Nutritional supplements and vitamins are the bedrock of supporting the immune system. But there are thousands of products and countless sources of information on what to take. Evidence does exist showing that many of these products are safe and effective. Just remember that not all supplements are created equal.
Listen to the Episode
About Tom Houle
Tom Houle is back to continue our discussion about the myths of supplements. Be sure to listen to part one if you haven’t yet. Tom is a self-described geek when it comes to mitochondrial support. As a representative of a premier dietary supplement manufacturer, Tom has a solid understanding of what makes a great product.
Contrary to what many people think, there are numerous studies into the efficacy and safety of supplements. There have been clinical trials. There are numerous studies. The best supplements will be formulated based on these.
Some of the best nutritional supplements target mitochondrial health. Being the powerhouse of the cells, mitochondria play an essential role in immune support. They also provide critical energy. Tom and I discuss what the best mitochondrial supplements provide and what to look for in them.
We also deconstruct the myth that multivitamins are unnecessary. The sad truth is most of us are vitamin deficient. The way modern food is grown and processed removes a lot of the essential nutrition from it. Regularly taking a multivitamin helps compensate for this.
There is also the belief that eating fermented foods is enough to support your gut microbiome. It can certainly be helpful, but there just isn’t enough information to know exactly what you need. Probiotics can help fill the gap. With thousands of products to choose from, Tom explains that looking for genetic diversity and the stability of the product is key.
What do you do to support your mitochondria? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!
My Your Longevity Blueprint course is currently 50% off to celebrate the launch of the podcast PLUS I’m throwing in a free personalized consultation!
In this episode
- What it means for a supplement to be FDA regulated
- Looking into safety and efficacy studies
- Supporting the mitochondria to support whole body health
- Why multivitamins are critical to your health
- Whether or not you can support your gut microbiome from fermented foods alone
- The role of K2 in balancing the effects of Vitamin D
“There’s a lot of great new botanical research out there and it’s going to change our entire industry.” [5:29]
“We want strong healthy mitochondria because that’s going to allow the cell to be efficient in what it’s supposed to do.” [8:18]
“The immune system needs to make sure that it is uninterrupted. That way it is ready for an immune assault.” [22:43]
Mitochondrial Complex (use code: ENERGY for 50% off)
Tom Houle 0:07
And we want to make sure that we're creating healthy cells to divide into other healthy cells. And when we think of the mitochondria, that's the engine of the cell. So when you think of a car engine, the weaker the engine, the weaker the vehicle, the horsepower and you know, sometimes maybe you don't make it from A to B. You know, when we're thinking about ourselves. We want a strong healthy mitochondria because that's gonna allow the cell to be efficient in what it's supposed to do.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:33
Welcome to the longevity blueprint podcast, I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with the show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream health and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life. You're about to hear again from Tom cool for part two of this episode debunking supplement myths.
If you missed part one, you're definitely going to want to go back and listen to that first as we're going to pick up right where we left off. In that episode, we spent the entire time discussing why supplies are not created equal. And in this episode we're going to dive into discussion on if supplements are FDA regulated, if studies exist showing their satanist and effectiveness, if you actually need a multivitamin, and if you need a probiotic, so let's continue. Let's go to miss three. And we've alluded to a little bit of this as well already, but Miss three is that there are no studies showing the effectiveness and the safety of supplements. What do you think about that?
Unknown Speaker 1:30
That, again, is wrong.
Unknown Speaker 1:32
There are tons of papers out there showing safety and efficacy. There's double blind human clinical trials on specific raw materials. Matter of fact, we have raw material and I'll bring this one up because it's local to Iowa. Our supplier is actually out of acne. And there's 57 studies done on this raw material in humans. 43 of those are human clinical trials. And we're looking at significant data, significant amount of patients involved in these studies. And, of course, advocacy and bakey are proven throughout those studies and that's just one example. I mean we have over 170 products, a lot of our raw material have safety efficacy studies done as well.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 2:22
When we think of even like turmeric you know, Turmeric is in the ginger family are you right? It's that orange route. I love that some of the meals I'm ordering for my son if I normally we plate carrots or sweet potatoes or whatnot for him. We use a lot of peas lately. It will steam his veggies, but if I have a night where I just don't have time to cook I ordered him some freezer meals and I'm loving that some companies are now putting superfoods things like turmeric into his meals I'm thinking at such a young age he's getting some of these nutrients which is amazing But back to turmeric, which I'm delighted has been in some of his meals. Turmeric has finished studied by other cultures or had been used in other cultures for centuries and, and studied for years. So do you want to expand a little bit on the science research behind jack?
Unknown Speaker 3:10
And to your point, it's the golden spice. It's been around for thousands of years. And so if that didn't prove that there's some some safety and efficacy behind this, then I don't know it hasn't been used not only as a spice for food, but it's been used medicinally for that long. And there's thousands of research articles done on turmeric and even curcumin alone, which is just one small component of turmeric root. Now, I would say and actually I want to say one thing. When it comes to vitamins, minerals and botanicals, vitamins and minerals, it is important that they are absorbed and taken into the serum into our bloodstream in order to help from a therapeutic standpoint when it comes to the Tana goals. We want to ensure That they have the time to be naturally fermented and broken down by our microbiome. That is the way nature intended. Right.
Tom Houle 4:08
And so we don't want necessarily botanicals to be competing with food, so vitamins, minerals with food botanicals and herbs without and they're designed because they're complexes, right? There's not a Turmeric is not a single component. There's 200 plus 30 plus different bioactive components of turmeric, we want to take advantage of that entire complex. Matter of fact, there's research out there. I know everybody thinks when they think turmeric, they think curcumin and they think absorption. Again, I want to get away from the marketing there is that a lot of the retail companies are saying, hey, ours is the most absorbs 200% more absorbed than this other one over here.
You know, there's not a single paper of over 1000 citations on curcumin, there's not a single paper that actually links absorption with patient outcomes. So let's get away from the marketing and start looking at Research and start looking at more complete matrices. So when you're looking for curcumin or turmeric, and look for one that includes volatile oils to morones, right, the actual protein and carbohydrates a complete turmeric matrix, because there's plenty of research out there that even removing curcumin from a turmeric product, a complete turmeric product still yields just as good or better results. So we've thrown out baby out with the bathwater by just focusing on curcumin. So there's a lot of great new botanical research out there and it's going to change our entire industry, I believe.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 5:35
And I just think that speaks to the power of plants, right so we've been so fixated on this one component curcumin, but there are other beneficial components to that plant to that route. So well said I'm going to see if I can reach this product behind me because I want to ask you about mitochondrial product we carry called mitochondrial complex which is created to help boost mitochondrial function. So this is by far my favorite product and I will sold on the research behind it when I was educated on it. So this product has actually been studied in HIV AIDS patients for will just say boosting immunity. And can you expand on that? You know, the studies more than I do.
Unknown Speaker 6:16
Yeah. But that nutrient bladder not I'll say this, you know, that particular product is my personal favorite product, I happen to take it every day. I take it with me when I travel, and it couldn't be more of a relevant product in our current times when everybody's really concerned about immune support. And I'll just say that, when we think of mitochondrial health is synonymous with cellular health and as organisms ourselves are made up of organs, which are made up of cells. If the cell is unhealthy, the organism is unhealthy, right? So we want to make sure that we're focusing at the root and providing nutrients are going to support cellular function and that's exactly what that product is designed to do. In the cool thing is that it's been shown in clinical trials.
Tom Houle 7:04
Matter of fact, a double blind placebo controlled clinical trial in patients that have significant immuno compromising virus, HIV, where they were taking a retroviral cocktail. Basically, if you're familiar with that it stabilizes T cell count, but doesn't really do good do much good for the organism. As far as feeling good and operations, from an organ ordering standpoint, to this particular product, particular micronutrient blend Sorry, I'll say micronutrient blend was able to raise or improve CD for cell counts that principle immune cell 24% in just a 12 week period, that is significant when it comes to showing the mechanism of action and how something like this works in increasing the efficiency or supporting the efficiency more either that the mitochondrial functions and producing ATP.
So when we think of how the cell the destiny of every cell cell destined to divide, and we want to make sure we're creating healthy cells to divide into other healthy And when we think of the mitochondria, that's the engine of the cell. So when you think of, say, a car engine, I know you use a train analogy, I mean, you the car one, we think of a car engine, the weaker the engine, the weaker the vehicle, the horsepower and, and you know, sometimes maybe you don't make it from A to B, you know, when we're thinking about ourselves, we want a strong healthy mitochondria because that's gonna allow the cell to be efficient in what it's supposed to do, whether it be fighting infection, or, you know, detox, or create a liver cell or, you know, we think stem cells to whatever they become, but ultimately divided to what they need to do, or need to be.
So increasing glucose and fatty acid more efficiently, but also addressing the oxidative stress from that respiration that cellular breathing and operation creates oxidative stress on the back end, we want to make sure we're providing a healthy antioxidant blend as well. So you've got this mitochondrial cocktail, which was probably I would argue that's one of your most amazing products that you have in your entire life. Dr. Gray that is built on the backbone of a multivitamin. So your patient can take it regularly as a multivitamin but but get the the added bonus of it being a mitochondrial cocktail as well and an oxygen blend. So it's really multiple products in one. And from a cost standpoint, it's very, very competitive. But when you think of you could be buying five or six products. Instead, you get one and you get all this amazing benefits that's been clinically researched.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 9:29
So we both can attest to how important and how effective this product has been for us. I know when I was pregnant and breastfeeding, I couldn't take it and I was just itching to get back on it because it helps me with brain fog and with energy I love the product. So as you mentioned, it is a multivitamin but I tell my patients it's like the Cadillac of all multivitamins because it has those key players it has a single l carnitine. Alpha lipoic acid and an acetylcysteine just to name some of the extra ingredients in it. And speaking to the car analogy you mentioned with my patients, I do it I explained to them that many times, if you think of your body as more of a train certain cells right need, your body needs energy. And so when we think of a train, the conductor is shoveling coal into the train to get the train to go, right. And our body uses fatty acids for energy, but the byproduct of using those are of using the coolest smoke.
So what are we gonna do with the smoke, right, we have to mitigate the effects of that and that's where the antioxidants come in to get rid of that smoke. So this product is also designed for detox. It has agents in it to promote detoxification to boost glucose ion. And that's also why I couldn't take it was pregnant or breastfeeding. But this product is not only beneficial for patients who have immune challenges like when we were mentioning the research behind HIV and AIDS and this improving their accounts. There have been studies on this product also showing athletes who are just or individuals who are more stressed period are less likely to get sick when they're taking this product because it also is supporting their immune system. I can't I don't remember the exact study but I believe That's the truth.
Unknown Speaker 11:01
Yeah, when I think about this product, and to your point, I like the train analogy, by the way, you know, think of it as supporting a high octane fuel engine, but also low emissions at the same time. And we're in a low emission world, right? And really, this now, this isn't a product you're gonna take where you feel like you just took a five hour energy. This is a cellular energy product, right? It's not like a caffeine energy. So your patients don't have to worry about being overstimulated or anything like that, really, we're trying to build our resilience is the better way to put it right, the better and more efficient our engines are, the better our fleet. And ultimately, when we're either under an acute issue, or just trying to keep up with normal daily function, we're more supported in that regard.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 11:49
Wonderful. Well, let's move on to the next myth. So myth four is that I don't need a multivitamin. Speaking of multivitamins, I am getting Answer, that that's incorrect, that's wrong. They absolutely do need a multivitamin. And in chapter four of my book, Your longevity blueprint, I break this down pretty comprehensively just talking about why we as a society are so nutritionally deficient, our soils are deficient. So naturally it's the soil will then produce food that's also nutritionally deficient. Our food processes, when we think of just harvesting the processing, storing freezing how we're cooking foods with with high heat all causes our foods to lose nutrients, and I have patients who literally grow their own organic food in their backyard, and I still run, I run a nutritional analysis on them still under the suspicion that they still do have nutritional deficiencies, and I come to find that they do. So if those individuals have nutritional deficiencies, then I certainly am going to have them. So what do you think about individuals needing a multivitamin? What are your thoughts,
Unknown Speaker 12:52
essential and everything? Not only everything you just said, but there's even so much more things working against us even mean so Not only do we have to consume nutrient dense food, which really doesn't exist, you know, outside of maybe certain regions of the world that have been unaffected by, you know, our commercialization of literally everything. But we have to have a healthy GI tract and microbiome to even digest it to extract the nutrients we need. And that in and of itself is an energy dependent process. We're using nutrients to extract nutrients. And if we're not getting enough nutrients from our food, we might end up in a nutrient deficiency or deficit, if you think of it like a savings that we keep spending and spending and spending, but we're not getting any return on our investment. That's when cellular health starts to struggle, and then ultimately leads to patients ending up in your office. But I would also say, with regards to just food and supplements, supplements, by definition are adding to, right. They're designed to support and you can't outrun a bad diet and you cannot supplement no movement or no exercise. But I would say that as it relates to nutrition In general, we have to make sure that we're supporting ourselves in that regard. We simply are not getting it from our food. We don't live in a utopian society where everything is perfect. And soil is just never nutritious. It just doesn't exist.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 14:14
Not the case anymore. Totally agreed. Yeah, you once told me that the only example where you would not need a multivitamin as if you live in a utopian like a perfect society. But we clearly we clearly don't. Last myth here that I have a couple extra questions for you is that I can get enough good bacteria for my microbiome from fermented foods.
Unknown Speaker 14:35
Yeah, I would say again, how do you know there's very few stability and shelf stability? Not only that, but your digestive tract, we just we don't know that. There's literally no proof that that actually is factual. So what I would say is we don't know enough about our gut to know that that's true. We're constantly finding things about our microbiome. Now. There's some things we do know And that when you're taking some type of probiotic supplement to which I would say, you know, fermented foods, hey, absolutely, they're great, they're healthy. But is that enough? We don't know.
Tom Houle 15:11
So when you're taking some like a probiotic things to look for would be a strain diversity, but more so genetic diversity, which you're not gonna necessarily be on the label. So you might have to dig a little bit deeper. Additionally, survivability, shelf stability, there's a whole bunch of factors that Lance, you want to make sure that of anything, you're taking live organisms, you want to ensure that there's research behind it. And it comes from a reputable source. And by the way, it's probably the most commoditized product out there in the retail channel. There's thousands of different types of probiotics, you don't know what you're getting. So go with a trusted source. And to that end, there's so many things working against us, which is why probiotics are so popular and why they're so highly recommended like clinicians in the functional space like yourself in that There's antibiotics and cleaning products, there's antibiotics in our water that is built into our water.
There's inbox in our students, if you if you don't get antibiotic free meat and animal products that you say, and ultimately things that we put on our skin, our skin and our gut totally tied together are shown as an accurate indication what's going on in our gut, there's something going on your skin, chances are stemming from there. And ultimately, again, it comes back to we we don't know enough about our microbiome constantly discovering things we know less than we know about our universe. for somebody to say, I know that this will do this in their marketing that unfortunately, that is what it is marketing.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 16:42
We don't know enough yet. Yeah. I think my my maybe my answer to the this myth, and my response would be that if you were a vaginal delivery, no complications, you were breastfed, you've never taken any antibiotics. Again, you live in this utopian society. Then maybe Maybe you couldn't get enough. I mean, we don't know for sure. But maybe you couldn't get enough healthy bacteria from fermented foods. But if you have taken antibiotics, which you clearly have ingested them, as you mentioned, if you drink coffee, alcohol, I mean, if you're consuming foods that cause inflammation, so if you're eating sugar, which most people do gluten, dairy, soy, corn, you're eating inflammatory oils, are consuming them cooking with them, your microbiome is being impacted by that. And so most people I do think, need to take a probiotic, there is a caveat there. If patients have SIBO, which is small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, which I've had, there may be times that those patients don't tolerate certain types of probiotics. So I'm not, I'm not preaching that everybody needs a probiotic. I'm just saying that, hey, we are like you mentioned learning more and more about the microbiome and more than likely, we probably aren't getting enough good bacteria from fermented foods to combat all the antibiotics and other you know, crap we've been exposed to that are impacting our microbiome
Tom Houle 17:59
50 years ago. Taking a capsule filled with bacteria would have been totally unbiased was totally unheard of. Um, but you know, and a lot of the research out there is very much correlation data and in, in eating plants, for instance, the diversity in plants to eat directly correlates with the diversity in your microbiome. And what we know is that more diverse microbiomes are generally found is healthier individuals. Again, we're talking about correlation, not necessarily causation, but I would, I would argue that we do know the GI tract is married to everything else. And I've heard multiple times from clinicians like yourself as well as researchers 70 to 80%. Some argue even higher of our immune system resides in our gut. So this generally the first place we want to go which is again why probiotics are so popular. There's such a such a big space, and just gi health in general is a huge target for not only biopharmaceutical companies but even supplement companies like like the one I represent and others in our space.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 19:08
And this is also why chapter one of my book is so important because talking about the foundation of our health being our gut, so that's something that you are you're right I address firstly with all my patients before we move to other steps of the blueprint we have to address gut health. So Tom, tell us what are some supplements that you take on a daily basis like what can you not live without? What do you love we you you love mitochondrial complex, but what else do you love?
Tom Houle 19:35
I actually I take a fish oil, I take a probiotic, I take a vitamin D with K to five to 10,000 a day with 180 to 360 micrograms of vitamin K to as well as I said a probiotic, but good biome product as well. I reduce with AI.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 19:55
Can you speak to K to briefly here? So the K two that is used in the manufacturing of our products specifically is a special again, kind of like how we mentioned amino acid culated. In a trademarked solution that we're using in our products, there is not an equivalent, but similar option for K two. So what? What are we using in our products? Can you expand on that?
Tom Houle 20:20
Yeah, so the vitamin K two is actually exclusive to our company, and that we're such a large user of vitamin K two, we're able to get exclusive access to this particular raw material that has over 19 human clinical studies. And not only can it make the claim of being research in the cardiovascular realm, but also bone mineral density, and it is a specific form is called medicube. Seven. We use form in all of our vitamin K through and all of our products is that form. So you get to benefit from that being in our raw material regime. And it has not only a longer half life, but with three Aren't you the research has shown to have a positive impact on specific proteins that help pull calcium out of midlet and incorporate it into the bone matrix easily. We know extra calcium is bad when it was floating around in our bloodstream, you know, we think of plaquing. And we think of calcification of our arteries as ligaments, tendons, muscles, what have you. And unfortunately, or fortunately, I like cheese. But we have a society that consumes a ton of dairy, which is very rich in calcium and other food products that have a lot of calcium. And we also hit our system with a ton of vitamin D, because that's the popular thing to do. Vitamin D is essential. But in doing so we need to make sure that when we take a lot of vitamin D, and we eat a lot of cheese, and we eat a lot of things that are calcium containing we're allowing calcium in the bloodstream more readily. Vitamin D is involved in that process. So we need to balance it with a vitamin K to to support that calcium regulation. And in that regard, You know, be healthier from a cardiovascular standpoint.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 22:03
And I've had kidney stones, which were terrible, absolutely terrible, and I don't wish that on anyone. So k two is more the Usher that's going to direct that calcium from the, from the blood into the bone matrix. So not causing kidney stones and calcifications elsewhere. So, yes, you need vitamin D, vitamin D is very important, great for immune health, but k two is equally as important. And if you're taking d3, you should be taking k two as well. So what are you doing to support your immune system through this time?
Tom Houle 22:33
You know, interesting. That's what I'm doing. I'm doing foundation on gray, taking a lot of foundational health products. You know, when we think about what does the immune system equal, the immune system needs to ensure that it is uninterrupted so that way it's ready for an immune assault. One, I would argue that turmeric probiotic, you know, those two things have a profound impact on a healthy microbiome which I mentioned earlier. 70% of immune system resides The gut. So healthy gut, healthy immune system, regular exercise, not over exercising but regular exercise regular movement is essential as well. And so foundational nutrition is essential nutrition. And we want to build metabolic reserve. So that way our body can address any potential immune assault, and have the necessary fuel to fight the good fight. I think I heard from you, you use the a word picture, you got to have bullets for your gun. And ultimately bullets for our gunner is, is the nutrients in the fuel source that our cells are going to need to fight the war. And so by taking a mitochondrial complex and a probiotic, and fish oil, that macro micro and Phyto nutrient regime I'm feeling the difference, that gap if you will, and what's missing out of food that I'm consuming and I consume all organic, non GMO, but it just doesn't have the nutrients to keep up with what I'm going to need to fight something should I get affected
Dr. Stephanie Gray 24:00
But you're you're building your immune resiliency as you would put it, which is wonderful. Do you have any top longevity hacks or any anything? Is there anything that you do on a daily basis that you want to other than the supplements that you want to share with the audience? an immune hack
Tom Houle 24:17
I'm, I'm a I am a geek when it comes to mitochondrial support and so I do actually take more than I probably should from the mitochondrial complex but I do oftentimes and I'm not right now where blue light glasses when it's supposed to be dark out again a lot of theory but you know, I think about the evolution of our of our bodies you know, we used to not have light and so you know, waiting has been wake you up, let you know if I'm if I'm waking up when it's dark out, as soon as the sun comes up, you know, I like to look out the window and get some of that natural blue light to get the natural awakening response or trying to follow the sleep wake cycle. I do a rotational diet. And you may think about the summer, summer is when fruit is plentiful and vegetables and things growing on trees and grounds. That's when insulin is okay, in moderation. And then in the winter, when those things aren't generally available, I try to stick with more of a keto side of a diet, or paleo and in some instances, depending on you know what side of the tracks you fall on there. But I try to keep as close to I can as a seasonal diet, and get good sleep, and good exercise, but there is a yin to the Yang. So enjoy yourself every now and then give yourself a break. Don't put too much stress on yourself. If you have a pulse, you have stress. So you have to do a good job with trying to balance things and have a family and kids and friends.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 25:44
And I was just gonna say you have a beautiful little daughter so I'm sure she brings you all kinds of joy margin in here yet. And you're feeding your bacterial diversity by rotating the foods through the seasons. So wonderful tips.
Tom Houle 25:57
Okay, knowledge, right knowledge is power. You know, knowing how to read labels, knowing what to look for is, the more you know, the more you realize you don't know, which is why I rely on clinicians like yourself and the types of conversations I learned. I garner a lot. You know, over the last 910 years, just having these conversations has drastically helped my personal help as well as those that I love. So knowing, knowing and not just reading something on the internet and headlining, but trust and verify.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 26:28
Well, you provided us with lots of brilliant information today. So I hope we busted several supplement myths. So thank you for your brilliance and for your time. And thank you for just really building into clinicians like myself so that I can help my patients so we appreciate you.
Tom Houle 26:42
I appreciate you, thank you for your partnership and everything you do on the frontline in transforming the way medicine is done in our country. And I'm it was honored to be able to be honest with you.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 26:52
Well, thank you, Tom. Thank you very much. Thanks for joining me for the conclusion of this episode. I love talking about stuff supplements have specifically about highly efficacious ones that perform. And that's all I recommend for my patients because I do believe and I hope you learn today that evidence exists showing they can be used safely and that they can be very effective. But we have to remember that not all supplements are created equal. You have to read labels you have to know what to look for. If you want to give our mitochondrial complex or any other product mentioned in the episode of try, use code energy n er g y at your longevity blueprint comm for 15% off your purchase. Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint. And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck. You can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book. Plus for a limited time Not only is the course 50% off, but you also get your first consult with me for free. Check this offer out at your longevity blueprint comm and click the course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe to the show. And leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen Read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics, guests or how you're applying what you've learned on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. A podcast is produced by the team at counterweight creative. As always, thanks so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting.
The information provided in this podcast is educational. No information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.