Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Prevention of Cavities and Anorexia: Dosing Options for Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Niacin, and Thiamine

Science has proven that vitamin D, vitamin C, niacin, and thiamine in generous doses prevents cavities, pale faces, and anorexia. Read more here, here, and here. The studies that generated this knowledge typically used constant daily doses. In practice, this may not be necessary or even optimal. There isn't enough scientific information, and may never be, to determine optimal dosing strategies. There is no question that the optimal dosing strategy will be different from person to person, time to time, and place to place.

So - what are the options?

The doses of vitamin D, niacin, and vitamin C that typically cause side effects when taken every day are well known. Read more here, here, and here. based on the The UL's are set by recommending a fractional dose of doses known to routinely cause side effects. Roughly twice the UL of 2000 IU/day of vitamin D will cause side effects in most people. Roughly 10 times the UL of 35 mg/day for niacin will cause side effects in most people. Roughly 5 times the UL of 2000 mg/day of vitamin C will cause side effects in most people.

So - what happens when taking these vitamins once/week? Is this OK? Can you take 7 times the UL defined as a daily dose once per week? (e.g. 14000 IU of vitamin D once per week?) What happens if you take these four vitamins at well above the UL only when you feel unwell (say several times per year?). How much can you take then without risking side effects? How much is enough to avoid deficiency? Again - the answer is going to change from person to person.

In my experience, children don't like the daily dosing strategy. They would rather take higher doses less often. When my teenage children and their friends are fighting colds, they have started taking the following dose:

6000 mg of vitamin C
4000 IU of vitamin D
250 mg of time release niacin
200 mg of thiamine

They tend to take this dose typically once or twice, and rarely three times in the course of a week. Then they don't take it again until the next time they feel like they may be getting a cold. I'd prefer to see the kids taking this dose once or twice a month whether or not they are fighting a cold. However, I also wouldn't be surprised to learn that just six to ten doses of this size per year in addition to the vitamin D gotten from sunshine and all four vitamins gotten from food gets the kids most of the benefits of daily doses of these four vitamins at near the IU. This teenage strategy also is individual. The kids who get the most colds take more vitamins than the kids who get the least.

Teenagers also are responding favorably to the logic that vitamin C and niacin have healing properties. Read more here, and here, When they are hurt (sore muscles, bruises, cuts, scrapes, etc), they are happy to take shots of 4000 mg of vitamin C and 250 mg of time release niacin for several days until the wounds are well-healed (typically one to 7 days).

Finally, teenagers respond favorably to getting sunshine without sunblock. People of all ages enjoy the wonderful warm feeling of the sun on bare skin. They all understand that sunblock is unnatural, and understand why using sunblock would endanger the natural ability of the body to regulate vitamin D.

The science is clear. Easily accessible doses of just four vitamins - vitamin C, vitamin D, niacin, and thiamine - prevent cavities, pale faces, and anorexia. There is much to gain and almost nothing to lose by helping children learn the best options for getting plenty.


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