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Sodium-Potasium and other non-deficiency supplements.

by 225 · January 28, 2014 at 07:47 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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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.

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