I’ve been thinking about doping up for a while. Pretty much everyone I get advice from recommends supplementation of some sort. And it’s confusing – they all make different recommendations
But I’ve got an ace up my sleeve. By measuring my specific deficiencies using blood markers, supplementing to move the numbers, and measuring again – I’ve got a nice quantified system to move me in the right direction. And even better – I’ve got expert advice. After getting my bloodwork back I’ve had the chance to chat with Dave Asprey and Andrew Clark of http://www.bulletproofexecutive.com/ and Dr. Ross Pelton. I’ve got a conversation scheduled with an MD to complete the set.
Here are the specific recommendation - starting with what’s deficient and moving on to what to do about it.
Let’s start with some good news. Overall I am quite healthy.
Total Cholesterol 155, LDL 74, HDL 63, Triglycerides 42. This is pretty awesome – here is Mayo Clinic on what to aim for. I am particularly happy about these numbers because many people grumbled about my Paleo diet on the basis that is would cause high cholesterol. Nope. Most of the more detailed lipid measures also came back just dandy.
My fasting insulin level is 5.0 uU/mL. Medical science says stay under 9.0 uU/mL, a great blog post over here suggests 2-6 uU/mL. So I’m good – we will see what my experiment with intermittent fasting does – may get my fasting insulin levels even lower. Todd Becker suggest getting levels as low as possible.
Lot’s of other stuff – electrolytes, liver, kidney, renal, thyroid, none, hormones etc. all look good.
But let’s focus on what can be improved!
Inflammation is described as the scourge of the modern lifestyle – and a source of major problems – everything from arthritis to heart disease is implicated. Dr. Ross calls inflammation ‘the core of all health issues’.
And it looks like I’ve got some.
- High Risk > 236
- Intermediate 200 - 235
- Optimal < 200
hs-CRP 1.97 mg/dL
- High Risk > 3.0
- Intermediate 1.0 – 2.9
- Optimal < 1.0
The course of action? Omega-3s. I’ll be taking fish oil (and maybe krill oil). One tablespoon a day. I may overload for a few weeks with two tablespoons per day. Aiming to get both Lp-PLA and hs-CRP into the optimal range.
A marker for blood coagulability - linked to blood clots. Again I’m in the intermediate range.
Fibrinogen 444.0 mg/dL
- High Risk ? 465
- Intermediate 391 - 464
- Optimal < 391
The recommendation here – aspirin and fish oil. I have some concerns about aspirin and I also have some digestions issues with it. So I’ll stick with the fish oil and see if the marker moves just based on that. Goal is to get into optimal range.
Elevated homocysteine levels cause damage to arteries – increasing cardiovascular risk levels. This is the sort of thing that can sneak up on you, plaque up your arteries, and cause a heart attack in 20 years. Better to have homocysteine levels low.
- High Risk > 13
- Intermediate 10 - 12
- Optimal < 10
A cocktail of B Vitamins are called for. Vitamins B6 (25mg twice a day), B12 (1000ug), and B9 (folic acid 800ugram) are helpful in metabolizing homocystene.
I’m going to lump Apo B in here as well. I’m at 66 mg/dL, Apo B of <60 mg/dL is optimal. Extra vitamin B3 (Niacin) 50mg twice a day will help this.
I’m going to use a B-Complex supplement to combine all of that and add some other goodies. Twice per day and it hits most of the above.
We are aiming for homocysteine levels of 7-8 umol/L going forward.
Chronic disease prevention, immune system boost, etc. Vitamin D delivers it all – and I am pretty deficient.
- High Risk < 15
- Intermediate 15 - 29
- Optimal ? 30
On this Dr. Ross agrees with Dave Asprey and many others – the ‘Optimal’ range is really 60 mg/mL or higher.
Vitamin D can be obtained by spending hours in sunshine each day – hard with an office job and during winter months – or through supplementation. I’ll be taking 10,000 IUs per day for a few weeks, then 5,000 IUs thereafter.
Since Vitamin A and D are both fat soluble – large levels of supplementation with D can interfere with A absorption. Dr. Ross suggests taking vitamin A (25,000 IUs per day) to compensate.
Suggested by Dr. Ross – this one is a bit more subtle. Co-enzyme Q10 is a powerful anti-oxidant. It impacts energy production at the cellular level – and may be especially important for me due to a particularly active lifestyle. Dr. Ross says Co-enzyme Q10 is ‘the most important life-extension substance around.’
My B-Complex supplement has a tiny bit of this (500ug compared to the 10mg suggested) – but since I’m adding all of the drugs above at once – I’m not going to double down on this one yet. There’s plenty of time to experiment with this later.
Almost everything related to blood markers is working on the body. What about the mind? Building a bulletproof mind is next. I’ve got an eMwave 2 on the way, Dr. Ross’s book Mind Food & Smart Pillls ordered, and I’m ready for researching this next frontier. Expect a future blog post.
It’s also been suggested that I take a ‘good multi-vitamin/multi-mineral.’ Im honestly not even sure what that means – so I’m punting on it for now.
I will be adding the following supplements to my diet – from now until my next blood test (2-3 months from now?):
- Fish Oil/Krill Oil – 2 tablespoons per day for 3 weeks, then 1 tablespoon per day
- Vitamin D – 10,000 IUs per day for 3 weeks, then 5,000 IUs per day
- Vitamin A – 25,000 IUs per day
- B-Complex – 1 pill twice per day (question – can I just take 2 pills once per day? Easier compliance!)
Good luck to me – I’d love feedback on this new protocol and on what to try next!