Supplements regimen questions

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Supplements regimen questions

Postby Waterbear » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:21 pm

Hi all,

After researching the internet for a few weeks we have compiled a first basic list of supplements (well i guess 6 supplements make a basic list compared to the 17 proposed by the BBD..!).As safety is a major concern we preferred to start with a small list that we feel confident about,with a view to continue researching and adding supplements along the way. (BTW a great thanks to all the natural approach thread regulars for the info in the forum!)

So here is the list:

-Salmon oil: 3 grams/day
- Cod liver oil: one 1,284mg capsule/day (keeping in mind not to exceed the 2500IU limit for Vit A)
-Flaxseed: one tablespoon/day
-Vit D: 1000IU day for a few weeks,then 2000IU (we can't rely on sunny London,can we?)
-B-50 complex: 2 capsules/day
-B-12: one 500ug capsule a day (we get the Solgar 'normal' ones,is there some benefit from the sublingual B-12 caps?)
-Curcumin: one gram/day with meals


And my questions...
1) As my girlfriend is on the BBD, we think the calcium intake is not sufficient.What is a middle-of-the-road dosage for Ca?Any strong views on the safety levels for this supplement?
2) We consider Acetyl-L-Carnitine,what brands people prefer for this supplement?Solgar's alcar is quite expensive (about 150 pounds/month for 1.5 gram daily),while i found Carlson's at about a fifth of the cost.From various testimonials Carlson's fish oils seem to be of very good quality,any views on their alcar?
3) Should any of these supplements be taken preferably on a full or empty stomach?

Thanks,
Yannis
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Postby Waterbear » Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:40 pm

And another question i forgot above,probably the most important one;

Assuming that safe (according to research) dosage is taken for each supplement,isn't there a risk of liver damage if so many supplements (more than in some cases) are taken?I mean,can our liver 'cope' with processing all the different substances?I guess fish oils are fine as they are natural extracts,but what about vitamins and other supplements?

Sorry if my thinking is oversimplified but that's what currently crosses my mind :-)

Thanks again
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Postby jimmylegs » Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:51 pm

as regards the safety of calcium, it's pretty safe but if you feel pain in the back, you need to back off because it's giving your kidneys trouble. also, calcium is responsible for tightening muscles while magnesium is for relaxin them. many of us with spastic muscles need to improve the calcium/magnesium balance. try 1200mg with the calcium and 600-1200mg magnesium to go with it. many companies out there blend calcium and mag 2:1, but you can find 1:1 out there too which may be a better bet. you can get a blended pill that should have a little zinc in it too, so it won't add a pile to the daily mix, just one more tablet.

if you take calcium/mag/zinc and d3 at the same time in the long term, and don't have enough dietary magnesium intake, you may run into hypomagnesemia issues down the road. it happened to me. magnesium needs a chance to get into your system for other needs, without being totally monopolized by d3 biochemistry. magnesium is helpful for getting to sleep at night, and plays nicely with b6 and potassium, although this is getting further afield from your base list!

d3 intakes look good, not sure how much d3 is in your fish oil caps though. if you haven't had the serum 25-hydroxyvitamind3 level done yet, doing so might be the thing. it's not likely she's got enough, but it's good to have an idea of the baseline number and follow it up in 6months to see what's been accomplished with the supplement regimen, compared to where she wants to be as a target value for optimal immune function.

don't take too much of the day's b12 or b-complex in the morning. it can mess up your night's sleep. b-complex is good to take with meals.

sublingual b12 in the methylcobalamin form is good. it goes directly into the bloodstream without having to be processed in the GI tract.

keep the fish oils in the fridge and try to have them with cold drinks or meals to reduce the repeats.

grind the flax seed for maximum surface area exposure internally (or you could do half whole half ground).

i think most of it sounds fine to eat with meals, it's just timing and temperature mostly. good luck!
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Postby cheerleader » Sun Aug 31, 2008 3:20 pm

Welcome, Yannis-
Your list of supplements looks like a terrific start. Good for you guys.
My husband takes a supplement with zinc/mag/calcium all together-
called Nature's Way mineral complex, then he takes an additional 600mg of mag in the evening before bed-Natural Calm. Helps his spasms and pain, and balances out the calcium to a 1:1 ratio.

I'd suggest bumping up the vit. D- if her baseline numbers indicate it. My husband noticed an improvement in his pain when we went up to 4,000 IU a day (he had been on 2,000)

Jimmy's right, B12 sublinguals are the best. My hubby's B-12 rates are high normal now.

My husband takes all his supplements at dinner- with food, to avoid upset stomach. He takes them with cool filtered water. I make up little baggy packages for each week, that way he can take his supps. out if we're away from home.

As far as the liver...these supplements should not do any harm. You are not doing any "mega" doses. Most harm comes from interferons and NSAIDs (tylenol etc.) My husband had high liver enzymes upon dx of MS, and I put him on a milk thistle liver cleanse. We still do this once a month, and his enzymes have stayed normal. Milk thistle is a terrific way to help the liver stay healthy. Have her serum ALT and AST enzymes tested if you're nervous.
best,
AC
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Postby DIM » Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:19 pm

Hi Yannis, lot of questions most already answered!
I'd like to comment here that is better to take supplements in the morning except some of them in the evenning as is magnesium, curcumin (lowers fatty acid metabolization so take it away from omega-3) etc
The metabolism is higher in the morning thus we need most supplements the first few hours to fight free radicals and increase mitochondrial action, if you plan to take ALC I use for my wife one product from www.biosynergy.com that includes lipoic acid and Q10 alltogether increase from 100-1000 times ALC effectiveness.
If you take omega-3 always with food and antioxidants say vit. E, selenium, ALC etc, we use Solgar's omega-3 950 the best product around while Ruritan's Pride Omega-3 highly concentrated has exactly same composition and is much cheaper (www.puritansales.com).
You can see wife's regimen in cheerleader's related topic, I recently added a chinese tea that is full of xanthones (neurotrophic factors) and resveratrol-gingko biloba.
Good luck, hope you the best!
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Postby jimmylegs » Fri Sep 05, 2008 6:08 am

hmm i missed the liver concerns post i think. anyway i second cheer's comments about milk thistle and testing.
i also think dim's ginkgo addition would be useful for people who are having trouble with train of thought. it really can help keep you on the ball. at least, when i bother to take it, i do feel more like i can keep on the subject in conversation better, keep track of what i was going to say, what we were talking about before such and such happened, that kind of thing.
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Postby notasperfectasyou » Fri Sep 05, 2008 6:15 am

What supplements to take?????

This is one of the big pandora's box questions with MS. If you look hard enough you'll find that folks will swallow just about anything if they believe it will help them. Most Importantly:

Don't take anything unless you fully understand why you are taking it and the reasoning behind its benefit.

this requires effort. fortunately, there is a search button here and if you type in "ascorbic acid", you'll get to some usefull discussion pretty fast.

Give all that, here's some thoughts:

Salmon oil - Kim takes 2 grams a day. I'm neutral on this one. But it's cheap and harmlerss

Cod liver oil - I'm of the impression that if you take salmon oil, you don't need to take this.

Flaxseed oil - I think this is supposed to be the same idea as evening primrose oil, you'd have to check. Kim was on evening primrose oil for a long time and then stopped. We never noticed an impact. But, if you want to know more about this stuff, read Judy Graham's book. I don't necessarily agree with it, but it's good t be informed.

Vit D - I've been round on this recently. You want to be taking D3, not D2. Kim's neuro #2 wrote her a script for 50,000 IU per week but it turned out to be D2. We asked him if it was ok to take 6000 D3 daily instead and he agreed. I think this one is important.

B-Complex - Kim doesn't take a whole lot of extra B outside of what's in the multivits.

B-12 - Make sure its sublingual Methylcobalamin. There is a new kind of b-12 that Jimmylegs knows about, but in the mean time stick with this one. Kim sucks down 10,000mcg/daily.

Curcumin - I have a long post here about this stuff. Kim's taking 4000 mg/daily.

We have never had issues with the Ca stuff, except Kim takes it atleast 2 hours away from her ABX. Kim takes Acetyl-L-Carnitine, 2gm daily. We buy most of our stuff at the vitaminshoppe. Kim prefers to take her sups with food.

Other thoughts. Look into ascorbic acid, but the one that's made from potassium and magnesium ascorbates are the ones we have has success with. Also, I'd add to the list NAC. This one has been wonderful for Kim. I called Dr. Schipper because he never published the study and he told me that he had positive MRI results. Kim has clearly benefited from taking NAC, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Good luck, Ken
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Postby jimmylegs » Fri Sep 05, 2008 6:41 am

heya napay, my newest C-complex has the mag and k ascorbates. seems good so far :)
agree re: testing. but understand which is the best, most useful test for any given item. know what your results mean - don't take "normal" for an answer!
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Postby Waterbear » Fri Sep 05, 2008 2:41 pm

Hi all,

Thanks for all the replies,it's nice to see some bright minds around so willing to help!

My girlfriend did some blood tests for her diagnosis and we will ask the Neuro for a copy in our next visit,maybe she had the levels for liver enzymes,vit D etc checked already,if not we will have a check soon.

NAPAY-I totally agree with your comment about knowing why you take whatever you take,we actually spent a good month on the internet before paying a visit to the vitamin shop.My main thought is that the only way to stick with a restrictive diet and 10 bottles of pills in your bag for a long period is to be very well aware of the benefit of each element of your regimen.I haven't done it yet,but i plan to write down a synopsis of everything we take and the benefits we aim at,and keep it as a reference for ourselves but also for the discussion with the Neuro (btw i'm really curious to hear what he has to say about supps/diet)

DIM, if i am not wrong i think you contribute to the Greek site as well,i have been following your posts about your wife there .You are a nutritionist,aren't you??Which part of Greece you come from?

Again thanks for all the info,i guess i will be bothering you with more questions sooner or later :roll:

Yannis
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Postby DIM » Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:54 pm

You are right Yannis I am member of the Greek forum and have some kind of nutrition studies that almost forgot now!
I am from central Greece, Thessaly, if you know where Plastira's Lake is, where do you come from?
Dimitris
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Postby Waterbear » Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:07 pm

Hi Dimitris,

Yes of course i know the Plastiras lake,my great-grandfather was acually from this area!I am from Athens,but live in the UK at the moment..thanks again for the tips!

Yannis
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Postby gibbledygook » Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:27 am

I'd add quite a lot of salvia miltiorrhiza to the supplement list. I'm currently taking 14grams a day but I'm a hardened drug user so anything less and the tingles seem to resurface.
8)
3 years antibiotics, 06/09 bilateral jug stents at C1, 05/11 ballooning of both jug valves, 07/12 stenting of renal vein, azygos & jug valve ballooning,
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Postby DIM » Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:19 am

Salvia is a great vasodilator and works as pycnogenol (pine bark extract) and partially omega-3 fatty acids do, right?
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Postby lionheart » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:50 am

I want to have some blood tests (neuro hasn't prescribed any!), but I don't really know what should I make my blood tested for. As I see from your posts, it's really important to know the levels of certain elements etc in your body. Can you possibly help me with some suggestions.
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Postby jimmylegs » Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:32 am

Hi lionheart,

i would suggest that b12 should have been tested, if it hasn't, since it is part of the differential diagnosis for ms. they should not diagnose ms without ensuring that your b12 level is not indicative of deficiency.

b12 level over 300 nmol/L is considered adequate as far as hematological concerns go. cognitive function b12 adequacy is potentially higher. you can up your personal target to 500 nmol/L quite safely. it is important to make sure your other b-complex needs are met to optimize your body's ability to use b12.

vitamin d3 level is related to ms risk. people with levels over 100 nmol/L have the lowest risk of ms. (i recently posted these findings with citation elsewhere on the site... will locate and link to that too)

uric acid average in ms is much lower than healthy controls.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11985629
ms average: ~194 µmol/L
healthy controls: ~290 µmol/L

zinc is also lower in ms patients than in healthy controls:

http://jnnp.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/45/8/691 [n=50]
ms men ~13 µmol/L (range 11-15)
ms women ~12 µmol/L (range 10-14)

http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=18101339 [n=1113]
healthy population 18.2 µmol/L (range 18.05–18.36)

good luck with your assessment - if you like, i'd be very interested to hear the findings :)

HTH,
JL
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