Dr. Weil's Personal Vitamin Routine
A tour through Dr. Weil's kitchen at his home in Tucson, Arizona, leads inevitably to the cabinet in which he keeps his vitamin supplements. It is surprisingly crowded. One might have expected that, after so many years of researching vitamins, minerals, herbs and mushroom preparations, Dr. Weil would not need so many bottles - he would have come up with his own "all-in-one" optimum vitamin supplement years ago.
And in a sense, he has. Dr. Weil takes a daily, core regimen consisting of a multivitamin and antioxidants. But aside from that, "I experiment," he says, waving a hand at the collection of bottles. "It's a constant process of trial and error. My body changes, and I read up on the medical literature, and then I adjust what I take. It's not just for my own health, but also to give me some sense of what to recommend."
Example: He was taking a mix of acetyl-L-carnitine tablets and alpha-lipoic acid capsules, because the combination of these compounds had been studied by his friend, University of California, Berkeley, biochemical researcher Bruce Ames, and shown to improve cellular metabolism and thus boost energy. Dr. Weil found the combination so effective that he began taking Dr. Ames' commercially available mix of the two components. Ultimately, Dr. Weil decided to endorse the preparation, leading to the development of the supplement product known as Weil Juvenon. (Dr. Weil donates all of his after-tax profits from the sale of Weil Juvenon directly to the Weil Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting integrative medicine through training, education and research.)
More experimentation: "I took a high quality caffeine-free green tea extract for a while," Dr. Weil says, reasoning that it was a convenient way to get the benefits of green tea without the caffeine. But, "It was more pills to add to my routine, and the literature supported greater benefits by actually drinking green tea.”
So here's what he takes now with his green tea at breakfast:
In the evening, with dinner, he takes:
"And above all, I eat well, which is by far the best nutritional tactic for health," he says.
Ultimately, Dr. Weil says, responsible self-experimentation is the best route for everyone, doctor and layperson alike. "All of us are different - our lifestyles, our sleep patterns, our diets, and our genetic makeups. What works for one person may not work for another, and what works best may change over time. As long as you take care to use vitamin supplement products that have inherently low toxicity and start at modest dosages, the ultimate arbiter of whether a supplement works must be your own experience." Which is why, for many remedies, Dr. Weil's advice is, quite simply: "Try it and see how you feel."
By Brad Lemley, DrWeil.com News
Photos by Jace Mortensen
Updated by: Andrew Weil, M.D., and Brian Becker, M.D., on Oct. 1st, 2012
Do you know what supplements are right for you?
Everyone's dietary needs are different based on a number of factors including lifestyle, diet, medications and more. To get your supplement recommendation, take Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor. This 4-step questionnaire requires just minutes to complete, and generates a free, no-obligation vitamin and nutritional supplement recommendation that is personalized to meet your unique nutritional needs.