In this section, we are building a resource of information gathered from various sources to provide you with something of a 'natural road map' to be able to better navigate and understand natural options that may be beneficial to your wellness or treatment needs.

More and more doctors and other health care professionals have realized the benefits of what they call 'complementary' therapies, where natural or naturopathic approaches may complement or boost the benefits of traditional medicines and treatments.

In this section we deal with natural supplements such as vitamins and minerals in solid and liquid forms.

This information is offered to increase your personal awareness of these options but is not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis and treatment by your personal health professional who should be consulted before you explore or begin any natural options.

Links to other sites are provided for information only - and should not be considered to be endorsements of those or other sites.

Diet & Fitness Today

Vitamins & Minerals Charts and Links

Good diet nutrition, including Vitamins and Minerals is essential for optimum health. Vitamins and minerals play an essential role in all nutrition processes. These processes such as efficient metabolism, stable blood sugar levels and appetite, all affect weight control and how fast we lose weight.

Below is a list of links to vitamins and minerals. We have summarised each vitamin and mineral in the chart below, along with the sources, benefits, recommended dietary intake (RDA or AI) and the problems that deficiency may cause. We also have a database of vitamin pictures.

Vitamin Chart

•  Vitamin A (Retinol)
•  Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
•  Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
•  Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
•  Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
•  Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
•  Vitamin B7/Vitamin H (Biotin)
•  Vitamin B9 (Folic acid)
•  Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
•  Vitamin B13 (Orotic Acid)
•  Vitamin B15 (Pangamic acid)

•  Vitamin B17 (Laetrile)
•  Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
•  Vitamin D (Calciferol)
•  Vitamin E (Tocopherol)
•  Vitamin K (Phylloquinone)
•  Vitamin P (Bioflavonoids)
•  Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone)
•  Choline
•  Inositol
•  PABA (Para-amino benzoic acid)

Mineral Chart

•  Calcium
•  Chloride
•  Magnesium
•  Phosphorus
•  Potassium
•  Sodium
•  Sulfur

We have also summarized the recommended dietary intake (RDA or AI) for men and women below. This data is for an average man or woman (not-pregnant) aged between 19-50 years; for further information click on each vitamin or mineral.

  vitamin A vitamin C Vitamin D Vitamin E Vitamin K Vitamin B1
Men 900 μg 90 mg 5 μg 15 mg 120 μg 1.2 mg
Women 700 μg 75 mg 5 μg 15 mg 90 μg 1.1 mg
  Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B9 Vitamin B12
Men 1.3 mg 19 mg 5 mg 1.3 mg 400 μg 2.4 μg
Women 1.1 mg 14 mg 5 mg 1.3 mg 400 μg 2.4 μg
  Vitamin H Choline
Men 30 μg 550 mg
Women 30 μg 425 m

Nutrition Facts

Use the links below to find the Nutrition Facts for all of the major vitamins, minerals, amino acids and nutrients that are required by the body.

calories, fat, carbohydrate, high protein food, high fiber food, low carb food, calcium, iron, magnesium, chromium, phosphorus, chloride, potassium, sodium, fluoride, iodine, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, vitamins and minerals, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6, biotin (vitamin B7), Folic Acid (vitamin B9), vitamin B12, vitamin B13, vitamin B15, vitamin B17, vitamin K, folic acid, tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, cysteine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, valine, arginine, histidine, alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, serine, cholesterol, essential fatty acids, trans fat, saturated fat, recommended dietary allowance More information on Vitamins and Minerals

University of Maryland Medical Center

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Index (CAM)

The Mayo Clinic 

Herbs, Supplements and Vitamins


Omega - 3 Fatty Acids Produce Multiple Benefits

Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids: They are necessary for human health but the body can' t make them -- you have to get them through food. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, other seafood including algae and krill, some plants, and nut oils. Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function as well as normal growth and development. They have also become popular because they may reduce the risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon) at least 2 times a week.

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.

It is important to have a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 (another essential fatty acid) in the diet. Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation, and most omega-6 fatty acids tend to promote inflammation. The typical American diet tends to contain 14 - 25 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids.

The Mediterranean diet, on the other hand, has a healthier balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Many studies have shown that people who follow this diet are less likely to develop heart disease. The Mediterranean diet does not include much meat (which is high in omega-6 fatty acids) and emphasizes foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, including whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, olive oil, garlic, as well as moderate wine consumption. Read more about Omega-3 benefits for high cholesterol, heart disease and more

Vitamin A May Negate Vitamin D


Most of you are well aware that vitamin D has a legion of health benefits crucial to every one of us. What is alarming is the latest research in the British Medical Journal, which appears to confirm: that a form of vitamin A in surprisingly small doses may negate many of the beneficial health effects of vitamin D. This is the largest study to date showing vitamin A blocks vitamin D`s effect.

Dr. William Grant, Ph.D., an internationally recognized research scientist and vitamin D expert, found that about 30 percent of cancer deaths could be prevented each year with higher levels of vitamin D. Given that cancer, heart disease and diabetes are three of the top causes of death in the United States, getting enough of this vitamin should be a top priority. Unfortunately most of us are vitamin D deficient. It is clearly important to avoid anything that might hamper your vitamin D production. Surprisingly, it appears vitamin A supplementation may indeed have this effect.

In a recent article, Dr. John Jacob Cannell, MD, executive director of The Vitamin D Council, discussed the British Medical Journal report. He says:
"The crux of the problem is that a form of vitamin A, retinoic acid weakly activates the vitamin D response element on the gene and perhaps blocks vitamin D`s more robust activation." In fact, the authors of a 1993 study state, "there is a profound inhibition of vitamin D-activated...gene expression by retinoic acid." Read the rest of the article about how the retinol form of Vitamin A is the problem

Avoiding Rx And Natural Supplement Conflicts

Compiled by Melissa Kaplan

Just because it is "natural" doesn't mean it can't have toxic effects on its own or when mixed with other things you are taking - or being given.

Are you taking garlic supplements as part of your healthy heart routine? If so, stop taking them a week before you are scheduled for surgery. Garlic's blood thinning properties may cause a problem for your surgical team if something happens, and may complicate things a bit if you're having dental procedures done.

Are you taking low doses of aspirin as part of your healthy heart routine? Be sure you talk this over with your physician and surgeon before you keep--or stop--taking aspirin in the days before, and after, surgery.

Did you know that:

... immune modulators, such as echinacea, can alter the effect of immunosuppressive drugs given to cancer and organ transplant patients?

... high doses of vitamin C are so effective at detoxifying various chemicals that your daily dose may cause some of your general or local anesthesia drugs to wear off---while you are still being operated on?

... consuming high amounts of soy in any form can interfere with your iodine uptake--and your thyroid medication?

... that many of the "calcium-rich" dark leafy greens that are recommended for healthy eating can interfere with your body's ability to get all the calcium it would otherwise be able to from your food and supplements?

As people take more things in the effort to get or stay healthy, or stave off the effects of aging, we are creating a chemical mixture in our bodies that could, at worst, pose a serious threat to our health; at least, render virtually ineffective something else we are taking or our body is producing in the normal course of daily functioning.

We cannot rely on our health care providers to keep track of everything we are taking. Along with medications they may individually prescribe us (while not being aware of what medications have been prescribed by other doctors we are seeing), most of us take a wide range of over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as allergy pills, cough syrups, headache medicines, as well as have shelves full of vitamins, minerals, herbs, teas, tinctures and more from a variety of sources for a number of different reasons.

The only one who can be fully responsible for making sure you don't mix the wrong things together, or take things at the wrong time, is you.

Keeping Track
Here are some forms I've developed - feel free to use them as is, or as the basis to create your own forms better suited to your own needs. (PDF reader required)

Prescription & OTC Drug Record
Vitamins, Minerals & Other Supplements Record
Food, Drugs & Supplements Interactions

Some other forms available online:
Your Medicine: Play It Safe

Resource Sites for Research
Remember that not all sites will contain all information on all interactions...and that information on any given site will change as new research reveals new information on adverse interactions and contraindications (which drugs should not be prescribed with certain other drugs). So, make it a point to look up all new drugs on several sites, as well as periodically review all the drugs, vitamins, minerals herbs and other supplements you take in case you need to make some changes based on new information. Interactions Checker
HealthLine Drugs, Medications & Supplements
Mayo Drug & Herbal Interactions
MedlinePlus Drug Information
Memorial-SloanKettering About Herbs & Botanicals
Vitamin & Herb University
WebMD Drug Database

Pill Identifiers

Related Articles
Anesthesia, Surgery and CFS/FM/MCS
Herbal Medicine & Anesthesia
Intra-Operative Awareness
Effects of Vitamin C on Anesthetics


Fight Fatigued Adrenals Naturally

Adrenal fatigue is complicated and not an easy problem to correct. It may take one to two years to cure. Many times there are underlying health problems that are causing adrenal fatigue. In this case you need to find out what the cause is. It could be an ongoing infection or inflammation. It can be candida overgrowth, irritable bowel syndrome, or any of a number of health problems that cause ongoing stress to the adrenals. The underlying cause needs to be addressed as well or you will never be able to heal your adrenal glands.

Below are some supplements, herbs, hormonals and some advise to help you with adrenal fatigue.

Supplements That Help Adrenal Fatigue

  • Vitamin C (2,000-4,000 mg/day sustained release) -- best taken with bioflavonoids.
  • Vitamin E w/mixed tocopherols (800 IU/day)
  • Vitamin B100 Complex
  • Niacin (125-150 mg/day) -- as inositol hexaniacinate.
  • Pyridoxine B6 (150 mg/day)
  • Pantothenic Acid B5 (1200-1500 mg/day)
  • Magnesium Citrate (400-1200 mg) -- This is best in the powdered form such as in Natural Calm. This form of magnesium makes sure it is absorbed.
  • Liquid Trace Minerals -- they have a calming effect
  • Free-Form Amino Acids
  • Proline (500 mg daily) -- Proline is helpful in rebuilding connective tissues. Weak adrenals are often associated with poor quality connective tissues and whatever helps connective tissues seems to help adrenals as well.
  • Adrenal Glandular -- or desiccated adrenal gland is extremely important in the initial phases of adrenal repair since it provides raw materials to support adrenal function. It also contains some important adrenal hormones.

Herbs That Help Adrenal Fatigueginkgo biloba

  • Rhodiola Rosea -- It enhances memory and concentration. It has been shown to reduce stress-induced fatigue and improve mental performance.
  • Ashwagandha -- It has been shown to have a sedating effect on the body and helps to rebuild the digestive and nervous system.
  • Eleuthero Root or Siberian Ginseng -- It has been used traditionally to stimulate and nourish the adrenal glands and increases mental alertness. Eleuthero is considered an "adaptogen" which means it can help the body adapt to stress.
  • Cordyceps -- This is a Chinese mushroom used for supporting the adrenal gland and can also normalize immune function and support kidney, lung, liver, nervous system and cardiovascular function.

Hormones That Help Adrenal Fatigue

As for hormones, it is a good idea to be tested and find out what your hormone levels are before supplementing them. This way you'll know exactly what hormones are deficient. The three hormones below are most often supplemented when dealing with adrenal fatigue.

  • DHEA - This is a basic adrenal hormone that the adrenals will convert into other hormones. If someone is very deficient in this hormone they may only be able to tolerate a small amount such as 5 mg. The average adult dose ranges between 10 and 25 mg. DHEA will also go on to become sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen.
  • Pregnenolone - This is a precursor to many of the hormones produced by the adrenal glands. It is a raw material that supports basic adrenal function. Pregnenolone is best taken towards the evening but may be taken earlier if it interferes with sleep. The usual dose is 25 mg.
  • Progesterone Cream - Progesterone is the building block for many other major hormones such as cortisol, DHEA, testosterone and estrogen. If you are under a lot of stress and your adrenals are pumping out cortisol, your body will use available progesterone. If too much progesterone is used to produce cortisol, like with adrenal fatigue, not enough is produced to make testosterone which is needed for a woman’s healthy libido. I recommend progesterone in the form of a skin cream. Always make sure that it says progesterone USP so you know it's real progesterone.

Life Style Changes That Help Adrenal Fatigue

  • Removal of the stressors. This is the most important step. Emotional stressors such as marital, family, relationship, or financial problems needs to be dealt with and normalized.
  • Rest and sleep are extremely important. You will need nine hours of sleep and maybe more for a very long time. Also rest after meals, at midmorning and mid-afternoon if possible.
  • Gentle walking is beneficial but vigorous exercise depletes the adrenals. Deep breathing and stretching is also beneficial. You should exercise to relax rather than to build muscles or lose weight.
  • Replace toxic cleaning products used around the house with natural products. There are natural alternatives available for cleaning. Hair dyes, shampoos, makeup and skin care products need to be replaced with natural versions. Adrenals are stressed by chemicals and so this is very important.
  • Detoxification sauna therapy using an infrared sauna will greatly speed up recovery. If you are in adrenal burnout, use the sauna daily for no more than 30 minutes. Once or twice a week is excellent for prevention.

Adrenal Fatigue Diet

It may benefit you to add salt to your diet, especially upon rising and at least a half-hour before you have the lowest energy of the day. Take 1/8 to 1/2 teaspoonful of sea salt, Celtic salt or sea salt w/kelp powder, in an 8 oz glass of water.

Below is a great article explaining the need for salt in adrenal fatigue. Don't let the title throw you off as you will see the connection to CFS as well.

Nutritional Considerations in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

When the adrenal glands are fatigued they do not produce enough aldosterone. Aldosterone regulates the amount of sodium and potassium in the body. When aldosterone becomes deficient not enough salt is retained in the body. If you have been craving salt, this is probably the reason. There is a discussion about aldosterone at the Web page below. You'll have to scroll down to find it -- or read the whole article as there is a lot of good information here. I don't like some of his diet recommendations as he wants to restrict eating red meats, etc.

Adrenal Fatigue Article

Instead of eating three meals a day, eat five or six small meals or snacks a day to keep your blood sugar balanced. If you have adrenal fatigue it causes low blood sugar problems. Eating more often can help keep your blood sugar stable.

Always eat protein with every meal and snack -- eggs, beef, pork and poultry are the best sources of protein. Nuts and seeds are other good sources. Absolutely avoid vegetarian diets as they will further stress your adrenals. Most vegetarians never recover from adrenal fatigue.

Complex carbohydrates are good but you may want to avoid wheat as you may be allergic. If you know of any other food allergies, you should avoid them as well. Root vegetables such as turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, carrots, onions, garlic and potatoes are good. All vegetables are good for you and should be eaten several times throughout the day. Other good complex carbs are corn, brown rice and quinoa. Organic corn chips or brown rice cakes are also good.

Avoid isolated soy protein as it is of poor quality and contains many anti-nutrients. Actually avoid all soy products as well. Do not eat any sugar and only eat fruit in small portions. Don't drink fruit juices. Use only healthy oils such as olive oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil and butter. Use sea salt rather than table salt.

It's really beneficial to drink green drinks like barley grass or various mixed green drinks that also have vegetable extracts like NOW's PhytoFoods. Don't drink tap water but drink filtered or spring water. Absolutely avoid caffeine or any stimulants as these are very stressful to the adrenals.

Restriction or dieting is not a good idea. Follow good eating habits with regular meals and snacks.

(If you have problems with candida or parasites, you may need to get them under control first before taking supplementation for adrenal fatigue. Supplements don't work very well if your gut is unable to obsorb them properly. You may want to consider doing a colon and parasite cleanse. You may also want to have your candida somewhat under control as well. Check out my Candida and Parasites pages for further information.) Learn about many other natural solutions for other conditions