James South – My Personal Supplement Regime

Written by SOUTH, MA, James

Since 1971, at age 23, I have been pursuing the “elixir of life” and the “fountain of youth.”

I suffered many severe health problems from infancy, including disabling allergies and asthma; severe arthritis of the knees; motion sickness so severe I would sometimes vomit riding in the car; and neuromuscular balance and co-ordination problems that would frequently cause me to trip going upstairs, or even over my own feet. By the time I reached college, I had suffered several head injuries, had suffered an explosion and episodes of chemical poisoning in my home chemistry lab, and had almost died in hospital from acute alcohol poisoning. In short, I was not exactly a candidate for a long and healthy life.

Medical Epiphany

I also realized by my early 20’s that standard medicine and doctors frequently offered little help, and often made my problems worse. I resolved to take control of my own health destiny, and achieved a “medical epiphany” in 1971 after reading Adelle Davis’ “Let’s Eat Right To Keep Fit” and R.J. Williams’ “Nutrition Against Disease” back to back.

In short order I was taking 50 nutritional supplements per day, and within weeks many of my lifelong health problems were vastly improved. I have avoided most of orthodox medicine ever since, and as a consequence I am overall much healthier at 55 than I was in youth.

Annual Intake

Since 1971, I have taken over 1,000,000 nutritional supplement pills, including over 250 pounds of vitamin C (8-15 grams per day). As Director of Research and Product Formulator for Source Naturals Vitamin company from 1987 through 1995, I was able to create many products custom-tailored for my own health needs, which I have taken ever since. I took my first life extension drug (Gerovital-H3 ®) in 1980, and began regular use of Hydergine ® in 1982, but did not begin my current extensive life extension/nootropic drug program until 1989, when I first discovered overseas pharmacies to supply them.

Allergies and Asthma

My long term difficulties with allergies and asthma have been steadily diminishing since 1971; throughout the 1990’s my yearly incidence of allergy and asthma attacks has dwindled virtually to zero. vitamin C, guercetin, vitamin A, pycnogenol and grape seed extract, magnesium and EPA/DHA and GLA have all helped decrease my allergic reactivity. I began using thymus extracts in the 1970’s, but have never found any as effective as Thym-Uvocal ®, which I’ve been using since 1993 (3-4 twice daily on empty stomach). At the same time Thym-Uvocal ® has reduced my immune hyperactivity, it has strengthened my germ-fighting ability.

I suffered frequent severe colds when younger, yet since taking Thym-Uvocal ® in 1993, I have not gotten a single severe cold, and rarely get even a mild/brief (3-5 days) cold.

Sleep-Aid Program

Chronic insomnia has plagued me since childhood, and so I have gradually perfected a sleep-aid program. I usually take 2-3mg Melatonin, 25mg Epanutin ® (phenytoin), 1000mg Tryptophan (or 100mg 5-HTP), 1-2 grams GABA, 1-2 grams Glycine, 2-3 grams Inositol, 1 gram Magnesium and 500mg Calcium, I gram Taurine, and various herbs at bedtime. Even with this extensive program I still have my occasional sleepless nights, no doubt due to my intensive nootropic/ neuronutrient intake.

Neuronutrients and nootropic drugs are the core of my supplement program. I routinely take 500-1000mg B1, 500-1000mg B3, 200mg B6, 10-15mg Biotin and other B’s as well. Many of the popular neuronutrients, such as ALC, ginkgo, choline and DMAE, simply don’t agree with my system, but I have found NADH, phosphatidyl serine, pregnenolone, CoQ10, Idebenone and Lipoic Acid to be especially helpful. Since chronic cortisol excess is the “archenemy” of the aging brain, and I have been hypercortisolic since youth, I continually search for cortisol-controlling supplements. I have found vitamin C, Melatonin, 7-Keto® DHEA, Epanutin ® (phenytoin), Phosphatidyl Serine and Gerovital-H3 ® to be useful in minimizing cortisol excess.

Nootropic Drugs

Because of the continuous study I do in my fields – not just nutrition, biochemistry and medicine – I have found it helpful as I get older to utilize a broad array of nootropic drugs. These help to maximize my memory, concentration, information-processing, comprehension and integration abilities. They have also reduced my severe life-long writing block.

The brain repair produced through my neuronutrients/nootropic program has long since overcome my co-ordination/balance problems. One of the ways I occasionally demonstrate this to myself is to whirl around on one foot at high speed like a “whirling dervish” then instantly stop and reverse direction in a split second, whirling again at high speed, without even slight loss of balance or dizziness.

My current nootropic intake includes Piracetam (2.4grams, 2-4 times daily), Pramiracetam (300mg twice daily), Aniracetam (375mg twice daily), and Oxiracetam (400mg twice daily). I also use Pyritinol (100-200mg daily), Hydergine ® (4.5-6.75mg daily) and Vinpocetine (2.5-7.5mg daily) on occasion, especially when writing.

One of my favorite nootropics is liquid Deprenyl Citrate. I had used Jumex ® (Deprenyl HCL) intermittently over the years, but found that it didn’t agree with me. It often made me irritable, anxious, “uptight” and even depressed at times. About 5 years ago Dr. Ward Dean convinced me to try the liquid Deprenyl, and much to my surprise I found it to be qualitatively different from Jumex. I find it to be an excellent mood elevator, psychoenergizer, and motivation-enhancer. It has improved my fine neuromuscular control, and seems to be a dopaminergic neuroprotector. I take 1-3 drops sublingually upon arising every morning. It may not be a coincidence that I’ve written more in the past few years than the previous decade.

Antioxidant Power

Another major purpose of my supplements program is to optimize my body’s antioxidant power. I routinely take C, E, Tocotrienols, selenium, zinc, manganese, Lutein, Lycopene, Glutathione, Lipoic Acid, various Proanthocyanidins, Silymarin and at times Pyritinol to mop up the free radical excess that is inevitably produced both by normal metabolism and life in our toxic modern world. Having followed the free radical/antioxidant technical literature for decades, I have no doubt that free radical damage is one of the main, if not the main, causes of aging and degenerative disease. And given the furious mitochondrial activity of brain cells (which inevitably generates massive free radical release), combined with the high-levels of extremely oxidizable DHA found in neuronal membranes, the brain is doubtless the most at-risk organ from free radical damage. (S. Levine and P. Kidd’s “Antioxidant Adaptation” and R. Bradford and H. Allen’s “Oxidology” are two excellent overview texts on the subject of free radicals/antioxidants I highly recommend).

Personal Profiles

My occasional laboratory blood profiles verify the efficacy of my diet, supplement and life extension drug program. My last test showed a total blood cholesterol of 165mg%, an HDL level of 66mg%, and a total cholesterol: HDL ratio of 2.5. (Low heart disease risk is below 3.5). My blood triglyceride (fat) level was also a low 55mg% (normal = 35-200mg%). Every one of the 50 or so blood parameters measured was within normal limits – most in the midrange of normal. And my normally low cholesterol/triglyceride levels are maintained with a high meat, moderate fat but virtually zero sugar diet. My lifestyle is also fairly sedentary, with walking being my main exercise. I also avoid processed foods, junk foods and fried foods like the plague they are.

Self micro-management

Another benefit of my supplement program, combined with my technical knowledge and decades of careful self-observation, is my ability to effectively micro-manage my mood, energy, healing, immune and general health status. If I’m fatigued, I can rev up my energy. If I’m agitated, I can rapidly calm myself. If I’m insomniac, I can usually put myself to sleep. If I’m depressed, I can elevate my mood. If I notice even a hint of a cold trying to develop I can usually knock it out in 12-hours or less. If I’m injured I can accelerate wound-healing. Etc, etc.

It does take time, energy and discipline to continuously carry out my health program (not to mention money!) and at times even I feel it to be a nuisance (I take various supplements five times daily, from arising to bedtime). Yet given that I’m generally far healthier at 55 than I was at 15, on balance I think it’s all rather a bargain – I never did enjoy suffering and debility all that much!