Here are some items of information regarding my experiences with my digestive issues and nutritional supplements. I am not a “licensed nutritionist” and I’m not “giving medical advice” because I know there are bureaucrats who want to crack down on bloggers for “giving medical advice” while being “unlicensed.” But I am just relaying what I’ve learned thus far via my own personal experiences and information I’ve read extensively for these past 15 years now. You can look into these things further yourself if this interests you, or you can take it with a grain of sea salt. It’s up to you.
Because of some issues in my digestive system, while I can have “bland” foods such as baked chicken white meat and hard-boiled eggs, there are some foods I can’t have, such as most vegetables and fruits. However, I can have baked potato without the skin. I also have carrot juice, which has been a huge important addition since I discovered it. The carrot juice gives a great amount of vitamin A and potassium. I also have organic grape juice and apple juice. And thank God for the extra virgin olive oil as well.
But I do have various vitamins and other supplements to make sure I’m getting enough of the nutrients that might be missing, especially from my not eating actual vegetables. Now, for those who think that the studies which have concluded that taking nutritional supplements and vitamins makes no difference, the reason those studies conclude that (besides studies being funded by a Big Agra or Big Pharma company), is because most of the time those studies use junk products, such as synthetic vitamin E (dl-alpha tocopherol). Many vitamin E supplements use that form which is why they have virtually no effect. The more effective form of vitamin E is d-alpha tocopherol (not dl-alpha), which is the natural form. The label states which one the product has. I have learned quite a lot about all these things since about 15 years ago when my medical issues began.
And I also take quercetin in a capsule supplement, Quercetin is a natural bioflavonoid which is found in some fruits and vegetables and has a high antioxidant effect. The problem with these supplement makers is that, while quercetin is a good thing to have in a supplement form (especially if you can’t have most fruits and vegetables but still need their antioxidant benefits), the quercetin supplement producers provide too high a dosage per capsule. I’m getting the lowest dosage I can find (500 mg) and even that’s too high, so I pour out at least half of the contents in the sink.
But most supplement makers seem to be putting too much into each pill. I wish they would make supplements with lower dosages.
I have already addressed vitamin C, and linked to this article regarding the effectiveness of lower dosages vs. higher dosages. i.e. taking too much at a time and per day reduces its effectiveness.
Another thing that’s important is magnesium. You get that mostly in leafy vegetables and nuts. I can’t have any of those things. Most magnesium supplements, and the forms of magnesium that most multi vitamins provide, are not very well absorbed, and mainly go right down the digestive system and act as laxatives. I guess that’s okay if you need a laxative. But a lot of people need extra magnesium for muscle health. So I was taking magnesium citrate, which is known to be very absorbable, certainly more than other forms. But I still felt I wasn’t getting enough, and when I increased the magnesium citrate it was then beginning to have too much of a laxative effect. So I have switched to magnesium glycinate which is a 200mg caplet that supposedly gives you 50% of the RDA. I think it’s possible that 200mg is just too much at once, so I’d like to get that in 100mg tablets or caplets.
Why aren’t more of these products available at the regular stores like CVS, etc.? Much of what they sell is magnesium crap, i.e. just not useful. And I don’t want to order stuff online.
And vitamin D is important. The best way to get adequate vitamin D is sunlight exposure. But if you take a vitamin D supplement, it is also important to balance that with adequate vitamin K2. The vitamin D helps your calcium intake to absorb, but that vitamin D and calcium need K2 to distribute the calcium to where it needs to go: the bones, mainly. Without adequate vitamin K2, your calcium could get built up in the arteries or heart. Most people who eat conscientiously, with a goodly amount of vegetables, etc., probably get enough vitamin K2. But there are people like me who can’t have those vegetables so I have to take K2 supplement. The problem with many of these supplement makers is that there seems to be too much an emphasis on the mk-7 version of K2 and not enough on the mk-4 version. Mk-7 is extracted from fermented soybeans, or natto. But supposedly if you take mk-7 supplements it stays in the bloodstream for several days, so you don’t have to take it on a daily basis. At least that is what I’ve learned up to this point. But most of the K2 producers are making K2 with the Mk-7 and there are not enough mk-4 products available. And why don’t these regular stores like the CVS or Walgreens sell ANY vitamin K2 or even K1 products? They really ought to look into that.
Probiotic supplements such as acidophilus are also important. That’s the “good” bacteria in the intestines, mainly large intestine or colon, that kills off the “bad” bacteria. Supposedly much of one’s immune system is in the intestines and having probiotic supplements is a good idea. The best forms of probiotics are in enteric-coated tablets or capsules, to make sure that the cultures are not released until the pill gets lower down. If the content is released too high up such as while still in the stomach then not enough of the bacteria cultures will make it down alive to be able to do anything useful for your colon. (The Vitamin World store’s own acidophilus capsules state that they are “rapid release,” implying that they dissolve soon after taking them, which is not good.) It is also important to note the expiration dates of the package, because if it is a product that has been sitting on the store shelf for months and months, then the bacteria cultures might very well have already died off and won’t do any good. It is also a good idea to refrigerate the package even if the product doesn’t say to do so.
So, while I’m not a nutritionist I thought I’d write about what I’ve learned and experienced thus far in these past 15 years of my medical and digestive issues.