Saturday, July 19, 2008

Vitamins and Depression, Dementia, Sleep Disorders, Diabetes, Infertility, Impotence (erectile dysfunction), Heart Disease, Cancer & Chronic Diseases

Deficiency of four special nutrients - vitamin C, niacin, vitamin B1 (thiamine), and vitamin D - plays an important role in the pandemic of chronic diseases afflicting the residents of affluent, industrialized countries. If you are looking for good doses to start with, click here.

These four nutrients are special because extreme deficiency causes devastating deficiency diseases. Deficiency of vitamin C causes scurvy. Deficiency of niacin causes pellagra. Deficiency of vitamin B1 causes beri-beri. Deficiency of vitamin D causes rickets. Read more here,here, and here. No other pandemic human deficiency diseases are known. I believe that regular use of these four special nutrients as supplements can eliminate immeasurable suffering.

Active and effective vitamin C, niacin, and vitamin D supplements are readily available. Vitamin C and niacin supplements can cause side effects but are non-toxic. Permanent harm from taking these supplements is almost unknown. Vitamin D is considerably more toxic. High doses of vitamin D are achieved more safely by getting out into the sun. Twenty minutes under the full summer sun delivers between 10,000 and 40,000 IU.

An active form of vitamin B1 (thiamine) is not readily available as a supplement. The common forms of vitamin B1 go by the names thiamine hydrochloride and thiamine nitrate. These forms of vitamin B1 are not readily absorbed. A fat-soluble form of vitamin B1 named TTFD is readily absorbed. It is manufactured on a large scale in Japan and used, instead of thiamine hydrochloride and/or thiamine nitrate, to supplement the food supply in order to prevent beri-beri.

An extraordinary case report involving TTFD illustrates the difficulty modern society is having optimizing the use of vitamins. This case was published in 1987 in “A Nutritionist’s Guide to the Clinical Use of Vitamin B1”. An 18-month old baby girl previously diagnosed with Reyes syndrome was admitted to the hospital in a coma. The coma deepened rapidly and she became unresponsive to pain. For a week, every possible effort was made to save this girl. Nothing worked. All treatment, other than life support, was withdrawn. Permission was granted to try an experimental treatment with high dose vitamin B1 (thiamine) as TTFD. The RDA for vitamin B1 is between 1 and 2 mg/day. The comatose baby girl was treated with 750 mg/day of TTFD. In less than 24 hours there was obvious improvement. By 10 days, the TTFD dose had been reduced to 150 mg/day, where it was maintained. On the fifteenth day, she emerged from her coma. After one month, she was released from the hospital. After 3 months of treatment, she was clinically well.

I contacted the author of this book. The hospital staff, the family, and friends of the family all disowned responsibility for the knowledge of the remarkable healing powers of TTFD (fat-soluble thiamine). Only the author has pressed on using and publicizing TTFD. Similar stories can be told for vitamin C, niacin, and vitamin D. All have caused miraculous recoveries in extraordinary cases when used in high doses.

In my personal experiences with friends and family, taking these four supplements is a tough trip. I’ve seen fantastic recoveries, but it has been difficult to convincingly associate the supplements with the improvement. My friends and family do not like to take the supplements and are secretive about their habits. They rarely encourage their friends to follow their example, and never advocate forcefully. Taking these supplements doesn’t feel good, often causes minor discomforts, and never works in a day. Take the incredible case described above. One month is a long time for a baby girl to be in the hospital. Who’s to say she didn’t just get better on her own?

In typical cases, the benefits from taking these four special nutrients are difficult to measure. Proving effectiveness requires making the effort to measure and analyze health metrics over periods of months and years. Readers should expect to have to learn to manage vitamin side effects. The primary objective of adding vitamins should be to stop any chronic condition from getting worse. The secondary objective should be modest improvement over weeks or months. Complete recovery in a year’s time should be viewed as possible but improbable. Complete recovery in days should be conceptualized as a miraculous event.

These nutrients are not an alternative treatment, they are an additional treatment. Modern medicine has developed powerful and effective treatments, and readers are strongly advised to use them. If you suffer from a chronic disease, you’ve got a lot to gain and almost nothing to lose from adding these four special nutrients to the treatment you are already receiving.


At 3:46 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Steve, can you tell me whether the "non-flush" niacin is any less effective than the "regular" niacin?


At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IF you eat take your niacin with a meal you'll be fine, the flushing is a natural reaction of your body, it goes in about 20 mins. I got a feeling the non flush isn't as effective since the flusing is your bodies hystamines clearing your blood and opening the arteries.
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At 9:50 PM, Blogger Steve said...


As a scientist, I believe that there is a relationship between dose and response. So, let's say that non-flush niacin is a little less effective than niacin. If you can take a higher dose of non-flush because you find the side effects of regular niacin intolerable, then the non-flush will be more effective.

Non-flush niacin use results in more long-term side effects than normal niacin. The flush caused by normal niacin keeps many people from increasing the dose. I just wrote a column on niacin side effects that is worth reading.

Niacin is a gift of nature. I hope you find a way to get the full benefits with minimal side effects.

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At 9:40 AM, Blogger Albert said...

Vitamin c gives a hand in the production of collagen, that type of protein that gives strength to your body bones, muscles, ligaments, cartilages, blood vessels and teeth.


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At 7:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of spam going on here Steve, I am having a read, came accross from the D column. Hoping it is calming down now and thinking about trying these but cannot be doing with any more side effects I have terrible effects of my illness already aghhh. What is the minimum I can take of all these for effective treatment> Please include the non flush niacin amount in the mix if you would please :)

At 7:09 PM, Blogger Steve said...


Click on the link in the column for recommended doses to start.

Half what I recommended may be effective. You can start there and work your way up in dose provided there are no side effects.


At 10:15 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

The early stages of Alzheimer's and other causes of dementia can be difficult to spot, but there are some signs that are useful in spotting the disease.


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