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Ask Dr. Mike: Natural Alternatives to Adderall & Is Tylenol or Advil Better for Pain?

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:

Can someone get hooked on Adderall?

Yes! Adderall is a stimulant drug that's a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. Adderall is used to treat ADD/ADHD. Even though it is prescribed and can help those who truly need it, you are still capable of becoming dependent on this medication.

Some natural alternatives to Adderall include changing up your diet and making sure you're getting probiotics, ginseng, fish oil, and magnesium.

What's better to take for aches and pains: Tylenol or Advil?

Tylenol is acetaminophen, Advil is ibuprofen. In Dr. Mike's personal preference, Tylenol doesn't do anything for him. He prefers ibuprofen. However, he wants you to make sure you're aware of the dosing you're taking. The maximum dose for Tylenol is 4,000 mg a day, and for ibuprofen the daily max is 1,600 mg.

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: June 17, 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: My first question comes from a listener. Her name is Connie. Connie, thanks for sending me in your question. She's asking:

"I've been taking NAD+ for six months now for longevity."

Now, I'm going to stop right there and just let my other listeners know that NAD+ is nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, and when you supplement with it, it helps the cell to manage energy better, make more energy to function better. It really is about cell longevity. But if the cell's living longer, you're going to live longer. So, that's what NAD+ is. It's a supplement. Life Extension has a product that is NAD+.

"However, I recently started taking one gram of nicotinamide to decrease my chances of getting another bought of skin cancer, as recommended in a recent Australian study. Do I really need to be taking the NAD+? Or will the nicotinamide cover both health concerns?"

Okay. Now, let me back up, Connie, in answering this question, too. The NAD+ is a product. When you're taking the NAD+ product, you're not actually taking NAD+; you're taking the precursor to NAD+ and that precursor, the best one out there is called nicotinamide riboside. It's just usually abbreviated NR for nicotinamide riboside. Now, you're adding, it looks like, nicotinamide; just straightforward nicotinamide, not nicotinamide riboside. You're just adding another nicotinamide to your regiment for the skin cancer.

The question becomes then, do you need to do both? Do you need to do nicotinamide riboside and also the nicotinamide? The answer to that is yes. The nicotinamide riboside is directed towards the cell and is able to become NAD+ in the cell in only one step. The nicotinamide is going to have to go through a conversion into a riboside-type compound that then becomes NAD+.

So, to answer your question, Connie, yeah, you should. You should do both. The nicotinamide riboside is going to boost NAD+ levels very quickly for you. The nicotinamide that you're doing might become some NAD+, but it has other benefits in regards to the skin cancer that the nicotinamide riboside doesn't. So, I would do both. Of course I can't tell you to do anything. You need to talk to your own doctor, Connie. That's my disclaimer. But I don't see any problem with doing both. You can almost think of the nicotinamide that you're doing as for the cancer and then you can consider the nicotinamide riboside in the NAD+ product for cell energy. Kind of think of it like that. Keep it separate in your mind.

Alright. Thank you so much, Connie, for sending your question.

Next question came from a loyal listener of mine, Manny. Manny, by the way, has sent me lots of questions before or at least one email with a few questions a couple months ago. So, he has some new ones for me. I love that! I must have gave him some good answers. [laughing] Manny, so I want to thank you for sending me some additional questions.

The first one is really interesting, and I get this a lot actually. Manny's first question:

"I did the Life Extension nutrient panel blood test, and my vitamin B-12 and folate levels are very high: greater than 1,999, where the reference ranges 211 to 946. Is that going to be a problem for me?"

Well, Manny, no. It's not a problem. There's no harm in having high levels of vitamin B-12, and even folate. The reason that I can say that is these are very transient nutrients for your body, and they fluctuate; they have high peaks, low valleys. After you've maybe done your multivitamin that has a nice B-complex in it, for a couple hours your levels are going to be high. But the body uses B-12 and folic acid like crazy, and those levels are going to come down. So, it's not really a concern. The only B-vitamin that's a concern when it comes high, by the way – when it comes back high from these panels – is vitamin B-6. That one does have some nerve issues if it gets too high. But B-12, folic acid, people who take supplements, I see them high all the time. And it doesn't bother me. So, I think you're fine there.

There's another question here that's kind of a part two of this.

"I take Life Extension mix." So, Life Extension mix, for my listeners, is really, in my opinion, one of the best multivitamins on the market. He tells me he also does – oh, I see what he's doing here. He's just telling me what he takes. He does the mix, which has a B-complex. He does a Nature Made Balanced B-100. Yes, you're getting a lot of B vitamins in there, Manny. I'm not so sure why you're doing the extra B-complex because the Life Extension mix has a wonderful B in it, the equivalent of about a B-100. So, I'm not sure why you're doing that extra B-100. Maybe your doctor said. You might want to ask, "Why am I doing this extra B?" This is why your B-12 and folic acid are a little bit high, and it doesn't bother me. So, I think you're fine.

Okay. Question number two from Manny:

"I have been taking magnesium with calcium. I wonder if magnesium citrate is better. And how much do I need to take per day? Some people said magnesium and calcium ratios should be 1:2. I also take vitamin K-2. Is there a ratio to calcium as well?"

So, the first part of this question, Manny, is magnesium citrate better than the combination you're getting in the other product when it's mixed with calcium? Magnesium citrate does absorb better than any other form of magnesium, that's true. The problem is any time you have citrate added to the minerals – so calcium citrate, magnesium citrate – it becomes this huge molecule and you really can't mix it with anything else. It's just too big. So, magnesium, if you were going to do just straightforward magnesium by itself and that was the only thing you were going to do, magnesium citrate would be better. However, when you mix it with another mineral like calcium, it's too big. You can't do it, so we have to use other forms, like magnesium bisglycinate for instance. The studies that we've done at Life Extension, those other forms of magnesium that were mixing with the calcium absorbed not quite as good as the citrate, but pretty darn close.

So, I think you're fine with the combo of magnesium calcium. I don't think you need to be switching to the citrate.

As far as the ratio, most people do about a 1:2. So, if you're doing 500 milligrams of magnesium, you want to do maybe a gram of calcium, something like that. Most men probably need between 500 milligrams to 1,000 milligrams of calcium and then you can do half that for your magnesium and that's a fine ratio. But there's no ratio with vitamin K-2. Regardless of how much calcium you're bringing in, you want to make sure you're bringing in about a milligram or so of vitamin K-2. It doesn't really matter how much calcium you're bringing in.

Great, great questions. Manny, I really appreciate you sending me those in.

I only have 60 seconds left, so let me find a short question here. Here we go:

"What's your opinion, Dr. Mike, about drinking unpasteurized milk?"

If it's stored properly and consumed within a couple days of milking the cow, I actually think unpasteurized milk is fine. I know there are probably some doctors out there going, "Oh my god, he's going to kill people!" No, give me a break. Pasteurization kills everything. Pasteurized milk is just basically sugar. It causes acne and allergy problems because there's weird proteins in it now because the heat causes weird proteins. Unpasteurized milk, I think, is fine. I think it's been demonized for no reason. I think if it's stored properly and you drink it quickly, it's perfectly okay.

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