Let’s begin our analysis of Dr. Donald Miller's Optimum Supplements Program, which are the supplements that he takes, himself, every day. I will address them in the same order that he does.
Vitamin D 5000 IUs- It was Dr. Miller who prompted me to increase my Vitamin D intake to 5000 IUs. I had heard about others taking that much (over 10X the RDA), but I didn’t start doing it myself (which was a couple years ago) until I read what he had to say about it. He spoke of the immune support, the heart disease prevention (and remember, he is a cardiologist), cancer prevention, flu prevention, and more. Dr. Miller specifically recommended taking high-dose Vitamin D in lieu of a flu shot. It has worked out great for me. I sailed through the swine flu pandemic last year without so much as the sniffles. And now when they talk about it, it’s pretty much pure theater to me. I don’t worry the least bit about the flu.
Iodine 12.5 mgs-There is much controversy about iodine. The RDA of 150 micrograms is based entirely on the needs of the thyroid gland, but many doctors, including Dr. Miller, believe that the extra-thyroid functions of iodine in the body are just as important. These relate to immune support, breast health in women, prostate health in men, cancer prevention, and much more. Average iodine intake in Japan is 13 mgs, which is derived from all the seafood and seaweeds they eat. Dr. Miller takes one of the 12.5 mg Iodoral tablets each day. But, it’s a scored tablet, and I have been taking just half a day, hence 6.25 mgs. Maybe it would be better to take 12.5 mg, but taking half is what I am doing right now because it suits my comfort level.
Selenium as Selenomethionine 200 mcg- Dr. Miller has written extensively about selenium as an antioxidant, cancer preventive, glutathione precursor, immune booster, prostate protector, and more. I have not been taking selenium as a separate supplement, as he does, but the Extend Core Multi that I take from VRP provides 70 mcg of selenium, which is the current RDA. Also, I make a point of eating brazil nuts regularly. Each individual brazil nut provides about 25 mcg of selenium as selenomethionine. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that eating just 2 brazil nuts a day raised serum selenium and serum glutathione levels better than a 100 mcg selenium supplement.
Vitamin K2 as Menaquinone7-There is really no reason to take Vitamin K1 because it’s very abundant in vegetables. But, K2 is absent from vegetables and all other plant foods. Bacteria in our intestines manufacture some K2, but how reliable is it as a source? I don’t know, but it probably isn’t optimal. And K2 is very important because it controls the direction of calcium in the body- driving it into bone and keeping out of arteries and other soft tissues. Dr. Miller take 90 mcg of the highly potent MK-7 form of Vitamin K2. I have been taking VRP’s Vitamin K which provides 1 mg of K2- over 10X as much. However, it’s the weaker MK-4 form of K2, which Dr. Miller says is less effective. He may well be right because MK-7 is the most natural form of K2. Bacteria in the gut make MK-7, not MK-4. As of now, VRP only offers MK-4, which is why I have been taking it. But, I am going to write to the head of VRP, Robert Watson, and ask him to carry MK-7.
Magnesium 900 mgs- This is a whopping dose of magnesium that he takes- about twice the RDA. From supplements, I have been getting just 150 mgs from my Extend Core Multi. Magnesium intake from food varies widely among people depending on diet. When you eat a lot of green vegetables (which have the magnesium in the green chlorophyll) plus nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes, as I do, you get a lot of magnesium. The main issue about taking 900 mgs is that it may have a laxative effect in some people. “Milk of Magnesia” is a magnesium laxative. So, as this point, I am not going to match what he is doing with magnesium. However, I am fully aware of its importance, and I do recommend high-dose magnesium to some people, for instance, those with high blood pressure.
That does it for now, but we’ll continue with Dr. Miller’s supplement list next time. Stay tuned.