Firstly, I’ll give a quick overview of Rhonda’s supplements. Then later in this post, I’ll go into details on each one, including usage and dosage.
Rhonda’s base supplement list:
- Multivitamins – Pure Encapsulations O.N.E
- B-Complex – Swanson Ultra Activated B-Complex
- Vitamin D – Swanson Higher Potency Vitamin D-3 2,000iu
- Vitamin K2 – Swanson Ultra Natural Vitamin K2 with MK7 from Natto
- Fish Oil – Nordic Naturals EPA Xtra
- Krill Oil – NOW Neptune Krill Oil 1000mg
- Magnesium – Thorne Research – Magnesium Citrate
Rhonda’s preferred Nootropic “Smart Drug” Choices:
- Choline – Alpha GPC – Jarrow Formulas Alpha GPC, 300mg
- Lions Maine – Four Sigmatic Organic Mushroom Elixir
- Sulforaphane – From self-grown broccoli sprouts
Further supplements Rhonda uses:
- Probiotics – VSL #3 Probiotic
- Collagen – Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen
- Nicotinamide Riboside – Thorne Research – NiaCel
- Natural Painkiller/Ibuprofin Alternative – Meriva (curcumin phytosome) – Thorne Research – Meriva
View the full list on Amazon here.
This list is compiled through a combination of Rhonda’s tweets, and her podcast episodes. The intention is to keep it as up to date as possible. If you see something that needs changing, comment below.
Rhonda’s Base Supplement List (Details)
According to her blog she takes Pure Encapsulations multivitamins blend. She chooses it because of the ratios of the vitamins and minerals in it. It contains methyl folate, which can be used by people with MTHFR gene polymorphisms (half the population). It also has other goodies she likes (lutein, CoQ, Boron etc).
Rhonda takes an ‘activated’ B-Complex produced by Swanson Ultra. The formulation of B vitamins has been chosen specifically for high bio availability. It includes folate (for those of the population who can’t process folic acid efficiently). More info can be found on the Swanson product page.
Rhonda emphasises in her video on Vitamin D that its important to take it at the right dose. In an excellent infographic, posted on her blog, she suggests 4000IU of daily supplementation is enough to bring people that were previously deficient up to 30ng/ml, without toxicity.
Rhonda’s current multivitamin supplement (Pure Encapsulations) currently contains 2,000IU of vitamin D3. Therefore she supplements this with an additional 2,000IU of D3. She has mentioned previously taking Swanson’s D3.
However, if you’re not currently taking any supplements with D3 in, you’ll want to take more.
4-5,000IU daily is a reasonable dose that won’t lead to toxicity.
Swanson’s K2 supplement, which derives its MK7 from Natto, is Rhonda’s go to choice. There are primarily two forms of vitamin K2 commercially available. These are MK4 and MK7. MK7 is produced by bacterial fermentation of soy, appears to have a longer half life then MK4.
According to Twitter, Rhonda takes the Nordic Naturals – EPA Xtra fish oil supplement. Its purified, lemon flavoured fish oil that comes from anchovies and sardines. Each serving of 2 soft gels contain 1060mg EPA and 300mg DHA.
Rhonda takes NOW Neptune Krill Oil 1000mg. The benefit of taking the Krill oil on top of the EPA is that it has DHA Phosphatidylserine. Which is a vital phospholipid component of brain and nerve cell membranes.
Previously Rhonda has spoken about taking calcium and magnesium in a 2 to 1 ratio. Specifically Swanson’s formulation with 600mg of Calcium and 300mg of Magnesium.
Most recently, on her podcast with Tim Ferriss, she also discussed taking magnesium citrate by Thorne. This is actually a different form of magnesium, compared to the Swanson formulation above, which uses magnesium oxide. 90 caps at 135mg per cap.
Rhonda’s preferred Nootropic “Smart Drug” Choices
Rhonda’s approach to smart drugs is quite different from most. She stays away from compounds that are inhibitors of enzymes in the brain (which rules out a large number of traditional nootropics). She also stays away from compounds that humans haven’t evolved alongside, on the basis that with novel substances, its hard to know the potential long term side effect profile.
Choline – Alpha GPC
Rhonda takes a form of choline called alpha-glycerophosphocholine (aka Alpha GPC) to sharpen her brain ahead of public speaking events. On these occasions she takes 600mg, with the aim to increase her attention and focus. Noting that 300mg didn’t appear to be enough to see benefits.
She doesn’t take this supplement very often. However, she does make a point to include natural sources of choline in her diet, such as eggs, almonds, spinach, broccoli and chicken.
Whilst there are different forms of choline, Alpha GPC is good because it is quick to cross the blood-brain barrier.
To achieve a dose similar to Rhonda’s 600mg, you’d need 2x caps of Jarrow’s Alpha GPC.
This is a mushroom, also known as yamabushitake, which has been shown to have a number of benefits, including the stimulation of nerve growth factor.
Rhonda uses it for intense periods of writing / creative work. She takes 2x 1.5g packs of Four Sigmatic’s Mushroom Elixir in a session.
Sulforaphane’s main benefit is usually touted as inflammation reduction. However, Rhonda also suggests it has nootropic properties. I will come back to this section and update it with more info on the nootropic properties soon, once I’ve understood them better.
Whilst there are sulforaphane supplements available (such as Avmacol), Rhonda chooses to grow her own broccoli sprouts and then blend them into smoothies.
It’s really simple to grow broccoli sprouts, you just need a seed sprouter (or a mason jar + wire mesh works), and some organic broccoli sprout seeds. This video gives a good run down on how to produce your own.
Further supplements Rhonda likes
Rhonda takes a maintenance dose of probiotics between once per week and once every 2 weeks. And then relies on her diet for enough fibre and nutritional diversity to maintain a healthy gut. The probiotic she takes is one called VSL #3, which actually gets shipped with a cold pack, to preserve the active probiotic ingredients.
Both Rhonda and Tim Ferriss take a collagen supplement by Great Lakes. Its beneficial for the connective tissues like tendons, ligaments, cartilage, joints and bone.
Rhonda is cautiously optimistic on this supplement.
“Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) is a recently discovered form of vitamin B3 that can increase levels of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+) levels in humans.
NAD+ is a key co-enzyme that the mitochondria in every cell of our bodies depend on to fuel all basic functions.
NAD+ levels drop as we age and when our bodies are stressed by disease or chronic inflammation.
Research in mice used NMN (Nicotinamide Mono-Nucleotide) to increase NAD+ levels can “turn back the clock” and make muscles, organs and tissues in older mice resemble that of much younger animals.
Research in humans has shown that both NMN and NR raise NAD+ levels, which helps to ameliorate some age related conditions, although it is too soon to know yet how effective it will be.”
She takes a version of the supplement from Thorne called NiaCel.
Meriva (Curcumin Phytosome)
Rhonda cites a number of examples where NSAIDs (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) such as Ibuprofen are potentially quite bad for our health. And suggests an alternative, a highly bio available form of curcumin, known as Meriva. Specifically Rhonda takes Thorne Reasearch’s Meriva.
So that’s quite a lengthy list of supplements! And the somewhat frustrating thing is, nootropics aside, if you purchase them and take them, you may not notice any difference in how you feel.
As discussed in Rhonda’s interview with Bruce Ames, the triage theory of vitamins means that nutrient deficiencies, as long as they’re not chronic or extreme, are most beneficial to our long term health. So by taking adequate micronutrients, you’re optimizing for a longer, healthier life. But in the short term, you may not feel a huge difference. You could think of it like car engine maintenance. In the short term, the car runs as it always did, but in the long run, if its maintained well, it’ll keep going longer and more reliably than others cars of its age.
If you appreciate this post, remember of course that none of it would be possible without Rhonda Patrick’s hard work in understanding biological mechanisms, and explaining them to the wider world (us!). We can support her by donating to her Patreon campaign. This also frees her up to continue communicating all this great science to us, over at her website, FoundMyFitness.