Archive for the ‘Supplements’ Category

How to Improve Nutrient Levels

You may, if you have read my posts recently, remember my Specter of a Spectracell post. I thought I should update my readers on my recent conversation with Dr. Bruley and what we decided I should try to see if I could improve my antioxidant levels.

What came first the chicken or the egg?

The first question we dealt with was why were my anti-oxidant levels deficient? I had some ideas and Dr. Bruley had some ideas and in the end we both conceded that we didn’t know the why and the only thing to do was to move forward.

The facts are I already take all the antioxidants and my diet is quite good. My feeling is we cannot get all of our antioxidants and vitamins from our food anymore as the soil is so depleted everywhere, even in my own garden where I am madly trying to enrich the soil as naturally as possible. That leaves one the only option, take supplements to keep your antioxidant levels high. Also, with an autoimmune disease, a body may need higher levels of antioxidants and for sure B12, so the last thing I want is to have low cellular levels of Selenium, Zinc, CoQ10, B12 and Inositol.

Just tell me what to do

For once I kept my mouth closed (for the most part) and let the doctor do the talking. At $95/15 minutes I wisely decided to let Dr. Bruley talk and once we were off the phone I could digest everything he had said. (I used to balk at paying him that much per 15 minutes but then I found out that at a Minute Clinic you will pay$80 for one minute and all you will get is the same old allopathic crap). Here are the supplements he told me to take:

  • Selenium-Basically if I was doing 200 mg up it to 400 mg per day
  • Zinc-he recommended Orthomolecular Reactive Zinc which comes in 54 mg capsules
  • Inositol-750 mg  twice daily.
  • B12- injections of B12 may be necessary otherwise take 3000-5000 mcg of sublingual methylcobalamin B12 every day.
  • CoQ10-200 mg a day or if I am taking 200 mg then increase it to 400 mg a day.
  • Metagenics Dynamic Greens-1 scoop per day.

The difficult choices

I hate giving injections as a dental hygienist, so I really struggled with the idea of injecting a vitamin. After reading available literature and talking to Chloe, my research buddy, I have decided to try B12 injections. Chloe pointed me to a compounding pharmacy in LaCrosse, WI that her functional medicine doctor uses for B12 injections. There I found a very helpful pharmacist named Wayne who answered all my questions about the forms of B12 they compound to be injected, Methylcobalamin and hydroxocobalamin (which is considered the most easily absorbed form). After talking to him I called Dr. Bruley and he agreed to contact that pharmacy and I am going to do it, I shall try the injections of B12.

Also I am going to wait awhile before doing anything else about my digestion. Zinc is needed for  HCl  production (the acid your stomach needs to digest your food) along with B1, B6 and Histidine. Restoring my Zinc levels may actually kick my digestion in to gear and I will need no further assistance. It is altogether possible that if my Zinc levels were restored all the other nutrient levels would come up but that seems a bit risky.

As for the other suggestions I am increasing CoQ10 to 200 mg twice per day. I was taking  Selenium but have increased that to 400 mg per day. I was not taking Inositol, so have started that two to three times per day and I will most likely order the Metagenics greens BUT it has mint in it and my burning mouth and mint do not coexist well, so I am trying E3Live. As my regular readers may recall green drinks and I do not always do well together (check out my post on the subject) given the amount of brassicas they always contain and I can take E3Live every day without a problem.

What does this have to do with you?

Yes, I know you may be asking what this has to do with you and I understand. If you, dear reader, read my blog because you have an autoimmune disease (or even suspect you might have thyroid problems) someday you may take the big step and do a Spectracell blood test. When the results come back you, too, may find that you have similar nutrient deficiencies.

We thyroid people do share many commonalities because our autoimmune disease causes our bodies to be out of whack, our bodies are not like other human bodies but they are like each other’s and what works for me may work for you. If nothing else my results and treatment gives you a starting point and from there you will have to do what works for your body. As Bruce Lee said “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is uniquely your own”.

Have a healthy and happy Valentine’s Day,


The Specter of a Spectracell

Several years ago when I first met Dr. Robert Bruley he told me about a Spectracell blood test, a test that would measure my  amino acids, metabolites, minerals, fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants and carbohydrate metabolism at a cellular level. I found the idea of getting a cellular report fascinating but told him I had several other things to deal with and I would do it “later”.

What Time is Later?

Later finally rolled around last November. Dr. Bruley provided the essentials from the company that does the Spectracell. All I had to do was take it to my local hospital lab for the blood draw. That cost me about $25 and the lab took care of everything else because they can send it with FedEx when they pick up other blood tests for the day (so ask when this pick up occurs to make sure your test goes out the same day).

On Being the Queen of Supplements

I waited for what seemed like forever for the results and to be honest I still don’t have the entire dossier of results (always, always request a copy of your blood tests) but I do have in my clean little paws the list of my deficiencies. I have to say the results took me aback. Me, the Queen of Supplements finds herself deficient in the very things I have taken as a preventive measure.

The Deficient Ones

Vitamin B12, Selenium, Inositol, Zinc,  CoQ10 and my Spectrox (comprehensive antioxidants) were all listed as deficient. Why is this troublesome? B12 is often noted to be low in people who have dementia and a B12 deficiency actually mimics Alzheimer’s Disease. Selenium deficiencies are rare (the SU says he already knew I was weird) but can contribute to hypothyroidism. Inositol levels must be optimum to assure healthy brain function and even healthy hair growth. Zinc is a common deficiency and most often noted by white spots appearing in the nail bed but it also can lead to excess hair loss. CoQ10 is essential for healthy breasts and heart. As for antioxidants they are our life blood as necessary as the air we breathe.

What to Do? What to Do?

January 31st I talk to Dr. Bruley to see things from a medical doctor’s perspective. In the meantime, I have started taking the two supplements I wasn’t taking, zinc and selenium. I increased my CoQ10 (that is ubiquinol, not the less easily absorbed form of Ubiquinone) to 200 mg twice a day as I was taking 100 mg once or twice a day and had been for, well forever. Inositol (1 teaspoon twice a day) comes in a tasteless powder that I can easily add to water and drink. B12 has me stumped as I already take about 5000 mcg of B12 (Methylcobalamin) every day. I can only guess that I will need an injectable form in order to see improvement.

Let me Guide You

I read a great quote this week that went something like “All you can do is try. If you win, you can lead. If you lose, you can guide.” This week I get to guide you dear reader. The best guidance I can offer is that you call your doctor and order a Spectracell today. If your doctor doesn’t know about it use my link to Ann Louise Gittleman’s site where she sells it very reasonably. Do not look at it as some specter to be feared but as something that offers the very help you need to live life to its fullest.



Media Garbage and Other Notes of Interest

I have just returned from a trip west to the Sun Valley, ID area and the subsequent  exposure to other newspapers (The Sun) and their media garbage caused me to want to discuss a rather appalling interview I read. It was based on the wisdom of  one of their local doctors and his very informed opinion regarding supplements. When I am done ranting, I mean discussing this interview, I have some interesting information about Tyrosol, a phenolic antioxidant. Next week I will move on to PQQ.

I was enjoying reading the regional news in The Sun when I came upon an interview with one of their local doctors, a Dan Fairman, M.D.,  titled “Supplements: what works?”. The subject of the interview was supplementation and which ones he recommended which, by the way,  amounted to none but the cheapest vitamin and then only if you can’t eat a healthy diet. Dr. Fairman categorically dismissed CoQ10 and Vitamin E and gave Glucosamine a C. He did think women needed calcium but stated that they can obtain most of what they need from food sources like milk, fortified juice and vegetable sources. He never mentioned supplementing with Vitamin D even though it has been found that nationally our levels are too low to sustain good health. His statements, he said, were based on the fact that there have been no “controlled studies” or in other words, nothing has been proven and/or published regarding the effects of supplements.

In my mind what he is really saying is no pharmaceutical company has done any million dollar research to prove that CoQ10 is effective or to prove that mixed tocopherols are good for your heart. He basically dismissed glucosamine but I know from personal experience that my aged standard poodle went from not being able to walk upstairs easily to bouncing up them after a week on glucosamine. It is true it doesn’t work that way for everyone but proof is in the experience and my experience was positive. I ask you the reader why in the world would any pharmaceutical company ever spend a penny on research of a supplement that they cannot put a patent on? They never have, they never will and that my dear reader you can count on.

Sorry about the rant but I find myself shaking my head with disbelief when a person is interviewed as “an expert”. Many will read his words and dismiss the possibility that taking a simple supplement like CoQ10 could help their cardiovascular health or reduce inflammation in their bodies which more than anything else is what causes dis-ease. Wouldn’t a more realistic way to test supplementation and its effects be to test your blood and see how your CRP is, your A1C, your uric acid levels? If you take supplements like CoQ10 test your blood and see if it is working and please, please, don’t listen to just one person, doctor or not, who may just be chattel of the pharmaceutical companies.

I shall move on dear reader but will generally stay on the subject of supplements and particularly antioxidants and the good they may do (note I said “may” as there are no controlled studies). I recently read an interesting email from Dr. Al  Sears on the subject of Tyrosol. He titled his article “She Had Only One Wrinkle”. He told the story of Jean Calment a woman who lived to at least 120 and laughingly told reporters on her 120th birthday “I have only one wrinkle… and I am sitting on it.”  I’m not sure I have ever referred to my bum as a wrinkle but whatever you want to call it no wrinkles at 120 is pretty remarkable and that got my attention.

It seems that Jean Calment regularly slathered her food with olive oil and even used it on her skin. What does olive oil contain? It seems the secret is Tyrosol, a powerhouse anti-aging ingredient. It can quite literally shut down the aging in your cells and turn on a group of longevity genes called “forkhead box” genes, or FOXOS. FOXO genes are capable of directly increasing amounts of the body’s “master antioxidant,” superdismutase (SOD).  Tyrosol is twice as effective as CoQ10 at getting rid of free radicals and ten times as effective as green tea.

Whether your bottom is your only wrinkle or not or perhaps you just have a desire to be able to say that at the ripe old age of 120 there are easy ways to increase your intake of Tyrosol. First, you can drink more white wine. Yes, you read that right, not red but white. Apparently, the size of the various antioxidant molecules in white wine are smaller and thus higher in Tyrosol.

Second, increase your intake of olive oil. I have also been using it on my skin and that seems to work well  as it soaks in nicely and leaves only a light sheen visible. I think the only warning I would have about olive oil is you have to be very careful to keep it cool and doubly sure not to expose it to too much light as it will oxidize rapidly. You should never fry food  at high temperatures in olive oil but save it for your salads or bruschetta (toast bread lightly, rub a clove of garlic over hot toasted bread and pour a generous amount of fresh olive oil over. Buon appetito!).

Thirdly, you can take tyrosol as a supplement. I found this one difficult to find as Dr. Sears recommends taking it on its own as a tincture or pill. If you like tinctures because of their digestibility he also recommended a tincture that is at least 10% tyrosol (1 part extract to 9 parts suspension fluid). I looked for some time before I left on vacation and could find no such thing. If taken in pill form make sure it has an enteric coating as that will keep it from being broken down too soon by stomach acid. He recommended 300mg each day but you can take as much as 1200 mg per day.

I will try again to find Tyrosol in supplement form but for my money white wine sounds a tasty way to keep wrinkles at bay and there is nothing better than olive oil that has been newly opened and poured on fresh baby greens. I have to agree with one part of what Dr. Fairman (of the above published interview) said, eating your nutrients just seems so much more natural. You can bet your bottom that Jean Calment didn’t take Tyrosol supplements, tinctures or pills. The problem for us in the modern world is food generally lacks the nutrients that Jean grew up ingesting. Our soil is depleted and most fruit and vegetables are heavily sprayed and artificially fertilized, so despite Jean’s experience and Dan’s words we may, in fact, need supplementation for a healthy body.

Here’s to sitting on your only wrinkle at age 120!

’til next week,


Looking down on the Camas Prairie near Sun Valley, Idaho

News on the Supplement Front

As Sunday is devoted to writing my blog today is Mother’s Day in the USA, so I wish every mother, be they the proud mothers of babies, adult children, puppies, kittens, employees, or even spouses (yes everyone needs to be mothered now and then) a very pleasant day filled with happiness and pampering.

Last week I updated you on my latest blood test panel and I thought as long as I was “updating” things perhaps it was time to talk about some new supplements, good and bad. Let’s talk about the bad ones and get it out of the way. It is a short list and bad isn’t really descriptive, ineffectual is the word.

Jigsaw Magnesium is tops on my list of ineffectual and I can offer no explanation other than they do use fillers. the fillers are necessary to allow for slow absorption and very little effect on the bowels but the product doesn’t work for me. I was asked by the company to review their product and I told them about my experience. To their credit, and I think they are a good reliable company, they apologized and offered a refund but couldn’t offer a reason why I continued to have leg cramps and other complaints whilst taking the maximum dose per day. It didn’t cause any stomach complaints, no gripping bowels but it didn’t seem to help with anything and I have quit taking it. I should have taken the refund as even my spousal unit finds Pure Essence Ionic Fizz Magnesium more to his taste, so the Jigsaw Magnesium sits in my cupboard unused.

I looked through my supplements and the only other one that I will not take is a True Health Krill oil sold by Dr. Michael Cutler. The company offered a really good deal for the krill oil, so I paid very little for 30-1000 mg capsules ($7.95) but the capsules are coated with lemon oil and I burp the lemon oil all day. This may not be an issue for other people but lemon oil  and orange oil additives do not agree with me and I avoid flavored fish or krill oil supplements for this reason. I guess I would prefer a fish oil burp to a fish oil burp that tastes of lemon or orange and in most cases if it has no citrus additives and is fresh fish oil or krill oil it will cause no production of excess gas and thus no “fishy burps”.

With my “Not taking those again” list behind me I can address the new supplements that are a part of my daily routine. I will skip a few of my old reliable supplements too allow room to talk about the new ones. I don’t know about any fellow blogging readers but I find there is only so much room in a weekly blog and I don’t want to ruminate too long and lose your interest.

My most interesting supplement that I added within the last month or two is a B-12 supplement that comes in a gum form, B Fresh Breath Freshening Gum  (It does contain xylitol and there was a rather damning article this week about the chemical nature of most xylitol produced these days. It would be best if you knew your xylitol was sourced from birch bark and from trees found in the USA). Especially if you have Sjogren’s your mouth is dry all the time and it is a problem that can be helped with a bit of chewing gum as the mere action produces saliva but don’t do any prolonged chewing as it is hard on your TMJ (5 minutes is about right). Many of us with thyroid issues have dry mouths and low B12 levels, so the combination seems a little like supplement nirvana to me.

Each piece of gum provides 125 mcg of B12, which is nowhere near the amount of B12 a person needs to raise low levels of B12 but it can’t hurt you to take 125 mcg more B12 per day (you excrete excess B vitamins with the exception of B6 which should not exceed 50-100 mg). I love the big bubbles you can create but I can only recommended you imbibe in bubble making in the privacy of your own home. The looks generated by the site of a silver haired female of “middle age” driving a cute little Jetta diesel wagon blowing gigantic bubbles of  pink gum from her mouth are priceless.

My gall bladder package of supplements also seems to be a winner. I have irregular flare ups with my gall bladder and when it happens these two supplements seem to greatly relieve the discomfort. To soften gallstones and thus taken every day at least once a day is a combination of orthophosphoric acid, inositol and riboflavin in a supplement called O.P.A. or Super Phos which instead of Riboflavin has Choline Bitartrate. It is best taken in apple juice but I use water. The other supplement that will always be around for those times when my sluggish gall bladder complains is  Gallbladder Nano-Detox by Premier Research Labs. It is a probiotic generated formula full of herbs that aid with gallbladder function.

If you find yourself complaining of indigestion or  burping frequently (often either a lack of a gall bladder or because of a sluggish gall bladder) I also recommend Thorne Dipan-9, one or two capsules prior to eating. During the meal Nutricology Ox Bile should be taken and varying the number of capsules you take is recommended. With a snack perhaps just one capsule, with a meal 2-3 capsules. Throughout the meal Betaine HCL can be taken or if taken after a meal you have to experiment to see how many capsules bring on a pleasant warm feeling. I find three is perfect for me taken after a meal but I am going to try one at the beginning, middle and end to see if I get more or less indigestion when indigestion is the problem.

While some blood test results last week were not perfect my CRP was very good. A high CRP is directly related to the amount of inflammation in your body. Inflammation is the cause of many a malady including cancers. My CRP was very low and thus a reflection of a low amount of inflammation. I am not the only one to report that by taking 1000-2000 mg of Krill oil every day inflammation has been reduced.

My latest Krill was from iHerb but Mercola sells Krill oil in capliques which are easier to swallow and made from fish gelatin for those who object to animal products but not fish in their supplements. I did, by the way, try fish oil supplements recently but they are just too big and hard to swallow, so I went back to krill. Me thinks I should have added fish oil to the “Not taking those again”  list but I may try again and see if the size still bothers me.

Also for inflammation reduction I am taking Chlorella and Spirulina as a greens supplement. Greens naturally reduce inflammation and I have experienced the eradication of cysts on my fingers and toes with the consumption of green drinks.However, recently I have shied away from green drinks because of their goitrogenic effects and my thyroid takes priority over any other minor complaints I have. Greens in general, but especially chlorella and spirulina are high in Vitamin A, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, and chlorophyll and they help our bodies deal with any increased levels of radioactive iodine that may be with us as a result of the nuclear meltdown in Japan.

My friends and I find our cupboards full of disused supplements because in our experimentation we find supplements that worked and supplements that didn’t seem to make any improvements in our health. First we have the collections of supplements that our doctors recommend. We try them and even though doctor recommended they aren’t right. The other source of supplementation recommendations are the plethora of online experts. They each have a company they support and thus a supplement that is just the thing to cure what ails ya. At long last, after much experimentation, I am finally finding the supplements that I buy repeatedly and the ones I will never buy again (many of them doctor recommended). I hope some of my suggestions assist you in making the right decision for taking control of your health but if not don’t give up just try, try again. The answer will be around one corner or another and then, you too, will have a collection. Not one you brag about but a collection none the less.

Have a healthy, happy week,


Happy Summer Solstice and All that Jazz

Today is the longest day of the year 2010 and if I were with my friend in Salisbury near Stonehenge  or standing once again in proximity to the Callenish stones I would feel more acutely the rite of passage from the cool days of spring to the warm and now not so long days of summer but alas I stand in Stillwater, Minnesota and will rise and slumber on the same schedule I always do. I think I will celebrate the day just being grateful for all the good things in my life and will be forced to leave the pagan celebrations to someone else.

Somehow summer solstice, long days and short night reminds me of a blog I did recently, Mellow Tones, that discussed the use of Melatonin and the Melatonin patches sold by Life Wave and touted by Suzanne Somers. I subsequently dispersed the patch and melatonin (1omg) to various folks and asked for their response, so I thought I would share the experience and let you decide for yourself.

I thought the most interesting response was from my son-in-law who has terrible insomnia and always has had. I asked him if he would wear the patch one night to see what effect it had. He was blunt and to the point when he said “No.”  He went on to explain that he can’t stand anything on his skin and the patch would be on his skin and would drive him to distraction. This coming from a man who has his entire upper body tattooed with some Norsk mythological symbolism, which made an even bigger impression on me because I can think of nothing more uncomfortable or invasive than having my body tattooed. From his response I concluded that if you have a problem with something on your body or touching your body and in particular in the region of your third eye, the web of your right big toe or the right temple the melatonin patch may not be for you. You can feel it on your skin when you first put it on but that does gradually subsides.

I, personally, find a strange enervation response when I put the patch on the “liver” spot in the web of the right big toe. I can feel a tingling that lasts for several minutes and I have found my sleep to be interrupted when it is in that position. I have no explanation other than the possibility of a clogged liver that responds to the acupressure stimulation. If I use it on my right temple I do seem to become increasingly groggy within 10 minutes of placing it there and it does seem to make the melatonin work longer and more profoundly but it is all too subjective to be conclusive. The third eye position was too uncomfortable for me, somehow to invasive and perhaps helped me understand even more so what my son-in-law would experience should he try a patch.

I gave a Lifewave patch to a friend of mine who was experiencing a bout of sleeplessness having gone through a rough patch for several months of breast cancer surgery and subsequent radiation resulting in adrenal fatigue, according to the self appointed Dr. Kris, aka me. She tried the patch and 10 mg of melatonin by Life Extension with mixed results. The patch most likely did relax her and if not for the cost she would have pursued that avenue.

Unfortunately, melatonin does not have an immediate effect and needs to be taken over a long period to get the hormones back to a normal level. My providing her with three capsules was not sufficient to really test its potency and besides if she already is in adrenal fatigue as I suspect, 10 mg of melatonin will knock her for a loop if taken long term. It is generally recommended that you take no more than 3 mg of melatonin if you have adrenal fatigue. In one of Suzanne Somer’s books she states that she takes 20 mg of Melatonin (a therapeutic dose for those who have had cancer) every night and sleeps soundly for 8-9 hours. The doctor responded “that dose of melatonin will increase your adrenal fatigue”. I could be wrong but I believe that since Suzanne also takes bio-identical hydrocortisone she is unbothered by the knock her adrenals get from the 20 mg of melatonin. Her daily dose of Cortef compensates for the toll the melatonin takes on her adrenals. In the meantime being a cancer survivor she gets the cancer protection she  needs by taking 20 mg of melatonin (the therapeutic dose for cancer survivors) every night.

I tried taking 10 mg of melatonin for several nights and one night I took 20 mg of melatonin just to experiment with its effects on me. I have stage 2 adrenal fatigue from a long standing  sub-optimal thyroid treatment and 10 mg of melatonin knocked me on my gluteus maximus. 20 mg of melatonin had the same effect as a 10 mg dose, I am left feeling groggy and totally uninspired the next day. Having tried the smaller dose of 1.5 mg of melatonin (Mercola’s oral melatonin spray) and it having no effect and the 10-20 mg dose being too much, I find 3 mg of melatonin is just about right. Gosh I suddenly feel like Goldilocks and the Three Bears and trying all the beds. “Nope that one is too hard.”  “That one is too soft.” “Hmmm, this one is just right!” I now take 3 mg of melatonin every night about 30 minutes before I want to sleep and just like Goldilocks, I could sleep and awake to three bears discussing their messy beds.

You will find proponents for melatonin and folks who are opposed to taking any supplements (but often they see nothing wrong with taking acetaminophen, ibuprofen and Ambien) but in my opinion  the proof is in the pudding. High doses of melatonin have been tested by poison control labs and even doses of 45 mg have had no deleterious effects. The 10 mg capsules sold by Life Extension at iHerb will provide you with some flexibility if you want to try 10 mg or even higher doses (read the reviews at iHerb, one guy took 5 capsules one night when he couldn’t sleep and then slept the rest of the night). I am currently taking NOW brand 3 mg capsules and I think that is perfect.

As for the LifeWave patch there are many opponents, in fact, there are many who think they are a hoax. My feeling is if you have the money to spend, and they are spendy at $49 per package of 15, try them. These nanotechnology patches fall under the category of  health care that I attest to “First do no harm”. If you are suffering from sleep deprivation that is dangerous and harmful. Lack of sleep has been proven to increase your chances of disease including cancer and heart disease, so if a patch helped you reclaim your life giving sleep I say why not try it. They will not make you sick. They will not damage or harm your children or furry friends should they find them and eat them or stick them on. They will not pollute our ground water should you, in disgust, throw them away. They might help you sleep more tranquilly, they might not, but in the end they are better than almost any pharmaceutical product touted to help you sleep all of which  come with a list a mile long of possible side effects including sleeplessness. What?

In the end, if sleep alludes you on this summer solstice night stay up and party with all the folks who live in the dark 6 months of the year. Tomorrow night if sleep still comes with difficulty my best advice is to brew up a pot of lemon balm-hyssop tea, take one 3 mg capsule of melatonin and read Matrix Energetics by Rich Bartlett, D.C., N.D. If that doesn’t put you to sleep try 40 mg of melatonin and call me in the morning.

Recovery Time

I have just returned from 5 days on an isolated Idaho mountainside and the crush of humanity in the big city is almost but not quite overwhelming me. If you have never experienced the mountains of south central Idaho they are amazing and I highly recommend a visit to the Sun Valley area (Ketchum, Hailey, Stanley, Fairfield) and all the mountains that radiate from that quaint valley of the west.  Thanks to my time in the land where the deer and the antelope play I am now in recovery mode but I have missed my blogging, so I am up and running.

Before I left for my mountain retreat I received my regular order of a supplement I exclusively get from Professional Supplement Center and enclosed in the envelope was what I found to be a very helpful brochure. I always feel if I find something of interest others might also benefit, so the following is quoted from the brochure they sent me with my comments in italics.

A Guide to Taking Supplements

Nutritional supplements should be taken with meals to promote increased absorption. Fat-soluble vitamins (such as Vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin e and the essential fatty acids linoleic and alpha linoleic acid) should be taken during the day with the meal which contains the most fat. (Vitamin D should also be taken with a fat source)

Amino Acid supplements should be taken on an empty stomach at least an hour before or after a meal, and taken with fruit juice to help promote absorption. When taking an increased dosage of an isolated amino acid, be sure to supplement with (an) amino acid blend.

If you become nauseated when you take tablet supplements, consider taking a liquid form diluted in a beverage or supplementing with HCL (that is hydochloric acid because so many of us have too little stomach acid not too much as often reported.)

If you are taking high doses, do not take the supplements all at one time, but divide them into smaller doses taken throughout the day.

Take mineral supplements away from the highest fiber meals of the day as fiber can decrease mineral absorption.

When taking an increased dosage of an isolated B Vitamin, be sure to supplement with a B complex. (Also if taking something like Alpha Lipoic Acid you need a B complex as ALA lowers your levels of B vitamins according to Dr. Bert Berkson)

When taking nutrients, be sure to take adequate amounts of liquid to mix with digestive juices and prevent side effects.


There are many more caveats to taking supplements but I thought this brochure was a nice summary of cautionary advice.  Later I have a great article to discuss on “cross reactivity problems” for those with celiac disease or at least a sensitivity to grains. I found it informative and I felt it explained some issues I have had and thought I was imagining.

Journeying to your good health,


Keeping Track of the Trends

I am on my second oral thermometer now (I won’t even mention what happened to my first) and every day I spend up to 16 minutes taking my temperature, if I bother with a basal temperature, but I am more likely to spend about 12 minutes (sometimes in my car on my way to work). Why? To track the trends of my body, specifically the functionality of my thyroid and adrenal glands.

For instance, I can tell you that at the moment I am under treating my thyroid condition. My basal temperature (temperature measured before you are moving around, preferably before you get out of bed in the morning) is running around 97.8 (the normal range being 97.8-98.2), so I am “low normal”. Last week when I suddenly found I was taking too much thyroid medication I was closer to 98.2, so I surmise that 97.8 is a bit low but it is an improvement for me as I have been around 97.4 in the morning. There is a good reason for my slightly under medicating my thyroid but still my temperatures keep me apprised of the situation.

You might be surprised to hear that when my basal temperature is higher I actually feel cooler or at least more comfortable in my skin. This morning I popped  “il termometro” in my mouth around the time the birds chirped their first morning “cheers” and found my result close to 97.8. I threw off my covers because I was too warm and at that moment it dawned on me that I really shouldn’t be “too warm”. The room was about 50 degrees with windows wide open and an outside temperature of 45, the ceiling fan was on thus wafting cool air over my body and the sun was not yet up. I should be freezing cold but I am guessing that with my basal temperature slightly low my body was releasing adrenaline to warm me up. If my basal temperature is slightly higher my body sees no reason to release adrenaline and I stay comfortable if slightly cool under similar circumstances.

If my temperature is low normal or just plain low that will lead me to do a follow-up during the day because adrenaline rushes indicate that my adrenal glands are still struggling to keep up with my new Cynomel (T3 only) regimen. To check my adrenal health I need to check my temperature three times during the day, three hours after I get up, three hours after that and three hours after that ( something like 8:30, 11:30 and 14:30), always 20 minutes after any liquid has gone in my mouth and when I am and have been quietly sitting. You can download Dr. Rind’s Metabolic Temperature Graph and more accurately track your adrenal health but I believe I can also see a general trend. If my body temperatures are up and down and all over the place all day (I tend to be very low around noon) then my adrenals are experiencing stormy seas. If my temperatures are trending upward all day my adrenal glands are at peace with my other organs and my body is running like a sailing sloop on a perfect azure blue sea.

Another use for the thermometer is every time I make an increase to my Cynomel dosage. My temperature tends to drop the next day as my thyroid adjusts to the elevated T3 it is receiving. If  it doesn’t recover and remain stable within a few days then I know I may need to supplement my adrenals with Isocort (an adrenal supplement that contains freeze dried adrenal cortex,  echinacea, prunus spp, and lomatium dissectum root) or decrease my dose of Cynomel. I am very resistant to supplementing with Isocort as then I will have to “wean” my body off the Isocort when my adrenal glands are healthier. Also,I am already taking Iodoral and contrary to some opinions I think taking Iodoral is healing my adrenals as well as my thyroid and it will, and has, eventually helped my adrenals catch up as long as I don’t increase my dosage of Cynomel too quickly or by too much. If I track my temperatures for three days after they return to my stable but “low normal” I am ready for an increase but not too large an increase.

Speaking of “too large an increase” of Cynomel reminds me of another useful purpose for the thermometer if you bother to pay attention. I should have taken the clue last week when my temps were trending toward the “high normal” and I was ever naively increasing my T3 (Cynomel). I am new to this game of actually keeping track of my bodies functionality and basically just ignored the message my body was sending me by running “high normal”. After several days of a healthy dose, so I thought, of T3 (Cynomel) I was at work filing charts (alas another patient failed or canceled) and as I reached up to put a chart in its rightful place I felt dizzy and my hand had a slight but noticeable tremor. I went back to the employee lounge and sat down to take my pulse. It was running over 112 bpm, I was hot and sweaty, my bowels were cramping, and the light finally went on. I was clearly on too much T3 (about 72.5 mcg of Cynomel). That incident brought me back to reality rapidly, I had not listened to advice and had increased too quickly, so I skipped the next dose or maybe the next two doses on Friday. Saturday morning dawned with a feeling of normalcy. I was back to ground zero (about 37.5 mcg of Cynomel) but feeling much better.

The good news was my pulse was much more normal and consistently around 68-72 bpm, I was not hot and sweaty and my trembling hands were as steady as a rock. The bad news, however, was my body temperature took a polar plunge and has been consistently “low normal” ever since but, at the very least, I am now paying attention to what my body is telling me. It was just a gentle nudge to tell me I need to pay attention. I will not ever again turn a deaf ear to the clear and purposeful messages that my temperatures are telling me because a temperature speaks a thousand words.

Tracking the trends of your body temperature may seem a waste of time but I am here to say that without the ability to look at what my body is reacting to and how it is reacting to what I am feeding it I would not be improving. My heart would still be palpating, my weight would be burgeoning and I would slowly, but not deliberately, be killing my thyroid gland as well as destroying my adrenals and after that my recovery would become arduous if not impossible.

Here’s to tracking the trends to good health. See you in a couple of weeks.