Will taking supplements break an extended fast?


Approaching the 24 hour mark in my EF. Wondering if I can take my iron complex, fish oil, mag, potas. iodoral, D3, ginger, and a few others; or will doing so put the kabash on ketosis and autophagy? The iron is an absolute must- no wiggle room there- as I am anemic.

I am currently working about 60 hours this week, (I know, right?!), and absolutely must be on my toes. So, I do the 8 oz of hot chicken stock about halfway through my day shift, and drink water the rest of the time. (And a straight coffee in the morning.)

Not sure how long to make this EF. Just playing it by ear, (or tummy as it were). Really, I love the mental clarity and increase in energy that comes around day 4, so I’m aiming for a good 5-7 day mark. Just not sure if that is feasible given the work schedules. The supplements do wonders- but I don’t want to stop or inhibit autophagy and ketosis. Any advice or input would be most appreciated.

(Allie) #2

Apparently vitamins don’t break a fast, but oils do.


AH! Okay… We shall skip the fish oil, and go with the rest of 'em! Thank you so much!


Which if any of those suppplements require that you take them with food to be effective? I can see taking them on an empty stomach as a problem more than the content of the pills.


I don’t think any of them need to be taken with food. I could be wrong about that, but I’ve been taking them for ages on an empty stomach with no issues. Ill drink them with a bit of chicken stock or coffee, and see where we go from there. Took out the fish oil, though. That can wait until after the EF.

(Full Metal Keto) #6

I think it depends on your reason for fasting, lowering insulin or autophagy or both.

If you’re goal is insulin lowering then the daily chicken broth is just making your fast IF with extremely low calorie intake. I don’t think this would give any benefit and could be harmful if you do it too long as far as lowering your BMR.

If you’re goals are centered around autophagy fat fasting (fast mimicking) can still work to my understanding since autophagy happens to rearrange unnecessary cells breaking them down into amino acids to be repurposed elsewhere in your body. Again the chicken stock will halt autophagy here.

If your goal is just weight loss through fasting I am not sure what to say, although I do hear lots of people say they lose a bunch and gain half back after EFing. In my opinion if you want to loose weight IF is the way to go. With good food in your eating window. Slow and patient gets the job done smoothly without the ups and downs IMHO.

In any case I think you’ll get more benefit from fat than chicken broth Taking some fat in during a fast only halts fat burning for a bit while your metabolism deals with what you put in, any protein causes an insulin spike which negates the fasting effort completely until that protein is metabolized and of course a single carb or artificial sweetener messes it up as well.

As far as the supplements you should check each one to guarantee that there isn’t any carb, or artificial sweeteners or anything suspect. I was anemic when I was on dialysis for a long time and needed to supplement. I am way good now on keto with the beef and greens and keeping high oxylate foods from being consumed with iron rich food (Beef n Spinach) for maximum iron absorption. Have you been tested for iron since you started keto? You may get better eating more meat and I think nutritional iron is better absorbed than supplements. The oral ones gave me a gut ache, I don’t know how you could possibly do that fasting :nauseated_face:. I was switched to IV iron in a mega dose once a month. :cowboy_hat_face:

(Todd Allen) #7

I doubt chicken broth or a fish oil capsule have a big impact on a fast. Valter Longo’s research suggests that people eating a low protein aggressive calorie restricted diet, roughly 1/3rd of normal intake, for five days show benefits close to that of people doing water fasting for 3 days. It’s possible his “fasting mimicking diet” research is garbage despite being highly regarded. And no research is perfect and answers are never universal, we all respond a little differently.

I’m partial to the advice not to let perfection get in the way of good enough. In the end it only matters how you respond. Try it each way and go with what works best for you. If you can’t tell the difference it probably doesn’t matter.

(Jacqueline Porter) #8

I don’t really know, but I did see someone say that omitting their vit c broke their stall! Apparently there were carbs in them!
Just check I say.

(Karim Wassef) #9

It depends on the purpose of your fast


WOWEEE!! Thank you all for your input!!!
My reason for fasting was multi-faceted. 1) Purge the system from carbs taken in when we went out to dinner. (I was careful, but, I was completely out of ketosis the next morning…so there were unfriendly carbs tucked away.)
2)a Autophagy 2)b Help solve some female issues.
3) I LOVELOVELOVE the exhilarating feeling - energy - mental clarity- I get after an EF. Sort of addicting.
4) Weight loss is a bonus if there is any lasting weight loss. For me, I regain about 50%.

Now, onto the supplements. The only one I found questionable was the Magnesium Citrate. I found rice yeast extract in that one, and discontinued it. Just going bare basics, to get through the week.
The broth I’m using is an organic one, with 0 protien and 0 carbs, and 550mg sodium. Didn’t think I’d find one with 0 protien, but that was cool.

As for the iron, it’s hard to explain without going into too much detail. Let’s just say I have a female issue that causes massive loss of iron- no matter how much beef or spinach I eat. At least 4-5 days a week, I’ll have steaks/burgers/brisket/short ribs. I grow spinach in the summer, and buy it in the winter. I like it just fine, but I like beef better. It just not enough given this condition (menorrhagia). My ferritin levels are single digit without the iron supplement. I’ve consistently eaten beef and iron rich greens for ages because of the condition, but its just never enough.
I got through a 10 hour workday with 1 iron, 1 mag. glycinate, 1 potas., 1 iodoral. And a helluva lot of salt, plus 8oz broth, and a black coffee.

So, I’m on hour 36 now. Feeling pretty good. I was a little woozy around 1pm, but pulled it together after my salt/broth/water. I will see how it goes through tonight, and aim to complete another day.


Reporting back. 48 hours on, and I feel fantastic! Its almost like the energy rush and mental clarity have set in earlier during this EF, than in my last one. It took about 4 days for it to set in last time, and here I am, waking up almost 2 hours early, no headache, stomach not growling,
No muscle aches either, to which I would credit the supplements.
The other bonus is having dropped 5 pounds since yesterday.

I’m cautiously optimistic that I can do this during the next 3 days, with work. If all goes well, I’m going to aim for Sunday as the break-fast day.


WOW. Lots of into there.

So, I need help understanding this. Why would zero carb +zero protien chicken broth halt autophagy? Would liquid aminos in my water do that too? I’m perfectly happy with either one, thought the aminos are much tastier. I just need something to help me get through the work day without passing out. 3 days in, and so far- I’m doing pretty darn good. Running circles around the youngsters I work with (and the adults).

While you’re reading this, may I ask you, have you ever experienced a sort of fever-ish feeling while doing an extended fast? For roughly 24 hours, I’ve felt like I have a very low grade fever. No chills, not sick. Just feel this sort of fever-y feeling. They had the ac on at work yesterday, so I didn’t notice it really until I got home last evening. And, its not warm in the slightest around here…so I’m baffled. Wondered if it might be some sort of weird thing that happens occaisionally when fasting. Never had it before though. Just curious.

Anywhooo, thank you so much for all the info and suggestions. I will surely adjust the balance of my fast, for however long that might be. Still aiming for Sunday, but it could end earlier, depending on the activity level at work Friday and Saturday.

(Full Metal Keto) #13

You’re welcome, I have only done one EF and it was forced in the hospital. They were probably dosing me with glucose, I’m not sure. I have skipped a single day of eating a few times without being given glucose (colonoscopy) and another time in the hospital with peritonitis when my belly was so bloated I couldn’t eat or even sit up.

The broth is a mystery to me, what is left in chicken broth without carbs or protein? It seems like there would be some amino acids at the very least.

Bragg’s amino acids are protein broken down into amino acids. Autophagy is when your dead and damaged, unneeded cells are being broken down for repurposing by your body. Apparently exogenous aminos will be used instead of your body using energy to recycle your unnecessary tissues so autophagy stops.

I am no expert on this but it has been a current interest thing for me, I am down 40 lbs and 10-15 lbs from my goal weight. I have noticed some wrinkled loose skin starting to show and I am trying to get my IF routine tighter. I would like to be at 18/6 but I am usually closer to 15/9. I just love that 6am espresso with cream when I read and check into the forum and play Upwords. I am usually finished with food about 4:30 in the afternoon. Not being very successful at it but do what I say, not what I do! I’ll try and catch up with you.



Are you sure your broth has no protein??? What is it made from then?
I don’t know about autophagy. I read that for autophagy, only salt, water, tea or coffee are recommended intake, nothing else. So, by that advice anything else breaks the fast.
In terms of your feverish feeling, yes, that can be a symptom one experiences when fasting. According to Dr. Jason Fung (a fasting guru), you should stop fasting if you feel nauseous as this could be a sign of serious dehydration. Also if you are sick, maybe you need to stop your fast. He also says that most people can push through headaches and flu-like symptoms but should check with their doctors to be sure there isn’t anything more serious going on.
You seem to be burning the candle on all ends, so use caution, You are not in a sprint but rather a marathon. Be careful you don’t end up hurting yourself. Maybe you can enjoy the high of fasting and also not ignore signs and symptoms that linger.


The broth is primarily water and sodium. Can’t explain it. the label is what the label is. I’m not feeling nauseous in the least. Highly energized, not dizzy, not tired…actually feeling kind of wired. Totally crushed it today working in the stockroom. I figured all that was the “high” I get from fasting.
The fever-y thing just had me puzzled, not concerned. I lean towards the side of thinking that fevers are good, in that “the good is fighting the bad”, and just let it be. It’s so low grade that I only notice it when sitting still or laying down for bed. I just wondered if that is a physical sign that some sort of autophagy is going on, or not. I had a checkup not too long ago, and am doing well. Just gotta stay on the iron, limit the caffeine (yeah, right.), and eat clean.
While I know its not the most reliable method to tell if one is in ketosis, my keto sticks are indicating that I am at the highest state right now.
Thank you for your concern, and I will watch Dr. Fung some more!!!


Approaching 72 hours now. Slept a bit more last night, as my body adapts to fasting. Previous two nights were pretty weird. Wide awake most of the night, got up, did chores, read, tried to sleep…then went to work. This morning, around 330, my tinnitus went off like a thousand cicadas. Finally got back to sleep around 530, then awoke at 643 from a deep sleep and feel well rested.

So today, I’m changing things up a wee bit. Still taking the basic vits. Will just add salt to water, and drink that for the day, along with my beloved coffee. Providing I stay stable and not tired or dizzy, I will continue on, and perhaps break the fast Sunday morning at 120 hours. The last meal I ate was not huge at all…just a couple of fried eggs wth butter, and lightly sauteed some raw broccoli.

Fever seems to have subsided. Still no headaches. So, off we go!


OK on the broth. I understand the philosophy of a fever meaning something positive going on. A fever is also a sign of something happening. I would not ignore it completely- maybe see if it passes when you resume eating again. But the thing I would think of that you might want to look into is your thyroid function. Even though you have seen your doctor recently, this might be something to bring up to him/her especially if it persists. I’m glad you have all the energy and are feeling great.
And BTW, per Dr Jason Fung, supplements don’t break a fast as long as they don’t have sugar, starches, yeast in them.


Awesome!! Yes, I pay close attention to the thyroid…which is why I also take the Iodoral. I’m so glad I can still take the other supplements! So good to know!!
Thank you for letting me know that. I feel better knowing Dr. Fung is good with it!!!


As for the rest of today’s update… made it through another fast-paced day at work. We’re very shorthanded at the moment so multi tasking with speed is mandatory (for those of us who give a shit about our performance, anyways).

84 hours in at this point. Took the mag, potas, iodoral this morning Drank water with salt, coffee with salt, and detox tea all day. No broth. No aminos. Feeling slightly feverish- but not annoyingly so. No headaches whatsoever. Just feeling more hungry than I have this whole time. I have JUST reached the point where the physical hunger is quite bothersome. It could just be the circadian clock reminding me its “food time”, or, I could actually be hungry. I’m just rolling with it for this evening. Will re-evaluate in the morning, and see how I feel then. If I can get a good night’s sleep, have my morning coffee and salt with no hungries…I will push on for another 24 hours. If not, then I will break the fast in the morning.

Either way, its been very theraputic. My mental clarity is wonderful. Energy level was also, until a few hours ago…I was starting to drag a bit. Going to finish a few chores, hop in the tub, and then off to bed. Leaving at 815a tomorrow, and will be unloading a truck. It’s physically pretty taxing because there are only 2 of us available to do it. Just wanna make sure I’m at the top of the game, so to speak.

Anywhoo…thank you all for your continued advice and info. I will most definitely do some shorter fasts week to week…maybe like 36 hour ones on my days off.


Broke the fast at 108 hours. Got up at 5am. Unloaded a truck at work today… 200+ totes and cases. Felt challenged enough after a 10 hour work day, so I went out after work, bought a new outfit (in smaller sizes), and took myself out to dinner for a steak and steamed broccoli- with a side of butter. Could only eat half the steak and broccoli, but downed all the butter like it was ice cream.

Feel fantastic. Got company coming in a couple hours (very late this evening), so need to tidy up while I can. Hoping to sleep good tonight.