Paavo Airola - Let's Live - July 1977PrevNextIndex
Are Vitamins And Food Supplements REALLY Necessary?
Must You Use Them? What Kinds? How Much? Natural Or Synthetic?
Their Preventive, Protective, And Therapeutic Functions
IDEALLY, all vitamins, minerals, and
other nutrients should be obtained from
foods, without the addition of concentrated vitamins in pill or tablet form.
This was possible 100 or even 50 years
ago, when all foods were grown on fertile soils, were unrefined and unprocessed, and contained all the nutrients
nature intended them to contain. But
today, when soils are depleted, when
foods are loaded with residues of hundreds of toxic insecticides and other
chemicals, and when the nutritional
value of virtually all foods is drastically
lowered by vitamin-, protein- and enzyme-destroying food-producing and
food-processing practices (such as the
tendency to harvest the produce before
it is ripened, for example), the addition
of vitamins and food supplements to
the diet is of vital importance. Nutritionally inferior and poisoned foods of
today cause many nutritional deficiencies, derangement in body chemistry
and lowered resistance to disease.
The prime purpose of food supplementation is to fill in the nutritional
gaps produced by faulty eating habits
and by nutritionally inferior foods.
But, vitamins and food supplements
can also be used therapeutically and, as
such, can be of tremendous help in
fighting disease and speeding recovery.
Thus, vitamins can be used in four
distinctly different ways:
Here are a few examples:
- Prophylactically, for preventive purposes. Since it is almost impossible in
today's denatured and poisoned world
to obtain high quality, poison-free
foods, vitamins and food supplements
will help to assure that your diet is adequate in all needed
nutrients and, thus,
vitamin and mineral deficiency diseases can be prevented.
- For correcting deficiencies. When a
specific vitamin or mineral deficiency
is indicated, the prescribed vitamins or
minerals can correct the deficiency and
cure the condition caused by the nutritional deficiencies.
- For protection against toxic environment. The damage to your body by certain common poisons in air, water, food
and environment can be minimized and
even prevented by the regular use of
certain vitamins, minerals, and other
food substances, as I will show later in
- Therapeutically, as drugs or biological medicines. Many avant-garde practitioners around the world are now
using vitamins in massive doses, doses
that are far above the actual nutritional
needs, in the treatment of all kinds of
conditions of ill health. It has been
found that in large doses many vitamins
have a miraculous healing, stimulating
and/or protective effect on a variety of
body functions - an effect that is totally different from the usual vitamin activity as nutritional and metabolic catalysts.
Vitamin C. You need 100 mg. to 200 mg.
of vitamin C a day for the maintenance
of normal, healthy functions of your
body. But, when you take the same vitamin in huge doses,
let's say 5,000 to 10,000 mg. a day, it will assume totally
different functions and can perform
such miracles as:
- Killing pathogenic bacteria, acting as
a harmless antibiotic.
- Preventing and curing colds and infections, having a natural antihistamine
- Effectively neutralizing various toxins
in the system, being a most potent antitoxin.
- Speeding healing processes in virtually every case of ill health.
- Increasing sexual virility.
- Preventing premature aging by
strengthening the collagen and preventing the degenerative processes in
organs, blood vessels, and on the cell
Vitamin E. For normal, healthy functions of all your organs and glands you
need, perhaps, 100 IU of vitamin E a
day (the official estimation is only 45
IU). But, when you take large doses of
vitamin E, such as 600 IU to 1,600 IU or
even more, it assumes a drug-like role
and can perform the following activities:
- It markedly decreases the body's need
- It protects against the damaging effects of many environmental poisons in
air, water, and food.
- It saves lives in cases of atherosclerotic heart disease by dilating blood vessels and acting as an effective antithrombin.
- It prevents scar tissue formation in
burns, sores, and post-operative healing.
- It has a dramatic effect on the reproductive organs: prevents
miscarriage, increases male and female
fertility, and helps to restore male potency.
Vitamin A. The official recommended
daily allowance is set at 4,000 U.S.P.
Units. But when taken in such large doses as 100,000 U.S.P. Units per day, Vitamin A has been known to:
- Cure many stubborn skin disorders.
- Cure chronic infections and eye diseases.
- Increase the body's tolerance of poisons.
- Prevent premature aging, particularly the aging processes of the skin.
Niacin. The official recommended daily
allowance is set at 10 mg., but many
doctors around the world have been
using large doses of niacin (up to 25,000
mg.) to treat schizophrenia, actually
achieving dramatic cures with this so-called mega-vitamin therapy.
These few examples show that vitamins, in addition to their common use
as food supplements to prevent or correct deficiencies,
can also be used successfully in large doses therapeutically,
instead of many commonly used drugs.
While drugs are always toxic and have
many undesirable side effects, vitamins
are, as a rule, completely non-toxic and
Preventive Use of Supplements
Where no specific disease is present,
but a person needs a strengthening,
health-building diet to achieve optimum health, more vitality and greater
resistance to disease, I recommend the
optimum nutrition, as outlined in my
books and articles, supplemented with
the following food supplements and vitamins. This supplementation is also
advised for all those who are recuperating from disease and wish to restore
health and vitality as fast as possible.
- Vitamin C - preferably in natural
form from rose hip concentrate, or
other natural sources: 1,500 to 3,000
mg. a day; even more in acute conditions of ill health, such as colds. Vitamin C is completely non-toxic even in
- Vitamin A - natural, from fish liver oil, or lemon grass: 25,000 U.S.P.
units a day. Under doctor's supervision
it can be taken in doses up to 100,000
units a day for shorter periods.
- Vitamin E - natural d-alpha tocopherol from vegetable oil: 600 IU a day. If
you have not used vitamin E before,
start with 100 IU and increase by 100
IU each week. If suffering from high
blood pressure or rheumatic heart disease, consult your doctor on the proper
dosage for your particular condition.
- Vitamin B-complex, with B12 - natural, from yeast concentrate, 1 to 3 tablets a day. (The usual strength of natural B-complex does not exceed 10 mg.
for B1, B2,and B6 per tablet.)
- Brewer's yeast - or primary grown
food yeast: 1 to 3 tbsp. a day. ,
- Kelp: 1 tsp. of granules a day, or 3
- Fish liver oil, unfortified, for vitamin D and A; 1 tsp. a day.
- Lecithin: 1 to 2 tsp. of granules a day.
- Mineral supplement - bone meal or
calcium lactate: 1 tsp. of powder or 3
tablets a day.
Vitamins And Our Toxic Environment
There is no longer any doubt in anybody's mind that poisons in our environment cause all kinds of serious disorders, disease and death - all the way
from the vague, subclinical conditions
such as headaches, irritability, chronic
mental and physical fatigue and digestive disorders, to our most dreaded
killers, heart disease and cancer.
There is much talk today, on every
level, about environmental pollution.
Even the President of the United States
said that "We must clean our environment - or perish!" But if you think that
those responsible for our health will
take swift action to clean our air, water,
and food supplies from disease-producing and killing poisons, you are in for a
big surprise. Nothing of decisive value
will be done for a long time. You should
be prepared to see things get much worse
before they get better. Not until real
mass tragedies begin to occur, when
millions of people will be dropping
dead, will any real, effective measures
be taken. Let's face it, the real powers
that run our country are the financial
and industrial big boys from the chemical-drug-medical-food
processing-auto-oil and other vested interests. They will
see to it that nothing is done that can
hurt their profits. That all these poisons
in air, soil, water and food are making
Americans the sickest people in the
world, does not bother them. You see,
the whole economic structure of the
American chemical-drug-medical and
hospital industry is based on the principle: "The more sickness - the more
profit!" The government agencies,
which are supposed to protect us from
the toxic dangers in our food, drug, and
other environmental sources are controlled to a large degree by these interests.
Do It Yourself
Therefore, if you want to be protected
against ever-increasing amounts of
deadly poisons in your environment in the air you breathe, in the water you
drink, and in the food you eat - you must do it yourself; no one else will.
What can you do?
I have made a thorough study and research of this question, with the result
that I have found many ways and
means that you can employ for your
protection. The damage to your body by
certain common poisons in air, water
and food can be partially minimized
and even prevented by the regular use
of certain vitamins, minerals and other
food substances. Certain minerals and
vitamins neutralize and/or counteract
the effects of toxins. Certain foods can
help the development and growth of
beneficial bacteria in your intestines,
which can help to detoxify and neutralize certain toxic residues in food.
Certain vitamins and food substances can
increase your body's tolerance and resistance to toxins. Some other vitamins
can help your body to excrete ingested
poisons from the system. The complex
detailed story of what you can do to
protect yourself against specific environmental poisons can be found in
my book, How To Get Well, but here is
a list of specific foods and food supplements which can minimize
the damage to your body from common poisons in air, water, and food.
- Yogurt And Other Soured Milks.
It has been found that sour milk bacteria
neutralize most poisons, but specifically DDT, Strontium 90, and toxic drugs,
and make them "safer", that is, minimize their damaging effect on the body.
One pint to one quart a day.
- Kelp. An excellent protector against
radioactive fallout substances such as
Strontium 90 and radioactive iodine.
Five to 10 tablets or 1 to 2 tsp. of
granules a day.
- Lecithin. Lecithin neutralizes all body
poisons. It also helps to counteract the
effects of radiation and X-rays. One to 2
tbsp. of granules a day.
- Brewer's Yeast. Best natural protective food against pollution. Helps your
liver in its detoxifying work. Use generously - 2, 3, or more tbsp. a day.
- Vitamin B-Complex, high potency. B vitamins protect you against many toxic
residues in foods.
- Vitamin B1. Specific protector against
damaging effect of lead. 25 mg. a-day.
- Vitamin B15. Effective protector
against air pollution and smog, particularly against dangerous effect of carbon
monoxide. 100 to 200 mg. a day.
- Pantothenic Acid. Protector against
radiation injuries, etc. Up to 100 mg. a
day. Brewer's yeast is an excellent
- Vitamin C. Number one general antitoxin, but specific against lead and cadmium. It will help your body to withstand the toxic assault better and prevent damage. It will protect all your organs and glands. Large doses up to
3,000 mg. a day. In acute cases of poisoning from any source, doses of 1,500
mg. every hour, up to 10,000 mg. a day.
- Vitamin E. Effective protector against
poisons in polluted air, especially
ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon
monoxide. Helps liver in its detoxifying
work. Protects you against most poison
in food, water, and air. Up to 600 IU a
day. (For higher dosage, or if suffering
from rheumatic heart disease, or high
blood pressure, consult your doctor.)
- Vitamin A. Improves your body's oxygen economy and, thus, protects you
against damaging effect of smog. It
helps activate enzymes that are involved
in detoxifying lead poisons. Up to
25,000 USP units a day.
- Vitamin D. Improves the utilization of
calcium, one of the most important antitoxin minerals. Up to 2,500 USP, units a
- Calcium and Magnesium. Help your
body to neutralize and pass off many
toxic substances, such as lead, mercury,
Strontium 90, radioactive iodine and
Calcium up to 1,000 mg.,
Magnesium, up to 500 mg. a day. Bone
meal tablets (with bone marrow) and
dolomite are good sources of calcium
Tips On Taking Vitamin Supplements
- As a general rule, all vitamins and
food supplements should be taken with
meals, or immediately after meals. They
are better utilized with foods.
- Divide all the suggested daily
amounts equally between three meals,
or at least between two meals.
- Take all vitamins and food supplements continuously, with the exception
of high potency B-complex vitamins,
large doses of synthetic isolated B-vitamins, and large doses of vitamins A and
D. These should be taken for 4 to 6
weeks, then after a one-month interval,
taken for another 4-6 weeks, and so on.
The reason for this is that the above mentioned vitamins are cumulative and
may cause vitamin imbalances in the
system if taken in large doses over a
prolonged period of time. Also, the continuous ingestion
of certain isolated B vitamins in large doses may cause
deficiencies of other B-vitamins, and/or interfere
with the body's own synthesis of
these vitamins in the intestines. Naturally, brewer's yeast (B-complex) and
plain fish liver oils (A&D) can be taken
- Special medicinal supplements, such
as digestive enzymes, hydrochloric
acid, special vitamins and minerals in
massive doses should be taken only on
recommendation of a doctor or nutritionist who can determine your actual
need and dosage. These should be
taken only during the treatment, or for
about one to three months, then discontinued.
After a one to three month interval, treatment can be repeated,
if needed. Between treatment periods, vitamin
and mineral-rich natural food supplements should be used, such as brewer's
yeast, bone meal, lecithin, fish liver oils
and rose hips. Vitamin C can be used
continuously in reduced dosage. When
vitamin E is used for a heart condition, it
also should be used continuously.
- Although vitamin E in the form of
mixed tocopherols is perfectly safe to
take by a healthy person for preventive
purposes, those who take vitamin E for
therapeutic purposes or for treatment
of specific conditions, should take only
the pure d-alpha tocopherol capsules
(possibly supplemented by mixed
tocopherols.) Only the alpha-tocopherol
fraction of vitamin E complex is known
presently to be effective in treatment of
- As a rule, all vitamins and food supplements should be taken together.
Being synergistic in their action, they
work best that way, and complement
each other. There is, however, a notable
exception to this rule. Vitamin E and
iron supplements are antagonists. Iron
tablets have an adverse effect on the
utilization of vitamin E. Therefore,
when iron tablets are taken, as for example in anemia, they should be taken
8 to 12 hours after or before taking
vitamin E. For example take the total
daily dose of vitamin E for breakfast,
and iron tablets at dinnertime. Natural
iron-rich foods, however, have no adverse effect on vitamin E utilization.
Although in my book, How To Get Well,
I list specific vitamins for the biological treatment of most ailments, and,
in most cases, list the commonly used
therapeutic doses, there is no such thing
as a common or average person or patient. As Dr. Roger J. Williams stressed
so expertly, "Individual human beings
have great diversity in human nutritional needs."
There is also a great difference in every person's response to
vitamins and other therapeutic substances,
depending on his health condition, nutritional stature, the quality of the foods
he eats, his ability to assimilate nutrients, the mineral content of the water
he drinks, the toxicity degree of his environment and his emotional health.
Due to many physical and mental disorders, Vitamins may not be utilized
properly. Poor teeth, diarrhea, the lack.
of digestive juices, intestinal parasites,
infections, colitis, gall bladder or liver
disorders, mental stresses - these are
just a few of the conditions which interfere. with Vitamin utilization. Then
there are countless vitamin antagonists
which destroy or interfere with ingested
vitamins, such as smoking (vitamin C),
aspirin and other drugs (vitamin C),
alcohol (Vitamin B), rancid foods (vitamins E and A), chlorinated water
(vitamin E), laxatives (vitamins C and
B), etc., etc.
Therefore, since every individual's
needs are different, your doctor, upon a
careful examination and nutritional
and metabolic evaluation of your condition, must determine the exact dosage
and the duration of the vitamin therapy
- When possible, all vitamins should
be natural, not synthetic. See the following section for the difference between the two, and how you can know which is which.
Natural vs. Synthetic Vitamins
Most drugstore-quality vitamins are
made from synthetic chemicals - they
are not derivatives of natural food substances. Although this is also true of
some brands sold in health food stores,
most vitamins sold in health food stores
are concentrations of nutrients from
such natural sources as rose hips, green
peppers, and acerola berries (vitamin C);
brewer's yeast, liver, or rice polishings (vitamin B);
fish liver oil or lemon
grass (vitamins A and D); vegetable oils
(vitamin E); kelp (iodine); bone meal,
eggs shells, and milk (minerals); etc.
There is a great deal of controversy
regarding the difference and the usefulness of synthetic vs. natural vitamins.
Natural health authorities usually
claim that synthetic vitamins are
useless, ineffective, and extremely
harmful. Most orthodox doctors and
nutritionists claim that synthetic vitamins have a
molecular chemical structure identical to the
so-called natural vitamins, and that they are
just as effective. Who is right?
In Sweden, two groups of silver foxes
were fed identical diets, but one group
received a food supplement in the form
of all the known synthetic B-vitamins;
the control group received vitamins in
the form of brewer's yeast and liver.
The synthetically fed animals failed to
grow, had bad fur and acquired many
diseases. Animals fed the natural vitamins grew normally,
developed beautiful fur and enjoyed good health.
Approximately similar results were
demonstrated in other animal studies
in various countries.
"On the whole, we can trust nature further than the chemist and his synthetic
vitamins," explained Dr. A.J. Carlson,
of the University of Chicago.
We must keep in mind that in nature,
vitamins are never isolated. They are always present in the form of vitamin
complexes. There are 24 known factors
in vitamin C-complex. There are 22
known B-vitamin factors. vitamin E, as
we know it, is composed of at least 9
natural tocopherols. And so on.
When you take natural vitamins, as
for instance in the form of rose hips,
brewer's yeast, or vegetable oil, you are
getting all the vitamins and vitamin-like
factors that occur naturally in these
foods - that is, all those that are already discovered as well as those that
are not discovered as yet. Also, our
knowledge of vitamins is not complete.
New vitamins are discovered frequently. For example, it has been clinically
demonstrated that foods which are naturally rich in B-vitamins,
such as brewer's yeast and liver, contain some
potent, but as yet unidentified or isolated, B-vitamin factors. When you take
your vitamins in the form of vitamin-rich supplements or in the form of
"complexes", you are getting the benefit of all the known as
well as the unknown vitamins.
Does this mean that synthetic vitamins are useless? Not necessarily. The
rightful place of synthetic vitamins is in
their therapeutic use, where extremely
large doses of easily-soluble and fast-acting vitamins are necessary.
For example, Dr. W.I. McCormick, the world-famous authority on the therapeutic
uses of vitamin C, has successfully used
huge doses of ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
in acute cases of poisoning or infection,
preferably intravenously. His treatments
have brought spectacular results and
often saved lives. You cannot very well
inject rose hips intravenously and get
such results. Dr. Linus Pauling has used
synthetic ascorbic acid to successfully
prevent or cure the common cold. In
huge doses, synthetic vitamins perform
as fast-acting drugs. Their action is often more
rapid than the action of natural vitamins, especially since they can
be injected intravenously. This fact can
be invaluable in acute conditions of
poisoning or ill health.
Alpha For Active
Vitamin E is another good example.
Proponents of natural vitamins advise
taking vitamin E-rich vegetable oils,
particularly wheat germ oil instead of
isolated vitamin E capsules. Or, if capsules are used,
they advise taking vitamin E in the form of mixed tocopherols,
as it occurs in nature. But, Drs. Evan
and Wilfrid Shute, the world's foremost
authorities on therapeutic uses of vitamin E,
used only an isolated alpha-tocopherol in their successful practice
and research work. They contend that
alpha-tocopherol is the only active part
of the vitamin E complex and that the
other tocopherols are not necessary in
The intelligent solution to the controversy, synthetic vs. natural vitamins,
seems to be as follows:
The isolated and synthetic vitamins
and minerals in large doses have their
rightful and indispensable place in the
short term treatment of acute conditions or severe deficiency diseases, or
where only the isolated fractions of a
vitamin complex are needed for
specific therapeutic purposes. But those
who do not suffer from any specific disease or deficiency,
but are interested in food supplements and vitamins mainly,
for preventive purposes - that is, to
protect their health and to prevent disease and premature aging - should use
natural vitamins in the form of food
supplements, such as brewer's yeast,
rose hips concentrate, kelp, bone meal,
fish liver oil, vegetable oils, etc. In these
supplements, all the vitamins and other
nutritional substances are present in
their natural, balanced combinations,
which is essential for better assimilation, synergistic action, and maximum
To Avoid Confusion
For those who are confused as to which
vitamins are synthetic and which are
natural (as even most health food stores
carry and sell both), we advise reading
the labels. As a rule, if the formula on
the bottle does not say that vitamin is
natural or is derived from natural
sources it is synthetic. Manufacturers of
natural products are always eager to advertise their natural sources.
Occasionally fancy chemical names are used
which the consumer doesn't understand,
and, thus, cannot make an intelligent
choice. Also, some manufacturers employ clever wording, or even by colorful
pictures of fruit or berries, to make you
believe that theirs is a 100% natural
product, when it is actually not.
For example, if the label reads "Vitamin C Rose hips,"
it does not necessarily mean
that the product is made from rose hips.
It may only mean that ascorbic acid has
an added rose hip concentrate with it,
perhaps 95% ascorbic acid and 5%
rose hips. If B-complex formula contains more than 10 mg. of each major B
per tablet, it is not 100% natural.
And, sometimes, even potencies less than
that are synthetic. You have to be an expert label reader!
To help you orient yourself as you
look through long shelves of many vitamin bottles, here is a helpful chart of
the most commonly used vitamins:
|SYNTHETIC AND NATURAL VITAMINS|
||IF THE SOURCE GIVEN IS ONLY:
||Rose hips, acerola, citrus fruits, green peppers
|Vitamin C||Ascorbic acid, or if source not given||Synthetic|
|Vitamin B-complex||Brewer's yeast||Natural|
|Vitamin B-complex||If source not given||Synthetic|
|Vitamin B1||Yeast or rice bran||Natural|
|Vitamin B1||Thiamine Hydrochloride or Thiamine Chloride||Synthetic|
|Vitamin B1||Thiamine Mononitrate||Synthetic|
|Vitamin B2||Yeast or rice bran||Natural|
|Vitamin B6||Yeast or rice bran||Natural|
|Vitamin B6||Pyridoxine Hydrochloride||Synthetic|
|Niacin (B3)||Yeast or rice bran||Natural|
|Niacin or Niacinamide||If source not given||Synthetic|
|Vitamin B12||Yeast, liver, or fermentation concentrate||NaturalSynthetic|
|Vitamin B12||Cobalamin or Cyanocobalamin||Natural fermentation product|
|PABA||If source not given||Synthetic|
|Folic Acid||Pteroylglutamic acid, or if source not given||Synthetic|
|Pantothenic Acid||Calcium Pantothenate||Synthetic|
|Inositol||Soy beans, corn, or yeast||Natural|
|Choline||Soy beans or yeast||Natural|
|Vitamin A||Fish oils or lemon grass||Natural|
|Vitamin A||Acetate or Palmitate||Synthetic|
|Vitamin D or D3||Fish oils||Natural|
|Vitamin D or D2||Irradiated Ergosterol or Calciferol||Synthetic|
|Vitamin E||Vegetable oils, wheat germ, mixed tocopherols||Natural|
|Vitamin E||d-alpha tocopherol or tocopheryl acetate||Natural|
|Vitamin E||Alpha tocopherol acetate or dl-alpha tocopherol (or tocopheryl) acetate||Synthetic|
|Vitamin E||Succinate||Can be natural or synthetic|
|Vitamin P or Bioflavonoids||Citrus Bioflavonoids, rutin, hesperidin, citrin||Natural|
As the title of this article suggests, its
purpose is not only to show how to use
vitamins and supplements, but also
why to use them. If this seems superfluous,
may I inform you that this still
seems to be among the controversial issues in nutrition.
There are many health writers and nutrition experts who are
still clinging to the outdated and antiquated belief,
popular in the early decades of this century, that the diet of
healthy people does not need to be supplemented with extra vitamins and minerals - that we will get all the vitamins,
minerals, and other nutritive substances that our bodies require from the
foods we eat.
In fact, perhaps more than half of all
the books on a typical health food store
shelf today - those by the proponents
of natural hygiene, macrobiotics, mucusless diets,
fruitarianism, Eastern oriented vegetarianism,
to name a few expound the view that it is "unnatural"
to take tablets and pills and that if we
eat proper high-quality foods, we don't
need them. Although, in principle, they
are, of course, right, they forget the fact
that what was true 50 years ago is not
It is virtually impossible to obtain
high-quality foods that are grown without agricultural chemicals on fertile
soils, foods that are whole, unprocessed,
unadulterated, and poison-free. Even
so-called organically grown produce is
grown in a polluted environment and
smog, is watered by polluted waters,
and transported long distances, which
lowers its nutritional value. Therefore,
vitamin supplementation is a must not only for the average American who
subsists on a diet of devitalized, over-processed, and nutritionless supermarket foods, but even for those of us
who make heroic efforts to eat so-called
natural foods. If you add to this the fact
that none of us can escape toxins in polluted air, water,
and environment, and that many vitamins have a neutralizing
and protective effect against these
poisons, as shown in this article, the
conclusion will be obvious: the dietary vitamin
supplementation is a must in
today's poisoned and denatured world.