Rhonda Patrick's Nootropic Dietary Supplement Stack

10 January 2019 (2 January 2019)
Lincoln Cannon

Dietary Supplements

Rhonda Patrick is a PhD in biomedical science and expert on nutritional health who runs a popular podcast and has been making the rounds on other podcasts, notably Joe Rogan and Tim Ferriss. Friends brought her work to my attention, and I enjoyed listening to her thoughts on health and longevity. So I decided to investigate her dietary supplement regimen, looking in particular for any nootropics she might be using.

The table below lists the supplements that Rhonda has used or is using, according to her website and the podcast referenced by her website. I've also included columns that show the highest Examine.com scores for level of evidence on a scale of 0 to 4 and magnitude of effect on a scale of 0 to 3, for each of the supplements. Examine.com is an independent supplement research organization.

Supplement Evidence Effect

Choline (Alpha GPC)

2

2

Lion's Mane

2

1

Multivitamin

?

?

Omega 3 (Fish Oil)

4

3

Sulforaphane

?

?

Vitamin D

3

3

Vitamin K

4

2

Average Evidence: 3.0 (equivalent of "multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled")

Average Effect: 2.2 (equivalent of "notable")

In describing the reasons for her choices, Rhonda repeatedly references clinical studies on humans. That's refreshing! Too many people rely excessively on celebrity testimonials, pseudonymous product reviews, friends' opinions, and their own subjective experience when considering whether and what to supplement. So, echoing Rhonda, I encourage you to look at the science. And by "science," I don't mean the popular news media interpretation of science, which is often the worst source of reliable information, but rather the papers published in scientific journals by the researchers themselves -- start with PubMed. And of course also consult your personal physician.

Based on my reading of the science, I agree with Rhonda's recommendations of bioavailable choline (particularly Alpha GPC), Omega 3, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K2 MK7. The latter three are in my list of top tier geroprotectors.

I suspect that most of the benefit of multivitamin supplements comes from safe high doses (too much of anything is still dangerous) of B Complex, D, and K2 (if it's included), and the minerals Magnesium and Zinc. High doses of Vitamin A and E may be dangerous, but low doses appear to be safe and may decrease risk of basic deficiency. Tangentially, I'm impressed by the carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin for eye health, and topical Vitamin A (retinol) for skin health. And I suspect there may be some interesting health possibilities associated with uncommon E vitamers.

Lion's Mane doesn't seem to have enough scientific support to attract my interest. But Sulforaphane looks interesting, and I plan to give it more attention.

On the whole, Rhonda's recommendations are strong. Her stack scores relatively well in average evidence and effect, compared to other celebrity stacks that I've reviewed. Go Rhonda!

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