9

votes

Why megadose on supplements

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 08, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Several paleo people here and elsewhere take megadoses of C, D, K and/or other vitamins or minerals, often based on recommendations by peers, paleo luminaries, and sometimes even MDs. While many official daily recommendations are clearly inadequate, I'd like to know why some people take ten or even hundred times the RDI.

Getting similar megadoses of the vitamins from real foods is practically impossible in any time frame. For example, one would have to eat 17 oranges a day to get to 1g of C, or to inhale almost 3 kilos of salmon to get 10k IU of D. Both numbers seem to be common in the megadose circles, and I've seen significantly higher ones.

It doesn't make any sense to me how millions of years of evolution taking us to the top of the food chain would leave such huge gaps in our metabolism, unless we're trying to reach some transhumanist territory.

Note I'm talking about relatively healthy individuals, megadosing for treatment of ailments, diseases or conditions is another topic.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 12, 2012
at 01:01 AM

I am here m8. You just don't notice me any more :P j/k, I am banned

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 11, 2012
at 07:56 PM

Welcome back maj, I missed you! Where the heck did you go?

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 09, 2012
at 11:38 AM

Melinda, the q was not triggered by anyone in particular. And I specifically said in the OP this is NOT about therapeutic dosing.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 06:07 AM

Yet he recommends megadoses of most nutrients...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 06:06 AM

Matt, K2 megadoses are used for a) calcification reversal b) carries c) preventing cerebral bleeding on very little babies d) cancer e)gut healing f)osteporosis ...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 06:05 AM

Matt, K2 megadoses are used for a) calcification reversal b) carries c) preventing cerebral bleeding on very little babies d) cancer e)gut healing ....

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 02:42 AM

Matt, I appreciate your interest. I'm emulating the shaman that says to me "your gut is broken, you bruise easily, you crave eating green leaves...if only I could get you concentrated amounts of what your body needs you could be replete and fixed and then save your money!" But then I would add that the chance of getting rid of my turkey neck is worth many cents and I'd keep taking it. I've only been on this dose for a little over a month. I track my progress and schedule breaks to assess efficacy. I've got broken bits, Paleo stops decline but I need some modern interventions to get fixed.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:50 AM

Melinda, I have to wonder what source of K2 you're emulating with megadosing at 15 mg per day.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:47 AM

Sure, goats need it. They cannot recycle spent ascorbate.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:38 AM

Thx god we have sunlight 24/7 on our naked bodies :P

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:37 AM

Looks reliable :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:36 AM

Thats why we use both - whole food and megadoses :)

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:35 AM

You assume too much. You can get neuropathy from B6>100mg or mineral disbalances from water soluble vitamins. K2, which is fat soluble, is un-overdosable. Sustained release B3 is hepatotoxic when > 500mg. Too much of anything can be toxic, but we don't assume what is too much, we measure it.

76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:31 AM

Wise goat is so badass. He's all like, "I make 15 grams of vitamin C a day, biatch. hollaaa!"

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:31 AM

Yeah, goats only waste glucose to produce it, nothing important really :) So they basically starve to obtain C, what a mad creatures...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:28 AM

Well said! Excellent answer. I've been mulling over what to write in response since my K2 at 15mg/day seemed to stimulate this question. Thanks.

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on January 08, 2012
at 09:38 PM

Vitamin D is also made from sunlight, that's how you'd get 10KIU, not salmon.

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on January 08, 2012
at 08:06 PM

I agree, but don't forget that veggies/cows were aggressively selected in the last 10,000 years towards specific goals, usually ending up with fewer nutrients than their wild varieties our ancestors were eating. Also, our water is way LESS mineral-rich as the one in paleo times, because today we have dams, cities, and reservoirs that don't allow the free movement of minerals with rain.

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6 Answers

5
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:14 AM

We megadose for multiple reasons.

  • Therapeutical doses should not be confused with maintance doses. You can choose vitamins over drugs. Since they are non toxic in majority of cases even when taken 10000 times more then RDA, while drugs are very toxic in majority of cases, I can really not see the down side. Choose vitamin B3 over statin any time, choose vitamin C over any antiviral any time, choose vitamin D and Mg over ACE blockers.

  • Food production, genetic modifying, industry & preparation destroys vitamins/minerals. Ranges go from 20 to 100%. Feeding on cafeteria diet reduces your C levels to 0 over few months. Paleolithic people consumed 2-100x more of almost each micronutrient. Primates consume 10x more of each nutrient and other animals produce vitamin C 24/7 in opti-megadoses.

  • Environmental and life style issues. For instance, taking 1g of vitamin C will remove from 30-85% of the lead, mercury, cadmium etc. from your body caused by smoking, food toxins, industrial vapors, traffic toxins etc.

  • Because evolution doesn't select for optimum level of endogenous chemicals as of cost vs benefit ratio. Benefit of any synthesis must be matched to the cost that it takes to keep the cellular machinery up and running. Optimal doses are at least 20% higher.

  • Because pharmaceutical drugs deplete levels - vitamin C vs aspirin, statin vs CoQ10, antibiotics vs K2 etc..

  • Because RDA is made to prevent final deficiencies which mean death and there is continuum between death and optimal level of body function.

  • Because we know it works from countless studies.

  • ... and sites that offer calculation of vitamin levels based on your dietary log are fairy tales.

  • .. and you age, so you are less efficient in number of pathways.

  • Most notably, because wise goat said so :P

why-megadose-on-supplements

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 02:42 AM

Matt, I appreciate your interest. I'm emulating the shaman that says to me "your gut is broken, you bruise easily, you crave eating green leaves...if only I could get you concentrated amounts of what your body needs you could be replete and fixed and then save your money!" But then I would add that the chance of getting rid of my turkey neck is worth many cents and I'd keep taking it. I've only been on this dose for a little over a month. I track my progress and schedule breaks to assess efficacy. I've got broken bits, Paleo stops decline but I need some modern interventions to get fixed.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:50 AM

Melinda, I have to wonder what source of K2 you're emulating with megadosing at 15 mg per day.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:28 AM

Well said! Excellent answer. I've been mulling over what to write in response since my K2 at 15mg/day seemed to stimulate this question. Thanks.

76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:31 AM

Wise goat is so badass. He's all like, "I make 15 grams of vitamin C a day, biatch. hollaaa!"

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 06:05 AM

Matt, K2 megadoses are used for a) calcification reversal b) carries c) preventing cerebral bleeding on very little babies d) cancer e)gut healing ....

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 06:06 AM

Matt, K2 megadoses are used for a) calcification reversal b) carries c) preventing cerebral bleeding on very little babies d) cancer e)gut healing f)osteporosis ...

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 09, 2012
at 11:38 AM

Melinda, the q was not triggered by anyone in particular. And I specifically said in the OP this is NOT about therapeutic dosing.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 11, 2012
at 07:56 PM

Welcome back maj, I missed you! Where the heck did you go?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 12, 2012
at 01:01 AM

I am here m8. You just don't notice me any more :P j/k, I am banned

5
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 08, 2012
at 10:08 PM

Reasons for mega-dosing vitamins vary:

  • Recommended daily intake (RDI) of many vitamins is pathetically low. It's a level where 50% of the population won't suffer overt deficiency, it's not the level for optimal health. Statistically 50% of folks need more. This is a valid reason for supplementing.
  • Some folks think that a little of something (like a vitamin) is good, a mega-dose must be mega-better. It's a waste of money most of the time.
  • Some folks use science to convince themselves that mega-doses are a good idea. Think of the Vitamin C zealots. They'll point to a goat and say we need to consume as much as the goat makes. Except humans have vitamin C recycling pathways, goats don't.

There's more I'm sure, but just a few that come to mind.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:31 AM

Yeah, goats only waste glucose to produce it, nothing important really :) So they basically starve to obtain C, what a mad creatures...

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:47 AM

Sure, goats need it. They cannot recycle spent ascorbate.

3
0b02387a55e728677f31e9b615681a9e

on January 09, 2012
at 02:29 AM

Paul Jaminet (http://perfecthealthdiet.com) writes about some good reasons not to megadose. Specifically, pathogens need nutrients too, and when you consume more micronutrients than needed by your body they can be available to pathogens. This is likely why niacin supplementation is correlated with many diseases -- niacin is a preferred micronutrient for many bacteria.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 06:07 AM

Yet he recommends megadoses of most nutrients...

2
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on January 08, 2012
at 02:02 PM

Well, the supplements won't be as bioavailable. You'll be lucky to be getting anywhere near the desired effect compared to consuming a whole food. Particularly on SAD.

Also, it doesn't really cost more to the manufacturer, and it gives people an added sense of value, so the high price seems more reasonable.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:36 AM

Thats why we use both - whole food and megadoses :)

2
1d1738cf2e03d99b2aaeec2813c4669f

(204)

on January 08, 2012
at 01:33 PM

In my personal opinion. (I'm not a doctor) I believe that mega dosing on any vitamin/mineral which is not water soluble is stupid and dangerous. Too much of anything in your body can turn toxic, even water. I can understand the vitamin C. The parts you don't use, you excrete. Same things happens with vitamin B. Water soluble vitamins, go ahead, fat soluble, don't over do it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:35 AM

You assume too much. You can get neuropathy from B6>100mg or mineral disbalances from water soluble vitamins. K2, which is fat soluble, is un-overdosable. Sustained release B3 is hepatotoxic when > 500mg. Too much of anything can be toxic, but we don't assume what is too much, we measure it.

1
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on January 09, 2012
at 12:33 AM

This is a "day in the life" vitamin-wise for me. As you can see, megadosing really isn't needed. Heck, I didn't eat much in the way of veggies today either (compared to normal). My nightcap is a shotglass of CLO (two tablespoons), which is why the A and D are so high, in summer months I switch to regular fish oil. The percentages are the USDA recommendations.

why-megadose-on-supplements

I had bacon and eggs, coffee, half an orange, 6oz of ground beef on lettuce, 7oz of tuna cooked in olive oil (it's all I have right now, I'd prefer to use Coconut oil), and coleslaw made with purple cabbage and olive oil mayo. Today, after taking the CLO into account, I had a 1:1 ratio of O6/O3.

Just in case the question comes up - I use CRON-O-Meter for the diet tracking. I'm trending pretty much everything that goes into my body over the next few months.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 09, 2012
at 01:37 AM

Looks reliable :)

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