Healthy Beginnings

Vitamin C, Magnesium and Vitamin D: 3 supplements to keep up with

It’s important to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin C in your diet.

Vitamin C … and battling scurvy

Humans don’t make vitamin C. Only primates, Guinea pigs, fruit bats and man don’t make vitamin C. All the other creatures on the planet make vitamin C in their livers. A goat that weighs 150 pounds, for example, makes 14,000 mg of vitamin C every day and more when they are under stress.

Scurvy (a condition caused by severe lack of vitamin C) is rare in modern society, but people with a bad diet, deficient in fresh fruits and vegetables, can get it.

Vitamin C is necessary for manufacturing ligaments and proteins. Bleeding gums, anemia, psychiatric disorders, musculoskeletal pain, collagen disorders, artery blockage, sudden death prevention and stress all require adequate vitamin C.

That said, too much vitamin C causes diarrhea. When people are sick they can take much more vitamin C without diarrhea, but as they improve, loose bowels ensue — as such, one needs to reduce the dose.

Liposomal vitamin C is encased in fatty bubbles and increases absorption by 300 percent. It causes much less diarrhea and is almost as strong as intravenous administration. We give intravenous vitamin C at 25,000 mg to 50,000 mg for colds, flu or other viral or bacterial infections.

There are great books documenting the importance of vitamin C (one being “Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases and Toxins,” By Thomas Levy, MD, JD).

Hippocrates recorded cases of scurvy as early as 1500 BC. Please supplement with vitamin C in your daily diet.

Magnesium … the miracle mineral

Magnesium activates nerves and muscles, especially in the heart, where it quiets irregular heartbeats and prevents the spasm of arteries, which precede heart attacks and strokes.

It is calming, acts as a laxative and is an important co-factor with ATP (adenosine triphosphate, which is the biochemical way for our bodies to store and use energy).

Over 3,500 proteins have binding sites for magnesium. Symptoms of deficiency include constipation, irregular menstrual flow and reproductive difficulties, insomnia, muscle spasms/twitches, loud noise sensitivity, anxiety, irritability, ADD, autism, palpitations, angina, nocturnal leg cramps and migraine headaches.

Magnesium is important for maintaining optimal heart rhythm, muscle and nerve function, blood sugar regulation, reduced colon cancer risk, cholesterol reduction and brain health.

Magnesium glycinate is my favorite form because it is well absorbed and great for muscle relaxation, anti-muscle cramping, sleep promoting and anti-anxiety, and is also laxative, which is important for many people living in the dehydrating, dry desert of Nevada.

Researchers in China found that for every 50 mg increase in magnesium, colon cancer was reduced by 7 percent. A British study found a 13 percent decrease in colon cancer.

The recommended daily magnesium intake is 420 mg for men and 320 mg for women, but most people get only about 20 percent of that amount per day, according to the article, “Magnesium Lowers Colorectal Cancer Risk,” at As such, supplementing magnesium is extremely important!

Vitamin D … more than a vitamin

Vitamin D is a steroid hormone that influences virtually every cell in our body and is easily one of nature’s most potent cancer fighters. It is able to enter cancer cells and trigger apoptosis or cancer cell death.

Intake of D3 (never take the synthetic D2 form) can prevent tens of thousands of deaths from breast and colon cancer. Further studies reveal aged and elderly people reduce their chance of developing heart disease and diabetes by 43 percent.

Studies have also shown that optimizing vitamin D levels could help prevent at least 16 types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, prostate and skin cancers. It appears to have a role in preventing all cancers, according to a 2010 article from renowned Dr. Joseph Mercola.

Vitamin D has long been known to make strong bones and prevents osteoporosis and rickets. It also prevents serious infectious diseases such as TB, septic shock, respiratory infections and influenza.

Behavioral disorders, such as seasonal affective disorders (SAD syndrome — i.e., the winter blues) are also helped by vitamin D.

Optimal levels of vitamin D can be easily determined by blood tests. Levels of 50 to 70 ng/ml can usually be achieved by supplementing 5,000 iu per day for adults. Some people require several times that amount.

Children should take ½ that dose or less. Sunshine exposure is great to increase vitamin D but is impractical for most people, especially in the winter. I have never seen any side effects from vitamin D supplementation.

In short, these three nutrients are vital to supplement our long-term health.

Michael Gerber, M.D., H.M.D. is a Practitioner of Homeopathic Medicine at Gerber Medical Group in Reno. Visit or call 775-826-1900 to learn more.