Supplements Ask Me Archives

Does vitamin B-12 help prevent mosquito bites or, at least reduce the affect of bites? If B-12 isn’t the answer, what is?

There is some debate on this matter.
The use of B12 is mixed. You can try using B complex (50 to 100 mg a day), especially B1 (50 to 100 mg one to two times a day) and B12 (1,000 mcg a day) to prevent as well as a mosquito repellent. Vitamin C helps reduce histamine release, resulting in a milder reaction, and can be considered. Bromelain (250 to 500 mg four times a day between meals) is a proteolytic enzyme that has anti-inflammatory effects. All three when taken together as a “cocktail” can be helpful, but it is not 100%.
According to Joseph Conlon, technical advisor at the American Mosquito Control Association, ingested vitamin B-12 alone has not been shown to have any repellent effect on mosquitoes in controlled studies. Garlic has also failed to pass muster in this regard. However, the Association offers excellent information on ways to repel mosquitoes: Mosquito Repellant

I wish to know if there are any nutrient supplements that can be used for gastritis or ulcerative colitis or general prevention of gastric problems. Particularly does beta-carotene play any role in these situations?
I wish to know if beta-carotene or similar nutrients can be taken prophylactically for general good health of the GI tract. What is your view on L-arginine, NAC, Glutamine, melatonin, isoflavonoids and trace elements?

Beta carotene is not one that is usually associated with GI health. UC is a difficult problem, but yes, there are many things that can help, provided you have a logical and systematic approach.
Beta carotene is not specific for the GI tract. There is no harm to take beta carotene, unless you are a smoker, in which case low dose is not good and actually can increase lung cancer risk. For general health, beta carotene 10-20,000 IU is fine.
L-arginine is a precursor to nitrous oxide, the most potent vasodilator in the body. It therefore is helpful in cardiovascular system enhancement as well as a potential “viagra” substitute. Note that high doses are required, about 4-6 grams a day, together with vitamin C.
Melatonin is an excellent antioxidant. Most people are unaware of its fantastic use. I use it routinely, not for sleeping and circadian cycle management, but for cancer, especially breast cancer. Interestingly, melatonin’s effect is not dose dependant. Dosages of 0.5 to 50 mg are very safe.
NAC is a precursor to glutathione and is very good in helping the liver’s detoxification process.
Isofavonoids are good, but don’t overdo it, as the latest research is showing mixed results.
Trace elements are a gray zone. Some people can benefit. You can get blood test for trace element analysis prior to proceeding.
As you can see, each nutrient has specific function. There are over 1000 specialized nutrients out there, and depending on your goal, normally only 10 is enough. Overtaking may not be good, and there can be undesirable interactions, not to mention the binders and fillers in each pill.

Can you give me other names of food supp. Beside Co Q 10 to improve gum problems? Or improve healthy saliva glands?

Yes, CoQ 10 is a key and important proven nutrient that enhances gum health. Besides that, vitamin C/lysine/proline/ascobyl palmitate with bioflavonoids is an excellent combination. I would do both together. The dosage of Vitamin C blend has to be quite high (about 5 grams a day in divided dose). This is available in the powder product called Matrik which is already pre-blended. Matrik goes to built connective tissue to strength gum tissue. Start with one scoop (one gram) two times a day, and scale up slowly over 1-3 months so that you achieve 2.5 scoops two times a day for a total of 5 scoops (5 grams a day). Back off 1/3 if there is signs of diarrhea, indicating that cell saturation has been achieved, and scale back up again in a few days until the dosage is achieved where there is no diarrhea. Grape seed extract, vitamin B complex, selenium, and Vitamin E are also needed. These are in the eAA nutrients.

I have been prescribed a supplement called Arctic Omega. This is Omega 3 fish oil. I have read the Warning on the bottle saying”Do not take this product if you are using blood thinners”. Since I am taking one daily– Aspirin (325mg—should it be safe for me to take the above supplement?

Studies have shown that 5 grams of fish oil is equivalent in blood thinning activities as 325 mg aspirin tablet. The 5 grams is 5 grams of DHA and EPA, not 5 grams of fish oil. Depending on the grade of the fish oil, the % of DHA and EPA is anywhere from 30% to 60%. If you need fish oil, get the pharmaceutical grade liquid is best, where one teaspoon will give you 2.7 grams of combined DHA and EPA. Do note that many people cannot take fish oil in liquid form because it can make your burp and that can be unpleasant. In that case, you can go with flaxseed oil.

I have read about the benefits of vitamin e for memory, heart and basic anti-aging health. I also read that too much can be toxic. How do I determine the correct quantity? I am a 43 yr old active female in good health.

The commonly accepted dose that is safe is 400 IU , although the RDA is only 15 IU. The trend is towards higher and higher dose. Most people have no problem taking 800 IU on an ongoing basis. If you want vitamin E to have therapeutic effect, higher is needed, up to 2000 IU. This is the dose needed for late stage Alzeiheimer’s Disease, for example. For normal healthy aging adult in your age group, 400 IU is a good dose to follow.

I was reading through your archives and you said herbs are a weak form of medicine and when taken for a long period of time plateau off. I have Meniere’s and could not have agreed with your advice more. I have had this condition for six years and do take gingko biloba and butchers broom twice daily for it. My doctor told me that he had heard that vinpocetine would be better but that you had to take it for 3 months to get the full effect. That was a very long three months for me. Two weeks after I went back onto my herbs I was fine again. The butcher’s broom helps most with the vertigo and the gingko helps mostly with the ringing in the ears. Once in a great while I will still have a vertigo attack and for that I must take a very low dose of valium about 2 mg every 15 min up to 5 to 6 pills to get it to stop. My question is will the herbs I take plateau off eventually?

As long as you give it some resting time, herbs will work for a long time as the residuals are flushed out of the body with the rest. Gingko helps with enhancing blood flow to your brain. You should consider fish oil (1-2 grams) and vitamin E 800 IU on a long term basis which also have blood thinning effect and increase blood flow, and supplementing with gingko only on an acute basis. Hopefully, you will not need the ginkgo too much at all.

Would taking Vitamin B12 orally really work if the cause of the deficiency is lack of the intrinsic factor needed to absorb it?

In order to absorb vitamin B 12, you need an “intrinsic factor” in your stomach. This factor is made in the stomach. If you have part or all of stomach removed, or during the aging process, your ability to make intrinsic factor is reduced or eliminated. Without the factor, you can still develop a deficiency with vitamin B12 rich food. In this case supplemental vitamin B12 is needed either by mouth or by injection. Injection is best, but the oral form will work.
One exceptional food is calves liver, but you have to take about one pound per day. This liver is so high in vitamin B 12 that even if you are lacking in the intrinsic factor, enough B12 is absorbed to prevent pernicious anemia.

In your article on essential fatty acids you make the case for how important they are and then say that the vegetarian supplements like flax provide only ALA. The article states that EPA and DHA are the only effective Omega 3’s and maybe the liver can transform ALA to a small amount of EPA and DHA. Does this mean it is virtually impossible to fulfill this dietary requirement as a vegetarian?

Getting the sufficient supply of DHA for its omega 3 benefits is a challenge for vegetarians. Long term vegetarians tend to have low levels of DHA based on scientific studies. The conversion of ALA to DHA is only 1%, and the conversion of ALA to EPA is only 2.7% (when EPA is excluded from the diet and LNA is included in the diet, plasma EPA levels increase, thereby proving that dietary LNA is converted within the body to EPA]. Vegetarians should therefore consider supplementing with DHA, as well as vitamin B12.
Here are some food sources and their % of ALA: flaxseed Oil 55%, candlenut Oil 29%, Hemp Seed oil 19%, canola Oil 10%, pumpkin Seed Oil 7%, soy bean Oil 7%, wheat germ oil 5%, borage seed Oil 0.2%, olive oil or lard or rice bran 1%,

Do you take fish oil only or do you take flax seed oil/meal too? I am currently taking flaxseed meal (2tbsp) and flaxseed oil (1tbsp) daily for cancer-fighting lignans and Omega 3’s. I eat salmon about twice a week. Should I take fish oil caps too or is my current intake sufficient? Also, I’ve been reading about Dr. Matthias Rath and his carnitine, lysine, taurine, Vit C supplement. Are there any good food sources for carnitine, lysine and taurine that would provide levels equal to his recommendations? I already get tons of C in my fruits, vegetables, and supplements.

Flax seed is an alternative source of fish oil for those who cannot tolerate fish oil in high dose, as many do get a fishy burp, so to say. Flax seed’s content of omega 3 is much lower, and it has to be converted to EPA and DHA, with a conversion fact much lower than fish oil. If you are taking 4 oz of Atlantic salmon, you will be getting about 2.5 grams of omeg3 each 4 oz. Therefore, you are getting about 5 grams a week which is good dose unless you have specific health concerns that warrant more, such as Alzeimher’s Disease or cancer.

Please advise on the pros and cons of powdered protein supplements as a meal replacement.

I wouldn’t recommend powdered protein supplements generally because our body doesn’t need more than 0.8 gm/kg body weight of protein. 2) Extra protein calories are converted to fat and the nitrogen part of the protein is excreted, thereby putting an unnecessary strain on the kidney. 3) Protein supplements are low in roughage 4) It does not provide all the minerals and vitamins a complete balanced meal would give.
For people that are trying to lose weight, protein supplementation seems to curb the appetite thereby help reduce weight.
Protein supplements are not needed unless you are into sports nutrition, body building, or afflicted with cancer.

I’m giving my children “Flintstones”. It says that “it has enough iron to harm the children”. One of children ate almost half the bottle of “Flintstones” Vitamins. How much iron should be taken to harm a child? What should we do?

Iron is an oxidant in our body. Of all supplements, iron and copper is something we don’t need to supplement. What you have given thus far would not have created harm for your children. I hope you didn’t mean 1/2 bottle at one sitting. Just be careful in the future, to seek out supplements that have no iron or copper in them. Please make sure your children eat balance diets following the Food Pyramid, and at least 1 serving of green vegetables a day.
Here is a list of foods high in iron also.

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Liver
  • Egg yolk
  • Green vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes like peas

I am concerned about my husband’s health. He is 27 years old and doing fine, he grew up with a father who smoked in the house, and so for the first 18 years of life was exposed to second-hand smoke. He and I are both on the blood type diet and doing well. We’re both type O positive and eat the suggested organic, lean meats, fish, and lots of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. The only grains we eat are Ezekial breads and organic brown rice (no wheat!!) We use soy products in place of dairy. I have him on lots of supplements including: Flax seed and flax oil, a high potency multiple, plus additional anti-oxidants (Alpha lipoic acid-100mg, lycopene and lutein, NAC, Green Tea, grapeseed, curcumin, selenium-200mcg and milk thistle. Is there anything else we can do to help repair any damage that may have been done during his childhood, as well as avoid any future damage from his approx. twice weekly social evenings around smokers. Needless to say, he doesn’t smoke, exercises, stays at a healthy weight and drinks only beer approx once weekly (2-3 bottles).

You are smart to get started at a relative young age to reverse the toxic condition. The good news is that the body has tremendous regenerating capability. It takes about 1-2 years to fully regenerate all your cells. Second hand smoke is very damaging. While the antioxidants you are taking are good, I notice that Vitamin C in particular is missing. Studies have shown that 65 mg of vitamin C is needed to neutralize the oxidative and free radical effect of one cigarette. He should consider at least 500-1000 mg of mineral ascorbates with citrus bioflavonoids. Soy product that are unfermented such as tofu should be used in moderation, and only with minerals as it contain anti-nutrients (a fact not commonly known) except fermented soy such as miso or tempeh. Also make sure you take pure filtered water with some lemon to alkalize your body.

I’ve been searching online and through all of the medical texts I have access to and can’t seem to find the info I’m searching for. I was wondering how much additional iron is recommended for an anemic female? Is there a guideline that is followed? An average range? I know the RDA varies from 15-18 mg daily. What beyond that would be recommended in the form of a supplement? (I realize all patients are different but I’m just looking for some general guidelines as to how much additional iron would be recommended).

Iron is not recommended for adult females as a supplement unless anemic. We specifically make sure that it is not in any supplement because iron is a pro-oxidant. Food contains a fair bit already, especially spinach. The amount needed for each anemic person is monitored by blood test called hemoglobin. The average starting dose is Ferrous sulfate 325 mg which your medical doctor may prescribe. Iron intake will cause constipation in many cases, so some prune juice is often good to have on board at the same time.

I am a 42 year old female (no kids). I think I may be in perimenopause. I have not had any hormone level checks but one or two hot flashes only. Otherwise nothing. I have no history of any “female” problems. I have been taking black cohosh as I find it wonderful for preventing what minor PMS symptoms I did get. Everything on it says not to use it for more than six months at a time. But nowhere does it say how long the interim period must last. One month? One year? Please help.

Most vitamins and minerals are washed off within a matter of days. Herbs can take longer, and frankly no one really knows because each one is very different. Bear in mind that herbs are like a weak medicine. When taken a long time, it can plateau out in its effectiveness, and generally that is what happens. So generally, herbs are not to be taken continuously for more than 3 to 6 months.You may wish to consider daily intake of omega3 , borage oil, isoflavone extracts, and DIM to modulate your hormone internally while you taper off herbs. That way, if you do get symptoms, you can add herbs intermittently as an insurance policy. That is a long term strategy you can consider since you are only 42 years young!
The supplements I mentioned above are excellent to get your body ready for perimenipause also.

I have a slight case of endometriosis and was wondering if it actually stops the chance for a person to have kids?

The causes of endometriosis are not yet fully known. There are quite a few theories, from genetics to toxic environment. Surgical intervention focuses on removal of endometiral tissues, while drug therapy focuses on balancing the hormonal picture with birth control pills which has a set of problems on its own. I favor the use of non toxic natural therapies to balance hormones and that usually helps with reducing the symptoms of endometriosis. In particular, you would want to immediate reduce your estrogen load as much as possible. Excessive estrogen is linked strongly to endometriosis.

The list of things you have to do is long, but I think it is worth your effort.

This protocol is to reduce the body’s estrogen loan and prevent onset of cancer. If you already have been diagnosed with cancer, more aggressive action will be needed that will include all these steps. So regardless of whether you have cancer or not, following this:

  1. Natural Progesterone
    Natural progesterone should be considered. It helps to reduce the risk of ovarian, endometrial and breast cancers, while unopposed estradiol causes that is frequently associated with firbrocystic breast disease, endometriosis, PMS, fibroids, and breast cancer. Specific dosage varies depending on the condition. For endometriois, more than the usual 20 mg a day on day 12-25 is needed. The objective is to achieve the same high level of progesterone in your body as that when you are 6 weeks pregnant. Getting a baseline salivary progesterone and estrogen level is needed, and it’s best you consult a naturally oriented physician before you get started.
  2. Dietary Adjustments
    Overeating and under-exercising are the norm in developed countries. Populations from such countries, especially in the Western hemisphere, derive a large part of their dietary calorie from fat. They also show a much higher incidence of menopausal symptoms. Studies have shown that the estrogen level fell in women who switched from a typical high-fat, refined-carbohydrate diet to a low-fat, high-fiber, plant-based diet even though they did not adjust their total calorie intake. Plants contain over 5,000 known sterols that have progestogenic effects. Cultures whose eating habits are more wholesome and who exercise more have a far lower incidence of menopausal symptoms because their pre- and postmenopausal levels of estrogen do not drop as significantly.Fortunately, scientists have identified cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, and Brussels sprouts to contain a high level of phytoestrogen. These important vegetables work by competitively occupying the estrogen receptor sites on the cell membrane to prevent estrogen from exerting its effects on the cell. About 3-5 servings a week are needed.A plant-based unprocessed whole-food diet is recommended. At least 15 grams of fiber should be consumed a day. Avoid high-glycemic foods such as refined sugar. Avoid alcohol or drugs that can damage the liver which will lead to an increase in estrogen due to the lack of estrogen breakdown.
  3. Liquid
    Coffee and Estrogen
    Studies have shown that drinking more than two cups of coffee a day may increase estrogen levels in women. It could also lead to problems such as endometriosis and breast pain.Having high levels of estrogen for women in such cases can be detrimental as it can lead to breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Those who have a family history of cancer also have a higher risk.In a clinical trial conducted, about 500 women between the ages of 36 to 45 were studied. These women were not pregnant, not breast-feeding or having hormonal treatment. They were interviewed regarding their diets, smoking habits, height and weight. Their hormone levels during the first five days of their menstrual cycle were also measured.The results showed that women who consumed more than one cup of coffee a day had significantly higher levels of estrogen during the early follicular phase of their menstrual cycle. Those who consumed at least 500 mg of caffeine daily, the equivalent of four or five cups of coffee had nearly 70% more estrogen than women who consumed less than 100 mg of caffeine daily.Caffeine intake from all sources was associated with higher estrogen levels regardless of the women’s age, body mass index (BMI), caloric intake, smoking habits, and alcohol and cholesterol intake. Coffee consumption increases estradiol levels. There are three different forms of estrogen in the body – estrone, estradiol, and estriol. Estradiol is the form that is pro-cancerous. Women should limit their intake of coffee to not more than one to two cups daily to decrease their risk of having more serious health problems.

    Chronic high caffeine intake can also lead to adrenal gland exhaustion and the reduction in production of progesterone. The proper progesterone to estrogen ratio is therefore not maintained, resulting in further estrogen dominance.

    Coffee (especially when accompanied with sugar) also creates an acidic internal environment. The body will try to neutralize the acid by withdrawing valuable minerals such as magnesium and calcium from the bone. This leads to mineral depletion if chronic and ultimately osteoporosis. In summary, coffee consumption can lead to increased estrogen, adrenal gland exhaustion, and osteoporosis.

    In addition to the above, coffee is a stimulant that leads the body to generate epinephrine as it tries to fend off insults with a flight or fight response. In response to the epinephrine, the adrenal glands (sitting on top of the kidneys) secrete cortisol, an anti-imflammatory hormone and one that is pro-aging to reduce the effects of epinephrine. Chronic excess intake of coffee can lead to adrenal exhaustion over time. The adrenal glands are also responsible for manufacturing pregnenolone, a precursor to progesterone. Deficiency in progesterone in turn upsets the intricate estrogen/progesterone balance, leading to estrogen dominance and a host of symptoms including fatique, bloating, and depression commonly associated with menopausal and pre-menstrual symptoms.

  4. Detoxification
    Estrogen is metabolized in the liver. Herbs that fortify the liver will speed up estrogen clearance from the body. Estrogen that is not metabolized by the liver will continue to circulate and exert its effect on the body.The most impressive research has been done on a special extract of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) known as silymarin, a group of flavonoids compounds. These compounds protect the liver from damage and enhance the detoxification process.Silymarin prevents damage to the liver by acting as an antioxidant. It is much more effective than vitamin E and vitamin C. Numerous research studies have demonstrated its protective effect on the liver. Extremely toxic chemicals such as carbon tetrachloride, amanita toxin, galactosamine and praseodymium nitrate produce experimental liver damage in animals. Silymarin has been shown to protect the liver against these toxins.Silymarin also works by preventing the depletion of glutathione. The higher the glutathione content, the greater the liver’s capacity to detoxify harmful chemicals. Moreover, silymarin has been shown to increase the level of glutathione by up to 35 %. In human studies, silymarin has been shown to exhibit positive effects in treating liver diseases of various kinds including cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, fatty infiltration of the liver, and inflammation of the bile duct. The common dosage for silymarin is 70 to 200 mg one to three times a day.In addition, avoid caffeine, alcohol, and medications that interfere with the liver’s detoxification mechanism.
  5. Maintaining ideal body weight
    Half of the adults in Europe and 61 per cent of American adults are overweight. If you are overweight, lose it as fat cells increase estrogen production. Cancer is more common in overweight people. The evidence on weight is strongest for post-menopausal breast cancer and cancer of the endometrium (lining of the womb), gall bladder and kidney.Over-consumption of calories leads to increased metabolic activity in the body. This in turn leads to excessive free radical formation. Free radicals damage cells and causes genetic mutation, which ultimately can lead to cancer.Obesity is normally defined by the body mass index or BMI, which is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. An index of between 18.5 and 25 is considered healthy, while those with a score between 25 and 29 are classified as overweight and those whose BMI is higher than that are considered obese.The target weight should be 5 to 10 per cent below the ideal body weight. Your ideal body weight can be calculated easily. For women, the formula is 100 pounds plus 5 pounds for every inch above 5 feet. Therefore, for a woman standing 5 feet 6 inches tall, her ideal weight is 100 + (5 pounds/inch x 6 inches) = 130 pounds. Give or take 5 pounds for large or small frame size respectively.
  6. Exercise
    Properly performed exercises have been shown to modulate hormonal imbalance. Those who exercise regularly are also happier; less depressed, and have an optimistic outlook on life. This results in increased life expectancy. Statistically, life expectancy increases by two hours for every hour spent doing the proper exercises.Precision anti-aging exercises must incorporate flexibility, cardiovascular and strength training exercises. All it takes is 5 minutes of flexibility training every day, 20-30 minutes cardiovascular training 3 times a week, and 15-20 minutes of strength training 2 times a week. A properly structured program takes an average of 30 minutes a day, which is less than 2% of the entire day.
  7. Nutritional Supplementation
    The body of a hormonal imbalanced person needs to be fortified. Here is a summary of the daily nutritional consideration for those 45 and over:

    • Vitamin A (Antioxidant) – 15,000 IU (300% RDA) with no more than 5,000 IU in Vitamin A palmitate and the rest in natural mixed beta carotene. You will not get overdosed or feel toxic effects. More than 100 studies have shown that people with high levels of beta carotene in their diet have half the chance of developing cancer and heart attack.
    • Vitamin C (Antioxidant) – 1,000 mg (2,000% RDA) in the form of ascorbic acid (no need to spend more money on other forms unless you have a sensitive stomach or taking more than 2,000-3,000 mg per day). A study of Americans shows that intake of 300 mg of vitamin C per day adds 6 years to a man’s life and 2 years to a woman’s life. Cardiovascular disease decreased by 40%. Take this in split doses as it is excreted within a few hours. No toxicity has been reported on long-term intake of up to 20,000 mg a day. It is important to incorporate ascorbyl palmitate (the fat soluble form of vitamin C) , L-proline, and L-lysine. The three work synergistically to rebuild damaged blood vessels and prevent atherosclerosis.
    • Vitamin E (Antioxidant) – 400 IU (1,333% RDA) in the form of water dispersible d-alpha tocopherol (the natural form). This amount has been shown in repeated researches to be the optimum dose for anti-aging and cancer prevention. The risk of not taking Vitamin E is statistically equivalent to the risk of smoking. A large scale Harvard study of 87,000 nurses showed that those taking more than 250 IU a day for 2 years have 41 % lower incidence of major heart disease. To take the equivalent of 400 IU in food would require 2 quarts of corn oil or 28 cups of peanuts a day. Many in th e fore front of anti-aging research are now recommending up to 800 IU aday , especially for women in their peri- or postmenopausal period.
    • Magnesium (Antioxidant) – 500-1,000 mg (125-250 % RDA). Less than 25 % of Americans meet even the low RDA standard. A 2,000 kcal diet is needed if no supplement is taken. Critical for proper heart function, normalize arrhythmias, and helps to reduce blood pressure. Requirement is higher if you take intake of sugar and fat is high in diet. The calcium to magnesium ratio should be between 1:1 to 1:2.
    • Vitamin B9 (folic acid) – 800 mcg ( 200 % RDA) – a non-toxic nutrient that protects our chromosome from DNA damage and cancer. A Harvard study of 16,000 women and 9,500 men showed that those getting the post folic acid has the lowest incidence of getting pre-cancerous polyps in the colon. Folic Acid also helps with depression . No noticeable side effects at up to 10,000 mcg.
    • Vitamin B12 – 100 mcg- 1,000 mcg(1,666 % – 16,666 % RDA) – over 24 % of people over 60 years old and over 40 % of people over 80 years old are deficient due to decreased absorption with age. Deficiency also causes Alzheimer’s Disease like symptoms. A must take for those over 50 years old as cheap and added insurance. Non toxic at 1,000 mcg daily for many years or up to 100,000 mcg in a single dose.
    • Chromium – 200 mcg (166 % RDA) in chelated form for better absorption – Very little is contained in food and as a result , 90 % of all Americans are deficient in the RDA of this trace element which is critical to normalize blood sugar. A Israel research shows that daily intake of 200 mcg of chromium improves insulin resistance in Type II Diabetes by up to 50 % in weeks.
    • Zinc – 30 mg (200 % RDA) in chelated form for better absorption – 33 % of healthy Americans over age 50 have zinc deficiency and don’t know it. The percentage increases to 90 % for those older. You need a daily calorie intake of 2,400 kcal to get just the RDA. Zinc is critical for proper thymus gland and immune system function. Research has shown that daily intake of 30 mg of zinc reactive the immune system with dramatic improvements after 6 months in those with zinc deficiency.
    • Calcium – 500 mg (50 % RDA) in the form of calcium carbonate. In addition to keeping our bones healthy, calcium also fights cancer. Calcium carbonate contains 40 % calcium, compared to others such as calcium gluconate which contain 9 % elemental calcium. Don’t take more than 500 mg at a time for best absorption. Calcium citrate is better absorbed, but only contains 11 % calcium. Calcium should be balanced with magnesium at 1:1 or 1:2 ratio.
    • Citrus Bioflavonoids 100 mg – potent antioxidants derived from plants that have metal binding (chelating) properties. Commonly found in grape seed.
    • Omega-3 Fatty Acid – Eating 8 oz of fish a week is all you need to do. Otherwise, take 1,000 mg from fish oil to contain 360 mg EPA and 240 mg DHA. Most people taking fish oil have a tendency to develop a fishy “burp”. Over 60 research studies have shown that a variety of ailments from arthritis to heart disease can benefit from fish oil (not cod liver oil which contains a high dose of Vitamin A and D which are toxic in high doses). 400 IU of Vitamin E should be taken simultaneously to potentiate the effect of fish oil.
    • Garlic – 500 mg in concentrated form – equivalent to 1,250 mg garlic bulk or half a clove of fresh garlic. Garlic has been used by healers for over 5,000 years. Numerous studies have shown that garlic decrease triglyceride levels by decreasing fat absorption. It also supports healthy blood pressure. Two of garlic’s major compounds – allicin and ajoene – have been found to possess powerful properties that help the body boost its immune system. A natural herb that is non-toxic.
    • Evening Primrose Oil – 500 mg -1,000 mg (standardized to 9 % GLA) – an essential fatty acid. Strong anti-inflammatory properties and useful for arthritis, PMS, and skin conditions. Most researches use 3,000-6,000 mg a day. EPO is especially good to balance the hormonal system. Digestive Enzyme containing lipase, cellulase, and amylase.

    Avoid Iron unless you are anemic.

  8. Reduced Xenoestrogen (external estrogen) Load
    • Throw away all pesticides, herbicides, and fungicids
    • Throw away cosmetics that have toxic ingredients such and switch to organic and “clean” cosmetics
    • Throw away nail polish and nail polish remover
    • Use organic soap and tootpaste
    • Don’t use fabric softeners as it puts petrochemical right on your skin
    • Use only naturally based pefume. Most perfumes are petrochemially based.
    • Have a good water filter for your source of water
    • Do not use plastic goods since all plastic leach into the environment
    • Eat only organic based whole food.
    • Avoid surfactants found in many condoms and diaphragm gels.
    • New carpet can give off noxious fumes. Beware
    • Be aware of noxious gas such as that from copies and printers, carpets, fiberlboards, computer monitors that emit high level of electromagnetic force ( EMF)
    • Avoid X rays
    • Do not microwave food in plastic container, and especially avoid the use of plastic wrap to cover food for microwaving
    • Wash your food well to rid the pesticides. Bath the washed food in ozonated water for 20 minutes before cooking.

I have given you a mouthfull Katie. Plan on doing it over the next 12 months and incorporate it into your lifestyle.

Why should calcium be in a 1:1 to 1:2 ratio with magnesium when so many foods, I understand, are in a 2:1 ratio? Also, I read that 4 calcium ions need 1 magnesium ion to act.

Calcium is needed in high concentration (1500 mg a day) for bone building before age 25. For those over 30, excessive calcium is not good and not needed. Calcium in excessive amount leads to bone spurs, kidney problems, and calcium causes muscle contraction. Magnesium is needed for calcium to work properly, and 80% of us, especially those on animal meat diet, are deficient in magnesium Randy. Concentrate on getting magnesium on board is important. It acts as a muscle relaxant, nature’s calcium channel blocker and great for the heart, and is needed in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. Maintaining a 1: 1 ratio is ideal. Some suggest a ratio of magnesium to calcium of 2:1.

I notice on my bottle of MaxEpa Omega 3 Fish Oil that it says to store it at room temperature, while I’ve “heard” you should refrigerate it. What should I do?

You can refrigerate provided that the container is air tight. The moisture from the frigerator is not good for fish oil softgels. The key is to avoid high heat and high humidity. Cool dry place is the best.

I read in a newspaper clipping that C0Q10 when taken with red yeast rice can prevent the lowering of cholesterol for which red yeast rice is taken

Red yeast rice can lower cholesterol by its action in blocking an enzyme needed for cholesterol synthesis in the liver. In this process, CoQ10 in used. The Statin drugs work on the similar pathway and have the same effect in lowering cholesterol. CoQ10 replacement is best to have for those on red yeast rice or statin drugs (like Lipitor). CoQ10 will not lower cholesterol by itself. Do note that red yeast rice has been taken off the market as of late year 2000 by the FDA. It should not be available over the counter anymore.

Is there any proof that taking Vitamin C extends longevity?

There are literally thousands of small studies on vitamin C. The Lancet (a respect medical journal) in 1991 reported a large scale study done at the University Of Cambridge Primary Care School Of Clinical Medicine in the UK as part of a larger study on cancer and nutrition. 19,496 men and women were part of the study. Their ages are from 45 to 79. Plasma concentrations of vitamin C were measured and these were followed for about four years. It is found that subjects whose vitamin C levels fell into the highest category have the lowest mortality. Their risk of mortality (death) due to 1) all causes, 2) cardiovascular disease, and 3) ischemic heart disease was about 50 percent less than in subjects with the lowest serum vitamin C. The serum vitamin C level measures the amount of vitamin C in the blood. A high level means the cells are saturated, and a low level means cells are not.

Are any of the following supplements making my hemorrhoids bleed? A surgeon just put rubber bands to remove them yesterday.

  • Horse Chestnut/grapeseed extract
  • Fish Oil
  • glucosamine/MSM
  • vitaminE/selenium
  • Zinc
  • beta-sisosterol
  • quercetin
  • Magnesium citrate
  • curcumin/tumeric/demethoxycucumin/bisdemethyoxycurcumin/bioperine
  • Artemisinin
  • beta glucan
  • co-Q 10
  • vitamin C
  • calcium
  • multi-vitamin
  • metamucil

Is there anything else I can do to get rid of the hemorrhoids?

I am not aware of the list that makes hemorrhoids. What will help is taking fat soluble vitamin C and mineral ascorbate for a few months. You see, the way to prevent hemorrhoids is to build up and strengthen the cellular structure and make the wall “tougher”. There is only one way to do it naturally – by building collagen. The best way to build collagen is by taking ascobic acid in high doses, or low doses of the combination of ascobic acid and mineral ascobates, plus fat soluble ascorbic acid that will be retain in your body for a lot longer than water soluble ascorbic acid that is flushed out of your body a short time after you take it. The right combination and blend is important. Do not simply take regular vitamin C and expect good results in low dose.

Can taking daily doses of flax oil raise your triglyceride? Mine has been steadly rising since I have been taking flax seed tablets.

It should be the other way around. Flax oil contains omega-3 fatty acid which reduces triglyceride. How is your grains intake? That is directly correlated to Triglyceride. So watch that part carefully. Here is my take on essential oils: Essential oils
and triglyceride which may be helpful to you: Triglyceride

From what I have been reading, fish oil and cod oil, not flax oil, will reduce triglyceride. However, I get confused as my total numbers are down because I have been taking the flaxseed. Which grains should you stay away from and could I take fish oil one day and flaxseed the next and would that be of any benefit? What about goggul?

Fish oil contains omega 3 which will bring down your triglyceride. Flexseed is not as good as fish oil, but is acceptable to those who cannot take fish oil. Grains will directly reduce triglyceride. Out of the three, reducing grains is most important, followed by fish oil, followed by flexseed. For triglyceride reduction, guccolipid is not as effective as the above mentioned three.

Is it possible to “cure” Hepatitis C with natural products? Is it possible to overcome a virus?

While there is no “cure” for a virus, we know that virus only affects those whose immunity is weak. Put 100 people in a room with a known virus, even a cold, and not everyone comes down with it. The old and the weak will get it first. The lesson is that a strong defence is a strong offence. Think how to fortify your body with immune building nutrients. In the case of liver, studies have shown that milk thistle and others are very good. Other good immune building nutrients include medical mushrooms (there are many), cats claw (a herb), olive leaf (herb), and optimum levels of antioxidants.

What are uses of linoleic and oleic acids?

Linoleic Acid is an essential fatty acid. It is an essential component of the cell membrane. LA also transports the oxygen intro the cell membrane and involved witht its metabolism. It helps to hold the protein together in the cell membrane. Surplus cholesterol is transported from the cell membrane to the liver by LA. To have healthy muscles, you need LA.
Oleic Acid is a type of monounsaturated fatty acid. It improves the skin and arteries. Excess Oleic Acid can interfere with the absorption of the Essential Fatty Acids and the production of Prostaglandins.

CoQ10 Ubiquinone is from the same Quinone family of Vitamin K Phylloquinone which is a coagulant. They also have similar structures. Does this mean that CoQ10 is a Coagulant as well?
I am mainly concerned about any clotting effects it may have on my mom. She is 80 years old with a 15 year history of Hypertension and Cardiovascular Disease. She had a Double Bypass Surgery in 1989, with other Balloon Angioplasties afterwards. In 2000 she had a Coronary Stent put in her Left Main Artery which Re-stenosed and required Brachatherapy to keep it 50% open. Then unfortunately last December she had a Heart Attack because her Vein-Graft from the 1989 Bypass Surgery had become blocked, and so they put a Stent in that also. So far she seems okay and I hope she stays that way.
But I can’t help being concerned about any clotting affects which CoQ10 may have on her if I start using it to strengthen her Heart. I am concerned about any possible clotting affects of CoQ10 on her recently Stented Vein-Graft, and other Arteries in general. We also know that Re-stenose easier than Arteries. She is currently diagnosed as having Hypertrophic and Ischemic Diastolic Dysfunction.

Your concern is very well thought out and reasonable. CoQ10 is very safe, but have been reported to have anti-coagulant effect and may thin the blood. The same is true for Vitamin E and gingko, for example. Those who are on anti-coagulants such as aspirin or coumadin should be very careful and consult their doctor first before starting.

If CoQ10 is not a coagulant, then how come it acts as a coagulant with Warfarin? Also, one of the usages of Vitamin C is to brake up clots or thrombosises. How can Vitamin C then be perceived as a coagulant?

When it comes to nutrients, there are many things we still don’t know. Vitamin C is both an anti-oxidant and a pro-oxidant, depending on the dosage. This is data from the last 10 years only. Similarly, phyto-estrogen such as soy is both an estrogen inhibitor and enhancer. There is much we don’t know, and scientific studies trying to isolate one single variable and drawing empharical conclusions with limited ability to control can be very dangerous. We read in the press all the time the conflicting reports, both in nutrition and drugs. That is why, for example, there are 500 studies that say that hormone replacement therapy is good and 500 others pointing the opposite. This is after 40 years of intensive research among the top brains in the world. Clearly the subject matter is highly complex and we have yet to fully understand it. The good news is that if you take the time to really read all the studies over time and digest the details and scrutinize them slowly, a general picture will gradually form in your own mind, and that is what makes a professional a professional in the absence at this time of solid data demanded by modern medicine. And that is why the practice of medicine is not only a science but an art, especially in nutritional medicine.
For the general consumer not privileged to have spent years studying the subject, our general recommendation is simple: when in doubt, do not take it. Otherwise, err on the side of slightly excessive dosage. Sounds contradicting? Not at all if you have a good grasp of the underlying delimina. Why? We simply are aging too fast and the window is closing in too quickly. Often, drugs are worse . Provided that the risk is low and harmless, most aging and adults afflicted with disease will opt for natural therapy if given a chance.

Does taking natural isoflavones (PROMENSIL-(NOVOGEN) pills cause the raising of the calcium level in the blood? All I can say is that these pills have a good effect on my body, because they lower the hot flashes much more effectively, than the Estrogen I used to take a long time ago. My endocrinologist also asked me to pass the PARATHORMONE (PTH) blood test, which came out normal. In Your opinion, why did my other tests of CALCIUM IONISED show a high level of Calcium in the blood, (2.79%)?

First of all, promensil is just isoflavone extracts. Isoflavone is a phytoestrogen that acts like weak estrogen and therefore can relieve your hot flashes. With regards to the calcium level in the blood, note that the serum calcium represent the bound and unbound form – in other words, everything that is floating around and varies with time easily. Any element level taken from the serum is not a true reflection of the level. To really truly know your real calcium level, you need to consider getting a red pack cell study of calcium and other minerals. This test will measure the amount of calcium inside the cell, where it counts. Red pack cell studies are quite expensive and not normally done, for your information. If your Parathyroid function is normal and you are symptomatic but still concerned with your calcium level, talk to a knowledgeable doctor on red pack cell studies.

Malic acid is not a nutrient I associate with women’s health, skin, hair or nails. As a matter of fact, I had to look it up! Do you have any articles on your web site on malic acid? I do use a lot of MSM, which has proven to be very helpful. Is Alpha lupaline available as a separate supplement or is it best used in symphony with other ingredients?

Alpha lupaline is not a supplement but an ingredient. It is a strong antioxidant. Malic acid is a little known secret very good for fibromalygia generally, but when used in right configuration and in combination with magnesium, is very good for skin and women in general, esp in hormonal balance.

Can high doses of alpha lipoic acid deplete glutathione/increase liver transaminase levels? I have heard this before but have been unable to find actual documentation.

I have not come across any reference indicating high level of lipoic acid will decrease glutathione level. Lipoic acid actually enhances glutathione production in the body. And lipoic acid has been used to treat liver diseases.

Read somewhere in your website that taking too much melatonin on a long term basis for one who is below 40 yrs of age will result in one’s pineal gland to reduce the production of this hormone.
I have been taking this hormone pretty regularly for 1 & half years now and sometimes the dosage can be as high as 27mg. What should i do? I am so worried. What are the side effects of this reduced production? Please! Please advise me or else I think I’m going to have difficulty sleeping.
By the way, what are the benefits of L-glutathione?

At your age, unless there is specific reasons (e.g. cancer), the normal dose for melatonin for a healthy person is anywhere from 0.5 to 5 mg or thereabouts. There must be a reason why you are taking 27 mg a day. The good news is that melatonin is highly non-toxic. Depends on your age, you can slowly titrate yourself to a lower level if you don’t need it. Your body is highly forgiving when you are young, so I don’t see much problem if you want to titrate off. High dose melatonin has antioxidative effect, but you can get it from a combination of other nutritional cocktail, thereby reducing the dependance on any single nutrient. That is a better way to go if optimum health is what you are looking for. Read my article on optimum supplement if you have not yet done so to get a feel of how to optimize your body: Nutritional Cocktail.
Glutathione, or GSH, is a naturally occurring protein that protects every cell, tissue, and organ from toxic free radicals and disease. It is a tripeptide of three amino acids – glycine, glutamate (glutamic acid), and cysteine. These precursors are necessary for the manufacture of glutathione within the cells. It is important and one of many antioxidants on board our body.

Please advice: 25 y/o female just diagnosed with endometriosis.
What would be an appropriate protocol in regards to treatment etc.?

Endometrosis is a very common condition. Statistics has it that approximately 15% of women in their reproductive years. 10% is a more common guess. It is a condition where endometrium (the lining of the uterus) is found in locations outside the uterus. Such misplaced tissue may be found in a variety of places close to the uterus, including the ovaries, uterus, bowel, bladder utero-sacral ligaments (ligaments that hold the uterus in place), or peritoneum (covering lining of the pelvis and abdominal cavity).
The causes of endometriosis are not yet fully known. There are quite a few theories, from genetics to toxic environment. Natural protocol should be focused on. Surgical intervention focuses on removal of endometiral tissues, while drug therapy focuses on balancing the hormonal picture with birth control pills.
Natural Non-toxic treatments include:

  • Dietary Changes. Many women reported some relief after avoidance of caffeine, sugar, and alcoholic beverages. A diet rich in whole food and organically based also is helpful
  • Soy Protein can also be helpful to provide phtyoestrogen that acts as competitive inhibitor and reduce estrogen load. Natural progesterone cream can also assist in this respect.
  • Evening Primrose Oil. This oil is an essential fatty acid and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent to rebalance the body’s internal pool of prostaglandins, which are responsible for the stimulation and inhibition of smooth muscle tissue such as is found in the uterus, the intestines and the bladder.
  • The B Complex Vitamins. These vitamins have been linked to breakdown estrogen in the body. They also improve emotional symptoms of endometriosis.
  • Vitamin E and Selenium. Inflammation is a key responsive action by the body, and these two nutrients, when taken together, have been reported to decrease endometriosis-related inflammation. The use of Vitamin E should not exceed 400 IU due to some reports linking vitamin E with estrogen production.
  • Acupuncture/Acupressure. This treatment has received mixed reviews from women with endometriosis. For some,there is relief of pain, probably due to the stimulation of endophins ( internal aspirin) of the body.

Stress-Reduction Techniques Techniques such as yoga, biofeedback, meditation, and regular exercise have all been reported to increase the general well-being of women with endometriosis. The degree of relief depends on each person.

I have been trying to obtain information regarding calcium and magnesium from different perspectives since the CA/MG debate is on going. Hopefully with your expertise input I will become knowledgeable about what type of CA/MG people should take and in what ratio considering over-all history of an individual.
I would appreciate if you could address the following:
My concern is in regard to a patient who wants to begin taking calcium and magnesium supplementation. She is an advocate of naturopathic philosophy.
She is a 65 y/o in good health with family history of hypertension. Patient has had a complete hysterectomy 6 years ago and is on hormone replacement of Premarin 0.625 mg QD. Patient also has a family history of migraines has been taking Lotrel 5/20 mg QD for hypertension, which has not been able to stabilize for the past 5 to 7 years. Patient also frequently goes to the hospital because of severe migraines and elevated blood pressure when migraine is present.
Dr. Lam, after your last email, I am trying to establish the best ratio for her but the below abstract puts a twist in contrast to estrogen, calcium and blood clot.
It basically states, “Calcium needs to be maintained in ratio to magnesium. If you are a woman taking estrogen and have a low magnesium intake, calcium supplementation may increase your risk of thrombosis (blood clotting that can lead to a heart attack).”
I am trying to decipher the exact meaning. I believe Dr. Seelig notes the danger of high estrogen levels when Mg intake is low because of an increased Ca/Mg ratio. So long as you include adequate Ca when you supplement with Mg, you will not increase the Ca/Mg ratio?
What are your thoughts and what could you suggest would be a relative correct ratio for her?
Interrelationship of magnesium and estrogen in cardiovascular and bone disorders, eclampsia, migraine and premenstrual syndrome.
J Am Coll Nutr 1993 Aug;12(4):442-58 Seelig MS, Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, New York MedicalCollege, Valhalla.
The anticonvulsive and antihypertensive values of magnesium (Mg) in eclampsia, and its antiarrhythmic applications in a variety of cardiac diseases, have caused Mg to be considered only for parenteral administration by many physicians. In contrast, nutritionists have long recognized Mg as an essential nutrient, because severe deficiencies elicit neuromuscular manifestations similar to those justifying its use in eclampsia. More recently, this element has been used to favorably influence latent tetany with and without thrombotic complications, to delay preterm birth, to influence premenstrual syndrome, and to ameliorate migraine headaches.Most of these disorders exclusively or largely afflict women. The lesions of arteries and heart caused by experimental Mg deficiency have been well documented and may contribute to human cardiovascular disease. Estrogen’s enhancement of Mg utilization and uptake by soft tissues and bone mayexplain resistance of young women to heart disease and osteoporosis, as well as increased prevalence of these diseases when estrogen secretion ceases.
However, estrogen-induced shifts of Mg can be deleterious when estrogen levels are high and Mg intake is suboptimal. The resultant lowering of blood Mg can increase the Ca/Mg ratio, thus favoring coagulation. With Ca supplemntation in the face of commonly low Mg intake, risk of thrombosis increases.

Here are my thoughts:
One should not be on unopposed estrogen, especially premarin (synthetic estrogen). That is a sure prescription for hormonal imbalance (estrogen dominance). Though this is not your main question, you need to be careful. Consider progesterone (natural) cream to counter the effect and taper of estrogen.
Too high a calcium leads to increase coagulation. Too low magnesium (and 80% of modern day diet is low in magnesium) will raise the ca/mg ratio, causing similar problem as too much calcium.
Most of us are walking around with estrogen dominance and therefore reduced circulating magnesium, so any excessive calcium will only increase already high ca/mg ratio in the presence of high estrogen, thus the cardiovascular risk. Anyway you look at it, increasing Mg has no down side unless the kidneys are not functioning well.
If you understand the above, there is very little conflict at all. It all blends together. Here is the summary:

  1. Most of us are in estrogen dominance environment, resulting in lowered Magnesium
  2. Most of us can easily get into calcium dominance environment. Reason: Too little magnesium
  3. Most of us are in magnesium deficient state

As a result, we all end up with too much calcium.
What do you do? Simply reduce calcium intake and increase Magnesium. The ideal ratio is Ca/Mg ratio of 1 to 2 for adults. The same rule does not apply to growing children, and does not apply to those who are on whole food.
So what do you do?

  1. take intracellular calcium and magnesium blood level if you want to be scientific about it
  2. reduce calcium to 300-500 mg a day
  3. increase magnesium to 500-1000 a day , or as tolerated (excessive amount can cause diarrhea)

You are saying that calcium is a pro-aging mineral. Hence, it increases aging? If so, what are the references to this statement? Also, what would be a general recommendation of calcium and magnesium for males and females of ages?

If you look at the various minerals in general – calcium, magnesium, chromium, selenium, etc in our modern day diet and environment, you will see that all the others (other than calcium) are deficient in 80% of the population. If you follow the high fat American Diet plus recommended RDA of 1000-1500 mg a day, you will have a relative overdose of calcium relative to other minerals in our body. Other than the necessary calcium to keep the body going (500 mg a day is plenty for the aging adult and not those under 25), high level of intracellular calcium leads to many conduction abnormalities, for example. In fact, millions of calcium channel blockers drugs are prescribed every year for the purpose to reduce the amount of calcium entering our cells to reduce blood pressure and angina, for example. We are not looking at bone only but the general concept of relative calcium excess in our body. If you are in a less developed country or your diet is of whole food rich in magnesium, for example, then the story is totally different. The best ratio for calcium to magnesium is 1 to 2. The older you get, the higher should be your magnesium.

Your website goes a long way to help those you are keen to take insurance against the effects of aging, though it doesn’t address what requirements a young person who is very physically active.
I am 25 years old and am training for a marathon. I go to the gym 3-4 times a week and also do running of about 40 miles a week.
Should I simply take the SONA with my increased dietary needs, or should I take different levels of vitamins, minerals and nutrients?

The focus on the website is for those over age 25 and not for the athletic minded person. You are totally right in that perspective as competitive and peak performance parameters are totally different from anti-aging parameters in end point, laboratory values, bodily requirement, and approach. If you are age 25 and doing a marathon, your oxidative stresses are much higher, and you need more anti-oxidant protection. Our body is simply not designed to run 26 miles at a time. Imaging the pounding your knees, cartilage go through at 150 x a minute x 2-3 hours for good runners. Doing a marathon is more for your ego than for your body. Mind you I am a runner myself but at my age, I run only 10k or 20k max. Do a marathon if you wish, but you are smart to start protecting your body as well.
For someone on marathon training, the basic vitamin C should be increased to 500 -1000 a day, for example, compare to 100-200 mg for a regular individual of same age. This is just one example. If you are training for peak performance, other anti-oxidants need to be titrated upwards also.

All of this information sounds wonderful, but I wonder how safe is the use of secretagogues? On the net I have found at least 30 different brands and some homeopathic which claim they do the same things. Who can you belive and which are safe? You are playing with body chemistry are you not, or is it just allowing the body to do what it would do if fed properly?

Your question is certainly a good one and very valid. I have been using secretagogue for many years, way before the current craze and media exposure. It works, and they work well if you use the right ones and in combination with the proper nutrients. In fact, my personal experience is that you can get almost the similar effect in a variety of ways – low dose growth hormone injection, optimum dose vitamin and amino acids, strengeous exercise, or calorie restriciton. If you are serious about anti-aging, you should do all of the above mentioned way to increase growth hormone. Do also note that secretagogue comes in a variety of forms, from peptides to amino acid only. Also the delivery system varies from sublinqual sprays, liposome carrier, and effervascent system. All these work well. The problem is that many products on the market are not formulate well and does not do much. For many unknowing soul, it becomes a ripp off, so to say. Do your homework, and manytimes, trail and error is needed.
On the matter of the body chemistry, secretagogues are extremely safe and ok to take as the amount of stimulation of growth hormone is limited and very mild. Whether any one should take it is a matter of personal decision. The most important is that there are hardly any bad effects as far as I know.

Have you any information on collagen tablets.

You have a very interesting question. Collagen is a very large protein molecule. It gets denatured quickly when exposed to gastric juices which are very acidic as you may know. Collagen from livestock animals is a familiar ingredient for cooking. Like most proteins, when collagen is heated, it loses all of its structure. The triple helix unwinds and the chains separate. Then, when this denatured mass of tangled chains cools down, it soaks up all of the surrounding water like a sponge, forming gelatin. Scientifically I am not aware of collagen tablets being in used on a common base and more importantly, its objective.
If you are interested in building a stronger connective tissue base or increase collagen structure in the body, consider vitamin C, lysine, and proline which are important building blocks for collagen. Collagen’s important peptide chain can also be applied on the skin for wrinkle reduction.

I am reading good things about the product Sun Chlorella and taking Barley Juice. Can you tell me the bad things about these products or side effects that can hurt my body? I would like to start taking the Sun Chlorella.

Chlorella has the highest concentration of chlorophyl of any substance. It is excellent, but not everyone can tolerate it well, especially if you are toxic. Try to start with 1/4 to 1/2 doses and gradually work yoursellf up. Total per day is 3-40 grams.

I am looking for supplements to enhance my immune system. I have glioblastoma high grade and need to improve my immune system. What vitamins and food should I be taking? What can I do to reduce the growth of these tumors? I am 62 yrs old. I am having radiation for 6 – 7 treatments in a week’s time. What can I do to help myself?

The common nutrients that have immune boosting properties are: zinc, garlic, echanasia, olive leaf, essiac tea (containing burdock root), and reishi mushroom, among others. There is no one magic nutrient, as they all work synergistically and through different pathways. The best is to do a cocktail approach, balancing some of these will a good foundational formula including vitamin C, beta carotene, selenium in optimum dosages. Immune boosting nutrients should not be taken during chemo or radiation therapy. They should be taken before and stopped a week before, and restart 1 week after completion of therapy generally speaking. Everyone is different, however. The above is for general information only.

I am presently taking Caprylic acid because of candida albicans. I am taking vit.E, Borage Oil, Cod liver oil, and about 2x times a week fish-salmon. So my question is: I have presently little blood running nose, sore too. Is there possible interference of Caprilic acid with vitamin K or my intake of oils in combination with caprylica acid can possibly creating my condition? I am not eating leafy vegetables enough too.

The supplements you take are natural blood thinner (vitamin E, borage oil and cod liver oil). You should only take 400IU vitamin E, 500-1000mg borage oil. If you are taking these two, you don’t need to take cod liver oil. In fact, cod liver oil is contraindicated if you are pregnant due to its possible liver toxicity.
Caprylic acid does not interfere with vitamin K. I would recommend stopping all your supplements for one week and see if your bleeding improves. If it does, that means one of the supplements was not right for you.
It seems to me that you are taking these supplements for heart health. There are many more supplements you should take rather than just these few isolated supplements, including Coenzyme Q10, magnesium, lipoic, etc. You need to take care of your body as a whole; the supplements should take care of your heart, digestive system, hormonal system, bones, and detoxification.

I would like to know if I can stop taking vitamin b12 shots and what would happen if I do? I have being taking shots for a few years and I still feel tired, they have change the dose and it is still the same. I was thinking maybe I do not need to get the shot and just take a vitamin at home.

If vitamin B12 shots have not been helping you, do talk to your physician and explore the reasons why as you may have other underlying metabolic problems that needs corrections. That is the first thing I would do. Vitamin B12 is very good for energy, and it is non-toxic and is not a stimulant. You may wish to consider supplementing with some genseng which acts as a tonic, so to say. Magnesium can also be added to the shot and you may want to discuss this with a knowledagble physician. If you have chronic fatique, consider malic acid supplementation as well. There are a lot of things you can do. There is no guarantee, but I would encourage you to continue to search for alternatives as you have done here.

I am post menopausal and have a blood test showing a low ferritin level. My doctor recommends that I go onto Iron supplementation. I have heard that Iron is a pro-oxidant. Should I take the supplement?

Many people are scared of taking iron supplement because of its pro-oxidant effect, and rightly so. However, if your ferritin level is low and you are having symptoms consistent with iron deficiency anemia, then it is wise for you to get iron supplementation until you built your oxygen carrying capacity up. To overcome the pro-oxidant effect, take extra antioxidants during the time you are on iron supplementation. Also note that iron supplements often cause constipation. Taking digestive enzymes and soluble fibers will help in this respect.

Are you familiar with the supplement called Moducare?
I am currently taking 3 capsules daily.
The website states the following:
Moducare, the only product with the patented formulation of sterols and sterolins in a ratio of 100:1, has been proven to have positive immunomodulatory effects.
Moducare regulates and strengthens the immune system and is helpful in addressing many health issues.
The moducare web site is

Moducare belongs to a class of nutritional supplements called plant sterols. They are derivatives of plant that have hormonal effect. Specifically, its effect mimics that of cortisol, one of our adrenal hormones that are released by the body in time of stress. Cortisol is an anti-inflammatory hormone that will suppress inflammation ranging from arthritis to immune related diseases and possibly cardiac arythmia. Unfortunately, cortisol is also a pro-aging hormone and one that increases with age, much to our dislike. One of the primary goals of anti-aging is to reduce cortisol output in the body, and you can do that by dietary adjustment (less sugar intake) and of course, relaxation techniques.
On the matter of using plant sterol, it depends on the reason that you are on it. As with anything new (less than 20-30 years of clinical studies), the long term effects are not fully known. If you want to be sure, you may want have your hormonal levels checked by a physician out so you have a baseline.

I am a 35 year old female, and have just started taking a dietary supplement call sun chlorella which contains 4559 Iu’s of viatmin A, and would like to continue taking my multi vitamin which contains 7250 iu’s of vitamin a. Is that too much, or still a safe amount?
I also take zoloft and want to be sure that there is no risk of interaction there.

Up to 10,000 IU of Vitamin A is OK as it is fat soluble. Try to take in the form of beta carotene which is the smart way to get vitamin A into the body without toxicity. I personally take 25,000 IU a day of beta carotene. For my optimum dosage table, click here:
Dosage Guide

Why is Vitamin B12 an important supplement for anti-aging?

B-12 helps maintain red blood cells and nerve cells as well as protect against a variety of conditions. It is also needed to make DNA. It reduces homocysteine, an amino acid that is now known to promote atherosclerosis. Deficiency of vitamin B produces symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s disease. It is naturally found in animal foods such as meat, poultry, and dairy products, most of which should be taken in moderation in an anti-aging diet. In addition, people over the age of 50 may have decreased stomach acid which makes it difficult to separate the B-12 which is bound to proteins listed above. Vegans are especially vulnerable to deficiency and should take supplementation. Vitamin B-12 is non-toxic so daily intake orally or by injection is not a problem. Vitamin B12 also boosts energy supply. A good anti-aging dose is 500 – 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 a day. Vitamin B12 is water soluable.

What is vitamin B17 and what foods are rich with it? What functions does it have in our system?

Vitamin B-17 (nitriloside) is a designation proposed to include a large group of water-soluble, essentially non-toxic, sugary, compounds found in over 800 plants, many of which are edible. These factors are collectively known as beta-cyanophoric glycosides. They comprise molecules made of sugar, hydrogen cyanide, a benzene ring or an acetone. Though the intact molecule is for all practical purposes completely non-toxic, it may be hydrolyzed by beta-glycosidase to a sugar, free hydrogen cyanide, benzaldehyde or acetone.
One of the most common and widely known nitrilosides (vitamin B17 or Laetrile) is amygdalin. This nitriloside occurs in the kernels of seeds of practically all fruits.Other sources include the seeds and pits of apples, cherries, peaches, plums, almonds, papaya, and nectarines, often in the extraordinary concentration of 2 to 3 per cent. It was originally isolated from apricot pits by the famous biochemist Forest T. Krebs in the 1920s. Ernst Krebs conducted many of the anti-cancer studies of amygdalin and he ultimately named the compound vitamin B-17, although there is no established metabolic need for amygdalin and none of the common vitamin deficiency symptoms occur when this chemical is excluded from the diet of humans.
The use of Amygdalin (Laetrile/Vitamin B17) in the treatment of human cancer dates back at least to 1843, although the ancient Chinese are reported to have used bitter almonds containing significant quantities of it in the treatment of tumors some 3,000 years ago.
An unusual feature of this carbohydrate is the presence of a cyanide substituent that yields HCN upon hydrolysis by intestinal bacteria. For the most part, it has been found that amygdalin is devoid of any significant activity against tumor cells and can be lethal if ingested in excessive amounts.
Today, laetrile is widely prescribed by physicians specializing in alternative cancer therapy. It is widely available in Mexico and not approved by the FDA for cancer treatment in the United States.

I have been following the interesting information presented in the AFIBsupport group. I have also recently been diagnosed with AFIB and am currently taking a number of medications including Coumadin. My Nutritionist (I am just starting with her program) pretty much agrees with your protocol and also included CoQ10 in my vitamin list. However, I have been reading that taking CoQ10 might change my INR reading. Is there any concrete information out in which way CoQ10 might interact with Coumadin? I would greatly appreciate your response.

Coenzyme Q10 is found in plant, animal, and human cells. It is involved in electron transport and is a strong antioxidant in additon to its mitochondria enhancing effect. CoQ10 has been used successfully to treat heart failure, high blood pressure and angina. Since CoQ10 is structurally similar to vitamin K 2, it may have blood-coagulating effects. There have been no large scale studies on CoQ10 and coumadin that I am aware of. Selected documented case studies have been reported in Europe, mostly showing decreased response to Coumadin while patient is on CoQ10, sometimes as little as 30 mg and for only 2 weeks. Each of these patients returned to normal INR after stopping CoQ10. If CoQ10 and Coumadin are taken, patients should be monitored carefully for the first 2 weeks. Patients taking statin drugs to lower cholesterol should increase their CoQ10 intake as statin drugs reduces CoQ10 level in the blood.
While we are on the subject, you may wish to know that in addition to CoQ10, the following also have documented blood thinning effect: vitamin E, green tea, ginseng, papain, devil’s claw.

Question: When I changed my diet according to my nutritionist – no milk products, no wheat, adding B-complex, Calcium and CoQ10 to my multiple, I got quite ill also, stayed up all night with a pounding heart (and I am on medications) with nausea and trips to the (you can
guess). One of the offenders was definitely CoQ10 – what irony -. Now I am taking it very slowly – and also increase CoQ10 gradually.
I am trying to balance my INR reading, so far 3 and 2 and another reading this week. Since I had to give up my beloved coffee, what tea do you suggest I could have, that would not interfere with Coumadin.
I would appreciate any suggestions you could make.

CoQ10 has been used extensively for many with cardiac condition, especially in congestive heart failure. For small number of people, it can cause a increase heart heat for some unknown reason. I can only tell you that from clinical experience and not scientific studies as none exist as far as I know in this respect. It is always good to start slow. That is the key as you are doing now.
If you need to have tea, drink herb tea which is not tea in the traditional sense that it contains caffeine. Chamomile tea is good. Remember that green tea contains about 50 mg of caffeine per cup, and coffee contains about 100 mg per cup. Decaf has about 5 mg per cup, so if you like coffee, periodic decaf is a good way to go. Personally I recommend water only and nothing else for anyone interested in optimum health other than herb tea.

What do you feel is the relative importance of serum electrolyte levels as opposed to intercellular levels? I have had LAF for 6 years and my serum electrolytes have been checked a few times and found to be OK. I am still concerned however that the partition between serum and intra-cellular concentrations for Mg and K is highly biased towards the in-cell concentrations – since this is the case it seems to me it is the *transport mechanism* [that gets the Mg and K into the cell that is crucial (cell wall pumps, ATP, mitochondria, and all that complex stuff I don’t really understand)] that is the key, and that even if the serum concentration is fine, what is inside the cell may not necessarily be OK. If this is the case, it may be worth my while trying to get intra-cellular Mg and K tested.

There is tremendous difference between intracellular and serum level. What is in the serum is not in the cell, which is where it counts. In the case of LAF, it is important to maintain at least normal serum electrolyte level. To do intracellular level is good , but I do not generally do it unless my patient wants to spend the money . 8 out of 10 times, it is low. It is therefore somewhat academic. Those with LAF in particular should, if possible, take more then the normal RDA of Magnesium ( 300 mg) anyway. I take 800 mg a day . When you get diarrhea, then you back off. It is important to maintain a Mg/Ca ratio of 1:1 to 2:1 is important. Instead of spending the money on the lab, I spend on the supplement because regardless of what the test show , optimum dose of magnesium is needed, and if you are taking the optimum dose, you don’t have to worry about the intracellular level. That is my personal opinion.
Intracellular levels are particular important when it comes to toxic metals such as mercury and arsenic, as serum levels are highly non indicative of the degree damage. In that case, I would do intracellular level to decide how much to detoxify.

I am currently taking a multivitamin (MegaMen by GNC). Are multivitamins as good as taking the individual vitamin supplements? The package suggests that I take one tablet twice a day. Should I increase my intake of these tablets in order to meet the optimum daily allowances?

The current thinking on nutritional medicine is that a “cocktail approach is the best”. It’s like treating AIDs. This is important since different nutrients work at different parts of the cellular structure, and there is no one magic bullet. The key is optimum dosage for your age and condition. Without knowing the precise ingredient in the MegaMen you mention, I am unable to comment very much. (I tried to go into the GNC site and was able to find the MegaMen, but no ingredient is shown) What I can say is that while you can increase your number of pills to optimum daily allowance, it is generally not possible to simply triple up on routine formulations for the simple reason that such formulas are not designed to be taken at 3 a day, and as a result you can get overdoes in certain nutrients. I have seen many people who go to Walmart, buy the cheapest, and quadruple up to “save money”. What they may not be aware is that they may be getting high calcium (which is what you don’t need in high dose), iron (definitely you should stay away unless you are anemic) and others. Do read the label carefully and make sure that you don’t end up hurting your body in your process to get well.

What is your view on GNC brand vitamins? I’ve noticed that some folks do not think too highly of them, yet others swear by them.

Reply: GNC is good for general public that is interested in prevention and don’t know where to get things. Those who are into nutritional therapy will not buy from GNC because is not designed for those interested in the best. If you are interested in just ordinary health maintenance, I would suggest Walmart etc. is cheaper and the quality is not far off from GNC. You must remember that in a cocktail, the proper mix and balance is critical, not just throwing different bottles together. That is what makes anti-aging doctors professionals in their field.