Over the years, I’ve experimented with every nutrient in isolation.
Sometimes, I notice incredible benefits! Other times, my body did not respond well. Much of the time, I noticed nothing.
But there’s another layer on top of those more immediate results: What I seemed to need would shift over time, as I improved my health, or sometimes, after a health challenge arose.
My response to some nutrients only took a few days to shift on me, but others took years. And there are quite a few nutritional needs that only shifted once I made a made major changes to what I was doing — or, even, where I was living and working.
What follows is a way to compare notes: How things used to affect me, alongside how things are now.
Let’s Look at Each Nutrient…
- For many years, I did not supplement Vitamin C. I feel like this was a mistake. I could have felt much better had I supplemented even a small amount.
- Once I started supplementing, I noticed I could only tolerate a smallish amount of Vitamin C: around 400mg/day maximum, and even that seemed to cause imbalances.
- I noticed Vitamin C depleted sodium, in particular. Already requiring extra sodium, I needed to increase sodium to tolerate Vitamin C, but I considered this a worthwhile trade-off.
- After a few months, I noticed I could tolerate Vitamin C without requiring more sodium. I considered this a positive, and increased Vitamin C to 1000mg, but it seemed to be hard to tolerate, dehydrating me, and affecting mineral balance. I took one Vitamin C pill (400mg) for many years).
- Later, I tried Solaray’s Liposomal Vitamin C (which is not a true liposomal product, but instead is a fat-soluble product). I noticed improved energy and cognition immediately, and took this product for about 18 months.
- Not long after taking the Solaray Liposomal C, I noticed I could tolerate up to 1000mg of Vitamin C per day with no issue. Considering this a good sign, I began to take one Liposomal alongside Solaray’s 1:1 Vitamin C product per day.
- I usually take 1-2 Vitamin C pills per day: Solaray 1:1 Vitamin C (a blend of ascorbic acid and natural sources)
- I now notice nothing from the Liposomal Vitamin C these days
- For years, I required heavy sodium intake (due to hypothyroidism).
- I responded best to more than 5g/day, easily (I’m 6’4″, you might need more or less than me).
- I needed to severely limit and avoid potassium-rich foods, because potassium depleted my sodium so much.
- I would put a pinch on my tongue, then drink a swig or two of water. Also salted food.
- Rarely salted drinking water, because it gave me less clear feedback about how I responded to the salt, itself.
- After moving to current (new construction) house in 2020, I stopped needing extra sodium entirely (after about 6 weeks I noticed this shift)
- Now I restrict sodium entirely. I never salt foods, and when I eat a salty food, I need to take extra potassium to balance it.
- I restricted potassium — because of low sodium.
- I avoided fruit almost entirely, due to potassium. Potatoes were limited because of potassium content.
- After moving to current (new construction) house in 2020, I swiftly began requiring lots of potassium.
- Now, I supplement potassium quite heavily. I take easily 3-4g of potassium throughout the day, both with meals and in-between meals.
- Sodium-rich foods mean I need to supplement even more potassium.
- Potassium gluconate is my favorite source of potassium, by far. I take a 1/4 tsp on the tongue, then wash down with water. The powder has minimal taste. After a salty food, I’ll often take multiple doses over the next couple of hours.
- Something clearly shifted in my body with sodium and potassium when I moved from multiple unhealthy environments to a healthy, new house. I’m guessing my years of excessive sodium supplementation have required the reverse: lots of potassium to balance it out.
- High potassium supplementation has persisted for about 18 months, now, and have recently begun to see things level out: tolerating sodium a little better, needing less potassium to balance sodium-rich foods.
- I’ve noticed high potassium intake seemed to lower Vitamin D (after years of high-Vitamin D symptoms).
- I’ve had a history of high calcium. Drank lots of milk as a child, continued to, except for my 4 years as a vegan.
- Noticed benefit from calcium supplementation while a vegan. Otherwise, milk has always supplied plenty of calcium for me.
- Still drink 3-4 glasses of milk per day, eat cheese, and use milk with cereal.
- Don’t have symptoms of high calcium anymore.
- For long periods of time, I only noticed benefits from magnesium for a short while before the positive effects dropped off. After that, I might notice magnesium made me feel worse.
- Magnesium seemed to always deplete sodium — which was a more important mineral/deficiency for me.
- Magnesium likely depleted my iron (at a time when I was convinced “everyone should be depleting iron” — a terribly mistaken concept).
- I find magnesium to be noticeably helpful, especially after I’ve supplemented iodine (kelp). Because I don’t eat iodized salt, it is possible for me to become deficient in iodine if I don’t supplement (or take the Naturelo multivitamin). If iodine gets low, once I supplement it, it can deplete magnesium.
- I never tolerated zinc — for nearly a decade.
- Every time I tried it, it would make me feel worse within 2-3 days.
- Zinc can deplete copper, iron, Vit A, in particular. For me, low copper seemed to be the main driver (although low iron likely was a small factor, too.)
- I avoided high-zinc foods from 2010 to 2020 because I noticed they made me feel worse.
- In fall of 2019, I stopped working part-time at a location that was quite moldy (to move into coaching full-time). I’d worked there for nearly 10 years. Within a week, I felt something shift in my body — I knew I needed something that wasn’t being addressed. I tried several stand-by nutrients, but nothing hit the spot. After about a week, I tried zinc, and quickly felt new life throughout my body and mind. For weeks I took zinc daily, and noticed its great effect: stronger swimming, sharper cognition. This continued for perhaps 6 weeks until things levelled out, wherein I began taking zinc in a more balanced manner, 2x/week (in addition to what’s in the Naturelo multi). I had been taking copper (chlorophyll) daily for years at this point, and continued to do so.
- After moving to the current (new construction) house, I noticed — within a month or two — that I felt worse when taking copper.
- I have ceased all copper supplementation, and now take zinc 30mg daily — sometimes 2x/day.
- Zinc now makes me feel quite good, and copper makes me feel worse (as if it’s depleting zinc).
- I discovered chlorophyll as a fantastic source of copper in 2016.
- I supplemented chlorophyll nearly daily from 2016 until late 2020.
- Chlorophyll would help me sleep nightly from 2016 to 2020 — even though I don’t recommend taking nutrients for drug-like effect. I saw this as addressing a nutritional deficit, and taking at night seemed to address this deficit in a convenient way (helping sleep).
- I needed to limit and restrict high-zinc foods to avoid depleting copper.
- I noticed upon moving to my current (new construction) house that I stopped responding well to copper. It made me feel worse.
- I now avoid copper (chlorophyll) supplementation — and supplement its partner, zinc, daily
- Iodine has been extremely hit-or-miss for years. Sometimes a little (iodine) kelp would be beneficial, other times it did nothing.
- Kelp is by far my favorite form of iodine to supplement. Other types are less beneficial, with more unwanted side effects.
- High doses of iodine have been disastrous multiple times for me, even with selenium supplementation. There is a ratio of iodine — selenium that each person should not ignore, and it’s not the same for everyone, nor does it remain constant over time. Best to be cautious and use safer doses of iodine!
- I have noticed iodine deplete magnesium multiple times, even in moderate-to-small doses.
- I respond well to iodine (kelp) in the Naturelo multivitamin.
- In 2020, I responded well to the 1:1 DV ratio of iodine:selenium in the Naturelo multivitamin
- Currently, though, I seem to need an additional iodine (kelp) 2-3x/week due to the selenium present in the Naturelo.
- This is a nutrient that just never takes long to catch up on, for me. It will deplete iodine pretty quickly in my body. (Though iodine doesn’t take long to catch up, either, for me!)
- High selenium can feel pretty awful, and give you a garlic-y odor on your body and breath.
- I still don’t seem to need very much selenium. What’s included in the Naturelo multi-vitamin is (literally) more than enough — I need to supplement a little extra iodine to balance it.
- I’ve had a long history of high sulfur.
- Failed experiments with DMSO, MSM, sulfur powder (flowers of sulfur) and even joint formulas seemed to drive sulfur very high.
- I had to restrict high-sulfur foods for many years.
- High sulfur can be persistent, and take years to come down unless you actively balance this out by supplementing co-factors.
- Molybdenum was the primary nutrient that lowered my high sulfur.
- Vitamin E, copper, Vitamin C, and omega-3s also helped noticeably.
- I no longer seem to have high sulfur symptoms, though I still respond surprisingly well to molybdenum (which might suggest my sulfur is still high, which might deplete molybdenum slightly). Prior to my sulfur experiments, I did not tolerate molybdenum very well).
- I can eat sulfur-rich foods (like eggs) without problems, after years of needing to limit them
- Never really noticed any response to molybdenum, until after my sulfur experiments
- After that, I almost always responded well to it. Molybdenum very much helped bring excessive sulfur levels down.
- To help lower high sulfur, I took molybdenum about 3x/week for many, many months. Molybdenum can deplete *all* minerals quite well, so I didn’t want to overdo molybdenum, either. 3x/week seemed just right for me.
- I still seem to respond well to molybdenum, but not nearly as well as when I needed it to deplete sulfur. It mostly seems neutral, these days.
- I avoided iron for many years, believing it to be “harmful” for various reasons. I now consider this a mistake.
- I never noticed any benefit from limiting iron intake, but I’m convinced I noticed negative consequences.
- In 2018, I began experimenting with iron bisglycinate, and noticed some improvement in how I felt: energy and sleep quality, as well as minor cognitive improvement.
- I don’t supplement extra iron with any regularity, I just eat meat and red meat frequently.
- As recently as one year ago, I supplemented some iron and maybe noticed I like it, but not enough of a difference to keep it in mind. I just get iron from food, now.
- I’ve only supplemented manganese a few times
- I never noticed anything good from it, and a few times noticed it did not feel beneficial
- I still don’t supplement manganese
- I over-supplemented around 2015. Had symptoms of high Vitamin D, very unpleasant, and lasted for several years (I did not understand how to deplete Vitamin D at that point).
- Switched to sunlight-only for Vitamin D in 2015. Noticed a dance between Vit A and Vit D for many years after that. Required 10k-20k IU of Vitamin A to balance sunbathing sessions.
- I avoided Vitamin D in supplements and multivitamins (and in milk) for many years
- More potassium supplementation in recent years has seemed to greatly deplete Vitamin D
- I now respond quite well to Vitamin D from sunshine and supplements
- I sunbathe 2x/week now, and go to UVB-rich tanning bed 1x/week in winter
- Balancing Vitamin D with its co-factors still yields good results for me
- I took Vitamin A for a couple years, and almost always noticed benefits
- I then avoided Vitamin A for about two years, to see if I noticed any benefits — I didn’t
- I then supplemented Vitamin A for the next 5 years, daily. It helped me feel much better: more energetic, and I slept much better at night. I always supplemented after sunbathing, especially, in addition to my nightly Vitamin A.
- Upon moving to my current (new construction) house, I noticed that I did not respond well to Vitamin A any longer. In fact, it made me feel worse.
- I stopped taking Vitamin A entirely, and have not for years, now.
- I now seem to need zinc and Vitamin D much more than Vitamin A.
- Vitamin A-rich foods seem to deplete Vitamin D and zinc.
- One of those nutrients where I noticed huge benefits… for a while
- After 6 weeks of taking Vitamin E daily, I noticed very bad symptoms: cramps, fatigue, insomnia, irritability. All symptoms went away after a few days of off. (I realized Vitamin E needed to be balanced with co-factors, too).
- I noticed no benefit from Vitamin E for many years, especially when eating low-PUFA
- When PUFA intake is higher, I notice Vitamin E helps so much more.
- Vitamin E still must be balanced with its co-factors
- I make sure to take Vitamin E earlier in the day, otherwise it can be energizing
- The Jarrow Famil-E is easily my favorite Vitamin E. I find it important to supplement it above and beyond what’s found in the Naturelo multivitamin, perhaps 2x/week.
- Another nutrient, like Vitamin E, where I noticed huge benefits… for a while
- Ultimately, balancing Vitamin K2 with co-factors will determine how much it benefits you
- I do best when I get K2 from the Naturelo multivitamin, and then add a little extra, perhaps 1x/week
B1 — Thiamine
- Clearly a leading nutrient for metabolism, I’ve noticed benefits from taking B1 many times over the years
- However, fat-soluble forms of B1 have caused loads of problems for me. I do not recommend them, ever, unless you have genetic polymorphisms that make it necessary to take it. This include TTFD and allithiamine.
- B1 in isolation — or in unbalanced/high doses — has dramatically depleted all other B-vitamins (especially B2), and minerals (including magnesium), in my body.
- I get B1 in the Naturelo multivitamin, and supplement extra B1 about 2x/week. B1 is never the only extra B-vitamin I take; on other days I take other B’s.
B2 — Riboflavin
- Clearly a leading nutrient for health, and perhaps as essential as B1, I’ve responded very well to B2 for many years — even now.
- It’s always been important that I not let B1 get too high, which would deplete my B2 levels.
- I still respond well to B2 supplementation.
- I add an extra B2 pill 2x/week, on top of the Naturelo multivitamin
B3 — Niacin
- Niacinamide was a poor choice for me for years, it lowered blood sugar too much. I also don’t think it’s the optimal form of niacin for general use (it creates imbalance in the NADH cycle). It’s only appropriate in diabetes, IMO (because it lowers blood sugar so well). Excessive use of niacinamide could lower longevity.
- I have experimented with niacin in conjunction with saunas, a lot. It’s generally a fine idea, however, the other B-complex must be taken to balance. One can deplete other B’s quite easily if only supplementing extra niacin, over time.
- One niacin pill per week (I cut a 50mg into about 35mg) is a really nice way to get a little extra niacin. Can help sleep, cognition, and feeling calm. Don’t take it before bed (unless you know you can tolerate it).
- Seems to be helpful to recover from viral/covid symptoms — but balance is still essential.
B4 — Choline
- I’ve taken B4 for years. It’s always good for weight loss and liver health, but can cause emotional sensitivity even in small doses. I don’t take daily for that reason.
- No change. I take with my liver stack, about 1-2x/week.
B5 — Pantothenic Acid
- I’ve only supplemented lightly in the past.
- Only slight benefits the first time I take it, then no more benefits.
- Only seems necessary during/after excessive B7 (biotin) supplementation (biotin and B5 compete for absorption and deplete each other).
- No change. Still only supplement sporadically after lots of biotin supplementation.
B6 — Pyridoxine
- I feel like I’ve gone a bit high with B6 when taking lots of boutique, Functional Medicine-type supplements (known to add B6 to supplements). It’s easy to be taking 5 different supplements that each have 1000% DV of B6 — and that’s not good. B6 is particularly prone to retention in the body, and levels can go too high.
- No change, but I don’t take boutique supplements anymore. Therefore, no risk of excessive B6.
B7 — Biotin
- Especially when I was young, I definitely took biotin to excess, hoping to boost hair growth. Definitely caused some issues for me, with general imbalance, fatigue, and skin.
- I’ve noticed biotin can be helpful to fend off symptoms of covid, including hair loss.
- It’s still vital to balance biotin with other B-vitamins (including B5 if taking lots of biotin).
- I take a lower dose of biotin than is commonly offered in products (see Big Nutrient List recommendations)
B8 — Inositol
- I have always only taken inositol with choline
- I continue to take inositol with choline, after trying choline alone and not noticing much. I think it’s a good idea for me to try choline in isolation (without the inositol), again.
B9 — Folic Acid
- I have only supplement folic acid a few times, and never noticed much.
- A few times I’ve tried methylated B9 (folic acid) and noticed I felt worse.
- Folic acid is highly available and fortified in foods
- I have not made B9 (folic acid) a focal point of my health journey
B10 — PABA
- I’ve tried PABA in isolation a few times. It is incredibly powerful, and can cause disruption in the body. Two days in a row supplementation were quite miserable, perhaps due to its links to hormonal balance.
- I have not supplemented PABA recently. I used to find it in B-complex’s I was taking, but it’s not in Naturelo mutli or Thompson B-Complex
B12 — Cobalamin
- I’ve experimented with various forms of B12 over the years. Only a few times did I seem to notice a difference. I don’t think it was the major problem for me.
- Sublingual seems to help more than internal pills (intrinsic factor is needed for internal absorption, and not everyone makes enough of that).
- B12 supplementation HAS seemed to deplete other B-vitamins for me
- Supplementing lithium in the past seemed to improve cognition. Apparently B12 supplementation can deplete lithium.
- I only receive the B12 which is included in the Naturelo multivitamin and Thompson B-complex, but I find it logical to supplement B12 sublingually 1x/week, as a prophylactic.
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