Published on December 11, 2023

Dr. Cheng shares some of his clinical wisdom on utilizing nutrients (vitamin D and more), diet, and the avoidance of toxins as part of his holistic approach to medicine and healing disease

Key Points

  • Join Dr. Cheng on zoom this Friday as he presents on the Reversal of coronary heart disease with Integrative Orthomolecular and Low carb medicine, hosted by Dr. Ilyes, Baghli, President of the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine (see details below)
  • Dr. Cheng has helped to reverse or significantly improve many chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease (as shown by angiogram) and autoimmune diseases (including Hashimoto’s, psoriasis, vitiligo, SLE, ulcerative colitis, eczema) – Vitamin D is a major part of this protocol!
  • His protocol involves more than just vitamin D, although it’s one of the top 3 nutrients he always recommends, along with a healthy low carb diet; vitamin C and magnesium are the other two supplements that he always suggests

Richard Cheng, MD, PhD, is a board-certified anti-aging and integrative cancer therapy physician with offices in the United States and Shanghai. In practice, he integrates conventional medicine with alternative medicine, with a particular focus on nutrition. Dr. Cheng was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine in May 2022 for his effort to promote nutritional immunity against Covid-19 in China and worldwide. He co-founded the Low Carb Medicine Alliance of China to promote health through lifestyle, diet, and nutrition. He has been an active public educator and international public speaker, and has published many articles on various academic journals, public education magazines and blogs promoting nutritional immunity against viral infections, including Covid-19.

Dr. Cheng received his medical education and training from the Shanghai Medical University, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, the National Cancer Institute, NIH, and the American Academy of Anti-Aging & Regenerative Medicine.

Dr. Cheng’s interest in vitamin D began as he became more focused on his own health and that of his family. Understanding that nutrition is the cornerstone of our health, his studies of the published nutrient research convinced him that vitamin D is one of the most important essential nutrients our body needs for optimal function, and that most are not getting enough.

Read through the interview with Dr. Cheng below as he shares some of his clinical wisdom on utilizing nutrients (vitamin D and more), diet, and the avoidance of toxins as part of his holistic approach to medicine and healing disease.

SPECIAL EVENT: Join Dr. Cheng this Friday, 12/15 at 9pm EST

Dr. Cheng will be presenting on the Reversal of coronary heart disease with Integrative Orthomolecular and Low carb medicine, hosted by Dr. Ilyes, Baghli, President of the International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine.

To Access:
Zoom: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/84671270475?pwd=8Pb1LkYzactdYcUWztRPARbBByrl0C.1
ID: 846 7127 0475
Code: 124680

An Interview with Dr. Richard Cheng

How long have you been incorporating nutrition into your practice?

Dr. Cheng began integrating nutrition into his practice ~30 years ago, starting with vitamin C supplementation. Around 20 years ago, he started incorporating more supplements, especially vitamin D. He would often recommend 5,000 IU/day of vitamin D to his fellow doctors; however, many would respond to say 5,000 IU was too much, and that they were worried about taking that much or recommending that amount to their patients.

How do you implement vitamin D in your practice? Do you have a protocol?

His protocol involves more than just vitamin D, although it’s one of the top 3 nutrients he ALWAYS recommends, along with a healthy low carb diet. Vitamin C and magnesium are the other two supplements that he always suggests. Dr. Cheng recommends that everyone starts with 5,000 IU vitamin D per day – since many still don’t get a high enough blood level with that amount, his recommendation often goes up to 10,000 IU per day. He advises measuring vitamin D levels twice per year, in the summer and in the winter, to make sure his patients are getting enough. He likes to keep vitamin D levels from at least 50-80 ng/ml (125-200 nmol/L), often up to 100 ng/ml (250 nmol/L).

According to Dr. Cheng, “If you don’t supplement with vitamin D, you’re deficient… period.”

Patients with more illnesses often require even more vitamin D and other supplements. For example, in the case of autoimmune diseases and cancer, he likes to push for higher vitamin D levels along with monitoring for safety. Dr. Cheng monitors safety measures any time giving more than 10,000 IU per day of vitamin D – this includes measurements of blood calcium levels, PTH, vitamin D, and renal function. Note, he does not recommend calcium supplements.

Have you ever seen any cases of vitamin D toxicity?

None at all – in fact, Dr. Cheng has been taking 30,000 IU per day himself, and he feels great, is active, sleeps well, and is stable emotionally. Many of his patients also say the vitamin D helps them with sleep, emotional stability, increased exercise endurance, and feeling good overall.

Dr. Cheng says he feels his health is better than 20 years prior!

One of his latest curiosities is if higher vitamin D levels would be associated with better anti-aging outcomes, as vitamin D is a powerful antioxidant and is involved in practically every aspect of our health.

How do you track anti-aging outcomes?

Using subjective feelings and objective lab findings. Dr. Cheng separates anti-aging into two aspects: general anti-aging (prevention and reversal of chronic diseases), and specific anti-aging (what is limiting our natural lifespan) by looking at genetic aspects and telomere length. If one is in a disease state, the second aspect of anti-aging does not matter until that disease has been cured.

“Basically, anti-aging is how well one either heals from chronic diseases or prevents them.”

Oxidative stress and mitochondrial function are also important, as life revolves around energy.

Great news from Dr. Cheng – he has been able to help reverse or significantly improve many chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease (as shown by angiogram – working on a paper now). Vitamin D is a major part of this protocol. He has also helped to reverse several autoimmune diseases (including Hashimoto’s, psoriasis, vitiligo, SLE, ulcerative colitis, eczema); in other words, the antibodies become normal. Dr. Cheng particularly likes treating skin diseases, as the improvements are visual and obvious (a similar comment was made by Dr. Patrick McCullough here)!

Do you have a specific immune boosting protocol?

Dr. Cheng gave an example of how he has been using high dose vitamins with his parents, who are in their 80s, and their previous diseases are under control, they are doing very well, and are in even better health than before COVID!

At minimum, to boost the immune system, he recommends 3-5 g vitamin C, at least 5000 IU vitamin D, if not higher, at least 500-600 mg magnesium (magnesium glycinate is his favorite form), and 20-25 mg zinc per day.

As part of his total cell nutrition package, he also includes many different types of antioxidants.

How do you suggest taking higher doses of vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, therefore if it is taken as one big dose, much of it will be excreted. The body is able to absorb close to 1g of vitamin C every hour. To take it, you can either put it in water and drink it throughout the day or divide the larger dose into 3 smaller doses taken at different times of the day.

What are your thoughts on taking vitamin K2 when supplementing with vitamin D?

Regardless of whether anyone is taking vitamin D, everyone should get enough K2. Especially with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases being the number 1 cause of death; vitamin K2 is beneficial for these conditions. Calcium deposits build up in our arteries as we age. Vitamin K2 moves those calcium deposits out of the arteries and back into the bones. K2 is also very safe; always looks at safety first. If it’s safe with potential benefit, why not try it?

“People take side effects from prescription drugs for granted, while taking potential side effects, which are very few, from vitamins and nutrients, as unwarranted… and vitamins are very safe.”

In other words, if it’s not doing harm, individuals should be proactive in trying to control their diseases with nutrients.

Dr. Cheng often suggests 45mg vitamin K2 per day for patients with atherosclerosis or osteoporosis; others can use 1 mg or 200 mcg.

What do you consider a healthy diet?

Dr. Cheng’s number one healthy diet recommendation is zero ultra-processed foods, and instead, cooking with raw whole foods, very few to no additives, organic if possible, and no sugary drinks. He also likes to look at how our ancestors ate, prior to agriculture. Humans were hunters and gatherers, eating animal foods. Animal proteins provide all the amino acids we need with complete proteins. Vegans will be deficient in nutrients unless they supplement.

How do toxins play a role in chronic diseases and overall health?

Dr. Cheng stresses the importance of eliminating toxins, as environmental pollution and damaged/leaky gut are top causes of autoimmune diseases and other chronic diseases.

Environmental pollution is a main contributor to toxin exposure. Toxins can be classified as either fat or water soluble – fat soluble toxins lead to slower, less acute symptoms; water soluble toxins are associated with more acute symptoms. Heavy metals, especially lead, can be a major issue for health.

The human body is an electrical body, influenced by the flow of electrons. Toxins elevate free radicals, which steal electrons from our cells, tissues, and DNA, causing harm. Since we will always have a certain level of toxins in our body, it is essential to supplement with large doses of antioxidants to combat these free radicals and protect our cells from oxidative damage and the diseases that can result from it.

Diabetes, for example, is more than a blood sugar disease; it’s also a nutrient deficiency disease, toxin overload disease, with oxidative stress and mitochondrial disfunction.

There are three general things to be aware of with toxins:

  1. Be aware of what kinds of toxins you might be exposed to and how to avoid them
  2. Know how to get rid of them once they are in the body; Detox! sweating, saunas, exercise, nutritional products (those that can remove toxins)
  3. Know how to repair the damage in the body that has resulted from toxic overload and which nutritional products are best

The more toxins we have (whether EMF, x rays, cigarette smoke, viruses, toxins in food, etc.) the more oxidative stress and free radical production we will have in our body. To counter this, we add antioxidants, including vitamin D, which itself is a powerful antioxidant.

Clinical practice should take a wholistic view of the whole body – results are wonderful, although it requires an investment of time and energy to understand the process yourself and how to explain it to the patients…

* The above is a scientific discussion and should not be considered medical advice. Regarding clinical or personal issues, readers are advised to consult her/his physician.

Test to See if You Are Getting Enough Vitamin D and Other Important Nutrients

Create your custom home test kit to measure your levels at home as part of the D*action project!

With your kit you can measure your:

  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium PLUS Essential and Toxic Elements
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • hsCRP
  • HbA1c
  • TSH
  • Type 1 Diabetes Autoantibodies

Did you know that each of the above can be measured at home using a simple blood spot test? As part of our ongoing research project, you can order your home blood spot test kit to get your levels, followed by education and steps to take to help you reach your optimal target levels. Start by enrolling and ordering your kit to measure each of the above important markers, and make sure you are getting enough of each to support better mood and wellbeing!

Create your custom home test kit today. Take steps to improve the status of each of these measurements to benefit your overall health. With measurement you can then determine how much is needed and steps to achieve your goals.  You can also track your own intakes, symptoms and results to see what works best for YOU.

How Can You Use this Information for YOUR Health?

Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Measuring is the only way to make sure you are getting enough!

STEP 1 Order your at-home blood spot test kit to measure vitamin D and other nutrients of concern to you, such as omega-3s, magnesium, essential and toxic elements (zinc, copper, selenium, lead, cadmium, mercury); include hsCRP as a marker of inflammation or HbA1c for blood sugar health

STEP 2 Answer the online questionnaire as part of the GrassrootsHealth study

STEP 3 Using our educational materials and tools (such as our dose calculators), assess your results to determine if you are in your desired target range or if actions should be taken to get there

STEP 4 After 3-6 months of implementing your changes, re-test to see if you have achieved your target level(s)

Enroll in D*action and Build Your Custom Test Kit!