Citizens of the earth…..greetings!
Long time, no blog, eh?
Based on the length of my absence you might’ve thought something gruesome happened to me, like being kidnapped or abducted by aliens.
Well, I have startling news ……. I was.
The person writing this isn’t actually Jonathan. It’s a member of the Rohaze alien species named Syzzik who’s using my body to type this while telepathically channeling the contents of my brain from their Moon Crystal starship , which is orbiting just outside the galaxy Altair 5.
It might seem like a cosmic coincidence for the Rohaze to choose me of all people, but truth be told there’s a cunning logic to their choice.
Why is that, you say?
The Rohaze have used up all the organic content of their home planet and are desperately looking for new biological material they can use to improve their ailing health. Their bodies are poorly adapted to the vagaries of interstellar travel and they need cheap, abundant compounds they can digest in large quantities to treat various conditions that are beginning to spread through their population.
That’s where I come in.
Unlike the vast majority of humans, I have a working knowledge of how to therapeutically use a class of molecules that are non-toxic, inexpensive, and robust to various aspects of our physiology. They’re just perfect for the Rohaze.
Yes folks, I’m talking about the vitamins.
So I was ramshackled in the middle of the night and ported though their quantum teleportation nanobeam so they could extract all the knowledge I have about how to use them to treat specific conditions.
And this article summarizes the best advice I had.
So how did I consult the Rohaze to save their species?
Let’s take a look.
Warning: Now, normally I like to stick to the confines of well conducted, published research when I flap my wings about this or that. However, given the dire circumstances of my situation I felt the need to dip my toe into the annals of Citizen Science. You know, results that haven’t been verified by official scholarship but nonetheless seem to work for Joe’s and Jean’s out there on the ‘net.
Talk to a doctor if you have questions about using any of these.
Don’t judge me…..I really had no other choice.
So with that being said, what specific health conditions can you genuinely use high dose vitamins to treat? (…maybe?)
1). Insect Bites
Vitamin: Thiamine, Dose: 100-500 mg, %DV: 6,666% – 33,333%
Back in the 50’s it was observed by an unidentified somebody that if you douse your body with huge amounts of thiamine mosquitoes will stop biting you.
Turns out he might have been onto something. When you mosey over to the product page for Solgar’s 500 mg tablet of thiamine someone has this to say about its ability to ward off the arthropodic vampires:
They taste yucky but possibly helped with the reduction of mosquito bites I got in Mexico recently. Instead of billions of bites like I usually get, I only came home with 4!!!! I started taking one a day 2 weeks before I went and kept taking them each day I was there.
The idea behind the mechanism is that thiamine causes you to omit an odor that female mosquitoes find repugnant. However you might want to be careful because your spouse might start to find you repugnant too, like this chap found out:
One thing to note is that I do notice I can smell myself after a few days of taking it & I start to smell like Vitamin B.
Thiamine: a replacement for your bug repellent, not your Old Spice.
Research on the effectiveness of thiamine as insect repellent has been disappointing. It’s turned up nothing. In clincial trials it just doesn’t keep the critters away like DEET1. But DEET can also be used as an insecticide and there are concerns that long-term use causes neurological damage.
So plenty of us are happy to plug away with our B vitamins, even if published research suggests were morons for doing so.
As long as you don’t live in an equatorial tiki hut toxicity shouldn’t be an issue because thiamine is water soluble and serious damage is all but impossible with sparing use. The only side effect you should worry about is the one that happens to your girlfriend’s sex drive because you stink of vitamins after you take it.
Vitamin: Riboflavin, Dose: 100-400 mg, %DV: 5,882% – 23,528%
Migraines cripple. My sister has battled them for years. The bad ones leave her incapacitated for days, sometimes without the ability to move.
Their causes are multi-factorial, but one train of thought posits they happen when your body’s mitochondria don’t work properly. Mitochondria are responsible for using oxygen to process energy through a system called the electron transport chain, and if the process has a bottleneck your body develops little black holes where it can’t utilize energy aerobically.
It’s a subtle system that takes in electrons and oxygen (provided by riboflavin) and passes them along to eventually spit out molecules called ATP, which your body uses for work.
People with migraines don’t metabolize oxygen very well so they need more riboflavin-provided electrons to keep water flowing through the energy-making pipes.
Or so the thinking goes.
In any event, the commentariat on Amazon has this to say about high dose riboflavin for migraines:
I am one of those people who is a barometer – if a weather system comes up, I get a migraine. I’m also prone to regular, garden-variety headaches. My new doctor recommended that I try Vitamin B2 at the onset of a headache, and my husband researched and found this brand, so we bought it. And I started using it as she recommended.
I’m pleased to say that the vitamin is definitely making a difference. I still get headaches, but the duration and magnitude has decreased mightily.
Unlike insect bites there is at least 1 good study that demonstrates riboflavin’s effectiveness in treating migraines. It found that 59% people who took 400 mg of riboflavin for their migraines saw at least 50% improvements in migraine prophylaxis, compared to 15% for placebo.
Vitamin: Vitamin A, Dose: 25,000 IU, %DV: 500%
Acne forms when your skin pores get plugged up with a bunch of junk. Dead cells, bacteria and an oil secreted by your hair follicles called sebum are the big culprits. If they have nowhere to go they form pockets underneath your skin, which is how acne is born.
Your rate of sebum secretion is controlled by vitamin A, and high doses of vitamin A allows your body to make less of it, which opens up your pores and undoes the backstop of epidermal debris.
Lots of acne medications are vitamin A derivatives and work through the same mechanism. They just come in forms that are more specific to hair follicles and bypass all the other pathways vitamin A can go down.
The most popular is Accutane, which is basically a controlled overdose of vitamin A. To get Accutane your acne has to be so bad that your dermatologist needs to put you through a series of special tests before he’s allowed to prescribe it to you.
If your complexion is something less than Emmentaler Cheese you’ll need to do something else.
Luckily regular ol’ vitamin A is often enough to do the trick. As this girl comments:
Yeah, did I mention I had horrible acne? My acne is so bad, Accutane couldn’t fix it. (Sounds like a yo mama joke). So a couple weeks ago, I decided to give this a try. I’ve read close to 100 acne blogs on the internet, cross referenced many claims (like using oil to wash your face….really?) and everything led me to just taking Vitamin A………..
So far, it’s been a week taking 1 capsule a day (Which is still 5 times more than the normal daily requirement of Vitamin A) and my skin has started to heal. I’ve gotten 1 new acne in a week…before taking these I got 8 in a day from stress.
Vitamin A is stored in your body so you can definitely take too much. Best to start with 10,000 IU and work your way up if you don’t see results. Don’t take more than 25,000 IU/day because that amount puts your vitamin A odometer in the red zone.
Vitamin: Niacin, Dose: 1-2 g, %DV: 5,000% – 10,000%
At high doses niacin (not to be confused with niacinamide) binds to a receptor that causes your body to get warm and tingly and produce less VLDL molecules in your liver. It does this by changing the way your body releases its fat from adipose tissue. It also changes the way your body breaks down a molecule called Apolipoprotein A1, which is the structural protein used to make HDL (“good” cholesterol) molecules.
Unlike some of the other examples here niacin’s clinical significance is well studied and the trail of research has been stamped wide due to the presence of big pharma. Millions of dollars have been poured into creating niacin derivatives that have its same effect on cholesterol without the annoying flush.
Niacin is better at increasing HDL levels than it is at lowering LDL levels and at gram doses it can cause problems for your liver. It’s not a good idea to take it in these quantities if your cholesterol levels aren’t in need of serious improvement.
5). Hair Growth
Vitamin Used: Biotin, Dose: 2.5 – 10 mg, %DV: 833-3,333%
There is no substantive evidence that biotin is good for hair growth.
But oh does the internets provide us with tantalizing before-and-after pictures telling us otherwise!
Here’s someone who claims this is the effect 10 mg of biotin had on her hair growth:
She also had this to say about her experience:
WOW!!! this product is AMAZING!! I started taking this pill April 9th, just 47 days ago, and I can’t believe the growth in my hair and nails! I’m going to attach a photo so you can see! I couldn’t believe it myself! So nice to finally pick a product on here that actually works
Despite the lack of good clinical evidence there are two lines of thinking that explain why biotin is good for hair and nail growth:
- It helps your hair follicles differentiate and multiply when they’re beginning to grow.
- High dose biotin reverses an autoimmune problem that causes the size of your hair follicles to shrink, which is a cause of baldness.
The latter is the idea behind biotin based creams that you rub on your scalp.
When we breathe all this in it looks like we can use high dose vitamins…….for some things.
Some of these claims might seem peculiar but I promise I’m not trying to turn myself into the next Linus Pauling or Voni Hari with my fantabulous promises about slim tummies and enlarged penises that mysteriously await the next time you take your vitamin C.
Although I might be toeing the line.
But just remember…..Syzzik made me do it!
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DEET is the world’s most common mosquito repellent.↩