Supplement recommendations in “The Ultramind Solution” by Dr. Mark Hyman


One-third less than the over-priced “Ultramind Solution” supplements!

The UltraMind Solution: Fix Your Broken Brain by Healing Your Body First
Mark Hyman, M.D.

This is one of many books published in recent years that seek to translate the enormous body of research findings from the last few decades about nutrition and brain function into simple, useful guidelines for improving and maintaining good mental functioning and psychological well-being. While it’s a popularizing text (Dr. Hyman has even been on Martha Stewart–see link below!), this book does, we feel, accurately register many important trends in our knowledge of nutrition and nutritional supplements and how these factors relate to mental health.

Here’s the statistic that sets off Dr. Hyman’s project: one in three Americans suffer from some kind of “brain dysfunction” (one term in use: “brain fog”), including symptoms such as depression, anxiety, memory loss, attention deficit disorder, autism, and dementia.

“The Ultramind Solution” contends that revising your diet–changing your nutritional intake–can often make a huge difference in these symptoms. Dr. Hyman’s recommendations focus both on weeding out elements that adversely affect the system (too much sugar, poorly chosen carbs, alcohol, cigarettes), and sticking to a menu of what’s good, especially what’s good for brain function: 1) omega fatty acids (found in salmon, sardines, flaxseed); 2) amino acid sources (nuts, lean meats); 3) high-quality carbs (for example, beans, peas, and lentils); 4) phyto-nutrients (plant foods containing antioxidants and other helpful substances, like blueberries, cilantro, etc.).

Finally, Dr. Hyman observes that, since more than 90% of Americans don’t get adequate nutrients from food (a finding of an often-cited US government survey), people realistically will need to supplement at least periodically in several key categories: 1) a multivitamin; 2) fish oil (omega fatty acids); 3) Calcium/Magnesium; 3) Vitamin D; 4) B complex vitamins; 5) probiotics (for good digestion/absorption of nutrients); and 6) occasionally a sleep aid like melatonin to insure a good amount of rest.

Here are some NYBC suggestions for supplementing in the categories recommended by Dr. Hyman:

Multivitamins: Added protection with Iron (Douglas) ; Added Protection without Iron (Douglas) – recommended for those with liver conditions; Opti-Pack – iron-free (SuperNutrition); Super Immune Multivitamin – iron-free (SuperNutrition)

Fish oil: Max DHA (Jarrow); ProOmega (Nordic Naturals) 60 caps; ProOmega (Nordic Naturals) 180 caps;

For Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin D, NYBC recommends Bone-Up (Jarrow), which provides all three nutrients in the most useful dosages.

B complex vitamins: B-right (Jarrow)

Probiotics: NYBC recommends Jarrodophilus EPS (Jarrow) because it doesn’t require refrigeration. But other probiotics may be useful as well–see the Probiotics entry on the NYBC website.

NYBC also stocks Melatonin in several formats.

See Dr. Hyman on Martha Stewart:


“Prevention of Diabetes with Nutritional Supplements”

“Prevention of Diabetes with Nutritional Supplements” is the title of a research project funded in 2007 by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (an NIH Center). The researchers at University of California – Davis are investigating alpha lipoic acid and a combination of alpha lipoic acid and the omega-3 fatty acid EPA as means to prevent or delay onset of Type 2 diabetes. The researchers are hypothesizing that the combination of ALA and the omega-3 fatty acid (also known as eicosapentaenoic acid, a component of fish oil supplements) may have effect against insulin resistance associated with adult-onset diabetes, and against impairment of pancreatic function.

See also the NYBC entries on the supplements mentioned in this research:

Arctic Omega fish oil (with EPA)

Alpha Lipoic Acid (sometimes called just “Lipoic Acid”)

EPA (fish oil): from the Physician’s Desk Reference Health site

Thought we’d draw attention to a great online resource for getting the basics on a supplement, and for checking on potential interactions among supplements, drugs, food, alcohol:  Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR) Health.
Below is an excerpt from the entry for EPA (fish oil), which includes the usual warning about interaction with blood-thinnning medications like Coumadin.

See also the entry on fish oil on the NYBC website.


What is it?
EPA is an oil that comes from fish. It is used to treat asthma, cancer, arthritis, Lupus, blood clotting, gingivitis (gum disease), high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure), colitis (inflammatory bowel disease), Crohn’s disease, and psoriasis. EPA is also used as an antiinflammatory (help with pain and swelling), to stimulate the immune system, and for cardiovascular health, to help prevent heart disease and stroke. It may also be used to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Other names for EPA include: Eicosapentaenoic Acid, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acid, Essential Fatty Acid. 

Drug and Food Interactions:
Do not take omega-3 fish oils such as EPA without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

Blood thinning medicines (examples: warfarin (Coumadin(R); dicumarol (Dicumarol(R))