Selected Podcast

Ask Dr. Mike: Safe & Natural Energy for Your Child's Finals PLUS Reduced Stroke Risk from Multivitamin Use

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:

With finals coming up, I don't want my daughter taking things like NoDoz to stay up. What can she take for energy that's safe and lasting?

Dr. Mike wants you to understand that you can't just take these natural energy boosters and expect to see immediate results. It's better to take these over a period of time. These supplements include CoQ10, carnitine, ribose, vitamin B12, and fermented gingseng.

Please discuss the study that showed people taking a multivitamin had a reduced risk of stroke. Nowhere in the mainstream media is this being reviewed.

Unfortunately, that's how some media outlets are. That's why it's so important for you to do your own research.

Published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, researchers revealed a reduction in stroke deaths among users of multivitamin supplements.

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: May 12, 2015
Host: Michael Smith, MD

It's time for you to be a part of the show e-mail or call in with questions for Dr. Mike now. E-mail ask Dr. Mike Smith at radio or call 877 711 5211. What are you waiting for? The doctor is in.

DR MIKE: So, this first question is from a listener who apparently has a daughter who is taking finals and she says:

"With finals coming up, I don't want my daughter taking things like No Doz to stay up. What can she take for energy that's safe and lasting?"

See, I remember No Doz. For those of you... I don't even know if it's still out there, No Doz was very, very popular in the 80s and 90's. It's basically just pure caffeine. I mean high, high dose, you know, 200 mg 300 mg I don't remember. I remember once taking No Doz and, a lot of it, I remember cleaning my dorm or at that point I was in an apartment, but cleaning the apartment, doing laundry and not studying.

So, I got some house cleaning stuff done that definitely needed to get done but I didn't do any studying. Yes, and it's not good, obviously. Come on, we don't want to be giving kids that. Just have them drink some coffee. That would probably be a little bit better.

So, what can she take, though, for lasting energy. I want to mention, I could list out some things for you, for your daughter and they're just suggestions, I can't tell you what to do. I think, when it comes to the natural energy boosters, the lasting energy, you can't just take these things the night you're studying. I mean, you might feel a little energy, but it's not like 300 mg of caffeine, that's for sure. It's better to take these things over a period of time and build up your ATP production.

You'll just have more energy in general. You're sleeping better. When you do the natural supplements for cell energy and overall energy. You just function better, including sleep. I know it sounds weird, but you do. You sleep better. Your overall outlook is better. So, maybe what you need to do with your daughter is get her on these things over the summer, get her energy levels up through good ATP production and that will send her off into the next semester. You can try, though, I mean it's not going to hurt, you can start CoQ10--ubiquinol CoQ10. If she's never done it before 50 mg, 100 mg something like that.

Carnitine is an amino acid that helps to bring in the fats that you can burn better as energy. A good natural sweetener that's not a dietary sugar is called ribose, D-ribose. You can get it in powder and you can use that to sweeten the coffee. You get your caffeine from the coffee and the nice energy boost from this non-dietary sugar called D-ribose. It's very important for ATP production. D-ribose, by the way, was really popular in the industry a few years ago. I actually had some at my desk.

I don't know why I don't use it anymore, not for any specific reason and I haven't seen or heard too much about D-ribose recently, but it's good. Maybe coffee and D-ribose is the way to go. B-vitamins, B-12, under the tongue so you really absorb all that B-12—1 mg, 2 mg, 3mg something like that. That would be good. And then the other one, and I've talked about this combination before. It's a combination and it is a supplement product. It's a combination of cordyceps, which is a type of, let's just call it a mushroom, although it's not. Cordyceps are weird, but it's basically a mushroom type thing with fermented ginseng--not regular ginseng, but fermented ginseng. You can get more of these ginseng compounds and the cordyceps in ginseng also raise ATP. So, CoQ10.

Did I say carnitine? Yes. Carnitine, D-ribose, B-12, cordyceps and fermented ginseng. Of course, it's better to start those now and just do them all the time, right? Okay. Now, I do receive and you can send your email questions to, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . I love this part. Please send me your questions, vague as you want, detailed as you want.

But, you know, working at Life Extension as the senior scientist, we have a whole group of health advisors, we're one of the few companies that does this. You can call in to a Life Extension health advisor and ask anything you want, about lab work, supplements, nutrients--whatever. We have doctors and naturopathic doctors and chiropractors and fitness trainers. We have herbal specialists. I mean, it's an amazing group. So, and I get some of my questions from them and there's been a couple of questions recently about some studies that were published and so I wanted to use this to review some of those.

This first question is really not a question. This person is asking--this is a Life Extension customer asking the health advisor, now me, to discuss a certain study and here's what they wrote:

"Please review the study that showed people taking a multivitamin had a reduced risk of stroke. Nowhere in the mainstream media is this being reviewed. Thanks, Nate"

Yes. We always hear about when the supplement study has a negative result. You don't ever hear about the positive benefits of a supplement. I mean, we dealt with this recently. The headline at Fox and CNN was something like "supplements may actually increase cancer risk". Well, first of all, it wasn't supplements. It was synthetic beta carotene and synthetic vitamin-E, which we already knew. It was a rehash of older studies, but the point being, that those negative results, man, the media picks that stuff up like crazy. Nate's right, you don't see those positive studies. So, this came from March 31, 2015, so really recent. It was published in the American Heart Association Journal, Stroke, and it revealed a reduction in stroke deaths among older users of multivitamin supplements. I mean, this is important because this is The American Heart Association.

This is one of their key journals, Stroke, that's peer reviewed. I mean, this is top of the line stuff and here they have a study showing a multivitamin reduced stroke risk, stroke deaths and no one talks about it. This study included 72,000 men—a little over 70,000 men and women between the ages of 40 and 79 and they were enrolled in what was called the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study, which was designed to evaluate the effects of lifestyle habits on health. Dietary questionnaires administered at the beginning of the study collected information on multivitamin use and other data. Listen, I've said this before and I'll say that even for a positive study dietary questionnaires are inherently problematic, let's just say. We never draw ultimate, absolute conclusions from surveys or questionnaires, whether the results are positive or negative.

In this case, this was as dietary questionnaire asking about multivitamin use and they show that those taking the multivitamin had a reduced risk of stroke and stroke death. I'm not going to say it's absolute because this is a questionnaire. We have to be fair and unbiased as much as we can. Subjects were followed for almost 20 years, during which there were 1,148 deaths from ischemic stroke and 877 deaths caused by hemorrhagic stroke and 62 unspecified stroke deaths. 13% of the subjects reported multivitamin use.

So, then they did this thing called "adjusted risk of overall mortality", meaning they factor out confounding factors in this and what they found is that multivitamin users had a 13% lower risk of stroke and stroke death than non-users and the risk of dying from ischemic stroke was 20% lower. I mean, that's pretty awesome.

Again, it's a questionnaires and survey type studies, especially when they're retrospective, when they're looking back at a cohort of people and you kind of data mine a little bit, you can't draw definitive conclusions. So, I'm not going to give you some crazy headline like "Multivitamins reduced stroke, absolutely". No, no, no. There's a cool association between multivitamin use and the reduction of stroke and stroke death. We need to study this more in a prospective, randomized trial. That would be awesome.

Thanks, Nate for bringing this to my attention. This is Healthy Talk on Radio M.d.

I'm Dr. Mike. Stay well.