View Full Version : Supplements 101 - Must Read

06-20-10, 02:31 AM
This will be one of the most useful posts you will ever read, especially if you are a newbie, so if its a bit long bear with me.

I've been using supplements pretty consistently for almost a year now and have made a of progress without the use of stimulants. My Bipolar II like symptoms have greatly diminished and I no longer have hourly mood swings, and my attention has improved at least 10 fold so now I have enough patience to write this.

It bothers me that most people would take meds their doctors/psychiatrists prescribe, whether it be SSRIs, SNRI, etc... without throughly researching its mechanisms on the body.

A lot of helpful information can be found on pubmed and it's really important for anyone who is either taking or considering the use of supplements or stimulants.


Google Scholar:

I've noticed a lot of people relying on anecdotal reports and taking whatever supplements because supposedly it's worked on someone else. Everyone's biochemistry is different, and our unique genetic makeup is why the same medication could cause people to react so differently.

In hindsight, I could have saved tons of time and money by getting a full nutritional panel done instead of supplementing a bunch of stuff through trial and error. I think I may have triggered some kind of depression at one moment because of the excess B vitamins I was taking while taking a bcomplex, while being unaware of the importance of not only supplementing with minerals/vitamins, but balancing it as well.

This brings us to the next topic. Multi-vitamins. While some may disagree, I believe the efficacy of multi-vitamins when would not even compare to the efficacy of isolated, carefully administered doses of minerals or vitamins. Everyone needs a different amount and ratios of vitamins and minerals. There is no panacea. Same with B complexes- there is no ideal ratio of B6, to B12, etc. I think I got myself into some vitamin B induced depression at one time because of imbalances made by the B complex I took for a few months. So instead of looking for a single miracle pill, you need to patch these neurological holes individually.

B Vitamins: These major B vitamins have often been used to treat depressive symptoms: B12, B6 and B9

B12- Cyanocobalamin is the form available in most b12 supported products and in multivitamins. Don't use this. Methylcobalamin is much more bioavailable and will help MUCH more. Use the sublingual kind, since it enters the bloodstream without having to bypass the GI, which would reduce its absorption. B12 helps tremendously with energy and those on the low side often get fatigue, depression, add symptoms, etc.

B6- Take P5P. It is the metabolically active form of B6. B6 is a precursor to serotonin so taking this will help with mood and sleeping issues, since serotonin modulates melatonin. This has me helped a lot with mood and focus.

B9- Take methylfolate instead of folic acid. Increased intake of folic acid has been associated with lung cancer. Methylfolate is the unmetabolised form of folic acid and is much safer and more effective. Although I personally have not experienced much with this, other people may find this effective.

The 5-MTHF formulation indicated efficacy as adjunctive therapy or monotherapy in reducing depressive symptoms in patients with normal and low folate levels, improving cognitive function and reducing depressive symptoms in elderly patients with dementia and folate deficiency, and reducing depressive and somatic symptoms in patients with depression and alcoholism
See how useful Pubmed is :D

All three B vitamins are essential for proper brain function and lots of neurological issues could occur if deficient. They are also methyl-doners for a very important process called methylation. Elevated homocysteine has been known to be associated with all sorts of neurological disorders, and b6 as well as b9 lowers homocysteine. Although the undermethylation/overmethylation theory is considered dubious by the psychiatric community, it is still interesting and may be worthwhile to look into. I am supposed to be an undermethylator but B12 has helped me (which is used by overmethylators), which is why I am doubtful of its reliability. I leave the rest of this up to you to research.

Next post: excitoxicity and magnesium/memantine

06-20-10, 01:38 PM
Excellent post, Dude. Thank you. Also, thank you especially for noting the difference in the cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin forms of B12, and stressing the importance of an individualize approach to supplementing. Looking forward to your next installments of what you have learned. :)

Oh, and I just found a brand new study that came out on using methylfolate WITH an antidepressant to jump start treatment:
Study Shows Combining L-methylfolate With an Antidepressant at the Start of Treatment Significantly Improves Depression Symptoms ( he%20Start%20of%20Treatment%20Significantly%20Impr oves%20Depression%20Symptoms)

06-20-10, 02:27 PM
Thansk dude your organization skills inspire me.

Lisa S
06-20-10, 02:34 PM
Do you know if the b vitamins you mentioned come in a powder or liquid form for kids?

Lisa S.

06-20-10, 03:25 PM
Hi Lisa, I did some searching and found all three Dude mentioned in a Thorne Research Basic B complex, some forms may be available singly in liquid form (I didn't pay attention during my reading), or singly in prescription form as "medical food." For example:

L-methylfolate: Deplin, Zervalx, Metafolin

L-methylfolate, methylcobalamin, and P5P: Mentanx

Methylcobalamin: physician-administered shot form

These three were very difficult to find together in any form of supplement.

One important point Dude was making in his post is that every body is different and to make general stabs at supplements was an unwise thing to do; rather, he had that "nutritional panel" performed which told him specifically which nutrients HE was deficient in. Especially with children, this approach seems like a wise approach.

I just researched what exactly a "nutritional panel" is, and came up with a company called SpectraCell that performs a micronutrient panel which breaks down all of the vitamins and mineral nutrients (covered by many insurance carriers-yay). This seems like a good tool to use to get started with.

06-20-10, 08:00 PM
Keep in mind spectracell and probably a lot of other blood testing facilities use a non-standard method for testing nutrition so its important not to rely on them 100%.


Excitotoxicity is the pathological process by which nerve cells are damaged and killed by glutamate and similar substances. This occurs when receptors for the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate (glutamate receptors) such as the NMDA receptor and AMPA receptor are overactivated. Excitotoxins like NMDA and kainic acid which bind to these receptors, as well as pathologically high levels of glutamate, can cause excitotoxicity by allowing high levels of calcium ions[2] (Ca2+) to enter the cell. Ca2+ influx into cells activates a number of enzymes, including phospholipases, endonucleases, and proteases such as calpain. These enzymes go on to damage cell structures such as components of the cytoskeleton, membrane, and DNA.

Glutamate, along with glycine, binds to NMDA-Receptors in order to activate it. Activated NMDA receptors are involved with many different functions involving learning, attention, etc and lack of activation or altered expression greatly contributes to neurological disabilities. A lot smart drugs, such as piracetam, work to modulate these NMDA receptors as well as upregulate them to improve learning abilities.

NMDA Receptors

N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) dependent long term changes in synaptic efficacy in the mammalian CNS are thought to represent underlying cellular mechanisms for some forms of learning. We therefore hypothesized that synaptic abnormality in excitatory, glutamatergic synaptic transmission might contribute to the altered behavior in SHRs.

The results indicate that functional impairments in glutamatergic synaptic transmission may be one of the underlying mechanisms leading to the abnormal behavior in SHR, and possibly in human ADHD.

Excitotoxicity occurs when these NMDA receptors are over activated due to the abnormal extracellular glutamate binding, resulting in excess influx of CA++ through the NMDA channels. This is where memantine and magnesium steps in. They are the doorkeepers of your NMDA gateways, and will help limit the amount of calcium influx due to excessive glutamate stimulation. These NMDA antagonists are invaluable for the reduction of cell death due to excitotoxicity. I say reduction, because glutamate excitoxicity is just one of the known reasons of excitotoxicity.


Memantine has been used to treat several neurological diseases, including those associated with excessive glutamate release. It has been believed that the neuroprotective effect of memantine results from its inhibitory effect on glutamate-induced neurotoxicity via postsynaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) antagonism.

Adderall and other stimulants are the responsible for excess glutamate release and so also increases the chances of excitoxicity. Whether or not the CA++ influx is also responsible for tolerance may be debatable, but many anecdotal reports have shown magnesium and memantine to drastically reduce tolerance of amphetamines. This is not to say it makes taking them together 100% safe, but would make great preventive measures.

Think of Memantine and magnesium as doorkeepers, helping block the NMDA channels when excitotoxicity potential is present. Memantine has been used in a multitude of applications. NMDA antagonists have been used to prevent excitotoxicity when traumatic brain injuries occur, which release an excess of extracellular glutamate. There also has been studies that show excess glutamate in those with ADHD, seizures, traumatic brain injuries etc... so its important to realize how glutamate is a double edge sword.

Next... Piracetam, and Zinc