Resources and references

A by-no-means comprehensive list of the books and websites I’ve found valuable, in some way or another, during my investigations of various nutritional deficiencies and their associated symptoms. Most of the books were published before 2012. I last updated this page on 9/19/2022.

See also the page on internet research tips.

Books

  • Could It Be B12? (2011) by Sally M. Pacholok, RN and Jeffrey J. Stuart, DO — Describes the many conditions that can be attributed to a B12 deficiency and how testing for it is unreliable. A good look into the weaknesses in US medical establishment conventional wisdom about testing, dosage, and the forms of supplements used.
  • The Cortisol Connection (2007) by Shawn Talbott, Ph.D., FACSM, and Why Am I Always so Tired? (1999) by Ann Louise Gittleman — Two books on the role of the adrenal glands and cortisol in the body and how they contribute to other health conditions. For years this was the first thing that complementary / alternative practitioners would bring up if you mentioned fatigue.

  • The Diet Cure (2012) and The Mood Cure (2003) by Julia Ross, M.A. — Ignore the sensationalist titles. Lots of info about how body chemistry affects eating habits and mood and vice versa.

  • How to Save Your Own Life: The Savard System for Managing–and Controlling–Your Health Care (2009) by Marie Savard, M.D. with Sondra Forsyth — The websites she lists were outdated six months after publication, but the book was still a good intro on how to get the best possible care out of the medical establishment. It includes tips on how to handle the situation “if your doctor seems threatened by the new paradigm of a partnership with you.”

  • Nutrition and Mental Illness: An Orthomolecular Approach to Balancing Body Chemistry (1988) by Carl C. Pfeiffer, Ph.D., M.D. — The granddaddy of nutritional therapy discusses the many links between mental illnesses (autism, schizophrenia, depression, senility, etc.) and deficiencies or imbalances in vitamin B6, zinc, histamine, copper, etc.

  • Prescription for Nutritional Healing (2010) by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC — I was never really impressed with this book, but it was the best-known reference on this subject for a long time. It had introductory-level information on a lot of topics — nutrient roles, toxicity and deficiency symptoms and cofactors; many supplements and herbs; and environmental influences on health such as food additives and water impurities. However, the largest chunk of the book, which gives supplement recommendations for various conditions, was never of any help to me at all. An updated version is due in March of 2023.

  • Real RDAs for Real People: Why “Official” Nutrition Guidelines Aren’t Enough and What To Do About It (2003) by Mike Fillon — Describes what goes into the RDAs and why they’re useless. Not a lot of detail about what individual nutrients do but he does cover a lot, even phytochemicals and antioxidants. Of more interest is his look at the politics behind current research. I have never researched the topic anymore than the info found in this book, by the way, and I’ve never seen it referenced anywhere else.

  • Staying Healthy with Nutrition: the Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine (2006) by Elson Haas and Buck Levin — I read this online at the old Health World Online site, which for several years posted the book in its entirety and included far more info than I had seen elsewhere for any one vitamin.

  • Survival of the Sickest (2008) by Dr. Sharon Moalem — Discusses discoveries about the role of disease in evolution and how they’ve upset our understanding of what health and sickness are. Of special interest is the chapter on how nutritional supplementation can affect gene expression.

  • Your Body’s Many Cries for Water (2008) by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. — Describes all the ways you need water and its link to many conditions. This is a much-maligned classic, probably due to his inclusion of letters of appreciation he’s received, but I found it useful.

Websites

  • Acu-cell (also mentioned on the About Dosages page) — Ronald Roth’s site has an extensive amount of information about nutrients and their effect on the body and how they can cause various conditions and interact with each other. I used it more for the therapeutic amounts and the descriptions of synergistic and antagonistic relationships with other nutrients.

  • Iherb product reviews — NOPE, NOT ANYMORE — This was once a great source for articulate reviews by supplement-positive customers, but the site has been swamped with shit content, presumably due to the 10-cents-per-review reward program. There are now tens? hundreds? of thousands of reviews translated from Russian saying the same vague things, almost none of it first-hand experience. This is a big loss. I have not found such good user data anywhere else, except maybe the old Life Extension forums. So far Amazon has been a reliable backup source.

  • Amazon supplement reviews — luckily I can still find helpful customer comments here.

  • The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine archives — You can access pdfs of all issues of the journal from 1967 to 2008.

  • Life Extension Foundation forums — Down for maintenance? Remind me to check back later.

  • Micronutrient Information Center at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University (also mentioned on the About Dosages page) — Linus Pauling is known for his vitamin C research, but he was famous first for his two Nobel Prizes — in 1954 for his work on chemical bonds, and the 1962 Peace Prize for his efforts in promoting the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Entries include conditions associated with deficiency and mainstream research on the nutrient. The site goes into more detail than most sources about how the Upper Tolerable Intake limits were arrived at for each nutrient.

  • Mark’s Daily Apple — Mark and his guest bloggers follow the Paleo diet (meat, vegetables, and fruit, more or less). They are usually well-versed in nutrition research and self-experimentation, as are some of the commenters. It’s not a reference source but it’s interesting to read, although they are a bit puritanical about paleo.

  • PubMed Central — PMC is an archive of free and complete biomedical articles at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine. It’s a subset of PubMed, which lists millions of articles, many of them behind a paywall. On PMC, the research reports are often summed up tidily in the last line of the abstract. I’ve found books on nutrition that are based entirely on searches in these databases.

    I concluded after several years of experimenting that this type of data is of almost no use to me. Anecdotal info from other biohackers is much more helpful. But this is a lesson most of us need to learn for ourselves.

    Don’t miss these articles on scientific misconduct incidents (from Wikipedia) and Former NEJM editors on the corruption of American medicine.

  • ScienceDaily.com — They aggregate articles from a gazillion journals, academic studies, and magazines including Science and New Scientist. They have a ton of categories to subscribe to, including vitamins.

  • Trace Element’s website’s nutrient interaction wheels — In addition to Acu-cell’s lists of synergistic/antagonist relationships, I have occasionally used this laboratory’s diagrams.

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When this content was published or posted

This page was first published on 10/19/2011 and last updated on 9/19/2022.

4 thoughts on “Resources and references

  • Jayem

    I have just found your blog and am so pleased to find someone like myself – I thought I was the only one on earth who experimented on myself – although once I did give the dog a dietary supplement I had been using and found it constipated her as well.
    I became interested in vitamin and mineral supplements in 1975 when I was 30 – the story goes thus: serious headaches for 3 years with nausea but no dizziness or vomiting. I had 3 children, the youngest aged three. It was a bad time for us all. Doctor tests provided no information even a head x-ray did not show anything – met an acquaintance on the street who was so concerned about my appearance and the hopelessness of allopathic medicine she advised me to buy Adele Davis’ book Let’s Get Well, which I did. In those early days there was no health food industry and few alternatives to allopathy (I live in New Zealand) but from the chemist I purchased one month’s supply of Vykmin – a vitamin and mineral supplement. Long before I had finished taking the month’s supply the headaches disappeared and have NEVER returned. I was converted! For the next 30 years only took supplements in a small way – mainly multi vits, vitamin C and cod liver oil and watched my diet according to Adele Davis – but when I went onto the internet in 2006 Doctor Google became my ‘go to’ health advisor.
    I am now 73 and have overcome several health issues except one – the muscle in the front of my right leg from groin to knee packed up about four months ago for reasons I cannot identify. If I walk for any length of time it hurts badly and when it is not hurting it is very stiff, but all the time it causes me to limp. I did have several attacks of sacro-iliitis well spaced over a period of 6 years but now only have a stiff back and the problem seems to have devolved to my leg. I am going to a chiropracter who presses and squashes me and cracks my back and neck and there is some improvement – he seems to think it is my hip. Is my only hope a hip replacement? Any info gladly appreciated.
    P.S. Commented here because of 2018 comments but will comment on other parts of your blog as well as I have some interesting and somewhat exotic finds.

    • Marjorie

      Jayem: Thank you for the comment! Acupuncture has been the most successful approach for me for ligament, muscle and joint things. If you get the right practitioner, they’ll have other suggestions, too…. A long shot, crazy idea — look at acu-cell.com, where the author distinguishes a lot of deficiency symptoms in terms of right- or left-sided. He’s the only nutritional therapy advocate I’ve heard of who does that…. This resources page is a little old, I’m afraid, and I haven’t updated it recently. If you didn’t know this already, other search terms to google are “n=1”, self-experimenter, biohacking / bio-hacking, and self-hacking. Also search for related Facebook groups and use the search bar, which will not appear until you’ve been accepted into the group. (Apologies if you already know this, but it confused me for a while when I was just starting with the groups two years ago.) Some groups are more open to far-out treatments than others, so you might look at more than one….. Adelle Davis also started my grandfather on this path. My mother wrote about him in this post. … Good luck, and I look forward to reading more comments from you.

  • Janine

    Look into probiotics!
    Our appendix was once considered a vestigial organ, but recently thought to be the master collection of gut flora! B12 could be produced by bacteria, as well as vitamin C (2 essential building blocks to life that humans are unable to synthesize). We are more bacteria DNA than we are human DNA. Investigate how probiotics can be used to digest gluten (how painful it would be, if the appropriate mechanism are not available) as well as contribute to overall mental health. An old research paper from the late 1800’s suggested that schizophrenia was caused by bacterial infection. The human body is a complex ecosystem that we were never taught how to properly maintain. Modern medicine chooses to focus on profits instead of optimal health, and so we suffer for it.

    • Marjorie

      Amen, and thanks for the info, Janine. I once heard a theory that the appendix was a place for the body to deal with dangerous bacteria it couldn’t handle any other way. I love how American scientists will dismiss something as useless when they can’t figure out its purpose, like “junk DNA.”

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