Health, Healing & Hummingbirds

Scientific information on improving serious disease through nutrition and treating the causes of disease
 – summarised from 100 of the world’s most cutting-edge health books

Nutritional supplements overview

This page provides a basic supplements guide for moderately to severely ill people.

The information on this page is not designed to be used as a shopping list and it is not recommended that readers take many new supplements at once at full dosage, nor make any supplement or medication changes without reading the HHH treatment cautions and safety notes paper.

Basic supplements guide

Supplements/medications are listed below in general order of importance.



1. A good quality high-potency multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplement

2. Opti-dose vitamin C

3. Magnesium and calcium

4. Opti-dose B vitamins

5. Natural vitamin E (all 8 types)

6. Vitamin A and D and omega 3’s from (fermented or high-vitamin) cod liver oil

7. Probiotics and digestive enzymes (from food or supplements)

8. Reduced CoQ10 – ubiquinol

9. Reduced lipoic acid (RALA) and/or GSH

10. L carnitine

11. Digestive enzymes

12. Iodine

13. Anthocyandins, Silymarin, and an antioxidant complex

14. Trace minerals

15. Other very important supplements/prescription drugs which are needed by some, but not all, patients

16. Other useful Krebs citric acid cycle (metabolic/mitochondrial) supports

17. Other useful general supplements.


1.  A good quality high-potency multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplement

Essential. Antioxidant, strengthens the immune system, improves mitochondrial function, facilitates energy release/utilisation from food, supports thyroid function, supports female hormonal health and healthy teeth, promotes better wound healing, treats peripheral neuropathy, promotes detoxification processes, promotes healthy skin, hair and nails, improves general wellbeing, improves ability to cope with stress, natural antidepressant and improves resistance to secondary diseases. Better taken in divided doses if possible, as the B vitamins are water soluble and don’t stay in the body long.


Consider taking a double dose to get larger amounts of each vitamin etc. at a low price (after checking there are no ingredients for which a double dose would be too high). Toxicity is not a concern but make sure the supplement is stimulant, iron and copper free. Minerals should be chelated. Generally well tolerated if the dose is raised slowly.


A sample ingredient list is as follows:


  1. Vitamin A 5000 IU or more (as retinol or from beta carotene, or both),
  2. Thiamin (vitamin B1) 50 – 100 mg, Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 50 – 100 mg, Niacin or niacinamide (vitamin B3) 50 mg or more, Pantothenic acid or pantethine (vitamin B5) 100 mg  or more, Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) 50 – 75 mg or a smaller amount of activated B6 as P5P (the preferred form), Biotin (vitamin B7) 300 mcg or more, Inositol (vitamin B8) 50 mg  or more, Folate as folinic acid or methyl folate only (vitamin B9) 800 mcg,  Vitamin B12 in an active form such as dibencozide, methylcobalamin, or hydroxycobalamin 300 mcg or more,  PABA (sometimes called vitamin Bx) 30 mg or more, Choline (a B vitamin) 20 mg or more, 
  3. Vitamin C 500 mg or more,
  4. Vitamin D (preferably D3) 100 IU or more,
  5. Vitamin E (natural) 50 IU or more,
  6. Calcium (token amount usually included, due to bulk), 
  7. Magnesium 100 mg or more (token amount usually included, due to bulk),
  8. Potassium (token amount usually included, due to bulk),
  9. Iodine (from kelp) 150 mcg or more,
  10. Zinc 30 – 60 mg,
  11. Selenium 200 - 400 mcg ,
  12. Manganese 2 – 5 mg,
  13. Chromium 200 mcg or more,
  14. Molybdenum 100 mcg or more,
  15. Boron 3 – 6 mg,
  16. Some lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene (all carotenoids), or a mixed carotenoids complex.


Products worth taking a look at include:

* Thorne Research, Basic Nutrients III without Copper and Iron. Contains no synthetic folate, only the active forms, and has the best forms of vitamin B12 and also B2 and B6. Hypoallergenic. Excellent.

* Thorne Research, Basic Nutrients V. Contains copper, but no iron or iodine. Contains no synthetic folate, only the active forms, and has the best forms of vitamin B12 and also B2 and B6. Hypoallergenic. Excellent.

* Thorne Research, Extra Nutrients. Contains no synthetic folate, only the active forms, and has the best forms of vitamin B12 and also B2 and B6. Hypoallergenic. Excellent.

* Thorne Research, Basic Detox Nutrients. (Contains 200 mg cysteine unfortunately).

* Optimal Multivitamin from Seeking Health. Contains no synthetic folate, only the active methylfolate form, and has methyl B12.


Inexpensive depending on brand.



2.  Opti-dose vitamin C

Essential. Antioxidant, antihistamine, antitoxic, antiviral, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, strengthens the immune system (vitamin C is the master immune boosting nutrient), improves blood flow to the brain, supports adrenals (which also supports the thyroid), improves mitochondrial function, improves general wellbeing, improves ability to cope with stress, reduces pain, improves asthma, prevents teeth loss, promotes wound healing, supports healthy joints and improves resistance to secondary diseases.


High dose C can markedly improve your tolerance of certain chemicals and also has many other additional benefits, and its importance in M.E. treatment cannot be overstated. (May possibly be able to cure viral diseases, if given by IV or as Lypo-C to bowel tolerance in the very earliest stages of the infection – in the first weeks or months of illness.)


Oral dosage varies considerably, starting at 4 to 10 g (as an absolute minimum) and going up to a bowel tolerance dose, which is ideal in serious chronic disease (perhaps 15 -30 g on average). The most effective forms of vitamin C however are vitamin C given by IV and liposomal vitamin C (Lypo-C) which is a new delivery system of vitamin C utilising nanotechnology, which offers the same effect as IVC in a much smaller, cheaper and easier to adminster form.


Toxicity is not a concern. Well tolerated by most patients so long as the dose is raised slowly. When the saturation dose is reached, mild transient gas or diarrhoea occurs which is an indication the dose should be lowered by 10%. The goal is to take as much as possible without experiencing mild gas. Please see the extensive information in the main HHH paper on vitamin C for more information. Oral vitamin C is inexpensive  



3. Magnesium (and calcium)

Essential. Improves mitochondrial function and cardiac/muscle function (magnesium is the hearts most important mineral), helps the body metabolise sugar, treats leg cramps, improves asthma and PMS mood swings. Magnesium is an essential mineral involved in over 300 enzyme actions in the body. Magnesium is essential for normal heart function, nerve impulse transmission, muscle relaxation and calcium management.


Magnesium can be taken orally in the form of tablets, capsules, powders or liquids, administered via injection or IV, or absorbed transdermally (through the skin). Magnesium is absorbed very poorly orally (with the exception of angstrom magnesium products), moderately well transdermally (more than twice as well with direct skin contact than with baths), and at a very high rate through injections and IVs.


Tests for magnesium levels are available, but magnesium experts suggest that the best test is to take magnesium for 1 - 3 months and see if you feel better on it. Most people are deficient in magnesium and will benefit from taking larger amounts of magnesium for 1 - 3 months (or 12 months or more if only oral supplements are taken) to fully replenish their magnesium levels and to reach 'cell saturation.' Magnesium levels should always be raised gradually. For information on reaching cell saturation with magnesium and the different types of magnesium available, see the main HHH magnesium paper.


Once maximum benefits have been realised from higher doses of magnesium, the dose can be lowered to a maintenance dose. This may be 400 - 800 mg or a somewhat higher dose, depending on your individual need. At this time it is important to make sure you take calcium and magnesium in a 1:2 ratio, in favour of magnesium. Or if you prefer, a 1:3 ratio in favour of magnesium, as suggested by magnesium expert Dr Carolyn Dean; you need to use your own judgement here.


Also note that according to the book 'The Vitamin D Cure' it is important NOT to take more than 600 mg of calcium daily, if your vitamin D levels are optimal (above 40 ng/ml). Vitamin D increases the absorption rate of calcium, as does magnesium.


Magnesium is involved in the production of ATP and is also a muscle and brain relaxer. Some patients take their last dose of magnesium late at night as they find it helps them sleep, while others make sure to take their last dose by late afternoon lest it leave them feeling too energised to sleep.


Angstrom-sized calcium is at a particle size between a nanometer and picometer and fully absorbed at the cellular level. It’s taken in small dosages and there is nothing left over to calcify any part of the body. Taking calcium in supplemental form only as angstrom calcium, and avoiding all other calcium supplements, makes an enormous amount of sense. Because angstrom calcium is almost 100% absorbed, only very low doses are needed. Calcium needs may also be met solely through diet in many people.


Well tolerated. Inexpensive (though this depends on dosage and type).



4. Opti-dose B vitamins

Essential, if budget allows. The B vitamins play an essential role in the Krebs energy cycle, support the adrenals and proper neurological, cognitive and cardiac function, help maintain and repair the myelin sheath, help lower homocysteine levels and help the body cope with stress.


B vitamins given by IV have the most powerful effect, generally speaking. In some cases, however, particularly where liver function or metabolic function is very poor, coenzymated B vitamin products will be the best choice.


You can likely cover your basic needs for B vitamins by taking a good quality coenzymated product like Thorne Basic B Complex at least 1-3 times daily along with 1-5 mg or more of sublingual B12 as methylcobalamin. Depending on how ill you are this should bring noticeable benefits within a month. It should improve wellbeing generally, improve concentration, improve mood and make you feel more able to cope with stress. You should really be able to feel a significant difference although the full effects will take place over an extended period of time.


Choosing B complex products has recently become a lot more difficult however with the new information that synthetic folate as folic acid should be strictly avoided. Unfortunately this rules out the use of the vast majority of B complex products including even the otherwise excellent Source Naturals Coezymated B Complex Sublinguals. Opinions vary but in my own opinion it is also a very good idea to take only the activated P5P form of vitamin B6, and only the activated forms of B12 and folate. Activated B1 and B2 are a bonus. The Thorne Basic B Complex meets these criteria as do the multivitamins made by the same company. Another option is to buy each nutrient separately.


Patients that have access to a doctor experienced in giving vitamins by IM injection or IV may also want to try this method of treatment for a period of time to see if it provides extra benefits (if budget allows). It is also important to be aware of the many varied symptoms of B12 deficiency as this is an increasingly common problem even for those with meat in their diets. For more information on B vitamin forms, deficiencies and products see the main HHH B vitamins paper.


Because the B vitamins are so intertwined, it is important to take B vitamins as a complex rather than taking a large amount of one or two B vitamins and possibly creating new imbalances. Individual B vitamins should never be taken without also taking a B complex product of a roughly similar strength.


The B vitamins are water-soluble and any excess is readily excreted in the urine and so B vitamins are generally low in toxicity. The exception to this is vitamin B6 which can cause issues for some people occasionally even at moderate doses. Generally well tolerated if doses are raised very slowly but can cause detoxification reactions – methyl cobalamin and methylfolate in particular. Inexpensive/moderately priced depending on dosage..



5. Natural vitamin E (all 8 types)

Essential, if budget allows. Antioxidant, strengthens and regulates the heartbeat, enables the heart to do more work with less oxygen, promotes wound healing, helps prevent blood clots and strengthens the immune system (and many other bodily processes).


It is important to take some of each of the eight different types of vitamin E, and not just alpha-tocopherol. Gamma-tocopherol is particularly important. Andreas M. Papas, Ph.D. recommends in his book on vitamin E that those with serious neurological diseases take 400 IU (or approximately 270 mg) of alpha-tocopherol daily, plus 400 mg of mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols.


Dr Sherry Rogers recommends a very high daily vitamin E intake (in serious illness) of 1- 2 E Gems Elite, 1 Gamma E Gems, and 1 – 2 Tocotrienols, all from the Carlson Labs brand.


If a lower level of vitamin E supplementation is desired, due to financial or other reasons, then the daily dosages given above can be halved. (This lower level of supplementation can also be halved again, if necessary. It is far better to take a lower level vitamin E than none at all.) For more information see the main HHH vitamin E paper.


Expect to wait at least 3 months to see an effect from vitamin E supplementation, as vitamin E is fat soluble and takes a while to build up in the body (particularly in the brain). Vitamin E is well tolerated generally, but it is highly recommended that the dose be raised gradually and that the final desired daily dose is worked up to over at least 2 or 3 months. Inexpensive.



6. Vitamin A and D and omega 3’s from cod liver oil

Essential, if budget allows.


Vitamin A:  Antioxidant, improves hormone stability in women, supports adrenals, improves function of thymus gland, promotes blood sugar balance/insulin resistance, improves skin health, strengthens the immune system (and many other bodily processes) and improves resistance to secondary diseases.


Dosage for beta carotene is usually 25 000 – 50 000 IU. Beta carotene converts to vitamin A in the body, although this process is very inefficient in those with hypothyroidism (or diabetes) – which includes most M.E. patients. For M.E. patients and others with hypothyroidism, vitamin A is a better choice than beta carotene this reason.


Some doctors recommend that an initial loading dose of 25 000 IU of vitamin A be taken for one month, and then the dose dropped down to a more typical dose of 5000 – 10 000 IU daily. For patients that do not have hypothyroidism, both beta carotene and vitamin A can be taken at these doses. One of the best sources of vitamin A is cod liver oil. This is considered to be a far safer type of vitamin A than the synthetic varieties.


Beta carotene toxicity is not a concern as any excess is simply secreted from the body (although in hypothyroidism taking large amounts of beta carotene may place unnecessary strain on the liver). Very high doses, 100 000 IU or more, may cause a harmless yellowing of the skin.  Vitamin A is fat soluble and so toxicity can be a concern at very high doses over long periods of time; when taking over 25 000 IU daily for long periods of time in particular, further reading and periodic testing is essential. Vitamin A should be limited to 5000 IU in pregnancy, and by women that may possibly become pregnant.


Vitamin D: Strengthens bones and the immune system , supports the pancreas, promotes well-being, improves digestion, responsible for the regulation of over 2,000 genes in your body and improves resistance to secondary diseases. It is a hormone as well as a vitamin.


Vitamin D is fat soluble so toxicity can be a concern at high doses. Periodic vitamin D testing is a good idea at any dose, to avoid too high and too LOW a dose being taken. The dose of fat soluble supplements should be raised very slowly as negative effects can take a long time to appear and to dissipate.


Note that vitamin D and A are linked and that a delicate balance must be maintained; without vitamin D, vitamin A can become ineffective or toxic, and without vitamin A, vitamin D can become ineffective. It is also essential to take adequate magnesium when taking vitamin D.


Omega 3’s: Anti-inflammatory, protects the myelin sheath, thins the blood, natural antidepressant, improves mitochondrial function, improves sleep, helps hormone balance, improves insulin resistance and improves CNS and cardiac function.


Cod liver oil is an excellent source of omega 3 oils and it also contains significant amounts of vitamin A, K2 and vitamin D. It is several supplements in one, and contains all the natural cofactors making it more potent. Fermented cod liver oil is a far less processed product than standard cod liver oil and is the best form of this supplement. Dosage is usually ½ to 1½  teaspoons daily of fermented cod liver oil, or 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of high vitamin cod liver oil – making sure that the level of vitamin D is appropriate for you and that your vitamin A intake from all sources doesn’t exceed 30 000 IU daily. The Weston A. Price Foundation considers cod liver oil far superior to fish oils, as fish oils are a very highly processed product and do not have the same high vitamin content.


The amount of cod liver oil usually recommended as a maintenance dose is enough to give you 10 000 IU of vitamin A daily. Extra EPA/DHA, where necessary, can be taken in the form of fish oils. With fish oil, look for products which are mercury and toxin free, and have IFOS certification, if possible. Good brands include Carlson’s and LEF. Dosage is usually 2 - 3.6 g of EPA and DHA (combined).

Taking some vitamin K2 when taking large doses of D3 is also recommended as vitamins A, D and K need to be balanced. This can be taken as 5 mg of MK-4 or some experts instead recommend a smaller amount of around 100 mcg of Menaquinone-7 or (MK-7), the natural form of vitamin K2. Opinions vary on which form of vitamin K is superior.


Low vitamin D levels are very common in the general population. It is estimated that there are more people deficient in vitamin D than there are people with normal vitamin D levels. Getting your vitamin D level tested is absolutely essential! Please see the main HHH vitamin D paper for details.

Essential fatty acids are essential for good mitochondrial function. It’s helpful to take EPA, DHA, phosphidatyl choline and cod liver oil. Dr Sherry Rogers recommends phosphidatyl choline as absolutely essential for giving your body an ‘oil change.’ If possible take GMO-free phosphidatyl choline from soy daily, or if you are avoiding soy there is a good product made from Sunflower Lecithin from NOW.


Must be taken with at least 270 mg of natural vitamin E. Very well tolerated by most patients if the starting dose is low and the dose is raised slowly. Somewhat expensive/quite expensive depending on dosage.



7. Probiotics

Essential, if budget allows. Improves general wellbeing, adds to antioxidant defence, improves digestive health (and can stop diarrhoea and constipation), improves absorption of food and supplements and improves food intolerances and resistance to some secondary diseases.


Dosage is usually 25 billion organisms, but 100 to 200 billion organisms daily may be even more beneficial if budget allows. Look for high strength human strain probiotics such as VSL#3.


Toxicity is not a concern. Well tolerated by most if the starting dose is low and the dose is raised very slowly. Best taken on an empty stomach. A small percentage of M.E. patients and others find they are unable to tolerate probiotics at any dose. Inexpensive/quite expensive depending on dosage.



8. Reduced CoQ10 – ubiquinol

Essential, if budget allows – especially if you have neurological or cardiac problems. Antioxidant, improves neurological and cardiac function, improves mitochondrial function, and improves general wellbeing and sleep. Some doctors argue that CoQ10 should be considered a vitamin. CoQ10 is essential for energy in every cell of the body, allowing the cells to live longer. The heart is utterly dependent on CoQ10.


Dosage is usually 100 – 300 mg and up to 400 mg in severe illness. Should be taken with a meal containing fat, to increase absorption. Toxicity is not a concern at doses up to 400 mg.  Soy-free products are now available for those with soy allergies. For more information on dosages see the main HHH paper on CoQ10.


Well tolerated if the dose is raised very slowly and started at 25 -50 mg daily. Even if all you can afford is one 50 mg capsule every two days, or even once a week, this dose is still absolutely worthwhile. Moderately priced/quite expensive depending on dose.



9. Reduced lipoic acid and/or GSH

Helpful, if budget allows. Antioxidant, aids detoxification, helps the body convert food to energy more efficiently, improves insulin resistance, improves neuropathy, improves mitochondrial function.  A particularly important supplement to take during an FIR sauna detoxification regime.


Dosage is usually 50 – 200 mg of reduced alpha lipoic acid (which is twice as powerful as the non-reduced form). If budget allows, adding a daily or even weekly sachet of liposomal GSH to your supplement regime is also beneficial. See the HHH paper on ‘other supplements’ for details.


Lipoic acid depletes biotin and so extra biotin should be taken with lipoic acid. The lower doses of lipoic acid may be adequate for M.E. patients and can cause severe relapse in M.E. unless the starting dose is low and the dose is raised very, very slowly. Lipoic acid is fat soluble so too high a dose may take a while to cause problems. Many patients can only tolerate the lower doses. Inexpensive.



10. L carnitine

Very helpful, if budget allows, particularly where cardiac problems exist. Improves mitochondrial function, improves cardiac and neurological function and improves general wellbeing. Dosage is usually 1 – 2 g, taken in 3 or 4 divided doses daily, although some patients may find they need 3 or 4 g to get the full effects from L carnitine, or even 5 or 6 g in severe cases. The maintenance dose of L carnitine may be lower than the initial dose, although in some patients the initial dose must be maintained to prevent relapse.


Acetyl L carnitine may also be helpful in improving neurological and cognitive problems, but is not as essential as L carnitine which works to improve cardiac function. Too much ALC can also cause neurological overstimulation for those with neurological diseases involving seizure states such as M.E. and so a small dose of just 500 mg is recommended. ALC is not recommended where seizure problems are severe.


L Carnitine should not be taken in doses of more than 1 g at a time, as less carnitine is absorbed when higher doses are taken. L carnitine works synergistically with CoQ10. Toxicity is not a concern. Well tolerated. Moderately priced.


11. Digestive enzymes

Important, if budget allows. Improves digestive health, improves food intolerances and supports the pancreas and the heart (by saving them the significant efforts needed to digest food) which improves general wellbeing and physical functioning.


Dosage is usually 1 – 2 capsules taken with the three main meals.  Some doctors recommend plant based products, others prefer enzymes from animal products.  Plant enzyme products will often contain mould. Different brands vary considerably, some sell basic products which may work perfectly well for some people, while others sell products suitable for those who need a very powerful product. It may be helpful to try several different brands. Dr Sherry Rogers recommends the Digestive Aid #34 product.


Betaine should also be considered. Where stomach acid is low, betaine HCl taken before meals can be essential. Low acid levels in the stomach can prevent you form taking in minerals and other nutrients even if you’re taking large amounts of them in supplemental form. Sufficient stomach acid is also needed to beat Candida overgrowth. Suspect low stomach acid where there is a feeling of fullness, flatulence or nausea after taking supplements. Betaine HCl can cause problems if it is taken when stomach acid is NOT low. Tests for low stomach acid include the Heidelburg test, the gastrogram or the magnesium hydrogen breath test.


Some doctors recommend that betaine HCl only be taken after one these tests has shown low acid levels, and under medical supervision. Others recommend a cautious at-home trial of betaine HCl where low stomach acid is suspected. To trial the product at home Dr Sherry Rogers recommends that one capsule be taken daily with one meal, and the dose slowly raised to 1 – 2 capsules with every meal. If the stomach burns the dose should be lowered or the product should be discontinued. Good Betaine HCl products include Thorne’s Betaine HCl & Pepsin.


Another choice for improving digestion is unfiltered raw apple cider vinegar, ½ to 1 tablespoon taken before meals.


To work out which combination of digestive aids work best for you, you’ll need to go through some trial and error. Food sources enzymes may be enough if you eat lots of sauerkraut and kefir etc. Toxicity is not a concern. Well tolerated by most patients if the starting dose is low and the dose is raised very slowly. Inexpensive/moderately expensive depending on dosage and strength.


12. Iodine

Essential, if budget allows. Iodine is an essential element. Although its main function is in the production of thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland, other organs in the body have a need for iodine in order to function normally. Iodine is also an important part of any detoxification regime. When thyroid levels have been shown to be low, this may be an indication that an iodine loading test may be necessary.


The 24 hour iodine loading test (a urine test available from companies such as VRP) indicates whether or not additional iodine supplementation may be beneficial. For more information see the main HHH minerals page. Inexpensive.



13.  Anthocyanins, silymarin and/or an antioxidant complex product

Helpful, if budget allows. Antioxidant. Look for a product containing at least 50 mg of Pycnogenol, grape seed extract and green tea extract (or all three ideally),  plus some ginkgo, curcumin, silymarin, rosemary extract or similar.


Dr Atkins recommends that 100 – 200 mg of Pycnogenol or grape seed extract (or a combination of the two) be taken by those with neurological disorders. (Anthocyanins are a large subcategory of the bioflavonoid family and one of the major antioxidants. They are the pigments that give fruits their vivid colours. Anthocyanins are powderful antioxidants that replenish vitamins C and E when they become oxidized. Supplements such as Pycnogenol, Hawthorn (berries), bilberry extract and grape seed extract contain large amounts of Anthocyanins, as do foods such as grapes, all the berries, green tea, cherries, eggplant and red cabbage.)


Silymarin is the most potent of all herbal detoxifiers, and supports liver health. Taking Silymarin daily is essential during any FIR sauna detoxification regime, if budget allows. Dr Sherry Rogers recommends 1 – 3 capsules or more of the Super Milk Thistle X product daily. This supplement should be started at a low dose.


Calcium D glucarate is also a useful supplement for detoxification as it helps the body get phthalates from plastic products out of the body. This supplement is one to start taking at very low doses and go very slowly with.


Antioxidants work far better in combination than singly. Toxicity is not a concern. Well tolerated by most patients if the starting dose is low and the dose is raised very slowly. Moderately priced with high quality products.



14. Trace minerals.

The following trace mineral products may be useful:


  1. Eating ½ to 1 teaspoon of unrefined sea salt daily is recommended.
  2. IntraMIN is a 100% organic liquid trace mineral supplement containing 70+ trace minerals that are super hypo-allergenic, drug free, and preservative free. It is said to be well tolerated by even the most chemically sensitive individuals. This product conatins the same trace minerals found in unrefined sea salt but in a more concentrated and possibly better absorbed form. Dr Sherry Rogers recommends this product.
  3. A trace mineral product such as LEF’s Trace Minerals or Pic Mins by Thorne may be helpful if your multivitamin product doesn’t contain quite enough zinc, manganese, molybdenum and so on. Dr Sherry Rogers explains that the fact this product has copper as copper glucinate in it means that it isn't the dangerous form of copper used in many cheap and nasty supplements, and so is very safe to take.
  4. Biosil (silicon) is recommended as an ‘electrical system’ booster by experts such as Dr Atkins and Dr Sherry Rogers. Biosil also greatly improves hair, nails and skin. Dr Atkins recommends 3 – 6 mg daily. Dr Sherry Rogers recommends Biosil drops.
  5. Germanium is an antioxidant found in garlic, comfrey, aloe vera and ginseng and is thought to promote health through its ability to regulate the uptake of oxygen in the cells (thus increasing cellular energy etc.). Note that the water-soluble trace mineral germanium, if taken, should only ever be in the organic Ge-132 form according to Dr Atkins. He also recommends that no more than 25 – 300 mg be taken daily. Around 1 mg daily may be obtained through eating germanium-rich foods. Before taking supplemental germanium it is recommended that patients first take a hair elements test.



15. Other very important supplements, but not generally needed by every single patient, include the following;


  1. Melatonin (500 mcg to 3 mg usually sublingual tablets) taken at night to promote sleep and reset the sleep/wake cycle. Effective and well tolerated for most but not all patients (for some it leaves them feeling very groggy in the mornings). Start at the very small dose and work up only if necessary. There is no need to take a higher dose than what is needed for sleep. May require a doctor’s script.
  2. Ashwagandha extract (200 mg standardised extract) for problems with adrenaline bursts etc. (or Rhodiola extract. Avoid if you have an overactive thyroid.) This herb may taken for a period of time and then stopped and restarted, to maintain the benefits.
  3. Hawthorn extract is helpful for reducing cardiac symptoms. Improves cardiac function, improves shortness of breath, reduces inflammation and allergies. Dosage is usually 1000 mg of a standardised extract (made from the flowers and leaves of the plant – crataegus monogyna – not from the berries).
  4. The vast majority of M.E. patients – as well as many others –  will suffer with low adrenal and thyroid output. As with low thyroid output, the question of whether or not low adrenal output in M.E. should be boosted directly or treated more gently and indirectly via a more general deep healing program is a difficult one. The ways in which these problems are tested for, managed and treated are explained in the main HHH thyroid issues and M.E. paper.



16. Other useful Krebs citric acid cycle (metabolic/mitochondrial) supports – along with the very important ubiquinol, carnitine, B vitamins, vitamin E, fish oil and magnesium already mentioned – which are not essential but which some patients find useful to varying degrees include:


  1. Taurine (1 – 2 grams daily) is an important nutrient for supporting detoxification and energy production.
  2. Essential fatty acids are essential for good mitochondrial function. This includes EPA, DHA, phosphidatyl choline and cod liver oil. Dr Sherry Rogers recommends phosphidatyl choline as essential for giving your body an ‘oil change.’
  3. D-ribose (3 g once or twice daily, will very often be very poorly tolerated and cause relapse in M.E., so proceed slowly and with caution, if at all. This supplement can provide big benefits, but there is also a big risk of relapse. Personally I prefer to take CoQ10, carnitine and magnesium to ribose.
  4. Alpha ketoglutatate and/or malic acid (1 – 2 g, well tolerated),
  5. Octacosanol (dosage is usually 6 mg at a minimum, although doses of 15 – 30 mg may be more appropriate. Buy the natural rather than the synthetic form.)
  6. Sublingual APT (two to three lozenges daily, well tolerated).
  7. Coenzyme A precursors (vitamin B5 as either pantethine or pantothenic acid, at least 200mg of either form although note that at least twice as much CoA will be formed with pantethine. Coenzyme A also works with CoQ10 in improving detoxification.)
  8. Carnosine (50 to 500 mg, starting dose must be low and the dose must be raised very slowly as this supplement can cause problems and worsened illness).



17. Other useful general supplements, which are not essential but which some patients find useful to varying degrees include: Omega 6 and 9 supplements (from emu oil or flaxseed/borage oil etc.), calcium AEP, Octacosanol, ginkgo, inosine, medicinal marijuana (for adults only, where available legally), garlic, , Biosil/silicon, quercetin, lecithin, liquorice (containing Glycyrrhizin), Matrine, curcumin, Sphingolin (a myelin sheath precursor), propolis and ginger. It is so important to get the major nutrients in first however.

Choosing supplements that are gentle on your gut

When you are trying to heal the gut and/or just trying to reduce your body’s daily workload in every small way you can, choosing gut-friendly supplements is a very good idea. They include the following types:


Liposomal: Liposome encapsulated products do not require digestion to be assimilated. Products available include liposomal vitamin C, liposomal GSH (glutathione) and liposomal B complex. The high quality LivOn labs brand makes all of these products but others may also sell liposomal vitamin D, CoQ10 and other nutrients. Taking 1 gram of liposomal vitamin C is roughly equivalent to taking 4 grams of oral vitamin C because it is so well absorbed.

Sublingual: Sublingual tablets allow nutrients to be absorbed through the mouth. Sublingual nutrient products available include B complex vitamins, melatonin, zinc, CoQ10 and others.

One of the best choices for B vitamins if you are very ill is B vitamin products that are sublingual and also coenzymated such as those made by Source Naturals. Coenzymated B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12 and folate are available separately.

Transdermal: Some nutrients can be absorbed through the skin. Transdermal magnesium oil is a good choice for magnesium supplementation. Transdermal magnesium products also avoid the issue of stomach upset which can come with taking standard magnesium tablets. Coconut oil and its nutrients can also be absorbed by being rubbed into the skin, as well as just eaten.

Angstrom: Because of their small size angstom minerals are absorbed almost 100% and do not require the body to use any digestive or cellular energy effort for the minerals to be assimilated. HealthShop 101 in the US offers many different angstrom mineral products and includes the important information on dosages. Because angstrom products are so well absorbed far lower doses than usual are needed.

For example, most oral calcium supplements are absorbed only 1 – 7% and so only 20 mg of angstrom calcium may give the same effect as many hundreds of grams of calcium tablets. Taking calcium only in angstrom form (as well as from diet) makes sense too as having lost of poorly absorbed calcium in your body can cause significant problems such as calcification of the heart.

Recently a new angstrom magnesium product has become available which is much more concentrated. Dr Carolyn Dean’s new product ReMag is 50 000 parts per billion strength, as opposed to the usual 3000 - 9000 ppm. Dr Dean says that 125 mg of magnesium from this product is absorbed as well as 500 mg of a standard magnesium tablet. Angstrom magnesium products, as well as transdermal magnesium products, also avoid the issue of stomach upset which can come with taking standard magnesium tablets.

Suppositories: Vitamin E suppositories are available from Carlson Labs.

Intravenous or intramuscular delivery: Nutrients which may be given by IV include vitamin C, B vitamins and sometimes also magnesium.

Buffered vitamin C: Ascorbic acid powder that has been mixed with half as much bicarb soda and taken with food is much gentler on the stomach than ascorbic acid taken alone and on an empty stomach. It wont cause gastric distress unless an amount is taken that is greater than bowel tolerance. Ascorbic acid and bicarb taken orally does still have to be assimilated by the digestive system and so really shouldn’t be on this list but I have included it because of the enormous importance of vitamin C and because most people cannot afford to take as much vitamin C as they need in the liposomal form. Dosage is everything with vitamin C!


Other tips to make supplements more gut-friendly:

If you take Betaine HCl, enzymes or cultured foods with meals to aid digestion, make sure you don’t forget to take them especially when you have pills with your meals.

Always take fish oils such as cod liver oil with a probiotic food such as kefir or sauerkraut or a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to help you digest the fats more easily.

Take pills that need to be taken with food, with food. Check supplement labels carefully.

Where possible, cut open gel caps and just eat the contents. Do this only for neutral tasting things like vitamin E. Not recommended for fish oil products etc.! Capsules can also be emptied and tipped into a glass of water.

Don’t take all your pills at once; spread them out throughout the day.

Buy pure powders where possible so that you avoid taking in fillers and binders. Powders of many products are available including taurine, carnitine, acetyl-l-carnitine and so on. Powders can easily be mixed into water. Some products are also available as concentrated drops or liquids which can be added to water including magnesium oil, silicon drops, vitamin D drops etc.

Avoid harmful or allergenic fillers and binders in supplements as much as possible and look for pure products and those that are certified wheat, dairy, GMO or soy free and so on. Avoid products which contain artificial flavours or sweeteners.

If you are overwhelmed by product choice and need a starting point for research, you may like to click on the link to view the Excellent Supplements List and the other (non-affiliation link) supplement lists I've put together on Amazon.

An 'excellent supplements' list

If you are overwhelmed by product choice and need a starting point for research, click on the link to view the Excellent Supplements List and the other supplement lists I've put together on Amazon.

It features products recommended by nutritional experts and which are high quality, high potency and have as few fillers or GMO ingredients as possible.

The list links mostly to iHerb stocked products, but viewers should of course shop wherever is most convenient. (The links are iHerb links just because I use this list as my own shopping list. Buying anything from this list doesn't make me any money.)


a. Prices quotes used to determine basic costs ratings are in US dollars or Australians dollars (which are almost the same as I write this) and are based on an average dose of a high quality branded supplement. Prices are correct as of late 2009. Very inexpensive = Under 20 cents daily, inexpensive = 20 to 40 c daily, moderately priced = 40 to 70 c daily, somewhat expensive = 70 to 90 c daily and quite expensive = over 90 c daily.



b. The dosage and toxicity information has been taken primarily from the following books and websites;


Orthomolecular Medicine For Everyone: Megavitamin Therapeutics for Families and Physicians by Abram Hoffer, 

Detoxify or Die by Dr Sherry Rogers

Dr Atkins Vita-Nutrient Solution: Nature's Answer to Drugs, (Early in his career, Dr Atkins worked with vitamin C pioneer Dr F. Klenner, and considered him a nutritional medicine mentor.)

Fire your doctor! : how to be independently healthy by Andrew W. Saul

How to live longer and feel better by Linus Pauling,


Ascorbate: The Science of Vitamin C by Dr Hickey and Dr Roberts,

VITAMIN C: The Real Story by Steve Hickey, PhD and Andrew Saul, 

The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine

The first 4 books listed here in particular are very highly recommended.


c. Probably the best way to use this guide is to go through it twice. The first time, go slowly down the list and take each of the desired supplements at around half the recommended strength. Once you have worked all the way down the list (or as far as you’ve decided to go), go back to the start of the list and one by one, slowly bring each supplement up to full strength – if necessary.


The benefit of going through the list twice is that you make sure you have thoroughly covered the basics before you start taking a high-dose of any one supplement.

Starting each supplement slowly is so important in order to avoid large healing reactions.

Keep in mind this list is put together with very severely ill people in mind. The dosages for some items would be far smaller for mere health maintenance purposes.


Please read the full HHH papers on each nutrient before starting it if at all possible. This is uust a general guide, a starting point of discussion on this topic.

For best results get an individualised program (based on testing) from your own orthomolecular expert!
'After 40 years research, Irwin Stone unfolds his startling conclusion that an ancient genetic mutation has left the primate virtually alone among animals in not producing ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) in his own body. By treating it as a "minimum daily requirement" instead of the missing metabolite it really is, we are living in a state of sub-clinical scurvy whose symptoms have been attributed to other ailments.

The answer is to change our thinking about Vitamin C and consume enough to replenish this long lost "healing factor." Stone illustrates, with massive documentation, Vitamin C's remarkable ability to fight disease, counteract the ill effects of pollution and prolong healthy life -- easily and inexpensively.' The Vitamin C Foundation, on Vitamin C: The Healing Factor By Irwin Stone

‘Molecular medicine was a term used by two-time Nobel laureate in chemistry and peace Linus Pauling, Ph.D., in his landmark article on the mechanism of production of sickle cell anemia published in 1949. It defined a new perspective on the origin of disease based upon the recognition that specific mutations of the genes can create an altered "molecular environment" and therefore the modified physiological function associated with specific diseases.

The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) which were developed by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council to establish the nutritional needs of "practically all healthy people" were not based upon the more recent information concerning the range of biochemical individuality among individuals. The RDAs that describe "normal" nutritional needs have questionable relevancy to the concept of optimal nutrition based upon individual needs.’ Jeffrey Bland Ph.D, author of Biochemical Individuality

'Each person must take an indi­vidualized program which they can dis­cover if they are lucky to have a competent orthomolecular doctor. If they do not, they can read the literature and work out for themselves what is best for them. I believe the public is hungry for information.

As more and more drugs drop by the wayside, the professions are going to become more and more dependent on safe ways of help­ing people, and using drugs is not the way to do that. Using nutrients is.

We have to continue our way without regard to the opposition. If not we will soon be working for them.' Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.