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Try This – 3 Overhyped Supplements And What To Take Instead

The world of supplements is a 159 billion dollar industry!

Everywhere we look, we’re being sold the next big supplement that will help us shed pounds, build muscle, repair our cells, and make us live longer. 

But what if we’re wasting tons of money on these expensive products that don’t really have any efficacy behind them?

I’m a huge proponent of supplements, and I take several every single day that have made a huge difference in my life. I’ve also been guilty (in the past) of taking supplements just because I’ve heard of the hype around them without really looking into their efficacy. 

The hype around longevity supplements has been especially prevalent in recent years with experts touting amazing benefits of the next best thing. And we all want to know, do any of these supplements actually work? 

Well, I recently sat down with Dr. Brad Stanfield, a primary care physician who is passionate about understanding the latest clinical guidelines and research on supplements, to talk about which supplements are worth it and which might be a waste of money. 

If you or anyone you know takes supplements, you’re going to want to read this…

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3 Overhyped Supplements According to Dr. Brad Standfiled

1. Resveratrol  

Resveratrol is one of the most preached about supplements in recent years (I even wrote about it in the past), but it is the first supplement that Dr. Brad says is probably wasting your money. The excitement around resveratrol came from the idea that it is meant to activate sirtuin 1, a longevity gene that has a role in inflammation, metabolic health, cognitive health, and more. But, according to Dr. Brad, this only seems to be true in lab and animal studies. And we humans are not mice or single-celled organisms! 

Human studies show no benefits, such as decreasing cholesterol and blood sugar and improving other markers of metabolic health. In fact, there might be some harm here. Studies on humans (including randomized placebo-controlled studies) show that resveratrol seems to decrease testosterone and blunt the positive effects of exercise. To see a full breakdown of the research, check out this video and the studies shared by Dr. Brad

What’s interesting is that two of the researchers who pioneered the hype around resveratrol have since gone back and said that they don’t recommend the supplement anymore, but there are still those who promote this supposed “longevity supplement.” Dr. Brad asks the question, could there be financial reasons why this supplement (which doesn’t have a lot of solid research behind it) is still being heavily promoted? Perhaps! 

2. NMN or NR 

Many longevity enthusiasts also claim that nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) or nicotinamide riboside (NR) is key for energy production, DNA repair, immune function, and more. 

Unfortunately, when the initial hype around this supplement started, there was not a single human study looking at the effects of these two supplements. In recent years, human studies have shown no benefit or difference in health after supplementing with NMN. Again, what might have shown benefit in single-cell experiments or mice does not necessarily translate to a complex human body. 

Dr. Brad explains that studies do show there is some evidence that NMN or NR can be beneficial if someone is fighting off a virus or bacterial infection, but that’s it. Are these supplements dangerous? Not necessarily. Are they beneficial? The question remains.

For more of a breakdown of the science of NMN and what the studies say, check out Dr. Brad’s video here

3. Metformin for Non-Diabetics 

Even though this is not an ordinary supplement, it’s a drug; we had to talk about it since it seems like so many people are on the metformin-longevity bandwagon! 

Metformin’s initial hype might have been justified. A few observational studies showed that type 2 diabetics who took metformin lowered their risk of heart attacks and death, but this was very unique to diabetics. What about us non-diabetics?

One study done as part of the Diabetes Prevention Program looked at the effects of metformin on individuals with impaired glucose vs placebo over an extended period and found no differences between the two groups in rates of cancer, death, or heart disease. 

Bottom line: Metformin is most likely not a great option for non-diabetics!

A Few Supplements With Research Behind Them 

Dr. Brad Stanfield explains that NO supplement will replace a high-quality diet, exercise, and regular sleep. 

Often, people look to supplements as band-aids and forget to focus on these foundational pillars of health. Without these three specific things (high-quality diet, exercise, and regular sleep) true health is a distant dream! 

With that being said, there are some supplements that Dr. Brand takes because they have a lot of solid research behind them. Let’s dive in. 

  1. Creatine

You’ve heard me talk about my love for creatine before. It is one of the most well-researched and safest products on the market! Randomized controlled placebo studies show that creatine improves exercise performance, especially for short bursts of exercise like strength training. 

Other benefits include improved brain health. Studies show that older adults who take creatine have greater cognition than those who do not. And, if you saw my most recent article on creatine, you know that it can also make a significant difference when it comes to depression. Dr. Stanfield takes five grams of creatine monohydrate. I always recommend starting slowly because it can cause digestive upset in some folks. 

  1. Collagen 

In my recent conversation with holistic plastic surgeon Dr. Anthony Youn, we discussed the benefits of collagen for skin health, and Dr. Brad Stanfield agreed! The research around collagen for skin hydration and wrinkle prevention is excellent. A randomized placebo-controlled study found improvements in wrinkles, hydration, skin barrier integrity, and elasticity in the group taking collagen peptides. 

Some controversy around collagen is that naysayers say if you eat enough protein, you’ll get the amino acids needed for good skin health since collagen is made of a sequence of amino acids. However, Dr. Brad argues that our body has specific peptide receptors, which is why collagen peptides may be particularly useful. Between one to twenty grams a day is typically used. Dr. Brad takes 10-15 grams a day and always recommends high-quality products, which you can research more about at consumerlabs.com or labdoor.com 

  1. Psyllium Fiber 

Psyllium Fiber is one of the most underrated supplements for gut health, according to Dr. Brad. Actually, fiber, in general, is pretty underrated, even though the evidence for more fiber consumption is very strong. If you increase your fiber intake, you decrease your cholesterol, improve motility, and decrease heart disease risk. Dr. Brad particularly likes psyllium fiber because it can also be used for folks with irritable bowel syndrome who cannot handle large amounts of fiber.

Even if you already have a healthy diet, adding more fiber can give you more benefits. Dr. Brad recommends 25-30 grams of fiber a day, but if you’re new to taking fiber supplements, always start slowly and drink plenty of water. One of the biggest mistakes people make when they eat more fiber is not drinking enough water, which increases bloating and constipation. 

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids  

If you know me, you know that I stand by taking omega-3 fatty acids daily. Dr. Brad especially trusts the results from the VITAL study, which showed that omega-3 fatty acids massively reduced the risk of heart attacks compared to placebo. 

I’ve written a substantial amount of information on omega-3s and their importance, so if you want to dive into the science of why I take an omega-3 supplement, check out that article. Dr. Brad takes 1-2 grams of EPA and DHA a day, which is the typical recommendation from physicians. 

  1. Multivitamins 

Last but certainly not least – we all want to know if there’s any benefit to taking a daily multivitamin. The good news is that there appears to be! When Dr. Brad was in med school, they were taught that multivitamins = really expensive urine, but the research has shown otherwise. 

The COSMOS mind study looked at the effects of multivitamins on a large sample group reflecting the general population and found significantly less cognitive decline in individuals taking a multivitamin versus the placebo group. Other studies in the past, like the physician studies, looked at the benefit of multivitamins in male physicians and found no differences between the placebo group or vitamin group; however, this population was not reflective of the general population, and the COSMOS study used far more sensitive tests than the physicians study. Dr. Brad Stanfield believes that a well-formulated multivitamin can have some massive benefits. 

Side note, Dr. Brad launched his own multivitamin, and I’ve been taking it for a few months now. I have no affiliation with the product, but if you are interested, you can find it here.

I love Dr. Brad’s list of supplements because not only are these evidence-based, but they focus on the basics! I personally take all of these in addition to magnesium and a few other supplements that are specific to my body.

Legally, I have to say that if you plan on starting any new supplement, be sure to work with your doctor since everyone has individual needs, health conditions, and lifestyle considerations. The truth is your well-meaning doctor is most likely NOT on the up-and-up on the latest research around supplements, but thankfully, there are a lot of fantastic resources online like Dr. Brad.

Here’s to the basics, 

Dhru Purohit