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Supplements Can Help Get You Back on Track
In an ideal world, food would provide all of the varied vitamins and minerals your body needs in order to function at its peak state. Unfortunately, soils are depleted of their rich mineral content and even fresh fruits and vegetables aren’t as potent as they used to me. I addition, your body is constantly having to detox from chemicals found in our environment, air, and water, on top of the viruses and bad bacteria that can cause or exacerbate chronic infections. When you have gene mutations or SNPs on genes like MTHFR, CBS, COMT, MAO/A, VDR, or others, your natural processes might need some extra help in the form of supplementation to feel good again.
Because every individual is different, supplementation should be tailored to the unique needs of your genetic make up and whether you feel certain genes are turned on or off by your lifestyle. I started taking a few supplements on my own after reviewing my genetic makeup, and have since refined what I take based on consultations with my integrative doctor and the results of lab work.
Within three days of starting on a combination of simple methylated vitamins, my mood and energy levels changed dramatically for the better. My anxiety disappeared. I was sleeping better and fatigue had dwindled. This first-hand experience is what has convinced me of the need for and benefit of supplementation. There is a cost associated with purchasing supplements; however, I would much rather spend funds on feeling good than on going to the doctor because I feel sick.
What I Take
For me, the power combo that I need includes:
- P-5-P (Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate), the active coenzyme form of Vitamin B6
- Methyl B12 (methylcobalamin), the active form of Vitamin B12
- Methyl Folate or Folinic Acid, these are natural forms of folate that your body can more readily convert. (Sometimes, it is written as L-5-MTHF.) If you have MTHFR mutations, you do NOT want to use folic acid as this will make it even harder for your body to use the folate that you get in foods like leafy greens.
If you prefer a combo supplement, there are several on the market, like this one by Jarrow.
If you prefer a multi-vitamin with even more in it, I like the Seeking Health brand developed by Dr. Ben Lynch. The Optimal Multi-Vitamin is excellent, and I have been taking the Optimal Prenatal (available in capsules and chewables) for many years due to pregnancy, breast-feeding, and pre-conception preparation. I also really like the Optimal Prenatal Protein Powder (prefer the chocolate) in my morning shake.
I also love Magnesium supplementation. Most Americans are deficient in magnesium and it is a valuable mineral to aid in stress relief and relaxation. I get magnesium through a few different ways.
- In the bath, I add 1-2 cups of Epsom salts (Magnesium sulfate). I use it so much, I buy the 20-lb bag so I always have it on hand. I also like to add a drop of lavender and frankincense essentials oils by Pure Haven.
- I also use magnesium lotion by Ancient Minerals. I like to rub this on sore muscles before bed to help me drift off to sleep.
- Lastly, I take magnesium gylcinate by Pure Encapsulations daily.
To help fight chronic infections and keep my immunity up, I take Liposomal Vitamin C, about 5,000 mg a day, and liquid Vitamin D, 4,000 IU a day. I like to get these in liquids because I also use them in the custom gummy vitamins that I make for my son (below).
I have been iron deficient my whole life. I always just poo-pooed the idea of supplementation because I do eat a fair amount of red meat and leafy greens. But when I did faithfully commit to taking iron supplementation daily, I had SO MUCH MORE ENERGY! So now I take Optimal Iron Plus Cofactors every day.
Three other supplements that I take for good cellular health are Phosphatidyl Choline by Thorne Research, ProOmega Fish Oil by Nordic Naturals, and CoQ10 by Seeking Health. Most recently, I’ve been reading Medical Medium by Anthony William and started taking Hawaiian Spirulina. I take the tablets because the taste is not what I would call good.
What My Son Takes
My son is compound heterozygous for the MTHFR gene mutation. He also has SNPs on MAO, VDR, and a few others. When his behavior started to become worryingly anxious, oppositional, rigid, and depressive, I started him on a custom blend of supplements, guided by his Naturopathic Doctor and the Opus 23 interpretation of his genes. Because he was only 5 years old at the time, and very oppositional, I had to be creative in terms of delivery system. He would not swallow or chew pills, and while he tolerated mixing vitamins into juice for a while, that soon became a power struggle. I will outline what I put in his vitamin and then give the simple gummy recipe below. He will eat his probiotic and fish oil because they taste like candy. For probiotic, the kids like this one by Rainbow Light and for fish oil, this one by Nordic Naturals. They are not perfect in terms of ingredients, but the children eat them and that is worth something.
- Ashwaghanda Liquid – Many of my son’s SNPs are supported by this herb. I like this formulation because it is alcohol free.
- Liquid B Complex by Pure Encapsulations – This formula includes methylcobalamin, the active form of B12.
- P-5-P by Pure Encapsulations – The active form of vitamin B6.
- TMG powder by Life Extension – Trimethyglycine (TMG) also known as betaine donates methyl groups to aid in liver function, cellular health, and detoxification. TMG is closely related to choline, which has four methyl groups attached to it. My son’s doctor recommended this as a way to help him without risking overmethylation.
- Vitamin C and Vitamin D – As stated above, I use these same liquid versions of vitamins C and D as I take.
- Trace Minerals – I have yet to find an ideal way to get my son to take magnesium, so for now I add in Trace Minerals, which includes magnesium and other good minerals. When he will take a bath, we make a game of adding Epsom salts, but this does not happen every day. He rejected the magnesium lotion.
I make approximately 24 gummies in one bath, with enough dosing for 12 days. I use a silicone shape mat like this flower design by Wilton or this heart design. My son’s favorite design are these Legos.
In a small pot on the stove, add 12 doses of all of the supplements, 6 tablespoons of Great Lakes Grass-Fed gelatin (must be the pink container), 3 tablespoons of local honey, and 1/2 cup liquid/juice of your choice. In the beginning, I used lemon juice. Now I have started to ask my son what flavor he would like to try to make the gummies taste better to him. (The liquid B complex and Ashwaghanda have strong flavors.)
Heat everything up until the gelatin dissolves and all of the supplement powder is incorporated. Taste the liquid to make sure your child will eat them. If not, add sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or even sugar. You can add natural colors like the reserved liquid from roasted beets or blended blueberries. Once satisfied with the flavor, texture, and color, pour the liquid into the mold. Place in refrigerator and allow to set fully before popping them out of the mold. Et voilà!
This blog, its content, and any linked material are presented for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or prescribing. I am not a doctor or other licensed healthcare practitioner or provider. Consult with a licensed healthcare professional before altering or discontinuing any current medications, treatment or care, or starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, or if you have or suspect you might have a health condition that requires medical attention.