No matter which way you look at it or how well insured you may be against it, being sick is expensive (not to mention what it does to one's quality of life), and by far the best thing to do is to prevent it from happening in the first place. However, most people do not do anything about their health until forced to by some painful condition. If you are already sick there are a number of supplements you can take which have the potential to shorten the duration and severity of the illness, and hopefully prevent a recurrence.

The sicker you are, the more supplements you will require; as health is regained, the dosage and variety of substances can be reduced. In chronic illness, megadoses of many nutrients are usually beneficial. Any sick adult should begin a life extension vitamin program unless they are highly allergic to so many things already that they can not tolerate many kinds of vitamins as well. In addition to the life extension program, vitamin C should be taken by the chronically ill at a dose from 10 to 25 grams daily, depending on the severity of the condition.

Many people want to know whether or not they should take their regular food supplements during a fast. On a water fast most supplements in a hard tablet form will not be broken down at all, and often can be seen floating by in the colonic viewing tube looking exactly like it did when you swallowed it. This waste can be avoided by crushing or chewing (yuck) the tablets, before swallowing. Encapsulated vitamins usually are absorbed, but if you want to make sure, open the capsule and dump it in the back of your mouth before swallowing with water. Powdered vitamins are well absorbed.

On a water fast the body is much more sensitive to any substance introduced, so as a general rule it is not a good idea to take more than one half your regular dose of food supplements. Most fasters do fine without any supplements. Many people get an upset stomach from supplements on an empty stomach, and these people should not take any during a water fast unless they develop symptoms of mineral deficiencies (usually a pre-existing condition) such as leg cramps and tremors, these symptoms necessitate powdered or well-chewed-up mineral supplement. Minerals don't taste too bad to chew, just chalky.

The same suggestions regarding dosage of supplements for a water fast are also true for a juice fast or vegetable broth fast. On a raw food cleansing diet the full dose of supplements should be taken with meals.

There exists an enormous body of data about vitamins; books and magazine articles are always touting some new product or explaining the uses of an old one. If you want to know more about using ordinary vitamins you'll find leads in the bibliography to guide your reading. However, there is one "old" vitamin and a few newer and relatively unknown life extending substances that are so useful and important to handling illness that I would like to tell you more about them.