Thoughtfully navigating ReCODE™ supplements
The ReCODE™ “Basic Plan” in Dr. Bredesen’s book describes dozens of so-called “neuroceuticals” that have demonstrated efficacy to enhance brain health in human clinical trials. Selected supplements from that list would be prescribed to patients experiencing cognitive decline, depending on their unique needs, by a doctor trained in ReCODE™.
For those of us preventing cognitive decline and not under the supervision of a ReCODE™ doctor, thoughtfully choosing supplements (or not) can be tricky to navigate. I will outline a few general considerations below. I provide a detailed document on quality ReCODE™ supplements to all whom I coach.
Ultimately, before starting or discontinuing any supplement, you should first consult a qualified healthcare professional (i.e. physician, licensed nutritionist).
Supplements are by definition “supplementary”
Supplements may boost a healthy diet and lifestyle or be taken as a temporary therapy or to fill an identified deficiency. Do not use supplements as a crutch while avoiding needed changes in diet and lifestyle.
To quote Dr. Bredesen, “Supplements-only just doesn’t work.” No matter how many excellent supplements you take, your brain health can’t improve without addressing diet/lifestyle aspects that underlie your condition and getting medical intervention as necessary.
In functional medicine, supplements are often prescribed to help the body heal itself. Too little or too much of these supplemental factors can upset the body’s balance. We especially don’t want to overdo fat-soluble supplements that can build up in the body.
If you have digestive issues, absorption of oral supplements and nutrients from food can be poor. Nutrient deficiencies can be a signal to resolve gut health issues over the long-term. You don’t want to waste costly supplements without fixing gut problems; you just end up generating expensive pee. To bypass poor gut absorption, some ReCODE™ supplements can be taken in sublingual, intravenous, or inhaled form.
Determining which (if any) of the dozens of ReCODE™ supplements are right for you
Dr. Bredesen is an early adopter in prescribing many of the supplements identified in his book. To quote him, he’s “flying the plane while we’re building it”. The final verdicts of the efficacy and long-term side effects of some of these supplements are still up in the air.
The risk-reward calculations of taking various ReCODE™ supplements and decisions about incurring the added expense are different for someone immediately facing Alzheimer’s disease than for someone doing prevention over the long haul. Usually during the initial intense phase of therapy for cognitive impairment, multiple supplements are utilized until retesting reveals whether to continue, reduce the dose, or discontinue supplements.
Dr. Bredesen mentions forty-seven supplements in his book, but you need only the supplements targeted to root causes of your particular multi-factoral condition. If you are already experiencing cognitive decline, consult a ReCODE Qualified™ doctor or nutritionist to prescribe which of these supplements would meet your unique needs. If you are already taking a huge number of supplements, paring down may be a conversation to include in that consultation.
Not everyone at the stage of preventing dementia and optimizing brain health needs lots of supplements. Although you may have gotten a different impression from his book, Dr. Bredesen has said that only a few supplements are generally needed within the holistic ReCODE™ program for prevention of cognitive decline.
The numerous ReCODE™ doctors I’m aware of most commonly prescribe:
- a professional-grade multivitamin-multimineral (with B-complex),
- a high quality source of omega-3 (DHA and EPA),
- vitamin D with K2 when a blood test reveals insufficiency,
- a gentle form of magnesium,
- a probiotic if not eating fermented foods,
- MCT oil when adapting to a ketogenic version of the Ketoflex™ diet.
Healthy diet and lifestyle reduces the need for the aforementioned supplements. Someone at the stage of prevention getting ample 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 (including magnesium), other vitamins (including the B vitamins), omega-3’s, probiotics, and mild ketosis without needing to supplement.
For those implementing ReCODE™ for prevention and trying to make the best decisions for themselves, I provide six pages of general guidelines for a long list of ReCODE™ supplements in both my group and individual coaching. The guide lists general conditions when each supplement is indicated, when not to take it, options for specific high quality supplement products with prices for comparison, general dosage range, timing, other diet and lifestyle ways to fulfill the need instead of taking a supplement, and additional notes. For instance, phosphatidylcholine-DHA is the currently recommended form of DHA for ApoE4 carriers due to greater evidence of helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease than the free DHA in most omega-3/fish oil supplements (RP Patrick, FASEB J, 2019 Feb: 33(2): 1554-1564).
It’s easy to get distracted with the novelty of the latest brain health supplements marketed as if optimizing your cognition is just a matter of swallowing the right pills. There is wisdom in focusing your attention on the foundational ReCODE™ diet and lifestyle practices. Healthy diet and lifestyle are more effective and powerful to prevent chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s, than any combination of supplements and prescription medications that money can buy.
Those striving for reversal of cognitive impairment will need more therapeutic supplements targeted to their individual condition as prescribed by a doctor. When feeling desperate to treat cognitive decline, you may research supplements online yourself and start believing in claims that are largely unfounded. A Bredesen-trained clinician devoted to brain healthcare and/or your personalized ReCODE Report™ will guide you to supplements with the most demonstrated clinical efficacy for the patient subgroup with similar underlying factors to treat.
As part of my mission to make ReCODE™ more accessible and affordable, everyone who works with me can take advantage of the discounts I offer on high-quality, high-value ReCODE™ supplements purchased from Fullscript and Thorne, including a 30% discount off the retail prices of eighteen of Dr. Bredesen’s recommended core Cytoplan brand supplements. (Request your access to discounted supplements below.) The money you save by getting the best prices on targeted supplements can be invested in coaching to advance your brain healthy diet and lifestyle that will impact the course of your life.
All the selected supplements on my Fullscript and Thorne dispensaries meet high standards. 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 that make them more palatable but excluded from a strict Ketoflex™ diet. Supplements may not be a good deal when nutrients are in their less bioavailable form. For example, cheap multivitamins contain vitamin B12 in the form of cobalamin rather than as adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin recommended by Dr. Bredesen.
If you are working with a Bredesen-trained doctor, please follow their supplement recommendations and use them as your source for supplements.
The product recommendations in my dispensaries reflect enhanced bioavailabilty, quality ingredients without excipients, good value, and brands recommended by Dr. Bredesen. To make thoughtful, informed decisions, seek personalized medical advice on the best supplements for you you. If you are in my support group, group coaching program, or one-on-one coaching and would like access to better pricing on ReCODE™ supplements, please make your request for access to Fullscript.com or Thorne.com using the form below.
- Fullscript offers the largest catalog of professional-grade supplements. My Fullscript dispensary lists more than fifty curated discounted ReCODE™-specific supplements.
- Thorne is a top manufacturer of a wide array of reasonably priced high-quality supplements with pure ingredients.