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RDA Minimum Recommendations
Table 1 - Dr Strand's Optimal Supplementation Recommendations
Preventing Degenerative Disease

"The good news is that there is something we can do, regardless of our age or our health, to retard the progression of degenerative diseases." former US Surgeon General, Dr Everett Koop:

The preponderance of the evidence . . . substantiates an association between dietary factors and rates of chronic diseases. In particular, the evidence suggests strongly that a dietary pattern that contains excessive intake of foods high in calories, fat (especially saturated fat), cholesterol, and sodium, But that is low in complex carbohydrates, and fiber, is one that contributes significantly to the high rates of' major chronic diseases among Americans. It also suggests that reversing such dietary patterns should lead to a reduced incidence of these chronic diseases.

The evidence clearly draws a link between our level of nutrition and our long-term health; those of us who consume a healthy diet and keep fit are likely to live longer, healthier lives. The dietary recommendations for chronic disease prevention are consistent from one specific condition to the next. In the same report mentioned above, the Surgeon General advocates a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. The report recommends a varied and balanced plant-based diet and warns against high-fat, calorie-dense foods that are devoid of any real nutritional value, such as those made with refined sugars and white flour.

In fact, we knew of the importance of good nutrition well before it became the focus of the US Surgeon General's report. Scientists who helped eradicate infectious diseases warned some time ago that we would be facing new health challenges based on our lifestyle choices. Most people simply accept the onset of arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes as inevitable results of the aging process-the truth is, these conditions are largely preventable.

For instance, up to 30% of heart disease can be attributed directly to obesity and oxidized cholesterol, two conditions that are lifestyle and diet related. Up to 35% of all cancer deaths, especially breast, prostate, and colon cancers, are related to diet. In 1997, the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Fund released a report claiming that a change in diet could prevent 3 to 4 million cancer cases throughout the world each year.8 As well, osteoporosis has been traced to diets low in calcium and vitamin D;9 macular degeneration and cataracts arise, in part, from low intakes of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. The pattern is undeniable.

With appropriate modifications to diet and lifestyle, 60 to 70% of the incidence of heart disease can be prevented, as can 80% of the incidence of stroke. Some experts believe that up to 80% of cancer deaths are also avoidable. As well, over 90% of type-2 diabetes, a major health risk for tens of thousands of Americans and Canadians, alike, is preventable-all through simple modifications in diet and exercise. The solution is almost too easy to imagine.
Nutrisearch’s "Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements" 4th Edition, by Lyle MacWilliam MSc, FP

Dr. Ray Strand: Optimal levels of Nutrients

Table 1, Optimal Levels of Nutrients

Because we now have the means of producing nutritional supplements, we are able to provide these nutrients at optimal levels. Optimal levels are those levels that have been shown to provide a health benefit in the medical literature. These are not RDA levels. When these nutrients are combined and taken together in supplementation at these optimal levels, the results are simply amazing.

Cellular nutrition is simply providing all nutrients to the cell at optimal levels. This allows the cell to decide what it really does and does not need. I don't have to worry about determining in which nutrients the cell is deficient. I simply provide all of the important nutrients at optimal levels and let the cells do their work. This approach corrects any nutritional deficiencies over the next few months.

Bakers know the true art of baking bread, but with the handy use of automatic bread machines, just about anyone can give it a try. We don't have to do much anymore in the way of technique. If you dump in all the right ingredients (in the right balance-this is even guaranteed thanks to premixed packets), you get a luscious, warm loaf of fresh homemade bread in about a couple of hours or so. But what if you don't have a little packet of ingredients and you forget the yeast? What if you use too much salt? This is the same approach we use with cellular nutrition. You want to provide all the necessary nutrients to the cell in a complete and balanced fashion. Then and only then will the cell have everything it needs to operate at its optimal capacity.

Protecting Your Health

Nutritional supplementation is really about health, not disease. Attacking the root cause of chronic degenerative disease is true preventive medicine. I realize that most of my readers enjoy good health and want to continue. Although I have shared many stories about patients who have developed a serious illness and were able to take back control of their health again, everyone would agree that it's much easier to maintain health than it is to try to regain it.

By applying these same principles, you who are in good health can decrease the risk of developing these chronic degenerative diseases. And those of you who are struggling with your health can empower your body to fight, if not reverse, chronic disease. When you combine a healthy diet, modest exercise program, and cellular nutrition, you always win health wise. Isn't this your goal'

The fact is, an apple a day won't keep the doctor away. Today you need to supplement your apple and the rest of your well-balanced diet with high quality nutritional supplements. Here I want to advise you of the basic nutrients you need to provide optimal cellular nutrition for your body.

When you provide all of these nutrients at optimal levels, your body receives all the health benefits nutritional supplementation provides. LDL cholesterol is more resistant to oxidation. Homocysteine levels decrease. Your eyes have greater antioxidant protection from the sunlight. The lungs have optimal protection. You enhance your immune and antioxidant defense system. You decrease the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, cancer, macular degeneration, cataracts, arthritis, Alzheimer's dementia, Parkinson's disease, asthma, diabetes, MS, lupus, and more.

Remember, this toxic world combined with our stressful lifestyle make it imperative that our immune system and antioxidant defense system are firing on all cylinders.


Sometimes a patient needs more than those nutrients listed in Table 1. If a patient is suffering from lasting fatigue or a chronic degenerative disease, he is under even more oxidative stress than normal, so I add what I call optimizers to his supplement program. These are antioxidants that are proven to be extremely potent. Nutritional companies are continually looking for more and more potent antioxidants, but presently the best is grape-seed extract, which is loaded with proanthacyanidins. These are very potent antioxidants that fall in a group of antioxidants called bioflavanoids, found in the colorful parts of fruits.

Grape-seed extract offers antioxidants that are fifty times more potent than vitamin E and twenty times more potent than vitamin C when used with all of the other antioxidants and supporting nutrients. Used alone it is only six to seven times more potent than vitamin E and three to four times more potent than vitamin C. Here again the power of synergy among nutrients is clear.

Don't forget one of the most important characteristics of grape-seed extract-the fact that it crosses through the blood brain barrier easily. In other words it gets into the fluid around the brain, spinal cord, and nerves most readily. For fatigued patients I usually recommend adding at least 100-200 mg of grape-seed extract, depending on the severity of their problem. It usually will only take four to six weeks before my patients are able to notice a significant improvement and feel normal again. They can actually back off their optimizers at this point, as long as they continue to do well.

Patients who are already suffering from a chronic degenerative disease such as MS, heart disease, lupus, Crohn's, cancer, or Parkinson's, are already in serious trouble. In this setting even normal, everyday free-radical production causes significant oxidative damage to fats, proteins, and the DNA of the cell. The repair systems are so overwhelmed they simply are not able to keep up and repair all of this damage. These patients need significantly more potent antioxidants if they are to have any hope of "capturing" their disease and redeeming their health. Again, in this situation, I also recommend optimizers be added to the basic cellular nutritional program recommended in Table 1.

The first optimizer I will usually choose is grape-seed extract, but for those struggling with chronic disease I will usually recommend much higher doses than I would for patients with just fatigue. Other optimizers would be CoQ10, glucosamine sulfate, lutein, zeaxanthine, niacin, magnesium, and calcium.

The following are the basic principles and nutrients I use as optimizers in these various chronic degenerative diseases All of my patients are taking the nutrients detailed in Table 1. I then add additional optimizers to this basic cellular nutrition program according to the seriousness of each individual case. Other than grape-seed extract, the optimizer I recommend most is CoQ10. It is not only a potent antioxidant but it is also essential for the creation of energy within the cell. In addition CoQ10 is a very important nutrient in enhancing the immune system.

[Note: CoQ10 is difficult to absorb. I am giving levels for the powder form in the following recommendations. You would need less CoQ10 if you take the Q-gel or soft-gel form of CoQ10]

Heart Disease

I add approximately 100 mg each of grape-seed extract and CoQ10 along with some additional magnesium, about 200 to 300 mg per day. l feel it is critical for these patients to be taking a basic product that contains a mixture of vitamin E as mentioned in Table 1.

If one's homocysteine level does not drop below 7 with just the B vitamins listed in Table 1, I will add 1-5 9 of TMG (trimethylglycine) to the patient's regimen.


I add 300-600 mg of CoQ10 to a patient's regimen along with some additional magnesium and 100 mg grape-seed extract. Patients will usually see a response within 4 months. CoQ10 is very safe and the top researchers in the country feel comfortable pushing to 600 mg daily if the patient is not responding to the lower doses. However, some cardiologists like to perform blood level testing on the amount of CoQ10 in your blood before they begin to push to these higher levels.)

Cancer Patients

It is hard to give a simple formula for all the various cancers. But if there is no evidence of the cancer spreading (or the surgeon believes he totally removed it), I will add 200 mg each of grape-
seed extract
and CoQ10. If the patient has metastatic cancer (cancer that's spread), l will recommend 300 mg of grape-seed extract along with 500-600 mg of CoQ10. Children ages 8 to 15 should take only half of the recommended levels on Table 1 and half of the grape seed extract and CoQ10 recommended here.

Muscular Degeneration

For patients with this condition, I primarily add 300 mg of grape-seed extract to the nutrients found in Table 1. I also add approximately 6-12 mg of additional lutein to the regime. l have found that if these patients are going to improve, it will occur within the first 4 months.

Multiple Sclerosis

My patients with MS have shown that at least 400 mg of grape-seed extract, 200-300 mg of CoQ10 and even some additional 500 to 1000 mg of vitamin C can be helpful in this disease. I warn my MS patients that it may be more than 6 months before they see any improvement.

Lupus and Crohn's Disease

These patients need about 300 mg of grape-seed extract and 200 mg of CoQ10 added to the basic supplements. Again, if these patients improve, it's usually after about 6 months.


I add 1,500-2,000 mg of glucosamine sulfate and about 100-200 mg of grape-seed extract. l have no problem if they also add 400 to 600 mg chondroitin sulfate or even 100 mg of MSM if the patients feel these help. l do not feel the medical evidence is strong enough at this time to absolutely recommend them as optimizers.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Add 1,500-2000 mg of glucosamine sulfate, 300 mg of CoQ10 400 mg of grape-seed extract, and 200 mg of additional magnesium and calcium. And I increase the omega-3 fatty acids by adding 3 to 4 fish oil capsule or two teaspoons of cold-pressed flax seed daily.


For these patients I do not recommend adding optimizers to my recommendations on Table 1; however, I strongly encourage them to be getting the right levels of vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium and to be sure they are taking these with food. They also need to get involved in an aggressive weight-bearing exercise program for the upper body.


I add 200-300 mg of grape-seed extract (children should take about 2 mg per pound per day) along with additional 1,000 mg vitamin C (children: 200-500 milligrams), and 200 mg magnesium (children could add an additional 100 mg).


The basic nutrients in Table 1 are usually sufficient. l also may add 200 mg of grape-seed extract along with additional vitamin C and magnesium as indicated above under asthma.

Alzheimer's Dementia and Parkinson's Disease

As I mentioned earlier, these patients have already lost a significant number of brain cells before the diagnosis is even made. l have seen some significant improvement with Parkinson's disease, though if the patient starts an aggressive nutritional program early in his disease. l recommend adding 400 mg of grape-seed extract to the regimen on Table 1. There is good medical evidence that the progression of the Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease may be slowed with this regimen.7

Diabetes Mellitus

I add approximately 100-200 mg of additional grape seed extract to this regime. The cellular nutrition listed on Table 1 definitely provides everything else the body needs.

Chronic Fatigue/ Fibromyalgia

I add 200-300 mg of grape-seed extract along with 100-200 mg of CoQ10 to the basic supplement program. Sometimes I need to increase the grape-seed extract to 400 or even 500 mg daily in order to capture this disease. Once patients are responding favorably, the amount can be decreased to a lower maintenance level.

Free Radicals and Oxidative Stress