Vitamins and Supplements
Vitamin A - Vitamin A interferes with vitamin D, both impacting absorption and metabolic activity. Thus a balanced ratio of vitamin A and vitamin D should be consumed. More vitamin D than vitamin A should be consumed.
- Mediates cell differentiation and growth (anti-cancer activity)
- Stimulates phagocytic activity
- Supports cytokine production and maintenance of natural killer cell levels
- Vitamin A is necessary for T-lymphocyte function and antibody response to bacterial, parasitic, and viral infections.
- Data indicates an increase in hip fractures from supplementation of greater than 7,500 IU per day (in a vitamin D deficient state)
- Toxicity can result from excessive supplementation. If toxic symptoms appear reduce the daily intake to 15,000 IU or less. Toxicity can occur with doses as low as 25,000 IU if the person already has liver damage.
- Unit of measurement conversion: 3,000 mcg = 10,000 IU; 1,000 mcg = 3,333 IU
Beta Carotene - Humans can make Vitamin A from beta carotene. Large supplementation amounts are generally very safe. An average sized carrot provides 5,000 IU.
B Vitamins - generally should all be taken together in the correct proportions, also should be taken in smaller doses several times per day. Increased protein consumption (common in USA diets) should be accompanied by an increase in B vitamins. B-Vitamins have a half life of four to five hours, yet benefits from supplementation can last ten weeks.
B1 (Thiamine) -
Benfotiamine - a fat soluble form of vitamin B1. Benfotiamine assists with blood sugar metabolism. Benfotiamine activates transketolase which renders triosephosphates harmless, thus inhibiting glycation damage. Dosage: 320 mg to 1050mg per day [LEF article April 2008 page 43]
B2 (Riboflavin) -
- 200 mg per day (in divided doses) to promote ATP production and provide adequate oxidation of iodide [Abraham & Brownstein 2009]
B3 (Niacin) -
- 1000 mg per day (in divided doses) to promote ATP production and provide adequate oxidation of iodide [Abraham & Brownstein 2009]
- "Niacin Flush" is rare below 35 mg/day
- Optimum health dosage 200 mg? (should be 10x amount of B1?)
- Dosages of 1000 mg to 5000 mg per day are used to treat cholesterol issues.
- Usage of 500 mg or higher should be done with caution and/or medical supervision.
- High dosage niacin can cause increased blood glucose in some people.
- Drink lots of water when taking high dosage niacin
- Eat some nuts before taking niacin
- Toxic dosage - typically non-toxic; some warnings of usage of 500 mg per day (especially time release forms)
- Raises HDL; lowers triglycerides; decreases small dense LDL particles
- Niacin can lower B6 levels and interfere with methionine metabolism, thus leading to elevated homocysteine. If you supplement with niacin, be sure to also supplement with B6.
- Dosages greater than 1,000 mg per day can deplete SAMe, this impairs liver detoxification processes.
B5 (Pantothenic Acid) - is an important factor in the production of coenzyme A (CoA), which plays an important role in the Krebs cycle, fatty acid synthesis and cholesterol metabolism.
- Ideal dosage - approx 700 mg
- May be used to treat acne, hair loss and low adrenal function
- No known adverse effects with supplementation as high as 10,000 mg per day
B6 (Pyridoxine) - Pyridoxine is the inexpensive form found in most supplements. More effective forms are pyridoxamine and P5P (pyridoxal-5-phosphate).
- Dosage should probably remain below 100 mg a day. Theraputic dosage is often 250 mg to 500 mg per day (but these levels should not be used without monitoring).
- Toxicity: chronic megadosing of 300 to 500 mg daily can result in neurological symptoms in some people. These will typically fade when dosage is reduced or discontinued. For most people toxic effects begin at 2,000 mg daily. Neurological problems sometimes develop in people taking 500 mg per day for two years or more.
- Some people lack an enzyme to convert B6 (pyridoxine) to it's active form, these people can be helped by taking the P5P form of B6.
- Pyridoxamine has been shown to reduce glycation, thus resulting in fewer AGEs (Advanced Glycation End products) and thus slows aging.
B12 (Cyanocobalamin or Methylcobalamin) -
- Supplemental dosage should probably be 1000 to 1200 mcg per day; 66% effectiveness is reached at approximately 250 mcg per day. Supplementation levels of 250 mcg to 500 mcg per day would be reasonable.
- Methylcobalamin is the preferred form and will be found in superior quality supplements.
- (B12 & Canker Sores) The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine
(January 2009 Issue):
Shows that even though a blood test may show you have "plenty" of B12 in you, that more B12 can benefit you. (functional tests like an organic acids urine test is needed to actually identify these needs, not blood tests)
- 1000 mcg of cyanocobalamin shows effectiveness after five months, whereas 500 mcg of methylcobalamin showed significant effectiveness after four weeks with some individuals having effectiveness after one week. http://orahealth.com/products/avamin_melts/science/RA_White_2008.09.08.pdf
Biotin - is involved in energy metabolism (glucose and fats); is involved in pH maintenance via carbon dioxide binding; helps regulate cell growth.
- Recommended intake (Patrick Quillin) is 30 to 300 mcg per day; theraputic dosages 9 mg per day are used for type 2 diabetics.
Folic Acid - obtained from food sources as Folate (Note: folic acid is twice as bio-available as folate, thus you would need 1600 mcg of folate to equal 800 mcg of folic acid) Superior quality supplements use 5-MTHF and 5-formyl-THF.
- As a supplement probably 1000 mcg per day should be consumed.
- Dosage as high as 5000 mcg has been used to safely treat elevated homocysteine levels.
- Dosage greater than 5000 mcg/day may cause upset digestive issues in some individuals.
- Dosages greater than 10,000 mcg/day have been associated with sleep disturbance, mental changes and gastro intestinal effects.
- A wide range of drugs (including aspirin) interfere with folate metabolism and warrant additional supplementation while using those drugs.
- "Folate" is actually a general term that covers many natural related compounds.
- "Folic Acid" is a stable, synthetic form that rarely occurs in plants or humans.
- 5-MTHF (5-methyltetrahydrofolate) and 5-formyl-THF (5-formyltetrahydrofolate)
are natural forms which bypass many metabolic steps to be directly available
for folate based metabolism. These forms are primarily found in the highest
A Japanese study showed a 50% improvement in mental health for a difference from 119 mcg per 100 calories vs 235 mcg per 100 calories. For a diet of 2500 calories a day that indicates a strong benefit in consuming 3000 mcg instead of 1500 mcg per day. (this was a diet history questionnaire of 500 people which backs up a study of 15,315 by the University of York) [Nutrition 24(2):140-147, 2008] - Note: this is odd as the low end value is generally considered to be a healthy intake.
Betaine (TMG - Trimethylglycine) - Average American consumes 500 to 2000 mg per day (from food). Sufficient betaine might be a much cheaper alternative than supplemental SAM. If you experience discomfort during a meal try taking betaine at the beginning of meals. (If you experience discomfort after meals try pancreatic enzymes during meals.) Betaine is a metabolite of choline.
- Supplementation to treat high homocysteine levels is 1000 mg to 6000 mg
per day (at 6000 mg per day LDL levels have been observed to rise 10%).
Reductions of homocysteine levels by up to 20% has been reported with this
A research survey in Athens showed the highest average betaine intake (more than 360 mg per day) was associated with CRP, TNF-alpha and homocysteine levels 19%, 12% and 10% lower, respectively, than in people with the lowest average intake (less than 260 mg per day). [American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2008]
Choline - most people consume 300 mg to 1000 mg per day in their diet. Choline is important to fight high cholesterol.
- A common supplemental dosage to treat high homocysteine levels would be 2000 to 4000 mg per day.
- Toxicity occurs at intakes of 10 grams or more per day.
- If taking inositol then choline intake should be increased.
- One large egg provides 140 mg
- Phosphatidylcholine is only 13% choline by weight
- Phosphatidylcholine content of lecithin varies from 20% to 90%.
"Detopoulou and co-workers report that the highest average intake of choline (above 310 mg per day) was associated with CRP, IL-6 and TNF-alpha levels 22%, 26% and 6% lower, respectively, than in people with the lowest average intake (less than 250 mg per day)." [American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2008]
Inositol - occurs in the body in two primary forms: myoinositol and D-chiro-inositol. Typically "inositol" refers to "myoinositol".
- Myoinositol has a key role in the synthesis of phospholipids
- Myoinositol is a key intermediate in the phosphatidylinositol cycle being an important part of intracellular signaling. Products of phosphatidylinositol act as secondary messengers for hormone stimulation (and example of this is insulin sensitivity).
- D-chiro-inositol plays a role in insulin sensitivity
- Inositol interacts with lithium and choline - adequate amounts of lithium and choline should be present (or supplemented) in anyone using insoitol supplementation.
- Food sources are: beans, nuts, grapefruit and cantaloupe
- Typical dietary content is 225 to 1,500 mg per 1800 calories
- Care should be taken with anyone with impaired liver or kidney function.
- Doses are large at 12 to 18 grams per day have been used to treat pyschiatric disorders
- 500 to 1,500 mg per day may be used to help non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- 100 mg taken twice a day is a reasonable supplemental amount for good health
- Use care in supplementation above 500 mg per day
- Inositol has a calming effect and may help improve sleep quality
- Inositol is involved in the metabolism of estrogen and progesterone
- Caffiene usage can cause inositol deficiency
- 10 grams of inositol delivered intravenously may be used to treat stress and anxiety to deliver a high loading dose of GABA.
PABA (Para-Aminobenzoic Acid) -
Pangamic Acid -
Vitamin C - Leafy plants like lettuce will lose 90% of their vitamin C content within 36 to 48 hours. Animals produce about 4,000 mg of Vit C per 150 pounds. Because we often consume a diet lacking vitamin C and humans are unable to synthesize vitamin C this is a vitamin that is critical to supplement. Generally a healthy adult male (approx 154 lbs) should supplement with 2,000 to 4,000 mg of Vit C per day.
The NIH released a news report, on August 4th, 2008, that IV Vitamin C actually does fight cancer (just like Linus Pauling said decades ago).
Anyone with stress (aka everyone) needs supplemental vitamin C.
Vitamin C requirement depends upon glucose levels. Vitamin C competes with glucose for transport into cells, thus a high blood sugar level deprives cells of vitamin C. Someone living on a standard American diet may benefit from 4,000 to 7,000 mg per day of supplemental vitamin C, whereas a person living on a nearly exclusively meat diet may achieve optimum health with only 500 mg per day of supplemental vitamin C.
Vitamin D - benefits include absorption of calcium, protection against cancer and cardiovascular disease, protection against radiation, and a significant role in the immune system.
Vitamin E - historically has mostly been provided as a supplement in the form of alpha tocopherol, however this is only one of the eight forms which make up the general category called "Vitamin E".
Vitamin K - A study of 564 women (average age 67) showed high consumption of K-2 (about 45 micrograms per day) is associated with 20% decreased coronary calcification compared to low consumption of K-2 (about 18 micrograms per day). 54% of dietary K2 was from cheese. Average dietary intake of K2 was 31.6 mcg. (82% of dietary K1 is from vegetables - average intake of 217 mcg)
Vitamin K (specifically K2) turns off excess osteoclast (bone dissolving) activity and works with vitamin D and calcium for osteoblast (bone building) to remove calcium from blood and to put it into building strong bones.
Vitamin K is produced by bacteria in our digestive tract. If you are not using probiotics then it is especially important to supplement with vitamin K (K2).
Bioflavonoids (Vitamin P)
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid which is very beneficial for reducing inflammation of the digestive tract. Quercetin is an anti-oxidant and works in synergy with vitamin C (vitamin C refreshes quercetin by providing hydrogen to oxidized quercetin). Quercetin may be one of the most potent anticarcinogens in nature [Patrick Quillin]. Capillary fragility is reduced by quercetin.
Alcohol consumption dramatically increases the need for vitamins. Anyone that routinely drinks alcohol should probably take ten times the amount of vitamins of a healthy normal person. (some sources advise as much as 100 times the normal intake! )
Smoking also dramatically increases the need for vitamins.