Dietary Supplement Updates


Are ANCs optimal?

Since their creation, many studies have established that for certain nutrients, such as pro-oxidant minerals, iron and copper, intakes lower than the recommended intakes and, on the contrary, for certain protective nutrients, such as antioxidants, or magnesium, higher intakes, allow better functions: energy, immune defenses, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, memory, adaptation to stress, fertility, etc … and reduce the risks of certain degenerative diseases related to age or frequent disorders during pregnancy, like prematurity or hypertension.

Dietary Supplement UpdatesFor several decades, this has led to meetings of committees responsible for revising ANCs, whose new objectives would no longer be only to prevent deficiency diseases such as scurvy, beri beri, rickets or anemia, but to optimize physiological functions, reduce the risk of disease and contribute to aging well. These revisions have not yet been officially published.

All this leads to the need to completely review the design of food supplements intended for daily balanced consumption. By definition, these supplements are only there to supplement the best food choices which remain the essential basis of nutritional intake. However, as we have seen, food intakes present technical limits, which have long necessitated the implementation of compensation measures as is the case for vitamin D against rickets and iodine against delays. brain development.

But when we study the situation in these two areas, traditionally the object of policies of supplementation or enrichment of the diet, we must note that it is extremely far from having been regulated since the average intake of vitamin D is evaluated at 1.7 micrograms per day while the recommended intake, according to the population categories is between 5 and 10 micrograms per day. It has also been shown that exposure to the sun cannot compensate for this lack of intake. However, the lack of vitamin D intake not only affects the formation of the skeleton in children and adolescents and the prevention of osteoporosis in the elderly, but also on the anti-infectious defenses, the risks diabetes, multiple sclerosis, colon, breast and prostate cancer,on all-cause mortality.

Vitamin D supplements are given to small children, but then, contrary to the recommendations to continue them until the end of growth and resume them in the elderly, this is very rarely done.

We will see in fact that it would be necessary to base oneself on a dosage of the plasma level to assess the needs (often first of a corrective cure, then of an interview which – beyond the norm which has re-evaluated until present of 30 ng / ml -, allows to optimize the vitamin D rate between 50 and 60 ng / ml).

As for the daily iodine deficit, it fluctuates in our countries between 100 and 150 micrograms per day and per person. Iodine is not only used for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and brain development – from in utero – but also to reduce the risk of overweight and breast cancer.

Even if we only consider the two most traditional supplements, we see a real “deficiency” … in public health policy!

Five main findings are the basis for the reconceptualization of food supplements aimed at palliating daily deficits in the entire population.

The first observation that emerges: the basic mineral-vitaminic food supplements currently do not contain the quantities of vitamin D and iodine necessary for the different categories of the population.

The “all-in-one tote” has become unacceptable:

The second old idea of ​​putting everything in one add-on (“all-in-one”), in case something is missing, is no longer acceptable.

In fact, while certain small categories of the population may lack iron (in France 23% of women having periods, a little more among pregnant women and 5% of women after menopause), the majority of the population has excess iron. iron, an excess that gradually gets worse with age. However, iron is a powerful pro-oxidant, pro-inflammatory, a growth factor for viruses, bacteria and cancer cells. It is negative to give it to those who do not lack it. Worse than that: iron opposes the absorption of zinc, which it lacks in the vast majority of the population and which is essential for all anabolic operations: growth, tissue repair, fertility and immunity . The most serious: iron alters antioxidant vitamins and transforms vitamin C into a generator of free radicals!Copper whose ANC has been found to be three times overvalued has similar effects, just even more aggressive.

Conclusion: neither iron nor copper should appear in a basic food supplement . If they are to be given, they must be given as an independent supplement given at a meal other than the meal where the basic supplement is taken. They are incompatible.

As for manganese, it has been shown to be neurotoxic, even at low doses.

Likewise, vitamin A (retinol) should not appear in basic supplements for two reasons: it can be teratogenic (responsible for malformations) in the first trimester of pregnancy and it is stored in the liver, therefore does not go into lipids. circulating and cell membranes, which does not allow it to play the role of antioxidant. Conversely, beta-carotene, which is transformed into vitamin A as needed, is not teratogenic and diffuses into all lipids, which allows it to be an excellent auxiliary of vitamin E.

Another conclusion: vitamin A must systematically be replaced in basic supplements by beta-carotene.

The revision of the doses:

The third: the doses proposed for the different categories do not take recent studies into account.

On the excess side: the doses of vitamin B2 offered are higher than the doses of vitamin B1 while vitamin B2 can give a toxic derivative under the effects of exposure to the sun. It must be the other way around.

High dose folate or vitamin B9 can promote tumor development. It is therefore prudent to reduce the doses given to the elderly.

On the other hand, on the side of deficiencies, vitamin PP or nicotinamide contributes to the repair of genes, one of the essential phenomena of protection against many pathologies such as diabetes, cancer and age-related diseases. It is therefore desirable to optimize the contributions, beyond the ANC for the prevention of deficiencies.

Likewise the contributions of vitamin B6 which contributes with other B vitamins to improve the synthesis of neurotransmitters regulating anxiety and impulses (GABA, serotonin, taurine), disturbed in large proportions of the population, and more particularly in adolescents, pregnant women and the elderly, which is involved in immunity and which reduces an important cardiovascular risk factor, homocysteine, are to be pulled “up”.

This is also the case for all the vitamins and minerals which play an antioxidant, antitoxic and anti-inflammatory role, such as vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, magnesium, selenium and zinc, the doses of which generally have to be optimized, taking into account food intake.

On the other hand, we cannot give high doses of carotene to pregnant women and small children because a subgroup of sensitive children could have certain parts of the body colored orange, which is not dangerous, but simply not desirable. In addition, absorption interference between the carotenoids is noted, which explains why supplements rich in carotene increased the frequency of lung cancer in two studies.

Lycopene is more important than beta-carotene in raising Natural Killers, which are at the forefront of anti-cancer defenses. It is also the main protector against prostate cancer. If we inhibit its absorption by carotene given without lycopene, we increase the risk of cancer. The same problem can arise with lutein, the main protector against AMD.

Lacks of old mineral-vitamin complexes:

The fourth finding is that many protective components do not appear in the complexes.

This is the case with vitamin K. Vitamin K is known for its effect on coagulation, but it has been discovered that it is also essential to the binding of calcium to bone. However, it is provided by plants, which are unfortunately insufficiently consumed, and by flora, which are often disturbed.

In periods such as childhood, adolescence, pregnancy and advancing age when the constitution and preservation of the skeleton are important, it is desirable that vitamin K is part of the supplements. Vitamin is one of the vitamins that are completely harmless.

Pollution, infections, inflammation and oxidative stress lead to molecular alterations in the body involved in many diseases and in the phenomena of age-related declines.

Protection by antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and selenium can be enhanced by the use of other antioxidants capable of complementing their action such as lycopene, lutein, coenzyme Q10, N-acetylCysteine .

It is all the more important to place lycopene in the formulas, as it is also a better protector against the attacks of the skin by the sun than carotene and that it has a powerful reinforcing role of the anti-infectious defenses. , two interesting aspects in children, adolescents, as well as adults and the elderly. We have mentioned the fact that lycopene is concentrated in the prostate, where it has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer. It is therefore particularly judicious for humans.

As for lutein, it is concentrated in the retina, where it therefore reduces sunburn which leads to macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness.

Putting only beta-carotene can also risk over time, by competition, reducing the bioavailability of other carotenoids that must therefore be included, the older we get.

Astaxanthin, less known, which pigments krill, shrimp and microalgae in orange, studies find it to have powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, protective effects in diabetes, cardiovascular diseases. Parkinson’s and d ‘Alzheimer’s.

N-acetyl Cysteine, known to thin bronchial mucus and promote expectoration, has also been shown to be a component capable of increasing the formation of glutathione. Glutathione is both the body’s main detoxifier and an antioxidant. As an antioxidant it is responsible for the activation of white blood cells which allow us to resist infections and participates with vitamin C in the prevention of cataracts.

Coenzyme Q10 is a key participant in energy production along with magnesium and vitamins B1, B2 and PP. When it is taken in addition to the amount produced by the cells, it also plays a role in reducing the leakage of free electrons and as an antioxidant. Placing it in a daily supplement for the elderly provides a complementary tool to combat the drop in energy and the wear and tear associated with aging.

Old fashioned shapes:

A fifth finding which leads us to propose an overall revision of the formulation of daily balance food supplements intended for different categories of the population is that they have not been updated according to the new data published on the comparison of different forms of vitamins and minerals.

Cyanocobalamin, the form of vitamin B12 most used in supplements, by breaking down, releases some cyanide! It should therefore be avoided. It can be replaced by the pre-activated methylcobalamin, which gives it both better cell retention and greater efficiency, especially with regard to the nerves and the brain. Similarly, the methylfolate form, pre-activated, is superior to folic or folinic acids.

Regarding vitamins, natural forms of vitamin E should be used Indeed synthetic forms of dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate or succinate contain eight stereoisomers (molecularly identical forms but with different spatial configuration) However, only one of the eight stereoisomers, RRR-d-alpha-tocopherol, which is its natural form, exhibits the desired antioxidant activity. The others appear to lower another form of vitamin E, gamma-tocopherol. However, the latter is a very important anti-inflammatory protector, capable of fighting against a formidable free radical, peroxynitrite (ONOO °). The ideal is therefore to use a mixture of natural tocopherols containing both RRR-d-alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol.

As for tocotrienols, they have been shown to have anti-diabetic, cardioprotective, anticancer and neuroprotective properties that tocopherols do not have.

What should not be found in food supplements:

In addition, the supplements should be guaranteed without sugar, sweetener (except, possibly for powders: maltodextrins, xylitol and stevia), coloring or synthetic flavoring, and trophallergens: dairy products, gluten, peanuts, egg.

A new generation of general supplements

All in all, it is time to update the minerovitaminic complexes for daily use and to make available to the medical profession and consumers formulations incorporating the considerable advances made in recent years in nutritherapy.

These findings have led to redesigning the formulation of mineral-vitamin supplements for daily use by integrating vitamins usually not represented such as vitamin K, iodine, and protective factors such as lycopene, lutein, astaxanthin, N-acetyl-cysteine, coenzyme Q10.

Author Jean-Paul Curtay