Continuing Proof that supplements work

I have been incredibly regular about taking my supplements over the 20 years or so I’ve been doing this.    This last period was an exception.  I wanted to see if I stopped taking the supplements as much would I do well?   Maybe I could take half as many supplements maybe every other day and do very well.  Maybe my results wouldn’t change much.    So, this last 6 months I have been taking roughly half my normal supplementation mixing up morning and evening sometime.   Well, I had my annual blood tests this last week and the results were conclusive that the supplements are still making a difference.  My HDL dropped to the mid 40s from the mid50s last year (bad).  My total cholesterol climbed to 180 (bad).   Even more disturbing is that I got the sniffles and a sore throat last night.   Very obvious that not taking the supplements as regularly has resulted in clear metabolic differences in my body.    I took the whole days packets last night (having missed them that morning and day) when I felt a little sniffles.  Sure enough during the night I needed to take a cold medicine and I actually felt a sore throat a little which I can’t remember feeling in years and years.  I feel great this morning but this experience between the blood tests and the sniffles last night makes it very clear to me that the supplements still make a difference.  Possibly this cold would have gone or been short without taking the supplements last night but I feel after taking them that my body was able to fight this better.     This is more proof to me that the vitamins and supplements do actually make a real difference in my quality of life whether or not they save me from cancer or whatever else that may be my destiny.    Even on a day to day basis I notice a benefit.

Is taking supplements evidence of a negative mindset?

I want to be clear I think almost never of my mortality.    First, my brother who got a near fatal cancer continues to live 12 years after the surgery and radiation therapy.  His continuing miracle reinvigorates me to continue along my path of seeing if I can have a life without such a massive thing happening to me.  Fingers crossed.  Also, I do feel healthy and young most of the time that I don’t think of the downside.   People always seem to comment on my apparent youth and it makes me feel like something is working.     The system I use to package my pills makes it easy to take them and I don’t think about my mortality or negative things.   I actually think of the positive things they give me.   I am amazed how I feel so healthy most of the time, so youthful and feel quite positive about the science behind what I am doing so I feel like it is a very positive thing.

I take challenge and failure differently than others possibly

I may be different than some people.   When I am challenged I take up the challenge with a very determined and systematic approach.   I see challenges as something I can conquer applying brain power and consistency.    I look for results and check back to make sure something hasn’t changed that makes my thinking wrong.    I have noticed a lot of other people don’t apply a systematic approach and in many cases it works for them.   You may not find something like discovering you are deficient at something important to you means you should study how to fix it and take action.

I have noticed some people are very smart but have problems that seem easy to fix.   They have decided I guess that the problem is either unfixable, that it’s not an important problem or that they will fix it later or they just don’t have confidence they can fix it even if it is fixable.   It shocks me to see people with problems that I know supplements could help/fix and they decide against it.   A few simple pills could forestall high blood pressure, diabetes, cut your cancer risk in half or heart attack or stroke risk in half.   I just don’t understand how people value their life so little they would not consider this seriously.

I am very aware that my approach is not the way lots of people want to address problems.   I have no absolute proof that what I say will work in the end I may die of things either that my recipe won’t help with or in spite of supplements.   At least I know I am taking the most intelligent approach to reducing the chances.   Some people may prefer to just “eat” their way to health and given that many people live quite long this apparently will work for some people.  Some people don’t even bother to eat especially well and live to 100 and happy.   Others don’t.     I am doing an experiment and I don’t ask you to follow my experiment in the same way or at all.

I was quite private about all this although if anybody asked about my supplements I was happy to talk about them.  Recently I get asked more and more so I thought it would be useful to put my thoughts and what I do on paper.  Doing that also helps me clarify my thinking process whether anyone reads this stuff or not.

I think my recipe is pretty good.  I would love any challenge or questions but I will continue to do this as long as I believe it has benefit and is backed by science.  So far, the evidence keeps mounting that this is the right course.

Ways to simplify taking Supplements

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An important topic is the way you take supplements and when you take them.   Some supplements need to be taken with food, some not near food, some are best in the morning and give you energy that would be undesired during the evening and some seem to slow you down which you probably don’t want in the morning.

I have been using a system for decades now.   It is the only way I can imagine to make taking a lot of supplements practical and consistent.

1) I produce packets of my recipe for 3-6 months of morning and evening recipes.

2) I do this in 2 packets each day because the total number of pills is beyond a desirable number to take at one time and because some pills are better with food or without food and at night or in the morning.

3) I use a combination of hard containers which hold between 12 and 28 bunches of pills and soft containers little plastic bags that hold enough for one morning or evening dose.  I use the combination because the hard containers are easier to fill but that when I travel it is hard to take the bulky hard containers or at dinner with friends I don’t want to pull out a big container.  So, I have this system.   The soft containers are little plastic bags I have found at walgreens.  They sell 100 of them for a few bucks.

4) I research before each “restock” day the literature on supplements looking for new insights on how to change my recipe.    I keep a spreadsheet with the vitamins, prices and brands, how much I have and how much I will need.    The spreadsheet helps me order the vitamins I need to complete my packets for the next 3-6 months.   I will act on any hard evidence that a supplement is not effective or didn’t seem to make any difference by removing it.  This could come from literature or my own experience.    I compare vendors of supplements looking at a web site called: Consumerlabs.com which I subscribe to for $30/year.   I believe everyone who takes supplements should belong to this organization.   They do amazing work to make sure that the supplements we take contain what they say they do.   I put into my spreadsheet whether the vitamin should be taken with food or morning and night so I can make the recipe for each packet.   Sometimes I split a particular supplement so I take it 2 times a day.

5) After researching brands and tradeoffs of multi-supplement packages and all the different ways I could meet my needs I order the appropriate supplements a couple weeks before my recipe will run out.     In some cases I will order multiple bottles or use Amazon subscription service or with Biotivia they have complex rules with a points program to complicate ordering things.  I keep the price of all my supplements under $100/month.    I feel $1200/year for the health I get is a good deal compared to the prices of medical insurance and the quality of life drop from not taking them.

6) I have paid my kids or my girlfriend to help me do my distribution of the pills into the chambers and packets I have.  It usually takes a couple hours and I can watch tv while doing it.  It is tedious and not fun but the great thing about doing 3 months or more is that you don’t have to do it for that time again.  This means I only have to do it a few times a year.  That’s not hard.   I use up the older bottles first of course.

7) I seal the unused containers and put them in either some air proof wrap and take the humidity packets that come with many vitamins and put them in the hard containers in various places to help keep them fresh.

8) I keep the containers easily available so if I spontaneously am out or about I always have access to containers.   When on trips I pack the number I will need and more to be sure I will have enough.

Such a system makes taking the vitamins a breeze and keeps me very consistent.    It also allows me to spend zero time most of the year dealing with this.  That’s important because I notice that many people may have the best intentions about eating well or taking supplements but fail because opening a bunch of bottles daily is hard, the vitamins/supplements are not available so people rapidly fail.   Having the packets also means I have them and somehow after working so hard and spending so much money buying so many and putting them in the containers it would seem stupid NOT to take them.   It’s motivation.