I’m excited about our new online nutritional supplement dispensary. All the supplements recommended in this blog are available on the dispensary. I’m working with a company called Fullscript and they have partnered with 278 of the best nutrition companies. This online dispensary will carry many of the products that I regularly work with. This will allow you to become a member and order products that come recommended and vetted. Many of the vitamin and herbal products that you find in most food stores and pharmacies are not of high quality. Another issue is does the supplement actually have what it says it has. One recent study looked at 14 different 500 mg supplement products sold on Amazon. Only one came close, it had 456 mg and the other 13 came in at below reporting limit with 3 showing none of the labeled supplement! Buyer Beware.
To understand the quality issue more fully, we will look at multivitamin products. The multivitamin product I recommend most often is called pure genomic multivitamin. It is made by pure encapsulation, a company that is known for very high standards and hypoallergenic products. We will start by looking at the B complex in multivitamins. B complex vitamins are involved in many chemical reactions of the body. They act as co-enzymes, meaning that the B vitamins attach to various enzymes in order to make a chemical reaction occur.
B vitamins have inactive forms and active forms. Most multivitamins that you find will only have the inactive form of the B vitamin. These are cheaper and must be converted to the active form in order to be used. This takes energy and other cofactors and enzymes.
B12 comes in many different forms. The most common form you will find in a multivitamin is cyanocobalamin which is cyanide attached to cobalamin. This form of B12 is synthetic and the cheapest form available. It is also an inactive form of the vitamin. In other words, it needs to be transformed into hydroxocobalamin and then the hydroxocobalamin can be converted to either adenosylcobalamin or methylcobalamin. These last two forms of B12 are the active form of the vitamin that will be used in the chemical reactions of the body. One of the other issues with cyanocobalamin is that the cyanide released when it is transformed into hydroxocobalamin must be detoxified by the body. This process uses up energy and glutathione which are both important to health and healing. The amount of cyanide is in microgram amounts and it won’t poison you at this small level. Given that you can have the other less toxic forms of B12 why would you choose this once you are informed of this issue.
The pure genomic multivitamin contains 50% hydroxocobalamin and 50% adenosylcobalamin. For further reading on this topic follow this link: https://perniciousanemia.org/b12/forms/
The other issue with B12 is that the stomach needs to make intrinsic factor which combines with the B12 in order to be absorbed in the small intestine. Many people can’t make intrinsic factor and become anemic. If you suffer from this issue, I recommend another pure encapsulations product called PureMelt B12 Folate. This is sublingual and gets absorbed directly in the mouth and needs no intrinsic factor.
Thiamine also known as vitamin B1 has an active form called benfotiamine. Riboflavin also known as vitamin B2 must be converted to riboflavin 5 phosphate in order to be used in chemical reactions. Pyridoxine also known as vitamin B6 has to be converted to pyridoxal-5-phosphate in order to be activated. PureGenomic Multivitamin contains some of each the inactive and the active forms.
Folate known as vitamin B9 most commonly comes as folic acid a synthetic form and has to be converted through five chemical reactions to reach its activated form known as five-methyl-tetra-hydro-folate or -5-MTHF as it is known in the supplement industry. Genetic testing has shown that 10%-40% of the US population has defects in this pathway to convert folic acid to 5-MTHF. If you are one of these people the folic acid in your multivitamin must be detoxified and leaves you deficient in 5-MTHF. 5-MTHF has important advantages compared to synthetic folic acid. Firstly, it is well absorbed even when gastrointestinal pH changes, secondly it is bioavailable and is not affected by metabolic defects. Folate deficiency signs and symptoms include poor immune function, low energy, poor digestion, developmental problems during pregnancy and infancy, including stunted growth, anemia and premature grey hair. For the above reasons the puregenomic multivitamin uses only 5-MTHF and not folic acid. Folic acid is also what is used to fortify baked goods, cereals and other food products because it is cheap and supposed to be good for you.
If you or someone you know and love wants to get pregnant it is very important to have sufficient 5-MTHF. It is a cofactor in the development of the notochord in the fetus. The notochord is the start of the nerve system and thus extremely important to the developing fetus. This process occurs in the first 4-5 weeks of pregnancy when most women don’t even know they are pregnant. The problem is that supplementation after the fact doesn’t work. The newly pregnant women have to be sufficient right from the start of the pregnancy. More information on folate is found here: https://mthfrsupport.com.au/2015/05/folic-acid-vs-5-mthf-treating-mthfr-deficiency/
There is one B vitamin that you will find in no multivitamin product and that is because it can’t be stabilized or synthesized and put into a vitamin. However; it is found in foods. This is vitamin B4 or adenine. It is found in the most abundant levels in nutritional yeast, but also found in whole grains, bee pollen, royal jelly, propolis, spirulina, aloe vera, kelp, green leafy vegetables, honey, cayenne pepper, and berries. When it is combined with the sugar ribose it forms adenosine. Adenosine is found in large quantities in the heart and deficiency can be related to heart arrhythmias. It is also a component of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is the currency of energy in the body. All cells convert fats and carbohydrates into ATP; it is the gas that runs our cellular engines. B4 works in conjunction with Vitamins B2 and B3 to make energy for the cells. If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, cardiac arrhythmias, diabetes, infections, compromised immune system, anemia, hair loss or depression, deficiency of this vitamin can be part of the cause. So; if you don’t want to supplement your diet with brewers’ yeast, then I recommend Standard Process Cataplex B Core 2 or 3/day as a food sourced B vitamin that contains vitamin B4 as well as the food sourced components of the rest of the B complex which all work together. Further information is available at: https://brwellness.com/b4-the-vitamin-for-heart-health-you-may-never-heard-of/
If you have been paying attention you will notice that niacin (B3) has not been talked about. This vitamin has gotten a lot of attention recently as its active form NAD+ has been in the news for its anti-aging and energy production potential. Many companies have jumped on the band wagon of research and development of nicotinamide riboside (NR) which is a stable activated form of niacin that raises levels of NAD+ in the body. An article in Scientific American in March 11,2015 stated: ” half a dozen Nobel laureates and other prominent scientists are working with two small companies offering NR supplements.” In May of 2020 a research review of NR was published entitled, Nicotinamide Riboside—The Current State of Research and Therapeutic Uses. This article shows the benefits of NR related to Effects on Insulin Sensitivity, Liver Health and Other Metabolic Functions, Cardiovascular Diseases, Neurodegenerative Disorders, Longevity, Infection Treatment and Immunomodulatory Effects including a review of its relationship to Sars-CoV-2. If you would like more information here a link to the review: https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/6/1616/htm
The pure genomic multivitamin contains niacinamide which will raise NAD+ but it is not your best choice because it possibly inhibits sirtuin activity. Sirtuins manage a number of important processes that relate to longevity. NR is more expensive but more efficient in producing NAD+ and activates sirtuins. We recommend NiaCel 400 by Thorne Research. Another good way to raise NAD+ is another product called NADH + CoQ10 formulated by Seeking Health.
If you want to raise NAD+ without supplementing you need to do regular fasting, intermittent fasting, and exercise. Both interval training and weight lifting have marked improvements in NAD+ production and therefore greater ability to have physical endurance.
Who would have guessed that B complex would be so complex! I have not completed the discussion on B complex but will stop here as I don’t want to overwhelm you with more information. The discussion will continue with my next blog.
The important things to remember is to look for the active forms of the B vitamins when searching for your multivitamin. These are B1 benfotiamine, B2 riboflavin-5-phosphate, B6 pyridoxyl-5-phosphate, B9 5-MTHF and B12 adenosylcobalamin or methylcobalamin. B3 is nicotinamide riboside which you will find in no multivitamin but only in specialty products like the ones mentioned above. We will cover the rest of B vitamins and the minerals in later blogs.
Chaz Schatzle, DC APCSchedule an Appointment