Nutritional Supplementation

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Nutritional Supplementation

Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can heal the patient with food.
                                                                                                          Hippocrates
Proper diet is the first and foremost element in nutritional health. Supplementation with nutritional factors such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, phytonutrients, friendly intestinal bacteria can also play an enormous role in both recovering from health problems and attaining optimal levels of performance and wholeness. It is an appealing, idealistic concept to think that we can get all our nutritional needs for optimal health by the foods in our diet alone. When realistic considerations are taken into account, supplementation provides many advantages. Let us look at some of the reasons.
  1. High-quality, organically grown food produced in nutrient-rich soil is available and affordable for only a small number of individuals. Standard American agricultural foodstuffs, which most of us depend on, too often come from nutrient-poor soil and are contaminated by pesticides, herbicides, bacteria, hormones and antibiotics. Foods imported from other countries can be even worse.
  2. The large portion of foods available for consumption are processed and adulterated further, diminishing the nutrient quality per calorie.
  3. Most people, even if they try hard to eat right, do not provide themselves or their families with a diet that has enough nutrients to accommodate basic nutritional needs.
  4. Ninety percent of the population have special circumstances that increase their needs above those of “normal,” healthy adults — growing children, the elderly, pregnant and lactating women, the ill and infirmed, those under stress at home or at work….
  5. Biochemical individuality demands that we recognize there are sometimes hundredfold differences in particular nutrient needs and utilization between any two individuals, depending on their special circumstances at the time.
  6. We would want to provide nutrients sufficient for optimal health, not just average existence.
If we choose higher levels of health than the average unhealthy American, then we need to find a system of supplementation that is cost effective for our individual health goals. Some basic supplements that almost everyone can benefit from, no matter what their health status are listed below.
  • High potency multiple vitamin.  I prefer high-quality, nationally-recognized health food store brands such as Source Naturals, Twin Labs, and Schiff.  One-A-Day, Theragram, and Centrum are very low potency containing synthetic substances and are NOT acceptable.
  • A multi-mineral supplement supplying 400 mg of magnesium per day. Minerals chelated with malate, aspartate, fumarate, orotate and carbonate seem to be better absorbed and utilized than from dolomite, oyster shell, oxide….  The Calcium to magnesium ratio should be1:1.  Excess Calcium in relation to magnesium is not healthy.
  • Vitamin B-6 — 100 milligrams per day.
  • Vitamin C — 1-3 grams per day preferably in a mineral ascorbate form which is pH neutral. If it also has 5% bioflavonoids it seems to reduce bioflavonoid loss by the body.
  • Vitamin D-3 — 2000 IU per day in the winter to boost immunity and stave off osteoporosis.
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus to be taken periodically.

Note: Women of child-bearing age who are sexually active should make sure their supplementation always contains 400 micrograms of folic acid along with even a modest amount of B-complex vitamins since this type of supplementation has a dramatic protective effect against birth defects in the first trimester of pregnancy. That same population of women should refrain from ingesting greater than 10,000 I.U. of vitamin A per day since higher doses have been proven to adversely affect the fetus.

As of 2013 I am making the recommendation for all individuals to take at least a base level of nutrients that support brain neurotransmitters and detoxification.  The weight of new scientific evidence makes me believe that with our neurotoxic environment and other assaults and stress to our biochemistry we need extra amino acid support above dietary intake for basic health needs.  For adults this base dose is 2 NeuroReplete capsulses from CHK Nutrition two times per day and 2 CysReplete capsules three times per day.  Children 16 and under should take half that dose.  This will have a major effect at improving nerve function, detoxification, and can even have a powerful anti-cancer effect.  Individuals who are taking medication for neurotransmitter related diseases such as depression, Crohn’s Disease, Parkinson’s, etc. need to have more specific amino acid support guided by Monoamine Transporter Optimization Assays.

natural aminos

A second level of supplementation follows the guidelines in the books, Staying Healthy with Nutrition  and The 20 Day Rejuvenation Diet Program. They provide great, simple prescriptive advice for many special needs and health goals without extensive testing. Money spent at providing this level of supplementation pays strong dividends in long-term health and productivity.

A great website to find current scientific research on Nutrition and Integrative Medicine is Vitasearch.

A third level of supplementation is for those who have very demanding health problems, severely disturbed biochemistry, or who want maximum human performance. It involves advanced biochemical and physiological testing, followed by consultation with nutritional experts who can interpret these tests. To use this level of supplementation it is necessary to find a physician qualified to help.

Here at the Thomas M. Collins Chiropractic, Inc. Health Care Center we provide detailed, targeted nutritional supplementation consultation and testing according to NeuroResearch protocols including Monoamine Transporter Optimization also known as Brain Neurotransmitter Balancing.  It is appropriate for conditions such as: Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Migraine and Tension Headaches, Insomnia, Anxiety, Attention Deficit Disorder, Hyperactivity, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, PMS, Impulsivity, Inappropriate anger, Chronic Fatigue, Burnout, Traumatic Brain Injury, Phobias, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Adrenal Fatigue, Management of Chronic Stress.

You can read more about Brain Neurotransmitter Balancing in the Health Articles section.

Further Resources:
*Staying Healthy with Nutrition by Elson Haas, M.D.
*The 20 Day Rejuvenation Diet Program by Jeff Bland, Ph.D.
Nutritional Influences on Illness by Melvin Werbach, M.D.
Nutritional Influences on Mental Illness by Melvin Werbach, M.D.

Homework:

Begin a regular schedule of your “insurance” supplements. Read Staying Healthy with Nutrition and The 20 Day Rejuvenation Diet Program.

Research

Vitamin supplementation can reduce disability and improve quality of life in the elderly. “Vitamins For the Elderly: Reducing Disability and Improving Quality of Life”, Haller, J., Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 1993;5(Suppl. 1):65-70.

Omega-3 fatty acids improves the evolution of rheumatoid arthritis in a very positive way and lowers consumption of other anti-rheumatic therapies.  “Long-Term Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation in Active Rheumatoid Arthritis: A 12-Month, Double-Blind Controlled Study”, Arthr. and Rheu., June 1994;37(6):824-825.

Vitamin E offers additional protection (beyond that provided by aspirin) against the progression of transient ischemic attacks or incomplete strokes to complete strokes. An additional 25% (above the 20% reduction due to aspirin) reduction in the risk of developing ischemic strokes in patients who were taking 400 I.U. vitamin E plus one aspirin (325 mg) per day. “Vitamin E Plus Aspirin Compared With Aspirin Alone In Patients With Transient Ischemic Attacks”, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1995;62(suppl):1381S-1384S.

Twelve percent of the elderly population is B-12 deficient and would benefit from daily supplementation.  “Prevalence of Cobalamin Deficiency In the Framingham Elderly Population”, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1994;60:2-11.

One third to one half of the elderly are vitamin D deficient.  Supplementation is recommended if not getting daily doses of sunlight.  “Vitamin D Deficiency in Older People”, Journal of American Geriatric Society, 1995;43:822-828.

Vitamin supplementation with anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C, E, beta carotene can reduce some chronic diseases 10-30%.  “Considerations of the Scientific Substantiation For Antioxidant Vitamins and Beta-Carotene in Disease Prevention,”, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1995;62(Suppl.):1521S-6S.

Vitamin C and E supplementation reduces hardening of the arteries.  “Serial Coronary Angiographic Evidence That Antioxidant Vitamin Intake Reduces Progression of Coronary Artery Atherosclerosis,” JAMA, June 21, 1995;273(23):1849-1854.

Taking multivitamins had a statistically significant 27% reduction in the risk of developing eye cataracts. “The Use of Vitamin Supplements and the Risk of Cataracts Among U.S. Male Physicians”, Journal. of Public Health, May 1994;84(5):788-792.

Vitamin C intake increases good cholesterol.  “High Plasma Vitamin C Associated With High Plasma HDL – HDL2 Cholesterol”, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1994;60:100-105.

The 3 major risk factors of chronic disease with regards to the Western diet: 1) Animal protein consumption, because it causes hypersecretion of insulin. 2) Animal fat, because it contains an excess of saturated fats compared to its unsaturated content and because of its cholesterol content. 3) The absence of fiber. “The Potential of Diet to Alter Disease Process,” Nutrition Research, 1994;14(12):1853-1895.

Large doses (2-6 grams/day) of vitamin C have decreased the duration of colds by half, “Vitamin C and the Common Cold: A Retrospective Analysis of Chalmers’ Review,” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 1995;14(2):116-123.

Jerry Rivers reviewed 74 publications dealing with the proposed toxic effects of vitamin C and concluded that “large quantities of ascorbic acid will not result in calcium-oxalate stones, increased uric acid excretion, impaired vitamin B12 status, iron overload, systemic conditioning, or increased mutagenic activity in healthy individuals” (Annals of The New York Academy of Sciences, 498:445-54).