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Why so many Vitamins and Minerals

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Rita1979, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Rita1979

    Rita1979

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    Hi,

    this is a very general question. I am not diagnosed with ME/CFS. But due to many heathy issues, particularly also with respect to energy and tiredness and brain fog I started the journey into the world of Vitamins, Biochemistry and all that which many of you know yourself. I have a complicated medical history and it will probably never be possible to understand all the variables.

    Now, as compared to the RDAs, I am probably taking an insanely high amount of B Vitamins and even though not everything is perfect, slowly over the last years there is progress.

    I am also taking Synthroid due to hypothyroidism, but I am planning to wean it of at some point if I have more stabililty in my life.

    Probably I already had B deficiencies as a child. I remember that I always had open painful corners of my mouth (Riboflavine) I always had problems with my skin itching and maybe atrophic excema as a child.

    Biotin works like magic for me, so I was thinking about having Biotinidase tested, but didn't, yet.

    My question is, how can it be that apparently I need those high amounts of Vitamins? Is it the quality? Is it the composition in most B complexes that renders them unefficient?

    I take

    several grams of Vitamin C

    500mg Niacin
    100 mg P5P
    1000µg Methylfolate
    5000µg MethylB12
    10 - 20 mg Biotin
    1000 mg B5

    1000µg Iodine
    400µg Selenium
    25mg zinc
    100mg iron
    4 g MSM

    800 i.E. Vitamin E

    80g protein
    2 - 3 g Tryptophan
    2 - 3 g Tyrosine

    Fish oil, flaxseed oil, sunflower oil, Cinnamon, Tumeric, Black Pepper and such.

    I had a real low Jan - March since I stopped taking 5000 i.E. Vitamin D. After the last blood tests the results where saturated. I only realized that the insane tiredness during the last months might have been due to Vitamin D, after I has my first sun exposure and mood, energy and motivation drastically increased. So I am getting as much sun as possible whenever possible.

    I am neither tall nor overweight. I am in fact quite small and skinny.


    Is my protocol so wrong, or unefficient? I respect that certain nutrients cannot be taken together and so I split most of them over the day.

    Now I ordered Riboflavin and Ashwagandha.

    I mean... if I need those huge amounts of stuff to see improvement, how can it be that everyone else in my environment seems to run more or less healthy on normal nutrition? People function, ok they develop problems over the time. But how can it be that I seem to need so much more in order to achieve a similar level of functioning? I thought about genetic reasons and this is how I found the Biotinidase deficiency, but that should only affect Biotin?

    There are some people that run well on little amounts of all these nutrients and then there are those that just seem to need infinite amounts of it... is it disease that needs healing? Is it certain genetics that make one just need more? Do I need to take those Vitamins for the rest of my life or can I at some point just return to normal nutrition? It was never perfect but I was more or less healthy until the age of 23, then I had some therapy with side effects and I did never recover from it and was only improving in the last two years. I do believe that changes in the body due to side effects of prescription drugs are not permanent if they "only" affect biochemistry (receptors, enzymes and such), so does it just need so much time and so many nutrients to balance side effects of a treatment that happened more than 12 years ago? How can this be? Are some prescription drugs really that poisonous and dangerous?

    Thank you for reading :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
    Learner1, Mary and iwillwin1day like this.
  2. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Vitamins and minerals have various physiological effects the body, effects which will usually be proportional to dosage. The RDA is set so that you don't become deficient in these vitamins and minerals; but if you go higher than the RDA, you will get further physiological effects which may be of benefit.
     
  3. alkt

    alkt Senior Member

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    malabsorption could be a possible reason.
     
  4. LINE

    LINE

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    Stress is likely one of the big factors. This stress can be emotional, mental and the lesser known, biological stress. Biologic stress comes mainly from inflammation in which the immune system is quite active. So for those with chronic infections, the immune system is busy generating plenty of toxic chemicals (free radicals) that create stress in the body. The body must detox and repair the damage from these events. The other prevailing problem with ME patients are the loads of toxins in which the immune system and other detox pathways must deal with. This too creates cell damage and requires raw nutrients to repair the damage.

    As the other poster said, malabsorption could also play a role. The gut often becomes damaged either from direct infection (infections that harbor the gut) or indirectly. The latter means that the GI tract contains about 70% of the immune system which may assist systemic infections (example a systemic virus or a virus that is not in the gut). With the damage happening, the gastro tract may not be absorbing nutrients.

    Another important factor is bioindividuality. Bioindividuality is the unique footprint every person has. There can be some ubitquitous suggestions such as antioxidants but many times one substance may help one while it could have a neutral or bad effect in another. Tuning the right supplements is a good thing and this usually comes from trial and error.
     
  5. Martial

    Martial Senior Member

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    Also important to make sure you don't offset other vitamins and minerals by raising the dose of a single one too high. I believe there is some issue with b vitamins in that way when you mega dose certain ones.


    To OP, I didn't notice you posting anything about calcium, magnesium, and potassium. You should make sure you get some amount of micro minerals when you use higher doses of vitamins. Magnesium is something most people never get enough of through regular diet.
     
  6. Rita1979

    Rita1979

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    Thank you. I eat plenty of nuts and add cocoa to my protein shake and drink magnesium and calcium rich mineral water. With the cocoa alone I already have 140mg, the water 150mg, with the nuts depending on how much I eat. I also really love sun flower seeds. Particularly after roasting them, poppy seed and all those.

    I had to find natural sources, because I tried magnesium citrate and dicitrate, which absolutely do not tolerate well. I also supplement sometimes Mgcarbonate, which I seem to tolerate much better than citrates. The other ones are too expensive at the moment. I have however also magnesiumoil, self-mixed from oxide, so when I sit in the sun I spray magnesiumoil on my skin. Or sometimes I add it to the bath. I can feel being too low in Magnesium pretty easily as soon as I get cold hands and cannot strech my legs. This winter I barely had any of the Raynaud-cold fingers anymore, I would say zero, but I canot swear, and no problems at all with my legs. So I think magnesium should be fine.

    Milk and milk products and the mineral rich water are my main calcium source. I drink a bit less than one liter of milk each day, so that should be about fine. In the blood tests I am always quite high in Calcium, so I don't want to supplement it. Many times the real issue behind problems with Calcium is being low in Magnesium and I certainly was too low in Magnesium for years.

    Potassium is a problem... I also don't eat so much as I would need to get enough Potassium. I have something like 1400 - 2000 calories on average. It seems difficult to buy supplements that have Potassium. With nutrition I probably have around 1200mg of Potassium, which is not enough at all. So for that I didn't find a good solution, yet.


    The protocol grew in something like 5 years. Niacin was always missing, B6 was probably also always missing, MSM was always missing. Somehow I was hesitating, because I had quite some emotional turmoil and I was scared of having side effects and getting emotionally even more unstable.

    I realized that with the Niacin I had to up Riboflavin since due to the Niacin my lips became dry and cracked. So I remembered that deficiency in Riboflavin causes cracked corners and indeed it helped. I also did the more or less classic mistake of supplementing Vitamin D without Magnesium. So by now I am aware of the interactions and always observe the effects after I add something new.

    It seems to be so weird. For years I had so many different problems and it seems as if one after another they disappear. At the moment I can really observe how my body actually gets younger and I feel more and more energetic. Stable emotionally and physically. And I just cannot find a real explanation for why I seem to need so much of all this.
     
  7. pamojja

    pamojja Senior Member

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    One of many reasons certainly is the ongoing decline of nutrients in grown foods. Coupled with higher individual needs through preconditions, a certain receipt for deficiencies.

    Not that this would not have already much longer been known, for example in this 1936 Cosmopolitan article:

    And interesting to note, that already in those days doubling of mineral content in foods seem to have been easily possible. Just never taken up by mainstream agriculture.
     
  8. SherDa

    SherDa

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    I'm guessing dysbiosis is a huge factor in the need for B vitamins. I think "good" gut bacteria should produce vitamins. For example, Bacillus subtilis should produce folate and K2.

    So, with dysbiosis, a person could be missing vitamin-producers while also harboring microbes that use up or deactivate vitamins. I believe candida yeasts may destroy thiamine. This would help them sustain a favorable environment as thiamine is needed to produce stomach acid.

    According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University's page on vitamin B6, "Growing evidence from experimental and clinical studies suggests that systemic inflammation underlying most chronic diseases may impair vitamin B6 metabolism." and "Chronic inflammation that triggers tryptophan degradation and underlies many diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease and cancers) may precipitate the loss of PLP and increase vitamin B6 requirements."

    So it seems inflammation can use up some nutrients, and if I think about it, people with chronic diseases often look horribly malnourished. They may or may not be overweight, but the quality of their proteins is suffering, and they often have fine, frizzy hair and wrinkled, saggy skin and loss of muscle. Inflammation will also cause the body to sequester some nutrients, like iron and zinc, which are, of course, absolutely vital for health.

    Personally, I think my high vitamin needs are due to dysbiosis and the inflammation caused by dysbiosis. There's really not much more I can think of that would cause these deficiencies that are so difficult to correct. I'm intrigued by the possibility of depleted amino acids though. Maybe the body would use lots of B vitamins in a struggle to cope with amino acid deficiencies.
     
  9. ljimbo423

    ljimbo423 Senior Member

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    I emphatically agree!! I would just add that mitochondrial dysfunction, I think also causes a need for high doses of vitamins and nutrients.

    Although, I believe that also is caused by the inflammation/oxidative stress from dysbiosis and increased intestinal permeability.

    I feel better and am doing better than I have in over 10 years! This is from treating dysbiosis and increased intestinal permeability, daily, for the last year.

    Best of all, I continue to improve on this protocol!! I don't feel stuck!:):thumbsup: I just started walking about 1/2 mile every other day about a week ago, with no signs of PEM.

    Jim
     
  10. Rita1979

    Rita1979

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    With a niacin deficiency you certainly deplete Tryptophan. I also think protein is one of the keys. Most people seem to actually eat way too little protein. 0.8g/kg is probably not anywhere close to enough.

    I agree that people look horribly malnourished. And they also look unhappy and dissatisfied. After one became sensible to the issue one can see it everwhere. Already in the younger and also in many immigrants that come from poorer countries.

    I noticed big improvement in the appearance of my skin due to niacin and MSM. Since I take iron and folate regularly for the first time in 20 years my finger nails start to grow normally. I always had nails similar to those that you see in elderly or alcoholics. Also in the last months I barely had those flueish fevery body pains anymore. Today I had a relapse and was deadly tired, just because I had to do something for two hours in the city. I could barely walk to the kitchen to get something to drink. But it might be due to the Potassium issue, since also my heartbeat is sometimes incredibly heavy.
     
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  11. SherDa

    SherDa

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    Yes, I agree that many people don't eat enough protein. It's not just overall protein intake but lack of variety of protein sources leading to inadequate levels of certain amino acids.

    For example, most people spend their lives in glycine deficit. That has to be a major cause of the degeneration that people refer to as "aging." Simply increasing protein intake through meat consumption will only worsen the glycine deficit. I'm not anti-meat by any means. (I gave up red meat for 20 years and feel it was the biggest nutritional mistake I've ever made.) I'm just saying that the high methionine intake likely needs to be balanced with glycine.

    What I've been questioning lately is whether the body would use up nutrients converting essential amino acids into nonessential ones. When I read about the functions of specific amino acids in human metabolism, I'm impressed by how important they can be and how many roles they perform, even those considered nonessential. With all of their different roles, they are surely as important as vitamins and minerals and essential fatty acids. I think there's a lot of therapeutic potential in amino acids. It's a shame how little we learn about nutrition in the US. Just calling it "protein" gives the impression that it's all interchangeable.
     
  12. Jusjayne

    Jusjayne

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    Can i ask what protocol you are following?
     
  13. ljimbo423

    ljimbo423 Senior Member

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    Hi Jusjayne - A low carb diet to starve the bacterial overgrowth/dysbiosis, herbs to kill off the bacterial overgrowth in my gut and glutamine and aloe to help heal my gut.

    Jim
     
  14. Jusjayne

    Jusjayne

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    Ive tried that. I cant handle low carb either. I really wanted to do that.
     
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  15. ljimbo423

    ljimbo423 Senior Member

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    That's one of the biggest hurdles to deal with in treating CFS. Most of us are very sensitive to the very things that could help us the most.

    I would just encourage you to keep trying things that you think could help. I have found many things that help me now but it took a lot of trial and error to find these things.

    Jim
     
    Mary likes this.
  16. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    @Rita1979 - I follow a protocol similar to yours in many ways. I do have to take high doses of many things, particularly several of the B vitamins, to have any quality of functioning, and am well aware that "normal" people don't need all of this. I am guessing that whatever process is causing ME/CFS (the metabolic trap theory particularly appeals to me) is causing the high need for these nutrients. It seems to me that these nutrients are working around the essential defect, whatever it is - trying to compensate for it. It's makeshift but it helps, like using crutches with a broken leg. And if/when one's leg heals, the crutches are no longer needed. I didn't need all of this before I developed ME/CFS.

    I have to take extra potassium daily, for a long time I got by with 800 - 1000 mg in divided doses (potassium gluconate) but recently my need has gone up due to some other changes I'm making (I think that's the cause!) Anyways, low-sodium V8 is a good source of potassium, low in calories and sugar, high in potassium. The low-sodium variety is higher in potassium than regular V8. Some people use a salt substitute (potassium chloride) but I've never used that.
     
  17. Rita1979

    Rita1979

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    Thank you @Mary . You made me notice the importance of Potassium, when I had my first experience with turning incredibly tired after my first dose of P-5-P. I honestly think that I have to use a supplement.

    In my experience there are very different kinds of feeling tired. I might be mistaken, but it seems that the one that makes me deadly tired such that I could fall asleep instantly and then when sleeping feel like being glued to the bed, unable to move, is the one I associate with being low in potassium.

    I tried the tomato juice you suggested and on some days, when I felt what I associate with low in potassium tiredness, I even ate dried tomatoes, which actually helped. Things seems to be better with my 300g of banana every day, but it is not enough and for some reason, I seem not to want or can drink tomato juice all the time.

    Do you actually still take Niacin? Did something in your experience of the flush change over the time you took it? I noticed that yesterday and today I didn't turn tired after the 500mg flush. I am still taking it in smaller steps like 100mg every ten minutes, then it is not too intense. I didn't take the Niacin in the morning or during the day, because usually after taking Niacin I turned really tired and just wanted to sleep for something like 30 minutes. Now, for the first time, I started to feel more energetic after the flush.

    Few days ago (not more than five) I started to up my magnesium intake again by diluting the Mg-Oxide in water and adding 100mg to my coffee. By now I seem to tolerate that quite well. Much better than all the citrates.

    By now I am quite regular with the P-5-P, particularly together with Tryptophan it makes my PMS so much better. Whenever I have a moment of PMS insanity I take 2g of Tryptophan and the nightmare disappears within minutes after drinking it. I will probably also go higher in B6 (200mg) - not P-5-P - and see how this will affect my high prolactine. It really seems that in my case many of the problems I developed in the last years are related to not having enough Vitamins.

    Do P-5-P and/or Mg that affect how I feel after the flush? Did I need some saturation of Niacin first in order to experience the energizing effect of Niacin? I also don't feel so cold after the flush anymore.

    I think the drying effect Niacin has on the skin is mostly due to the other B vitamins becoming unbalanced. It helped to take Riboflavin (4x50mg) and it also helped to cut my 125mg B complex in smaller pieces and take them over the day. I mostly started this because the absorption of thiamine is limited to about 1mg at once, so taking 125mg of thiamine seemed pointless.

    I am also thinking about a second niacin flush now that I feel how energizing it can be, but would like to avoid the side effects. The flushing can be really exhausting, my eyes turn dry and I sometimes get headache.
     
  18. Mary

    Mary Moderator

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    I totally agree! I get fatigue from low potassium, low phosphorous, being crashed, sick, detoxing, low in B12, etc. etc. etc. and it sometimes can take some work to figure out what is going on.
    You very well may need to. Many here, including me, have to. I suggest the low-sodium V8 just so people can get an idea if they need more potassium, and then they can decide whether they need a supplement from there. And my need for potassium can increase when I start something new or increase something I'm already taking.
    I still take the niacin, but only at night before bed and in the middle of the night. I take 500 mg. before bed and rarely flush any more when I take that. And then I take 400 mg more in the middle of the night and sometimes that makes me flush and sometimes it doesn't. But I think it's still helping with sleep. I don't feel more energetic after the flush, though it is dilating capillaries - maybe the increased blood flow is increasing your energy?
    I don't do well with magnesium citrate either. I discovered that it was contributing to my insomnia - the citrate has some link to msg or its relatives. Magnesium glycinate does help me with sleep but unfortunately raises my BP - don't ask how because I don't know! But a member here mentioned it raised their BP and mine had gone up close to 20 points while on it. So I am looking into magnesium oxide - what brand are you taking? It's not that easy to find plain magnesium oxide without some citrate thrown in.

    That's an interesting article about B6. in 2010 I had Nutreval testing done which revealed a severe B6 deficiency. I've been taking P-5-P ever since, and now take 150 mg. a day, divided between breakfast and lunch. Many take it for sleep but it keeps me awake if I take it at night. It does help my energy. You might need more, I do almost everything by experimentation. It would be great to have easy access to thorough testing to discover these things, but I don't. The main thing I've learned when trying something new or increasing a particular supplement is to start low and go slow.
    I don't know. Niacin does not energize me but is very nice for helping me sleep. It sensitizes or stimulates the GABA receptors. Niacin also slows down methylation. I can't take it during the day, it makes me too tired.
    I didn't know that niacin could dry out the skin! I don't think it has that effect on me. It's also supposed to be good for our skin. I think we're doomed! :eek:;) I don't do well with B2 - I tried it. But many people on the board here do well with it - we're all different. I do take a good B complex. I've never heard that thiamine absorption is limited to 1 mg. at a time. My body likes thiamine a lot - the first time I took it the next day I had amazing energy. I believe this was after 100 mg. And then the next day got severely tired - it's a long story but I figured out it made my phosphorous tank (refeeding syndrome) - several glasses of kefir helped the fatigue dissipate. I have a phosphorous supplement now which I take on occasion - I don't need it daily like I do potassium. And I'm now up to 450 mg. benfotiamine. I couldn't start out at that dose - I think now because it tanked my phosphorous so badly.
     
  19. Rita1979

    Rita1979

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    @Mary now you got me into Potassium :)

    It seems that it could be at the core of many problems. Particularly the deadly tiredness I feel. Symptoms include swollen face and paralysis, muscle weakness and even ADHD-like.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypokalemic_sensory_overstimulation

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypokalemic_periodic_paralysis

    My 1 kg of Potassium Chloride will be soon on the way. Do you have any experience with respect to the dosage? How much is safe?

    I would probably start with adding 1 g daily to my Mg-oxide solution. That should be safe? What about 3 g? How much can one safely exceed the RDA?

    I ordered 8 kg Mg-Oxide for 30€ in Germany at a store for fishkeeping :) I actually didn't intend to drink it but since it has nutritional quality written on it, I decided that probably it will not hurt. Maybe you'll find something if you google magnesium hexahydrat?
     
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  20. Rita1979

    Rita1979

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    Benfothiamine is fat-soluble and therefore it can be overdosed exactly because it has a high bio-availability. The absorption of the water-soluble form of Thiamine is at 1-2mg - I don't know exactly how much it is - and some more if the dosis is really high, but most of the e.g. 125mg in the common supplements is actually wasted. It simply cannot be absorbed in that doses. There is a transportation mechanism that gets saturated at around 1mg and some is absorbed by passive diffusion. The fat-soluble version is transported via the fat absorption routes and therefore has a much higher absorption.

    I noted that Niacin can dry the skin because after two weeks of daily 500mg I started to have cracked corners of the mouth which didn't seem to heal. Then I did some research and found that dry skin is a common side effect. Yes, Niacin is amazing to the skin, but at least in me it really also has a drying effect. I am glad that I tolerate the Riboflavin quite well, because otherwise I couldn't continue with the Niacin.

    One interesting side effect of Riboflavin is that my eyes started to look moist and shiny again :) for a long time they looked really tired and dry.
     
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