Legal disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Make your own informed opinions and consult with your doctor before making changes, especially if taking medications. Ask pointed questions informed by your own research. Do not blindly follow internet posts like this one! It will take work and time to become informed, so make the time.
I want to keep this post a simple read for maximum benefit, so I won’t be going into more than cursory “why” each of these things.
A few general principles first:
- Health and vitality are impossible when the biological system (you and me) has too little of key nutrients (nutrient deficiency).
- The negative effects can be short or long term or both, manifesting in myriad ways that can be extremely hard to diagnose via any standard medical approach.
- Deficiency in a single key nutrient cascades throughout, with complex and poorly understood impacts.
- The modern food supply is highly deficient in key nutrients. Moreover, a “healthy diet” as it is often described is generally unhealthy, depriving the body of key nutrients or putting them way out of balance.
- Nutrients are synergistic, working at their optimum and avoiding problems only when present in adequate amounts and balance.
- Few doctors have meaningful training on nutrition, fewer still follow the current state of it, and fewer still rule out nutritional deficiencies before prescribing the “big guns” of pharmacological drugs. This is true in nearly all medical fields.
Specific baseline recommendations
I am not recommending running out and buying a basketful of supplements in order to make expensive urine. And obviously you can be deficient in other nutrients, but these are key ones.
What I am recommending here are for key nutrient deficiencies that the large majority of the population suffers from. Indeed several of these are not even tested for.
The optimal level of magnesium is poorly understood. But magnesium is about as safe as anything can get, with near nil risk except in special medical situations. It can take months to years to restore body tissue stores of magnesium. Athletes, pregnant and nursing mothers, those with deficiency, stress of all kinds means an extra need for magnesium far beyond the minimum RDA.
Most of the population is deficient to highly deficient in magnesium.
Critical for up to 800 biological processes. Critical to counteract issues from excess calcium (common). Deficiency can manifest in myriad ways, including atherosclerosis, epilepsy, depression and anxiety, high blood pressure, migraines, muscle spasms, AFIB and PVC heart issues, and many more.
Food: soil depletion means getting enough from food is difficult. It is best to supplement.
Best choice: ReMag, with ReMyte a good complement if other deficiencies are suspected. ReMag is unique in being able to know (1) how much exactly the body is getting due to 96% absorption into cells, (2) no laxative effect.
Other good choices are magnesium citrate and magnesium L-Threonate (bedtime use). But many people may not be able to reach a therapeutic dose with these products due to the laxative effect and bioavailability can vary widly between individuals. Not a smart move.
Avoid magnesium oxide as it is very poorly absorbed (4%), and yields diarrhea far before therapeutic doses can be achieved.
Note that government standards for RDA and similar are NOT about optimum dose but only about the minimum dose to avoid obvious problems. And with poor availabilitiy in modern foods and sketchy absorption on top of that, how much Mg you are getting can be a crap shoot.
Testing for magnesium deficiency is rare, and most doctors are unaware that the serum magnesium test is highly unreliable junk testing. (high serum levels can be due to severe deficiency as the body tries to deal with the need). The magnesium RBC test is the best one available to the public (the very best test is for ionized magnesium but only available in research labs).
I will be going to 2000 that due to my ultra high exercise level, and also because I want to reverse my coronary artery calcification.
There is no publicly available test for Vitamin K2 that I wam aware of.
Vitamin K2 is very difficult to get in a modern diet, because the best sources are all in saturated fat from animal sources. Remember also that if is not food grade, you don’t want it on your skin either (many skin-care products have emu oil in them).
Food: grass-fed beef or bison (the real thing ideally should show yellow fat), grass-fed Ghee (Bulletproof and 4th & Heart are both excellent), pasture-raised eggs.
Vegans: eat natto. The real thing, not stuff with Vitamin K2 lacking or removed.
Best choice for Vitamin K2 MK4: Walkabout Australian Emu Oil. Other emu oil may be found on Amazon but I have not looked into quality. The Walkabout brand tastes great and looks to be very high quality.
Natural Vitamin D3 production takes place in the skin, where your body can make up to 10,000 IU in just 20 minutes in mid-day (fair skin) if a good portion of the body is exposed from cholesterol. Mid-Day sunlight is the best way to get Vitamin D3.
When I cannot get adequate sun exposure as in the winter, I supplement.
Best choice: Nordic Naturals Vitamin D3 5000.
Vitamin D3 supplementation (cholecalciferol) should also involve supplementation with Vitamin K2 and magnesium. Calcium from all sources requires K2 in order to activate (carboxylate) certain proteins needed to drive calcium into places it should go. Magnesium is also needed. Excess calcium unbalanced by magnesium is Very Bad.
If you have dark skin, getting adequate Vitamin D may be difficult even in the summer; a person with very dark skin can block 99% of the UV-B rays needed for Vitamin D3 production. This might be one factor in explaining why COVID-19 apparently has hit African Americans particularly hard since Vitamin D3 deficiency is strongly associated with poor outcomes.
Remember, do not supplement with Vitamin D3 unless ALSO supplementing with magnesium and Vitamin K2. That is crucial to avoiding numerous issues with excess calcium unbalanced by magnesium and unable to enter bones due to deficiencies of one or both, e.g. atherosclerosis.
Vitamin A is mostly animal based. Eat grass-fed liver or take cod liver oil, fermented is possible.
Vegetables are NOT a good source of Vitamin A, and it is legal to list beta carotene as Vitamin A—a serious fraud. Nutritional information is grossly misleading in equating Vitamin A with beta carotene.
While the body can create Vitamin A from beta carotene, it requires a 6X to 50X ratio. And when gut microbiome and genetics get involved, it’s not even clear that some people can ever create enough Vitamin A even if they become a full time rabbit.