List of Top Dietary Supplements | Natural Health Newsletter

Date: 06/07/2004    Written by: Jon Barron

Essential Supplements

I've always resisted talking about the "other" supplements I use since I'm always playing with different things, and the list keeps changing. Personally testing supplements is part of what I do for a living and to increase my knowledge base. Nevertheless, there are certain supplements that have emerged as somewhat constant over the years. As for brands, you will have to research and choose your own, since the brands I use keep changing as I find new variations to test, or just new brands that I like better. There is no way to make a brand recommendation today and know that it will be valid tomorrow. (Things are a bit different with the products that I actually formulate since I regularly "update" them as I find ways to improve their effectiveness.) And keep in mind, there are other important supplements that didn't make the list (such as noni, mangosteen, etc.), not because they're not important, but because I don't take them every day and because I find ways to get them in combination with other things.

So with that said, here is my list of "non-Jon-Barron" essential supplements.


1,000 mg of 40% IgG organic colostrum a day.

Colostrum is the pre-milk fluid produced from the mother's mammary glands during the first 72 hours after birth. Its primary function is to populate the intestinal tract with friendly bacteria and build your immune system by implanting many of the mother's antibodies in the bloodstream. Supplemental bovine colostrum duplicates that function every time you use it. It provides antibodies against a whole range of pathogens including: E. Coli, Strep, Candida, Salmonella, Staph, H.pylori, and a host of others.

Make sure you use only colostrum from cows that are pesticide, antibiotic, and growth hormone free.


I use a 100 mg gel cap of CoQ10 a day. If someone has a special need, they might use 200-400 mg a day.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), is critical for the production of cellular energy in most aerobic organisms, from humans to plants to bacteria. Although CoQ10 is produced by the body itself, there are many circumstances that compromise that production so that deficiencies and the corresponding diseases associated with those deficiencies may arise. One such circumstance suggesting the value of supplementation is that production in the body diminishes as we age. The tissues and organs most affected by CoQ10 deficiencies are those with the highest energy requirements such as the heart, liver, and skeletal muscles.

CoQ10 deficiency has been observed in various disease processes including congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, AIDS, cancer, hypertension, and periodontal disease. In addition to congestive heart failure, there are other cardiovascular diseases that have been successfully treated with CoQ10 supplementation. Among these are diastolic dysfunction, angina pectoris, hypertension, ventricular arrhythmia, mitral valve prolapse and also drug induced cardiotoxicities. Bottom line: CoQ10 is vital to heart health. It literally improves the heart's ability to pump more effectively.

In addition, CoQ10 has been shown to be helpful in treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Huntington's, and immune system disorders.

As a side note, women are naturally more deficient in CoQ10, and particularly women with thyroid conditions since a hyperactive thyroid gland burns up all the CoQ10 in the body. The metabolism can be so high that CoQ10 is literally stolen away from the heart. When this happens, the result is heart failure.

Also, it should be noted that statin drugs (used to lower cholesterol) block CoQ10 production in the body, which eventually results in CoQ10 deficiency and all of the health problems associated with that deficiency. In addition to statins (not my favorite drugs), there are other classes of drugs that inhibit CoQ10 synthesis. Among these are beta blockers and hypoglycemic agents and warfarin (aka Coumadin). Bottom line: anyone on any of these drugs should seriously talk to their doctor about the value of supplementing with high doses of CoQ10.


500-1500 mg of L. carnosine a day.

Carnosine can actually reverse the signs of aging in senescent cells. As a result, studies now indicate that supplementation with carnosine may actually extend life span. And if that weren't enough, carnosine works as an immunomodulator, building up weak immune systems and toning down overactive systems. And it can prevent the destruction of protein and all of the organs built from protein (heart, brain, liver, kidneys, etc.) caused by the oxidation of sugars in the body. This is a big time supplement.

Sometime this summer, I should have an updated version of my Carnosine/DMAE formula available.

Homocysteine Formula

Every day I take some version of a formula that contains approximately 500 mcg of B12, 800 mcg of folic acid, and 400 mg of trimethylglycine.

Formulas like this contain the three primary "methyl donors" that convert the potentially dangerous amino acid, homocysteine, into the beneficial amino acid methionine. Methylation decreases with age, which means that homocysteine levels tend to increase, leading to increased risk of developing heart disease, arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer's, and even depression. Supplementation may very well reverse those risks.

Note: Although I normally do not recommend the use of isolated vitamins, I make an exception here. First, the doses involved are not that high. Second, the preliminary evidence that this combination truly makes a difference is starting to look compelling.

Flax Seed/Fish Oil

I use a quarter cup of ground flax seed every day (on occasion, I switch over to a tablespoon of organic, cold-pressed, flax seed oil for a few weeks). And I also take two 750 mg fish oil capsules a day.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for health and are virtually absent from the western diet. Current ratios of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids in the modern diet run as high as 20-1 or even 30-1. The ideal is close to 1:1. This has serious implications in terms of overall inflammation in body tissue and heart health. Supplementation with Omega-3 fatty acids is essential.

For a complete discussion

Vitamin E

500 mg of a complete spectrum vitamin E.

Several decades ago, a mistake was made in evaluating vitamin E that determined that the only active fraction in the E complex was d-alpha tocopherol. That mistake has cost us dearly in terms of health, and like all "health establishment" mistakes, it will take years and years and years to rectify. Already, there is incontrovertible proof that of the eight fractions that comprise vitamin E, d-alpha is, at best, number five in terms of importance. The four tocotrienol fractions are more important, and even among the four tocopherols, gamma tocopherol is more important. And yet, 99% of all vitamin E supplements contain only the d-alpha fraction, and according to the FDA, the only fraction you can "measure" as vitamin E is d-alpha. Unfortunately, changing established "rules" in the health industry, even when proof is widely available is like turning an oil tanker. It takes miles and miles and miles -- and a great deal of effort.

Bottom line: use only a complete E that contains all 4 tocopherols and all 4 tocotrienols -- just like Mother Nature intended.


Two "grown" vitamin tablets a day.

Multivitamins are the area I'm most uncomfortable with when it comes to supplementation. The principle makes sense. It's just so hard to find a supplement that lives up to expectations. I absolutely am not a fan of multivitamins based on vitamin isolates since most of them have to be conjugated by the liver to "detoxify" them and make them useable by the body. However, if used selectively, they can play a role in "boosting" the other options.

Those other options include:

  • "Super foods," that is foods like spirulina and nutritional yeast that tend to be nutrient dense. The problem they present, however, is finding a way to consume enough of them, and finding a way to "balance" them out so you get a proper mix. There's also a problem in that many of the green super foods contain an analogue of vitamin B12 that may actually inhibit the body's ability to absorb true B12.
  • Vitamin pills made out of super foods are also an option. Unfortunately, for the most part, these tend to be a joke. It's virtually impossible to cram enough into a capsule or tablet to make the attempt worthwhile. Anyone who tries to sell you a one-or-two-a-day vitamin based on real foods is pulling your leg. You're probably looking at a minimum of six capsules a day to reach the edge of viability. Most people just don't want to take that many pills.
  • Food grown vitamins. The concept here is simple. Create a super dense nutrient broth in which you grow nutritional yeast (I've seen other versions that use probiotics such as acidophilus instead of yeast). These living organisms then incorporate the nutrients from the broth into their cellular structure as they grow. You then harvest the yeast or probiotics (inactivate them in the case of the yeast) and tablet them. In the end you have a food matrixed "living vitamin." And it works, with two limitations.
    1. The concentrations are still not that high
    2. Two, you only get what you put into the nutrient broth. For example, most of the manufacturers who use this process spike their broth with vitamin E, but only the d-alpha fraction. That means in the end, you have a food matrixed vitamin E -- but an E that's missing its seven most important fractions. Still, all and all, it's the form of supplement I use until I find a better option.

Prostate Formula

I'm 56 now, and for the last 25 years, I've taken some variation of a prostate formula. Standard components include Saw palmetto, Urtica dioica (nettles), Pygeum Africanum, Pumpkin seed oil, and Flower pollen. Knock on wood, I've never had a problem with my prostate, and sleep through the night without having to get up to urinate (unless I drink a lot of water before going to bed). How much of a difference the supplements have made I don't know. I take them on faith.

Aloe Vera

I take four ounces of organic stabilized aloe vera juice every morning. Sometimes I'll switch over to 500 mg of high acemannan dried aloe powder a day. I'm a huge fan of aloe vera and its ability to promote healing in the body and boost the immune system. Barron Report.

My Formulas

And while we're at it, a little plug for the core formulas that I created for myself and that I use every day.

  • Digestive Enzymes: As Kristen mentioned several issues ago, this is the one formula that we use more than any other -- any time we eat.
  • Proteolytic Enzymes: Since I released this formula last November, I've seen more miracles in a shorter period of time than with anything else I've ever formulated. I now take six capsules every day -- three in the morning and three before bed. Kristen likes them so much she's back up to twelve to fifteen capsules a day.
  • Sugar/Lipid Formula: The original version of this formula, sold under the name Glucotor® has been unavailable for about a year now -- although a number of knock offs have appeared on the market. But I have been working on this formula and refining it for the last year and half now, and next month I'll be releasing Glucotor®-2, the next generation of the formula. In the meantime, Kristen and I have been using capsules of the development versions every time we eat. Why? Quite simply, it enhances the metabolism of sugars and lipids to control the glycemic response. For people with blood sugar problems, this is obviously invaluable. But why is it important for those of us who do not have blood sugar problems? As it turns out, it's still invaluable. Regular use of this formula seems to mimic the primary benefits of the calorie restricted diet. In other words, regular use of this formula has life extension potential. (Oh, it also protects the body from the stresses incurred whenever you do cheat and eat high glycemic foods.)
  • Ultimate Antioxidant: This formula provides a whole range of benefits for the body and is literally twice as strong as any previous antioxidant I have ever formulated. As a side note, ounce for ounce, it's also the single most expensive product I've ever formulated and offers some of the best protection available from many age related diseases.
  • Colon Corrective: I don't use it every day, but I love the way it works when I do. If you can't remember the last time you said "Wow" when you went to the bathroom in the morning, you're missing one of life's great joys -- not to mention a key element of health.

And on that note...

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    Submitted by Harry on
    December 27, 2011 - 5:19am

    I seem to have read somewhere that we should take an occasional respite from our supplement regimen to optimize the effectiveness of the supplements. Would you repeat your advice or at least reference your previous comments?

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    December 29, 2011 - 6:21pm

    There are those who say that for all supplements. Jon, on the other hand, only recommends taking a break from immune boosting formulas. He recommends taking one day a week off from immune formulas in general – and one week off a month from herbs such as Echinacea that boost the immune system by making it think it’s under attack.

    Submitted by Lisa on
    September 26, 2011 - 12:32pm

    Is it possible for you to spell out when you take your various supplements during the day, and in what combinations (and if it is with or without food)? The bottle instructions have that to some degree, but when looking at the big picture, is it better to take a morning dose of everything and an evening dose, or spread things throughout the day so they are not lumped together. I am not sure if different things work more efficiently when taken together or if a little space in between is more beneficial.
    Thank you!

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    September 28, 2011 - 12:02pm

    Hi Lisa,

    Each supplement has its own requirements. Some need to be taken with food since they require the presence of fats for optimum absorption. Others should be taken without food, such as probiotics and proteolytic enzymes, since you want minimal stomach acid to interfere with them on their way to the intestinal tract. Others are stimulating and should be taken in the morning so they don’t interfere with sleep, and others are relaxing and should be taken at night as they assist with falling asleep. And some plain just don’t matter – as long as you get them down your gullet. Bottom line: follow the instructions for each supplement you have. If they’re a good supplement from a good company, those instructions will tell you how to optimize the effect of that particular supplement.

    Submitted by Rose on
    April 1, 2013 - 1:26pm

    I'd appreciate clarification on the Homocysteine Formula Jon recommends. There is controversy around B-12 in the form of cyanocobalamin. It has been recommended to take only the methylcobalamin. Can someone clarify this and where I can find the healthier type. Most supplements I've looked for have only the cyanocobalamin. Thanks.

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    April 9, 2013 - 1:44pm

    In "Lessons from the Miracle Doctors," we found three statements from Jon Barron on vitamin B12:

    "At one time, vitamin B12 (cobalamin) was extracted from activated sewage sludge. It is now grown from bacteria, and then stabilized with cyanide (thus becoming, cyanocobalamin).

    For many years, it was thought that edible seaweeds, fermented soy foods, and spirulina contained high levels of B12. Unfortunately, they don’t. What they contain are B12 analogues (chemical look-alikes) that your body cannot use. (Dagnelie, P.C., W.A. van Staveren, H. van den Berg. “Vitamin B-12 from Algae Appears Not to Be Bioavailable.” Am J Clin Nutr 53 (1991): 695–697.)

    The best form of B12 is methylcobalamin."

    Submitted by JOHN B on
    December 14, 2013 - 3:45pm

    We do strange things today – rather than treat the miracle body / heart that we have we would rather fit animal/ mechanical replacement and condemn ourselves to a lifestyle of drug administration . Far more sensible to take medicinal route/food supplements as suggested in Jon’s website and let the body/heart heal itself over time JOHN B LEEDS UK

    Submitted by Tina W. on
    January 23, 2014 - 7:28pm

    I've been diagnosed with severe Mitral Valve Regurgitatin (EF 56%) a couple of days ago, which is presumed to have come from ABVD Chemo Treatment I had about 25 years ago.

    My Pulse has been high since about 20 years (on average about 110), and about 9 yrs ago I was told I had a Heart Murmur, but I was told back then that it was nothing to worry about and therefore no other testing was done on it.

    I was now advised to immediately get a Heart Surgery or to start on Medications (Carvedilol 3.125mg and Benazapril 5mg) immediately to remold the Heart.

    I am currently doing a Natural Treatment for Breast Cancer (Stage 2) and have been on a clean Diet since April 2013 and started juicing every day since about 6 weeks, along with taking Cannabis Oil.

    I'd like to find out if this leaky valve can possibly be reversed in a Natural way as well based on your knowledge / experience based on the assumed cause of it in the first place.

    I would really appreciate your response, and am looking very much forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks and best regards,

    Tina W., Los Angeles.

    Submitted by John B Leeds on
    February 13, 2014 - 10:59am

    Just a little background. My wife has a very leaky aortic valve and is now in hospital –we tried supplements/ medicines, these obtained from the US, but though signs of improvement she had a lot of pain and has been helped to cover this by the NHS. They have ,on her request, taken her into hospital a couple of times before now.
    The problem began prominent last year on our stay in Bulgaria where the valve was diagnosed in August. Also I will tell you she has worked in the NHS for 46 years as a Midwife.
    Let me explain in UK the NHS is in many ways very good, there are no costs involved and the only problem is they are a bit secretive over what actions they intend to take. As my wife’s heart is now weak it seems they may well try repair/ insertion of a valve via the groin. We have been told this week or next week for this to happen but they will take the route with the least risk involved. And the operation does carry a greater risk than normal.
    We are a position where she has very good care available. The Infirmary at Leeds has a very good reputation.
    However I know that Prayer is also vital in a situation like this and I believe that we are not in this situation alone or without a life line.
    My wife has had HBP for a long time now and work stress, and we see this as a lot to do with the valve failure. I believe it is generally easier to heal the Mitral valve than the Aortic and medicines might be a good route to take. However the Cardiac experts here have indicated they feel a valve replacement would have been easier had we gone to them sooner. This was also agreed by our neighbours who are good friends and by chance both happen to be doctors.
    As you can see I have said “Far more sensible to take medicinal route/food supplements as suggested in Jon’s website and let the body/heart heal itself over time”
    However now I think if you try medicines and do not see improvements quiet quickly, say two months , then the answer is to take the operation as the safest route and perhaps not to wait too long.
    All my best wishes to you John. John B, Leeds, UK.

    Submitted by nad on
    January 13, 2016 - 5:13pm

    Is omega-3 really bad for low thyroid?

    Submitted by BaselineFoundation on
    January 19, 2016 - 7:13pm

    According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, just the opposite. In addition, studies have shown that fish oil can improve thyroid hormone uptake.

    Submitted by Katherine quinn on
    July 13, 2017 - 10:01pm
    Stirling ,

    I already take quite a few supplements. I have had
    a thyroid nodule for about 25 years. I have been told I have high cholesterol and the Dr advised if I don't go on a statin drug I will die within 10 years. Also I am borderline diabetic he says.
    I am totally against taking these drugs and he is angry at me.
    I did see a naturopath and was prescribed a powder mix that was to help me with sugar levels and also to loose weight including a special gluten free diet. I followed this for about 6 months and found it didn't help much and cost me about $300 a month plus supplements and appointments. I could not continue. I see what you recommend and it seems like a lot to take and I am self prescribing again. Please advise. Thank you

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