Recently attention has been paid to the question of whether you should supplement low-carbohydrate diets (or in our case low-carbohydrate diets) with any specific vitamins or nutrients.
Most trials conducted have not used additional vitamin supplementation, and none have assessed the overall micronutrient impact of these diets.
One trial in an adolescent population placed all patients on a regular multivitamin and a potassium chloride salt substitute.
One trial in an adult population added an Atkins recommended vitamin/nutrient complex to the low-carbohydrate group.
The Atkins diet recommends the concurrent use of a specially formulated multi-vitamin/nutrient treatment regimen. This product contains higher than the standard recommended daily allowance of several vitamins.
The vitamin portion includes, in addition to the regular assortment of vitamins and trace minerals, a variety of dietary supplements; including green tea extract, garlic, licorice, and some other products. Also there are few of my favorite and the best ketogenic supplements to help with weight loss that I recently adopted into my diet. Those exogenous ketones may help, just make sure you do not over consume the carbohydrates at the same time.
An essential oil component contains flaxseed oil, borage seed oil, fish oil, and additional vitamin E. The third element of the regimen includes a diet formula containing a variety of dietary supplements and amino acids and extra B vitamins.
Since many of the components in this regimen contain nutritional supplements which are not regulated in the same way as conventional medications and may contain products of dubious quality, it is difficult to determine the absolute quality of some of these products.
It is not known if low-carbohydrate diets deplete any particular nutrients, or require supplementation with specific nutrients.
The American Heart Association has issued a statement indicating concern that high-protein diets may “restrict healthful foods that provide essential nutrients and do not provide the variety of foods needed to meet nutritional needs adequately.”
Studies need to be performed focusing specifically on the vitamin and mineral intake associated with these diets to identify specific deficiencies and needed supplementation.
The effect on some nutrients has been assessed in small trials, but overall nutrient deficiencies have not been well studied. It is known that in the first two weeks of a low-carbohydrate diet people tend to lose a more significant amount of body water than while on other diets, however, this effect is not seen after the initial two weeks.
This can be managed by trying to stay well hydrated, drinking six to eight glasses of water daily. It has been suggested that this water loss may cause depletion in supplies of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. One case report of cardiac death due to hypokalemia in a patient on a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet presents additional data indicating that potassium supplementation may be necessary.
In this case, it was not possible to positively determine the cause of the hypokalemia.
One study of ten patients for six weeks evaluated the impact of low-carbohydrate diets on calcium metabolism. Calcium excretion increased while serum calcium had no significant changes.
The study was not designed to assess bone turnover, but markers of bone resorption trended upwards, though not significantly. So patients on a low-carbohydrate diet may want to supplement their diet with calcium.
There are claims that the extra antioxidants contained in some vitamin supplements are necessary for ketosis. Ketosis occurs after fat burning and is an index of fatty acid utilization which may be used to measure compliance with dietary restrictions. Ketone bodies are generally eliminated from the diet via the urine with an action to maintain electrical neutrality. It may cause additional loss of magnesium or potassium. It doesn’t appear that antioxidants specifically affect the process of ketosis.
Some product advertisements suggest that the body will need extra biotin to break down the fat and protein consumed.
It is probably is not true. Biotin is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, but the amount of biotin in a regular multivitamin is sufficient to meet the needs of most people, in fact, some companies include the same amount of biotin in their “low-carb” vitamins as in the regular multi-vitamin.
It has also been suggested that higher than average intake of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, E, D, and K) are needed in low-carbohydrate dieters.
The philosophy behind this claim is that most dieters had previously used a low-fat diet and therefore might be deficient in fat-soluble vitamins. This claim has not been individually tested.
You should watch the number of fat-soluble vitamins consumed relative to the maximum daily intake recommended by the FDA. Some vitamins provide the recommended daily allowance without considering additional dietary sources of vitamins you may receive. High levels of some vitamins, like vitamin A and D, can lead to toxicity.
Some vitamins contain increased carnitine, touted as necessary to achieve a beneficial effect with a low-carbohydrate diet. In a clinical trial evaluating the impact of a carbohydrate-restricted diet on carnitine levels it was observed that while carnitine did decrease at the start of the diet, it stabilized or increased slightly with long-term diet treatment. While the study was small, only 38 patients, there were no clinical symptoms of deficiency noted in any patients.
Conclusions on Vitamins and Supplements For Ketogenic Diet
Products promoted as a “low-carb” vitamin are not low in carbohydrates but are just marketed specifically to the low-carbohydrate dieter. Consider the number of pills required daily. Some products like Centrum Carb Assist are a one tablet daily product while others like Atkins Basic 3 require up to six tablets daily to achieve the “recommended” intake.
If you are following a low-carbohydrate diet, you should use a regular multivitamin/mineral product. Be sure that you are receiving an adequate intake of magnesium, calcium, and potassium and not excessive levels of fat-soluble vitamins. Also be sure to carefully read the labeling to ensure that the minerals and nutrients you are seeking are actually in the vitamins you choose.
There is no data to support that the heavily promoted “low-carb” vitamins are any more beneficial than other available multivitamins.
American Family Physicians, Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, Prescribers Letter
Some Side Thoughts:
- The world of vitamins, minerals, and supplements are It is also something that if not taken seriously can get you into big trouble. If you don’t shop wisely, you can waste time and money.
- I don’t believe there is a good Multivitamin product on the market.
- You take vitamins and supplements to obtain better health. Do not overdo it, more, in this case, is not usually better.
- You should always check to make sure the vitamins you are taking are OK with the other medicines you take or health conditions you may have.
- The term“Ask your Physician” probably won’t get you very far as your Physician most likely has no idea what he is talking about when it comes to natural medicines. The labels on the vitamins may not help you that much either.
I will be building a comprehensive database here in regards to all the vitamins and supplements of the 4 Hour Body. This is a process but should be helpful when it is all done. Please reference the Navigation Bar to refer back to the individual monographs and check for side effects and possible interactions (this will be updated frequently so make sure to check again). These monographs are very detailed I know, but I would read through them if you are considering taking any of these supplements long term.
Is there a “Perfect” 4 Hour Body (or 4 Hour life) supplement stack…..?
I guess we will have to find out.
So, if yo travel to fallsofshin, take those with you!
I would love to hear what types of vitamins or supplements you currently take. Please let us know down in the comments section!