Thoughtfully navigating the Bredesen ReCODE Protocol™ supplements
In his two books, Dr. Bredesen describes a plethora of so-called “neuroceuticals” with some demonstrated efficacy to promote brain health. A doctor trained in ReCODE™ can prescribe selected supplements from the broad array of options according to each patient’s unique needs.
For those preventing cognitive decline and not under the supervision of a Bredesen-trained doctor, thoughtfully selecting supplements (or choosing not to take them) can be tricky. I outline a few general considerations below. To be clear, the information below is not medical advice. Ultimately, before starting or discontinuing any supplement, you should first consult a qualified healthcare professional, even at the stage of prevention.
For those reversing existing cognitive impairment, a Bredesen-trained doctor is needed to prescribe the targeted supplements most likely to help the underlying causes of what can be a very serious, degenerative condition. Often, during the initial intense phase of therapy for cognitive impairment, a regimen of numerous supplements is utilized until retesting reveals whether to maintain, reduce the dose, or discontinue supplements.
Supplements are by definition “supplementary”
To quote Dr. Bredesen, “Supplements-only just doesn’t work.” No matter how many excellent supplements you take, your brain health is unlikely to improve without addressing diet and lifestyle aspects that contribute to your condition in conjunction with medical intervention/treatment as necessary.
Dr. Bredesen reminds us that “identical biochemical goals [to supplements] can often be achieved with specific foods and lifestyle changes, and indeed, when you have a choice, it is preferable to minimize the supplements.” Supplements can provide a temporary bridge while building the foundation of good lifestyle practices.
Supplements should NOT be used as a crutch to avoid needed changes in diet and lifestyle. Instead, supplements may boost a healthy diet and lifestyle, help resolve a condition, or fill an identified nutritional deficiency until you can eat more nutrient-rich foods and/or improve digestion/absorption.
In functional medicine, supplements are often utilized to help the body heal itself. Too little or too much of these supplemental factors can upset the body’s balance, especially excess fat-soluble supplements that bio-accumulate.
Absorption of oral supplements and nutrients from food can be poor when digestive issues haven’t been addressed. Costly supplements can go to waste with unresolved gut problems; thereby, you end up generating expensive pee. To bypass poor gut absorption, some ReCODE™ supplements can be taken in sublingual, intravenous, or inhaled form until gut health is restored.
Determining which supplements are right for you
Refer to Chapter 21 of “The End of Alzheimer’s Program” for recommendations on specific supplements to address different issues. Dr. Bredesen is an early adopter in prescribing many of the supplements identified in his books. To quote him, he’s “flying the plane while we’re building it”. The final verdicts on the overall effectiveness and long-term side effects of many of these supplements are still up in the air.
The risk-reward calculations of taking supplements and decisions about incurring the added expense are different for someone with cognitive symptoms at high risk of Alzheimer’s than for someone interested purely in prevention over decades to come.
Though Dr. Bredesen identifies multitudes of potentially useful supplements, it’s ideal to take only the supplements targeted to the root causes of your particular multi-factorial condition. If you are already taking a huge number of supplements, paring down may be a conversation to include in a doctor’s visit. Treat supplements with respect and caution (as you would medications) for their potential power to enhance or disrupt your health.
Not everyone at the stage of preventing dementia and optimizing brain health needs lots of supplements. Although you may have gotten a different impression, Dr. Bredesen has stated that only a few supplements are generally needed within the holistic Bredesen Protocol™ for prevention of cognitive decline. This understanding should be tempered with an objective evaluation that you are indeed truly at the stage of primary prevention. Please get a cognitive assessment, such as a CNS-VS, that has the dynamic range to detect the early signs of subjective cognitive impairment. Dr. Bredesen cautions that by the time a less sensitive cognitive test, such as a MoCA, diagnosing mild cognitive decline, this is an advanced stage where underlying pathological changes have often been at play for about a decade and require intensive treatment.
The numerous ReCODE ™ doctors I’ve worked with most commonly prescribe:
- a professional-grade multivitamin-multimineral with B-complex,
- a high-quality source of omega-3 (higher in DHA than EPA) when indicated by a low omega-3 blood test result, deficient dietary pattern, or symptoms,
- vitamin D with K2 when a blood test reveals insufficiency,
- a gentle form of magnesium,
- a probiotic if not eating fermented foods,
- MCT oil temporarily to aid adaptation to a ketogenic version of the KetoFLEX™ diet
When your focus turns to supplements, please do not lose sight of the massive importance of the fundamental health practices. Healthy diet and lifestyle reduces the need for supplements. Someone at the stage of prevention getting ample physical activity, sunshine exposure and eating a diverse, nutrient-rich, low-carb diet—that includes fatty cold-water fish, green veggies, and fermented foods—might get adequate vitamin D, minerals, other vitamins, omega-3’s, probiotics, and mild ketosis without supplements Blood testing can confirm or deny adequate/optimum levels of vitamins, minerals, omega-3s, and ketones to guide decisions on the level of supplementation.
As a ReCODE Report Qualified™ health coach, I educate about the general conditions indicated for each Bredesen Protocol™ supplement, timing, high-quality options, Dr. Bredesen’s preferred sources, comparative pricing, Dr. Bredesen’s general dosage range, along with dietary and lifestyle measures to fulfill or reduce the need for a supplement. If you work with me, you’ll find more than one hundred supplements for ReCODE™ organized into a dozen different therapeutic categories at discounted prices within my Fullscript formulary (more on this below).
Please don’t get caught up in innumerable novel brain health supplements
There’s a ton of false marketing. Upon closer examination, many of these supplements have only a tiny marginal benefit demonstrated in a single study on rodents. When feeling desperate about your future risk for Alzheimer’s disease, you may research supplements online yourself and start believing largely unfounded claims. To make thoughtful, informed decisions, seek personalized medical advice from a Bredesen-trained clinician on the best supplements with the most demonstrated clinical efficacy for the patient subgroup with similar underlying factors.
Optimizing your cognition is NOT just a matter of swallowing the right pills. When preventing cognitive decline, it’s wise to focus your attention to the foundational Bredesen Protocol™ diet and lifestyle practices. Healthy diet and lifestyle more powerfully prevent chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s, than any combination of supplements and prescription medications that money can buy. Supplementary to this, a qualified, licensed practitioner can conduct a dietary analysis, test nutritional status, and evaluate your condition to prescribe the supplements with the most promise to optimize your brain health.
Quality supplements at an affordable price
As part of my mission to make the Bredesen Protocol™ more accessible, anyone who works with me can take advantage of the 25% discount I offer on practitioner-quality, high-value supplements purchased from Fullscript or Thorne. Over the long run, the money you save on supplements may cover the entire cost of your initial investment in my health coaching. In this way, you can advance your diet and lifestyle along with a modicum of targeted supplements for the most powerfully positive impact on the course of your life.
I’m able to extend a discount on many of the brands Dr. Bredesen names as trusted sources of quality supplements, including Cytoplan, Pure Encapsulations, Quicksilver Scientific, Bio-Botanical Research, Thorne, LifeSeasons, Gaia Herbs, Natura Health Products, and Garden of Life. For those on a more limited budget, Cytoplan is owned by a British charitable foundation committed to affordable pricing and regulated at high standards in England. When ordered directly from my discounted dispensary, Thorne offers perhaps the lowest cost for high-quality core Bredesen Protocol supplements, but with limited selection. Therefore, people mostly choose to order from my discounted Fullscript dispensary for a vast array of affordable, practitioner-grade brands (including all the aforementioned brands except Thorne).
LifeSeasons retails Dr. Bredesen’s line of ReCODE™ neuroceuticals. LifeSeasons ReCODE™ formulations are comprised of a full spectrum of Bredesen Protocol™ supplements with blends appropriate for the subtype identified on a personalized ReCODE Report™. The higher prices for LifeSeasons supplements may be worthwhile for individuals trying to reverse cognitive decline The LifeSeasons NeuroQ supplement can be a boost for those at the stage of preventing cognitive decline. I pass along the maximum discount available to me: 10% off the LifeSeasons.com MSRP when you use the code “nurture” at checkout. While I acknowledge the conflict of interest when any doctor profits from their own line of supplements, LifeSeasons ReCODE™ line is carefully formulated exactly for people doing the full official Bredesen Protocol™.
All the selected supplements on my Fullscript dispensary, Thorne dispensary, and at LifeSeasons have rigorous quality control and bioavailable ingredients without unwanted excipients. When selecting supplements to purchase elsewhere, check the inactive ingredients on the bottles. For instance, many of the cheaper MCT powders sold have significant amounts of added dextrose (sugar) and casein (isolated milk protein)–ingredients to make them more palatable that are excluded from a strict KetoFLEX™ diet. Also note that cheaper supplements may not be a good deal when their nutrients are in less bioavailable form.
To conserve your investment, protect your supplements from light, heat, and moisture. Fragile bioactive compounds need preservation. Take care not to leave the supplement containers unsealed for any longer than necessary nor leave them in a hot environment. And keep the tiny silicone bag inside the sealed supplement container to reduce humidity.
If you are working with a Bredesen-trained doctor, please follow their supplement recommendations and use them as your source for supplements.
If you are in my support group, group coaching program, or one-on-one coaching and would appreciate excellent pricing on supplements of the Bredesen Protocol™ , please request access to my 25% discounted Fullscript.com or Thorne.com dispensaries using the form below. The product recommendations in my Fullscript and Thorne dispensaries reflect enhanced bioavailabilty, quality ingredients without excipients, good value, and brands recommended by Dr. Bredesen.
- Fullscript offers the largest catalog of different brands of professional-grade supplements. My Fullscript dispensary organizes more than one-hundred curated supplements and provides a starter list of high-value choices for the top six l supplements bulleted above.
- Thorne is a top manufacturer of a wide array of reasonably-priced, high-quality supplements with pure ingredients at the high cost savings (but selection is limited to the Thorne brand).
- LifeSeasons ReCODE supplements can be ordered directly from LifeSeasons.com using the 10% discount code “nurture” without the form below.