We all know that vitamins are important, but the form of the vitamins we take is just as important (if not more so) than how much we actually get of each vitamin.
Most vitamin supplements out there have very poor forms of certain nutrients because they are very cheap to manufacture. For example, the cyanocobalamin form of B12 is a very poor form of vitamin B12 that produces cyanide as a by-product.
For most people, cyanocobalamin just means that you will get very little of it into your blood as an active form. For those with certain genetic conditions, it could mean a dose of toxic cyanide.
If your multivitamin has cyanocobalamin in it, then it was most likely very cheaply manufactured without care put into the forms of the contents and how they affect your health.
What About Other Vitamins?
Last spring, I found an amazing multivitamin for a great price called Keto Essentials by Kegenix at a conference called Keto Con. This was my favorite product at the entire convention because I am a stickler when it comes to safety, quality, value, and effectiveness of a product.
If you are taking too little of one nutrient or too much of another nutrient, then your results could be lackluster or worse, they could be harmful. For example, some products use a synthetic form of vitamin E called dl-alpha-tocopherol that has been linked to increased risk for prostate cancer in men.
While it is cheaper to manufacture the synthetic version of vitamin E using petrochemicals, it is half as bioavailable and thus less effective as natural vitamin E which is simply called d-alpha-tocopherol. All of the vitamins and minerals in this blend are in great forms and great amounts.
Methylated B Vitamins
One of the reasons I love this multivitamin is that it has methylcobalamin (a better form of vitamin B12) and methylfolate (a better form of vitamin B9). Taking the right forms of these vitamins can also add much more benefit while avoiding the side effects of a cheaper, synthetic form of a vitamin.
The methyl ion helps these nutrients get into your brain, your lymph system, and into the bloodstream more easily. These vitamins also act as “methyl donors” that can lower inflammatory markers in your blood like homocysteine. Elevated homocysteine levels have been linked to hardening of the arteries, increased of stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions.
P450 Cytochrome Pathway
These “methyl donors” also aid detoxification processes in the liver through the cytochrome P450 enzymatic pathway. Basically, these ions activate a process in your liver that dumps all sorts of toxins out of your body from things that plastics, pesticides, personal care products, and more.
When you activate these detox pathways in the liver, you need to reduce your inflammation levels as well, and this mixture has an amazing blend of antioxidants that reduce inflammation and pain while increasing your energy levels at a cellular level.
A Synergistic Blend
There are a host of nutrients in this multivitamin that we talk about all the time on this blog and for good reason! They are: CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10), Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA), N-acetyl Cysteine (NAC), and L-glutathione.
Glutathione is known as the “master antioxdiant” by many experts including 10 time New York Times Best Seller, Dr. Mark Hyman. This blend has glutathione, and it also has a very bioavailable precursor called NAC. NAC can be easily absorbed by the body and converted into glutathione.
This is already enough to make this blend great, but they also include CoQ10 which increases energy output from our mitochondria. ALA increases the number of mitochondria you have by activating a process called mitochondrial biogenesis.
All of these nutrients work together. They all act to reduce inflammation and pain while increasing our cellular output of energy. For example, ALA can recycle glutathione to make it active again which can double or even triple how effective a single dose is. It also works together with the CoQ10 to optimize your cellular energy.
These are all naturally produced by our bodies but as we take in toxins and damage our bodies, we are able to produce less and less of these vital compounds that keep our cells functioning in an optimal way. Health begins in our gut, but longevity begins in how optimally our cells can eliminate toxins and output energy.
Even More Synergy!
Most people are deficient in vitamin D3. The numbers are about 3/4 of people in America are deficient in vitamin D3 which has been connected to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, weakened immune function, and even hormone and mood issues according to new research (CITE).
The recommended daily allowance of vitamin D3 was created for the prevention of rickets, but I recommend you take quite a bit more than the recommended daily allowance. Rickets causes your bones to be soft because vitamin D3 helps your body to uptake calcium into your bones, and no calcium means soft bones.
The K2-Magnesium Connection
However, you also need a more rare vitamin known as vitamin K2 to activate this process. K2 activates osteocalcin which then combines with calcium, magnesium, vitamin D3 to put calcium back into your bones and even your teeth.
The rise in osteoporosis is NOT caused by a lack of calcium. It is a lack of vitamin D3 and K2 as well as a magnesium deficiency. This vitamin blend not only has all of these nutrients, but it also has the most potent form of vitamin K2 called menanquinone-7 or MK-7 which stores in the body for use only when it is needed.
Reduce Chronic Stress…
We all know that stress is a big problem in our modern society, but what do we do to reduce it? Most of us have heard that meditation, exercise, and proper sleep are great ways to reduce stress. The problem is that very few of us actually do it!
Did you know that there are herbs and herbal extracts that have been clinically shown to reduce our blood levels of the stress hormone called cortisol? These are called adaptogens.
Take a Chill Pill…No Seriously…
Adaptogens are a class of herbs that have been shown in clinical studies to moderate the effects of stress. Basically, they see what is causing your body the most stress, and it adapts to your physiology to balance that out.
That means if you are tired, then they can give you more energy, but if you are on edge, then they can also mellow you out. They do this by balancing our coritsol levels throughout the day among other chemical actions in our brain and hormones.
This blend uses an ashwagandha (aka Indian ginseng) extract and an extract of Rhodiola rosea (aka golden root) which are two of my favorite adaptogenic herbs for hormone health and cognitive health.
Critical Amino Acids For Brain and Immune Health
I was already impressed by this blend, and then they took it one step further. They added L-lysine which is one of the most potent anti-viral compounds in nature and it also happens to be an essential amino acid that our bodies do not produce.
Many people are deficient in L-lysine because they eat foods and take supplements with higher quatities of L-arginine. These two amino acids compete with one another so a high dose of one can lower your levels of the other.
For example, research is being done to treat and prevent the herpes virus by taking high doses of L-lysine because it inhibits viral replication by competing with L-arginine whereas viruses can feed on L-arginine and grow.
Tyrosine and Taurine
These are found in supplements everywhere, but few people actually know what these critical amino acids do. Taurine is a non-essential amino acid that activates GABA in the brain like alcohol or Xanax. Our brain doesn’t really know the difference between these substances on neurotransmitter level.
This means that taurine is a tranquilizer and a not a stimulant. It is often found in energy drinks because it calms the stimulation from the caffeine. Unlike alcohol and benzodiazepines like Xanax, it actually potentiates long-term memory storage whereas the others will cause black outs of memory loss.
Taurine as well as tyrosine are often added to natural nootropic stacks (combinations of supplements to enhance cognitive abilities) because while taurine relaxes you and enhances memory, tyrosine enhances mood and motivation.
Tyrosine does this because it is an indirect precursor to dopamine. Dopamine is often known as the “reward chemical” in the brain. It raises in our brains as we approach or achieve a goal. This is why we feel motivated, energized and excited when dopamine is released. Learning is also enhanced as we increase dopamine levels in the brain.
BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids)
BCAA’s are 3 of the 9 essential acids that our bodies do not produce. These are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are found in many pre-workout and protein supplements because they have been shown to enhance protein synthesis and muscle growth in people post-workout. I bet the thought of a bodybuilder crossed your mind.
There is a reason they do this, and it is because these proteins can store in our muscles to be used as an alternative substrate for ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is our cellular energy and usually, we create ATP from fats or carbohydrates. There are a few amino acids that can be easily turned into ATP in our muscle fibers.
Creatine is one of these. BCAA’s can do the same thing, especially leucine. Leucine also has the best results for ATP production and muscle growth. It is needed for many other bodily processes, but more strength and energy is plenty of reason to start taking some leucine.
Because leucine is the most effective at building muscle and being converted into ATP, this is you will often find BCAA’s in a 2:1:1 ratio favoring leucine. Whey protein is naturally found in this ratio which is why it helps with muscle growth, but many people get allergic or digestive reactions to whey so I recommend using a supplement without dairy.
The Price is Right…
Besides having the best forms of fat soluble and water soluble vitamins, important amino acids, a powerful antioxidant blend, and adaptogenic herbs, it is still only twenty bucks for a month supply. Bear in mind, this is for 120 pills! I usually only take 2 per day because I eat a really nutrient dense diet.
I would only take all four per day if my diet has been lacking nutrient dense foods. This often happens during the holidays or sometimes when traveling. I always say go with food first and supplements second. If you live on-the-go like many of us do, then this supplement is the perfect thing to boost your energy and vitality daily.