A list of supplements that don’t work very well in the versions sold in the US

nutritional therapy, supplements
Updated October 22, 2020. Originally posted November 19, 2011. Over the years I've learned that some of the nutrient supplements on the shelves in the US don't work very well, either because a significant part of the population can't process them, or because the version used is poorly absorbed by the body, or because they are so cheaply formulated that the filler would make you sick before you could get enough of the active ingredient to resolve your deficiency. Here's everything I know so far. Needless to say, the better versions are more expensive and harder to find. Folic acid Processing this synthetic vitamin into its active form requires methyl groups and those of us who are methyl-challenged (low methylators) need to use the methylfolate version. Some sources say that…
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Seven fomenters of brain fog

nutritional therapy, symptoms and conditions, treatments
Several factors combined together to cause me years of spaciness and difficulty concentrating. Highlights of this period included giving the wrong last name when called on in class and almost getting my head wedged between two floors of a department store while riding the escalator. Most of the causes were ferreted out after I went gluten-free, and now I can face a big project and a tight deadline without sweating it too much, given enough Pepsi. The problem is that metabolizing an acre's worth of high-fructose corn syrup when you're 25 is one thing; now it's quite another. I'm still looking for the final pieces to this puzzle. The main causes were: 1. and 2. High histamine, caused at least in part by low iodine I discovered this by accident…
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Niagarrhagia

symptoms and conditions, treatments
Update 9 July 2022: Here's a summary of what's happened since this I first wrote this post: Menorrhagia ended for me a month after I moved out of my moldy apartment, except for the following times: a four-week monster period (MP) a year later, when I started a new detox binder for mold. I think it was cholestyramine, which is a cholesterol prescription drug used for mold poisoning. another four-week MP when I started a detox binder for lead, in this case EDTA, which is basically a huge dose of sulfur. a five-week monster period when I hit menopause. But then again I was also eating unfermented soy and taking a lot of milk thistle supplements, and the MP stopped soon after I stopped those. So who knows. These experiences…
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The heartbreak of stupid fingernails

symptoms and conditions, treatments
February 7, 2013: I later had some success with vitamin D3. Updated February 6, 2012 Growing up I'd watch movies set in the heyday of the manicure, the 1930s to the 1950s, and then I'd look down at my own bendy, shallow, round nails and I'd think, whyyyyy? When I got my first full-time job I splurged on French-manicured, squoval artificial nails and enjoyed them thoroughly despite being laughed at by the guy giving me riding lessons. Eventually the cost of filling them every three weeks got to be too much, so I abandoned the habit. I'd bet those nail salon chemicals are still in my system, plotting their oncological revenge. Going gluten-free brought me no nail improvement. Over the years I did notice some of the classic nutritional correlations:…
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Three strange and unexpected effects of correcting a vitamin or mineral deficiency

nutritional therapy
1. Vivid dreams. This effect of vitamin B6 is fairly well-known. Some members of Yahoo's pyroluria group (pyroluria is a condition in which vitamin B6 is chronically deficient) say that you're at the right dose when your remembered dreams are pleasant, and that you're on too much if they are too vivid or jittery-making, but I've never come to any conclusion myself. 2. Random, pointless memories. I've occasionally experienced this when repleting with big doses of calcium, magnesium, iron, or B12, all closely associated with memory. At the same time I realized I could recall long-forgotten Photoshop commands or go to the grocery store without a shopping list, I would also be visited by utterly insignificant memories floating across my brain: the brickwork around the entrance to a store in…
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Constant and mysterious leg pain, solved

symptoms and conditions
Before my gluten-freedom (which commenced April 4, 1998) I became aware of a constant, aching bone pain in my legs -- not a tissue or a muscle or a joint thing -- that was most noticeable when doing the dishes or standing in line at the airport. In 2000 or so I realized that if I didn't take vitamin B-complex, (along with biotin and vitamin B12, for two days, by the third day my legs would hurt so badly my jaw would do that shaking thing and I'd start breathing in the kind of way that makes your fellow shoppers at the grocery store edge away from you. Since I took B-complex/etc. every morning for years, though, I sort of forgot about it. At some point I stopped the B-complex…
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