Vitamins and Calcium

One of the more common questions is whether I recommend any supplements. I recommend very few of them. For longer fasts, I recommend a general multivitamin, although there is scant evidence that it is beneficial. In fact, almost all vitamin supplements have been proven to be useless. In some cases, like vitamin B, worse than useless. All vitamins go through periods of of popularity and unpopularity. It’s worse than high school. One minute, you’re the most popular kid in class, then next you’re the laughingstock.

In the 1960’s the king of vitamins was vitamin C. Linus Pauling is the only person to have won two unshared Nobel Prizes – once for chemistry and once for peace. He had the firm unshakeable belief that many of the problems of modern nutrition could be cured by mega doses of vitamin C. He suggested that high dose vitamin C could prevent or cure the common cold, the flu and even cancer. He even suggested that “75% of all cancer can be prevented and cured by vitamin C alone”. That, of course is wildly optimistic. Many studies were done over the next few decades that clearly proved that most of these vitamin C claims were simply false hopes. Turns out the only disease Vitamin C cures is scurvy. Since I don’t treat many 15th century pirates, it’s not too useful for me.

Once vitamin C supplementation was proven largely useless to prevent disease, the next great hope was vitamin E. Its main claim to glory was as an ‘antioxidant’. Supposedly, vitamin E would neutralize all the nasty free radicals that were causing untold damage to our vascular system. Taking vitamin E would prevent heart disease, we were told. Except, of course, it did nothing of the sort. The HOPE trial, best remembered now as one of the trials to establish the use of the ACEI class of medication in cardiovascular protection. However, this randomized controlled trial also tested whether vitamin E could prevent disease. Unfortunately, the answer was no. Vitamin E supplements did not prevent heart disease or stroke. Indeed, more patients in the vitamin group died, had heart attacks and strokes although this was not statistically significant. Vitamin C was a bust, and so was vitamin E. But the list of shame would not stop there.

The next great hope was vitamin B. In the early 2000s, there was a great flurry of interest in a blood test called homocysteine. High homocysteine levels were correlated with increased risk of heart disease. Vitamin B could lower homocysteine levels, but whether this would translate into better health outcomes was unknown. Several large scale trials were launched with this hope. One of these was the NORVIT trial, published in 2006 in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

The news was stunning. Stunningly bad, that is. Compared to taking placebo (sugar pills), supplementation with folate, vitamin B6 and B12 was giving people more heart attacks and strokes. Yes. The vitamin group was not doing better, it was doing worse. But worse news was still to come, if you can believe it. In 2009, researchers studied the two randomized controlled trials of vitamin B supplementation and found that in addition to raising the risk of cardiovascular disease, the risk of cancer was increased by 21%! Aw snap! The risk of dying from cancer increased by 38%. Taking useless vitamins is one thing, taking vitamins that are actively harmful is something else.

The use of vitamin B supplements for kidney disease was similarly dismal. The DIVINe study randomized two groups of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) to either placebo or vitamin B supplements with the hope of slowing down the progression of kidney disease. Homocysteine levels are high in CKD and the vitamins were able to lower these levels. But did they make any real difference? Sure did. The use of vitamin B made things worse. Much, much worse. It doubled the incidence of poor outcomes. Another nail in the coffin of the homocysteine story and vitamin B supplements. Another 10 years of research money wasted.

The ironic part of this flawed knowledge is that we are still paying the price. Enriched wheat flour, for example is wheat with all the goodness extracted and then certain vitamins replaced. So almost all the vitamins were removed, and replaced with huge doses of iron and vitamin B. So what we got was a huge surplus of vitamin B. Not that I believe this was malicious. People were mostly concerned about nutrient deficiencies like beri beri, iron deficiency anemia and not so much with anything else. The problem, of course, is that we now have data that show that giving large doses of vitamin B may increase rates of cancer and hear attacks.

But why should vitamin B supplements be bad? After all, folate supplements have reduced the incidence of neural tube defects in pregnancy significantly. Like everything else in medicine, it’s a question of context. Vitamin B is needed for growth of cells. During growth periods, like pregnancy and childhood, this is a good thing.

The problem is completely different during adulthood. Excessive growth is NOT good. The fastest growing cells are cancer cells, so they love, love, love the extra vitamin B. Not so good for us people. Even for regular cells, the excessive growth is not good, because it leads to scarring and fibrosis. This explains how you get more heart attacks, strokes and kidney disease. Cardiovascular disease is caused by atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries and excessive fibrosis likely makes it worse.

Calcium supplements, of course have been recommended by doctors for decades as a preventative strategy against osteoporosis. I explained everything in this lecture from a few years ago “The Calcium Story“. Almost every doctor has recommended calcium supplements to prevent osteoporosis.

Why? The rationale is that bones have lots of calcium so eating calcium must make bones stronger. This is, of course, the reasoning that a third grader might use, but that’s besides the point. Eating brains makes us smarter. Eating kidneys improves kidney function. Right…. But any who, this puerile reasoning lasted for about 50 years.

We pretend that we live in a world of evidence based medicine. Just as we discussed with calories, it seems that evidence is not needed for the status quo, but only for ‘alternative viewpoints’. They finally did a proper randomized controlled trial on calcium supplementation and published it in 2006. The Women’s Health Initiative randomized over 36,000 women to calcium and vitamin D or placebo. Then they followed them for over 7 years and monitored them for hip fractures. Did taking calcium every day for 7 years give women super-strong bones that never crack?

Hardly. There was no difference in total fractures, hip, vertebral or wrist fractures. In other words, calcium supplements were completely useless. Actually, that’s not true. There was a significant difference. Those people taking calcium had significantly more kidney stones. So, they were actually harmed by taking these pills. Nice. Are these women glad they faithfully took their pills every day for the last 7 years?

What is the reason why these supplements are not beneficial and mostly harmful? It’s really quite simple. You must understand the root cause (the aetiology) of disease in order to prescribe rational treatment. The diseases that we face today – obesity, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease etc. ARE NOT VITAMIN DEFICIENCY DISEASES. If these are not disease caused by a lack of vitamins, why would we expect supplementation to make a difference? Let’s be clear. If you have a vitamin deficient disease (ie. Vitamin B12 deficiency) then yes, you should take vitamins. If you are obese or have heart disease (ie. NOT vitamin deficiency diseases) then you are not likely to benefit.

Let’s take an analogy. Suppose our car does not run because the engine has exploded. Somebody then says “Oh, hey, I had a time where our car did not run because it was out of gas. Therefore you should put more gas into the car”. But it doesn’t work. Because you must treat the root cause. The problem was that the engine exploded. I don’t really care how much gas is in the car in this situation.

So, if we are treating vitamin deficiency disease (scurvy, beri beri, osteomalacia) then replacing vitamins is very logical and effective. If we are treating obesity, then replacing vitamins is completely and utterly useless. I don’t worry about nutrient density of foods, because I am not treating a nutrient deficiency disease. However, people love trying to sell you the latest greatest weight loss supplement (green coffee, raspberry ketones, PGX, fibre, Sensa etc).

If you are asking the question “What can I eat/ take/ supplement to help me lose weight?” then you are completely going in the wrong direction. The question you need to ask is “What can i NOT eat/take/ supplement to help me lose weight?” The money to be made answering the latter question is orders of magnitude smaller than trying to answer the first.

2017-10-20T15:02:55+00:00 77 Comments

About the Author:

Dr. Fung is a Toronto based kidney specialist, having graduated from the University of Toronto and finishing his medical specialty at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001. He is the author of the bestsellers ‘The Obesity Code’ and ‘The Complete Guide to Fasting’. He has pioneered the use of therapeutic fasting for weight loss and type 2 diabetes reversal in his IDM clinic.

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sten bjorsell
Guest
I read a great book “Stop the Clock” by Denis Mangan. He shortlisted a few supplements to take during fasting. But not to fill shortages, instead to promote hormesis! Hormesis is the sort of thing that is best described as “sharpening a pencil”, or using moderate not excessive but “lagom” exercise. Mangan describes it in detail in the book above that I found also in a Kindle version for less than 7 usd. Curcumin is one of these “hormetic supplements”. He also points out in the book that many antioxidants actually inhibit the effect of autophagy, in general agreement with… Read more »
Mathieu
Guest

He talks about “taking vitamins for weigth loss/treat obesity” being useless and clearly stated that if you have a deficiency, then taking that vitamin as a supplement makes sense.
So if you are vitamin D deficient (like most people), then yes you can supplement.
It is all about the context.

Greg
Guest
I’m a physics professor and strongly support evidence-based medical decisions. The only issue I have with this article is that Dr. Fung is sorely ignorant of huge amounts of research evidence. His conclusions, therefore, are at best incomplete. I’ll just list a few things here— because the research is so substantial that I can’t list it all: (1) Vitamin C Having a plasma vitamin C level greater than 66 uM is associated with reduced all-cause mortality in men. The dose-response curve of vitamin C in humans is well-elucidated. In order to reach 66 uM plasma vitamin C you need a… Read more »
BobM
Guest
Ok, I have to say that the 38% increased risk of getting cancer is a RELATIVE risk The actual risk is tiny. Here’s the summary: Results During study treatment, median serum folate concentration increased more than 6-fold among participants given folic acid. After a median 39 months of treatment and an additional 38 months of posttrial observational follow-up, 341 participants (10.0%) who received folic acid plus vitamin B12 vs 288 participants (8.4%) who did not receive such treatment were diagnosed with cancer (hazard ratio [HR], 1.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-1.41; P = .02). A total of 136 (4.0%) who… Read more »
Dennis
Guest
A large percentage of us (~50%) have genetic problems (MTHFR) processing folic acid and cyanocobalamin. I suspect the problems linked to B12 and “folate” (actually was folic acid) in the studies are due to this. Studies that looked at vitamin E have typically used d-alpha-tocopherol only and not the other variations of vitamin E (including all tocopherols and trienols). I take the methyl forms of B vitamins along with appropriate minerals and supplements for my conditions. My detoxification processes are working much better. Like Bob, I have leaky gut and a host of other issues. Without supplements I believe it… Read more »
Karen Fygi
Guest

Thank you, BobM!

Ever Learning
Guest

BobM, Thank you so much for your research, wisdom, and clarity.

FWIW, one observation that I would like to add to the considerations is that folic acid is the synthetic, that folate is the food sourced form, and, I’ve read from other doctors in the last 2 years (Joel Fuhrman, MD, may have been one), that ingesting folic acid is unsafe.

Bob
Guest
“Turns out the only disease Vitamin C cures is scurvy. Since I don’t treat many 15th century pirates, it’s not too useful for me.” Keep in mind that Linus Pauling was under the firm belief that atherosclerosis was actually the subclinical form scurvy. He based this on many studies, including the fact that in order to keep gorillas from getting heart disease in captivity, they have to give them vitamin c supplements. In Pauling’s view, the body’s use of plaque to repair the arteries was a backup mechanism, with the primary mechanism, the use of collagen, being vastly reduced by… Read more »
Russ
Guest
In 1994 Pauling was issued a patent for the treatment of atherosclerosis. He is the father of modern day biochemistry for which he received a Nobel prize. What is bewildering is that no University or Drug company ever tested the underlying theory behind the patent to prove or disprove it. The reason was the compounds used in the patent were not patentable – why fund the test if you can’t make money. The compounds were 2,000 mg of Vitamin C and 1,000 mg of Lysine twice a day. He believed that atherosclerosis was simply a Vitamin C and/or Lysine deficiency.… Read more »
Birgit
Guest
I think that Dr. Fung is trying to get across the idea that it is better to get your nutrients from real food when you are “feasting” and that you should not rely on lab created “vitamins” The human body requires certain nutrients in balance, and when you supplement, you are likely upsetting that balance. If you develop symptoms of deficiencies such as low electrolytes, you definitely need to supplement. However, too much potassium can be extremely dangerous. I believe he is referring to the practice of some people to obsess about vitamins and minerals. There is a lot of… Read more »
Birgit
Guest

There have been periods in my life when I consumed large amounts of supplements and other times when I used no supplements. I really could not tell the difference in how I felt. Doing Intermittent Fasting and eating a Low Carb Moderate Protein High Fat diet is more important. What to eat and when to eat within these guidelines depends on individual circumstances. So you need to experiment with the macros and timing a bit.

Thomas
Guest

Initially, this article was VERY disturbing for me!
Then I thought about it long and hard!
My question was: Am I better off with krill oil as without it? The extensive research on krill oil is compelling, science based, and properly tested! There is NO DOUBT about that!!
So, I ask the same question for EVERY other supplement (including Vitamin D and Magnesium) I take!
I got the SAME answer!
I rest my case!

Mathieu
Guest

The article subject is clear:
“If you are asking the question “What can I eat/ take/ supplement to help me lose weight?” then you are completely going in the wrong direction.”
It is about people who are looking for supplements/vitamins thinking it will help them treat obesity.
It doesn’t question the utility of supplementation if you are deficient.
I won’t change my habits of taking vitamin D in winter and o3 daily based on this article.

valentina Ranslam
Guest
You are another courageous worrier against public ignorance. Without having the backup knowledge from such trials like HOPE, NORVIT , WHI etc, I always thought taking vitamin supplements was useless for people, just another way to make money. Thanks for summarizing . Now I know for a fact vitamins there are not only useless but actually harmful! Vitamins are key for our bodies to function properly at the molecular level, cofactors for escential chemical reactions etc., but there is no need to take extra vitamins if we have a varied and balanced diet. .
glib
Guest

On a diet of meat, eggs, fat, fermented foods, and greens, you do not have to take any supplement except vitamin D. Greens provide the Mg and K needed for fasting. Fermented foods have plenty of salt.

Myrto Ashe
Guest
This is a very confusing post, mixing up the use of supplements for weight loss, and the use of supplements for other reasons. Lowering homocysteine is desirable for blood pressure and also brain function – some people need extra B vitamins. It would be better if Dr. Fung had spent time actually researching this. True, folic acid didn’t work in kidney disease, but it works in stroke prevention. B12 works in prevention of cognitive decline. A fairly high level of vitamin D (>40 ng/dl) helps prevent preterm births. Fish oil supplements reduce post-partum depression. Large doses of IV Vitamin C… Read more »
MaryL
Guest
It is repeatedly demonstrated that concentrated “stuff” is bad for us. The body does not cope with big slugs of micronutrients particularly well. Either the excess is sloshing around in the blood or getting urinated out or breaking down into some intermediate you wouldn’t care to have in your system. Also, a person with a real deficiency will bring their level up rather quickly–a couple of months–then level off as the cell is saturated. More product, ingested faster won’t change the rate of uptake into cells or the cellular utilization rate. If you need to supplement, get it from food,… Read more »
ayelet
Guest

If I have low levels of ferritin and vitamin B12, is it not a good idea totake supplements?

Charlene
Guest

Yes–Dr Fung does say that if you are dealing with a deficiency–then a supplement could be a good idea.

Emily Mabry
Guest

I make my own kefir and my B vit levels went normal! If low in anything eat the food that has that nutrient!

Ryan
Guest

Vegans and vegetarians get practically 0 vitamin B. I think this is a different case than the populace? I think this article is referencing the excess of vitamins, rather than whether we need them or not at all. Although I wonder what the record for fasting days on water without a multivitamin is.

john koroloff
Guest

Dr. Greger has a great video on Ferritin you should see…the “normal” level is really, in his estimation iron overload associated with increased risks of many diseases…I donate blood on a regular basis to keep my Ferritin level(s) down below 40.
https://twitter.com/nutrition_facts/status/825727717836480516

Elle
Guest

Thanks for mentioning that. Good plan.

Brian
Guest

If you have low levels of B12, it’s likely tied to low stomach acid. A person cannot absorb B12 very well (if at all), if their stomach acid is low. It is probably a better idea to take a swig of apple cider vinegar before a meal to get the stomach acid juices flowing to help with B12 absorption.

Ashley
Guest

My husband’s grandmother was always taking weird vitamin cocktails she would make, thinking it was going to keep her healthy, well, she apparently mixed some vitamins and too much iron and landed herself in the ER with congestive heart failure. She’s doing better now, but this is just one case of someone misinformed almost killing themselves to be “healthy” with supplements.

Alan
Guest

Would taking electrolytes (home made or store bought) still be beneficial for people fasting or eating LCHF?

BobM
Guest
I take in more salt, potassium, and magnesium when fasting. I use Gerolsteiner for magnesium, and add salt and potassium to bone broth or herbal tea. If I don’t do this, I can get headaches and leg kicks at night. Also, being on a LCHF diet means you lose even more salt. So, I’ve been increasing my salt content. I note that I’m transitioning toward eating zero carb (basically meat), so I don’t eat — and haven’t eaten anything for a long time — that’s prepared. (Other than going out to dinner.) I therefore don’t have that source of salt.… Read more »
Stephen T
Guest

Bob, after going low carb I also added salt, magnesium and potassium to my diet. My understanding is that the lower insulin level achieved with low carb and fasting will increase water loss and therefore mineral loss. If so, the minerals have to be replaced.

Gary
Guest

Gerolsteiner is like a mineral supplement. Total dissolved solids >2500. Apollinaris is my second choice.

Alan
Guest
Thanks Bob. Ive been using homemade electrolytes using epson salts for the magnesium (it doesnt taste great) along with lo-salt and Himalayan pink salt, also adding ACV and lemon juice. I think Jason has a point about supplements in general, equally so you have valid points too…its not a one size fits all. I was curious to hear if electrolytes were necessary but on reflection I think its needed. Ive basically been eating paleo/low carb/keto for almost 8 years but ive only discovered fasting since Dec 2016 to try and shift the last stubborn bits of body fat. I respect… Read more »
Adrian
Guest

This could be correlation and not causation, but within a couple of days of taking a B supplement (50 mg. ) on physician recommendation, the little and fourth fingers of my left hand went numb. This about six weeks ago. No other reason, seemingly, though it could be ulnar nerve inflammation. Needless to say, I stopped taking that supplement. Fingers still mostly numb.

Another great post of common sense and will be attended to!

Lauren Romeo
Guest

You may have an ulnar nerve issue. If it continues see a neurologist. They can look at your spine, specifically your neck where the brachial plexus originates. Best of luck.

Julie
Guest

What about Vitamin D? We hear so much about not getting enough and I was tested and had very low levels.
I do want to thank you for bringing my attention to the B vitamin problem. I did not know and have been taking a B complex for years. That stops today.

Cynthia
Guest

I’m curious about Dr. Fung’s opinion on vitamin D supplementation as well. I take no pharmaceuticals at all, or supplements, but my doc recommended I take 2000-4000 IUD of vitamin D daily. I’ve made a point to sunbathe more frequently, so hope that does the trick (I’m elderly and of northern European descent).

Stephen T
Guest

Cynthia, sunbathing is the best source of vitamin D. As long as you are careful to avoid burning, the benefits far outweigh the small risks. Little and often is my way.

Those interested in the benefits of the sun are likely to find this article by Dr Kendrick useful.

https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2016/03/23/sunbathing-is-good-for-you/

Mike
Guest

I want to share my resource on vitamin D. In summary, yes you needed it, sun will probably not provide it easily for most people. https://www.grc.com/health/Vitamin-D.htm

Cathy R
Guest

Brilliant. Insightful. Evidence-based.
Thank you for the updated review on vitamins.
Can you also speak to any evidence about vitamin d?
Keep up the great work!!!

Mike
Guest
Mark
Guest
The only supplement I take now is Vitamin D, about 5,000 IU daily between the Fall and Spring Equinoxes, when the Sun angle at my latitude is apparently not sufficient for Vitamin D production. This is not a weight loss concern, but I thought I’d mention it since Dr. Fung addressed non-weight loss considerations for the other vitamins and supplements he discussed. Maybe 8-10 years ago, a friend who is an M.D. involved in research advised me that research indicted a big problem woth undiagnosed Vitamin D deficiency being rampant in the US (and probably elsewhere), and that the official… Read more »
Suzanne
Guest

I absolutely love you, Dr. Fung. You make me think and laugh at the same time!

William Brady
Guest
Vitamin sales and weight loss products are big money makers. Supplement wisely based on need and fast to loose weight. Both are money savers. I have been reading Dr. Mercola’s new book “Fat for Fuel”. He agrees largely with Dr. Fung but in chapter 8 page 178; Mercola writes, “Elderly individuals need to be monitored very carefully to prevent muscle loss (sarcopenia).” Dr. Mercola did not elaborate about this case but he is clear that muscle loss is possible. Also, I have read other articles by Doctors that caution muscle loss is possible although Dr. Fung asserts the body will… Read more »
Pam
Guest

Was Dr. Mercola talking about muscle loss during fasting? Or was he talking about muscle loss as we age?

Jerome Kahn
Guest
I love the work of Dr. Fung, be even he hiccups at time. One is on vitamin C and Pauling on cancer. I just so happened to have done a summary of his work and a trial he and Cameron conducted in the mid 70s. The survival of the terminal patients was 5 times longer on 10 grams of vitamin C daily. Very few chemo therapies ad more than a few months.. 22% of his patients survived over 1 year, while only 0.4% of the control group. In that hospital in Scotland no treatment was given to their terminal colon… Read more »
Jerome Kahn
Guest
Another hiccup of Dr. Fung, the role of Vitamin C as an antioxidant. One more comment, if you look for cancer and cigarettes and run a 2 year trial, you will not find among healthy young participants a statistically insignificant increase. The reason I take CoQ10 300 mg and Vitamin C 1,500 mg is because they are antioxidants. As such there are many benefits, however the studies of these two, one fat soluble the other water soluble, would take a couple of decades to become statically significant among young, healthy volunteers. I would go on to aver that bad pharma… Read more »
Drifter
Guest

Jerome,
Are you sure you didn’t mean to say “statistically significant”? Also, Dr. Kendrick has said that negative affects don’t even show up before 5 years so you may be being conservative here. He was saying that in the context that apparently no statin safety studies have gone beyond 5 years…

Pat
Guest

I take Vitamin D, K, C, L-lysine, fish oil, and Astaxanthin daily.

Brenda
Guest

What would the name of the lab test be for testing/evaluating a comprehensive vitamin/mineral profile for a person. Is there a “panel” that can be ordered that would clearly show deficits?

JohnM
Guest

Here’s but one of many sites that might answer that question:

http://www.healthcheckusa.com/Results.aspx?QueryExpr=vitamin mineral&ResultsPage=1

marty kendall
Guest

There definitely many moving parts. Protein, fats, carbs, fibre, insulin load, insulin index, energy density, various essential vitamins, essential minerals, cholesterol, saturated fat, ketones, blood sugar, insulin, fasting etc etc etc. Magic bullets that work alone for all people are hard to find. The challenge is to find the right tool or highest priority suite of tools that best suit an individual’s current situation and goals.

Thomas
Guest

I bought your book and I’m about to burn it. Please dispute this http://www.doctoryourself.com/klennerbio.html

KML
Guest
Thomas Dr. Klenner himself would have been highly interested in Dr. Fung’s work as it is just a progressive while flying in the face of traditional medicine. One doesn’t necessarily preclude the other. Dr. Fung may not be correct about Vitamin C but there is little doubt that his methodology regarding fasting is just a ground breaking as curing polio. To the best of my knowledge, obesity far outweighs polio as an epidemic in this country at least. Questing minds must always be open to new information rather than shutting off a theory simply because it goes against another theory… Read more »
Lisa
Guest

I couldn’t agree more. Not a one size fits all supplements. Some are better than others. As are herbal remedies. With depleted soils & foods that lack fresh quality. Obviously nutrients are lost or altered from cooking or heating. Some supplements are Concentrated foods. Green foods, sprouts, kombucha and various herbs have merits. Aspirin being formulated originally from Frederick Bayer would drink white willow nightly and wanted to offer the benefits of white willow to general public.

Apicio
Guest

Burning books. That sounds so progressive and rational. More book burning more book sales.

Ajay
Guest

Oh my god . Supplementing just feels not right unless we r sure that we lack those very nutrients. To each his own, and each will offer evidenced and personal anecdotes to support. Mad

Ott
Guest

Jason Fung, vitamins are not useless. Vitamin c, for example, is one of the best one: https://www.amazon.com/Primal-Panacea-Thomas-Levy/dp/0983772800

Greetings from Estonia 😉

jtm
Guest

“Many studies were done over the next few decades that clearly proved that most of these vitamin C claims were simply false hopes. Turns out the only disease Vitamin C cures is scurvy.”

These studies were likely low doses, under 1 g a day. Government guidelines re: vitamin C is useless, because it’s based on wrong premise.

I would hope, the goal is not only to prevent scurvy, but to promote optimal health. Low dose takes care of the former, mega-dose takes care of the latter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0LLX0sgwAU

Sue and Tony
Guest

Has anyone used Berberine or Banaba Leaf for blood sugar control?

Apicio
Guest

I grew up in a town whose central plaza was planted with banaba trees. Sure, folks use the infusion of its leaves for various ailments, mostly for kidney complaints. We control blood sugar by not eating sugar (and carbs), in other words, by self-control.

Sue and Tony
Guest

Wow. So do we. We have eaten a very strict LCHF diet for a year and half. I was just asking if anyone has used these supplements with good results.

Charlene
Guest
Supplements to aid in weight loss???– Do people really think that?? Guess that is why vitamin water is so popular. I do have a question though… My Dr has instructed me to take Vit D, a few of the B’s, a multi and calcium supplements among other things. She says I am deficient or, in the case of calcium, could prevent bone loss. I do not take any of them. Where can I find reliable information that tell where my levels should be so I can compare with my actual blood work results levels? Currently the test results show either… Read more »
K. Joy
Guest

Go to http://www.lifeextension.com. They offer a variety of blood tests that you pay for directly. No doctors, no insurance. This is what we do now. We have lost our faith in the medical system. The medical complex only wants to ensure our demise. We refuse to let them.

We believe in vitamin/mineral supplementation and have done our research.

What Dr. Fung states about vitamins/minerals is so out there…We will stick to our supplementation as we do our IF.

Karen Davis
Guest

What about people with the MTHFR genotype polymorphisms C677T and A1298 who are adversely affected by folic acid? Supposedly 15-20% of the population has these polymorphisms. Was the B vitamin supplementation referenced in the research above done with natural folate or with synthetic folic acid? Does anybody know? And if any folic acid was used, wouldn’t that would adversely affect the results? Just askin’.

Dennis
Guest

Hi Karen – I agree with you and I replied to BobM above with the same thought. For most of my life I did not use supplements, but when I did they had the synthetic forms of B12 and folate. Because of my A1298C polymorphism those synthetic forms likely made me worse off.

rose
Guest

can someone explain why eating fat is good ?
I mean maybe it won’t make you fat
but won’t it still clog your arteries?

KidPsych
Guest

Rose, arteries don’t get clogged by you consuming fat. That is an outdated model that does not align with modern research. Your arteries clog from consuming too much sugar, which leads to inflammation and repair of the arterial wall, which then scabs and causes blockages. It’s the sugar and refined carbs that cause clots that lead to heart disease, not saturated fat.

ShivaD
Guest
I would suggest Google but my findings are fat is needed for many things like hormone functioning, proper absorption and digestion of fat soluble vitamins, body and cellular maintenance (for example our cell membranes are made of saturated and unsaturated fats). Those are just a few examples. I have also found we need a balance of all fats so leaning towards any one is not good. Like the idea to eat only polyunsaturated fats under the false premise that saturated fats are bad but as previously mentioned our cell membranes are composed of both and need both to maintain proper… Read more »
Brian
Guest
“There was a significant difference. Those people taking calcium had significantly more kidney stones.” This is why it pays to know the relationship between Calcium, Vitamin D, and K2 (most notably K2). K2 is the vitamin responsible for directing calcium where it should go, but also removing it from areas it shouldn’t be: Kidney Stones, Gall Stones, and arteries. In my opinion, it’s a dangerous game supplementing with Calcium and/or Vitamin D without K2. It also comes down to food, which is where people should really be getting their nutrients from. If people have vitamin deficiencies, I’d think it’s likely… Read more »
Cindy
Guest

So for osteoporosis how do you treat it without D, Calcium & Magnesium?

Joanne
Guest

Very different from the Wheat Belly way, which I have been following, together with IF, with some success. I tend toward the “less is more” approach, but WB’s Dr. Davis strongly recommends some supplements like Vitamin D, Iodine, Omega 3 fish oil, as well as magnesium, potassium, and good salt. I respect both doctors – it’s so difficult to know what’s right.

Robin Bunderson
Guest

I find I take vitamin B-6 every night because it helps stop the bottom of my feet get really itchy or burning feeling and taking B-6 stops the itching in 15 minutes. A friend told me that vitamin B-6 helps stop naurpothy. My husband is diabetic and has problems with naurpothy and taking B-6 really helps him. So I hope we don’t have any health problems.

Marty Kendall
Guest

I think we often overlook the role of nutrients in nutrient.

Spectracell has compiled a fantastic resource of research papers correlating nutrient deficiencies and common medical conditions (i.e. diabetes, overweight, ADHD, anxiety, asthma, autism, depression, dyslipidemia, estrogen, fatigue, infertility, fibromyalgia, hypertension, hypothyroidism, inflammation, insomnia, methylation). Makes for some fascinating reading.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/to3f84z77sckvjx/Interactive-Library-Nutrient_Correlation_Wheels-2.pdf?dl=0

The next question is, “which whole contain more of these nutrients without having to rely on pills and supplements?”

Belle
Guest
I would like to ask a couple of questions. First I’ve had one kidney removed because of cancer. Cancer was contained & no other problems were discovered & I am considered to be cancer free. My question is with the water fasting, aren’t I making the remaining kidney work harder than it should? I urinate 10-15 times each day, so essentially I am flushing my system. Because of that, I believe, I am having painful nocturnal leg cramps every night. I’m on the 16-8 fast, but have only started 5 days ago. Before the cancer was discovered, I was on… Read more »
b.f. jackson
Guest
I was having painful leg cramps before I started intermittent fasting and keto diet, and they got worse when I started the IF and keto. I have upped my magnesium intake which has helped tremendously. I take Dr. Berg’s Wheat Grass Juice Powder in the morning. Some time during the day I take a dose of magnesium chloride. In the evening I take a dose of magnesium malate, and at bedtime I take a time-release magnesium. I often take a bath before bed with three cups of magnesium flakes (Ancient Minerals, available on Amazon). When I added in the magnesium… Read more »
ShivaD
Guest

I get terrible leg cramps and started using SaltStick, which is an electrolyte supplement designed for athletes. They are supposed to be balanced and don’t contain mega doses. May want to discuss with your doctor given your medical history but I find it helped me with my leg cramps.

John
Guest

This is my 5th day of intermittent fasting,16(20)/8(4). I am obese but not suffering any kind of defficiency of any vitamins as far as I know however I was not sure to take supplements or not during this period. This article helped a lot.
Thank you for your support.

Stanley
Guest

John, what is the meaning of “16(20)/8(4)” I am curious about your fasting schedule.

John
Guest
I started 16 hrs fasting, but in couple of days I increased it to 20 hrs fasting, 4 hrs eating window. I tried 22 hrs once or twice but I wasn’t as comfortable. I am in my 3rd week now, I am not tired any more, I am energetic, I started to sleep easier, I had “restless leg syndrome” which I tried eveything to overcome unsuccessfully however strangely I am not suffering from it for the last two weeks any more. I cut sugar and carbs as well though. My schedule is: I eat at 7.00pm to 11.00 pm sleep… Read more »
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