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Starting the Day with Supplements

While we can use food to nurture and protect our bodies and our brains, supplements play an important role in preventing inflammation and helping us achieve total health. In both Grain Brain and Brain Maker, in addition to laying out the lifestyle plan you should follow to avoid brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, I mention some of the most important supplements you can take for your health.

However, I’m often asked what my own daily routine is. Well, today I’m here to tell you.

  • Hot Rod

    When starting supplements, how soon will I notice a difference in the way I feel?

    • Lynn Dell

      Hot Rod, this was my problem – I took good supplements for years, and they did help a little. For me, what *really* helped is what I ADDED IN to my diet – adding in good fats was VERY helpful, also lots more leafy greens, and SIMULTANEOUSLY in what I CUT OUT of my diet – gluten containing grains (cereals and breads and on and on), too many carbohydrates that are easily absorbed such as sugar and high fructose corn syrup, bad fats such as too many omega 6 PUFAs, grain fed meat, farm raised fish, and too much meat in general, and overheating oils that easily oxidize in cooking. Then, once I started eating some organic eggs, a little grass fed beef, coconut oil, wild caught fish, lots of leafy greens, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, raw pumpkin seeds, raw almonds, walnuts, some flaxseed, I began to notice a huge difference.

      Once I started the Grain Brain way of eating, even though it was some days before I started adding in supplements, I began to FEEL so much better in my joints I almost did the Snoopy dance.

      My point is the supplements will help if the bad stuff in the diet is eliminated or vastly minimized, and the good stuff is consumed in proper proportions (ie – not too much meat even if it is organic).

  • isbe03

    Dr. Perlmutter do you take all of them on empty stomach? or just the probiotics?

    • Lynn Dell

      I have heard Dr. Oz say to take vitamin D3 after a meal with the highest fat content, because D is fat soluble.

      I have purchased Dr. Perlmutter’s alpha lipoic acid, which recommends taking it a half hour before a meal. You don’t need a stop watch – it can be some minutes more or less, but the object is to have it going into your system before you eat.

      Fish oil (dha) can be taken any time.

      Probiotics – there appears to be somewhat of a controversy about them. Might be good to take on an empty stomach first thing with a meal, and include prebiotic fibers in the ensuing meal.

      • Marilyn

        It’s not just Oz.. it’s everywhere that is stated take D3 with a high fat meal.

        • Lynn Dell

          Everywhere except on the high quality D3 bottles I get. They just say one capsule per day, or as recommended by your health care provider.

        • if the D3 is provided in an oil filled gelcap, is that enough fat?

          • Marilyn

            I get 20 mins of sun a few days a week and take the sublingual form of D3 so I don’t have to worry about taking it with food. 🙂

          • I’ve been getting almost daily 15 min sun periods (combined with a walk) this summer. has really helped my psoriasis.

          • Marilyn

            I don’t think so Karen, but to be safe, do what I do now and take the sublingual form!

          • thanks for the input, Marilyn. I’ll check on sublingual.

      • Vicky Garcia

        Lynn, where did you find Dr. Perlmutter’s alpha lipoid acid? I could not seem to find that anywhere. I am looking for the brand names of the supplements he recommends. Thanks!


      • Patty

        R chain alphalipoic acid works much better than L chain

  • Farski

    Could you please share the specific brands of the supplements you mention? I am particularly interested in the fiber supplement and the probiotic you recommend. Thank you! Your books have made a profound difference in my life. I recommend both to everyone and have given copies to friends and family. Much gratitude!

  • EHope

    My son, who was a straight “A” student, was in deep trouble by the time he was 13, but I didn’t know it yet. Two months before his 15th birthday, he was admitted to the hospital for catatonia and schizophrenic symptoms and has remained there for nearly 8 months. Now, nearly stable and ready for discharge, I look forward to finally being able to have my son home again so I can begin healing his gut. Thank you for the information in your grain brain book. A micronutrient test by spectra cell labs shows my son is either deficient or borderline deficient in literally half the vitamins and minerals on the chart. Glutathione is one of the lowest. A urine metals test shows he is full of toxic metals. Palladium is off the charts. Uranium, lead and nickel and lithium not too far behind. (He has never taken lithium medication.) His allergy report shows he is allergic (or building up antibodies) to literally half the food items listed. The highest being wheat, milk and eggs. He has no “allergic reaction” and does not complain of stomach issues when eating these items. So my question is whether it would help or hurt him to feed him eggs as a brain food.

    • Kelli McGuire Blaser

      I don’t think Dr. Perlmutter is reading these any more. Bummer.

  • Susan

    Hi, what can you recommend to someone who doesn’t take pills well? In the past I’ve tended to try and eat my nutrients, e.g., 25 raw almonds rather than a gel cap. Is this now outdated thinking?

    I took a liquid vitamin and mineral supplement for a while. While I was very careful to avoid the brands that add unnecessary even harmful ingredients, I still ended up feeling kind of lousy – sluggish and nauseous – after taking it. How worried should we be about getting too much of something, say 100% of vitamin E from both food and the supplement?

  • lara

    Hi Dr Perlmutter

    Can you tell me the probotic supplement you take each day

    Thanks for all that you do you are amazing!

  • David Haddon

    Funny thing, I take much the same supplements, except I use cacao for antioxidant protection. And I take them with my breakfast, which is usually long on carbohydrates like steel cut oats, quinoa, chia seeds. There, i part company with the good doctor, but it makes the fiber supplement unnecessary.

  • Kathy

    Are there particular brands of these supplements that you recommend?

  • Karyl

    I sent Dr. P an email asking for particular brands (for quality..supplements are not all created equal..actually some are useless). I know that he is developing his own line, but not quite there yet (I will switch to Dr. P when they come out). He recommended Pure Encapsulations and I found their best pricing on Vitacost.

  • Christine Martin

    Have you heard of EHT?

  • Robert E. Maxson

    Unless I missed something, I was wondering at what dose do you recommend for each of these eleven daily supplements?

  • Bill Shane

    Under what name can I find NRF2 Activators? I can’t find anything under NRF2 Activators and I like the combination to reduce inflammation.

    • cautiousnautious
      • Patty


        • Pattu

          Also you can increase glutathione levels 300 percent with Protandim!

          • JohnInTheOC

            Two studies of Protandim have been conducted in human subjects. One of these studies, a non-randomized, non-controlled trial, reported that Protandim increased the levels of the antioxidant enzymes SOD and catalase in red blood cells while reducing TBAR levels in blood plasma.[8][25]

            The second study, a double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial published by McCord and colleagues in 2012, examined the effect of Protandim on pulmonary oxidative stress and alveolar epithelial permeability in 30 recovering alcoholics.[31] Protandim (14 subjects at a dose of 1350 mg/day; double the daily dose recommended by the manufacturer) or placebo (in 16 subjects) were administered for 7 days. Relative to placebo-treatment, Protandim had no significant effects on alveolar epithelial permeability or on oxidative stress, epithelial growth factor, fibroblast growth factor, interleukin-1β, and interleukin-10 levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Treatment with placebo, however, produced a significant reduction in plasma levels of TBARS, a marker of oxidative stress (i.e., lipid peroxidation).

  • treva

    I have recently heard that upregulaters can have a negative effect if you take them consistently. He called it hormesis. He prescribed taking upregulators in a pattern, such as 3 on 3 off. The only upregulator he mentioned was resveratrol. So, i have 2 questions. Is it ok to take upregulators on a daily basis with no negative effects? And can provide a list of upregulators? i have no idea if say vitamin D is an upregulator, or if adaptogens are upregulators.

  • Philip Domenico, PhD

    That sounds a bit on the high end. I go foundational instead. We need to replenish the water-soluble vitamins in the morning, like B and C complex. I take a grape seed extract as well, since it is synergistic with vitamin C. We don’t eat breakfast until later, so these supplements are taken with coffee or tea. At breakfast I’ll take part of my multivitamin, etc.

  • Nadine Hemy

    Hi Dr. Perlmutter, Just finished Grain Brain, and started on Brain Maker. I am following your protocols, and do feel a lot better already – having dropped more than 10lbs… with lots more to go. I am taking supplements as well, and just ordered Super Bio Curcumin 400mg by Life Extension. I was horrified when I saw the warning label which says not to take it if you have gallstones. I do have gallstones but mine are silent. Do you think I can take this product? Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you,

  • Tami

    Dr. Perlmutter,

    I recommended your probiotics to 2 of my friends (sisters). 1 having no side effects but the other says she is bloated, constipated and has gas when none of the 3 existing before. Is this a temporary side effect when just starting on probiotics or could it be a symptom if she is lactose intolerate?

  • melanie ciccone

    what is ‘The Aggressive Probiotic” supplement you take daily?

  • Alberto Rubio Rojas

    Dr. What about multi vitamin supplements on a daily basis?
    I would love to hear your comments on that, because i eat very low fruits and vegetables but alot of fats and proteins, ive always been healthy but i think i would be best if i supplemented with the MV.

    • David Perlmutter

      I personally don’t suggest a multivitamin. Focus instead on supplements packed with the most important nutrients.

  • JohnInTheOC

    Glutamtate receptors and hidden MSG glutamates in our food sources seem to be responsible for everything from acute fatal asthma attacks to mimmic ALS conditions.

    We just recently discovered glutamate receptors throughout the body. Your thoughts on improving transport of glutamate over load outside the cell (Iodine?)?? TOPIC FOR ANOTHER BOOK


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