Supplement Dosage Mystery

…and Vitamin D-3

by Alan Graham

Hi Alan! 🙂

I’m having an issue about supplement dosing that is suggested by regular medicine and what’s available in supplements. For example, the RDA for vitamin C is only a few hindered milligrams, but vitamin C in tablet/capsule form is frequently sold in 250, 500, and 1,000 milligrams.

That’s because the RDA (recommended daily allowance) & the DV (adult daily value) will pretty much just prevent being deficient but to be really protected it is good to take bigger doses of many Supp’s….especially those that are water-soluble, like Vitamin C.

I almost hate to give my opinion on this subject because I don’t want to sound like one of these “Everybody, MEGA-Dose with Everything, all the Time”………..but with that said, let me make some observations. But remember, it’s all about educating yourself.

This seems to apply to all the vitamins as well as other supplements. I personally have no faith in the governments support in the RDA for anything, but even ConsumerLab.com (which seems pretty knowledgeable) appears to suggest it’s dosages for various supplements in the lower ranges.

[[[[ I agree about the government & I take consumerlab.com with a grain of salt even though I am a long time member….they sometimes repeat the “party” line about nutrients where there is a mountain of evidence to the contrary…and yes, CL does seem to recommend the lower ranges.

It’s odd that in their sections that detail research and reference clinical trials that they will indicate low doses of a particular supplement, then in their product review, they will give a thumbs up for the same supplements at a far higher dose than their articles support.

[[[[ Yeah, I know….it can be confusing….see some things to look for below.

Being a research nurse, I read articles about supplements with a far more critical eye than most. For example, the vitamin D controversy continues… On the one hand, they will talk about the dangers of high dosing, but don’t relate that dosing to any lab results.

[[[[ MD’s will settle for what I consider a low result of 25 ng/ml of Vitamin D-3. I have often wondered why they like that low number when the range is usually 30 to 100 ng/ml…… but I’m beginning to think they have an agreement with the dermatologists to encourage people to stay out of the HEALTHY- BENEFICIAL Noon-day SUN…that makes THE Superior form of D-3 that is water-soluble….unlike supplemental D-3 which is fat-soluble only…& there’s lots more.

The “GOOD” short wavelength uVB that makes Vit. D-3 can only make it through the atmosphere at around hi-noon in the summer (like 10am to 2pm)…in the winter the uVB can not make it through the atmosphere except in The Fla. Keys.

The “BAD” long wavelength uVA, that triggers Cancer, is the same strength as long as the sun is up…winter or summer.

The good uVB cannot penetrate glass, clouds or a very thick atmosphere – SO, it cannot penetrate your skin very deeply…..however, the evil uVA can penetrate all of it – to include your skin down to the Dermas. That is why the uVA causes skin Cancer but the uVB protects you from skin Cancer….unless you burn.

SOoooo…….This is Al’s “Law of Perversity of Nature” — “The pleasant sunlight at 8 AM causes Cancer….the hot-oppressive sunlight at noon prevents Cancer.”

The uVB at noon CAN also cause cancer but only if you let the hot uVB cause a sunburn…so as long as you don’t burn, the noonday sun is helping protect you from 16 kinds of Cancer.

*SUN Rule* – to make D-3 your shadow must be shorter than your height. In the winter (in most places) or if you live in Maine, your shadow is never shorter than your height….however, if you live in the Florida-keys, your shadow is probably always shorter than your height…or right on the edge of that 45 degree angle for a month or two.

Or they will talk about the dangers of high lab results, but leave you to assume that these high lab results are outside the upper range of the normal limits, but when you read the lab results (if they are available) the range they are considering as too high are right in the middle range of the normal values! This scenario basically applies to all supplements/vitamins. So much conflicting information!

[[[[ Yeah…that is certainly the case with vitamin D-3….with a range of 30 to 100 ng/ml , The normal range is 40 to 60 ng/ml which MD’s consider too high. I recommend people try for at least 40.

…believe me it will take some effort to reach 40 ng/ml unless you spend an inordinate amount of time in the noonday sun…like me – and also take D-3 supplements. Which means in the winter I have to take about 10,000 iu to get up to 50 ng/ml….in the summer I can get by with about 5,000 iu of D-3.

I recommend a person start with 5,000 iu of D-3 “with a fatty meal”….then get tested after a month. With a fatty-meal you get good absorption…w/o you get very poor absorption.

What do you think?

I think you ask really good questions… that are nearly impossible to answer with any degree of certainty…but I will try to give some guidance below…but remember, this is my opinion, so there is some guess work involved.

1.. I agree with consumer.labs, most dosage recommendations are on the low-side.

2.. Supp’-sellers want to make the dosage look like a good deal so dosage is generally on the low-side.

3.. The FDA recommendations are almost always on the low side…you know, ‘playing it safe’.

4.. With many Herbs & Amino-Acids you can take big doses by “Front-Loading” said nutrients.

—- Front-Loading is taking big doses at first to really hit the problem with a big hammer for a few days (or weeks) then tapper off to tiny doses – or to ZERO, then maybe stay at zero for a few days then start over again.

OR…just mix-it-up by taking some supp’s for a few days….then stop – then take some other supp’s for a few days. This is how you get the most “Bang per Buck” because you don’t build up a tolerance, which means you get nearly the full effect of the herb/supp’ every time you start back.

Now ‘front-loading’, mixing-it-up, ‘starting & stopping’ is great for many if not most supp’s but some things I have to take pretty-much everyday, like Magnesium-Citrate or Glycinate…and maybe Vitamin C.

5.. Where you have to be careful is with some Vitamins & Minerals — So here are just a few things to look for…

  1. .. B-6 – keep well below 100 mg daily but many Formula’s & Complexes add B-6 in some fairly large doses … one supp’ formula I inadvertently bought (I think it was a Thyroid formula) had 100 mg of B-6 in the one capsule so a person could not also safely take a Multi-vitamin, that will always come with B-6….you only need about 2 mg of B-6 to not be deficient …. so I threw it out.

    In fact the UL’s max upper-intake level for adults is 100 mg….so how the hell do you put 100 mg of B-6 in a formula where you might not even expect to see B-6. So take a Whole-Food Multi. with a little B-6 and eat lots of raw nuts & Avocados for B-6.

    **WARNING** – Here is a warning from comsumerlab, et al. ref. how large doses of B-6 & B-12 from individual supplements, NOT from Multi-vitamins…. could cause an increase in lung cancer for men (not women) that smoke.

    From consumerlab…..

    Use of B-6 and B-12 from individual supplements, not from multivitamins, was associated with a 30% to 40% increase in lung cancer risk among men, but not women, in a large US study. However, this seems to have been driven by male smokers using the highest doses of B-6.

  2. .. Folate – Remember, if you are trying to get pregnant you should start taking about 400 mcg (not 800mcg like I use to recommend) of Folate at least a month in advance to prevent Spina-Bifida….or better-yet, eat green-leafy-veggies 4 or 5 times a week. At this time I can’t recommend Folic-acid instead of Folate….to understand why, read my paper (Warning) about Folate v. Folic-acid. AV #103 · Folic-Acid **WARNING**…
  3. .. Selenium – RDA is about 60 mcg …so keep selenium well below 400 mcg. This is another powerful, wonderful mineral that I highly recommend but it, like B-6 is found in numerous Formula’s….so add’um all up. If you’re fairly healthy, then 100 to 200 mcg is a good range but if I were really sick (like Cancer) I would try for about 300 mcg daily.

    **WARNING** – if you eat Brazil-Nuts, do not take any supplemental Selenium. One oz. of Brazil-Nuts will take you over 500 mcg of Selenium….I’m sorry, but I would just not eat brazil nuts…HOWEVER, you will likely never have a problem eating 500 mcg of Selenium in FOOD…where consuming 500 mcg of selenium in supplements could be a problem if you did it for very long.

  4. .. Zinc & Copper – Should take together at a ratio of about 10 or 15 to 1….if you take too much Copper it will cause a Zinc deficiency…..if you take too much Zinc it will cause a Copper deficiency. Most Multi’s have 15 mg of Zinc & 1 or 2 mg of Copper.

    This is OK for a healthy person but, again, if I had Cancer or whatever, I would take an additional 30 to 50 mg of Zinc & 2 mg of Copper. You can get away with screwing up the ratio by taking fairly large doses of Zinc for short periods when you have a cold or flu but never go over 100 mg daily.

    So on occasions too much Zinc is OK but never the other way around…never use too much Copper. In fact if you have copper pipes you should be very careful and get checked for copper toxicity before taking a copper supp’.

    Nut WARNING #1 – above I told you to eat lots of Nuts…BUT, nuts have lots of copper, so if you eat lots of Nuts then make sure you don’t over-do it with Copper Supp’s.

    Nut WARNING # 2 – NEVER take a Manganese supplement (except the small mount in your Whole-Food Multi is OK)…and that’s Manganese NOT Magnesium – Nuts have lots & I mean lots of Manganese but even folks that never eat Nuts are almost never manganese deficient. So deficiency is not a problem with a tiny RDA of 2.3 mg….BUT taking too much can be, with an upper Level Limit of 11 mg.

  5. .. With Potassium there WAS a strange incongruity that was eventually corrected but many supp-seller still follow the old stupid “99 mg rule”.

    Potassium (like most metal Elements) is toxic…&… Potassium is found in every form of food, being one of the 3 elements in every fertilizer made by humans. Consequently in their knee-jerk fear of poisoning someone, “they” made a rule that supplements like Multi-vitamin/minerals could not have more than 99 mg of Potassium.

    So yeah, you guessed it – because we need a whopping 4700 mg, (and because 99 mg is a drop in the bucket)…it has been determined that about 90% of the folks don’t get enough Potassium. I take at least 900 mg of Potassium daily (in 3 divided doses of 300 mg). Never actually take the full RDA of 4700 mg in supplement form…that could be bad.

  6. .. Be very careful with Calcium…especially if you’re ignorant enough to use Calcium that is Chelated to garbage, like Carbonate (the crap in TUMS). Calcium-Carbonate or TUMS destroys the stomach-acid needed to “Soften-up” all minerals (like calcium, Zinc, etc.) because they are very difficult to absorb.

    If you eat a moderate amount of Calcium-Rich foods (try hard cheese & Broccoli … not grocery-store cow’s Milk) “AND” if you take the 3 things necessary to make the calcium in your food actually work (Magnesium-Glycinate, Vitamin K-2 & Vitamin D-3)……then you might not want or need to take any supplemental Calcium.

    If you have bone-loss or feel you need to take some Calcium (like being old) then I’m begging you, DO NOT take large doses all at once…and do not use inorganic chelation like Carbonate & Oxide.

    Take — 2 or 3 tiny doses of calcium with meals – like no more than 150 mg w. 3 meals = 450 mg…….or maybe 200 mg w. 2 meals = 400 mg…….OR EVEN LESS !!

    Use — only use Organic Chelated calcium like Citrate, Glycinate, Lactate…or Egg-Shell Calcium.

    You should be taking Magnesium, Vit. K-2 & Vit. D-3 to make your Calcium (food or supp’) actually get absorbed.

    If you take NPR’s Dr. Zorba Pasture’s recommendation and you daily take a big 1000 mg dose of Calcium-Carbonate, all at once, with no supplemental magnesium, Vit. K-2 or Vit. D-3…. then you are a colossal bonehead…or maybe you like Heel-spurs, Kidney-stones & Heart-failure.

Bigger is Better

…sometimes –

Again, I don’t want to sound like a “Mega-Dose Guy”…BUT…some things only work in large doses. For example, Probiotic Capsules…. which example below is best??

Example #1— for 90 days you take 1 Probiotic capsule daily, following directions… so 90 caps in 90 days.

Example #2—for 9 days you take 10 capsules daily, then for 81 days you do nothing but eat lots of PRE-biotic food like Chia-seed & Chicory-Coffee….. so still just 90 caps in 90 days.

YES…Example #2 is the way to go….. after example #1 you will likely not notice any improvement…that little probiotic daily dose will just get gobbled up by the Bad-Guys.

But Example #2 is like sending in a substantial contingent of Airborne, Shock-Troops to gain a foot hold against all the evil-doers.

Remember, after a round of most antibiotics it can take your good gut-bacteria a couple of years to fight their way back to the desirable ratio of 85 – 15 (good to bad bacteria)….under ideal conditions.

So after taking antibiotics, if you continue to consume Sugar, Orange-Juice, Pasta & Double-Stuffed Oreo’s …then you will die before your time with the same colony of Candida that you grew 20 years ago….good luck with that.

Trivia — did you know that the evil Candida Yeast is actually a viable, often helpful, member of the diverse “Flora & Fauna” landscape of your gut….. IF you are at that healthful 85-15 Ratio…but if your ratio drops to 50/50 because you eat Sugar & INSIST your MD give you Antibiotics for the sniffles…then that helpful Candida will try to Kill YOU.

More Trivia – People OD’ing on any Vitamin or Mineral by just eating food is virtually impossible (as long as you’re not eating polar-bear Liver or a BIG bag of Brazil Nuts)…it is the Supplements where you can have a problem – so research every supplement…..or just write me with any questions you have & I’ll research it for you, if I don’t know the answer.


Questions? Contact me.

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