I’ve got the scary quotes around megadose for a reason. The truth is that when I take 10,000 to 15,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D, I’m trying to mimic what my body will produce on a sunny summer’s day with my shirt off. I don’t see it as a true megadose since this is what my body would make if I was out in the sun. But 15,000IU you ask? Are you nuts Paleo? The government only recommends about 500IU per day!
Well, I don’t take 15,000IU every day. I average around 8,000IU from October to March. However, when I feel a cold coming on, I up my dosage along with my zinc and Vitamin C.
The 400 to 600IU recommendation makes no sense to me. If my body naturally makes up to 15,000IU in an hour of summer sun exposure, why would I only supplement my body with a few hundred units? Like so many things coming from the government, this makes no sense to me.
Why is Vitamin D so important in my view? See below:
I’ve written a couple of times about why I think Vitamin C is crucial for good health. Dr Mercola has another article about Covid and Vitamin C. Here are the key takeaways:
While health authorities and mainstream media have ignored, if not outright opposed, the use of vitamin C and other supplements in the treatment of COVID-19, citing lack of clinical evidence, a landmark review recommends the use of vitamin C as an adjunctive therapy for respiratory infections, sepsis and COVID-19
According to the authors, “Vitamin C’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effects make it a potential therapeutic candidate, both for the prevention and amelioration of COVID-19 infection, and as an adjunctive therapy in the critical care of COVID-19”
Oral vitamin C at doses of 2 to 8 grams a day have been shown to reduce the incidence and duration of respiratory infections
Intravenous vitamin C at 6 to 24 grams a day has been shown to reduce mortality, ICU admission rates, hospital stays and time on mechanical ventilation in patients with severe respiratory infections
An international vitamin C campaign has been launched in response to the landmark review
Long-time readers will know I take a lot of supplements. I know some paleos (e.g., Dr Berry) aren’t fans and believe you can get all your nutrients from food. Nevertheless, health gurus like Bill Sardi and Dr Mercola convinced me long ago that supplements can have really good health benefits. Indeed, there are some things we simply don’t get enough of through diet. Vitamin D comes from the sun mainly. If you live at a high latitude, you simply won’t get enough sun in the winter. You need a good supplement or a tanning bed. I opt for the supplement. In addition, diabetics are much more vulnerable to oxidative damage brought on by inflammation. Where does the inflammation come from? Hyperglycaemia, which is to say high blood sugar. Anything that reduces my inflammation/oxidative stress is worth taking in my opinion, which dovetails nicely to glutathione (GSH).
Glutathione is an antioxidant produced by the body. It’s used in every cell and strengthens the immune system. A lack of glutathione can lead to a weakened immune system and higher cancer levels. The big-C is a sword of Damocles waiting to fall on diabetics who have poor blood control and inflammation. My mother died of cancer and it wasn’t pretty. Anything that gives me a better chance of dying of a massive heart attack at 80 is worth taking, as far as I’m concerned.
I also take it because I’m in my fifth decade. The older we get the less glutathione we produce. Moreover, diabetics can sometimes have difficulty producing glutathione at the same level as “normals.” Finally, one study suggests that GSH reduces the damage caused by high glucose levels in diabetics.
There is some evidence that oral supplements do not work well since GSH gets broken down in the digestive system. I go for liposomal glutathione to avoid this. A recent study demonstrated the “effectiveness of daily liposomal GSH administration at elevating stores of GSH and impacting the immune function and levels of oxidative stress.”
Fortunately, a paleo/keto diet will also help the body synthesise GSH. According to Dr Mercola “Allium vegetables, like garlic, onions, leeks and chives, as well as cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, have high amounts of sulfur-containing amino acids that are essential for glutathione production.” Grass fed meat and pastured eggs also contain sulfer-containing amino acids.
This one is a no-brainer for me. The benefits far outweigh the cost of this supplement. The side effects (e.g., flatulence and loose stools) are minimal, and I’ve never experienced them anyways. For more information, go here:
I’ve been taking what most would consider mega-doses of liposomal vitamin C for years. Bill Sardi’s heavily cited writings convinced me about a decade ago that the benefits could be enormous. As I’ve said a million times, if supplements don’t work, the only thing I’m hurting is my bank balance. Here are just a couple of Sardi’s articles:
I can’t recall how I then stumbled across various videos about delivering vitamin C intravenously, maybe it was Sardi, but I found them really interesting. That was about five or six years ago. Sadly, I can’t find those videos, but there has been an explosion of lectures on Youtube about the efficacy of vitamin C in fighting disease. Here are a couple:
Which brings us today to Dr Mercola. He has an interesting article out which explains how anonymous Facebook “fact checkers” are silencing medical doctors who argue that high doses of vitamin C are effective in killing the covid virus. It’s a pretty depressing read, but indicative of the corporatist (i.e., fascist) world we life in today. Here it is:
I’ve been meaning to write about this supplement for some time which I’ve been taking for years now. It is hugely important for mitochondrial and metabolic health. It also has antioxidative properties. Dr Nadir Ali’s video, which I linked to a few weeks ago, discussed the problems associated with unhealthy mitochondria due to inflammation, oxidation and poor diet.
Given that my blood glucose levels are still not perfect, which means inflammation on some level, I take CoQ10 in large quantities. Dr Mercola has multiple articles on this supplement. Here’s a very good one:
This is a supplement I’ve been taking for some time now. Why? It’s an anti-inflammatory flavonoid. It’s been linked to reduced risks of heart disease and cancer.
Although it’s found in plants, I’ve been supplementing my diet with a few tablets a week. Fortunately, one study suggests that ideal supplementation is achieved when consumed with a high-fat diet. I’d be prepared to get more quercetin from vegetables, but many of the foods are fruits. Cocoa is one thing I can eat and do eat on a daily basis.
Other than maybe reducing cancer and heart disease, some of the other potential benefits include:
Improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
Fights allergic reactions and helps immune system
Helps prevent osteoporosis
Helps combat cognitive decline
Helps control blood pressure
Helps with blood-sugar levels
Personally, I haven’t seen any effects on my blood glucose.
It’s a powerful antioxidant hoovering up free radicals in the body
It’s a key nutrient for the immune system
It’s an antihistamine
It’s an anti-inflammatory
It may promote cardio-vascular health
It plays an important role in the production of collagen
It combats the oxidation brought on by high blood glucose
It may fight cancer
I can’t eat fruit so I need to get the vitamin from somewhere
There’s also a lot of information out there about taking vitamin C intravenously. I’ve never tried it, but there are a lot of doctors and scientists out there who advocate it. Youtube has tons of videos out there on IV vitamin C.
Krill are small crustaceans of the order Euphausiacea, and are found in all the world’s oceans. The name “krill” comes from the Norwegian word krill, meaning “small fry of fish”, which is also often attributed to species of fish.
Krill are considered an important trophic level connection – near the bottom of the food chain. They feed on phytoplankton and (to a lesser extent) zooplankton, yet also are the main source of food for many larger animals. In the Southern Ocean, one species, the Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, makes up an estimated biomass of around 379,000,000 tonnes, making it among the species with the largest total biomass. Over half of this biomass is eaten by whales, seals, penguins, squid, and fish each year. Most krill species display large diel vertical migrations, thus providing food for predators near the surface at night and in deeper waters during the day.
So why am I writing about these tiny, prawn-like creatures? Because a few years ago I swapped generic fish oil supplements for krill oil. I had started to do more research on the supplements, and the fish oil I was taking was probably not that good for me. It was not sourced, it did not go under rigorous testing, and it was probably not from sustainable sources. My research led to krill oil.
High in Omega-3s
High in phospholipids
High in antioxidants
Promotes normal vision and brain function
May help with arthritis
Contributes to normal heart function
No danger of heavy metals, unlike fish oil supplements
Contains astaxanthin, a carotenoid which limits oxidation
Krill oil is environmentally sustainable
The Importance of Omega-3s
These polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are used for digestion, vision and brain function, muscle activity and blood clotting. Krill oil has Omega-3s in abundance, but it also contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA are the building blocs of the cells; they are also anti-inflammatory and contribute to normal cardiovascular function.
These are naturally occurring in krill oil. In essence, phospholipids help the body absorb Omega-3s. Phospholipids are not naturally occurring in fish oils.
Krill harvested in the Antarctic has been under the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) for forty years. Save for eco-extremists who complain about every impact mankind has on nature, most environmentalists agree that fishing practices in the Antarctic are sustainable. The annual catch of Euphausia superba (i.e., Krill from Antarctic waters) since the mid-1990s is about 100–120,000 tonnes annually which is about one fiftieth of the CCAMLR catch quota.
I take krill oil as a regular supplement. The fact that it is sustainable, healthier and more beneficial than fish oil makes this a no-brainer for me.
Long time readers may recall that I searched for alternative therapies when my thyroid started malfunctioning. This was about a year or so after my diabetes diagnosis. I benefited from going paleo and thought that there may be a natural way to help my thyroid gland.
Why Iodine’s Important
I wrote a lot about coconut oil in that previous post. I want to discuss iodine, and why I take it as an occasional supplement. Firstly, we need iodine to survive and be healthy. Our thyroid gland needs iodine to make thyroid hormones. Lack of iodine can lead to all kinds of problems like the development of hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, miscarriages, goitre or cretinism and mental retardation in children. Most of us growing up in the West are rarely in danger of cretinism or mental retardation. Why? Processed table salt is iodised. That’s to say, manufacturers put iodine into the salt to supplement the average person’s diet. It’s ironic that if someone has gone strict paleo and has cut out processed table salt, he could end up being iodine deficient.
The amount of iodine in the soil will play a part in how much iodine a person will get in her diet. Of course, very few people can source their food in this way, even paleos. Iodine rich soil will mean more trace iodine in meat. In contrast, if the soil is iodine deficient, not only will the animals suffer, but so too will the humans eating them when it comes to a lack of iodine. Fortunately, there are a few foods that are rich in iodine and are ideal for paleos: eggs, seaweed and seafood. For those who accept a bit of dairy in their diet, cream and hard cheeses have good amounts as well. I get most of my iodine through diet. A lot of us don’t have access to fresh seaweed, or it’s too much of a cultural and culinary leap. For some then, that may mean considering a supplement.
How much Iodine?
There’s some controversy here and also some danger in my opinion. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of iodine is 0.14mg according to the NHS in England. Going up to 0.5mg is considered safe. The Japanese, who eat a lot of seaweed per capita, consume somewhere between 1-5mg/day. There are some people out there who are huge advocates of iodine and suggest taking very large amounts of it. I can’t get onboard with that. The danger being that too much iodine can lead to hyperthyroidism. Too much iodine can also exacerbate problems related to hypothyroidism.
I don’t take iodine on a daily basis. I get most of it through diet, mainly eggs and dairy, but I’m overall deficient based on my own calculations. Therefore, every couple of weeks I’ll take two or three drops of Lugol’s iodine solution with a glass of water. That’s been my routine for several years and my blood work has always come back with very good thyroid function (after my initial diagnosis of hypothyroidism and healing through coconut oil).
I think iodine is something I need to be careful about. True, it is essential to human health. But it seems that balance is key here. Too much is probably worse than too little.
One of the complications brought on by diabetes that troubles me the most is Diabetic Retinopathy. It is a diabetic disease of the eye that is caused by the damage in the blood vessels in the retina. Essentially, it is caused by poor blood glucose control. Very poor blood control can lead to total blindness.
Beyond keeping my blood glucose as normal as possible, I also take Bilberry, Lutein and Zeaxanthin to limit my chances of developing retinopathy. Despite what some sites say about these supplements being useless or inconclusive, there is a scientific body of evidence that argues that they do combat retinopathy.
For instance, a study in the International Journal of Ophthalmology demonstrated that diabetics with early retinopathy who took Lutein and Zeaxanthin (L/Z) for three months had improved visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and macular edema (i.e., fluid build up in the macula). The study concluded that L/Z supplementation may “be targeted as potential therapeutic agents in treating NDR [nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy]”. Another study in the British Journal of Ophthalmology argues that there is growing evidence that suggest that L/Z are key antioxidants that may “exhibit neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory function in the retina.”
I don’t want to go blind in the next thirty or forty years. I’ll continue to take these supplements to limit that chance.