People often ask me what supplements I take. Since I just re-evaluated my supplement regimen and made a few modifications and changes, I realized this would be a good time to share with you the supplements I take and why I take them.
To offer a variety of opinions and approaches to complementary therapies, I have also asked several members of AIDS Treatment Initiative and a couple of my colleagues to write about the supplements they take. Over the next few issues of Survival News, AIDS Treatment Initiative will be running articles written by people who take well thought-out supplement regimens.
This series of personal supplement regimens is not intended to endorse any particular supplements or advise readers what supplements to take. The goal is to create a mosaic of perspectives that will raise provocative questions about complementary therapies and further entice readers to think critically about supplements and the role they play in our health and wellness.
My Daily Supplements
In general, I take a very high antioxidant regimen of supplements to protect cells and boost immune system function. My approach to boosting the immune system is two-fold: antioxidant supplements that stimulate the production of glutathione and a herbal supplement, which regulates or balances the immune system.
- Super Nutrition Super Blend Iron-Free Multivitamin: A complete multi-vitamin, multi-mineral, and antioxidant formula with additional food-based antioxidants. I switched to this formula from the Super Nutrition Perfect Blend because it contains CoQ-10, NAC, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and other things which allowed me to increase these levels and reduce my daily pill count: Eight tablets -- two tablets four times per day.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) and N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC): Amino acids that work synergistically to produce l-glutathione, a building block for CD4+ cells. I take two 100mg tablets of ALA and two 500mg capsules of NAC daily. I also take one 250mg capsule of Reduced L-Glutathione daily. Glutathione precursors (ALA and NAC) are generally absorbed by the body better than glutathione supplements; however, reduced l-glutathione is easier for the body to assimilate and therefore effective as a supplement.
- Moducare Sterinol: This herbal supplement, which combines plant fats from soy and pine sources, serves as an immunomodulator. It has been successful in elevating CD4+ counts and improving CD4+/CD8+ ratios. For me, it has improved by ratios and percents. I take three capsules: one capsule three times per day.
- Coenzyme Q-10: An antioxidant used for cellular energy production and tissue support. CoQ-10 boosts energy as well as lowers cholesterol and detoxifies the liver. Studies conducted in 1996 showed some promise for CoQ-10 as an immune system regulator. One 100mg capsule daily.
- Individual vitamins: One 1,000mg capsule of Vitamin C, one 400 IU soft gel of Vitamin E and, one B-Complex capsule daily. I take these to make up for normal dietary vitamin deficiencies.
- Individual minerals: One 250mcg capsule of chromium picolinate; one 300mg tablet of potassium; one 250mcg capsule of Selenium; and, one 15mg capsule of zinc with copper. I take these for deficiencies induced by both the virus and medications.
- Lutein: An antioxidant carotenoid. Lutein is one of the dominant pigments found in the macular region of the retina, protecting the retina from light damage and oxidation. I take one 20mg capsule per day.
- Silymarin (milk thistle): For liver support, I take one 150mg capsule per day.
In addition to the daily supplements listed above, I also take the following supplements at regular intervals for additional support. These supplements are either already in my multivitamin and I want a slightly higher dose (but daily would be higher than I want) or it is not part of my daily regimen but only wanted in smaller doses (therefore not every day):
- Carotenes: I rotate a variety of carotenoids for additional antioxidant support. I take one 15mg soft gel Marine Beta-Carotene; one Multi-Carotene Antioxidant Complex soft gel; or one 10mg Lycopene soft gel every day, rotating among them every three days.
- DHEA: A precursor to testosterone. One 50mg capsule every other day.
- Super Choline and Vinpocetine: Super Choline is a complex of Choline, Ginkgo Biloba, and DMAE for memory and concentration. Vinpocetine is an herbal extract of periwinkle, which supports brain metabolism. I am currently experimenting with taking the Super Choline at every-other-day intervals and taking Vinpocetine (5mg) to see if the combination is more beneficial.
If you would like to write about the supplements you take and why for this series, please contact ATI directly to discuss guidelines and submission dates.