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Vitamin tweaks and mistakes

From Tony Little's Gazelle Freestyle Elite User's Log

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This page last updated on or about 1-21-07
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1-21-07: Vitamin tweaks and mistakes

The holidays always crimp my exercise schedule due to lots of company and babysitting to be done. So I was forced off the Gazelle for weeks there.

Once the kids returned to school though I was able to start back up again-- but for one day when my two year old nephew stayed here (that involved one night where I was up to 2:30 AM with him).

Although the vitamin D helped enormously in stopping my elbow pain, still it seemed not to have much staying power. That is, I was requiring twice the daily recommended dosage on a regular basis to keep the ache at bay.

So I did a bit more research into the matter. Plus have been concerned about foot cramping and my cataracts development, too.

All this led me to begin taking calcium. Specifically, Caltrate 600+D plus minerals, which includes some vitamin D and a few other nutrients. These are big chewables, and tasty as candy-- so overdose could be a concern for some. Especially as this particular pill's ingredients will likely overlap with other supplements: so be careful!

My mom began taking these things for osteoporosis a while back. From my research it appears I may be low on calcium as well. For several years I stopped drinking milk altogether, and so gave up the main source I'd had for decades before that. I also was chronically short of vitamin D for decades, which you need to enable calcium absorption. According to some sources, calcium deficiency can bring about foot cramps like I was suffering on occasion. Some years back I thought too much calcium might be the culprit, as I was consuming quite a bit of ice cream at the time. But I was getting no vitamin D: so maybe I was consuming lots of calcium, but not absorbing much.

Another clue came from me breaking a bone awfully easily a few years back. And how easily the flouride in my green tea pushed out the calcium in some of my teeth one year. And lastly, there came upon me the elbow ache.

Beginning taking vitamin D alone helped. But only after adding the calcium too did my elbow get to the point I could go without aching if I missed a day on the supplements.

There's indications on the net that calcium deficiency could contribute to cataracts, too. Yikes!

Some sources pointed to chronic floaters in your vision as being both a pre-cursor to, and worsening factor for, cataracts.

So I needed some way to reduce my floaters.

My cataracts have gotten so bad now that the quality of the floaters themselves in my vision makes a big difference in how well I can see on a given day. When the floaters are very bad (numerous and nearly opaque) I almost can't read even my 21.3 inch PC display that's already set to large text for vision-impairment(!) But when the floaters are few and largely transparent, I can almost see the display as well as I could maybe a year or two ago.

So I needed to reduce my floaters both to see in the present, and to save what I can of my vision for the future.

Unfortunately, although everything I've done so far has helped solve an amazing slew of other health problems for me, the floaters are proving to be a much tougher problem to fix.

Several sources talk about anti-oxidants maybe helping against floaters and cataracts. But getting anti-oxidants from coffee, green tea, and dark chocolate don't seem to have much effect on floaters. And the normal doses of the vitamins I was already taking for everything didn't seem to make much dent in the floaters.

However, I did notice some effect from vitamin C. Specifically, higher than usual doses of C. I saw reference to this possibility on the net, and then noticed some effect when I took my vision formula supplement or my super B-complex (both those include a higher than minimum recommended dosage of C).

Note I've been 'staggering' many of my supplements in a way meant to avoid overdosing myself on any one nutrient. The ONLY things I take daily without break are a small aspirin dose (81 mg), and 750mcg-1000 mcg B12. And the B12 is in units of 250 mcg pills, so I can adjust the dosage to account for the B12 which might be in another pill I'm also taking, like my giant horse pill of a multi-vitamin, or my super B complex. For instance, on days I take the big multi too, I might only take three 250 mcg B12 pills.

Having no separate vitamin C supplement handy at the time to further test things, I used cups of orange juice instead, on those days where my supplements contained little or no C themselves.

My vision seemed improved-- my floaters diminished. So long as the C dose was sufficiently high.

It definitely required more than the 60 mg C contained in my giant multi-vitamin, or a single cup of orange juice, though.

One web source acted like the range of 300 mg or much, (much! like thousands of mg!) more might be required to have such benefical effects.

Note that too much C or calcium-- and maybe especially too much of both at the same time!-- could cause you kidney stones or other problems. Yikes!

As I say, at the time I was hindered in my experimentation by no pure source of C in supplement form. And for various reasons couldn't alleviate that lack any time soon. So I closely examined my vitamin regimen and available pills' ingredients for an improvised test.

Maybe decades back I'd done some experimentation with vitamins for mainly curiosity's sake. I seem to recall taking a lot of C never seemed to have a bigger effect than maybe a nose bleed and extra urination.

But I couldn't recall what dosages I'd tried back then.

So back to the present: one day I took only my 81 mg aspirin, my multi-vitamin (including 60 mg C), and 3 250 mcg pills of B12, early. Late that night I took 400 IU of vitamin D. During the day I'd also drank one or two cups of orange juice, probably putting my total C for the day to around 200-300% the recommended minimum.

The next day I carefully overlapped my super B-complex and vision formula supplement to get around 583% of the recommended minimum C (I believe the C was the only overlap there). I also likely had one or two cups of orange juice, thereby boosting my total C overall to maybe 783% the recommended minimum. I also of course took my usual maintenance 81 mg aspirin, and 3 250 mcg pills of B12.

Speaking only in terms of vitamin C, the next day I took 333% in pill form, and maybe 1-2 cups of orange juice. Or possibly as much as 533% total the recommended minimum (for some reason I didn't note how many cups of OJ I was drinking on these days).

On that second day of purposely high C dosage, I noticed my nose running a bit; just enough to have to dab it on occasion. And there was a spotting of blood in the run off. I also noticed a very mild headache that evening.

I basically repeated the second day's C regimen on the third day. But the fourth day I took no C at all. Zero on the fifth day too. Because the barely runny nose was sticking with me, along with the small spotty blood indicators. The slight bleeding didn't stop until the fifth day. The runny nose dried up too.

On day six I had 100% the recommended daily C. But as the excess C from previous days had dissipated from my system, my floaters seemed extra bad this day.

Day seven: I take 333% C. Day eight: approximately 276% C.

Note that by day eight I'd gotten hold of some pure C to try. Unfortunately I was unable to get the C in dosage sizes of 60 mg like I preferred: instead I ended up with 1000 mg doses(!) Yikes! So I was having to try to just bite off a certain amount from a single pill at a time, to avoid getting too much. Needless to say, this makes it much tougher to gauge the exact dosage you're taking.

Day nine: 333% C, as a byproduct of my vision formula pill. Late that night there was a very slight indication of nasal blood. Plus my nose was slightly runny.

Day ten: my floaters seem more subdued than usual. I take roughly 400% C today (a chunk of giant C pill).

Day eleven. I got only 100% C today, within my big multi-vitamin.

Overall it appears the C helps reduce my floaters significantly. But only at higher doses than the recommended daily minimum.

I need to acquire some 60mg dose pills of C so I can better fine tune my dosages, as well as better synch them up in regards to any overlap with the other supplements.

I definitely DON'T want to cause myself kidney stones, or even have to be wiping a runny nose all the time. But I do need to reduce my floaters.

300-400% looks like the vicinity of the preferred cut off point for now. Hopefully I can narrow that down to roughly 300% with more experimentation.

Today (darn it!) I made a mistake in C dosage. Took about 300 mg when I meant to take 300% the daily minimum. 300% would actually be just 180 mg. That shows what happens when you're trying to guesstimate a chunk of an excessively potent pill, and get mixed up between percentages and mg. Yikes! To be fair though, it's no easy matter to keep all this straight, as different vitamins often display different units of measurement, like mg, mcg, and IU. And then there's the percentage daily recommended dose figure you might be playing with for theraputic reasons.

When your vision is poor, that doesn't help matters any either. Being in a hurry also makes for more mistakes.

So I've accidentally given myself maybe 500% the minimum recommended daily dosage. Crap! Well, I better be sure not to drink any V-8 juice or orange juice today! And certainly take a smaller dose tomorrow!

Update on toe nail ailment

Well, I spoke too soon there about it being cured. I'm neither fully engulfed or fully cured. It ebbs and flows. So far this has never been a sufficiently big problem to seek medical care for. Mainly, one nail is a bit unsightly. But that's about it.

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