As the year draws to a close, it is a good time to reflect on the past year, as well as to look forward to the New Year with respect to one’s health goals. This includes assessing your nutritional supplement regimen. There is more confusion about nutritional supplements than ever. With this in mind, we present “Megavitamin Myth-Busting” from Andrew W. Saul, PhD and Helen Saul Case from the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service to clear confusion about vitamins and other nutritional supplements, and set the record straight. Enjoy! ~
Commentary by Andrew W. Saul and Helen Saul Case
(Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, Dec 23, 2019)
People are so confused about endless internet vitamin legends. Now it’s time to be blunt and set the record straight.
The media says that taking vitamins will kill me. Is that so? NO.
It’s been said that the FDA does not regulate nutritional supplements. Is that true? NO. “FDA regulates both finished dietary supplement products and dietary ingredients.” [U.S. Food and Drug Administration, http://www.fda.gov/Food/DietarySupplements/ ]
Do I need special vitamin preparations for my body to absorb them? NO. With vitamins, there is usually no absorption issue. All animals need and absorb nutrients, including vitamins. If they didn’t, they’d be long extinct. The surface area of your small intestine, if all the nooks and crannies were flatted out, would be half the size of a regulation basketball court. There is ample opportunity for nutrient absorption.
Some persons have a genetic trait that makes it more difficult for them to convert dietary carotene into active vitamin A. Does this mean they must take preformed oil retinol A? NO. Even a poor converter can still make sufficient vitamin A from carotene if they eat lots of fruits and vegetables . . . which we should all be doing anyway.
Is niacin clinically incompatible for people with methylation issues? NO. Theoretically, perhaps. But Dr. Abram Hoffer, the world’s most experienced niacin physician, has said it is not clinically significant.
Aren’t B-vitamins so poorly absorbed that they need to be methylated? NO. Comparing their molecular weights with the simplest of all sugars, we find:
•Glucose (C6H12O6) weighs 180 grams/mole • Niacin (C6H5NO2) weighs 123 g/mol • Pyridoxine 169 g/mol • Pantothenic acid 219 g/mol • Biotin 244 g/mol • Thiamin 265 g/mol • Riboflavin 376 g/mol • Folic acid or folate 441 [Methylated may be better. However: 1) See: Bailey LB. Dietary reference intakes for folate: the debut of dietary folate equivalents. Nutr Rev. 1998;56(10):294-299. And 2) The Linus Pauling Institute says: “Unmetabolized folic acid concentrations returned to baseline levels at the end of the study, suggesting that adaptive mechanisms eventually converted folic acid to reduced forms of folate.” • Cobalamin 1,355 g/mol [methylated is probably better in this case]
Do I need to consume vitamin K-2 because K-1 in foods is ineffective? NO. Your body will make the conversion for you. John Cannell, MD, writes that the conversion “occurs through an intermediary molecule, vitamin K3, which is made in the intestine from vitamin K1. [Hirota Y, et al. J Biol Chem. 2013 Sep 30.] “[M]odern humans are deficient in K2 because they do not eat large quantities of vitamin K1 containing foods. If we look at Paleolithic humans, they probably got high amount of vitamin K2 from eating large quantities of kale and spinach-like foods, very high in K1, which then supplied their tissues with all the vitamin K2 they needed. [A]s far as getting enough vitamin K2, the best thing to do is eat your greens.”
I drink milk, and I spend time in the sunshine. Don’t I get plenty of vitamin D? NO. If your shadow is longer than you are, you are not making vitamin D from sunlight, says William Grant, PhD. Thus, little vitamin D is made by your body in the six colder months of the year. This is also true in the summer months if only exposed to sun mornings and afternoons. http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v07n07.shtml
(Andrew W. Saul, OMNS founder and Editor-in-Chief, has coauthored four books with Abram Hoffer, MD, and is editor of the textbook The Orthomolecular Treatment of Chronic Disease. OMNS Assistant Editor Helen Saul Case is the author of The Vitamin Cure for Women’s Health Problems, Vitamins & Pregnancy: The Real Story, and Orthomolecular Nutrition for Everyone.)
Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine
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I previously wrote METHYLATION CYCLE, GENETICS, B VITAMINS in which I considered in-depth how the Methylation Cycle functions, how genetics affect metabolic pathways, and how B vitamins (including vitamin B12, folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B2) are used in Methylation Cycle pathways. In today’s article, I take an in-depth view of what you need to know about vitamin B12, including the effects of not having sufficient amounts of Vitamin B12 in the body.
Vitamin B12 is one of eight B vitamins. It is the largest and most structurally complicated vitamin. It consists of a class of chemically related compounds (vitamers), all of which show physiological activity. It contains the biochemically rare element cobalt positioned in the center of a chemical ring structure.
Vitamin B12 (also called cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin that is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body. It is a cofactor in DNA synthesis, and in both fatty acid and amino acid metabolism. It is particularly important in the normal functioning of the nervous system via its role in the synthesis of myelin and in the maturation of developing red blood cells in the bone marrow.
Vitamin B12 contains the biochemically rare element cobalt positioned in the center of a chemical ring structure.
YOUR NEED FOR VITAMIN B12
Vitamin B12 deficiency is thought to be one of the leading nutritional deficiencies in the world. An extensive 2004 study showed that deficiency is a major health concern in many parts of the world, including the North America, Central and South America, India, and certain areas in Africa. It is estimated that 40 percent of people may have low levels of vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 affects your mood, energy level, memory, nervous system, heart, skin, hair, digestion and more. It is a key nutrient regarding adrenal fatigue and multiple metabolic functions including enzyme production, DNA synthesis, and hormonal balance.
Because of vitamin B12’s extensive roles within the body, a vitamin deficiency can show up in many different symptoms, such as chronic fatigue, mood disorders such as depression, chronic stress, and low energy.
SOURCES OF VITAMIN B12
The only organisms to produce vitamin B12 are certain bacteria and archaea. Some of these bacteria are found in the soil around the grasses that ruminants eat. They are taken into the animal, proliferate, form part of their gut flora, and continue to produce vitamin B12.
Products of animal origin such as beef (especially liver), chicken, pork, eggs, dairy, clams, and fish constitute the primary food source of vitamin B12. Older individuals and vegans are advised to use vitamin B12 fortified foods and supplements to meet their needs.
Salmon is a good source of Vitamin B12
Commercially, Vitamin B12 is prepared by bacterial fermentation. Fermentation by a variety of microorganisms yields a mixture of methylcobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, and adenosylcobalamin. Since multiple species of propionibacterium produce no exotoxins or endotoxins and have been granted GRAS status (generally regarded as safe) by the United States Food and Drug Administration, they are the preferred bacterial fermentation organisms for vitamin B12 production.
Methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin are the forms of vitamin B12 used in the human body (called coenzyme forms). The form of cobalamin used in many some nutritional supplements and fortified foods, cyanocobalamin, is readily converted to 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin in the body.
Hydroxocobalamin is the direct precursor of methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin. In mammals, cobalamin is a cofactor for only two enzymes, methionine synthase (MS) and L-methylmalonyl-coenzyme A mutase (MUT).
Unlike most other vitamins, B12 is stored in substantial amounts, mainly in the liver, until it is needed by the body. If a person stops consuming the vitamin, the body’s stores of this vitamin usually take about 3 to 5 years to exhaust. Vitamin B12 is primarily stored in the liver as 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin, but is easily converted to methylcobalamin.
ABSORPTION OF VITAMIN B12
Vitamin B12, bound to protein in food, is released by the activity of hydrochloric acid and gastric protease in the stomach. Intestinal absorption of vitamin B12 requires successively three different protein molecules: Haptocorrin, Intrinsic Factor and Transcobalamin II. If there are deficiencies in any of these factors absorption of Vitamin B12 can be seriously decreased.
When vitamin B12 is added to fortified foods and dietary supplements, it is already in free form and, thus, does not require the separation from food protein step. Free vitamin B12 then combines with intrinsic factor, a glycoprotein secreted by the stomach’s parietal cells, and the resulting complex undergoes absorption within the distal ileum by receptor-mediated endocytosis.
Approximately 56% of a 1 mcg oral dose of vitamin B12 is absorbed, but absorption decreases drastically when the capacity of intrinsic factor is exceeded (at 1–2 mcg of vitamin B12).
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be difficult to detect, especially since the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency can be similar to many common symptoms, such as feeling tired or unfocused, experienced by people for a variety of reasons.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is commonly associated with chronic stomach inflammation, which may contribute to an autoimmune vitamin B12 malabsorption syndrome called pernicious anemia and to a food-bound vitamin B12 malabsorption syndrome. Poor absorption of vitamin B may be related to coeliac disease. Impairment of vitamin B12 absorption can cause megaloblastic anemia and neurologic disorders in deficient subjects. In some cases, permanent damage can be caused to the body when B12 amounts are deficient.
It is noteworthy that normal function of the digestive system required for food-bound vitamin B12 absorption is commonly impaired in individuals over 60 years of age, placing them at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.
A diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency is typically based on the measurement of serum vitamin B12 levels within the blood. However, studies show that about 50 percent of patients with diseases related to vitamin B12 deficiency have normal B12 levels when tested. This can cause individuals to ignore taking in adequate levels of vitamin B12 with potential serious consequences.
FUNCTIONS AND ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH VITAMIN B12 STATUS IN THE BODY
Vitamin B12 or cobalamin plays essential roles in folate metabolism and in the synthesis of the citric acid cycle intermediate, succinyl-CoA.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is commonly associated with chronic stomach inflammation, which may contribute to an autoimmune vitamin B12 malabsorption syndrome called pernicious anemia and to a food-bound vitamin B12 malabsorption syndrome. Impairment of vitamin B12 absorption can cause megaloblastic anemia and neurologic disorders in deficient subjects.
Normal function of the digestive system required for food-bound vitamin B12 absorption is commonly impaired in individuals over 60 years of age, placing them at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 and folate are important for homocysteine metabolism. Elevated homocysteine levels in blood are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). B vitamin supplementation has been proven effective to control homocysteine levels.
The preservation of DNA integrity is dependent on folate and vitamin B12 availability. Poor vitamin B12 status has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer in some, but not all, observational studies.
Low maternal vitamin B12 status has been associated with an increased risk of neural tube defects (NTD), but it is not known whether vitamin B12 supplementation could help reduce the risk of NTD.
Vitamin B12 is essential for the preservation of the myelin sheath around neurons and for the synthesis of neurotransmitters. A severe vitamin B12 deficiency may damage nerves, causing tingling or loss of sensation in the hands and feet, muscle weakness, loss of reflexes, difficulty walking, confusion, and dementia.
While hyperhomocysteinemia may increase the risk of cognitive impairment, it is not clear whether vitamin B12 deficiency contributes to the risk of dementia in the elderly. Although B-vitamin supplementation lowers homocysteine levels in older subjects, the long-term benefit is not yet known.
Both depression and osteoporosis have been linked to diminished vitamin B12 status and high homocysteine levels.
The long-term use of certain medications, such as inhibitors of stomach acid secretion, can adversely affect vitamin B12 absorption.
Vitamin B12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis.
MORE DETAILS ASSOCIATED WITH VITAMIN B12 STATUS IN THE BODY
1. Vitamin B12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. Vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin functions as a cofactor for methionine synthase. Methionine synthase (MS) catalyzes the conversion of homocysteine to methionine. Methionine along with ATP is required for the formation of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), a universal methyl donor for almost 100 different substrates, including DNA, RNA, hormones, proteins, and lipids.
2. Vitamin B12 as 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin functions as a cofactor along with L-methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (MUT) to convert L-methylmalonyl-CoA to succinyl-CoA in the degradation of propionate, an essential biochemical reaction in fat and protein metabolism. Succinyl-CoA is also required for hemoglobin synthesis.
3. Vitamin B12, bound to protein in food, is released by the activity of hydrochloric acid and gastric protease in the stomach. When synthetic vitamin B12 is added to fortified foods and dietary supplements, it is already in free form and, thus, does not require this separation step. Free vitamin B12 then combines with intrinsic factor, a glycoprotein secreted by the stomach’s parietal cells, and the resulting complex undergoes absorption within the distal ileum by receptor-mediated endocytosis. Approximately 56% of a 1 mcg oral dose of vitamin B12 is absorbed, but absorption decreases drastically when the capacity of intrinsic factor is exceeded (at 1–2 mcg of vitamin B12).
4. Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disease that affects the gastric mucosa and results in gastric atrophy. This leads to the destruction of parietal cells, achlorhydria, and failure to produce intrinsic factor, resulting in vitamin B12 malabsorption. If pernicious anemia is left untreated, it causes vitamin B12 deficiency, leading to megaloblastic anemia and neurological disorders, even in the presence of adequate dietary intake of vitamin B12.
5. Vitamin B12 status is typically assessed via serum or plasma vitamin B12 levels. Values below approximately 170–250 pg/mL (120–180 picomol/L) for adults indicate a vitamin B12 deficiency. However, evidence suggests that serum vitamin B12 concentrations might not accurately reflect intracellular concentrations. An elevated serum homocysteine level (values >13 micromol/L) might also suggest a vitamin B12 deficiency. However, this indicator has poor specificity because it is influenced by other factors, such as low vitamin B6 or folate levels. Elevated methylmalonic acid levels (values >0.4 micromol/L) might be a more reliable indicator of vitamin B12 status because they indicate a metabolic change that is highly specific to vitamin B12 deficiency.
6. Vitamin B12 deficiency is characterized by megaloblastic anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Neurological changes, such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, can also occur . Additional symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include difficulty maintaining balance, depression, confusion, dementia, poor memory, and soreness of the mouth or tongue. The neurological symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can occur without anemia, so early diagnosis and intervention is important to avoid irreversible damage. During infancy, signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency include failure to thrive, movement disorders, developmental delays, and megaloblastic anemia. Many of these symptoms are general and can result from a variety of medical conditions other than vitamin B12 deficiency.
7. Typically, vitamin B12 deficiency is treated with vitamin B12 injections, since this method bypasses potential barriers to absorption. However, high doses of oral vitamin B12 can also be effective. The authors of a review of randomized controlled trials comparing oral with intramuscular vitamin B12 concluded that 2,000 mcg (I like 5,000 mcg) of oral vitamin B12 daily, followed by a decreased daily dose of 1,000 mcg and then 1,000 mcg weekly and finally, monthly might be as effective as intramuscular administration. Overall, an individual patient’s ability to absorb vitamin B12 is the most important factor in determining whether vitamin B12 should be administered orally or via injection. In most countries, the practice of using intramuscular vitamin B12 to treat vitamin B12 deficiency has remained unchanged.
8. Large amounts of folate can mask the damaging effects of vitamin B12 deficiency by correcting the megaloblastic anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency without correcting the neurological damage that also occurs. Moreover, preliminary evidence suggests that high serum folate levels might not only mask vitamin B12 deficiency, but could also exacerbate the anemia and worsen the cognitive symptoms associated with vitamin B12 deficiency. Permanent nerve damage can occur if vitamin B12 deficiency is not treated. For these reasons, folate intake from fortified food and supplements should not exceed 1,000 mcg daily in healthy adults.
Groups at Risk of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
The main causes of vitamin B12 deficiency include vitamin B12 malabsorption from food, pernicious anemia, postsurgical malabsorption, and dietary deficiency. However, in many cases, the cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is unknown. The following groups are among those most likely to be vitamin B12 deficient.
Older adults: Atrophic gastritis, a condition affecting 10%–30% of older adults, decreases secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, resulting in decreased absorption of vitamin B12. Decreased hydrochloric acid levels might also increase the growth of normal intestinal bacteria that use vitamin B12, further reducing the amount of vitamin B12 available to the bodY.
Individuals with atrophic gastritis are unable to absorb the vitamin B12 that is naturally present in food. Most, however, can absorb the synthetic vitamin B12 added to fortified foods and dietary supplements. As a result, the IOM recommends that adults older than 50 years obtain most of their vitamin B12 from vitamin supplements or fortified foods. However, some elderly patients with atrophic gastritis require doses much higher than the RDA to avoid subclinical deficiency.
Individuals with pernicious anemia: Pernicious anemia, a condition that affects 1%–2% of older adults, is characterized by a lack of intrinsic factor. Individuals with pernicious anemia cannot properly absorb vitamin B12 in the gastrointestinal tract. Pernicious anemia is usually treated with intramuscular vitamin B12. However, approximately 1% of oral vitamin B12 can be absorbed passively in the absence of intrinsic factor, suggesting that high oral doses of vitamin B12 might also be an effective treatment.
Individuals with gastrointestinal disorders: Individuals with stomach and small intestine disorders, such as celiac disease and Crohn’s disease, may be unable to absorb enough vitamin B12 from food to maintain healthy body stores. Subtly reduced cognitive function resulting from early vitamin B12 deficiency might be the only initial symptom of these intestinal disorders, followed by megaloblastic anemia and dementia.
Individuals who have had gastrointestinal surgery: Surgical procedures in the gastrointestinal tract, such as weight loss surgery or surgery to remove all or part of the stomach, often result in a loss of cells that secrete hydrochloric acid and intrinsic factor. This reduces the amount of vitamin B12, particularly food-bound vitamin B12, that the body releases and absorbs. Surgical removal of the distal ileum also can result in the inability to absorb vitamin B12. Individuals undergoing these surgical procedures should be monitored preoperatively and postoperatively for several nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vegetarians: Strict vegetarians and vegans are at greater risk than lacto-ovo vegetarians and non-vegetarians of developing vitamin B12 deficiency because natural food sources of vitamin B12 are limited to animal foods. Fortified breakfast cereals and fortified nutritional yeasts are some of the only sources of vitamin B12 from plants and can be used as dietary sources of vitamin B12 for strict vegetarians and vegans. Fortified foods vary in formulation, so it is important to read the Nutrition Facts labels on food products to determine the types and amounts of added nutrients they contain.
Pregnant and lactating women who follow strict vegetarian diets and their infants: Vitamin B12 crosses the placenta during pregnancy and is present in breast milk. Exclusively breastfed infants of women who consume no animal products may have very limited reserves of vitamin B12 and can develop vitamin B12 deficiency within months of birth. Undetected and untreated vitamin B12 deficiency in infants can result in severe and permanent neurological damage.
The American Dietetic Association recommends supplemental vitamin B12 for vegans and lacto-ovo vegetarians during both pregnancy and lactation to ensure that enough vitamin B12 is transferred to the fetus and infant. Pregnant and lactating women who follow strict vegetarian or vegan diets should consult with a pediatrician regarding vitamin B12 supplements for their infants and children.
Health Risks from Excessive Vitamin B12
The IOM did not establish a UL for vitamin B12 because of its low potential for toxicity. In Dietary Reference Intakes: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline, the IOM states that “no adverse effects have been associated with excess vitamin B12 intake from food and supplements in healthy individuals”.
Findings from intervention trials support these conclusions. In the NORVIT and HOPE 2 trials, vitamin B12 supplementation (in combination with folic acid and vitamin B6) did not cause any serious adverse events when administered at doses of 0.4 mg for 40 months (NORVIT trial) and 1.0 mg for 5 years (HOPE 2 trial).
Interactions with Medications
Vitamin B12 has the potential to interact with certain medications. In addition, several types of medications might adversely affect vitamin B12 levels. A few examples are provided below. Individuals taking these and other medications on a regular basis should discuss their vitamin B12 status with their healthcare providers.
Chloramphenicol: Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin®) is a bacteriostatic antibiotic. Limited evidence from case reports indicates that chloramphenicol can interfere with the red blood cell response to supplemental vitamin B12 in some patients.
Proton pump inhibitors: Proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole (Prilosec®) and lansoprazole (Prevacid®), are used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcer disease. These drugs can interfere with vitamin B12 absorption from food by slowing the release of gastric acid into the stomach. However, the evidence is conflicting on whether proton pump inhibitor use affects vitamin B12 status. As a precaution, healthcare providers should monitor vitamin B12 status in patients taking proton pump inhibitors for prolonged periods.
H2 receptor antagonists: Histamine H2 receptor antagonists, used to treat peptic ulcer disease, include cimetidine (Tagamet®), famotidine (Pepcid®), and ranitidine (Zantac®). These medications can interfere with the absorption of vitamin B12 from food by slowing the release of hydrochloric acid into the stomach. Although H2 receptor antagonists have the potential to cause vitamin B12 deficiency, no evidence indicates that they promote vitamin B12 deficiency, even after long-term use. Clinically significant effects may be more likely in patients with inadequate vitamin B12 stores, especially those using H2 receptor antagonists continuously for more than 2 years.
Metformin: Metformin, a hypoglycemic agent used to treat diabetes, might reduce the absorption of vitamin B12, possibly through alterations in intestinal mobility, increased bacterial overgrowth, or alterations in the calcium-dependent uptake by ileal cells of the vitamin B12-intrinsic factor complex. Small studies and case reports suggest that 10%–30% of patients who take metformin have reduced vitamin B12 absorption. In a randomized, placebo controlled trial in patients with type 2 diabetes, metformin treatment for 4.3 years significantly decreased vitamin B12 levels by 19% and raised the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency by 7.2% compared with placebo. Some studies suggest that supplemental calcium might help improve the vitamin B12 malabsorption caused by metformin, but not all researchers agree.
Background: Low vitamin B-12 status is prevalent among the elderly, but few studies have examined the association between vitamin B-12 status and intake.Objective: We hypothesized that vitamin B-12 concentrations vary according to intake source.Design: Plasma concentrations and dietary intakes were assessed cross-sectionally for 2999 subjects in the Framingham Offspring Study. The prevalence of vitamin B-12 concentrations <148, 185, and 258 pmol/L was examined by age group (26–49, 50–64, and 65–83 y), supplement use, and the following food intake sources: fortified breakfast cereal, dairy products, and meat.Results: Thirty-nine percent of subjects had plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations <258 pmol/L, 17% had concentrations <185 pmol/L, and 9% had concentrations <148 pmol/L, with little difference between age groups. Supplement users were significantly less likely than non-supplement-users to have concentrations <185 pmol/L (8% compared with 20%, respectively). Among non-supplement-users, there were significant differences between those who consumed fortified cereal >4 times/wk (12%) and those who consumed no fortified cereal (23%) and between those in the highest and those in the lowest tertile of dairy intake (13% compared with 24%, respectively), but no significant differences by meat tertile. Regression of plasma vitamin B-12 on log of intake, by source, yielded significant slopes for each contributor adjusted for the others. For the total group, b = 40.6 for vitamin B-12 from vitamin supplements. Among non-supplement-users, b = 56.4 for dairy products, 35.2 for cereal, and 16.7 for meat. Only the meat slope differed significantly from the others.Conclusions: In contrast with previous reports, plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations were associated with vitamin B-12 intake. Use of supplements, fortified cereal, and milk appears to protect against lower concentrations. Further research is needed to investigate possible differences in bioavailability.
I previously published “Homocysteine Genetics – Coenzyme B Vitamins” in which I considered in-depth how homocysteine (an intermediate chemical in the Methylation Cycle) is formed from methionine, how genetics affects the metabolic pathways, and how B vitamins are used in metabolic pathways. I also wrote “Folate Ingredients – Folinic Acid & 5-MTHF” which discussed how coenzyme folate vitamins are far superior to the synthetic folic acid form. In today’s article, I take a broader view of the topic that encompasses the Methylation Cycle, genetics, and B vitamins.
THE METHYLATION CYCLE
The Methylation Cycle is considered to be one of the most important metabolic pathways in the human body. Its most important function is to provide methyl groups via SAM (S-adenosyl methionine) to hundreds of different body substrates. Methylation is continually occurring in the body, transforming many millions of molecules throughout the body every second. Molecules receive methyl groups, then separate and recombine continuously, transforming and reforming constantly in the ongoing process of life!
As a reminder of the pathways involved in the Methylation Cycle, the following figure provides a flow chart showing the details.
Figure 1. Metabolic Pathways in Methylation Cycle
A key purpose of this cycle is to provide methyl groups (CH3) needed by a broad range of of body functions (over 200 different functions). Examples include:
Influences the genetic expression that parents give their children and helps guide the development of the embryo.
Is needed by the nervous system to produce neurotransmitters and maintain the nerves.
Mobilizes fats and cholesterol so they do not accumulate where they are harmful, such as the arteries and liver.
Regulates hormones, including, estrogen, adrenaline, and melatonin.
Detoxifies harmful chemicals and histamine a prime substance involved in inflammation.
Helps repair damaged proteins in the cells so they can function properly.
Protects the DNA in the genome (genetic code) to reduce the chances of mutation.
Creates antioxidants used in the antioxidant defense system.
DESCRIPTION OF PATHWAYS WITHIN THE METHYLATION CYCLE
The overall flow of the Methylation Cycle begins with dietary methionine (an essential amino acid) which combines with ATP (adenosine triphosphate – body energy) to form SAM (S-adenosyl methionine) – the common cosubstrate involved in methyl group transfers, transsulfuration, and aminopropylation. When SAM transfers a methyl group to a body chemical the residue from this reaction leads to the production of homocysteine.
Homocysteine can be converted in the transsulfuration pathway that requires coenzyme vitamin B6 to produce cysteine, glutathione, taurine, and sulfates. These sulfur containing substances provide important antioxidant protection and detoxification functions in the body.
Homocysteine can be converted back to methionine through the betaine (trimethyl glycine) pathway which requires zinc and magnesium. This pathway also requires dietary betaine or choline which the body can convert into betaine.
Also, homocysteine can be converted back to methionine via the remethylation pathway which requires 5-MTHF, coenzyme vitamin B2 and methylcobalamin (B12).
It is important to understand that each of the pathways described above are able to be executed only in the presence of enzymes (shown in blue boxes in the diagram) created by specific genes in your genetic code. For example, Betaine-Homocysteine S-Methyltransferase (BHMT) is the enzyme required in the betaine pathway, Cystathione Beta Synthase (CBS) is the enzyme required in the transsulfuration pathway, and Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR) and Methionine Synthase (MS) are enzymes required in the remethylation pathway.
Assuming that you have perfect genetics (no mutations, SNPs, free radical damage, insertions/deletions, etc.), the proper functioning of these pathways are still subjected to the fact that the required vitamins and minerals (vitamin B6, vitamin B2, Folate, vitamin B12, zinc, magnesium, and betaine) need to be provided by your diet or from supplements for the body to function correctly.
In addition, exposure to high levels of toxins from your environment and high levels of stress require that the nutritional needs will be even higher for the pathways to work properly. For example, exposure to high levels of toxins requires that the transsulfuration pathway be more active possibly reducing the amount of available methionine to support necessary methyl transfer reactions.
For these reasons alone the consensus of knowledgeable practitioners is that you should be eating an organic whole foods diet, taking appropriate nutritional supplements, avoiding and eliminating toxins from food, water, and air (living in a clean environment), and avoiding an unduly stressful life. All of these actions fall into the category of Epigenetics which you generally have control over!! Doing these things alone could significantly balance the functioning of your Methylation Cycle and improve your health.
Unfortunately, few people have perfect genetics which often causes the various pathways in the Methylation Cycle to become imbalanced and unable to correct the dysregulation imposed upon the body. For example, the enzyme MTHFR can have heterozygous (single chromosome) genetic variations in up to 50% of certain populations and homozygous genetic variations (both chromosomes) in 10% or more of certain populations.
Some disorders that researchers have associated with MTHFR genetic variations include:
Chronic fatigue syndrome
High blood pressure
Irritable bowel syndrome
Migraines with aura
Nitrous oxide toxicity
Unexplained neurologic disease
This extensive list is highly significant and tells us that it is very important to have genetic testing done for the genes/enzymes in the Methylation Cycle pathway. I prefer the BodySync genetic test which evaluates the key Methylation Cycle genes plus many other important genes in a single test.
B VITAMINS AND MINERALS
We are strong believers that everyone should start their nutritional program by eating a balanced, organic, whole foods diet. We have been doing this ourselves for the past 30 years. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of people follow this advice and in most cases this leads to poor nutritional status that does not adequately support the body’s needs. This is especially true with respect to obtaining the nutrients needed to support the Methylation Cycle.
Nine of our family members and associates have taken the BodySync genetic test which evaluates the condition of 45 different enzymes including CBS, MTHFR (2 variations), MTR (related to B12 and 5-MTHF as they relate to methionine synthase – MS), and MTRR (related to maintaining B12 levels needed by the MTR enzyme). In every case the results showed at least 2 and up to 4 enzymes had genetic variations. These results indicate that the nutritional requirements for folate as 5-MTHF, vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, magnesium and zinc will likely be significantly greater than normal.
Given the above information, it seems essential for good health to take nutritional supplements that provide the important nutrients. Below I will discuss various formulas that I have developed and refined over many years that are useful especially for the Methylation Cycle.
Please note that Health Products Distributors, Inc. (HPDI) is the preferred supplier of nutritional supplements by the BodySync genetic testing company.
When looking at the total needs the body has for nutrients that the body does not produce, including fat soluble vitamins (A, D (some), E, K1 and K2), vitamin C, B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folate, B12, biotin, choline, and inositol), minerals (Ca, Mg, Zn, Se, Cu, Mn, Cr, Mo, K, boron, and vanadium), and betaine it only seems wise to include as a top priority a Multivitamin that includes all of these in what I term therapeutic amounts (carefully selected after evaluating thousands of research studies carried out over many years.)
In this context, it is important to recognize that every enzymatic reaction in the body requires mineral cofactors in order to carry out its function. A good multivitamin provides many of these required minerals.
Additionally, the multivitamin should contain ingredient forms that research has confirmed to be the most absorbable and usable by the body. These include coenzyme B vitamins, Krebs cycle (citrate, alpha-ketoglutarate, succinate, fumarate, & malate) minerals, and amino acid chelates.
In the context of supporting the Methylation Cycle we are looking for specific forms and amounts of B vitamins that can adequately provide the body’s needs. The means that there should be coenzyme folate as 5-MTHF of at least 400 mcg, coenzyme vitamin B-12 as methylcobalamin of at least 200 mcg, Vitamin B6 (including significant amounts of pyridoxal 5′ phosphate) of at least 40 mg, and Vitamin B2 (including significant amounts of riboflavin 5′ phosphate) of at least 25 mg. In addition, magnesium (100 mg) and zinc (at least 20 mg) should be provided.
Please note that the body’s requirements for magnesium is generally accepted by nutritional experts to be higher than 400 mg daily (and as high as 1,000 mg daily). For this reason we generally recommend that a person take supplemental magnesium (such as HPDI’s MYO-MAG) at levels over 400 mg daily.
The two multivitamin formulas Health Products Distributors provides for adults that meet these requirements (and more) are the Hank & Brian’s Mighty Multi-Vite and Multi Two (in both capsule and tablet forms). Click on the bottles below for technical details.
In situations where significant genetic variations are present it may be wise to add a B COMPLEX supplement to the MULTIVITAMIN to provide even larger amounts of the needed B vitamins. HPDI provides a B-Complex-50 product that includes significant amounts of coenzyme forms and contains 50 mg of Vitamin B1, 50 mg of Vitamin B2, 100 mg of Vitamin B3, 50 mg of Vitamin B6, 500 mcg of coenzyme folate (both folinic acid and 5-MTHF), 100 mcg of B12 (both methylcobalamin and hydroxocobalmin), 50 mg of Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), 500 mg of Biotin, 50 mg of choline, and 50 mg of inositol. Click on the bottle below for technical details.
FOLATE AS 5-MTHF
In situations where an inadequate diet is present and genetic testing indicates an MTHFR variation (especially a homozygous variation) Health Products Distributors provides a 5-MTHF folate supplement that easily absorbs into the body and can be directly used in combination with Vitamin B12 to convert homocysteine to methionine. Click on the bottle below for technical details.
5-MTHF 1 mg in veggie cap
B-12 as METHYLCOBALAMIN
It is often the case for older patients and vegetarians that Vitamin B12 is deficient. In these cases it is wise to supplement with a significant amount of methylcobalamin to ensure that the Methylation Cycle has sufficient to effectively convert homocysteine into methionine. Health Products Distributors Vitamin B12 contains 5 mg of methylcobalamin in sublingual lozenge form that supports excellent absorption even if swallowed and absorbed by diffusion. Click on the bottle below for technical details.
Magnesium and zinc are two important minerals used in the betaine pathway of the Methylation Cycle in which homocysteine is converted back to methionine.
In the body magnesium is involved in more than 400 essential metabolic reactions and is required by the adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-synthesizing protein in mitochondria. ATP, the molecule that provides energy for almost all metabolic processes, exists primarily as a complex with magnesium (MgATP). Therefore, it also is involved in converting methionine to SAM.
Over 300 different enzymes depend on zinc for their ability to catalyze vital chemical reactions. Zinc-dependent enzymes can be found in all known classes of enzymes.
Health Products Distributors provides 100 mg magnesium/vcap in its MYO-MAG supplement which is especially important in increasing ATP in the Krebs Cycle. This product also contains vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and vitamin B6 with substantial amounts of coenzyme forms and manganese. Click on the bottle below for technical details.
MYO-MAG with 100 mg magnesium per serving and key B vitamins.
Health Products Distributors provides 25 mg zinc/serving in its Double Zinc Plussupplement. This formula provides zinc in the picolinate and citrate forms as well as 3 mg of P5P (coenzyme B6). Click on the bottle below for technical details.
Double Zinc Plus supplement with P5P and 25 mg zinc
The Methylation Cycle is recognized as one of the most important metabolic pathways in the human body. When not properly supported by key B vitamins and minerals, the Methylation Cycle can become severely imbalanced which can lead to a very wide range of poor health conditions. Furthermore, genetic variations in the genes that produce important enzymes allowing the Methylation Cycle to function correctly lead to even further imbalances and greater possibility for conditions of poor health.
In this article, I have provided insight into how the Methylation Cycle works and how it can be significantly supported by lifestyle changes regarding diet and environment (Epigenetics) and by specific B vitamins and mineral supplements that I have developed over many years. In addition, we have shown that knowledge gained from genetic testing can further provide a critical understanding of your specific needs so that your health can be optimized.
As if Rejuvenate! PLUS weren’t already the delicious, nutritious superfood you know and love. Now, Dr. Hank Liers, HPDI’s formulator, has enhanced the formula for a truly remarkable taste and nutrition experience, you must try for yourself to believe!
The name Rejuvenate! Plus remains, but think of it as “version 2.0” because the nutritional upgrades and taste improvements are striking.
By the way, the “new” Rejuvenate! Plus is available now, so you can look forward to a truly remarkable user experience. We are confident you will be more than pleasantly surprised.
You will not believe your tastebuds when you try the new Rejuvenate! Plus. My humble opinion? Dr. Hank (my father and HPDI’s formulator) has knocked it out of the park in his revised formula.
Reports from sample testers have been overwhelmingly positive! Individuals who loved Rejuvenate! Plus unanimously love the new formula even more. That says a lot about this reformulation.
Rejuvenate! Plus 2.0 – healthy ingredients and taste at whole new level!
Other testers, who preferred our Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs or Original Greens formulas either say they will now add Rejuvenate! Plus to their regimen, or will mix it in with their current favorite Rejuvenate! superfood.
Some individuals sampling the new formula who had never tried it before or previously did not often use Rejuvenate! Plus have decided to use it as their primary superfood—or take it daily.
We couldn’t be happier because these reports confirm the new Rejuvenate! Plus is a significant improvement over previous versions, and make our year-long effort to reformulate the product worth it. These early reports based on product samples show we have succeeded!
Some things haven’t changed: Rejuvenate! Plus remains the most popular and best-selling of all HPDI Rejuvenate superfoods. As always, it provide therapeutic levels (at least 340 mg) of dietary nucleic acids (RNA, DNA), greens (chlorella and spirulina) as in the lighter, sweeter greens (as compared to dark intense green-ness of Rejuvenate! Original greens) that both leads to slower, yet effective detoxification, and is powerfully energizing and cleansing. Rejuvenate! Plus also remains a foundational supplement that retains a complete built-in multivitamin sub-formula.
What then has changed? In short, we have changed a few ingredients, added or upgraded other ingredients, increased protein and nucleic acids (RNA) content, and created better tasting product overall. Here is a brief summary:
The “new” Rejuvenate! PLUS features (per serving):
1) 500 mg more spirulina (1,900 mg total), which actually increases the RNA content by about 15 mg
2) 2.3 grams more protein for a total of 13.9 grams
3) Almost no sugar (just 0.6 g total)
4) 2.3 g of powerful broccoli and alfalfa sprout extract powders
5) 200 mg of organic BiAloe® aloe vera powder with over 18% acemannan
6) 5-MTHF (500 mcg) — a better form of folate
6) An extremely smooth texture, and even more delicious taste—users rate as significantly better than prior versions—which says a lot because Rejuvenate! Plus already tasted great.
In short, these are the changes that make the new, improved Rejuvenate! Plus a significantly better product. Now I will delve a bit deeper into each of these changes, as well as specific changes to ingredients.
The new Rejuvenate! PLUS offers major improvements for optimal health.
REJUVENATE! PLUS IS A UNIQUE, HIGH-RNA SUPERFOOD
Rejuvenate! Plus is one three high-RNA superfoods Hank Liers of HPDI intentionally formulated to provide therapeutic levels of dietary nucleic acids. In this case, that means about 340 mg of nucleic acids per serving, and that has now been increased to at least 355 mg. The fact that Rejuvenate! Plus provides such high levels of dietary nucleic acids makes it—and the entire line of Rejuvenate! superfoods—unique!
A short history lesson: Benjamin S. Frank, MD, PhD discovered the benefits of dietary nucleic acids in the 1960s and 1970s. He performed various studies on humans and animals using various intakes of dietary RNA. He concluded that nucleic acids are essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Nucleic acids provide a host of unique health benefits that make getting RNA in your diet important.
After reading of Dr. Benjamin S. Frank’s works (including Dietary Nucleic Acid Nutrition and Therapy and The No-Aging Diet), my father Hank Liers and I decided to formulate a line of superfoods based on the idea of providing high levels of dietary nucleic acids for optimal health. That was 10 years ago.
Rejuvenate! Original Greens launched in 2007. Rejuvenate! Plus came two years later in 2009. Then Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs in 2010. To this day, no other company has created dedicated high-RNA superfoods like HPDI’s Rejuvenate line.
DIETARY NUCLEIC ACIDS IN REJUVENATE! PLUS
What makes Rejuvenate! PLUS—and in fact the entire Rejuvenate! line of superfoods—unique? A single serving provides therapeutic levels (340+ mg) of dietary nucleic acids (RNA, DNA, nucleotides, and nucleosides). Here are a few of the benefits and effects of nucleic acids in the body:
HIGHER ENERGY (ATP) PRODUCTION
GREATER MUSCLE MASS / STRENGTH / ENDURANCE
SMOOTHER SKIN / MORE YOUTHFUL APPEARANCE
EASIER BREATHING / “ANTI-ANOXIA” EFFECT
ELEVATES TISSUE OXYGENATION
BENEFICIAL CARDIOVASCULAR EFFECTS
LOWER CHOLESTEROL LEVELS
OVERALL PHYSICAL REJUVENATION
TEMPERATURE TOLERANCE (COLD/HEAT)
IMPROVES LONGEVITY / QUALITY OF LIFE
FAR GREATER SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING
Source: Nucleic Acid Nutrition and Therapy
Nucleic acids perform so many important functions in the body that getting sufficient amounts in the your diet is probably essential, just as Dr. Benjamin S. Frank asserts. That can be difficult since historically they were obtained from fish, organ meats—foods that people today may not consume in sufficiently high amounts for a variety of reasons. These reasons may include issues of taste, emphasis on vegetarian foods, concern about heavy metals or radiation, or lack of availability.
Rejuvenate! Plus in many ways helps take the guesswork from obtaining “essential” dietary nucleic acids by providing a vegetarian, gluten free, and non-GMO source of dietary RNA—along with protein, vitamins, minerals, cofactors, and other important nutrients—in a tasty, easy-to-take powder that stays fresh for months, travels well, and can be taken in a variety of ways from smoothies to plain water!
TRY REJUVENATE! PLUS
You (or your clients) have everything to gain by trying Rejuvenate! PLUS. As you can see, the updated superfood is carefully formulated to help create and maintain optimal health.
When used together with other HPDI foundational supplements and the HPDI supplement system, Rejuvenate! Plus is another “brick in your wall” of good health and can make a huge difference in terms of how you feel, perform, and function in life.
Try the new, improved Rejuvenate! PLUS “2.0” superfood. See for yourself not only how good it tastes, but how good it can help make you feel. That’s goodness all around!
Multivitamins are the most important of the basic or foundational supplements providing nutrients essential for health and wellness. Because if there is a single nutritional supplement everyone should take, a multivitamin is it.
But it can’t be just any multivitamin. The best multivitamins are complete, high-potency, high-quality, high-purity, provide a complete range of essential vitamins and minerals, and contain advanced forms—more about advanced forms later.
The purpose of taking a high-potency multivitamin not only is to provide the body with amounts and forms of nutrients meeting minimum requirements for avoiding deficiency conditions, but also sufficient levels of nutrients that can support optimal health. Because vitamins levels for optimal health are NOT the same as levels required to avoid deficiency conditions.
MORE THAN DAILY ALLOWANCES
While 40% of Americans say they take a multivitamin daily, how many actually obtain all the nutrients they need for optimal health from taking it? Practically no one. Why?
Because basic “recommended daily amounts” (100% of daily allowance) typically found in multivitamins are based on models for disease prevention. That is, these are minimum levels indicated to avoid conditions like Pellagra (caused by vitamin B3 deficiency), Beriberi (caused by vitamin B1 deficiency), or Rickets (caused by vitamin D deficiency), for example. Nutrient fortification of foods by law has mostly eradicated those conditions. But, as noted, minimum recommended amounts are not the amounts required for optimal health.
The best multivitamin supplements therefore do not provide just 100% of a recommended daily amount of a certain nutrient, but far higher amounts. That is for truly optimal health, high-potency is a must in multivitamins. One of the main reasons for this is “biochemical individuality.” While most people fall within a certain range in terms of their needs for a specific nutrient, the overall range (or bell curve) may be quite large. Your needs may be greater.
Another, related reason is genetics. If you are heterozygous for a gene that requires a specific nutrient, then you may already be at a disadvantage for assimilating or processing it. If you are homozygous, then not having sufficient amounts of a nutrient can have much larger, adverse consequences.
For any given nutrient, then, your needs may be higher or significantly higher than other people’s needs. The best way to guarantee your needs are met is to ensure you consume larger amounts. That is, a high-potency multivitamin providing levels of nutrients well above the minimum amounts established to avoid deficiency.
MULTIVITAMINS ARE SAFE, LOW COST,
High-potency multivitamins work well because vitamins—at least at the levels we are talking about here—are non-toxic, safe, and well-tolerated. Add to the safety of vitamins their relatively low cost (especially compared to pharmaceuticals) that solidifies the case for high-potency multivitamins as a virtual “no-brainer” for supporting good health.
That is the basic rationale for why you need a high-quality, high-potency multivitamin. There are many other reasons. Such reasons include the fact that diet alone is usually not enough to provide the levels of basic nutrients you need.
DIET ALONE IS USUALLY INSUFFICIENT FOR OPTIMAL LEVELS OF NUTRIENTS
Diet alone could perhaps be sufficient if foods were nutrient-dense and you consumed enough of them. But foods today are typically not nutrient-dense given how modern agriculture has stripped the soils of essential nutrients. Herbicides and pesticides then poison foods. And the widely used glyphosate herbicide (RoundUp) actually depletes nutrients in foods by blocking their uptake in plants leading to further depletion in crop foods. Food processing then strips out additional nutrients. Get the picture?
On top of all this, your requirements for nutrients are increased by factors such as pollution and chemical exposures (and greater stress on detoxification organs), emotional stress, immune stresses (like fighting off colds or flu), and even free-radical stress caused by electromagnetic fields (EMFs) such as mobile phone and Wi-Fi exposures. In many cases, various stresses and environmental exposures put a greater burden on your antioxidant defense systems by subjecting you to free-radical attack. This is just the beginning.
Assuming your diet were “perfect” (which most likely it is not), your needs for various nutrients will vary depending on your levels of exposure to stresses (emotional, chemical, electromagnetic, etc.). This means that as your needs for extra nutrients rise to combat these stresses, the simplest and best way to meet those needs is through consuming additional, supplemental amounts of nutrients—to successfully meet those needs. Otherwise, having only minimal amounts (i.e., daily values created to avoid deficiency diseases) means your need for higher amounts will not be met.
IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE, TAKE A HIGH-QUALITY MULTIVITAMIN
A multivitamin can meet those additional needs, or at least start meeting them. In fact, a multivitamin is the best “first line of defense.” In the HPDI system, a multivitamin is just one of six foundational supplements—but it “first among equals” and therefore the very first supplement we recommend. This means that if you do nothing else, then take a multivitamin.
Need another good reason to make a multivitamin? Again, genetics. HPDI has teamed up with Bodysync, the developer of Nutrisync genetic tests (available to HPDI resellers on the reseller website and to retail customers by phone) that offers testing for health-related genetic variations in your DNA.
Among the first things we realized after analyzing Nutrsync genetic test results is that many genetic variants that may cause problems with uptake of certain nutrients—or that require additional amounts of nutrients—can be partly or wholly mitigated by taking a high-potency multivitamin. This is not true in every case, but surprisingly the nutrients provided in a quality multivitamin can be a strong defense in this regard.
Another thing we noticed is that the results of almost everyone taking the Nutrisync test exhibit certain genetic weaknesses that would benefit from a multivitamin. Another “no brainer” observation that may not have been so obvious beforehand, yet which corresponds with what we have been recommending to clients for decades: Take a multivitamin!
People may not realize that optimal health is within reach. Taking a high-potency multivitamin daily is a major first step toward achieving it.
BENEFITS OF A HIGH-QUALITY, HIGH-POTENCY MULTIVITAMIN
Considering all the factors involved in optimal nutrition—and how important nutrition is to health—it is remarkable to think that your health can be well maintained or dramatically improved simply by taking a high-potency multivitamin. Yet, that is a fact. And
• Ensures complete nutrition by providing a wide-range of nutrients to supplement those obtainable by diet
• Provides optimal levels of nutrients in a balanced way
• Guards against deficiencies of particular nutrients
• Protects against nutrient depletion caused by increased needs for nutrients (e.g., various stresses or periods of inadequate intake).
• Helps you fulfill genetic potential by supplying nutrients required for optimal genetic expression and for overcoming adverse genetic factors
• Safe, low cost, and effective means to support good health
BENEFITS OF HPDI MULTIVITAMINS
HPDI formulates and sells some of the highest-quality, high-potency multivitamins available. Many of our customers are health professionals who supply their clients with our multivitamins—because health professionals demand supplements proven to be effective. And they know the difference!
• HPDI multivitamins provide a complete range of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, cofactors, and phytonutrients
• Therapeutic levels of nutrients in amounts necessary for health—typically greater than daily values
• Nutrients balanced so as not to provide too little or too much of any given nutrient
• High-purity with minimal excipients, and avoidance of harmful excipients
• Advanced forms (including coenzyme vitamins) for optimal uptake, transport, and utilization
• Inclusion of coenzyme form B vitamins
• Inclusion of potent antioxidants and Nrf2 activators
• Formulated by Hank Liers, PhD, designer of supplements for 30 years
• Vegetarian capsules
Health Products Distributors, Inc. (HPDI) currently offers five multivitamins, including Mighty Multi-Vite!, Multi Two (tabs and caps), Mini Multi, and Chewable Kids Mighty-Multi. Each multivitamin is formulated for a specific purpose:
• Multi Two and Mighty Multi-Vite! are flagship multivitamins with advanced forms. Multi Two offers higher levels of B vitamins, whereas Mighty Multi-Vite! provides relatively more antioxidants and phytonutrients.
• Mini Multi is formulated for chemically and environmentally sensitive individuals or those who seek ultra-high purity. Mini Multi contains no excipients (i.e., additives or fillers), and provides 100% coenzyme vitamins.
• Chewable Kids Mighty-Multi! tastes great and includes xylitol to prevent cavities. Kids love this chewable formula, but it is also scalable for adults. This formula is most similar to Mighty Multi-Vite! in terms its nutrient content.
HPDI multivitamins: Multi Two (caps and tabs), Mighty Multi-Vite!, Mini Multi, and Chewable Kids Mighty-Multi.
HPDI MULTIVITAMINS IN DEPTH
1. MIGHTY MULTI-VITE!
HANK & BRIAN’S™ MIGHTY MULTI-VITE! (or as we often call it, the “Mighty Multi”) is perhaps the premier HPDI multivitamin, and definitely among the flagship multivitamins we offer. I personally take this one most of the time. It is in the “Hank & Brian’s” line, which generally are among our best products.
Mighty Multi incorporates the latest nutritional research in a complete formula that combines the highest-quality, most assimilable forms of vitamins and minerals along with advanced herbal nutrition.
Mighty Multi-Vite! is an advanced, cutting-edge multivitamin that is a leader within HPDI’s line of foundational supplements. This formula exhibits superior performance with respect to supporting optimal health, and is among the world’s most sophisticated multivitamins. Mighty Multi-Vite! works synergistically with other foundational supplements to help sustain maximum health, vitality, and promote longevity.
Now with these 7 absolutely essential improvements:
Now in an ultra-pure vegetarian capsule
Vitamin B12 is now in the methylcobalamin coenzyme form
Turmeric is now in an extract form with 95% curcuminoids – a powerful Nrf2 activator
Now uses broccoli sprouts powder containing sulforaphane – another powerful Nrf2 activator
Contains both Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2 (as MK-7)
Contains the best coenzyme form of folate – L-5-MTHF
Contains no magnesium stearate
Mighty Multi-Vite! is an HPDI flagship multivitamin offering special nutrients for antioxidant protection.
COMPLETE, BALANCED ESSENTIAL NUTRITION – Provides a full spectrum of nutrients exceptionally well balanced for creating and maintaining optimal health. Mighty Multi-Vite! offers all the most important vitamins along with minerals, cofactors, antioxidants, and herbs.
RAPID, EASY ASSIMILATION – Incorporates the most bioavailable vitamin and mineral carriers most easily recognized and rapidly assimilated by your body. In addition, the formula uses multiple forms of mineral carriers to ensure assimilation. In addition, the capsule form speeds uptake because it does not require time for the body to break it down (unlike tablets).
ENERGIZING – Includes coenzyme form vitamins and Krebs Cycle bionutrients that work with your body to create super high energy levels. Provides significant levels of B vitamins (especially coenzyme B vitamins) known for boosting energy, supporting the body during times of stress, nerve function, heart function, and for working together with dietary RNA (found in Rejuvenate!™ superfoods) to produce significant therapeutic effects.
FOUNDATIONAL SUPPLEMENT – For creating health and establishing a complete supplement program. Providing excellent foundational nutrition, Mighty Multi-Vite! is designed to work synergistically with other foundational formulas for maximum health benefits.
In addition to the newest improvements, Mighty Multi-Vite! features:
A full spectrum of B-complex vitamins, most in coenzyme forms, as well as more conventional forms. Includes Vitamin B1 as thiamin HCl and thiamin diphosphate, Vitamin B2 as riboflavin and riboflavin-5′-phosphate, Vitamin B3 as niacinamide and niacin, Vitamin B5 as pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6 as pyridoxine HCl and pyridoxal-5′-phosphate, folate as L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate (L-5-MTHF), Vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin, and biotin.
All of the most absorbable and usable forms of the fat-soluble vitamin group, including Vitamin A (as beta-carotene), Vitamin E (as d-alpha tocopherol succinate), Vitamin D-3 (as cholecalciferol), Vitamin K (as phytonadione and MK-7).
A complete and balanced supply of the most abundant carotenoids found in the body, including beta- and alpha-carotene, as well as lycopene and lutein.
A variety of the best-known herbal preparations, including quercetin, grape extract, turmeric (95% curcuminoids), broccoli sprouts powder, octacosanol from policosanol, and stevia.
All of the known essential minerals in forms readily absorbed and recognized by the body including calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, manganese, boron, copper, chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and selenium.
Mineral carriers such as ascorbates, Krebs cycle bionutrients and amino acids providing the body with important metabolic substrates and vitamins, including citrate, succinate, alpha-ketoglutarate, fumarate, malate, glycinate, aspartate, sebacate, and Vitamin C.
Includes the important sulfur-containing amino acid N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine to support the body’s antioxidant and detoxification systems and betaine HCl to support digestive processes.
Includes choline and inositol which play a crucial role in all of the cell membranes of the body, in brain function, and in liver function.
Exclusion of the prooxidant minerals of iron and iodine which can lead to excessive free-radical production and PABA that sometimes adversely affects brain function in some individuals. Note: we sell iodine as separate formulas.
Capsule form that ensures the maximum absorption of ingredients.
Four-per-day full dosage that allows for partial dosing for children, seniors, and pets.
Vegetarian formula – including capsule.
Capsule contents designed to smell and taste good to adults and children when emptied into smoothies, drinks, and foods. This allows greater flexibility of use.
Exclusion of ingredients such as wheat, gluten, dairy, corn, soy, and egg having well-known antigenic properties and that may be associated with allergy or delayed hypersensitivity reactions.
A minimum of excipients, fillers, lubricants, etc. having deleterious effects in some individuals. No GMOs.
As I mentioned previously, the Mighty Multi is uniquely advanced it that it provides special antioxidant ingredients like turmeric, grape extract, and broccoli sprouts powder.
2 & 3. MULTI TWO (CAPS & TABS)
MULTI TWO is another HPDI flagship multivitamin. We recommend it especially for individuals who prefer more B vitamins built into their multivitamin. Yet, it offers somewhat fewer antioxidant nutrients.
MULTI TWO is a pure, complete, biochemically formulated multivitamin supplement with minerals and cofactors. It dissolves readily and is highly bioavailable. All ingredients are sourced for purity and carefully selected to avoid common food allergens. MULTI TWO is available in tablet and vegetarian capsule forms.
MULTI TWO is among HPDI’s most popular multivitamins, providing top-notch quality, high-purity, advanced design and formulation, and exceptional value for the price.
The formula comes in tablet or capsule forms. The tablet is suitable for vegetarians, only containing plant fiber to bind components, further eliminating chemical contaminants. The capsule form now is also vegetarian. The capsules have a four-per-day full dosage allowing for partial dosing for children, seniors, and pets. Note: the capsule’s powder contents taste quite good to most people, so it can be added to sippy cups, blender drinks, smoothies, pet foods, etc.
MULTI TWO is one of HPDI’s foundational multivitamin supplements in our health recovery and maintenance programs. A foundational program of supplements includes a multivitamin, essential fatty acids, a Vitamin C formula, and a Rejuvenate!™ superfood.
Multi Two Caps are among HPDI’s premier therapeutic-grade multivitamin formulas providing a complete range of nutrients.
MULTI TWO OFFERS UNIQUE BENEFITS
COMPLETE, BALANCED FOUNDATIONAL NUTRITION. Full-Spectrum of Nutrients Exceptionally Balanced for Supporting Your Health. Foundational Formula Ideal for Providing Essential Foundational Nutrition. A high-quality multivitamin is the foundation (i.e., core) for a complete nutritional supplement program.
RAPID AND EFFECTIVE ASSIMILATION. Incorporates Bioavailable Vitamin and Mineral Carriers Your Body Recognizes and Can Assimilate Immediately. Plus, Multiple Carriers Ensure Assimilation. Tablet or Capsule Forms Rapidly Assimilated.
POWERFULLY ENERGIZING. Includes Coenzyme Form Vitamins and Krebs Cycle Bionutrients that work with your body to create high energy levels. Full-Spectrum Essential Nutrients Needed For Building, Supporting, and Maintaining Excellent Health.
HIGH PURITY. One of the Purest Available Supplements. Carefully Designed To Exclude Common Allergens, and Exclude or Minimize Excipients, Additives, and Fillers.
TABLET AND VEGETARIAN CAPSULE FORMS. We Offer Both Forms Giving You More Choice. Take Your Pick.
FOUNDATIONAL SUPPLEMENT. Providing solid foundational nutrition, MULTI TWO functions most effectively when used in conjunction with other foundational formulas, especially Vitamin C formulas (including ULTIMATE PROTECTOR™ and PRO-C™), Essential Fatty Acid formulas (including Omega Plus and Essential Fats Plus E), and REJUVENATE!™ superfoods. These foundational supplements together form the foundation of a complete nutritional supplement program. From here, you can add additional supplements (enhancements and specific condition formulas) addressing your individual needs, i.e., by pinpointing where your body requires additional nutritional support.
MULTI TWO FEATURES
A full-spectrum of B-complex vitamins, most in coenzyme forms, as well as more conventional forms. Includes Vitamin B1 as thiamin HCl and thiamin diphosphate, Vitamin B2 as riboflavin and riboflavin 5’-phosphate, Vitamin B3 as niacinamide and niacin, and Vitamin B6 as pyridoxine HCl and pyridoxal 5’-phosphate, folate from calcium folinate and 5-MTHF, Vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin and hydroxocobalamin, and biotin.
All of the most absorbable and usable forms of the fat-soluble vitamin group, including Vitamin A (as natural beta-carotene), Vitamin E (as d-alpha tocopherol succinate and mixed tocopherols), Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol), and two forms of Vitamin K (K1 as phylloquinone and K2 as menaquinone-7).
Effective herbal preparations, including quercetin, grape extract, octacosanol.
All of the known essential minerals in forms readily absorbed and recognized by the body including calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, manganese, boron, copper, chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, and selenium.
Mineral carriers such as ascorbates, Krebs cycle bionutrients, and amino acids providing the body with important metabolic substrates and vitamins, including citrate, succinate, alpha-ketoglutarate, fumarate, malate, glycinate, aspartate, sebacate, and Vitamin C.
Includes betaine HCl to support digestive processes.
Choline and inositol which play a crucial role in all of the cell membranes of the body, in brain function, and in liver function.
Exclusion of the prooxidant minerals of iron and iodine which can lead to excessive free-radical production and PABA that sometimes adversely affects brain function in some individuals.
Four-per-day full dosage of capsule form allows for partial dosing for children, seniors, and pets.
Tablet and capsule forms are vegetarian (except for pharmaceutical glaze on tablets).
Exclusion of ingredients such as wheat, dairy, corn, soy, and egg having well-known antigenic properties and that may be associated with allergy or delayed hypersensitivity reactions. Contains no GMOs.
A minimum of excipients, fillers, lubricants, etc. that exert deleterious effects in some individuals.
Multi Two is a great multivitamin and in many ways similar to the Mighty Multi-Vite!. However, Multi Two provides more B vitamins and in the case of certain B vitamins, it provides twice as much as Mighty Multi-Vite!. For anyone who requires plenty of B vitamins and who doesn’t necessarily want to take a separate, standalone B vitamin formula, Multi Two is an ideal multivitamin.
We call our Mini Multi the “World’s Purest Multivitamin.” This is because it was originally formulated for chemically and/or environmentally sensitive persons. The capsule is smaller than our other multivitamins which easily allows for partial dosing. It also is our only all coenzyme form multivitamin.
MINI MULTI is an ultrapure, biochemically formulated, complete multivitamin supplement that includes essential and trace minerals, and cofactors. MINI MULTI is highly bioavailable and contained in a preservative-free veggie capsule (helping eliminate chemical contaminants). The capsule contains no fillers, flow agents, or any other excipients. Each component is the highest purity.
MINI MULTI is ideal for chemically and environmentally sensitive individuals who require ultra-high purity supplements. The formula is designed by Dr. Hank Liers, who developed it as a ultra-pure formula for sensitive individuals. Yet, anyone can take MINI MULTI to benefit from its ultra-high purity and avoidance of additives, fillers, or other excipients.
Many individuals who take MINI MULTI are not chemically sensitive, but suffer from allergies, sensitive digestive tracts, wish to avoid gelatin capsules, or simply do not enjoy swallowing large capsules (or tablets).
Meet Mini Multi, the world’s purest multivitamin formulated originally for chemically and environmentally sensitive persons.
ADVANCED DESIGN INCLUDES NEARLY 100% COENZYME FORM B VITAMINS
MINI MULTI’s biochemical formulation incorporates the latest research on nutrient transport and interaction to enhance efficient metabolism and includes coenzyme forms of vitamins. The vitamins and minerals in MINI MULTI activate the body’s metabolic machinery, and synergistic cofactors aid absorption, assimilation, utilization, and metabolism of nutrients.
MINI MULTI is among the first multivitamins to provide almost all coenzyme form B vitamins (i.e., all except vitamin B3, which we include as niacinamide). Coenzyme form vitamins are the natural forms best recognized and utilized in the body. For example, MINI MULTI provides folate in the form of folinic acid (a natural form of folate) from calcium folinate and L-5-MTHF (another natural form of folate), rather than the typical and commonly used folic acid, a synthetic form requiring enzymatic processing in the body for utilization. That is, coenzyme vitamins are easier to assimilate (especially for older individuals or those with health conditions that reduce enzyme activity in vivo) and they are immediately recognized and used in the body.
FEATURES AND BENEFITS OF THE HIGHEST PURITY FORMULA AVAILABLE TODAY
The world’s purest multivitamin supplement, proven for more than a decade
Ideal for chemically, environmentally or allergen sensitive individuals, or anyone desiring an ultra-high purity in a nutritional supplement
Highly effective, complete formula includes vitamins, minerals, and cofactors (including powerful antioxidants)
Includes nearly 100% coenzyme form B vitamins for rapid assimilation (all except B3 which is included as niacinamide and B5 which is included as pantothenic acid)
Convenient four-per-day dosage allows easy for partial dosing
Suitable for vegans and vegetarians (veggie capsule)
Suitable for children (i.e., capsule may be opened and emptied into drinks or food)
No additives, fillers, flow agents, or any other excipients!
Nothing artificial or synthetic!
In fact, MINI MULTI does not contain wheat, rye, oats, corn, barley, gluten, egg, dairy, citrus, yeast, sugar, GMOs, wax, sulfates, phosphates (other than coenzymes), preservatives, fillers, binders, coatings, colorings, or artificial flavorings
MINI MULTI exhibits superior design, technical sophistication, ease of use, and high perfomance. We suggest you try it whether you are sensitive to fillers or flow agents, suffer from allergies due to common additives, wish to avoid artificial ingredients, or simply want the purest multivitamin available.
In this day and age when many individuals suffer from allergies to ingredient sensitivities, Mini Multi represents a choice for the ultimate in high-purity. No excipients means a cleaner supplement option for anyone who may need it.
5. CHEWABLE KIDS MIGHTY-MULTI
HPDI’s KIDS MIGHTY-MULTI! is truly one-of-a-kind. It is most similar to the Mighty Multi-Vite! in terms of the nutrients it provides, including antioxidants. However, it is our only chewable and it tastes great.
KIDS MIGHTY-MULTI! is an advanced chewable multivitamin for children incorporating the latest nutritional research in a tasty, complete formula combining the highest-quality and most usable forms of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and cofactors.
Our children’s multivitamin formula provides optimal levels of basic essential nutrients and thereby is an ideal foundation upon which to build a complete nutritional supplement program. A high-quality multivitamin is the starting-point for building a program uniquely designed to suit to your child’s individual requirements.
We offer KIDS MIGHTY-MULTI! as a “top-of-the-line” children’s formula that tastes great and produces exceptional results. This unique formula very effectively provides children with a solid foundation of nutrients for establishing, building, supporting, and maintaining excellent health during this critical period of their lives.
COMPLETE FORMULA – the most complete children’s formulas available! It provides a full-spectrum of essential nutrients needed for creating, supporting, and maintaining excellent health for your child. It includes natural coenzyme form vitamins and Krebs cycle bionutrients that work with young bodies to provide energy for metabolic processes, healing, and optimal heatlh.
AMAZING TASTE, NATURALLY– the most delicious kids multivitamin you’ll ever taste! Flavored with only healthy, natural sweeteners and functional taste enhancers, including mannitol, xylitol, fructooligosaccharides (FOS) (from chicory root), natural fruit flavor, and stevia leaf extract. Most of these taste enhancers actually exhibit other positive benefits in the body (i.e., prebiotic effects, cavity prevention, and antioxidant action). Kids (and adults) love the taste!
BALANCED ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS – exceptionally balanced nutrients for supporting your child’s health. This is a foundational formula ideal for providing basic nutrients for health. Indeed, a high-quality multivitamin is a basic foundational formula (along with vitamin C and essential fatty acid formulas) in a nutritional supplement program. Our kids’ formula puts your child on the nutritional track he or she deserves right from the start!
“ULTRA PURE” – excludes common food source allergens (like wheat, corn, soy, or dairy). Also excludes unnecessary excipients, fillers, binders, and additives. Unlike many children’s vitamins, ours contains NO artificial colorings or flavorings, artificial sweeteners (like aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose) or hydrogenated vegetable oils…substances that can have deleterious effects on health (yet are frequently include. Plus, NO sugar and NO GMOs!
RAPID ASSIMILATION – incorporates bioavailable vitamin and mineral carriers the body recognizes and can assimilate immediately. Plus, multiple carriers ensure assimilation. Chewable form speeds uptake in the body.
FOUNDATIONAL FORMULA – forms the foundation of a complete supplement program for your child. Formulated to work with other foundational formulas, including Vitamin C formulas (like PRO-C™) and essential fatty acid formulas (like Essential Fats plus E) that together form the basis of a complete nutritional supplement program. You can also add specific supplements addressing your individual needs of your child, i.e., by pinpointing where he or she may require additional nutritional support. Such specific supplements might include Allergy Support Plus, Joint Health Formula, or Ultimate Protector™ (super antioxidant & Nrf2 activator formula).
Kids Mighty-Multi is the perfect multivitamin for kids offering appropriate levels of a wide range of important vitamins, minerals, cofactors, and antioxidants.
• A full-spectrum of B-complex vitamins primarily in coenzyme forms, including Vitamin B1 (as thiamin diphosphate), Vitamin B2 (as riboflavin-5’-phosphate), Vitamin B3 (as niacinamide and niacin), Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxal 5’-phosphate), folate (as 5-MTHF), Vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin), and Biotin.
• All of the most absorbable and usable forms of the fat-soluble vitamin group, including Vitamin A (as natural beta-carotene), Vitamin E (as d-alpha tocopherol succinate and mixed tocopherols), Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol), and Vitamin K (as phylloquinone (K1) and MK-7 (K2)).
• A complete and balanced supply of the most abundant carotenoids found in the body, including Beta-Carotene, Lycopene, and Lutein.
• A variety of the best-known herbal ingredients, including Quercetin, Grape Extract, Turmeric extract, Broccoli Sprouts Powder, and Octacosanol (from policosanol).
• Readily absorbed forms of all essential minerals, including Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Iron, Manganese, Boron, Copper, Chromium, Molybdenum, Vanadium, and Selenium.
• Easily assimilated mineral carriers, including ascorbates (Vitamin C), Krebs cycle bionutrients (citrate, succinate, alpha-ketoglutarate, fumarate, malate), and amino acids (e.g., glycine, taurine, and aspartic acid) that provide the body with important metabolic substrates and vitamins.
• Sulfur-containing amino acids supporting the body’s detoxification systems.
• Natural taste-enhancing complex of xylitol, mannitol, FOS, and stevia leaf extract. Tasty fruit flavor kids love!
• Therapeutic levels of xylitol helping to prevent cavities.
• Significant levels of choline and inositol that play a crucial role in all cell membranes, and in brain and liver function.
• Betaine HCl to support digestive processes.
• Exclusion of the pro-oxidant mineral iodine that may lead to excessive free radical production and PABA that can adversely affect brain function. We actually prefer the safer and more therapeutic Nascent Iodine over the forms normally found in vitamin formulas.
• Exclusion of substances that have well-known antigenic properties and that may be associated with allergy or delayed hypersensitivity reactions, including wheat, corn, soy, egg, and dairy.
• Minimum of excipients, fillers, or additives (that may have deleterious effects in some individuals).
• Small tablet size allows for weight-dependent dosing (two tablets per 20 lbs body weight)
MORE ABOUT KIDS MIGHTY-MULTI!
A Better, Safer Multivitamin for Kids
The vast majority of children’s vitamins today are decidedly not advanced formulations. They typically provide only minimum amounts (i.e., no more than government mandated daily values) of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. In addition, most kids’ vitamin on the market remain filled with sugars and artificial ingredients, including aspartame (a known toxin), artificial colorings, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, and other toxic substances.
Consider what our Kids Mighty-Multi! does NOT contain:
Aspartame. There is controversy surrounding this artificial sweetener, which is associated with a variety of neurological problems. In fact, there is widespread consensus that children under six should not use aspartame. We believe no one should consume aspartame at any age!
Refined sugars (usually listed as, sucrose, etc.). There is no place for sugar in multivitamins. Sugar in supplements is also dangerous because when coupled with ascorbic acid, it can damage teeth! Chewable kids vitamins containing sugar expose your child’s teeth to double jeopardy.
Artificial dyes (FD&C Yellow, Blue, and/or Red). Artificial colors are associated with a wide range of health and behavioral problems. These include carcinogenicity, and contributing to learning problems like ADHD. In addition, FD&C Yellow dye #5 (tartrazine) is one of the main food triggers of asthma attacks.
Benzoates, sulfur dioxide, sulfites. These are bad because they are all preservatives that have no business being in a health supplement. They all are known to stimulate allergic reactions.
Hydrogenated oils. These are the bad, sticky fats that are found in junk foods and are harmful to your child’s heart. Incredibly, some companies put hydrogenated oils in a children’s vitamin!
As you can see, our children’s chewable multivitamin is not your ordinary kids multivitamin, and it provides all the benefits of our other multivitamins in a tasty chewable format. In fact, many adults take it who prefer a chewable over a capsule or tablet. It is uniquely formulated to be scalable for adults at the dosage of two tablets per 20 lbs body weight.
Chewable Kids Mighty-Multi tastes great, provides advanced forms of nutrients, and scales up for adults.
CONCLUSION: TAKE A MULTIVITAMIN
Multivitamins are the first supplement most people need and should take. Taking a high-potency, high-purity multivitamin daily provides many benefits beyond what you might expect. This includes everything from ensuring against deficiencies to providing amounts necessary for optimal health, and for compensating for greater needs depending on your unique biochemical individuality. Given the overarching safety and relatively low cost of multivitamins, they are best “first defense” in a nutrient-depleted world.
HPDI offers four of the best multivitamins available anywhere, and five if you consider that Multi Two is available in capsules or tablets. So take your pick among them, and be the healthiest you can be.