Protandim is a patented dietary supplement, developed by Dr. Joe McCord, and marketed by LifeVantage Corporation. It is a combination of five herbal supplements, intended to stimulate the body’s own production of antioxidants and cellular regeneration. The manufacturer claims that "It is the only supplement clinically proven to reduce oxidative stress in humans by an average of 40 percent in 30 days."
Few human studies have been done, and results were not conclusive. I place little stock in those studies, because participant diets were not documented, and neither were the effects of the commonly accepted "healthy diet" which includes consumption of manufactured foods and simple carbohydrates "in moderation". I have found that a clean diet, free from manufactured foods has produced marked positive alterations in mood, sleep and energy levels in our family. (Not to mention weight-loss.) It is my personal belief (from research and from personal experience) that the effectiveness of supplements is greatly increased (or inhibited) by diet.
Countless individual testimonials can be found on the internet, raving about Protandim's effectiveness for degenerative disease in both humans and animals. I am not debating it's effectiveness. Either you accept the influence food and supplements have on the body, or you don't. What I found most impressive were the videos of animals that had been debilitated by arthritis or infection and had exhibited new mobility after being placed on Protandim. And as my friend Teeny says, "Animals don't lie."
Because I am holistically minded, I was intrigued by the combination of herbs and the testimonials of those who have used it. I haven't found any well-founded criticism of Protandim, save those who don't subscribe to the concept of natural healing. My only deterrant: COST. At $40 per bottle, the pills are $1.33 EACH! Though I wanted to try it's effectiveness on my family's health, I could not afford a WHOPPING $160 per month to purchase four bottles---one for each of my family (including myself).
In looking for a more cost-effective way to aquire the supplements, I found that all the elements in Protandim are available individually. The dosage of the individual supplements is higher, of course, so I may try emptying capsules into our morning smoothies (then dividing amongst my family members) which of course would be even more frugal than giving each of us the individual supplements, but I have not found research that would suggest that higher dosages would be detrimental, aside from some mild side-effects with a couple of the herbs (like the posiblilty of gastric sensitivity). But knowing which of the herbs causes that is instrumental in knowing which to adjust if one of us does have stomach pain.
Below I have documented Protandim's ingredients (excluding fillers) their benefits, side-effects and recommended individual dosage (for adults). Also included is a Protandim Ingredients (excluding fillers) cost analysis of the individual herbs.
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) extract (225 mg): Enhances cellular protein synthesis, reduces triglyceride accumulation. Protects the liver against poisoning from chemical and environmental toxins, including snakebites, insect stings, mushroom poisoning and alcohol.
- Side Effects: Milk thistle sometimes causes a laxative effect. Other less common side effects are nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, intestinal gas, bloating, fullness or pain, and loss of appetite.
- Interactions: Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Milk thistle might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications.
- Recommended Dosage: 420 mg
Bacopa (Bacopa monniera) extract (150 mg): Supports brain function and memory, reduces anxiety. Can cause stomach distress. Induces Nrf2, an anti-oxidant gene response.
- Side Effects: An adaptogen (blocks stress response) it has a mild tranquilizing affect, so it should be paired with a stimulant.
- Interactions: No known drug interactions
- Recommended Dosage: 300 mg
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) Root (150 mg): Anti-inflammatory, immune stimulant, decreases cellular sensitivity to stress. Being studied for its brain and neuron regenerative properties. Reduces insomnia and depression.
- Side Effects: Large doses of ashwagandha may cause stomach upset
- Interactions: May increase effects of sedatives. May decrease the effectiveness of immune suppressants and increase the effects of thyroid hormones.
- Recommended Dosage: 300 - 500 mg
- Side Effects: Green tea contains caffeine. The caffeine in green tea, especially when taken in large amounts, can worsen diarrhea. May decrease absorption of dietary iron (unless paired with Vitamin C). EGCG slightly reduces bioavailability of salicyclic acid, ferulic acid.
- Interactions: Caffeine is a stimulant. Stimulant drugs speed up the nervous system. Taking green tea along with stimulant drugs might cause increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Some drugs can decrease how the body breaks down caffeine. Milk proteins can form complexes with green tea catechins (which makes them temporarily indigestible) these complexes are digested and the green tea is released in the intestines, so it may be absorbed.
- Recommended Dosage: 300 - 500 mg
- When Paired with IP-6: Studies suggest the combination will help prevent kidney stones. Quercetin will help with bio-flavonoid absorption.
- Side Effects: Some people can experience stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, or diarrhea.
- Interactions: Turmeric might slow blood clotting. Taking turmeric along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
- Recommended dosage: 500mg twice daily
- Pair with Fish Oil: For more effective cellular communication
- Nature's Way Ashwagandha Standardized, 60 Capsules, Price: $8.99, Price per pill: $0.15
- Nature's Way Milk Thistle Standardized, 120 Capsules, Price: $15.34, Price per pill: $0.13
- Vitacost Bacopa Extract Featuring Bacognize, 300 mg, 120 Capsules, Price: $6.99, Price per pill: $0.06
- Vitacost Green Tea Extract, Standardized, 500 mg, 100 Capsules, Price: $6.39, Price per pill: $0.06
- Vitacost Turmeric Extract, 800 mg per serving, 100 Capsules, Price: $9.99m Price per pill: $0.10
So now you know!
Sources: Examine.com, WebMD.com, VitaCost.com, Needs.com
I do not sell Protandim. I am not affiliated with LifeVantage in any way, or with any of the other sites listed in this post. This information is intended to be used for educational and information purposes only. I do not advocate nutritional supplementation over proper medical advice or treatment. If using any pharmaceuticals or drugs given to you by a doctor or received with a prescription, you must consult with the doctor in question or an equally qualified Health Care Professional prior to using any nutritional supplementation. If undergoing medical therapies, then consult with your respective Therapist or Health Care Professional about possible interactions between your Treatment, any Pharmaceuticals or Drugs being given, and possible nutritional supplements or practices I have documented above.
I do not assume liability for any actions undertaken after reading this information, and I do not assume liability if one misuses supplements that I recommend. I do not ensure that unforeseen side effects will not occur even at the proper dosages, and thereby I do not assume liability for any side effects from supplements or practices I have documented above.