March 3 2014
Vitamin supplements have been available for several decades and thousands of studies have been done with different one and different dosages. Yet, after all these years, the medical community still does not speak with one voice on the benefits and risks of supplementation. There are many doctors who recommend them to their patients while others think these pills are just a waste of money. This website reviews the benefits and risks and presents the latest research studies.
It depends on your diet and to what purpose you use these pills. Just as with any medication, proper use can enhance your health and wellbeing while misuse can backfire. There are many other nutraceuticals that have medical uses, for instance alpha lipoic acid is used for those with diabetic retinopathy.
Vitamin A supplements
This nutrient is essential for the formation and maintenance of many body tissues. It is also important for embryonic growth and development and can act as a teratogen at critical periods of development. Retinoic acid is the biologically active form of vitamin A and its signaling is mediated by the retinoic acid and retinoid X receptors. In addition to its role as an important molecule during development, retinoic acid has also been implicated in clinical applications, both as a potential anti-tumor agent as well as for the treatment of skin diseases.
Vitamin A is related to a family of similarly shaped molecules, the retinoids. Its important part is the retinyl group, which can be found in several forms. In foods of animal origin, the major form of vitamin A is an ester, primarily retinyl palmitate, which is converted to an alcohol (retinol) in the small intestine. Vitamin A can also exist as an aldehyde (retinal), or as an acid (retinoic acid). Precursors to the vitamin (provitamins) are present in foods of plant origin as some of the members of the carotenoid family of compounds.
Vitamin A can be found in various forms: retinol, the form of vitamin A absorbed when eating animal food sources, is a yellow, fat-soluble, vitamin with importance in vision and bone growth. Since the alcohol form is unstable, the vitamin is usually produced and administered in a form of retinyl acetate or palmitate. Other retinoids, a class of chemical compounds that are related chemically to vitamin A, are used in medicine. Skin preparations of retinoids include topical tretinoin skin cream.
Vitamin B supplements
These are the cheapest, safest, and most reliable way to improve your wellbeing and overall mental abilities. I recommend Vitamin B complex to those who wish to improve their mood, mental clarity, and energy. The effects of the vitamin B are subtle, especially in the young who normally have adequate dietary intake of these nutrients. Improvements in cognitive functions from vitamin B are particularly noticeable in middle age individuals and the elderly.
B 1 -- Thiamine Cocarboxylase
B 2 -- Riboflavin Flavin Mono Nucleotide
B 3 -- Niacin, Nicotinamide, also consider the coenzyme form called NADH which is available as a supplement
B 5 -- Pantothenic acid, also available as Pantethine supplement
B 6 -- Pyridoxine Pyridoxal Phosphate. You can purchase vitamin B6 50 mg, 250 tablets.
B12 - Cyanocobalamin Dibencozide or Methylcobalamin
MultiVit Rx -
High Quality Daily Vitamins and Minerals
Developed by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
Vitamin A is also known as retinol
C with Rose hips (ascorbic acid)
D dosage is best limited to no more than 400 to 800 units a day.
E (mixed tocopherols)
Niacinamide is a form of niacin
Biotin - 300 mcg
Supplements for those on gluten free diet
B Vitamins improve health in celiac patients living on a gluten-free diet.
Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2009.
Celiac patients living on a gluten-free diet show vitamin deficiency and reduced subjective health status. To study the biochemical and clinical effects of B vitamin supplementation in adults with longstanding celiac disease. In a double blind placebo controlled multicentre trial, 65 celiac patients aged 45-64 years on a strict gluten-free diet for several years were randomized to a daily dose of 0.8 mg folic acid, 0.5 mg cyanocobalamin and 3 mg pyridoxine or placebo for 6 months. The outcome measures were psychological general well-being and the plasma total homocysteine level, marker of B vitamin status. Adults with longstanding celiac disease taking extra B vitamins for 6 months showed normalized homocysteine and significant improvement in general well-being, suggesting that vitamin B supplements should be considered in people advised to follow a gluten-free diet.
Vitamin B12 information
My question is whether the different forms of taking it - orally, sublingually or by vitamin B12 injection - result in different uptakes / absorption. In particular, does a vitamin B12 injection result in more immediate availability than an equivalent oral or sublingual dose? Incidentally, I notice that Harvard University are doing research on vitamin B12 and sleep / wake cycles although they are using the cyanocobalamin rather than the methylcobalamin form.
Blood levels are influenced by the form of ingestion, whether orally or by injection. However, most of the time the dose of vitamin B12 that is given is so large, that practically speaking it is difficult to guess whether it makes much difference in overall health. Those who have a severe form of pernicious anemia or vitamin B12 deficiency are probably better off getting an injection.
Vitamin B12 side effects
I am 48 year old male. I started taking vitamin b2 1000 mcg sublingual kind about four weeks ago. My energy and digestion improved considerably within a few days. But after a week I was getting chest pain. I went to emergency room, and after a battery of tests, no heart problem was found. I reduced the vitamin B12 dosage to 500 mcg, but some chest discomfort continued. After 2 weeks I discontinued vitamin b12 for 5 days. Then I started taking b12 cynacobalamin, the swallow kind, at 250 mcg about three days ago. No serious chest pain yet.
B Vitamins reduce Stroke Risk
The Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation trials of more than 5,500 men and women with heart disease had participants taking a daily intake of either B vitamins or placebo pills for five years. Those who took the vitamins were 25% less likely to get a stroke than those who took placebo. People younger than 70, those not taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs or blood thinners, and those living in regions without folic acid food fortification had the greatest benefit. Gustavo Saposnik, MD, of the University of Toronto presented the findings at the International Stroke Conference 2009. B vitamins lower blood levels of a compound called homocysteine. The risk of heart disease and stroke is increased when a person has high blood levels of homocysteine, so it follows that taking B vitamins to lower homocysteine levels would improve outcomes. The daily vitamin intake in the new study involved 2.5 milligrams of folic acid, 50 milligrams of vitamin B6, and 1 milligram of vitamin B12 -- far more than most people get in their diets.
Vitamin B research studies
Mothers with low levels of vitamin B12 in their blood are at increased risk of having an infant with spina bifida -- a birth defect in which the spinal cord fails to form properly. Based on previous research, pregnancy guidelines recommend that women consume enough folic acid to reduce the risk of spina bifida and related problems. The new findings suggest that these guidelines should also include recommendations about vitamin B12.
The recommended daily intake for vitamin B-12 should be more than doubled from
the current level.
In a study of 98 middle-aged and older women, researchers found that 6 micrograms of B-12 per day seemed to be enough to prevent signs of mild vitamin B12 deficiency. That compares with the current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of 2.4 micrograms per day. Vitamin B-12 is essential for maintaining healthy nerve cells and red blood cells; a deficiency in the vitamin can cause symptoms ranging from the subtle -- including fatigue and mild dizziness -- to more severe complications like nerve damage, anemia and even dementia. Though the typical Western diet provides people with far more than the current RDA for B-12, certain individuals are at risk for a deficiency. Unlike most vitamins, B-12 occurs naturally only in animal products, including meat, poultry, fish and, in lesser amounts, eggs and dairy. So vegetarians and vegans -- who avoid all animal products, including dairy -- may have low stores of the vitamin. The same is true of adults older than 50, as many have a thinning in the stomach lining that prevents the proper release of digestive acids. Stomach acids are essential for "shaking loose" vitamin B-12 from its food source, allowing it to be absorbed. So older adults are advised to get their B-12 from pills and fortified foods like cereal. That RDA is what experts believe is the minimum B-12 needed to prevent anemia, nerve damage and mental dysfunction. But it's not clear that it's enough to prevent subtler effects. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2006.
Oral supplements of vitamin B12 appear to correct vitamin B12 deficiencies as well as B12 injections. However, the group of European researchers found that, in order to correct a deficiency, oral doses need to contain more than 200 times the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin B12. Study author Dr. Lisette C. P. G. M. de Groot of Wageningen University in the Netherlands explained that most people develop vitamin B12 deficiencies as a result of "malabsorption," in which their bodies become unable to extract vitamin B12 from food. The deficiency typically strikes older people, she added, and takes years to develop. In some instances, people who avoid animal products -- such as vegans and followers of a macrobiotic diet -- can also develop a deficiency in vitamin B12 as a result of not eating enough B12-rich foods. A vitamin B12 deficiency is typically treated by monthly, often painful, shots. To investigate whether an oral dose of vitamin B12 works, as well, they tested various daily doses of oral vitamin B12 supplements in 120 people aged 70 and older. They found that daily oral doses of 647 to 1032 micrograms of vitamin B12 appeared to correct the deficiency. The current RDA for vitamin B12 is 3 micrograms per day. SOURCE: Archives of Internal Medicine, 2005.
I purchased a product Vitamin-B Coenzyme Complex and having very good results. The product contains NADH 5mg / tablet. The dosage for NADH in the Mind-Boosters book is to take 2.5-5mg only a few times a week whereas the the bottle indicates to take 2-3 tablets daily (which is NADH-10 to 15 mg per day). Please let me know about the safe dosage of the product Vitamin-B Coenzyme Complex for daily use .
We believe 1 or two tablets of vitamin B coenzyme a few times a week is sufficient. However each person is different. Some need more, others less.
Q. Interestingly, I took a vitamin B coenzyme complex you recommend on your site and I believe I feel a boost in energy, mental clarity, alertness & elevated mood. I went out to lunch w/ folks from the office and had quite a heavy meal: cheese burger w/ Louisiana sausage, some fries & a very heavy beer. I anticipated falling asleep at my desk after lunch, but I haven't really been dragging at all. This is great, I hope the effects continue! Thanks for your web site for encouraging me to start up with this stuff.
Q. I enjoy the vitamin B coenzyme complex so much, I am wondering if you carry
it in a size larger than 60 count, as in, possibly 120 lozenges? I like your
prices and found them to be cheaper than in a discount health food store, but
they had the 120 count for $30 or so. I won't be ordering for another month and
a half, but am curious. Your satisfied customer.
A. At present Physician Formulas only have the 60 count vitamin B Co-Enzyme complex.
Q. I've just purchased some Sam-e for depression as I
experience too many side-effects with anti-depressants. I have read that it is
wise to take additional vitamin B s, particularly B6, B12 and folic acid, when
taking Sam-e in order to prevent toxic build-up of homocysteine. Apparently
these vitamins assist in the breakdown of homocysteine which is formed when
Sam-e breaks down.
A. We're not totally sure whether extra vitamin B is needed if someone is taking SAM-e. Perhaps it depends on one's diet and biochemistry. It would not hurt to take 1 to 3 times the RDA of vitamin B.
Q. Is it true that thiamin, taken orally,
prevents mosquitoes from biting?
A. I have not seen good studies on this, but I have a friend who swears that taking vitamin B1 prevents mosquitoes from biting her. She takes 50 mg of vitamin B1, and she thinks that taking a B complex does not work, it has to be vitamin B1 by itself.
Is it advised to take a B50 vitamin supplement at night
with tryptophan for sleep?
High dosages of B vitamins can cause alertness and should only be taken in the morning.
Is it necessary to take a vitamin B complex while
supplementing with tyrosine
and phenylalanine amino acids?
We don't see any reason to take B vitamins along with these amino acids. If you do, we suggest lowering the dosage of the amino acids.
Do vitamin C supplements help or hinder the effects of
macrocarpon cranberry juice for UTIs?
Cranberries are natural supplements that are helpful in urinary tract infections. We don't see any harm combining the juice or supplement with vitamin C.
I am interested to know which vitamin ingredients are domestic or
imported. I have chewable calcium with d2 from my market, and wonder if the d2
and the calcium are made in the USA, or imported. I do not think they have to
say where the ingredients are manufactured. If it is all put together in the US,
it appears US made, but the ingredients could be from some other country. Are
there websites that show where vitamins are manufactured?
Vitamin companies purchase their raw materials from various sources and even the same product, when a new batch is made, could have ingredients purchased from different sources, companies, and countries, and hence it could vary over time. Therefore it is nearly impossible to keep up where all the ingredients are being made for any particular bottle and there is no such website that would keep us with this.