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Sodium-Potasium and other non-deficiency supplements.

by (245)
Updated about 2 hours ago
Created January 23, 2014 at 5:24 PM

After cleaning up my diet a bit, think I want to rework my supplement regimen, a bit unsure of what is actually needed though.

Cronometer Intake Estimates Link

The obvious ones -- correct me if I'm wrong -- seem to be:

Vitamin D(5000iu) -- Because paleo seems to believe the RDI is wrong.

Vitamin C(1.5g/3dose) -- Because paleo seems to believe the RDI is wrong.

Magnesium(200mg?) -- Just for the lulz?

Omega 3 (???) -- No clue, I don't take this...apparently the cheap ones=bad, and I'm not looking to spend a lot.

Calcium(???) -- Seems I'm short on this...kind of hard to get enough calcium without dairy, also heard supplementing this can be bad.

Iodine(???) -- Was taking 1(800mcg) drop with selenium, now not sure...maybe a tiny drop by itself? ^^

Other possible mentions: Vitamin A, Vitamin K2. It seems I get enough, but possibly not in the best forms. Skeptical about these as I really only want to supplement things that I need to.

--------------Actual Question-------------

And finally why I wrote this tread, Potassium and its antagonist sodium. I understand that the paleo philosophy tends not to be too restrictive on salt, but that kind of leaves you up the creek without a paddle when it comes to sodium/potassium ratio. I barely break the 100% on potassium and my estimate of sodium is about 3g/day (5/3 ratio) which is far from the ideal? I've heard people aim for 2/1-4/1, even though its cited 'paleo' people had something like 50-1?

So my question is, should I just supplement potassium on top of my diet, even though I get the RDI, or should I reduce my sodium? Or both? And in what amount?

---------------Summary--------------

9 Possible supplements, would ideally like to take 0... :(

I'm relatively fine with continuing the benign ones.( D, C, Magnesium) Curious as to how I would go about the others, and if they're safe.( Omega 3, Calcium, Iodine, Potassium ) And unsure if the last two are just, 'you should ideally' or you actually need to supplement them. ( A, K2 ) -- specifically retinol over carotine and K2 over K1.

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245 · January 28, 2014 at 7:37 PM

As far as the omega 6 goes...I think those numbers might be a bit inflated, cronometers numbers are weird. I usually get most of my o6 from chicken breast/almonds...I would think it would be under 10g/day -- mostly from almonds, probably 1g or less from chicken.

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245 · January 28, 2014 at 7:27 PM

Atm the only things I would really want to look into ATM are Omega 3 and less importantly iodine and A-D -- I still think moderate supplementation of these is benign. I haven't seen much on retinol being bad for you before toxicity, and I've seen D recommended at 1kiu/25lbs.(more than I currently take)

I think I can get enough calcium from leafy greens(maybe), If I keep an eye on my salt I should atleast hit a 2-1 ratio. I have no issues supplementing reasonable amounts of C and Magnesium -- I've heard potassium helps magnesium absorbtion though --

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245 · January 28, 2014 at 7:22 PM

As far as omega 3, that's still an issue... as wild oily fish tend not to be cheap or pleasant tasting(opinion) and there tends to be a lot of conflicting information... fish oil, krill oil, fermented cod liver oil, possibly rancidity, possible corruption/impurities, mixed studies in general on benefits/risks

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245 · January 28, 2014 at 7:22 PM

As far as things like Iodine, calcium and omega 3 are concered. It's my understanding that while we do not get iodine, 'oversupplementation' -- whatever that may be -- can cause as many issues as not getting enough. Calcium I understand may cause heart issues with it not getting to the right places -- possibly from the lack of D and k2 -- I may just try to get in some additional greens to get myself to the 750mg threshhold.

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245 · January 28, 2014 at 7:22 PM

-------- Damn these comment limits! :D -------

As far as my understanding of the dangers, I was under the assumption that water soluble vitamins are generally safe to take in reasonable amounts as the excess would just be flushed out. As far as the fat soluble, I thought that vitamin A protected against toxicity of D and vice-versa, so being antagonistic to one another, and being able to get neither from a 'normal diet' I assumed it would be wise to supplement them and together to not offset and to get adequate amounts.

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15 · January 28, 2014 at 5:40 PM

(The same problem with too much polyunsaturated fat, and too much O6, can result from regular nut consumption.)

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15 · January 28, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Of course, how vitamin D is used in a particular person's body is complicated. Conversion of 25OHD (inactive form) to 1,25D (active form) differs from person to person, which means intakes/amounts (in the inactive form) will result in differing amounts of active vitamin D in the body for different people. Infections or other things that tax the immune system might bring the need for 25OHD up, but it's quite complicated.

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15 · January 28, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Oh, regarding Vitamin D, while the body can create about 10,000 IU from sunlight when deficient, its production actually tapers off at around 4,000 IU with sufficiency. So, it's probably wise not to supplement more than that (5,000 IU/day is probably too much), and perhaps 2,000 IU/day is safer, depending on your exposure to sunlight.

I'm not certain the K2 does prevent D toxicity at high intakes of D, but it certainly might.

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15 · January 28, 2014 at 5:32 PM

also simply provides too much o6 to be a staple source of animal fat. This is why ruminants or sea foods are often much more preferable.

I may have been incorrect about the 4% hard limit for PUFAs. I think it was perhaps a 6% hard limit for PUFA and 4% limit for o6, but my understanding here is somewhat unclear - sorry.

Nonetheless, there are two separate problems: 1) Too much % of calories (energy) as PUFA or O6; and 2) O3:O6 ratio. Adding O3 will not fix 1, even if it fixes 2, and each problem has its own fairly significant problems which result from it.

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15 · January 28, 2014 at 5:29 PM

The idea I've found which seems most wise is a weekly supplementation of the trace minerals/some other things, in an amount unlikely to cause oversupplementation. The weekly supplementation also gives the body time to flush out excess and potentially keeps infections in the body from using excess regularly enough to propogate.

It would appear that your total omega-6 intake is above 4% of total calories, which is simply quite problematic in and of itself. The problem with chickens and other avian animals is their polyunsaturated fat composition - it's sub-optimal in terms of o6:o3 and

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15 · January 28, 2014 at 5:24 PM

A small dose of calcium in place of bone broth would also likely work. Supplementing retinol is quite potentially dangerous, and I'm unsure whether supplementing the beta-carotene form would translate helpfully into actual vitamin A.

I'm curious as to what thoughts you have about the dangers/risks of supplementation. That's quite interesting to me. :)

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15 · January 28, 2014 at 5:16 PM

@daz Thank you.

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4393 · January 28, 2014 at 1:56 AM

i cleaned up the formatting a bit for you

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245 · January 28, 2014 at 12:41 AM

I was considering, 'boobies, boobies, boobies' as the new title but I think that would just make people hate me.

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245 · January 28, 2014 at 12:37 AM

Still curious if supplementing the other things in small doses would be wise, until I maybe add more variety into my diet. I.E.:: Is not supplementing/getting these things in adequate amounts worse than the risk of supplementation...and omega 3 is just very tricky in general as I don't really eat or plan on eating fish. :(

For example a small dose of 250mg calcium to put me at 750, maybe a bit of A to offset my vitamin D, and make up for no liver and Idk, I'll have to look into omega 3. :(

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245 · January 28, 2014 at 12:34 AM

Holy wall of text batman...J/k I actually just appreciate the answer!

My main concern with supplements is that I don't really see myself increasing my intake of:: Oily fish, Bone broth, beef liver in the forseable future or even testing for levels really.

The only 'pufa' I eat comes from chicken/almonds, unavoidable really. I'll try to limit, but continue supplementing iodine, supplement magnesium, and maybe a tiny bit of C, and continue or reduce my D slightly and look into adding k2.

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15 · January 28, 2014 at 12:20 AM

Sorry about squished formatting. No time to fix for the moment.

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4393 · January 27, 2014 at 10:00 PM

"Can't believe I haven't gotten any answers for this yet"...may be its the title, idk...could try making it 'snappier' or clearer or...

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245 · January 27, 2014 at 7:43 PM

No sorry, it's just something I recall hearing. It was not in reference to requirements or modern intakes, it was about 'paleolithic' pepole and them consuming little salt and tons of potassium.

Can't believe I haven't gotten any answers for this yet. :D

I recently heard another podcast cautioning supplementation as well. For now I'm just laying low and making sure to take my vitamin D.

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4393 · January 27, 2014 at 4:32 AM

not having much luck with this Q eh wtfgod :(

i'll try & add some 'ramblings' on some items in an answer soonish(?).

where did you see/get the ~50:1 potass/sodium ratio from...? (got a link/ref)

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245 · January 24, 2014 at 8:51 PM

--Bumping-- :(

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15 · January 28, 2014 at 12:18 AM

Argh. Had typed up a very long, detailed answer, but the PaleoHacks formatting deleted it before it posted. This will be more terse, but hopefully to-the-point.

Be careful of oversupplementing D. Get D levels measured regularly, and aim for 35 ng/mL as optimal, not 50 ng/mL+. Google "Israeli lifeguards", "kidney stones", and "vitamin D" for more thoughts.

K2 is crucial, and well worth it. As you may already know, it is an entirely different substance from K1 and not interchangeable. K2 is crucial for activating D so D works properly. It will potentially protect you from D toxicity if you oversupplement D, or don't track your D levels closely enough. I am unsure about A-to-D ratios. A quarter pound of beef liver per week will likely be sufficient A. Don't supplement A - retinol supplementation has been shown to be dangerous.

Don't supplement calcium. Make bone broths with vinegar to extract the minerals (drink 1 bowl per day), and consume more leafy greens if desired. Calcium sufficiency is reached at about 750 mg/day, so a bowl of bone broth per day would likely push you into sufficiency. It is prudent not to oversupplement calcium, and typicaly calcium supplements often contain dangerous amounts (1,000 mg+).

Magnesium is very prudent to supplement. 300 mg/day orally should be sufficient. It is supposedly difficult to reach toxicity when taken orally (toxicity will result in diarrhea, or slowed heart rate with more severe toxicity). Magnesium is crucial to vitamin D being utilized by the body properly (so much so that magnesium deficiency can result in symptoms of D deficiency even when D is sufficient), and modern soils are often depleted of it. It is also crucial to bodily metabolism, including reactions used to create ATP, RNA, and DNA. (Soil depletion is also a problem with minerals in general, which means that the mineral and nutrient content of foods will vary depending on what soils it is from, or what soils its foods are from. This means your Cronometer measurements may not be accurate, at least regarding minerals.)

Reduce your omega 6 intake. A PUFA consumption of more than 4% of calories has been shown to be dangerous (noticeably increased mortality), so PUFA consumption should be limited in general to a hard limit of 4% of calories. More is not better. It is also bad.

Do not supplement omega-3; consume oily fish (such as 1 lb salmon/week, or lots of sardines). Most supplements are potentially rancid/bad. The O3:O6 ratio is indeed important.

C is quite safe to supplement, and excess is eliminated with sufficient water.

If supplementing Iodine, start with 225 mcg, or half that, and increase the dosage only every 1-2 weeks (slowly). Also, unless you suspect hypo- or hyper-thyroidism, it would likely be prudent to test thyroid markers (TSH, T3, T4) before supplementing more than 225mcg daily. Ensure that your selenium is indeed sufficient (aforementioned soil depletion might affect your measurements - Brazil nuts occasionally are good for Se, assuming they're actually grown in nutrient-rich rainforest soils). Insufficient Se and high doses of iodine can induce transient hypothyroidism. Too much Se can cause problems as well. Optimal Se and I intake are in a tight range, so be careful.

Reduce sodium. Do not supplement potassium, as supplements are potentially dangerous compared to naturally occurring potassium in foods. 3:1 K:Na or greater seems good. Though, I hadn't read about the 50:1 ratio, and I do not know if a greater ratio of K:Na is better. That's very interesting.

Finally, I would be very wary of supplementing any minerals without essential trace minerals such as chromium, vanadium, molybdenum, lithium, and potentially boron. Minerals in the body are regulated in pattern/association with each other, much like the potassium-to-sodium ratio, but much more complex. Trace minerals, while trace, are also essential. In my personal research, I've found the Perfect Health Diet book and online page regarding supplements to be by far the clearest and most well-reasoned. It was very helpful to me. The link to the supplement page on their website (sans the copious explanation of reasoning in the book) is here: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/recommended-supplements/

I hope I covered everything. Feel free to reply if I didn't.

Cce653018976b0b26924c59aa94e5579
15 · January 28, 2014 at 12:20 AM

Sorry about squished formatting. No time to fix for the moment.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9
245 · January 28, 2014 at 12:34 AM

Holy wall of text batman...J/k I actually just appreciate the answer!

My main concern with supplements is that I don't really see myself increasing my intake of:: Oily fish, Bone broth, beef liver in the forseable future or even testing for levels really.

The only 'pufa' I eat comes from chicken/almonds, unavoidable really. I'll try to limit, but continue supplementing iodine, supplement magnesium, and maybe a tiny bit of C, and continue or reduce my D slightly and look into adding k2.

7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9
245 · January 28, 2014 at 12:37 AM

Still curious if supplementing the other things in small doses would be wise, until I maybe add more variety into my diet. I.E.:: Is not supplementing/getting these things in adequate amounts worse than the risk of supplementation...and omega 3 is just very tricky in general as I don't really eat or plan on eating fish. :(

For example a small dose of 250mg calcium to put me at 750, maybe a bit of A to offset my vitamin D, and make up for no liver and Idk, I'll have to look into omega 3. :(

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