It is probably a good idea to take a little bit of everything and at least cover the basic well, if you can’t afford to take every supplement you’d like to at the recommended dosages.
Taking just 50 mg of ubiquinol, for example, just a few times a week or once a week or every few weeks is still better than taking none at all. The same is true of all the major supplements. Every bit helps, it's not a case of all or nothing.
Additional notes and cost cutting tips
If you only have a few dollars spare a week to spend, probably your best bet would be to buy a good multivitamin and mineral supplement that contains decent amounts of vitamin A, the B vitamins, vitamin C, D and E, as well as zinc, selenium, molybdenum, mixed natural carotenoids and so on. The best I have found so far are the ones made by Thorne. It contains far greater amounts of most vitamins and minerals than most other products, and they are in the best quality forms.
Multivitamin and mineral supplements are such good value, if you have a very limited budget you might consider taking 4 a day instead of the recommended 2. (Once you have made sure that there isn’t too much of any one ingredient for this to be appropriate.)
If you only have a small amount to spend, it is of course more important than ever to try to make sure you are getting the ‘most bang for your buck’ and that you find the best supplements at the best prices. Look at lots of different brands in lots of different shops, and see if it might be far cheaper to import certain items rather than buy them in your own country. Buying online will often be far cheaper than buying supplements at chemists. Prices for supplements can vary hugely, by more than even 50%, so if you can, shop around. Price is important but so is quality, buying the cheap supermarket brands such as ‘Centrum’ may be worse for your health than taking nothing at all.
Save money on supplements by buying high dosage capsules or tablets and then splitting them into halves or quarters (or grinding them up) or in the case of fat soluble supplements, taking high-dosage supplements less often.
Save money by buying supplements in powder form and either making your own capsules or adding them to water and drinking them. Supplements widely available in powder form include: the B vitamins, vitamin C, Carnitine and Acetyl L Carnitine, Lecithin, various amino acids, prebiotics (FOS), Chlorella, Calcium and Magnesium. You can save sometimes up to 50 – 75% off the usual price by buying pure powders, you also avoid synthetic fillers. Try buying powders from Life Extension, VRP, iHerb (or from www.purebulk.com).
Save money by buying in bulk. A one kilo bottle of vitamin C crystals will costs you far less than 4 or more smaller bottles (and far less than vitamin C tablets or capsules).
Save money on buying saline nasal sprays by making your own saline mixture and using it with a netti pot. Unscented castile soap is a cheap and non-toxic liquid soap much cheaper than some SLS-free and non-perfumed products.
If there are gaps in your supplement regime it is also more important than ever that you try to fill them with your diet. Make everything you eat work for you and avoid empty calories and spending ‘wasted money’ on foods that don’t give you much real nutrition. Instead of drinking normal black tea, drink green tea, or ginger tea, or ginkgo tea. Instead of eating sugar-filled (or chemical filled) flavoured yogurt, eat a piece of fresh fruit. Instead of adding sugar to your tea, add Manuka or Jarrah honey. Instead of a flavoured cream cheese dip with crackers, make an avocado dip and eat it with veggies. Instead of corn flakes or sultana bran (or other heavily processed sugary cereal) eat organic steel cut oats as porridge or muesli. Instead of reconstituted low quality meat in the form of sausages, chicken nuggets, fish fingers, or pre-prepared chicken schnitzel, eat fresh or tinned salmon or fresh beef or chicken. Instead of mashed potato, have a bowl of spinach with pine nuts, or a vegetable stir fry. Instead of rice cakes or crackers, or corn cakes, eat some fresh unroasted nuts and seeds, and so on.
If you can’t afford much by way of extra supplements, it is a very good idea to add some super-foods to your diet. Some of these items such as bones for stock and some organ meats, are also very inexpensive. Super-foods include:
* Bone broths (stock) or slow-cooked meat dishes made with meat with bones in.
* Organ meats; especially liver (preferably organic and grass-fed) and/or cod liver oil or FCLO.
* Vegetable juices (carrots/greens).
* Traditionally sprouted and fermented foods (e.g. sauerkraut).
* Coconut oil.
Add ginger and garlic to your diet if you can.
Buying the cheapest brands can be a false economy when the supplement industry isn’t well regulated. It is best to stick to quality brands as much as possible otherwise you might save a bit of money but end up having supplements which don’t contain anywhere near the amount of active ingredients as stated on the bottle. (Life extension foundation, Carlson’s, VRP, Jarrow, Source naturals and Metagenics are very good brands, although of course there are other good quality brands out there.)
Look for brands which make a point of advertising the quality of their products and say that they are tested for potency, and that give you more than just the bare minimum amount of information about the supplement (and how it has been produced). Buying better quality brands doesn’t necessarily mean more expense, often you find that the good quality brands are very competitively priced or even much cheaper than some other brands.
Be serious about toxin avoidance as the fewer toxins you take in, the fewer vitamins your body needs to cope with them.
Look into replacing expensive cleaning products with bicarb soda and vinegar etc. See if your library has a book on how to do this, or search the internet for instructions.
If your pension goes up by 10$ a week, or you quit smoking and save 20$ a week, or something else happens to save you a small amount of money each week, pretend that you don’t have that extra money (if you were managing on that previous amount) and have it automatically taken out of your usual account each week and put into a fee-free savings account, for use in case of emergency.
Get as many health books as you can for free from the library. Listen to free podcasts on health.
This guide is general in nature and cannot take into account your individual differences. For best results, work out an individual treatment program tailored to your individual needs (and test results) with your qualified holistic practitioner.
A very cut-down supplement program can still effect significant results. It is quite possible that effects may take longer to appear than with a full-strength program, although this really depends as always on how soon treatment begins after the onset of M.E. or other serious disease.
Many of us that have M.E. are currently severely ill went the first 3 or 4 or even 5 or more years without having any treatment for the disease at all. Without taking a single vitamin pill or having any other type of nutritional support. So I hope you’ll agree that even starting such a basic treatment and diet plan, particularly at any time within such a time period really does give you a better shot at some recovery than many of us have had, and is a real cause for hope, ‘ideal’ dosages or not!
Note that the aim of this site is to provide a starting point for health and healing research for ill people; especially very overwhelmed and disabled ill people. This site provides recommendations, summaries and reviews of books but is not meant to be a replacement for actually reading some of these wonderful health books if the reader is at all well enough to do so. (Plus getting individualised advice from a doctor that is also an orthomolecular medicine expert if possible). There is no substitute for reading as many of these books as you can. The HHH site can only really hint at their full brilliance. The amount of insight, scientific references, logic, intelligence, compassion and experience in the recommended books will most likely amaze you. HHH aims to encourage people to do their own reading and learning, and to always make up their own minds. All content copyright Jodi Bassett 2006 - 2014.