Supplements

Amino Acids

Herbs

Minerals

Misc Supplements (such as Coenzyme Q10, Probiotics, Resveratrol)

Vitamins

Major Roles of Nutrients - a discussion to give a quick understanding of the benefits of various nutrients.

Study results: "Compared to non-multivitamin users, the researchers noted that that telomeres were on average 5.1 per cent longer for daily multivitamin users."

Since telemere length is an indication of potential longevity, it is interesting to speculate that if just "average" multivitamin use is able to extend your life span by 5%, just imagine how much longer and healthier you could live by taking high quality vitamins?

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
June 2009, Volume 89, Number 6, Pages 1857-1863, doi:10.3945/ajcn.2008.26986
"Multivitamin use and telomere length in women"
Authors: Q. Xu, C.G. Parks, L.A. DeRoo, R.M. Cawthon, D.P. Sandler, H. Chen

Usage patterns, health, and nutritional status of long-term multiple dietary supplement users: a cross-sectional study - multiple supplement users show many significant improvements in health markers such as blood pressure, homocysteine, C-Reactive Protein and many others.

Another study with mice clearly demonstrates multi-vitamin supplementation has significant anti-aging benefits. [Dietary amelioration of locomotor, neurotransmitter and mitochondrial aging - publish by "Experimental Biology and Medicine"]

The International Journal of Obesity published the results of a study which showed that multi-vitamin and mineral supplementation resulted in weight loss and several other measures of improved health in a 26 week study. [Effects of multivitamin and mineral supplementation on adiposity, energy expenditure and lipid profiles in obese Chinese women - February 9, 2010]

Product Highlight: Cognitex

Quality and Toxicity Concerns

It is important to purchase high quality supplements, but don't be a victim of "FUD" campaigns. Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt (FUD) campaigns try to cast a negative light on supplements or attempt to convince you that only one brand of supplement is safe and the best.

Some companies may attempt to scare you into believing that magnesium stearate is toxic and that you should not purchase supplements which have traces of magnesium stearate in them. There are no known studies showing any toxicity for magnesium stearate. Saying that magnesium stearate is toxic is the equivalent of saying that chocolate is toxic since about one third of the fat in chocolate is stearic acid. Stearic acid is a natural substance and found in many plants such as olives (and the average USA diet contains 7,000 mg per day). Magnesium stearate is used as a "safe" lubricant in the manufacturing process of supplements.

By the same arguement that stearic acid suppresses immune function we would also have to believe that DHA and EPA also suppress immune function (reduced lymphocyte proliferation). [PMID: 17195961] also [PMID: 11435508] This is related to the entire issue of increased usage of omega 3 fatty acids to reduce excess systemic inflammation. Yes, when isolated and concentrated this can be made to appear like "suppressed immune function", but that is a simplification and distortion of the complex metabolic processes which occur in humans. Stearic acid can enhance the immune function by supporting neutrophils production of hydrogen peroxide. [PMCID: PMC2483276]

One study that is quoted to show negative effects of stearic acid, studied the effects in a test tube environment on mouse (murine) T cells which lack delta 9 desaturase (which human T cells do not lack). This leads to a toxic build up of stearic acid in the mouse T cells which does not occur in human T cells.

The average daily consumption of stearic acid from food, in the USA, is 7,000 mg. A typical supplement has 0.25% to 1.5% magnesium stearate. Calculating a "worse case" scenario, taking 40 supplements at 500 mg each with a very high (1.5%) content of magnesium stearate would result in consuming only 300 mg per day of stearic acid which is only about 4% of normal dietary consumption. We can conclude that even with high supplemental intake, no significant metabolic impact would occur.

Some companies push "nanotechnology" using cyclodextrin to boost bioavailability. The FDA considers cyclodextrin as "generally recognized as safe" (GRAS), however it's unclear exactly what it's effects might be and whether it is really safe or not.