Your Concise Guide To Nutritional Supplements
Vitamins are organic compounds that are necessary for human life and health. Vitamins cannot be manufactured in the body (vitamin B12 is an exception) and so must be obtained from diet.
Minerals are inorganic ions (metals) that are also necessary for life and health. Minerals are not manufactured in the body and so must be obtained from diet.
Trace minerals are minerals necessary to the body in extremely small, or “trace,” amounts.
Accessory nutrients are substances that are not absolutely necessary for life and health (as vitamins and minerals are), but that participate with vitamins and minerals in numerous biochemical reactions.
Vitamins: What You Should be Taking, and Why
Taking vitamins is a wise health and prevention measure. Deficiencies of vitamins and minerals cause many diseases. Adding vitamins and minerals in supplemental form is an inexpensive “insurance policy” against some of the worst diseases of modern times.
A deficiency of vitamins and minerals are associated with these diseases:
A deficiency of antioxidant vitamins and minerals (especially beta carotene, vitamins C & E, and selenium) is associated with higher incidence of cancers of the colon, breast, prostate, mouth, lungs and skin. Some researchers believe that antioxidant vitamin and mineral deficiencies may be related to higher incidence of all cancers.
A mineral deficiency, especially magnesium and potassium but also calcium, is associated with high blood pressure.
Deficiencies of vitamins E, C, B6, B12, folic acid (a B vitamin), and bioflavonoids are associated with cardiovascular disease. The connection between vitamin E and heart health is so well established that conventional medical cardiologists are instructed to recommend vitamin E to their patients.
Healthy bones, and the prevention of osteoporosis, depend on sufficient levels of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, boron, zinc, copper, B vitamins, and vitamin D.
In males, benign prostatic hypertrophy is associated with decreased levels of zinc. Zinc deficiency also correlates to decreased immune function. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and diabetes (high blood sugar) occur more frequently in people who are chromium deficient. After diabetes is present, low levels of vitamins A, C, E, plus zinc, selenium, choline, bioflavonoids and B complex vitamins are associated with more complications from the disease.
This list could go on for pages, but you get the idea. A deficiencyof key vitamins and mineralsare correlated with disease. Such vitamin deficiencies are also common in the modern American diet. Depleted soils result in lowered vitamin and mineral content in produce AND Americans eat less fresh produce than ever before. Much of our food is highly processed, removing not only vitamins and minerals but also fiber and enzymes.
The best health insurance may not be an expensive medical policy, but the addition of sufficient vitamins to fill in the gaps in our day-to-day nutritional status.
Some people take a wide array of individual and/or exotic supplements, but these should NOT replace a basic, healthful level of vitamin supplementation. I have listed the best and most complete formulas for basic multiple vitamin and mineral supplementation. I recommend this for all adults over age 18. If you have a special medical condition, consult an holistic physician for further recommendations. (See Telephone Consultations with Dr. Myatt)
Basic Vitamins and Minerals Supplement Program (For health maintenance in healthy individuals OR as the basis of a health program in those with known health problems). 1) Multi Vitamin / Mineral formula without iron (unless your doctor has specifically told you to take iron). There is no such thing as a good multiple vitamin supplement in a single pill. Optimal daily dosage levels of essential vitamins and minerals do not fit into one tablet or capsule. Expect to be taking 6 to 9 capsules or tablets to fulfill Optimal Daily Doses of key vitamins.
Modern Dietetics In A Nutshell
It has long been recognized that the human body will not function efficiently without vitamins and minerals. In fact, serious diseases and death result when nutrient levels become too low. Because vitamins and minerals are necessary for every chemical reaction in the body, an excess or deficiency can greatly alter physical function.
“RDA’s” (nutrient levels recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture) are sufficient to prevent serious deficiency-caused illnesses. (Rickets due to vitamin D deficiency, for example). They are not sufficient for optimal health and well-being.
Many scientists today agree that higher levels of certain nutrients are necessary to protect us from disease. It is also an accepted fact that even small deficiencies of nutrients can result in a decline in physical health, often before modern medicine can name a “disease.” Such deficiencies are called “subclinical,” (meaning “before they are a diagnosable illness”) and are the precursors to more serious illness.
The Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) is typically excessive in calories while being deficient in vitamins, minerals, and accessory nutrients. This is probably due to several factors: easy availability of refined-flour, high sugar foods; extensive processing of foods (which removes nutrients and fiber); and plant foods grown in mineral-deficient soils.
In addition, increased environmental exposure to toxic substances increases the body’s need for certain nutrients, especially antioxidants. (See Antioxidants.)
To ensure that you are obtaining optimal dietary nutrient levels, examine your current diet in view of the vitamin/mineral/accessory nutrient guide below. Keep a three-day diet diary to assist in calculating your baseline level of nutrient intake. Then, make dietary changes and take nutritional supplements as needed to ensure daily optimal nutrient intake.
Which Vitamin Formula is Right For You?
If you are a: Multiple Formula Antioxidants Comments Man Maxi Multi OR Once Daily MyPacks Included in Maxi Multi and MyPacks A separate antioxidant is usually needed with other multiples, not with these. Woman of Childbearing Age Nutrizyme with iron (see comment) OR Once Daily MyPacks Included in Maxi Multi and MyPacks Take a multiple WITH iron if you have heavy menstrual flow. Post-Menopausal Woman Maxi Multi OR Once Daily MyPacks Included in Maxi Multi and MyPacks Take additional Cal-Mag Amino to total 1200-1500 mg calcium per day if you are at risk for Osteoporosis. Senior Maxi Multi OR Nutrizyme with iron (see comments) Included in Maxi Multi and MyPacks Take a formula with iron only if directed to do so by your doctor. Children Children’s Multi-Vitamin and Minerals Children’s Antioxidants Specially formulated for children ages 4-12.
vitamin major functions major deficiency associations optimal adult dose range best food sources cautions/
notes vitamin A bone formation
skin health vision night blindness, dry eyes,
skin diseases 5,000-10,000 IU fish liver oils Do not take more than 50,000 IU per day for 3 months without medical supervision.
converted to vitamin A in the body; antioxidant ulcerative colitis, skin diseases, smoking 10,000-50,000 IU green and yellow vegetables; carrots Use only natural beta-carotene; high doses may cause yellow skin (harmless).
increases calcium absorption;
decreases overall mortality rate osteoporosis, rheumatic pains, dental disease,
impaired immunity 800-5,000 IU or as
directed by a physician. SUNSHINE! fish liver oil egg yolk The current daily dose of 400IU may be be set too low for optimal health.
vitamin E (tocopherol)
cellular respiration; antioxidant heart disease neurological aging 200-800 IU wheat germ oil, nuts, whole grains, egg yolk Doses over
800 IU day may elevate triglycerides.
blood clotting factor; bone formation osteoporosis 20-100 mcg broccoli, spinach, green tea, green cabbage, tomato Do not supplement if you are on anti-epileptic medication.
collagen synthesis, anti-viral, wound healing, antioxidant joint pain/arthritis, atherosclerosis, bleeding gums, decreased immunity 300-3,000 mg broccoli, red pepper, citrus fruits, cabbage At high doses, vitamin C will loosen the bowels.
vitamin B1 (thiamine)
energy processes fatigue, mental confusion, neuropathy 5-100 mg eggs, berries, nuts, legumes, liver, yeast Nontoxic.
vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
energy processes, wound healing, activates other B vitamins infection, cataracts, blurred vision, eye surgery 5-100 mg green leafy vegetables, eggs, organ meats Nontoxic. Higher doses will make urine a harmless, bright yellow.
vitamin B3 (niacin)
energy processes depression, tension headaches, memory loss 20-100 mg milk, eggs, fish, whole meal wheat flour Doses greater than 50mg may cause a skin flush. Take high doses only with doctors supervision.
energy processes; adrenal gland function allergies, morning stiffness; fatigue; muscle cramps 10-1,000 mg eggs, yeast, liver No known toxicity.
energy processes; antibody formation insomnia, irritability, atherosclerosis 5-200 mg wheat germ, yeast, whole grains Oral contraceptive use increases need for this vitamin.
red blood cell formation, RNA/DNA synthesis fatigue, depression, atherosclerosis 200-800 mcg beans, green leafy veggies, yeast Do not take with Phenobarbital or dilantin.
red blood cell formation; energy processes atherosclerosis, memory loss, GI symptoms 10-1,200 mcg fermented soy products; root veggies Nontoxic.
energy processes; blood sugar regulation muscle pain, depression 300-600 mcg egg yolks, whole wheat No known toxicity.
Mineral: functions deficiency associations adult dose range food sources cautions
bone & tooth formation; heart & muscle function osteoporosis, bone spurs, muscle cramps, rheumatism 200-1500 mg barley, kale, unrefined grains; milk, green veggies Prolonged excess may cause a mineral imbalance.
energy processes, nerve function, enzyme activation stress, senility, osteoporosis, insomnia 150-600 mg avocados, almonds, whole grains, grapefruit Doses over 400 mg can cause diarrhea in some people.
pH balance, nerve function stress, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure 1800-5625* mg * a normal diet should contain sufficient potassium potato peel, bananas, beans, almonds, whole grains Do not take high supplemental doses (food Sources are O.K.) when taking heart medicine without physician guidance.
pH balance, nerve function Excess is more common and is assoc with high blood pressure limit daily intake to 1,500 mg okra, celery, black mission figs Very few people (athletes, diarrhea /vomiting) need to supplement.
energy production, bones/teeth, B Vit. activation tooth/gum disorders, impotence, equilibrium 300-600 mg barley, beans, fish, lentils, dark green veggies Prolonged, large doses can cause calcium deficiency or mineral imbalance.
Red Blood cell production dizziness, depression, anemia 10-30 mg blackberries, cherries, spinach Do NOT take iron unless told to do so by your doctor. Iron excess is associated with health problems.
co-factor in numerous metabolic processes prostate enlargement, immune deficiency; atherosclerosis 15-50 mg wheat germ, wheat bran, pumpkin seed, avocado, sea food Large doses (50mg, day) can cause a copper deficiency & other mineral imbalances.
Red blood cell production; skeletal, heart & muscle function osteoporosis, digestive function, nerve disorders 2-3 mg green leafy veggies, almonds, beans, sea food Higher doses can be toxic.
glandular function, bone & ligament health diabetes, asthma, digestive disturbance 2-10 mg nuts, seeds, avocados, grapefruit, apricots High doses may create other mineral imbalances.
glucose metabolism; blood sugar regulation; heart function atherosclerosis, diabetes, hypoglycemia, high cholesterol, overweight 200-500 mcg whole grain cereals, molasses, meat, yeast Nontoxic at therapeutic levels.
antioxidant, synergistic with vitamin E cancer prevention; aging 100-200 mcg bran, whole grains, tuna, broccoli, onion Prolonged excess may be toxic. * indicates minerals most often deficient in the diet. Other minerals not marked with a * usually do not need to be supplemented. Other minerals and trace minerals include: molybdenum, flourine, chlorine, cobalt, silicon, boron, sulphur, vanadium
Bioflavonoids – compounds found in most plants in association with vitamin C. Bioflavonoids are potent antioxidants. Higher dietary levels are useful in heart disease and atherosclerosis, bleeding gums, weak immune system, inflammation, varicose veins, hayfever.
CoQ10 – (ubiquinone) A naturally-occurring compound in the human body that is a vital co-factor in energy production. Conditions benefited by increased CoQ10 levels include: cardiovascular disease, angina, congestive heart failure, mitral valve prolapse, immune deficiency, obesity, diabetes, periodontal disease, cancer, muscular dystrophy. Also use in longevity and rejuvenation programs.
Fiber – Plant cell walls present in whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. This part of the plant is usually lost in processing. Fiber deficiency is associated with numerous illnesses: obesity, atherosclerosis, diabetes, gallstones, varicose veins, constipation, diverticulosis, irritable bowel, colon cancer, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
FOS (fructooligosaccharides) Naturally- occurring sugar-like substances that act as food to friendly GI bacteria. In human body cells, this substance is not utilized as energy (or as a true sugar), but to probiotic gut bacteria, FOS is a banquet. The addition of FOS to probiotic formulas (as in Enterogenic concentrate, product # 218), helps good bacteria re-colonize the GI tract faster and more plentifully.
Friendly bacteria – (probiotics) The naturally-occurring bacteria of the colon help protect us from many conditions, including candidiasis, allergies, constipation, B12 vitamin deficiency. These good bacteria are damaged or destroyed by dietary imbalances, antibiotic and other drug use. Replacement of good bacteria results in improved colon function.
Glucosamine sulfate – A naturally occurring substance that has been found to be highly effective in treating osteoarthritis. It acts both to reduce pain and to stimulate joint repair.
5-HTP is the intermediate metabolite of the amino acid L-tryptophan. This amino acid intermediate participates in the body’s production of serotonin. It also stimulates increased endorphin, melatonin, norepinephrine and dopamine production. These brain chemicals (neuro-transmitters) help increase energy, improve mood and sleep, and decrease appetite. Useful for insomnia, mood disorder (anxiety/depression) and weight loss programs.
L-Carnitine – an amino acid that is crucial to normal energy production and fat metabolism. Carnitine has been shown to benefit atherosclerotic heart disease and high cholesterol and triglycerides. Improves fat metabolism throughout the body.
L-Glutathione – A tri peptide (3 amino acids) that acts as a potent antioxidant in the body. Supplementation is useful in allergies, cancer prevention, liver detoxification, cataracts, heavy metal toxicity, longevity and rejuvenation.
Omega-3 Oils are derived from fatty fish and flax seeds. These fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and have a positive effect on cardiovascular disease, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure, allergic and inflammatory conditions (including psoriasis and eczema), autoimmune diseases, cancer, neurological disease, menopause, general health enhancement.
Omega-6 Oils found in evening primrose, black currant, borage and a number of vegetable oils. Although supplementation is popular, these oils increase arachadonic acid levels (an inflammatory substance). Only diabetics need to supplement very small doses of this oil. (less than 500mg/day).