Nutrients must be in balance — with each other — to be beneficial.
Unbalanced nutrients can cause great harm.

Therefore, consider these two points when choosing any supplement:

  1. the form of each nutrient should be of superior effectiveness and safety
  2. the dosage and balance of each ingredient should be biologically appropriate.

Most modern foods & diets are deficient in nutrients (1).

Meanwhile, a compromised gut struggles to absorb nutrients from food (2).

Therefore, supplements are essential for the restoration of nutritional balance in the body.

Proceed wisely, always keep balance in mind.


*TRAVIS’ RATING* = My Personal Rating, based on personal experiences working with hundreds of clients over the years. The Rating averages both the general nutrient & the particular product quality.


A superior, safe multivitamin smooths out nutrient imbalances and deficiencies — instead of creating new imbalances.

Relevant pages:

  • If sensitive to nutrient imbalances, beware megadoses — most multivitamins have them.
  • If a gentle multivitamin presents challenges, consider taking it every other day, or 2x/week. A gentle “multi” can be the foundation of your improvement.

Gentle, Balanced Multivitamin

The most safe & effective multivitamin I’ve found with my clients — and myself — is the Naturelo. This collection of multi’s is excellent to promote balance.

(Travis’ Rating): 9.8/10

Each Naturelo multivitamin is good, but I recommend the “One Daily.”

Vitamin C

Vitamin C supplementation is wise for most people trying to improve their health.

  • If tolerable, consider 1-2x/daily doses, 400-500mg each dose.
  • If very sensitive, consider taking a small daily dose (100mg or less), or every other day
Vitamin C can deplete sodium, Zinc and copper in a depleted body.

Food-Based Vitamin C

It is not essential to take food-based Vitamin C, as is popularly argued. However, this is a fantastic product, combining two forms of Vitamin C: ascorbic acid and food-based. I’ve had great results with this one.

(Travis’ Rating): 9.8/10

Liposomal Vitamin C

This Vitamin C is both water- and fat-soluble– meaning it seems to absorb better and remain with the body a bit longer than typical water-soluble forms. Not a true liposomal product, but does behave very similarly… or even better. During my recovery, this form seemed more powerful than both typical ascorbic acid and true liposomal C — it seemed to improve brain fog and energy levels.

(Travis’ Rating): 9.6/10


(D A K E)

Relevant pages:

  • It’s not essential to take fat-solubles daily — but it is essential to understand them, and make sure levels are not low.
  • One or two moderate doses of each per week is a conservative, safer maintenance dose. If very deficient, you might need more — perhaps daily supplementation — for several weeks or longer.
  • It is very easy to oversupplement these four nutrients. They’re fat-soluble, so they stay in the body a long time, causing severe symptoms including insomnia and malaise.

Vitamin D

Low Vitamin D causes all sorts of metabolic, digestive, mood, hormonal, and sleep problems. Do not allow Vitamin D deficiency to derail your health. However, oversupplementation is extremely easy to achieve. Know what you’re doing when you supplement this. Vitamin D depletes magnesium, Vitamin A, and sometimes calcium.

Sunlight (UV Index 4+)

(Travis’ Rating): 10/10

UV light degrades Vitamin A in the body. Vitamin D depletes Vitamin A. Don’t ever allow yourself to sunburn.

UV Bulbs

(Travis’ Rating): 6/10

Light must contain UVB spectrum to produce Vitamin D.

A high UVA-to-UVB ratio mimics sunlight, and prevents too-high Vitamin D production.


(Travis’ Rating: 4/10

Vitamin A

Low Vitamin A can cause debillitating insomnia, digestive issues, hormonal imbalances, and skin problems. Vitamin A depletes Vitamin D and zinc, and slightly boosts iron levels. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant, protecting polyunsaturated fats from harmful oxidation.

Pure Encapsulations (amazon) — 10000IU

(Travis’ Rating): 10/10

Carlson Labs (iherb) — 10000IU

(Travis’ Rating): 10/10

Bluebonnet Nutrition (iherb) — 10000IU

(Travis’ Rating): 10/10

Vitamin K

There are two forms of Vitamin K. K1 supports clotting, while K2 supports hormonal balance and keeps excess calcium out of blood. K1 is found in leafy greens, K2 is largely absent from the diet, save for a few fermented dishes. Vitamin K generally supports healthy calcium blood levels, and opposes Vitamin D levels.

DOCTOR’S BEST K2 (iherb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 10/10

Life Extension K2 (Low Dose) (iherb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 10/10

Jarrow MK-7 (iherb) (Take 2-3x/week for maintenance)*

(Travis’ Rating) = 10/10

CALIFORNIA GOLD Full Spectrum K2 (iherb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 9/10

Thorne K2 Liquid Drops (iherb) 

  • (For maintenance, use no more than 2-3 drops, 1-2x/week)*

(Travis’ Rating) = 9/10

*A maintenance-dose is less likely to create imbalances.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a hormonal powerhouse, while protecting polyunsaturated fats from harmful oxidation. Too much Vitamin E causes insomnia and other problems.

Jarrow Famil-E (iherb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 10/10*

*I love this Vitamin E.


Relevant pages:

  • The minerals belong to a heirarchy of importance.
  • The body tends to require top-tier minerals much more than the lower-tier minerals.
  • Keep this in mind to promote balance.

1st Four Minerals

It’s essential to understand relationships between these minerals, especially when the body has been chronically depleted.

The first four minerals are essential nearly-daily for optimal health. You may not tolerate one (or more). Conversely, you may need lots of one (or more). The only true way to know is to try: Take some, observe symptoms.


Hypothyroidism and sick building syndrome seem to cause the body to waste sodium. Many folks require large amounts of sodium until their inflammation and root causes are addressed.

REAL SALT (amazon)

(Travis’ Rating) = 9/10

DIAMOND CRYSTAL Coarse Kosher Salt (amazon)

(Travis’ Rating) = 8/10


The general public is incredibly deficient in potassium — causing bloating, insomnia, tight and sore muscles, and fatigue. Potassium is the partner of sodium, and there balances/opposes/depletes sodium.


Most forms of calcium are not very absorbable. MCHA is.


(Travis’ Rating) = 10.10

cheaper option: SOURCE NATURALS Calcium MCHA (iHerb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 9.5/10


Essential for virtually every biological function. When deficient can cause insomnia, fatigue, tight muscles. Will deplete Vitamin D and calcium.

DOCTOR’S BEST Chelated Magnesium (iHerb)

  • This form is a blend of magnesium glycinate and lysinate.

(Travis’ Rating) = 10/10

DOCTOR’S BEST Magnesium L-Threonate (iHerb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 9.5/10

DOUBLEWOOD Magnesium L-Threonate (amazon)

(Travis’ Rating) = 9.5/10

2nd Tier Minerals

These are required in much lower amounts than the 1st tier.

Yet the 2nd Tier can be essential for recovering lost immunity, metabolic energy, sleep, and digestive health. You might need one more than the others for some time.


Incredibly pro-immunity and anti-pathogen. Supports testosterone. Dramatically depletes copper, iron, Vit A, and Vit D.

SOLGAR Zinc Picolinate 22mg (iHerb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 9.5/10

PURE ENCAPSULATIONS Zinc Picolinate 15mg (iHerb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 10/10


Powerfully anti-microbial, boosts iron levels and Vitamin A levels. Depletes copper.

NATURE’S WAY Chlorofresh 90pills — (iHerb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 10/10


(Travis’ Rating) = 10/10

WORLD ORGANIC Chlorophyll — (iHerb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 8.5/10


Essential for immunity and thyroid function. Is easily overdone, be especially wary of megadosing. Depletes selenium.


(Travis’ Rating) = 10/10


Rarely needed in large quantities. Supports glutathione levels. Depletes iodine. Is easily overdone — foul body odor is symptom of overdose.

NATURE’S WAY Selenomethionine (iHerb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 9/10

SOLARAY Selenomethionine (iHerb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 8/10

Third Tier Minerals

Third Tier minerals are needed in very small quantities.

Be extremely careful, here.


Very antimicrobial. Many people struggle to tolerate and balance their sulfur. Is very easily overdone via supplementation, be wary of overhyped products/recommendations.

NATURAL FACTORS MSM Joint Formula (iHerb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 4/10


Balances and depletes sulfur. Only needed in tiny amounts. Should not be supplemented in large amounts daily. Will generally deplete all minerals. May be required more frequently to reduce high sulfur levels.

THORNE Molybdenum Glycinate

(Travis’ Rating) = 10/10


Relevant pages:

The B-vitamins unlock your energy production, and are necessary to restore gut function.
  • All B-vitamins will deplete the other B-vitamins, so they must be taken in a balanced way.
  • The B-vitamins generally deplete sodium (except for B1, which can raise sodium).
  • Single B-vitamin products should rarely be taken more than 1-2x/week, and should always be balanced with all other B’s.

I no longer consider the activated forms of B-vitamins to be wise for most people, because they are too intensely absorbed and create imbalances far too easily. Instead, the basic forms of B-vitamins are sufficient for nearly all situations.


This is a fantastic, low-to-medium dose of all B’s, though the extra-sensitive folks may still struggle to tolerate it. I take this about 2-3x/week.

THOMPSON B-Complex (iherb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 8.5/10

B1 (thiamin)

Perhaps the most important B-vitamin. Deficient in many diets and foods. Thiamin Hcl is the superior form for most everyone. Other fat-soluble forms (TTFD and benfotiamine) are too intense and can be harmful. High B1 (thiamin) intake can deplete all other B-vitamins, especially B2.

NOW B1 (Thiamin HCl) — 100mg (amazon)

(Travis’ Rating) = 9/10

Nature’s Way (Thiamin HCl) — 100mg (amazon)

(Travis’ Rating) = 9/10

Any TTFD or Allithiamine product

(Travis’ Rating) = 1/10

B2 (riboflavin)

Essential for energy production. Can deplete B1, especially.

Nature’s Way B2 (Riboflavin) — (iHerb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 9/10

B3 (niacin)

Essential for fat metabolism, especially, and blood flow, as well as feelings of relaxation. Megadosing this is popular, but not without risk; Be safe, use smaller doses.

Source Naturals Niacinamide 100mg

(Travis’ Rating) = 7/10

B4 (choline)

Critical for liver detoxification. Even moderate doses can cause mood disruptions and irritability.

B5 (pantothine)

Essential for the skin’s natural barrier. Other B-vitamins — especially biotin — can deplete this, causing acne breakouts. More supplemental B5 can resolve this, along with fixing digestive issues which cause nutrient depletion.

NATURE’S WAY Pantethine 250mg (iHerb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 4/10

B6 (pyridoxine)

An essential B-vitamin for sleep and detoxification, but one that is also easily overdone. Avoid megadosing B6, even by accident: B6 is commonly sneaked into supplements containing other ingredients.

NOW B6 (Pyridoxine HCl) — (iHerb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 3/10

B7 (biotin)

Essential for hair and collagen, but can deplete all other B-vitamins, especially B5 (causing skin flare-ups, because B5 is so critical for the skin’s barrier). Do not take isolated biotin daily.

Life Extension Biotin (800mcg) (iHerb)

  • Rated higher because I like the smaller dose (800mcg vs 1000mcg in the others)

(Travis’ Rating) = 9.5/10

Nature’s Way Biotin (1000mcg) (iHerb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 9.3/10

Solgar Biotin (1000mcg) (amazon)

(Travis’ Rating) = 9.3/10

B8 (inositol)

Is often taken with choline for optimal results. No longer considered a B-vitamin.

Nature’s Way Choline & Inositol 500mg/500mg (iHerb)

  • same product as recommendation for B4

(Travis’ Rating) = 7/10

B9 (folate)

Essential for detoxification, fortified in store-bough foods (USA), is easily overdone, and few people require much supplementation.

Jarrow Methylfolate (iHerb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 1/10

B12 (cobalamin)

B12 is not readily absorbed in the intestine, so sublingual forms are superior. B12 depletes all other B-vitamins, and can cause acne breakouts in large doses. There is usually no need to megadose this nutrient, in fact doing so can cause problems, despite the popular trend. Can also deplete lithium.

Jarrow Methyl-B12 Lozenges (iHerb)

(Travis’ Rating) = 4/10

Protein Supplements

Relevant pages:

Protein is essential for hair/skin/nails, hormone production, sleep, detoxification, and recovery from exercise/injury.
  • Protein intake causes insulin to be released, helping blood glucose enter cells. Therefore, too much protein can cause low blood sugar if you have hypyglycemia.
  • Protein and carbs directly “balance” each other in the diet
  • Too much protein can be hard on several bodily functions, including the kidneys and stress metabolism
  • Any hydrolyzed protein powder — especially collagen — can be high in glutamate, causing miserable symptoms in some
  • Whey protein is potentially unbalanced in its amino acid content. Many become tired with too much whey — potentially due to high tryptophan content. Whole milk protein is a more optimal amino acid profile.
  • Plant-based protein powders are known to be high in heavy metals (!)

Dairy Protein Supplements

TrueNutrition Milk Protein Concentrate

  • I’ve been using this product for years. It’s the best protein powder I’ve found in terms of nutritional balance. If it were organic, it would get a 10/10 rating.

(Travis’ Rating) = 9/10

Total Milk Protein Concentrate (amazon)

  • This comes highly recommended from a client! I will be trying it soon, and give it my rating in the next few months.

(Travis’ Rating) = ? /10

Collagen Supplements

Vitamin Shoppe Multi-Source Collagen

  • With collagen, less is more. I take about 1-3g per day.
  • Multiple source protein, providing Types I, II, III, V, & X collagen. (I consider this very valuable, and I notice a difference).

(Travis’ Rating) = 9/10

Great Lakes Bovine Gelatin

  • Single-source collagen protein (bovine)

(Travis’ Rating) = 5/10

Great Lakes Bovine Collagen

  • Hydrolyzed gelatin — a recipe for disaster if you’re sensitive to glutamates
  • Single-source protein (bovine)

(Travis’ Rating) = 3/10

This page is a part of the Pillars of Health: Nutrients.

D – A – E – K

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