radical damage without CoQ10. This is in fact what happens to many people who take cholesterol lowering drugs called statins. Statins block the production of CoQ10 in the body, and it results in mitochondrial damage.
Since Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and can be stored in the body, PLEASE have your levels checked via blood test before you start a vitamin D supplement, and start slowly with 1000 IU per day. Then have your levels checked after a month and see if you are in the healthy range of 30-100 ng/mL.
Vitamin D can also be produced within the body when the skin has access to ultraviolet sunlight, but if you live in the North, this is less likely to happen, especially in the winter time. I suspect that the colds and flu people develop in the winter are rooted in a lack of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is especially beneficial for the respiratory and skeletal systems and helps keep the lungs and bones healthy. Food sources include cod liver oil, fatty fish, sweet potatoes, egg yolks, butter, and fortified milk. (Side note: if you supplementing with calcium, it doesn't do much good without adequate amounts of vitamin D and saturated fat.)
Natural supplements of L-carnitine are especially good for cardiovascular issues, as they strengthen the function of the heart. Stephen Sinatra, a cardiologist in Florida, recommends L-carnitine, CoQ10 and D-ribose for this patients with cardiovascular disease. (See his book The Sinatra Solution: New Hope for Preventing and Treating Heart Disease ) for more information.
I recommend no iron because iron should never be supplemented unless you have had your iron levels checked and a doctor recommends iron supplementation.
Bacteria and viruses LOVE iron, and will use any extra to gain a foothold in the gut.
Iron also increases the amount of free radicals in the body, which damage the process of cellular respiration. So while necessary in small amounts, iron is not good in large amounts. If you have a chronic iron deficiency or anemia, this is a sign you are gluten intolerant. Cutting grain based foods from your diet should correct the problem.
See Dr. Stephen Wangen's book Healthier Without Wheat: A New Understanding of Wheat Allergies, Celiac Disease, and Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance. for more information about anemia and wheat gluten.
Natural supplements can greatly improve your health, but be sure to check with your doctor if you have any pre-existing health conditions that might contraindicate these supplements.
Supplements NOT Recommended
There's a huge push in the medical community to take fish oil for heart health. While it does have some benefit IN SMALL AMOUNTS, I just want to add a caution about taking large amounts of this natural supplement.
Diabetics should not take large doses of fish or salmon oil. There are several studies which demonstrate that large doses of these supplements are associated with a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes. It has been shown that they have a detrimental effect on blood sugar, and cause large rises in fasting blood sugar, especially if the person taking it is pre-diabetic or diabetic.
Basic Recommended Supplements for Good Health
A basic multivitamin. I take this one, because it supports healthy blood sugar levels:
This one is good too:
I think just about everyone would benefit from a Magnesium Citrate supplement (200-400 mg per day):
and I think CoQ10, which is a energy substrate, is important, especially if you over 30:
Vitamin D is a critical vitamin in which many people are deficient.