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Five Vitamins and Supplements That Are Actually Worth Taking
Smithsonian ^ | Feb 14, 2014 | Joseph Stromberg

Posted on 02/17/2014 12:02:28 AM PST by Innovative

Vitamin D

...the researchers found that adults who took vitamin D supplements daily lived longer than those who didn't.

Probiotics

...they're useful in very specific circumstances, but it's not necessary to continually take them on a daily basis.

Zinc

...the mineral significantly reduced the duration of the cold, and also made symptoms less severe.

Niacin

...Also known as vitamin B3, niacin is talked up as a cure for all sorts of conditions (including high cholesterol, Alzheimer's, diabetes and headaches) but in most of these cases, a prescription-strength dose of niacin has been needed to show a clear result.

At over-the-counter strength, niacin supplements have only been proven to be effective in helping one group of people: those who have heart disease. ​

Garlic

...on the whole, taking garlic daily reduced blood pressure,

(Excerpt) Read more at smithsonianmag.com ...


TOPICS: Food; Health/Medicine
KEYWORDS: cancer; garlic; health; heartdisease; medicine; niacin; probiotics; supplements; vitamin; vitamins; zinc
Gee... niacin in OTC doses... "only" helps heart disease

I personally believe that most vitamins are helpful and beneficial, of course everything in moderation.

It's not mentioned in this article, but I also read somewhere that garlic is helpful even against bacteria resistant to antibiotics, of course in larger doses.

1 posted on 02/17/2014 12:02:29 AM PST by Innovative
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To: Innovative
Niacin is easily and abundantly available in 500mg and 1000mg capsules. A daily dose of 3000mg is very effective in raising the good cholesterol. Statins work on the bad cholesterol, to bring it down. In combination, statins and high dose niacin are dynomite for cholesterol control.

The problem, of course, is that a high dose of niacin produces a bad side-effect in about two-thirds of those who try to use it. Fortunately, I'm in the one-third that tolerates it well, though I had to ramp to to that dose (3000mg) over a period of a couple of months.

Google these words to get further information: niacin cholesterol

2 posted on 02/17/2014 12:43:11 AM PST by Brandybux (Oportet ministros manus lavare antequam latrinam relinquent.)
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To: Brandybux

Thanks for the info.

I guess it’s ability to raise good cholesterol levels is what helps heart disease, which is what they mention in the article, but without the details.


3 posted on 02/17/2014 12:45:09 AM PST by Innovative ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
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And not to overlook magnesium and B12.


4 posted on 02/17/2014 12:46:09 AM PST by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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Garlic has impressive antibiotic properties when fresh cloves are crushed. I don’t think the heart benefit is proven.


5 posted on 02/17/2014 12:48:30 AM PST by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: Gene Eric

allicin in garlic and onions is the antibacterial compound that kicks’ass.


6 posted on 02/17/2014 1:01:05 AM PST by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: Brandybux

nicin will increase your lifespan, so much of it is broken down in the cells for dna repair and cellular energy.


7 posted on 02/17/2014 1:06:14 AM PST by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: Innovative

It sure is confusing out there. One group says these vitamins are good for you, another group says they do you no good, and another group says they can harm you.


8 posted on 02/17/2014 1:35:31 AM PST by rawhide
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To: Secret Agent Man

And chewing slowly on a fresh clove can be quite the experience... I did so as a home-ready once when traveling, and wow!


9 posted on 02/17/2014 1:41:47 AM PST by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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home-remedy


10 posted on 02/17/2014 1:42:25 AM PST by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: Innovative
The items featured, D, yogurt,zinc, niacin, and garlic are exactly those which I have come to have confidence in over some fifty years of experience.

Although I have tried long periods of high intake of vitamin C, laevo-ascorbic acid, of both natural and manufactured sources, I have found that it gives little advantage over the benefits of a balanced diet with vitamin C-containing foods.

Throughout my studies toward advanced degrees, I came to mistrust the conclusions of Linus Pauling in every area that his self-promoting (but persuasive) theories touched. Particularly, he concluded and endorsed the concept that everyone would be benefitted by large and regular superdoses of vitamin C, and it became a widely accepted recommendation.

However, medical literature showed that elevated blood acidity could, and did, affect the onset of seizures for individuals experiencing ideopathic epilepsy, hence I was very sure that extremely large doses of ascorbic acid--which shows up in the blood--could be a very unacceptable result of following Pauling's advice that such overdosing would be beneficial for everyone, which he offered without any demurrers.

To my thinking. Linus Pauling was one of the biggest and most damaging B(aloney) S(hoot)ers found in the annals of post-Einstein modern quantum chemistry.

Foods (oranges, apples, cabbage, sauerkraut) bearing enough nutrients to prevent scurvy is enough vitamin C intake, IMHO.

(And be a bit leery of the resveratrol content of Concord-type grape juice beverages, for some reason not mentioned here, though currently a popular topic. Ordinary non-alcoholic blood of the vine ought to supply enough that you will ever need.)

11 posted on 02/17/2014 4:18:25 AM PST by imardmd1 (Fiat Lux)
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To: Innovative

Garlic keeps vampires away.


12 posted on 02/17/2014 4:20:07 AM PST by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: imardmd1

I think “everything in moderation” is the way to go.

But regarding Vitamin C, they are discovering that it’s good for you afterall.

Regarding Linus Pauling, I think you need to assess him based on his epoch. At that time people didn’t know about vitamins and his discovery that vitamin C is good for your was indeed a great discovery.

I don’t quite know what drove him to become a “peace” activist though... just found out, it was his wife! — was just reading his bio in Wikipaedia. Also looks like he was taken in by the communist propaganda.

But he was right about the vitamin C, though.

A current article:

Vitamin C linked to reduced risk of stroke

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/272741.php

“A study due to be presented at a conference later this year suggests that eating foods containing vitamin C, such as oranges, peppers, strawberries, papaya and broccoli, may be linked to a reduced risk for hemorrhagic stroke.”


13 posted on 02/17/2014 4:29:49 AM PST by Innovative ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
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To: Brandybux; Innovative
I suggest that you consider another search:

liver damage from niacin

One article in particular is:

LiverTox

The article contains a case history:

"Key Points

Medication: Niacin (4.5 grams daily)
Pattern: Hepatocellular (R=24)
Severity: 3+ (jaundice, hospitalization)
Latency: 6 months
Recovery: 4 days for symptoms, 49 days for ALT
Other medications: None" (The article includes a table of blood chemistry values at various stages.)

Various articles I have read claim that sustained release niacin is the most dangerous form. One theory is that the liver has a better chance of recovering from a once daily assault.

I personally take about 300 mg of niacin (not sustained release) with other vitamins every day. I also try to keep to a Zone diet and take 2 tsp of fish oil daily. My most recent results are:

Triglycerides: 63
HDL: 79
LDL: 85

My other blood chemistry values are in the normal range (no suggestion of liver damage).
14 posted on 02/17/2014 4:32:22 AM PST by Ragnar54 (Obama replaced Osama as America's worst enemy and Al Qaeda's financier)
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To: Drango

“Garlic keeps vampires away.”

And everyone else too...


15 posted on 02/17/2014 4:32:25 AM PST by Innovative ("Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." -- Vince Lombardi)
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To: Innovative; Bloody Sam Roberts

“Garlic keeps vampires away.”

And everyone else too...

You are not kidding! My mother is into taking vitamins and herbal supplements like it’s a religion. She and my stepfather (she makes him take them too) swallow so many garlic capsules that they ALWAYS SMELL HORRIBLE. Garlic excreted through the skin does not smell like it does when garlic is sauted for cooking. Too much of a good thing, is not a good thing!

(And by the way, they still end up catching every cold and flu that comes along.)


16 posted on 02/17/2014 4:58:40 AM PST by Mrs. B.S. Roberts
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To: imardmd1
Linus Pauling was one of the biggest and most damaging B(aloney) S(hoot)ers

Rachel Carson comes to mind also.

17 posted on 02/17/2014 5:02:03 AM PST by Salvey
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To: rawhide
One group says these vitamins are good for you, another group says they do you no good
Your body needs vitamins and minerals to help keep you healthy - and you get most of them through your daily diet.
Taking a multi-vitamin doesn't really help, and most certainly, taking mega doses of vitamins can cause real problems.
On the other hand, if you know you're low in some area, like iron or Vitamin D, taking those specifically, can help.
18 posted on 02/17/2014 5:32:34 AM PST by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: Innovative
I never understood all the fuss made over the smell of garlic. Yes, garlic has a smell to it but it's not an unpleasant smell. Bread baking or chicken roasting has a smell to it too but nobody every complains about that.

With regard to vitamin supplements, I try to avoid them and get the vitamins I need from the foods that I eat. I don't like orange juice that much but I force myself to drink a glass each morning as that is best way to get your vitamin C. Vitamin D is the only thing I would take supplements for because from about mid-October to mid-February, the sun is just not high enough in the sky to throw off any Vitamin D.

19 posted on 02/17/2014 5:50:05 AM PST by SamAdams76
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To: Innovative
I never understood all the fuss made over the smell of garlic. Yes, garlic has a smell to it but it's not an unpleasant smell. Bread baking or chicken roasting has a smell to it too but nobody every complains about that.

With regard to vitamin supplements, I try to avoid them and get the vitamins I need from the foods that I eat. I don't like orange juice that much but I force myself to drink a glass each morning as that is best way to get your vitamin C. Vitamin D is the only thing I would take supplements for because from about mid-October to mid-February, the sun is just not high enough in the sky to throw off any Vitamin D.

20 posted on 02/17/2014 5:50:05 AM PST by SamAdams76
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To: SamAdams76

>>I never understood all the fuss made over the smell of garlic<<

Consider the old Yiddish proverb: A nickel will get you on the subway but garlic will get you a seat.

LOL


21 posted on 02/17/2014 6:30:12 AM PST by BlueYonder
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To: Ragnar54
I suggest that you consider another search:

liver damage from niacin

People vary widely in their metabolic response to high-dose niacin, as well as to statin drugs. Some do not tolerate either of them well, and liver enzyme tests are standard monitoring strategy for people who take either kind of therapy for cholesterolemia.

My GP (and other information I've seen on the net) tells me that there is no additional benefit from niacin higher than 3000mg daily, and many people (my brother, for example) seem to max out the benefit at 2000mg daily. Again, monitoring the lipid panels and liver enzymes while commencing niacin therapy is SOP.

My GP also confirms that timed-release versions of niacin have a much higher incidence of liver toxicity than simple nicotinic acid. The timed-release versions are supposed to alleviate the common "flushing" side-effects of high-dose niacin. But, if one cannot develop a tolerance for straight niacin over time, it were best to just leave it alone.

I'm fortunate, I guess. My last cholesterol numbers were HDL--64, LDL--51, total cholesterol -- 135. This was with niacin at 1000mg 3xdaily and simvastatin 40mg once daily. Liver enzymes were completely normal.

22 posted on 02/17/2014 7:42:24 AM PST by Brandybux (Oportet ministros manus lavare antequam latrinam relinquent.)
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To: Brandybux

Niacin sounds like a no brainer, it does elevate good cholesterol so adding it to a statin should dramatically improve risk.

Unfortunately, the only research I’ve seen in the matter shows Niacin + statin is no better than the statin alone.


23 posted on 02/17/2014 11:20:28 AM PST by dangerdoc (I don't think you should be forced to make the same decision I did even if I know I'm right.)
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To: Brandybux
Those are pretty good numbers. Are you taking any COQ10?
After I started taking significant amounts of ubiquinol, I noticed a drop in LDL.
24 posted on 02/17/2014 11:22:49 AM PST by Ragnar54 (Obama replaced Osama as America's worst enemy and Al Qaeda's financier)
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To: Ragnar54

With numbers like that, you should be thanking your parents.


25 posted on 02/17/2014 11:26:28 AM PST by dangerdoc (I don't think you should be forced to make the same decision I did even if I know I'm right.)
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To: Ragnar54
"Are you taking any COQ10?"

No, never tried it. I'm getting good results w/o it, so don't want to multiply supplements. If, for some reason, I need to drop niacin in the future, I'll give it a go.

I forgot to mention that I do take fish oil capsules -- six a day, which is probably more than I actually need. But, they are plentiful and cheap ...

And, on the subject of fish oil capsules, I stumbled onto a dietary "solution" to my Cavalier Spaniel's furious itching/scratching (not related to fleas, btw) -- a dietary supplement for dogs [eyes rolling back in head]. Reading the fine print at the product's website indicated that omega 3 and 6 fatty acids were a big component of this supplement.

So, since I already have a lot of that on hand anyway, I've been dosing the dog with two a day -- one in the morning, another in the evening. It seems to be working! We're only a week into the experiment, but she's scratching way, way less than before.

26 posted on 02/17/2014 11:38:27 AM PST by Brandybux (Oportet ministros manus lavare antequam latrinam relinquent.)
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To: Gene Eric

>>And chewing slowly on a fresh clove can be quite the experience... I did so as a home-ready once when traveling, and wow!<<

Did you forget to put your teeth in?


27 posted on 02/17/2014 12:21:35 PM PST by B4Ranch (Name your illness, do a Google & YouTube search with "hydrogen peroxide". Do it and be surprised.)
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To: dangerdoc
I have my doubts that they are due to genetics. My brother is on a radically different diet and supplement program and has radically different numbers (and a triple bypass). I'm trying to get him to change. So I'm hoping that Dr. Sears is the one I should thank.
28 posted on 02/17/2014 12:41:25 PM PST by Ragnar54 (Obama replaced Osama as America's worst enemy and Al Qaeda's financier)
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To: Ragnar54

Luck of the draw, you hogged all the good genes.


29 posted on 02/17/2014 1:11:04 PM PST by dangerdoc (I don't think you should be forced to make the same decision I did even if I know I'm right.)
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To: Brandybux
You might want to look into either having your COQ10 level measured (expensive) or taking a supplement (cheap). All the cells in the body except red blood cells have mitochondria, and mitochondria need COQ10. The mechanism by which statin drugs shut down cholesterol production in the liver also shuts down COQ10 production.
When I travel, I take 8 fish oil capsules in lieu of 2 tsp of fish oil (needs to be kept refrigerated). So 6 seems like a reasonable number.
My dog gets 1 fish oil capsule a day along with a some special dog vitamins. A while back, she was not doing well and the vet determined that her triglycerides were too high. The vet was going to put her on a special medication (to prevent pancreatitis), but we started her back on fish oil and the level was normalized within a week.
30 posted on 02/17/2014 2:31:43 PM PST by Ragnar54 (Obama replaced Osama as America's worst enemy and Al Qaeda's financier)
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To: dangerdoc

I hope you are wrong. We should find out in a few months.


31 posted on 02/17/2014 2:33:06 PM PST by Ragnar54 (Obama replaced Osama as America's worst enemy and Al Qaeda's financier)
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To: Innovative
Probiotics ...they're useful in very specific circumstances, but it's not necessary to continually take them on a daily basis.

I've actually found it works better for me to take them about three times/week (Phillips Colon health). Taking them every day seem to do bad things to my colon after about three months. Found that with another formulation as well.

32 posted on 02/17/2014 2:39:43 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: Innovative
Zinc ...the mineral significantly reduced the duration of the cold, and also made symptoms less severe.

I don't think the dietary form is of any use with respect to colds. It has to be a form that can be distributed to the nasal mucosa. Even then it hasn't seemed very useful to me vs. rhinovirus.

33 posted on 02/17/2014 2:48:54 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: SamAdams76
Yes, garlic has a smell to it but it's not an unpleasant smell.

Refer to the Yiddish proverb the other FReeper posted and I happen to know that chronic overuse of garlic has led to broken marriages.

34 posted on 02/17/2014 2:51:45 PM PST by steve86 (Some things aren't really true but you wouldn't be half surprised if they were.)
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To: Innovative
Is anybody familiar with wheat grass juice? A friend of mine recommended it (the frozen kind) and claimed it caused her mother's cataract to improve. Since taking it, I have more energy. It might be just a coincidence.
35 posted on 02/17/2014 3:01:04 PM PST by apocalypto
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To: Innovative
I would add iodine. Iodoral has changed my life.

Niacin in prescription strength? Just take more of the OTC. Easy, cheap, and the flush is good for you. Start with 500 mg and work your way up. Less if you're afraid of the flush.

36 posted on 02/17/2014 3:08:10 PM PST by old and tired
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To: Ragnar54

Was that the flush free niacin? That’s the bad stuff. Regular flush inducing niacin has never been proven to cause liver toxicity.


37 posted on 02/17/2014 3:11:21 PM PST by old and tired
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To: old and tired
i now take 1500 niacin (not flush free) down from 2000. i take it right before turning the lights out so i am asleep when the flush hits. even if not the flush is annoying only since i know what is causing all the symptoms. i take red rice yeast, also at night, as i can't take statins. my numbers are fine and my family has a history of heart disease.
38 posted on 02/17/2014 4:28:13 PM PST by bravo whiskey (We should not fear our government. Our government should fear us.)
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To: old and tired
The article does not indicate which kind was used by the patient in the case history. However, the article does say:

SR niacin can be taken once daily and is less likely to cause flushing, but is not approved for use in hyperlipidemia and has been associated with a high rates of hepatotoxicity in some studies.

So you might be correct. The authors should have made it clear. Good catch.
39 posted on 02/17/2014 6:51:35 PM PST by Ragnar54 (Obama replaced Osama as America's worst enemy and Al Qaeda's financier)
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To: Innovative

I’m doing Niacin, Zinc and Vt D. All three work for me as reported.


40 posted on 02/17/2014 6:53:09 PM PST by AppyPappy (Obama: What did I not know and when did I not know it?)
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To: Innovative
In studying solid state chemistry, it became clear to me that Linus Pauling had the characteristic of suppressing or stifling scientific opinion that conflicted with his claims, not through logical argumentation, but by relying on his influential connections.

One area of hindering scientific progress was through promoting his "valence bond theory" while undercutting the work of Mulliken and others in the development of precise understanding in behavior of solids offered by the "molecular orbital" model, which showed the fatal deficiencies of Pauling's model.

It could be said that Pauling did not suffer from over-use of humility or self-deprecation. Thus I kind of understand how your impression of his role in the use of megadosage of vitamin C, which he vaunted in the 1960s and 1970s, came to give you (and others) the impression that he "discovered" vitamin C, a flawed perception. The advantages of antiscorbutic foods became recognized in the mid-1700s, not by Linus Pauling.

According to the Wiki summary on his accomplishments:

". . . his promotion of orthomolecular medicine, megavitamin therapy, dietary supplements, and vitamin C have been criticized, with a pediatrician Paul Offit stating that Pauling "was arguably the world's greatest quack" for his assertions about dietary supplements, and the medical establishment concluding that his claims that vitamin C could prevent colds or treat cancer were quackery. Recently, a 2009 review suggested that Pauling's views on high dose vitamin C as an effective anticancer agent might have some merit, but only when it is administered intravenously, so as to achieve high enough plasma saturation levels."

My comment was not to deny his exceptional brilliant intelligence, but his tendency to overstate it to the point of his use of it to the harm it could do others not accounted for in his generalizations. I think you might have missed that facet of my previous post.

I hope I haven't offended you. I have a bit of the effect that diminished Linus Pauling's acceptance in my own style, and that might put you off. It's a quality that I do not like, either.

41 posted on 02/18/2014 8:04:41 AM PST by imardmd1 (Fiat Lux)
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To: old and tired

I have to agree with the iodoral statement. I find I have to take the other supplements that go with it though. Especially the b vitamins. My feet are generally warm in the winter now. They’ve never been warm before, even in the summer.


42 posted on 02/18/2014 8:08:22 AM PST by Black Agnes
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To: Innovative
Here are my five top vitamins
  1. Vitamin C in the form of magnesium ascorbate powder 
  2. Lugols iodine
  3. Niacin -- the kind you get a flush from
  4. B50 complex
  5. Vitamin D 5000 units

Niacin---Rugby brand about $21 / 500mg  --- buy at Swansons
Vit C   --Now Foods   --- buy at Swansons
Vit D---Now Foods   --- buy at Swansons
B 50 complex----Swansons house brand---- --- buy at Swansons
Lugols -- from ebay seller http://www.ebay.com/sch/the_full_orchestra/m.html

 

43 posted on 02/18/2014 8:18:47 AM PST by dennisw (The first principle is to find out who you are then you can achieve anything -- Buddhist monk)
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To: dennisw

Niacin-—Rugby brand about $21 / 500mg -— buy at Swansons
http://www.swansonvitamins.com/rugby-niacin-500-mg-1000-tabs?SourceCode=INTL405&CAWELAID=502904680&mkwid=lIIvXO2o&pcrid=45563020687&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CKz3xoSL1rwCFURk7AodHy8AMw

Full strength niacin in 500mg tablet form. Tablet can be split in half if you want 250mg. I prefer tablets over capsules. Not flush free which is what you want.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFN0cv5cpZQ
Andrew Saul is today’s niacin and vitamin C guru
http://www.doctoryourself.com/niacinreviews.html


44 posted on 02/18/2014 8:27:22 AM PST by dennisw (The first principle is to find out who you are then you can achieve anything -- Buddhist monk)
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To: Ragnar54
The authors should have made it clear. Good catch.

We don't know who's paying for this research. If it's ultimately drug companies, they have a vested interest in making niacin look bad. If everybody tried replacing their cholesterol lowering meds with cheap, regular old niacin, think of the huge hit the drug companies would take. Personally, I think regular flush inducing niacin should be tried before going on a statin, which can cause memory and sleep issues.

45 posted on 02/18/2014 10:23:50 AM PST by old and tired
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To: dennisw

That’s a good list. I have also been told to take magnesium along with selenium to optimize the good I’m getting from my iodine (I take iodoral).


46 posted on 02/18/2014 10:26:26 AM PST by old and tired
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To: old and tired

5. Concentration Camp Survivors and niacin
http://www.doctoryourself.com/hoffer_niacin.html

___________________________

Idoral is lugols in a tablet. Lugols from that ebay seller “full orchestra” is less expensive


47 posted on 02/18/2014 11:11:58 AM PST by dennisw (The first principle is to find out who you are then you can achieve anything -- Buddhist monk)
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