Review: 'Through the Shadowlands’ describes Julie Rehmeyer's ME/CFS Odyssey
I should note at the outset that this review is based on an audio version of the galleys and the epilogue from the finished work. Julie Rehmeyer sent me the final version as a PDF, but for some reason my text to voice software (Kurzweil) had issues with it. I understand that it is...
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Malabsorption problem when supplement work?

Discussion in 'The Gut: De Meirleir & Maes; H2S; Leaky Gut' started by jason30, Dec 24, 2017.

  1. jason30

    jason30 Senior Member

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    Hi all,

    Perhaps a rhetorical question but could someone have malabsorption problems (and be deficient in minerals and vitamins) when taking supplements / powders do work?

    Thanks!
     
  2. pamojja

    pamojja Senior Member

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    I have difficulty understanding your question. But if I understand it right, I have to answer yes. Also when they don't work, because what is sufficient could be very different from one and another.
     
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  3. SueJohnPat

    SueJohnPat Sue

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    From what I know malabsorption can be a problem if you are on long term medications that reduce stomach acid . For example Prilosec, nexium etc. I think this is greatly overlooked by doctors.

    Sometimes people lack intrinsic factor which can lead to pernicious anemia. This is not that uncommon and would show up on blood test.
     
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  4. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    Many of us are low in stomach acid and not just due to drugs like Nexium etc. Low stomach acid seems to be another deficiency connected to ME/CFS, and if you are low in stomach acid, you won't absorb nutrients properly. It was one of the first things my chiropractor who does muscle testing picked up on. He told me all the supplements in the world wouldn't help if I couldn't absorb them.

    I have to take betaine HCl with pepsin with meals that have protein. It's made a huge difference in my digestion.

    Here's a simple test to check your stomach acid: dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of water and drink on an empty stomach. If you don't burp within 2 or 3 minutes, it can be an indication of low stomach acid.
     
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  5. SueJohnPat

    SueJohnPat Sue

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    Great point Mary, I took Betaine for awhile myself.
     
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  6. jason30

    jason30 Senior Member

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    Thanks all!

    Sorry for the late respons (due holidays) and unclear question.

    I know about low stomach acid and problems with absorbing nutrients properly.

    I wondered why someone could have a malabsorption problem (due low stomach acid) but at the same time he/she is absorbing supplements properly. So this way you could say that stomach acid is not needed to let supplements work?

    Hopefully that makes it more clearly.
     
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  7. pamojja

    pamojja Senior Member

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    Guess without any stomach acid one would be in serious trouble. Therefore it's more about the degree present. With supplementation one adds on top of that, so with higher total amounts of nutrients and percentage of absorption remaining equal due to a certain amount of stomach acid, more is absorbed.
     
    Mary likes this.
  8. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    I don't think that supplements could be absorbed without stomach acid. So you must have some stomach acid, maybe more than you think?

    And as @pamojja said, you would be in serious trouble without stomach acid.
     
  9. renski

    renski Senior Member

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    The strange thing is I have malabsorption and yet pretty much everything I've taken generally shows up in my tests, blood serum, hair etc, so it's still being absorbed despite chronic gut issues.
     
  10. pamojja

    pamojja Senior Member

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    One would have to specify which tests in particular. For examples serum B12 might show high, but active Holo-transcobalamin still deficient. Serum Magnesium normal, but RBC highly deficient. Serum B6 high, but still no dream-recall. So some tests show maybe even an elevation, but somehow through any of the missing co-factors, still could mean not at sufficiency.

    Bad absorption could have affected any of any of the cofactors not routinely tested and needed for the metabolism of any nutrient. Or the chosen tests were just not that predictive.
     
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  11. renski

    renski Senior Member

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    Like the zinc serum reading increases but not plasma, I assumed meant it's being absorbed in the gut just not getting into the cells?
     
  12. pamojja

    pamojja Senior Member

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    Only have experience with zinc serum, whole blood and hair-tissue. In my case they all show similar results (low, despite supplementing high). Have to clarify that 'absorption' to me doesn't only mean in particular tissues tested, but being metabolized in other tissues where they are needed too.
     
  13. renski

    renski Senior Member

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    My serum and hair zinc increases with only 7mg of zinc but plasma doesn't change at all (is whole blood and red blood cell the same to you?). I think plasma zinc is rbc or similar. Do you know the cofactors needed to get zinc into cells?
     
  14. pamojja

    pamojja Senior Member

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    RBC is the fraction of blood containing only red blood cells. Tests of minerals in RBC are usually not available where I live (exception being for example folate, erythrocytes folate called here).
    Whole blood is RBC plus plasma, and seems a good substitute where RBC isn't available, since it tests all fractions of the blood. By the way, serum only contains 1-2%, but erytrocytes about 84% of all zinc. And elevated zinc in hair most often means deficiency in the body.

    If I really knew, I probably would have overcome my zinc deficiency by now :bang-head:. Acu-cell.com mentions following co-factors:

    My worst deficiency has been Magnesium for the last 10 years. Took up to 2.5 g/d of elemental oral Mg just to alleviate the worst pain-full muscle cramps. Only since November last year could get Mg IVs. And after 5 of those cramps completely ceased. All the time Mg in serum was normal, and been the lowest since getting IVs! While in whole blood it showed significantly deficient, still have to get a follow up on that since getting my IVs.


    PS: This Mg deficiency is also a good example for nutrients been absorbed - otherwise it wouldn't have eased the cramps. Just not to the degree necessary to fill up body stores and cease the cramps completely. Working and absorbed, but not sufficiently as IVs were able to.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
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  15. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

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    I think enzyme misfolding (?) might be an issue beyond poor/good absorption.

    A couple of years back I took vit B6 and experienced worsening of symptoms, then took P5P and felt cured for 2 weeks.

    Many minerals and vitamins need specific enzymes in order to be properly utilized (e.g. biotinidase is needed to release biotin from food).

    Most supplements give us nutrients in more bioavailable form.

    Additionally, I suppose most of such enzymes are produced by the microbiome, but the microbiome is being depleted by pesticides, abx and other medications.
     
    sb4 likes this.

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