Should You Bother Taking Supplements?

Written by Dr. Geovanni Espinosa
Posted November 22, 2016 at 3:26PM

I want to be completely transparent with you, like I always am with my patients. I design and I sell supplements. I say this because you might be thinking I have a conflict of interest, or that I might be trying to “sell you something.”

The truth is that I really believe in supplements.

I believe in supplements so much that I take more than 20 supplements every day. In other words, I practice what I preach. I am a 44-year-old man and, like you, I’m under no illusion that I’m invincible. So I take supplements.

Supplementing the Smart Way

The question, “How many supplements do I need?” is really a strange question to me. It’s sort of like asking, “How much food do I need?” Just as there are many different types of food with many different effects on the body, there are also a lot of different supplements out there—some good, some bad, some just plain ugly.

When you’re doing smart supplementation (the second-to-last part of my CaPLESS Method), you have to remember:

A supplement alone is not going to make you healthy.

Sometimes a supplement solves a specific problem. Maybe you’re a vegan and you’re supplementing vitamin B12 because you can’t get it from meat. OK, I get that. But the supplements that I design for men with urological problems are not “magic pills.”

I’m not a shaman.

Of course, my methods are backed up by loads of academic research, but health takes a lot more than swallowing a pack of pills. It takes lifestyle choices, a good diet, good sleep, good movement, and good stress management.

But let’s say you’re doing everything “perfectly” in your diet. (You’re not.) There will always be “gaps.” That’s where supplements come in.

Supplementing vs. Selected Supplementation

A lot of people pop pill after pill and they’re not even sure what the pills are for or what they are doing. This is called “supplementing,” and it’s a popular pastime with Americans, at least the ones I meet. This is not smart. This is not effective.

What I recommend to my patients is much different: selected supplementation. This basically means that, instead of just doing a scattershot approach—taking a big fat multivitamin, for example (90% of which goes straight to the toilet)—you focus on the individual vitamins, minerals and botanicals you specifically need to manage your urological problems.

Selected Supplementation = choosing specific supplements based on a clear plan and a clear understanding of the problem you’re trying to solve.

What should you do?

1) Eat a diet rich in fruits, cruciferous vegetables, whole grains, fish, and legumes. This is where real nutrition comes from. A good diet always beats a multivitamin.

2) Throw out the multivitamins. They are not part of a selective supplementation plan. They are part of the conventional “catch-all” method that is wasting your money.

3) Focus on solving specific health problems. Smart supplementation works to do a few specific things and only these things:

  • Boost Immunity
  • Interrupt cancer formation
  • Reduce Oxidative Stress
  • Modulate Inflammation
  • Improve Detoxification

Focus on these 13 specific vitamins and nutrients, which help with male health and are supported by tons of academic research. (Daily dose unless otherwise noted.)

  • Vitamin D3 — 2,000-4,000 International Units (IUs) daily.*
  • Omega 3 fatty acids — 2 to 4 grams daily.*
  • Curcumin — 2,000 to 4,000 mg day in divided doses.*
  • Green Tea Extract — 300 mg of green tea extract two times a day.*
  • Grape Seed Extract — 300 to 400 mg  a day in divided doses.*
  • Selenium from High Selenized Yeast (SelenoExcell) — 200 mcg a day*
  • Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma, Lingzhi) — 500 to 1,800mg a day in divided doses*
  • Pomegranate (Punica granatum) — 200-225 mL.*
  • Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC) — 1 to 3 grams a day.*
  • Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) — 1,000 mg to 5,000 mg, two to three times a day.*
  • Vitamin E – with high gamma-tocopherol — 100 to 400IU*
  • Zinc — 15 mg to 30 mg a day.*
  • Milk Thistle (Sylibum marianum) — 100 to 200mg a day*
  • Broccoli Extract (Brassica oleracea) — 100 to 500mg*

OK, now you are really thinking I have lost it. How is anyone supposed to remember this long list? And how can taking 13 supplements every day be healthy?

Think of it this way: smart supplementation is just like eating food, except this “food” is designed to help with a specific health problem.*

To learn more about the science behind these specific nutrients, I would encourage you to check out my book, Thrive Don’t Only Survive. I'll even give you a free copy if you're interested.

Be well,

dr. geo

Dr. Geo

Geo Espinosa, N.D., L.Ac, C.N.S., is a renowned naturopathic doctor recognized as an authority in integrative management of male and urological conditions. Dr. Geo is the founder and director of the Integrative Urology Center at New York University Langone Medical Center (NYULMC), a center of excellence in research and integrative treatments for urological conditions.

You can read more at DrGeo.com.

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