Dr. Roizen’s Vitamin Plan

In my last post, I discussed the dietary suggestions of Dr. Mike Roizen, chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic. The doctor admits that even though he was eating a “good” diet, full of colorful fruits and vegetables, he still found that he was missing a lot of vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins & Supplements

Roizen thus recommends a number of supplements, as per the following list: 

  1. Vitamin D—either D2 or D3—2000 IU per day
  2. A multivitamin that contains roughly 100% of the daily value for B vitamins, taken half in the morning and half in the evening.
  3. Calcium, 600 mg
  4. Magnesium, 300 mg
  5. Fish oil containing 900 mg per day DHA
  6. Two baby aspirin daily, one in the morning and one in the afternoon
  7. Omega-7 fatty acids from macadamia nuts and fish
  8. Probiotics
  9. Co-Enzyme Q10, 100 mg in the morning and 100 mg in the evening.
This list is similar to what numerous practitioners recommend—but not one that is likely to contribute to good health.

This list is similar to what numerous practitioners recommend—but not one that is likely to contribute to good health.


Almost all nutritionally oriented practitioners recommend taking vitamin D—some recommend up to 5000 IU per day. This can cause many problems, starting with excessive levels of calcium in the blood.  Symptoms include digestive distress, such as vomiting, nausea, constipation, diarrhea and stomach pain; fatigue, dizziness and confusion; excessive thirst; and frequent urination. Other side effects of too much D are kidney problems and, ironically, bone loss.

As we have pointed out numerous times at the Weston A. Price Foundation, the fat-soluble vitamins work synergistically—A, D and K2 all work together to direct virtually all the body’s processes, starting with calcium balance—that is, putting calcium in the bones and teeth where it belongs, and not in the bloodstream and soft tissues (such as the arteries and kidneys) where it doesn’t belong. Taking vitamin D by itself will cause deficiencies in A and K2, with many attendant miseries. Many practitioners are beginning to recognize the role of vitamin K2 is regulating calcium, and are suggesting a supplement that combines D and K2, but they still leave out the tragically demonized vitamin A.

I recently heard a lecture by Morley Robbins who spoke about the key role of vitamin A in regulating iron. He had very harsh words for the practice of prescribing vitamin D as it depletes the body of vitamin A—a key nutrient for regulating ceruloplasmin—a huge copper-containing enzyme that puts iron in the red blood cells where it belongs and keeps it out of the tissues, where it does not belong.

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We need to get A, D and K2 together from foods, starting with cod liver oil (A and D) , grassfed butter or butter oil (A, D and K2), poultry fat including emu oil (D and K2), poultry liver (A, D and K2), egg yolks (A, D and K2), aged cheese (A, D and K2) and animal fats (A, D and K2)—all foods that Dr. Roizen is avoiding.


This can be any multi-vitamin, according to Dr. Roizen. Most of these formulations are made in China and may contain harmful additives like coal tar dyes, lead, mercury, PCBs, magnesium silicate (talc), magnesium stearate and titanium dioxide, not to mention a host of fillers and binders. Plus, many of the vitamin forms—such as folic acid—can actually cause a deficiency in the needed form of the vitamin. So, so much better to get your B vitamins in food, starting with liver, raw milk and cheese and pork—again, foods that Dr. Roizen is avoiding–along with leafy greens (cooked and served with butter) and legumes (properly prepared, of course).


Since Dr. Roizen doesn’t eat dairy foods, he is going to need calcium, but not in a supplement form. Side effects of calcium supplementation are similar to those of vitamin D supplementation, but also include muscle cramps, irritability and headaches.  If you are taking calcium along with D, expect these side effects in spades. Dr. Roizen needs to consume some cheese or other whole dairy products to get calcium with the co-factors and in the form the body needs.  If he doesn’t want to do this, then he should do what traditional peoples did—grind up the bones of small animals and add them to his food.  If he makes chicken broth (not expecting him to do this any time soon), he can mash up the soft bones and add them to soup.  Personally, I’d rather get my calcium from raw milk and cheese.


Magnesium is at the top of the mineral hit parade these days, with many people taking it.  A common side effect is diarrhea and stomach cramping.  Less common—but more scary—are dizziness, fainting, muscle paralysis, trouble breathing, blurred or double vision, coma, drowsiness, slow heartbeat, and increased or decreased urination.

The truth is that lots of foods contain magnesium, including many of the foods that Dr. Roizen eats, such as dark leafy greens, seeds, beans, fish, whole grains, nuts, avocados and bananas. You can also get magnesium from dairy foods, meat and organ meats. Anyone eating a diet of whole, unprocessed foods will be getting enough magnesium.  And remember, as with all minerals, vitamin A is critical for assimilation.


Oh brother! Fish oil is a waste product of the fish industry, extracted from ground up fish scraps with the application of heat between 90 and 95 degrees C (almost at the boiling point). There can’t be much left of the fragile omega-3 fatty acids like DHA with heat treatment like this. Indeed, fish oil can cause a significant increase in lipid peroxides in the blood—a condition that can lead to cancer [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9168460].

Also, taking fish oil can lead to an overdose of omega-3 fatty acids. If you are not getting enough long-chain omega-6 in your diet, namely arachidonic acid (AA), available exclusively from animal fats and organ meats, to balance these omega-3s, you are likely to experience digestive disorders, food intolerances, skin conditions and inflammation, among other problems. This is why we always recommend taking cod liver oil (a source of omega-3 fatty acids) in the context of a diet rich in AA from meat fats, butter and organ meats.


I was not aware that aspirin was an essential nutrient! Studies ranging from 2000 to 2011 have shown a significant downside to use of aspirin—including intestinal bleeding and a tendency to stroke—with little benefit. A definitive study indicating that the risks of aspirin outweigh the benefits came out just last year, with considerable fanfare in the press. Dr. Roizen is not as well informed as he claims!


Omega-7 fatty acids are a class of monounsaturated fatty acids in which the site of unsaturation is seven carbon atoms from the end of the carbon chain (not nine, as in olive oil). The two most common omega-7 fatty acids in nature are palmitoleic acid and vaccenic acid.

Palmitoleic acid has been an object of demonization because you find it in “forbidden” foods like palm oil and lard. It does have anti-microbial properties; it protects against the overgrowth of pathogens in the gut. If you are eating a normal diet that includes animal fat and delicious foods like bacon and cheese, you will be getting all the omega-7 you need.


In most cases, not necessary! Just eat a little lacto-fermented food every day, foods like sauerkraut, homemade kefir or beet kvass.


If Dr. Roizen is taking a statin, he definitely needs to take co-enzyme Q10, because statins interfere with this important enzyme. You need co-enzyme Q10 for your muscles to work, including the heart muscle. Smart people not taking statins make co-enzyme Q10 from cholesterol, and also can get it from red meat (including heart).

So if none of these supplements is good, which supplements should we take?  That will be the subject of my next blog.

The Weston A. Price Foundation is your source for accurate information on nutrition and health.

Author: Sally Fallon Morell

Sally Fallon Morell is best known as the author of Nourishing Traditions®: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. This well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods contains a startling message: animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels.

5 thoughts on “Dr. Roizen’s Vitamin Plan”

  1. I am very interested in reading the sequel to this blog. How frequently do you blog? Have you addressed the diabetes issue in any of your blogs? I noticed that there are no Archives for May 2019. I have been reading and using your cookbook, Nourishing Traditions for about two years, and changing the way I cook – back to the way my mother cooked. My finance and I are in our early 70s and he is Type 2 Diabetic. We are both still very active, but need to lose weight. We are overwhelmed with all the ‘information’ available, and worthless diet fads..

    I make chicken broth on a regular basis from pasture raised chicken and include the chicken feet, and we drink this on a regular basis. We have read and studied Dr. Jason Fung’s book, “The Obesity Code”, and attempting to incorporate fasting into our lifestyle. We have cut carbs but not really sold on a high fat diet.

    The American Diabetes Association is a eCommerce site selling their wares and we are not interested in their publications – tried their magazine and consider it useless. I guess what we are looking for is a complete guide, with a food plan and simple recipes that do not require going to the grocery store daily. I have resisted documenting and writing my own; however, I believe that is what I will need to do. I do believe people are depending on bottled vitamins to keep them healthy, and since the majority of our vitamins and pharmaceutical drugs are manufactured in India and/or China, I do not consider them safe to ingest. Sorry this comment became so lengthy – looking forward to your next blog regarding this vitamin issue. Thank you for your time.

  2. Thank you for all the work you do. So glad I found your book and started eating real foods… years of taking vitamins made me more sick!

  3. So I’m showing early symptoms of MS. You’re book says to take a multi-B vitamin but according to this article, I should be getting my vitamins from food. Which one is it?

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