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Vitamins are confusing, dude

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  • Vitamins are confusing, dude

    So I've been reading mixed things--

    1) fish oil =best thing ever...
    2) cod liver oil =best thing ever...
    3) cod liver oil with clarified butter oil (ghee) =best thing ever x2
    4) vitamin A =miracle vitamin
    5) vitamin D =miracle vitamin
    6) you can get normal vitamin D in the sun
    7) you can't get normal vitamin D in the sun most of the year, unless you live in the tropics (I don't)
    8) vitamin A and D are best when taken together
    9) vitamin D is BAD when not taken with calcium (it wants to be with calcium, if you have a lot of it with a little calcium, it'll steal calcium from your bones)
    10) calcium is good
    11) calcium needs vitamin C to be absorbed well
    12) vitamin toxicities aren't too much of an issue, unless you're an arctic explorer

    ...So. I should take fish oil for the Omega-3s, around 900/600 (DHA/EHA or maybe I got it backwards, but wahtever), cod liver oil combined with clarified butter oil for the vitamins D/A, calcium to make sure the D doesn't go off on a search for calcium and come back with stuff stolen from bones, and C to make sure the calcium absorbs well and is there hanging out for D to take it....

    Does that sound right? Is it overkill? Will food-sourced calcium be enough for me, if I eat a serving or two of dairy most days, an ounce or two of cheese everyday, 2 eggs everyday and atleast 2 cups of leafy greens daily? Should I also supplement? Is supplement-based calcium absorbed well? Do I need to look up OTHER things to make sure the calcium gets absorbed properly? Is there a schedule for all this nonsense? Can I just take it all before bed? Will it still be effective? Should it be broken up throughout the day? What of this, if any, is okay(necessary?) to give to me 5 year old? Bwahhhh.

    Sources are various, but mostly this site, the weston price site, the sourcers of the cod liver oil (I know, I know-- biased), sites that come up first in google when searching for "best absorbed calcium"/"best way to take calcium"/"best calcium supplements"/"how to best absorb calcium"... I think that's it.

    Thanks for reading!! ))))

  • #2
    Wow. Just reading that made my head spin.

    I have nothing helpful to add, except, I want to know too!
    With Mark's help, I've conquered depression, acne, rosacea, scale obsession, migraines, and lethargy. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

    http://www.theladygrok.blogspot.com/

    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread8215.html

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    • #3
      Yah, it's ridiculous...

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      • #4
        1) fish oil =best thing ever...
        yes

        2) cod liver oil =best thing ever...
        no

        3) cod liver oil with clarified butter oil (ghee) =best thing ever x2
        no

        4) vitamin A =miracle vitamin
        it's good

        5) vitamin D =miracle vitamin
        yes

        6) you can get normal vitamin D in the sun
        maximum skin exposure at midday (but don't burn)

        7) you can't get normal vitamin D in the sun most of the year, unless you live in the tropics (I don't)
        see above

        8) vitamin A and D are best when taken together
        ratios are important

        9) vitamin D is BAD when not taken with calcium (it wants to be with calcium, if you have a lot of it with a little calcium, it'll steal calcium from your bones)
        10) calcium is good
        11) calcium needs vitamin C to be absorbed well
        D is good. you don't need as much calcium as the RDA, provided a primal, grain and sugar free diet. Calcium comes from dark green leafy things. I'm not sure if it is possible to get too much Vitamin C.

        12) vitamin toxicities aren't too much of an issue, unless you're an arctic explorer
        You can overdo some things, but mostly it is ratios that are important. Someone else will have to provide info on what they are

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        • #5
          Gotcha, thanks for the answer-- tho, what are your sources/reasoning for saying cod liver oil isn't a good deal? Here are the sites, tho they mainly boil down to the weston price fan-site, I've been on recently that absolutely LOVE it:

          http://www.westonaprice.org/Cod-Live...Superfood.html
          http://www.westonaprice.org/Cod-Live...endations.html
          http://www.healingdaily.com/detoxifi...-liver-oil.htm

          I understand that vitamin D can be made when outside, but in Alaska, for example? All year round? I don't see it... Or do you have some reason to believe otherwise? (Give me sources, I'm all about the sources! I like to know more than the main idea of something, I like the discussion/reasoning/arguments for/against things)

          As far as the calcium thing, I see where you're going with the primal diet, but the reading also indicates that it's bad to have a high amount of D if you don't have a sufficient amount of calcium to support it-- does that change when the primal diet is a factor? How? Why!

          Thanks! )

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          • #6
            *the sites that I've been on recently that absolutely LOVE IT (mainly wp fan-site)

            I just re-read that and was confused by how I wrote it So there's the rewording..

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            • #7
              cillakat has a good collection of stuff on D. In Alaska, you will probably need to supplement for most of the year.

              CLO is bad because of the ratio of A to D. WAY too much A and hardly any D, and most people are already deficient in D, so that's just making the ratio worse.

              Blog post by Robb Wolf on paleo and calcium (as related to bone health) - mostly about absorbtion. There's a link to an article by Cordain in the post which details acid/base foods: http://robbwolf.com/2009/03/19/paleo-vs-osteoporosis/
              Of course, the more carnivorous on the forums here will say that you don't need veggies to get or maintain your calcium (and other such things), and I'm inclined to believe them...provided you are eating organ meats (particularly liver) and other goodness along the lines of the traditional Inuit. I choose to go more along Mark's route and just eat a ridiculous amount of veggies.

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              • #8
                Yes to fish oil. No to cod liver oil unless it's carlson.

                In an environment of evolutionary adaptation, people didn't take cod liver oil. They did eat liver, but only as part of the whole animal and overall, the liver isn't much when compared to all of the other organs and muscle meat present in one animal. Cod liver oil was a much much later addition to diet, but those that had moved away from environments where it was possible to get D from sun. Very far north, the only options for D were: sun on bare skin during small portions of the summer, oily fatty fish and fish liver oil. While it helped them avoid serious D deficiency, health in scandanavian, innuit and other far north populations paid the price in other ways - high fracture and osteoporosis rates, low bone density. I should write a long post on it some day.

                There is much WAP info that's good. But not all. They aren't primal, but traditional. Defining all traditional foods as biologically appropriate is problematic. They're not. Sometimes they were just the best available in a specific environment while being significantly less than ideal.

                No one knows what the ideal ratio of D:A is though some are working on it. It appears at this juncture that it's of the utmost importance to maintain optimally high levels of D while taking in some preformed A. I fall somewhere between the WAPF and Cannell's Vitamin Council on this one. Having experimented for 7 years with various D:A intake ratios, I do best when it's about 3-5:1 vitamin d:vitamin a.

                It's worth getting cannell's email newsletter though. Brilliant guy.

                Calcium needs aren't so high when vitamin D is optimized. Vitamin k, magnesium and boron are important co-factors. I'm still messing around with calcium but I *think* I'm settling in at 600-800 mg per day from all sources. My Vitamin D level falls in the optimal range - as we currently understand optimal.

                You might find it helpful to read the links in my sig line. I live in Atlanta. When I first tested my D in August 2002, I was deficient. I was outside alot with my kids, but in the shade whenever possible and not out of doors midday. Nice thing about D: you don't have to guess. Consider getting your levels tested. All of the info can be found below.

                Fwiw, my whole nutrition journey (20 years now), I was very very supplement opposed....until I really understood what our diet entailed in an environment of evolutionary adaptation. While I still like to get as much as possible from food, I also recognized that truly primal eating it's an option for me. I'm just not likely going to ever start eating brain, thymus, pancrease, lungs, intestines, liver, kidney, foods made from bones/cartilage etc. So I supplement as needed.

                K



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                • #9
                  I gave up on trying to optimize vitamins through supplementation. It seems to me that so much of what you need is tied to what else you're taking in, and it all fits together nicely when it's bundled together in real food. I supplement vitamin D and fish oil, because I don't eat fish and work at a desk indoors during the day.

                  What cillakat says about not eating the entire animal makes sense to me, but it doesn't seem to be worth spending the money on so many supplements that may or may not have the right ratios or be the right type to be absorbed. Spinach worked for popeye, I'm hoping it'll be enough for me.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mike Alzen View Post
                    What cillakat says about not eating the entire animal makes sense to me, but it doesn't seem to be worth spending the money on so many supplements that may or may not have the right ratios or be the right type to be absorbed. Spinach worked for popeye, I'm hoping it'll be enough for me.
                    The spinach is easy though

                    Quite frankly, I guess I wouldn't take all of the supplements that I do if my mood stability and mental health didn't depend on it. It took awhile to figure it all out but like any new framework, once you have it figured out, it becomes rote. After so many years (12? 14?) analyzing diets and supplement routines, it's easy to look and see what's there, what's missing, what ratios are off etc.

                    etomaria (OP) wrote:
                    "10) calcium is good
                    11) calcium needs vitamin C to be absorbed well"

                    It never needs C, it just needs an acidic environement be it an appropriately low stomach ph, vitamin C, citric acid (ie calcium citrate) etc.

                    "D is good. you don't need as much calcium as the RDA, provided a primal, grain and sugar free diet. "

                    This is likely true as long as 25(OH)D is optimal. Produce is also helpful in reducing calcium needs - not just because of the calcium it contains but because potassium, being on of main alkalizers in our systems, is supplied in abundance by calcium. Without sufficient potassium, our systems will get magnesium or calcium where ever possible to maintain ph homeostatis.

                    " I'm not sure if it is possible to get too much Vitamin C."
                    probably not. And C needs are influenced signficantly by various oxidative stressors which are influenced in by a variety of factors. Afternoon. Too tired to write long science-y posts ;p

                    "12) vitamin toxicities aren't too much of an issue, unless you're an arctic explorer
                    You can overdo some things, but mostly it is ratios that are important. Someone else will have to provide info on what they are "

                    pretty much true. Though there are some bright folks out there who've made themselves D toxic by taking insane D doses (ie 60,000 IU per day for months). "Don't be stupid" is a good rule of thumb when supplementing. If we can't get it in nature from a biologically appropriate diet and or midday sun exposure, then it's probably not biologically appropriate *period*. And may be dangerous. As Cannell has been known to say wrt to extremely high dose D supplements as in the 60,000 IU example above, "....then you may discover the inverse relationship between bad judgement and natural selection".

                    Best,
                    Katherine



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                    • #11
                      Aha-- well, then, other questions! )

                      1) What's different about carlson? "Green Pasture" was the brand I was looking into...

                      2) If I'm not getting sunlight during the bright hours of the day (I'm getting a negligable amount-- somewhere around 5-10 minutes, and then I'm normally fully clothed, so various sides of my face get 5-10 minutes... pretty much the same as not getting it ), how much D do I need, in general, diet notwithstanding?

                      3) In order to have a proper A/D ratio, how much A is necessary?

                      4) (More of an explanation than a question) I normally don't do vitamins/supplements either, but that was pretty much only cuz I disregarded them due to lack of knowledge about them... Basically I went from not knowing anything about them to reading very highly opinionated (diverse) sources and now I don't know which are correct, which need to be tempered, which are straight wrong... When I track my food on cronometer, the only areas it claims I'm low in are (and they vary by the day, but the majority of the time they pop up under 100% RDA) vitamin D, manganese, potassium... So I started this "quest"... started with D, led to A and calcium, let to C, and soooo on.

                      5) ..I think that's it. Oh, the kid-- is it safe/allowable/wise/dumb to give a 5 year old fish oil?

                      Thanks for all the replies, by the way!

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                      • #12
                        Also, I'm not currently in AK, I'm currently in Northern California (nearish Sacramento)... I was, however, stationed in AK for 3 years and looking to go back there-- Anchorage specifically, which is the reason for the AK-related questions I do not incorporate any parts in Inuit-type diet into my diet, save for salmon... and any other generic things that may happen to be both traditionally Inuit and traditionally everyone-else at the same time... but not on purpose.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by etomaria View Post
                          Aha-- well, then, other questions! ) 1) What's different about carlson? "Green Pasture" was the brand I was looking into...

                          Green Pasture has far too much A. Checkout the ratios.
                          http://www.iherb.com/Carlson-Labs-No...oz-500-ml/2804

                          Originally posted by etomaria View Post
                          2) If I'm not getting sunlight during the bright hours of the day (I'm getting a negligable amount-- somewhere around 5-10 minutes, and then I'm normally fully clothed, so various sides of my face get 5-10 minutes... pretty much the same as not getting it ), how much D do I need, in general, diet notwithstanding?
                          see my D doc below......you need a lot but reading it in context is more helpful than one little snippet.

                          Originally posted by etomaria View Post
                          3) In order to have a proper A/D ratio, how much A is necessary?
                          Here's what I wrote above "No one knows what the ideal ratio of D:A is though some are working on it. It appears at this juncture that it's of the utmost importance to maintain optimally high levels of D while taking in some preformed A. I fall somewhere between the WAPF and Cannell's Vitamin Council on this one. Having experimented for 7 years with various D:A intake ratios, I do best when it's about 3-5:1 vitamin d:vitamin a."
                          Originally posted by etomaria View Post
                          4) (More of an explanation than a question) I normally don't do vitamins/supplements either, but that was pretty much only cuz I disregarded them due to lack of knowledge about them... Basically I went from not knowing anything about them to reading very highly opinionated (diverse) sources and now I don't know which are correct, which need to be tempered, which are straight wrong... When I track my food on cronometer, the only areas it claims I'm low in are (and they vary by the day, but the majority of the time they pop up under 100% RDA) vitamin D, manganese, potassium... So I started this "quest"... started with D, led to A and calcium, let to C, and soooo on.
                          Yeah that happens. See my produce doc below (in my sig). If you get enough potassium, you'll automatically meet a lot of other nutritional needs as well. You need much more produce than you think

                          Originally posted by etomaria View Post
                          5) ..I think that's it. Oh, the kid-- is it safe/allowable/wise/dumb to give a 5 year old fish oil?
                          safe. allowable. wise. I'd go so far as to say necessary. Required. Same with vitamin D.



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                          • #14
                            That would be very smart. I wish I had taken fish oil when I was a kid. And not eaten so much poison. My parents had the attitude that "he (me) is young and resilient". How the hell do they think that people degenerate to the point that they aren't? *grumble grumble*
                            Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

                            Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by hbeck View Post
                              cillakat has a good collection of stuff on D. ...snip..most people are already deficient in D, so that's just making the ratio worse.
                              Thanks so much hbeck!

                              K



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