Rheo Blair Supplements: Nathan's Notes On Rheo Blair's Secrets
This will entail two posts describing first the quantity of supplements he used and and a description of each; and, second, the dietary and lifestyle regimen he got from Rheo. There will be more on what Rheo liked to call his "secrets" in the second post, putting it all together to achieve the big results.
So we begin with Nathan's Rheo Blair conversation notes on the quantities he used and his descriptions of many of the supplements.
Much of the information that follows was originally posted by Nathan in the superb forums at IronHistory.com hosted by the Joe Roark. The posts there garnered considerable interest perhaps because there seems often to be a certain mystery and mystique that surrounds Blair and his supplements. The possible reasons for this are: 1. those supplements helped produce such stunning results; 2. his most prized products were available only to his private clients; 3. All of the products were very costly; 4. Blair always talked about his "thousand dollar secrets" which also were available exclusively to his private clientele; and 5. Blair himself was something of a character, an enigma, a mystery.
Given all of the above a certain lore about him, his products and his overall program has grown since his death and the subsequent demise of his product line. Our goal is to present the facts and clarify the mystique so that all may share in the "secrets" of this pioneering nutritionist who touched so many lives both famous and private.
Please note that you may learn more from our related post What About Those Unusual Rheo Blair Supplements; you may also type the word "supplements" in the Google search box over in the right hand column of this page. Numerous articles on this site will be listed in the Google results which reference the Blair supplements. Our goal here at Rheo H. Blair; The Book is to be a comprehensive, one-stop reference for the life and work of Rheo Blair. We uncover more information information on Rheo and his supplements everyday most of which is unpublished but which we will share in due course. In the meantime, the information from Nathan provides a solid overview of the Rheo Blair program for someone wanting to improve their physique.
I begin by posting the total amounts Blair had people use while on the big program, specifically as the plan that I was on, which might have varied for others. Regarding digestive enzymes, I am sure Blair used them to help with digestion of the fats in his program. He was never happy with the enzyme product he had, though, and said so. I have not included the enzyme product among the descriptions of Blair products below as I don't know the exact composition of that product and don't have notes. What I do recall is that the label just said "digestive enzymes" likely some combination of bromelain, papain, amylase, protease, and tripease. Regarding calories, though, the program was essentially a low carb program to begin with, so although high in calories, most guys did not put on bodyfat with it, you kept the carb grams low, and did not count calories. If you did put on bodyfat with the protein drinks, Blair would do two things: #1- have you cut back more on carbs, and if that did not work, then, #2- have you go to a doctor and be tested for hypothyroidism.He had doctors in California who would receive the data for him to analyze, if needed, as he was not an MD and your local Dr. might decline to give him the results. Some guys would consume up to 6000 calories a day, and still remain muscular, at least by the standards of the day. When bodybuilders were trying to "cut up", Blair had them replace the milk with water in the drinks, and cut the cream in half. They would also use a lot of the amino capsules at that time. But the Digestive Enzymes (and Hydrochloric Acid) were crucial to the proper digestion and assimilation of all this fat and protein.
I have been asked about amounts I used while on the Rheo H. Blair program. Here is exactly what he had me using on the "big" program. I was only on this for a couple of months, as it was all I could afford, but my progress was the best I ever experienced, in every way. I continued to use his products for many years, and frequently spoke with him, and later Freddy, on the phone, for years after this, as I would phone in my orders. If you were a long term regular Blair student, he would even ship to you on "open account", and allow you to mail a check after you received the products. Naturally I always paid in a timely manner when he did this. The usual reason to have him ship that way was to save time in getting the products if you were low. Keep in mind that the plan shown might not be the same for everyone. At the time I was on this specific program, I was fairly lean and wanted to to gain muscular size and strength, so it would have been biased towards those needs. Note also my own editorial comments at the bottom. Here is the plan, per day, which luckily I wrote down over 30 years ago, and kept:
Vitamin A: 67,500 IU- I was taking one A+D capsule, but most of this, and the D, came from 30 Cod liver oil capsules/day.
Vitamin D: 4,800 IU- Also mostly from the CLO, but also included in this amount is what was in the Calcium capsules.
Vitamin E: 1,200 IU- Mixed tocopherols: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta
Vitamin B-1: 120 mg
Vitamin B-2: 120 mg.
Vitamin B-3: 600 mg. ( B-3 is Niacin, for anyone unaware)
Vitamin B-5: 240 mg. (B-5 is Pantothenic Acid)
Vitamin B-6: 1,300 mg.-B-6 is essential to protein utilization, part of this B-6 was in the digestants
Vitamin B-12: 12,400 mcg.- this is an enormous amount, but B-12 is only assimilated as a fairly small percentage of intake .
PABA: 120 mg. (ParaAminoBenzoicAcid)
Folic Acid: 1600 mcg.
Choline: 5000 mg. (part of this was from the lecithin capsules mentioned below)
Inositol: 3500 mg
Biotin: 140 mcg.
Vitamin C: 6700 mg.- This was from the C-BioPlus product, plus some ascorbic acid tablets
Citrus Bioflavanoids: 3000 mg.
Rutin: 500 mg.
Magnesium: 120 mg., as magnesium aspartate
Calcium: 1800 mg. as citrate, lactate, gluconate, and carbonate combination
Zinc: 150 mg.- I did not record what form this was in.
Copper 500 mcg
Manganese: 30 mg.
Iodine: 9 x RDA on ALTERNATE days. This was as Iocen, a liquid dulse product.
Phosphorus: 1160 mg. - this was in the calcium and or protein products.
Trace minerals: 25 mg
Betaine HCL: 3470 mg.
Glutamic Acid HCL: 1860 mg.- contained in the digestant tablets (4-7 of the tablets use per feeding)
Pepsin: 1000 mg.- contained in the digestant tablets (pepsin is a 2nd stage digestant)
Protein: 120 grams of protein from the protein powder, exclusive of the protein found in the milk and eggs used to make the protein drink, and exclusive of any found in food or the liver tablet. Note the 120 grams is the protein only, not the total weight of the powder used, which was about one cup by volume. I could have used more, as well, but Blair wanted me to use at least this much.
Liver Extract: 60 per day. These would have contained iron and B-12, but perhaps more importantly, the intrinsic factors found in liver, which are known to increase endurance.
Soybro: 30 per day. The defatted tri-germ oil product. This would have naturally contained tocotrienols, octacosanol, and other plant sterols.
Crude Wheat Germ Fractions: 30 per day- A defatted whest germ oil product, high in octacosanol, the same as 10 minim Prometol. Optionally, you could take 60 Soybro per day, and not this product
Lecithin: At one time, he had me taking 45- 1200 mg. regular lecithin capsules per day. When the later, smaller high potency lecithin p-c came out, he recommended up to 30-400mg. capsules of that type.
Amino Acids: 15 capsules per day
L-Glutamine: 6 grams per day, as 12-500mg. capsules.
Blair's Free Form Amino Acid Capsules: "As many as you can afford" was his quote. For someone who had unlimited wealth, the number was 60 per day.
Digestive Enzymes: 4 to 7 per feeding, unfortunately, as previously stated, I did not record what was in these.
Softone: This was simple psyllium husk. Blair had me use 1-3 teaspoons daily, mixed in water or milk (not in with the protein drink). This is basically a Metamucil like product to help with regularity while on this diet high in dairy products, with little fiber in it otherwise
Total: 250 capsules/tablets per day.
IMPORTANT: Blair stated that many of these nutrients should not be taken without others, notably some of the B-Complex. He was using amounts he thought would act synergistically. It would not be wise to merely pick out some of the items listed here, and take those amounts, without the others. It would be wiser to take, for example, 1/4 as much of EVERYTHING, and to use all of it, rather than full doses of only 1/4 of the items listed.
BLAIR'S SOYBRO was a tri-germ oil product from wheat, rice, and soy oils, but it was defatted (Energol -- a Hoffman/York product -- had the same combination of oils, but was not defatted). SOYBRO was made by a company called Professional Labs, located in Iowa. The idea of a defatted oil may not sound possible at first, but what was removed was the heavy lipids, leaving, and thus concentrating, the (good ) octacosanol, tocotrienols, and so on. I wondered, early on, if SOYBRO was just ENERGOL in capsules, but that was not the case, if you opened one of the SOYBRO capsules, you could tell the difference. Also, when SOYBRO became unavailable after Rheo's death, Freddy Linblad, Rheo's office manager, was able to get the liquid which the capsules contained. It was sold under the name SOIMONE, and was from the same lab that had made SOYBRO. They could sell the liquid in relatively small quantities, but they needed an order for a million capsules or so in order to do a day's production run of the capsules. Anyway, the SOIMONE was not oily like ENERGOL, did not stick to your mouth and tongue the way ENERGOL did. Based on the composition of SOYBRO, it would have contained Octacosanol, Hexacosanol, Tocotrienols, and Tocopherols, although in fairly small amounts, relative to the amount of those needed to have much effect on the human body. So taking a few of these a day would not do much. Rheo had his advanced students take 30-60 Soybro capsules per day.
BLAIR'S LIVER EXTRACT This was a low temperature freeze dried, defatted, raw liver extract in
CRUDE WHEAT GERM FRACTIONS was a defatted wheat germ oil product. Blair did not offer this on his regular price list, but did sell it to his advanced or private students. It was about three times the price of SOYBRO which was priced at approximately $50./1000 and CWGF being around $150./1000. Today a product called Prometol is the SAME product: same shape, size, and color softget; same taste, smell, and texture of the product inside. I am dead certain they are the same thing. They are a product of VIOBIN, and can be found through a lot of the big online vitamin sellers. They are not cheap but you can find them from the discounters for a little under $20/100. Blair suggested 30 per day, so, in 30 days, you would take 900 capsules, or $180. worth of that product alone. Less money, adjusted for inflation, than Blair was selling them for 30 years ago, but still expensive.
BLAIR'S LECITHIN PC- This was really not a special product as such. Blair had used regular lecithin capsules, particularly for students trying to lose weight, and when the Lecithin Phosphotidyl Choline hit the market, he started using that. Up to 45 400mg. capsules per day, on the big program. Rheo said "they make the rest of the plan work better", though he offered no full explanation. These are available a lot of places, referred to as Lecithin PC, or as Triple Strength Lecithin. They are as effective as a 1200mg. capsule of ordinary Lecithin, while having less calories and bulk, and less to digest.
Vitamin E- Blair's was a regular generic product, however, he did use the capsules which were MIXED Tocopherols, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta, as opposed to the simple d-Alpha tocopherol of many capsules. He had me use 1200 IU per day when I was on the "big" program.
Vitamin C- Blair's were ordinary ascorbic acid, the common form of C available about everywhere. He had his students use large amounts on the big program. The total amount he had me using at one time was 6 grams per day, others much more.
Bio Plus This was a Bioflavanoid capsule with Vitamin C, similar capsules are available from TwinLab, Swanson, and other suppliers. Blair said this enhanced the uptake of Vitamin C, and helped with workout recovery.
Vitamins A and D Blair had me use fish liver oil capsules to obtain these. At one time, I was using 30 of the small capsules per day. He emphasized the oil should be cold processed. He also said that Vitamin A, in particular, should be from natural sources, not synthetic. He stated that the synthetic form, for whatever reason, was more likely to cause the toxic buildup problems sometimes associated with Vitamin A.
BLAIR'S B-Complex: Each capsule contained 30mg. each of B-1, B-2, and B-3(niacin), and PABA, 75mg. of B-6, 60mg. of Pantothenic Acid, 100 mcg. of B-12, 400 mcg. of Folic Acid, 35 mcg. of Biotin, and some Choline and Inositol. The difference in this product, and most others of its time, was that ALL B-Complex factors were included in it, as opposed to cheaper products which often only had the "numbered" B vitamins. It was a capsule when most of the others were still tablets. Also, when Rheo had these made, he had the amounts of each component adjusted to what he felt were the right proportions, as compared with many products which just had, for example, 25 units (mg. or mcg., whichever applied) of every nutrient, regardless of the actual needs for each.
BLAIR'S B-12, B-6, NIACIN, AND B-1/ B-2: None of these were anything out of the ordinary, the same chemical compostion as any other brand. The B-1 and B-2 came together in one capsule. BLAIR would have students use extra amounts of one or more of these, depending upon the individual's needs. He had bodybuilders and lifters use huge amounts of B-12 at times (10,000 mcg. or more), due to the fact that the body will uptake a limited % of B-12, but will uptake it in direct proportion to how much is taken. The only B-12 available at the time was cyanocobalamin, I expect Blair would also have been using the methylcobalamin form now available, if he was living. MY guess is he would have combined the two. Extra B-6 was used to help further faciltate protein assimilation, and extra niacin is known to help "distribute" nutrients throughout the body. The B-1 and B-2 capsules were to help provide extra energy.
BLAIR'S CHOLINE PLUS Blair said to use this only if you were also using the B-COMPLEX as well. I don't know his reason, but expect there was some issue in somehow being "out of balance" if you took it alone. These were Choline and Inositol capsules, 2:1 ratio of the Choline to the Inositol. Basically, it was a lipotropic (fat loss) product. This product was mentioned in PUMPING IRON (the book), as is Blair's Protein, both on page 60, with Mike Katz and Ed Corney using it. Today's substitute would just be Choline and Inositol capsules, probably separate, in order to achieve the 2:1 ratio. It is a weight loss product the way he used it. I think Rheo also used the amino acid Methionine with students needing to take off fat. If he was around today, I expect he would also be using L-Carnitine, or the Acetyl L-Carntine, and probably Conjugated Linoleic Acid for students needing to lose weight.
IOCEN This was a liquid iodine product, made from dulse. One would take a few drops on alternate days, and it would provide, in his estimation, all the iodine you would need.
SOFTONE This was nothing but blond psyllium husks, a bulk fiber product, about the same as Metamucil. Blair had students use it if they had any elimination problems as a result of his program, which was obviously low in fiber.
BLAIR'S CALCIUM PLUS and CALCIUM P-F (phosphorus free): These two calcium products, the only difference being one contained phosphorus, and the other did not, were superior to others on the market in their day. At that time, most calcium products you would see were calcium carbonate tablets, which were very difficult to digest and assimilate. Blair's was in capsule form, and consisted of calcium citrate, lactate, gluconate, and carbonate. They also contained vitamin D, and some HCL to help them be easily digested (in case you were wondering, HCL in its dry form doesn't digest anything until dissolves in liquid, such as in the stomach, which is why it did not digest the capsules while still in the bottle). Calcium carbonate is, and always was, the cheapest and least bioavailable form, so it is generally inferior to the other forms. It makes a good antacid, as it takes so much stomach acid to digest!
BLAIR'S MAGNESIUM Blair was using magnesium aspartate, when all the other formulas were the very inferior magnesium oxide. Today, magnesium asparate, citrate, and orotate are available, and are all good forms. You can find them combined with the calcium in many formulas.
BLAIR'S ZINC I don't have notes on this one, but I think he was using either citrate or picolinate, again, when everyone else was offering the cheaper and less assimible oxide form.
The three minerals listed are here are those Blair considered most important, in particular the calcium. He had students using these often without having them use the other minerals such as his IRON PLUS product. All in all, though, these products were ahead of their time.
BLAIR'S AMINO ACID CAPSULES These were famous. Many top bodybuilders used these, particularly when they were on restricted diets and trying to get cut for contests. My understanding is that Blair had these formulated to his specifications, which was with the profile of whole eggs. That is, the aminos would be in the same proportions as they would occur in eggs. They were expensive, around $600. per 1000 in the early 70s. I think the peak price on them later was around $1.00 each, and that was during a time frame when money was worth more than it is now. Part of this high price may have been due to low production, and part may have been Blair making a big profit on them. Steve Davis later had these analyzed and was selling a product he said was essentially the same for about 10% of the price Blair was getting. Not 10% less, but 10%, that is, 90% less. At the time Blair was selling his, I don't think there was any other such product on the market, so his were the only option. They did work well, even a few a day seemed to help your general well being.
Next time: Blair's Dietary Guidelines for Nathan's program.
Copyright © 2013 Charles Welling
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Information found on Rheo H. Blair: The Book is meant for educational and informational purposes only, and to motivate you to make your own health care and dietary decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with your health care provider. It should not be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment.
Posted by Charles Welling