Selected Podcast

Ask Dr. Mike: Protandim Product Information & How Important Is Sleep for Your Workout?

Here you'll find the answers to a wealth of health and wellness questions posed by Healthy Talk fans. Listen in because what you know helps ensure healthy choices you can live with. Today on Healthy Talk, you wanted to know:

What can you tell me about the antioxidant product Protandim?
Protandim contains a ton of great antioxidants like milk thistle and curcumin. However, Dr. Mike thinks this product is under-dosed and doesn't contain the right kind of curcmin. You may want to consider something else like vitamin C, L-carnitine, amino acids, pomegranate, and CoQ10.

I try to work out in the morning because after a long day at work and getting things done around the house, I just feel so tired. But, I should also mention I have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. I don't feel like I get enough sleep when my alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m. So, I was wondering if it's better to get extra sleep or make myself get out of bed? 

It doesn't seem like this regimen isn't working for you. Dr. Mike thinks you need to focus more on your sleep and try to get a workout in the afternoon. Even though you're tired, you might want to try eating a high-protein snack with a good source of fat. Or, you might want to try to a supplement that combines cordyceps and fermented ginseng. If you are having trouble sleeping, you may want to try lemon balm, magnesium, and melatonin.

If you have a health question or concern, Dr. Mike encourages you to write him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call in, toll-free, to the LIVE radio show (1.844.305.7800) so he can provide you with support and helpful advice.

RadioMD Presents:Healthy Talk | Original Air Date: April 1, 2015
Host: Michael Smith, MD

It's time for you to be a part of the show. Email or call with questions for Dr. Mike now. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call: 877-711-5211. What are you waiting for? The doctor is in.

DR MIKE: So, my first question is from Brenda Anderson. She even asked when I would read this question on air and I told her I would do it today. You can do that when you send your email question to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

I want you to listen every day live, but we offer all of my shows on demand at RadioMD. I know that you can't make it live every day, but if you submit a question and you definitely want to hear it read on air, tell me when you would like for me to do it. Now, I can't guarantee anything, but I'll try my best. Or, we'll work together like I did with Brenda and come up with a time to read it on air.

Anyway, let me get on with Brenda's question.
"Dr. Smith: Thank you for your radio show. It's informative." I appreciate that. "I can listen to the podcast." That's awesome.

" What can you tell me about the antioxidant product called protandim? I'm currently considering purchasing this product as it is supposed to specifically reduce oxidative stress. I don't like that it's one of those pyramid marketing programs, so I want to know if the product is all it is supposed to be. I have a strong family history of cardiovascular disease." That's an important point to know.

"I am 58 and very healthy thus far, so have considered using this product to help with prevention. After doing my own search on PubMed about it, there seems to be a large amount of evidence-based research supporting some of the products ingredients in mice, so I'm confused. What do you know about it and do you recommend it for general health or are there other products that you recommend? Please let me know if and when you will air my question."

I told her when I would do this. There you go. You can tell me when you would like me to read your question.

So, I've had several questions on protandim throughout my career. At least in the last, I don't know, three or four years and the product, to be honest with you, doesn't impress me that much so I always forget what's in it and I have to go look it up. Nothing against it. Just every time I look at the ingredients I think, "Well, okay, that's nothing special," because it's not. I know it can be expensive, I think? I didn't really look at the cost. So, to answer the question, as a collection of antioxidants, it's a good product. It has milk thistle, bacopa, ashwagandha, green tea, turmeric. So, yes. Now, I think the doses are a little low and the turmeric that they're using is not the best kind. The best kind of turmeric is called BCM95 and they're not using that in the product, so they're not even using the best curcumin and it's only 75mg, significantly under dosed. Significantly. So, yes. So, it has the right stuff in it, right? It has good stuff, I just think you could probably just do some of these separately.

Brenda, you were specifically asking about your heart disease risk, right? You say, "I have a strong family history of cardiovascular disease," so all of these antioxidants are good in the product, but I think there are other ones you're missing. I mean, are you doing CoQ10? Are you taking L-carnitine? Are you getting enough vitamin C? Like maybe 1000mg, 2000mg of vitamin C every day. Taurine, the amino acid, about a gram a day. What about pomegranate? I mean, you give me history of at least a family history of cardiovascular disease, that's what I'm going to focus on for you. That's personalizing your approach. Although protandim might just be a nice collection of under dosed, in my opinion, antioxidants, it might be an okay product. But, for you specifically, you mentioned cardiovascular disease. So, I think there are other products you might consider. At least pomegranate and that's not one of the ingredients.

So, listen, it's protandim. Forget the fact that it's multilevel marketing. Whatever. It's a collection of five antioxidants. They're good antioxidants. You've got liver support in there. You have anti-inflammatory support in there. You have oxidative support in there. So, I mean, it's good. It has 5 good products, I personally think they're under dosed and at least one of them is the wrong form. It's the wrong extract. BCM95 for curcumin. It's not in there. So, I think there is better. Nothing against protandim. Sorry. I'll probably get some emails. That's okay. We agree to disagree.

So, again, let me reiterate for you, Brenda, it's critical for you that you focus on the heart and at least get some pomegranate in there. The CoQ10, the carnitine, those would be probably better for you outside of the basics, a multivitamin, Omega 3 oils, probiotics. Okay. Alright. So, that's my opinion about protandim.

Alright. Let's go on. This is a question that came to me from Beth McGraham.

"Hi, Dr. Mike. First I wanted to say, I love your show." Thank you.

"I've learned so much from listening." Awesome.

"I also try to work out in the morning because after a long day at work, and getting things done around my house, I just feel so tired."

Okay, so Beth works out in the morning because she doesn't have energy at the end of the day. That's the gist of that.

"But I should also mention I have a really hard time falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night. I don't feel like I get enough get enough sleep by the time my alarm goes off at 5:30 AM."

Assuming she's getting up earlier to go work out. "So, I was wondering if it was better to get extra sleep or make myself get out of bed?"

So, let's make sure, Beth, that I'm reading this correctly. You work out in the morning because you don't have energy in the afternoon, so you get up a little extra early to do that, but you don't feel like you're getting enough sleep. It doesn't sound like this regimen is working well for you. There's nothing wrong with playing around with your exercise regimen, your daily regimen, to try to find what's going to work best. I agree with you, I think you've got to have sleep. As a matter of fact, if you don't sleep well and you're working out, your recovery is going to be diminished. You're not going to build the muscle like you could. You're not going to produce the growth hormone like you need to after exercise.

So, I think I'm going to answer this by saying I want you to get more sleep. Maybe you need to readjust the entire process here. How about, let's focus on the sleep and shift the workout to the afternoon. Now, I know you tell me that you're low in energy in the afternoon. I get that. Maybe I can make some suggestions there. Maybe in the afternoon, for a snack, try a high protein snack. No sugars, no caffeine. That's just going to crash you, right? Water and a high protein/moderate fat snack like almonds. Perfect. Almonds is a great combination of protein and fat. About 150 calories per ounce, per handful or so. That would be good. That might give you some energy. You can also do a supplement. There's a supplement that combines fermented ginseng and cordyceps. I don't have time to go into what cordyceps are, but that combination, you can find it at many companies. It's kind of the replacement of and afternoon coffee. The fermented ginseng and the cordyceps help your mitochondria to product ATP, so you combine that with protein and fat, you might have enough energy to do your workout.

Also, remember, too, even if you're feeling tired, if you start to work out, that will give you energy as well. So, I think you should sleep. I think you should take that workout, move it to the afternoon and get your sleep. Melatonin, lemon balm, valerian root, gaba, there are all sorts of choices there. Magnesium to help you sleep. Get your sleep. Try the protein and fat snack in the afternoon with the fermented ginseng and cordyceps product and work out in the afternoon. Give it a try. See how it works. Don't try it for 2 days and give up. Be consistent. Give it a good 2, 3, 4 weeks and see how you feel, Beth. I hope that helps.

This is Healthy Talk on RadioMD. I'm Dr. Mike. Stay well.