The body n mind dynamic works both ways.
If the body isn’t getting what it needs, then neither is the mind.
1. Quality Multivitamins
Vitamin companies buy raw materials to produce their products so it is the quality of these raw materials that makes the difference between a good multivitamin and a bad one.
Some companies use deceptive marketing and mark up inferior products. Also, some supplements do not contain what is on the label. A recent paper was published on ten over-the-counter Vitamin D supplements. None had the dose of vitamin D that was listed on the label!
What to look for in your multivitamin:
- B12 should be in the form of “methylcobalamin” or “hydroxocobalamin.” If it is “cyanocobalamin” you are wasting your money on an inferior form of B12.
- Vitamin A should come from “mixed carotenoids” which is its natural form.
- Vitamin E should come from “mixed tocopherols” or the 4 tocopherols should be listed as alpha, gamma, delta and beta. If it is only “alpha tocopherol” then you are actually harming your body and increasing your risk of heart attack and cancer.
- Folic acid should be present as “folate” and not “folic acid.” If it says folic acid then you are significantly increasing your risk of cancer.
- Magnesium should be in the form of “glycinate.” Most multi’s use “oxide” which is the lowest quality form of magnesium and is not absorbed well.
- B6 should be in the form of “pyridoxal-5-phosphate” which is the active form of B6.
- Vitamin D should be in the form of “cholecalciferol” and not “ergocalciferol.”
- Other minerals such as zinc, manganese, selenium, calcium etc. are best absorbed in a “chelated” form.
Dr. Nik Hedberg recommends the “Twice Daily Multi” from Designs for Health as a basic multivitamin. Companies like Designs For Health can guarantee that everything listed on the label is actually in the product in its fully bio-available form.
2. Fish Oil
Improved mood ( read body n mind…. and less depression), optimal fat-burning, increased energy, better brain function (most of the brain is made of DHA…yep body n mind again!), optimal hormone metabolism, proper immune system function and healthy detoxification.
Fish oil reduces inflammation in the body – so everything works better. Fish oil is important for optimal hormonal health. Hormones must communicate with your cells for specific functions in the body. Fish oil optimizes this communication so hormones like testosterone, estrogen, progesterone and thyroid hormone can work their magic. Hormone replacement should not be considered until essential fatty acid status is optimized
Fish oil contains essential fatty acids known as EPA & DHA. These oils ensure there is a constant flow of nutrients, hormones, water, electrolytes, toxins etc. in and out of your cells. This flow determines how healthy you are.
Are all fish oils created equal? Definitely not! There are two forms of fish oil available today – triglyceride and ethyl ester forms. Most oils today are in the ethyl ester form is because the cost is less than the triglyceride form.
- The ethyl-ester form is produced by heating fish oil under a vacuum and the fatty acids are bound to ethanol. This results in a “semi-synthetic” form of oil which is labeled “omega-3 fish oil concentrate.”
- Triglycerides are the natural form of fats found in food sources. This form is less prone to oxidation. Triglyceride forms of fish oil are much better absorbed and do not require the same level of digestion in the body. The result is 50% higher plasma levels of EPA and DHA. Triglyceride forms of fish oil also last much longer than ethyl ester forms due to their resilience to oxidation.
Fish oil is a supplement you don’t want to be cheap about. Some fish oils contain toxic metals such as mercury and arsenic as well as environmental toxins. Be sure that you are taking the cleanest, purest form of fish oil available.
Iodine can save your life!
Iodine is vital for the following processes in the body:
• Growth • Use of Energy & Oxygen • Heat Production (cold hands and feet anyone?)
• Fertility (combined with vitamin D works like a charm)
• The use of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, electrolytes, and water
• Immune system function in the intestine
Iodine can be beneficial in the following conditions:
• Fibrocystic Breasts
• Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
• Goiter • Breast Cancer
• Thyroid Nodules
• Prostate Health
Iodine is essential for the thyroid and other body tissues. The breast requires iodine to be healthy and women with fibrocystic breast disease have been shown to have low iodine.
Iodine enters the thyroid gland and combines with the amino acid tyrosine to make thyroid hormone. In order for iodine to enter the thyroid gland you must have a healthy transport mechanism which is optimized with vitamin C and magnesium. It has been shown that 3,000mg of vitamin C every day will repair the iodine transport mechanism.
Most Americans do not get enough iodine because it is no longer in our food. Iodized salt is not adequate because it does not provide the right type of iodine and it does not contain enough for optimal function. Additionally, iodine is a powerful antioxidant which is vital for reducing inflammation in the whole body.
There are two forms of iodine that should be ingested:
1. Iodide – Iodide mainly travels into the thyroid gland to provide all of its benefits for your metabolism to make sure you are burning fat, producing heat etc.
2. Iodine – Molecular iodine mainly travels to the other tissues of the body such as the breast, ovaries and prostate gland.
Most of the supplements out there only have iodide which will only help the thyroid, but not the rest of the body.
Iodine should not be taken if you have autoimmune thyroid disease such as Hashimoto’s or Grave’s disease! Make sure that you know this before you begin supplementation because it can have devastating effects on the thyroid gland. You will find many, many websites on the internet telling you that iodine is good for autoimmune thyroid and this is tragic.
Dr. Nik Hedberg recommends a product known as Iosol which is a blend of iodide and iodine.
How much should you take? Each drop of Iosol contains 1.8mg of iodine and iodide. Begin taking 1 drop/day for a week, then increase to 2 drops/day for a week and then maintain at 3 drops/day.
- Magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral in the body and is required for over 300 regulatory enzymes.
- Magnesium is an important mineral for those with heart disease, diabetes, depression (yep, there’s that body n mind thing again, migraines, tension headaches, eclampsia and asthma.
- Magnesium is involved in the metabolism of brain chemicals that affect your mood such as feeling depressed or anxious. It is required for muscle relaxation, bone metabolism, and optimal calcium levels which is important for bone health.
- Magnesium has been shown by itself to increase bone density without calcium supplementation. Calcium directly competes with the absorption and therefore leads to magnesium deficiency. Magnesium actually blocks the uptake of calcium thus it’s name, “nature’s calcium channel blocker.” Millions of women are told to take calcium for their bones (which by the way doesn’t do anything) only to deplete themselves of magnesium– which is much more important for bone health than calcium!
- Magnesium is indirectly involved in every enzymatic reaction in the body because it is required for energy production.
- Magnesium is required for carbohydrate, protein and fat-burning in the cell.
- Virtually every hormone in your body requires magnesium to function properly.
- Magnesium plays an important role in electrolyte balance. Nerves cannot fire efficiently and muscles cannot contract properly without magnesium.
Magnesium deficiency has been shown:
- to cause high blood pressure as well as contraction of the blood vessels that surround the heart and brain.
- is directly related to the development of osteoporosis.
- has been shown to be present in diseases such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Magnesium deficiency in these patients is directly related to the muscle pain, muscle weakness, joint pain, fatigue, depression, brain dysfunction and inflammation they experience. Patients with both conditions have been shown to benefit from taking magnesium.
The best form of magnesium to take is magnesium salts in the form of glycinate. These are much better absorbed than the citrate or oxide forms and are better utilized by the body. Citrate is rapidly excreted by the kidney and oxide is not absorbed well at all. In fact, oxide is really only used to induce bowel movements in people with severe constipation.
A good rule of thumb for supplementation dose is 5mg per kg of bodyweight of every day. (150 lbs = 68kg. 68 X 5mg = 340mg daily.)
5. Vitamin C
Our food supply contains very little Vitamin C because of premature food harvesting, artificial ripening and food processing. We are bombarded by environmental insults that increase our need for vitamin C. Prescription drugs, tobacco smoke, alcohol, industrial solvents, pesticides, petroleum products, carbon monoxide, lead, cadmium etc. all destroy vitamin C.
We should all supplement with vitamin C to build a biological barrier to protect our bodies.
Scientifically shown benefits of vitamin C:
• Improved blood vessel and cardiovascular integrity
• Enhances healthy hormone actions
• Promotes immune system health
• Enhances nitrous oxide functions
• Rebuilds the powerful antioxidant glutathione
• Promotes iron balance
• Reduces the accumulation of toxins
• Improves intestinal transit time
• Protects our DNA from damage
• Reduces toxic minerals in the body
•Enhances natural anti-cancer functions
• Rebuilds vitamin E and selenium
• Maintains the integrity of cartilage, bones and teeth
• Increases cellular resistance to many common viral infections
So how much Vitamin C do you need? The best way to learn your need of vitamin C is by doing an ascorbate calibration or “vitamin C flush.” Most of Dr. Hedberg’s patients require 2-10 grams per day based on their calibration. By saturating your body with vitamin C you will build a foundation to achieving optimal health
6. Vitamin D
When was the last time you had your vitamin D levels checked? Vitamin D is not just a vitamin that is important for bone health and the prevention of rickets.
Vitamin D is a pro-hormone that is essential for:
- Modulation of calcium metabolism
- Cell growth
- Cardiovascular dynamics
- Immune/inflammatory balance
- Neurologic function (yes, brain again)
- Muscle weakness and pain
- Insulin production
- Blood pressure
- Autoimmune diseases
- Adrenal function
- Genetic expression
It is virtually impossible to get enough vitamin D through diet…even with cod liver oil supplementation. D3 is the naturally occurring form of vitamin D and can be obtained through high quality supplements. D2 is produced by irradiating fungi and is much less efficient as a precursor to the active form of vitamin D.
Dairy products are fortified with D2 providing a vastly inferior source. The amount of D2 put in dairy products is also extremely inadequate — which leads us to the question of how much is safe and effective.
Supplementation of 2,000-10,000 IU for adults is clinically safe since such doses are consistent with physiologic requirements as noted by the amount produced by sun exposure. Vitamin D levels must be measured first and a thorough evaluation by a licensed physician should be completed before beginning supplementation.
Dr. Hedberg’s new patients often bring in calcium/vitamin D combination products. These products usually have a grossly sub-optimal level of vitamin D.
Vitamin D supplementation has been scientifically shown to benefit the following conditions:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Multiple sclerosis
- Prevention of type 1 diabetes
- Depression (Vitamin D is yet another body n mind supplement)
- Migraine headaches
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Musculoskeletal pain
- Autoimmune/inflammatory conditions such as lupus & rheumatoid arthritis
- Cancer prevention and treatment.
It is estimated that as many as 47,000 cancer deaths could be prevented each year in Americaif adequate vitamin D levels were attained.
It is extremely important to have your levels checked through a blood test as well as consistent monitoring of blood calcium levels. Vitamin K plays an essential role in vitamin D metabolism and is vital if you are taking vitamin D. Without sufficient vitamin K, the increased calcium in the blood from vitamin D intake can deposit in soft tissues and also make arteries less elastic.
I use a product that contains vitamin K along with the vitamin D. Vitamin D supplementation should also be accompanied by vitamin A because too much of one will create a deficiency in the other. Since vitamin D is fat-soluble, those individuals with gall bladder dysfunction or impaired fat digestion will not absorb it very well. Obesity can cause a 50% reduction in vitamin D levels even when supplementing with the same dose as a non-obese individual. Estrogen and progesterone are required for optimal vitamin D metabolism so menopausal women tend to have lower levels than others.
Zinc deficiency is rampant. We only consume as low as 47% of the recommended daily intake of zinc.
More than a dozen studies show that zinc reduces the incidence and duration of the common cold due to its immune system supporting powers. Zinc actually directly inhibits the growth of cold-causing viruses. Zinc is involved in more body functions than any other mineral! It is estimated that zinc is involved in 10,000 enzymatic reactions in the body most of which involve the immune system and repair of body tissues.
Zinc is important for:
- Chemical detoxification (important body n mind connection!)
- Growth and development
- Immune function
- Sexual function
- Production of white blood cells and it supports natural killer cells that fight infections Healing cannot take place without adequate zinc!
- Metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates
- Brain function such as memory and learning – every enzymatic reaction in the brain
- Vision, taste and smell
Marginal zinc deficiency can lead to:
- Prostate enlargement
- Food allergies
- Toxic metals accumulation
- Decreased sense of taste and smell
- Hearing impairments
- Blood sugar imbalances
- Night blindness
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High triglycerides
Zinc has been shown to be more effective than tetracycline for acne in teenagers. Zinc deficiency can be a contributing factor in other skin conditions as well including psoriasis, eczema, burns and wounds that heal slowly.
Zinc is a vital nutrient for sexual health. It works in virtually every aspect of male reproduction including sperm production, sperm motility and hormone metabolism. Men with low testosterone and low sperm counts are usually zinc deficient. Men who supplement with zinc can reduce the size of the prostate and symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Frequent urination and urge to urinate diminishes with zinc supplementation.
Zinc deficiency in women can lead to premature births, low birth weight, delivery problems, growth retardation, spontaneous abortion and toxemia. Zinc deficiency can result in the destruction of nerve cells leading to the formation of plaque tangles found in Alzheimer’s Disease. When Alzheimer’s patients were given zinc supplements they showed improvement in memory, communication, understanding and social contact. (All of these are important body n mind anti-depression factors.)
How do you know if you need zinc? Dr. Hedberg does a test called a zinc challenge test which is done with liquid containing zinc. If you can taste the metallic flavor that zinc has then you don’t need to supplement. If you can’t taste anything then you are most likely deficient in zinc.
Dr. Hedberg cautions, “When you supplement with zinc be sure your multi contains copper.”
RPA Journal Committee Member
RPA Board Secretary
****I first saw this information in a free e-course from Dr. Hedberg and felt it was important enough to share. Perhaps you’d like to share this with your clients? This is a highly condensed version, see the original version here – http://drhedberg.com/ Dr. Nikolas R. Hedberg, D.C., D.A.B.C.I.