So here you have it, our what-we-use and why-we-use-it list (in no particular order).
- Magnesium glycinate - Because everyone needs magnesium!! It assists in the absorption of many other supplements on this list, plus it is calming. It also reduces allergies and supports antioxidant activity.
- Biotin - The initial reason we started biotin was, because it prevents yeast from colonizing, but then we learned that it is also essential in helping the body with oxalates in higher doses, because oxalates impair biotin function in carboxylases. A study by the Department of Nutritional Science and Dietetics, University of Nebraska has stated the following, "In mammals, biotin serves as coenzyme for four carboxylases, which play essential roles in the metabolism of glucose, amino acids, and fatty acids. Biotin deficiency causes decreased rates of cell proliferation, impaired immune function, and abnormal fetal development. Evidence is accumulating that biotin also plays an important role in regulating gene expression, mediating some of the effects of biotin in cell biology and fetal development."
- Lithium Orotate - We were all low in lithium on our hair tests, with Grayson and I completely off the chart low. Lithium orotate is targeted to the mitochondria and only functions there. It is suggested for the following conditions: autism, brain damage, Alzheimers, fluid collection in lungs or abdomen, bipolar, manic depression, any mood disorder including hormone or chemical imbalance, anxiety, cluster and migraine headaches, edema, glaucoma, gout, ADHD, childhood epilepsy, hyperthyroid, goiter, drug and alcohol recovery and brain injury. PS - gout is caused by oxalate problems, so it appears that lithium would also benefit those who require a low oxalate diet.
- B-Complex - With heavy metal toxicity, B vitamins are notoriously low. They protect the brain from damage. Complexes ensure that you get more than enough of all the B vitamins for normal metabolic needs.
- MB-12 sublingual - Grayson is an under-methylator, per his organic acid test. It assists in the detoxing of arsenic, which we are all elevated in, the boys being off the chart high. Yeast, parasites, low thyroid levels and adrenal insufficiency all reduce B12. I can't forget to mention how awesome MB-12 works for the afternoon slump, as well as an adrenal cortex which you will find in this list below. Move over coffee, now there is something better!
- DMG - Another methyl source that assists in the detox of arsenic. Methyl donors help the liver transport fats, help with one part of phase 2 metabolism and have antidepressant effects through increased brain serotonin. They also control histamine levels. Your body cannot make methyl groups, you need to get them from your diet! For women, methyl donors reduce elevated estrogen levels which cause inflammation and other imbalances.
- NAC - N-acetylcysteine - We use it to help the body make glutathione which benefits the detox pathways and as support for lung health during illness. Other great uses include: mold toxicity, bronchitis, flu, allergies, neutralizes candida gliotoxin, reduces mucus production, reduces the effects of excitotoxins which makes it good for using before eating out in case you encounter hidden preservatives or MSG.
- Thymucin - Only used during flu season to support the thymus gland. The Thymus gland is the major gland that controls the immune system and it plays a crucial role in optimum immunity for the immune system. If the gland is not delivering 100 % of its potential of hormones and lymphocytes, the immune system suffers.
- Cod liver oil - Supplies omegas, and natural forms of vitamins A and D. Essential fatty acids aren't called "essential" for nothing. They are an absolute requirement for proper brain function. Omega 3 fatty acids cannot be produced in the body and must be provided via the diet. When choosing a fish oil, it is very important to obtain one that is molecularly distilled and is guaranteed free of heavy metals, PCBs and other toxins. It should also be free of food colorings and artificial flavorings. As well, the fish oil must be fresh - if it smells fishy, it has oxidized and is rancid. We also prefer to avoid soy (tocopherols) since it is something we are using daily. Here is what Dr. Meg Megson has to say about vitamin A in it's natural form, in cold liver oil,
"...Vitamin A in the natural form, such as cod liver oil, helps to rebuild areas in the brain, called receptors, that affect vision and speech. These areas are dramatically affected in children with developmental delays, such as autistic spectrum disorders. This helps to explain some of the commonly seen characteristics in children with autism such as "sideways" glance and decreased or no speech. DHA and EPA oils are essential fatty acids that studies have shown to be critical for a variety of health problems, such as bi-polar disorder and other forms of biologically based brain disorders, including schizophrenia. It is these concentrated levels of Vitamin A that are critical for the visual reconnection we are seeing in the children. The "sideways" glance that is typical in many children with autism disappears quickly when they're on cod liver oil."
- Astaxanthin - May be one of the most powerful antioxidants you've ever heard of! It's our antioxidant of choice for the boys, since they can't take vitamin C, because of oxalates. It is 400 times more potent than vitamin E! It exhibits strong free radical activity. Carotenoids like astaxanthin enhance your immunity, protect you from sunburn and even inhibit the growth of some cancers. It also protects against the oxidative stress that results in Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and other neurological diseases.
- Krill oil - Only Gavin and I can take this, because Grayson reacts by itching. In addition to supplying EPA and DHA, krill oil also has the following benefits: support for concentration, memory and learning, healthy heart, blood sugar health, joints, brain and nervous system development and function, protection for cell membranes, cholesterol and other blood lipid health, liver function, bolsters immune system, mood support and optimal skin health.
- B6 - Mercury causes chronic fatigue by interfering with brain uptake of B6 and B12. We also suspect Pyroluria which is a chronic deficiency of B6 and zinc. Grayson's organic acid test suggested deficiencies of both B6 and B12, his hair test shows chronic zinc deficiency despite high dose daily supplementation. For further reading, here is a link for studies involving B6 and magnesium on the Autism Research Institutes website.
- P5P - Did you know that cooking, freezing, canning, storing or processing foods can deplete their vitamin B6 content by as much as 50%? Some people cannot use certain forms of vitamin B6 effectively. A more active form of vitamin B6 that your body can easily utilize is called pyridoxal-5-phosphate, or P5P for short. B6 is converted to P5P in the liver, so by taking P5P your liver doesn't have to do the dirty work! P5P and B6 are often used in combination. Both encourage oxalates to dump from a cellular level in the body.
- Niacinimide - B3 - AKA - no-flush niacin. B3 aids in the functioning of the nervous system, the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, the production of hydrochloric acid for the digestive system, healthy skin, and proper circulation. Some people require Niacinimide for the processing of B6.
- Benfotiamine - This is a synthetic version of vitamin B1. It is more readily absorbed by the body, ironically. B1 helps the liver metabolize xenobiotics which are chemical compounds that are found in a living organism, but which are foreign to that organism, in the sense that it does not normally produce the compound or consume it as part of its diet. Those with high arsenic tend to be low in vitamin B1.
- Black currant seed oil - A source of CLA (conjugated linolenic acid) which reduces IgE while increasing levels of other immunoglobulins and reduces the formation of certain lipid mediators of allergic reaction. Also a great source of omega 6s, it aids in skin health, especially those prone to eczema.
- Japanese Knotweed - This form of resveratrol is part of Herold Buehner's Lyme protocol. We tend to incorporate various protocols into our regimen, based on our sons' symptoms.
Japanese Knotweed is effective against a variety of organisms including the Lyme co-infection bartonella, leptospira, gonorrhea, and meningitis; its strong antifungal qualities make it especially inhibitive toward Candida albicans. It is also a powerful antiviral agent, effective in the treatment of herpes, ECHO viruses and various strains of influenza such as SARS and Asian flu (which in my opinion, is a far more attractive option than vaccinations of questionable origin). What makes Knotweed so valuable when it comes to treating Lyme disease is that it not only inhibits the spirochetes, it is also markedly anti-inflammatory, reducing joint pain, swelling and fever. The anti-inflammatory effect helps to regulate the immune system and prevents it from being over burdened; its modulating effect makes it useful for many autoimmune ailments. Knotweed supports the central nervous system and protects the heart, making it especially valuable in the treatment of Lyme-related carditis. The constituents in Knotweed are also able to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB), protecting delicate cerebral tissue and harmonizing blood flow. Regular supplementation of Polygonum cuspidatum during or after an active infection will help sharpen mental function and relieve pain throughout the body.
- Ionic zinc - Another mineral notoriously depleted in the mercury toxic crowd as it is competitive with mercury and copper so taking it keeps mercury from exerting some of it's toxic effects. We chose ionic zinc, because it's more readily absorbed and two hair tests resulted in chronic low body zinc regardless of high dose supplementation with other sources. We are hoping this form of zinc will uptake better. Chelation requires high doses of zinc at 1mg per pound of body weight, plus 20 more mg.
- Adrenal cortex - Support for our adrenal glands. The adrenals are our stress organs, they control the hormones that aid in mood and stress control. Whether it is physical or mental, chronic stress will cause adrenal fatigue. For a great book on adrenal fatigue, see Adrenal Fatigue, the 21st Century Stress Syndrome.
- Panthothenic acid - B5 - This vitamin offers support for the adrenals and helps with the liver.
- Taurine - Reduces anxiety and possibly increases the rate of toxin elimination in bile. It assists with kidney fucntion and it is necessary for brain development during childhood as well as neurohealing later. Zinc helps the brain cells absorb taurine. It helps with pituitary function and may also help improve compromised immune function. Taurine stimulates insulin production and lowers blood sugar. It also supports the adrenals. Taurine should only be supplemented if needed.
- Iodine - Iodine is essential for thyroid function. Around 60% of the iodine in the body is found in the thyroid. Iodine is also beneficial for the following: metabolic rate, energy level, healthy nails, hair and teeth, reproductive system, fibrocystic breast tissue, assists in the removal of toxic chemicals, anti-cancer properties, prevents the proliferation of harmful bacteria, ensures the apoptosis or the programmed cell death which is essential in the formation of new organs. This is one trace element we won't be without! It is very important to know that selenium is required to prevent iodine from becoming toxic in the body, as it assists in the absorption of iodine. It helps to convert iodine into the thyroid hormones. It's very possible that the studies that have doctors scaring people away from such an awesome supplement were done without the assistance of selenium. I also know that the patients weren't tracked long enough to see the hormone levels plateau to a normal level after rising higher than normal. This is a common phenomenon of using natural therapies for the thyroid, because when the thyroid kicks into action, it initially over-produces and then levels out. For some people this can even last an entire year. Symptoms subside, even though hormone levels are high. It's the exact opposite of sub-clinical hypothyroidism, when symptoms are experienced, but the hormones are "normal". A helpful book for the explanation of the importance of iodine is Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It.
- Thyroxin-free thyroid glandular - All three of us have chronic low body temperatures and symptoms of low thyroid function. The thyroid is one of the first organs to be attacked by mercury, it is also one of the first to be effected by low iodine.
- Molybdenum - Counteracts the toxicity effects mercury may have on gene expression and inhibits copper absorption from the intestine. It is a cofactor for three enzymes often impaired by mercury toxicity. We only give this to Grayson, because he had high copper on one of his hair tests, although there is also a small amount in the trace minerals they both take.
- Omega 3s - In addition to the above sources, we also take EPA and DHA supplements.
- Artichoke extract - Support for the liver in place of milk thistle for the boys, because milk thistle is very high oxalate. Artichoke extract appears to work just as good, if not better than the milk thistle for them. It is one of the few herbal remedies where the clinical and experimental trials have complemented each other. Both effects have been verified through extensive biomedical herbal remedy research. Specifically, antioxidant, choleretic, hepatoprotective, bile-enhancing and lipid-lowering effects have been demonstrated, which also corresponds with it's historical use, dating back to 4th Century B.C. ancient Greeks and Romans.
- Vitamin D3 - This vitamin helps your body use calcium properly and boosts the immune system. We love Dr. Cannell's vitamin D protocol for the flu, it works every time!
- Vitamin K2 - The main thing vitamin K2 does is control where calcium does - and doesn`t - go in our bodies. It should go into our bones and blood, but not arteries or muscles. Research has found that vitamin K2 benefits include protecting nerve cells from oxidative stress and possibly reducing neuronal damage (slowing progression of dementia). We notice that when we don't use the K2, our boys bruise much easier. When using it, bruising is very rare.
- Trace minerals - Mineral replacement is necessary during chelation since chelators are not selective in the minerals they move out of the body.
- L-Theanine - Is the predominant amino acid in green tea leaves. It is an anxiety reducer and mood enhancer. L-theanine has a significant effect on the release or reduction of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, resulting in improved memory and learning ability. It may also influence emotions due to its effects on the increased release of dopamine.
- Flax oil - Another omega source that is suggested by Andy Cutler during chelation.
- Custom Probiotics - High dose probiotics that are dairy-free and don't contain the strep strain.
- Melatonin - The hormone that induces sleep. Supplementing with it is a safe non-addictive way to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. It is also an antioxidant that crosses the blood brain barrier. It has been studied extensively, even in children.
- Zinc methionine - Rather than the ionic zinc (which is more expensive) I use this instead. I've also used zinc picolinate, just depends on where I am ordering that day, lol.
- Vitamin C - The general purpose do everything antioxidant vitamin. It supports adrenal function, lowers blood histamine, and has many other functions. The boys can't take vitamin C, because of high oxalates.
- Protandim - The best way to explain it is to provide this information from their website, "Protandim is the only supplement clinically proven to reduce oxidative stress by an average 40%, slowing down the cell aging process to the level of a 20 year-old. Protandim is not a conventional antioxidant supplement. Each Protandim caplet contains a unique combination of phytonutrients that signal the body’s genes to produce its own antioxidant enzymes, which provides thousands of times more antioxidant power than any food or conventional antioxidant supplement." I have used this since before I had my fillings replaced and I truly believe that it was instrumental in getting me through such a physically traumatizing experience. I flew through it with grace and came out of it with ease. I felt great, immediately! I stopped buying it a few months after my dental revision and I noticed a difference, so I am back on it.
- Selenium - selenomethionine - Aside from being a good all around antioxidant, selenium compounds bind mercury quite tightly and make it inert in the body. It is essential for the proper utilization of iodine supplementation.
- Milk Thistle - An antioxidant specific for the liver. It increases the growth of liver cells and allows the liver to regenerate itself more rapidly. It inhibits the formation of leukotrienes, which are pro-inflammatory immune mediators produced from essential fatty acids.
- Herbal Calcium - I just prefer a more natural calcium supplement.
- Eleuthero (Siberian Ginsing) - Is an adaptogen (an agent that helps the body adapt to stress) with many health benefits that include: increased endurance, memory/learning improvement, anti-inflammatory, immunogenicand has been shown to produce significant anti-depressant effects in rats.
- Vitamin E - It is useful in large amounts to counteract the damage mercury causes by catalyzing oxidation of cell membranes. It is an immune stimulant, if you aren't getting enough, you will respond poorly to infection.
- Strontium - Since hypercalcemia and osteoporosis run in my maternal family, I have elected to add strontium to my regimen. Strontium ranelate has been shown to stimulate bone formation while inhibiting bone resorption. Gavin's hair test showed low strontium as well, so I have considered supplementing him with it, as well.
As you can imagine, there are NO vitamin organizers that fit all this crap! I try, I buy all different ones and I try to organize, coax and squeeze them in, to no avail. I have resorted to using a Dixie cup, well, three Dixie cups a day.
For the kids I fill three small glass bottles of vitamin and antimicrobial "cocktails" each night, for the next day. For my own, I fill up a week's worth of Dixie cups at a time. Occasionally, I get lazy with my own and miss a day or two when I don't feel like refilling them and I ALWAYS regret it! I feel so different without them! Anytime we have given the kids a supplement break, they regress. There is nothing that speaks louder than the cause and effect of an experiment like that.
As a quick-reference guide, without all the wordy, detailed explanations, here are the supplements the kids take in alphabetical order:
Adrenal cortex extract
Black currant seed oil
Cod liver oil
Probiotics (Custom Probiotics)
Taurine (if needed)
Trace minerals (without copper)
Tyroid glandular (if the thyroid is a problem)