|HEALTH CARE Vitamin Advice NV Homeopathic Board Nevada Law (NRS) Nevada Regulations (NAC)|
Dr. Edwards CV
Dr. Edwards Publications
» Vitamin Advice
Order Supplements In the State of Nevada, the regulation of the therapeutic use of nutritional supplements by licensed health professionals is defined as "Orthomolecular Therapy". This professional practice has been specifically designated by the legislature to be regulated by the Nevada Board of Homeopathic Medical Examiners. Orthomolecular therapy has been specifically defined in Nevada law and Nevada Administrative Code. However, the personal use of vitamin, mineral and other nutritional or "nutri-ceutical" preparations, such as herbs, amino acids, etc., is not a regulated activity in Nevada and the personal use of vitamin supplements has increasingly come to the public's attention. There are many reasons for this increasingly common practice, including as prevention, "insurance" for health, to improve immune function and for anti-aging purposes. Unfortunately, the media, scientific publications and marketing media are full of incomplete information, unsubstantiated opinions, poorly informed yet highly opinionated "academic experts" and sales-marketing hype. Given the current state of affairs on this subject, the following is Dr. Edwards review of the potential questions people may pose and his recommendations with referenced scientific literature articles regarding the regular personal use of vitamin supplements.
To briefly summarize the extensive text that follows, all adults should consider taking certain nutritional supplements regularly. The specific reasons for this advise and the references for these recommendations are detailed below. Dr. Edwards recommends that healthy adults take the following regular supplements: can help you.
One of the commonest "health maintenance" questions we hear at Bio Health Center is "should I be taking a vitamin supplement?" This seemingly "simple question" can be answered differently, depending on one's point of view. In the past, the "orthodox" medical science answer was "no," because a "well balanced" diet should provide all the essential nutrients an average person requires according to the RDA's (Recommended Dietary Allowances). The problems with this answer are several. First, most (all?) medical doctors have never actually read the RDA manifesto. Second, RDA's are statistical averages, developed from some science, but mostly committee "thought experiments" and discussions, with no real scientific data to back up the actual recommendations being made. Third, the entire concept of "RDA" was developed for reasons of "national defense" (pg v) and has absolutely nothing to do with health.1 Fourth, the RDA's were never intended to be applied to any specific individual patient (pg 1). Fifth, RDA's were designed to apply to "healthy" groups and not to individuals, and specifically not to individuals at the extremes of age (young or old), those using medications, with infections, chronic diseases or metabolic disorders (pg 1). Since approximately 30 to 40% of the U.S. adult population are obese (a metabolic disorder) or have one of more "chronic degenerative disorders", then exactly who do RDA's realistically apply to? In addition, the modern practice of "scientific" agriculture (aka "agri-business") has resulted in micronutrient depletion of the soil to the point that chemicals must be added to make produce look good, but its nutritional- functional attributes are being seriously questioned. Finally, excessive use of toxic pesticides, herbicides, etc. are causing long term risks to health and wholesale genetic modification of foods to increase profits is being accomplished without any data as to safety, effectiveness and future health impact. Thus, the food we eat can no longer be relied upon to supply adequate essential vitamins, minerals and other trace nutrients.
Another way to view the question of whether supplements should be taken can be based on more "modern clinical science." For example, good scientific evidence has now been published showing that micronutrient (vitamin and/or mineral) deficiency is a major cause of cancer and the use of micronutrients well beyond the limits set by the committees that "designed" the RDA's, such as the B vitamins, folic acid, B6, B12and multi-vitamins, prevents cancer.2-9 Modern scientific studies also support the use of B vitamins well in excess of RDA's to prevent the occurrence of neural tube defects (brain and spinal chord deformities) in unborn babies,10,11 atherosclerosis including heart attacks, strokes and peripheral circulation disease in adults,12-21 osteoporosis (bone softening) in adults,22-24 Alzheimer's disease 25-27and age related immune deficiency and infections in adults.25-27 It is now known scientifically that poor nutrition is the leading cause of immune deficiency syndrome in the elderly. 28-30 In fact, so much modern research has shown that vitamin and/or mineral supplements have been found to be clinically effective that even the most rigid scientific investigators now admit that everyone should be taking a "multi-vitamin" and mineral preparation for wellness protection or health "insurance." So the correct answer to the question "should I be taking a vitamin supplement" is "yes," and probably more....
Again, there are several ways this question can be answered, depending on the point of view being taken. For example, with regard to taking a "multi-vitamin" preparation, there are a number of choices one can make. Simply go to the vitamin section of any grocery store to see the large number of choices available to consumers. Although there may seem to be a large number of products to select from, the fact of the matter is that the choice of preparations will fall or segregate into one of three categories: 1) "replacement multi-vitamin," 2) "therapeutic multi-vitamin" and/or 3) individual or single vitamin products. The difference between the first two is critical. Almost all "national" replacement multi-vitamin preparations (Centrum TM, Centrum SilverTM, Theragram MTM, etc.) are based on the RDA recommendations. As discussed above, RDA levels are now being scientifically demonstrated to be ineffective in preventing many chronic degenerative diseases. Good examples of this are the inadequate levels of vitamin D, folic acid and vitamin C in many well known, nationally advertised replacement multi-vitamin formulas. A common explanation given in defense of these lower amounts is that the user will get additional vitamins from eating a "well balanced diet." Of course, the depleted soil and agri-business approach to putting back only those nutrients into the soil that increase "yield" and "marketable appearance" of the crop, but do not reflect what Nature actually intended to be in the produce clearly negates this argument. On the other hand, a therapeutic multi-vitamin contains therapeutically optimal amounts of all ingredients, usually multiple times the minimalist RDA values. The basis of "optimal" amounts versus "minimalist" amounts is the fundamental difference between a "replacement" and a "therapeutic" multi-vitamin and mineral.
Single or individual vitamin replacement is almost always used for "targeted" replacement and/or for therapeutic or treatment reasons. For example, the use of additional calcium supplements for optimal bone health, magnesium for optimal cardiovascular health and vitamins folic acid/B12/B6 for optimal gestational development, cardiovascular health and cancer protection. Amounts of folate/B12/B6 well above their respective RDA values have been scientifically demonstrated to play a very important part in protecting the nervous system of the developing fetus,6,10,11 preventing cancer, 3-9and preventing cardiovascular disease.12,13,16 Interestingly, it was the development of clinical and research scientific data regarding the scientific importance of vitamins B12, B6 and Folate well in excess of RDA values required for preventing "neural tube defects" in the fetus that began the scientific questioning of the validity of the RDA values. Given the current state of scientific research demonstrating current RDA's actually promote disease, they should be abandoned by any and all clinical practitioners as bench mark government values of little to no clinical value for individual patients.
1. A good therapeutic multi-vitamin, without iron or copper (ie Bio Health PlusTM, VitalositesTM, McGuff QSTM (pink), etc. (iron and copper are "pro-oxidants" and should only be supplemented when necessary.... based on specific lab testing for need). Although both are "essential" for normal function, they are also "toxic" free-radical generators at relatively low levels. They should be prescribed only when there is clear laboratory evidence of need.
2. Anti-Oxidants, either individually or in combination. The common "nutritional" anti-oxidants are Vitamin A, beta Carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Selenium ("ACES"). The doses may vary depending on circumstance and individual preference. Combination products are mixtures of moderate doses of all four "ACES" designed for simplicity and ease of use, usually requiring one capsule 2 or 3 times a day. Individual use of each anti-oxidant allows for more flexibility and individual choice, but at the expense of having to take many more pills, capsules or doses of powder daily.
I) Combination product recommended: Bio Health ACES
3. Therapeutic Folic Acid/B12/B6.
I) Combination product recommended: Bio Health BHC
II) Individual vitamin recommendations:
a) Folic Acid 5,000 micrograms (5 mg) daily.
b) Vitamin B12 2,000 micrograms (2 mg) daily.
c) Vitamin B6 50 mg daily.
Since these three particular vitamins are actually being recommended in "pharmacological" doses, they should be taken on a empty stomach (between meals or nothing to eat 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals) and away from any/all other supplements to maximize absorption. There have been no reported side effects to these vitamins in the recommended doses.
4. Bone Health. Bio Health's Cal Mag Day and Cal Mag Nite.
One thousand to 1,500 mg of highly absorbed calcium daily, divided into one third (333 to 500 mg) in the morning and two thirds (666 to 1,000 mg) at bedtime. In addition, Vitamin D3 600 to 1,500 units daily and Boron 2 to 4 mg daily.
5. Vitamin D3 is really not a vitamin (i.e. "vital amine") since, biochemically speaking, it does not contain an "amino group." In reality Vitamin D is an immune system modulating hormone. All class II restricted immune system cells in the human body have vitamin D receptors on the cell surface. This means that Vitamin D is vital to immune health. There are several biochemical types of Vitamin D. The most commonly encountered are Vitamin D2 (aka "ergo-calciferol," is made by treating yeast with ultraviolet light) and Vitamin D3 (aka "chole-calciferol," is made from sunlight [ultraviolet spectrum] interacting with cholesterol in human skin) have similar effects on calcium and bone metabolism they have very different effects on immune cells. Research done by Hoffman- La Roche pharmaceutical company demonstrated that Vitamin D2 (made from the yeast derived ergo-calciferol) actually decreases human immune cell function while Vitamin D3 enhances immune cell function. The RDA level of Vitamin D recommended for adults is 400 I.U. (international units). Current research has determined that this level has resulted in wide spread deficiency and/or sub-optimal blood levels in most people, independent of age (i.e. children and adults).31 Experts and researchers are currently recommending yearly blood testing of Vitamin D levels on all people and providing enough Vitamin D3 (1,000 to 4,000 IU daily) to keep their blood level in an "optimal" range of 40 to 60 ng/Dl not simply in a "statistically normal" range of 9 to 30 ng/Dl.32-33 For those who are not using Cal Mag day and Night formula listed in number 4 above it is that you take 1,000 to 4,000 units of Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) daily as determined by vitamin D blood testing. If your are taking the Cal Mag listed in number 4 you may want to consider having your vitamin D level tested to see if it is in the optimal range or additional Vitamin D3 should be added.
6. Prostate Health. Bio Health Prostate Formula. Recommended for men 45 years of age and older.
Saw Palmetto 320 Mg daily + Pygeum Africanus 50 Mg daily + Stinging Nettle Root 500 Mg daily. In addition, one fresh tomato, 1 Tbls tomato paste, 1/4 cup of spagetti sauce or lycopene 15-20 mg daily and consideration of very low dose (0.5 to 1.0 mg daily) transdermal progesterone cream.
7. Hormone Health. Male Ratio™or Fem Ratio™. Recommended for men or women 45 and older.
Due to the increasingly common exposure to environmental estrogen-like compounds, such as by- products of chlorination of water, pesticides, plastics, etc., optimizing hormone health should be considered by anyone interested in maintaining health and disease prevention. The number of cancers that are now considered to be "estrogen-dependent" has grown to include not only the commonly recognized female cancers of breast, uterus and ovary, but also includes cancer of the pancreas, some prostate cancers, and others. For this reason, the use of natural compounds that increase human liver metabolism of estrogen bi-products, such as indole 3 carbinol and others should be considered for inclusion in the diet regularly or taken as concentrated nutritional supplements. Vegetables of the Brassica family, which contain high amounts of indole-3-carbinol, and include cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, kale, brussel sprouts and others should be eaten on a regular basis or the supplements recommended above should be used.
One of the most important issues involving supplemental nutritional products is the "Quality" of the ingredients. The fact of the matter is that almost all vitamin preparations are produced by only two or three large international pharmaceutical companies. BASF (Germany), Hoffmann-La Roche (Switzerland) and Takeda (Japan) are three of the largest producers of bulk vitamin and mineral raw materials. These materials are then purchased by wholesale producers and/or smaller nutrition specialty companies for formulation and/or repackaging and labeling. Thus, the primary determinant of "Quality" for most nutritional preparations is freshness... the time from manufacture to sale. In most cases, more expensive "pharmaceutical grade" vitamin and mineral products tend to have the highest quality (freshest, most pure) ingredients. In some cases pharmaceutical grade ingredients may be used. Cheaper vitamin brands are usually made from ware-housed older raw materials sold at a cheaper price. In almost all circumstances the most "cost effective" brands are made from auctioned raw materials that are near the expiration date of their shelf life.
Since the average consumer cannot determine the actual "Quality" of the product they are buying, they must rely on the seller and/or manufacturer. In the case of Bio Health Center's products, since Dr. Edwards is a Nevada licensed physician (MD) and homeopathic physician (HMD), he relies on Nevada licensed compounding pharmacists for the pharmaceutical-grade production of many of the formula's designed by Dr. Edwards. The rest of Bio Health Center's nutritional supplements are produced by an international nutritional manufacturer using pharmaceutical-grade materials of superior quality. In fact, this company is one of the few American nutritional manufacturers allowed to market vitamins in Germany, a sure sign of superior quality control. For other products or brands we advise that the buyer try to stay with national companies of good reputation. It is unlikely that such a retailer would risk their good name and potential future business by using inferior raw materials. In the case of smaller companies and multi-level marketing type products one must use very good judgement and follow the legal theory of "caveat emptor"... let the buyer beware. The use of nationally recognized products from discount centers such as Wal-Mart™ or Costco™ is a good strategy for cutting costs and obtaining good quality products. Naturally, we feel the supplement formulas individually designed by Dr. Edwards specifically for use by patients of Bio Health Center are the very best Quality and formulations obtainable today, hence our bias in our list of recommended products. However, excellent quality substitute formulations are available. In some cases we have suggested comparable formulas by name. However, we suggest you compare the list of ingredients on comparable formulas whenever in doubt. We also provide "supplement review" consultation to help you evaluate the supplements you currently are (or should be?) taking and why (or why not in the not too uncommon case of taking too many unnecessary supplements!). There are many products to select from and the information about how to chose the right product(s) requires a high degree of knowledge and understanding. We hope the information provided here helps individuals in making the right choice... and at Bio Health Center we believe it is All about your personal health care choice.
- David A. Edwards, MD, HMD
|Intellectual Content: © International Bio Medical Research Institute, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt foundation. All Rights Reserved.|
Bio Health Center
"Quality Homeopathic Integrative Health Care on the cutting edge."
David A. Edwards, MD, HMD
McCarran Quail Park
615 Sierra Rose Drive, Suite 3; Reno NV 89511
Phone: 775.828.4055 Fax: 775.828.4255
*This Consumer Information is provided by the David A. Edwards, MD, HMD, Bio Health Center and the International BioMedical Research Institute, a
501 ( c ) (3) tax exempt research foundation and has not been evaluated for content by the U.S.F.D.A., U.S.F.T.C., the Nevada State Homeopathic
Medical Board or the Nevada State Medical Board, but is the professional opinion of Dr. Edwards and the certified staff of Bio Health Center under their
interpretation of the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Dr. Edwards is a licensed MD and a licensed Homeopathic MD in the State of Nevada.
The practice of Homeopathic Integrative medicine is licensed in Nevada and approved by the Nevada State legislature.
|© 2004 All Rights Reserved.|