Iodine Needs Not Being Met in Pregnancy

Interesting piece on iodine for you today – this is an indication of how many people are actually iodine deficient, not just pregnant women. I am finding it a lot via the iodine loading test, which I do primarily to check for the cause of conversion problems in the thyroid. It’s amazing how often it is pretty low. That rather stuns me as I was never taught to check iodine really; it is very much assumed in the UK that we all have enough. Not what I am finding though, so I thought I would share this for you in case.

With the UK population now classified as mildly iodine-insufficient many people may be thinking that it doesn’t affect them directly, or that they don’t have a thyroid problem so why should they take any notice?

Low iodine in the population is a serious problem for women who are pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant. Adequate levels of iodine are crucial for foetal neuro development and mild iodine deficiency has been linked with developmental impairments. A new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition has revealed that most women are not only oblivious to their requirements but are not meeting current iodine recommendations for pregnancy.

Daily iodine intake is recommended by WHO to be 250µg/d for pregnancy (150µg/d for the general population) and the team of researchers from the University of Glasgow found that almost three quarters of women surveyed were not reaching this target even when taking supplementation into account. Over half of the women were unable to identify any iodine-rich foods and a majority falsely believed that dark green vegetables and table salt (which is not fortified in the UK) were iodine rich foods. An alarming 84% of women were unaware that iodine from the diet is important for the healthy development of their unborn baby.

This study has sparked much debate as to how mothers should best achieve their 250µg/d during pregnancy and lactation. Currently in the UK there are no guidelines on supplementation of iodine as there are in Canada and the US. These supplemental recommendations are endorsed by WHO in recognition of the fact that achieving adequate iodine from dietary intake in early pregnancy can be challenging and requires high intakes of dairy and seafood. What is clear in the UK is that health campaigns, fortification, supplementation and nutrition education should be seriously considered when addressing pregnant women.

Combet E et al. Iodine and pregnancy: Awareness and intake. 2015.  British Journal of Nutrition. First view article DOI: Source Nutri E news June 15

Iron Anaemia Not Resolving? Try Vitamin A

English: Peripheral blood film of a patient wi...
English: Peripheral blood film of a patient with iron deficiency anemia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I see many people who have low iron and who can’t seem to get their iron levels up even when on supplements. Most of the time this is because they have been given rubbish iron as ferrous sulphate, which drives me nutty because you have to take shed-loads of this constipating form to actually get any benefits to iron levels. I usually advise a swap to a ferrous gluconate, citrate, fumarate or bisglycinate instead. In fact, any form has got to be better than sulphate!

However, some people even on the more absorbable forms can’t get their iron up and continue to feel the horrid fatigue and breathlessness effects of iron deficiency anaemia. In that case, it might then be worth looking at adding Vitamin A.

Eh? I thought it was Vitamin C I needed?

Well, yes, people usually do know that Vitamin C taken at the same time as the iron helps absorption, but Vitamin A is a good addition too. Vitamin A is required for the effective use of iron in the body and sometimes it is a Vitamin A deficiency that is at the heart of the problem. Here’s a little bit from the Linus Pauling Institute on it, for example, and I’ve left the references in so you can follow them if you wish:


Vitamin A deficiency may exacerbate iron-deficiency anemia. Vitamin A supplementation has beneficial effects on iron deficiency anemia and improves iron nutritional status among children and pregnant women. The combination of supplemental vitamin A and iron seems to reduce anemia more effectively than either supplemental iron or vitamin A alone (11). Moreover, studies in rats have shown that iron deficiency alters plasma and liver levels of vitamin A (12, 13).

You can read the full paper from them on Vitamin A here too. There is also a new study out, bit technical as it is focusing on the mechanism of why Vitamin A helps iron deficiency anaemia, but says the same thing in effect. You can read the abstract here:

Vitamin A deficiency modulates iron metabolism via ineffective erythropoiesis.

You can even get iron complexed with Vitamin A and Vitamin C, like this one, or you can take them as separate products.

To test Vitamin A, I find this Vitamin Profile useful; it also tests Vitamin C levels so might be a useful one to do if you’re struggling with your iron levels. And, if you need a good Anaemia test, this one does active folate and B12 as well as ESR, which is crucial for interpreting your ferritin results correctly.

Good tip anyway; hope it helps.

Vit D Deficiency = Higher Risk Of Dementia & Alzheimer’s

English: PET scan of a human brain with Alzhei...
English: PET scan of a human brain with Alzheimer’s disease (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Research published in ‘Neurology’ journal recently found people moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53% higher risk of dementia. There was a 125% increased risk in people severely deficient in vitamin D, who also had a 122% increased risk of Alzheimer’s.

Older people’s skin can be less efficient at converting sunlight into Vitamin D, making them more likely to be deficient and reliant on other sources.   The international team of researchers, led by Dr David Llewellyn at the University of Exeter Medical School, followed people for 6 years.

You can read the abstract here:

Vitamin D and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease

I note the researchers initially thought that the brain-protective level would be 25- 50nmol/l, but it turns out actually to be over 50 that is the most cognitively protective. Not news to me or most of us in the nutrition business: clinically, I aim for 100-200nmol on test results especially for at risk people.

I have written tons on Vitamin D in the past, as you know. Here is a good overview for you, and do search for ‘Vitamin D’ using the search box to find much more..

Autism Month: The Nutrition Connection

I noticed it is Autism Month in the US and we now have quite a few readers across the pond so I thought it an opportune time to share a couple of resources on the subject for you, wherever you are.

The connection between autism and nutritional imbalances is pretty well-established nowadays, even though it was anathema when I first remember talking about it just 20 years ago. I saw these two flyers, albeit from a nutritional testing company but complete with references, the other day and thought they would at least serve as useful aide-memoires at where to start looking.

The Autism Wheel

Nutritional Considerations of ADHD and Autism

The test is here if you need it. Quite pricey, I have to say, but cutting edge. I listed it because it is the only one I have seen that measures intracellular vitamins and elements like COQ10 rather than hair or serum and that includes fructose and carbohydrate sensitivity.


food for the brain

You might also want to have a look at Food for the Brain’s excellent resources here.


CM_logoFinally, our friends at have an excellent list of research reports and resources you can tap into, plus several articles on the subject. Here is the Autism Management page, for example.

I hope those resources help. There are more on the Autism page in the Clinic A-Z too.

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How Much Vitamin D is Toxic?

Do we need to worry about Vitamin D toxicity? Not according to this Q&A I just read unless you are one of a very small subset of people who have hypersensitivity to Vitamin D and related conditions (listed below).  Makes interesting reading and some of the response comes from one of the leading Vitamin D researchers in the world, so thought you might like it…

Q: Is vitamin D toxic?

A: Not if we take the same amount nature intended when we go out in the sun. Vieth demonstrated that we make about 10,000iu when we go out in the sun uncovered for 20 minutes.

In 1999, Vieth indirectly asked the medical community to produce any evidence 10,000 units of vitamin D a day was toxic, saying “Throughout my preparation of this review, I was amazed at the lack of evidence supporting statements about the toxicity of moderate doses of vitamin D.” He added: “If there is published evidence of toxicity in adults from an intake of 250 ug (10,000 IU) per
day, and that is verified by the 25(OH)D concentration, I have yet to find it.”

All ingested items have a dose related toxicity risk. This is a well understood correlation in medicine. The human intake of vitamin D3 required to achieve the equivalent toxic level to kill rats equates to a 110-pound adult taking 176,000,000 IU or 440,000 of the 400 unit cholecalciferol (D3) drops at once.

Reinhold Vieth is recognised as one of the leading researchers in the world on Vitamin D and reports human toxicity probably begins to occur after chronic daily consumption (over several years) of approximately 40,000 IU/day (100 of the 400 IU drops per day).

Heavy sun exposure when combined with excessive supplement use is a theoretical risk for vitamin D toxicity, but if such a case has been reported, I am not aware of it.

It is true that a few people may have problems with high calcium due to undiagnosed vitamin D hypersensitivity syndromes such as primary hyperparathyroidism, granulomatous disease, or occult cancers, but a blood calcium level, PTH, 25(OH)D, and calcitriol level should help clarify the cause of the hypersensitivity.

Vieth R. Vitamin D supplementation, 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration, and safety. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;69:842–56. View Full Paper

To ensure optimal Vitamin D, the advice is:

Take 5,000iu per day for three months, then obtain a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test. Adjust your dosage so that blood levels are between 50–80 ng/mL (or 125–200 nM/L) year-round.

Yep, that’s been my advice too for the last few years.

Source: NutriLink Clinical Education Mucosal Immune Support

New UK ‘Awkward Supplements’ Supplier Listed

Some of the ranges I recommend can be a pain to get hold of. No longer. After J tipped me off (thank you), I have listed YHB as a new UK supplier in the Supplement Suppliers section and, of course, organised a 10% discount for you on all purchases. They do the Twinlabs, Natural Factors, AOR, Kirkman Labs and Paradise Herbs stuff which ND couldn’t get so will be a good alternative supplier for you. Yay!

Here’s the blurb for you …


Your Health Basket: 01245 905505

Your Health Basket shop logo

This company does quite a few of the ranges we have so far found more difficult to get in the UK like Kirkman’s, Paradise Herbs and Twinlabs so well done to them!

 They also do a lot of the other ranges we like such as AOR, Higher Nature, Nutricology (the other name for Allergy Research Group), Thorne, Jarrow etc.

 Delivery is usually next day if placed before 4pm. Order online or by phone. 

 If they don’t have something from those suppliers that you need, simply use the Live Chat, call or email them to ask.

10% logo

If you use YHB, you can get a special 10% discount from me as a present.

 Just give them my code Rose12209 or just my name Micki Rose if you have forgotten it and it will trigger the discount on all purchases for you.

Thank you to YHB for being so quick, efficient and helpful at finding specific products I want to recommend for you and providing an easy way for you to get them.

CoQ10 and Selenium Combo Reduces Risk of Heart Attack

Interesting research here showing the effectiveness of taking CoQ10 and selenium together to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. I have definitely seen CoQ10 help symptomatically over the years in people after heart attacks so can attest to that. This is the first research I have seen combining the two elements – it is known that CoQ10 and selenium have a relationship in the body so it is not surprising.

Elderly Can Halve Heart Attack Risk with Supplements

Once we reach 70 our risk of suffering a fatal heart attack increases, but we can half that risk by taking Coenzyme Q10 and selenium supplements, according to research from  Linkoping University in Sweden.  

They gave 433 people, aged from 70 years upwards, the supplements or ‘dummy’ placebo pills every day for five years.  At the end of the trial, 5.9 per cent of those given the supplements had died from cardiovascular disease compared to 12.9 per cent of those taking the dummy pills.

Coenzyme Q10 helps to convert fats, carbohydrates and protein into energy; selenium is a trace element that supports around 25 different proteins in the body.  Most Northern Europeans are depleted in levels of selenium, which some scientists believe is a major cause of cardiovascular disease.

Source: International Journal of Cardiology, Volume 167, Issue 5 , Pages 1860-1866, 1 September 2013. From: Marilyn Glenville enews Nov 13

I can’t see how much was used of each supplement as I haven’t got access to the full study but generally I say 100mg CoQ10 as ubiquinol preferably (this is my fave) and 100mcg selenium, which you should have in a multi or can be taken separately (like this one) or 4-5 brazil nuts a day would help.

New US Purehealth Supplement Store With 10% Off!

Purehealth has officially gone international! I am aware, over the last year or so, that more and more of you getting in touch, getting tests done and downloading info are based in Europe, the US, Canada, New Zealand and, well all over the place, which is just lovely.

I recently set up the 10% discount scheme for supplement and non-toxic toiletry purchases which people in the UK and Europe can use, but what about those of you across the pond?

Never fear: I have convinced a US practitioner service to set up a US-based store for me (a first, as always, I thank you!) so that those of you in or nearer the US than Europe at least can get hold of the stuff I am recommending in the plans etc – and I have applied a site-wide 10% discount for you so you don’t even have to remember a code :).

You can get free shipping, auto-ship services and much more. And, if you are in the UK or Europe and are having difficulties getting some of the more awkward brands like Kirkman, Neuroscience etc, you can use it too although, of course, the shipping costs will be higher.

Anyway, am feeling pretty pleased with myself and I hope you like it. Here’s the blurb from the website for you:

DSS Purehealth (US): (877) 846 7122

DSS store logo

If you are in the US or closer to it than Europe, I have set up a special Purehealth supplement store to make life easier for you. This is run for practitioners like me by a US service.

Anyone in the UK or Europe can use it; you would just have to pay extra international shipping. That might be useful if you want Kirkman, Neuroscience or even Heels remedies that can be difficult to get in the UK.

Shipping in the US is free over $150 or $7.90 and you can use AutoShip (free shipping in US only) for regular prescription items. International Shipping takes about 6-10 days and costs vary depending on which service you choose – read the details on the site. Also, bear in mind customs charges may apply – check with customer services.

So far, the brands I have made available for you are Allergy Research Group, Kirkman, Biotics Research, Heels, Thorne Research, Neuroscience and Houston Enzymes so that makes it nice and easy to follow the stuff I generally use in the plans and protocols. If you need another brand, just ask and I will try to add it for you.

As a pressie from me, I have applied a 10% discount to every product on the site so you don’t even have to remember a code!

To order, simply go to the sitecall toll free or email customer services:

Yay! Now I just need one in Africa…Ok, p’raps not 😉

Free From Supplements: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Supplements Our lovely friends at have just launched the updated FreeFrom Supplements site – and I am chief supplement reviewer! You know how much I love scouring labels and giving my two penn’orth on products, especially supplements, so I was delighted they asked me to help.

Basically, the premise is that many people on restricted diets have malabsorption issues, a greater need for nutrients because they are used up with constant allergic and inflammatory reactions or simply don’t get enough nutrition because of their restrictions. I know: I am one! So, the site is designed to help people get more info on what they might need and how to find good stuff (since there is a LOT of rubbish sold in this field, I’m afraid). My job is to look at the stuff sent in and give my opinion on it. Oh, how sad; what a shame…!

Anyway, here is some info for you on the new site so do go and check it out – it is evolving gradually. I have done two reviews so far so do tell me if they are what you need or if you would like to see something different and I will try to bear that in mind as I umm, ahh, tut, thump the desk and cheer accordingly for you.

Enjoy, and thank you to FM yet again for their continued faith in me. I will try and live up to it.

NEW!! FreeFrom Supplements site

FFSuppsThe FreeFrom Nutrition and Nutritional Supplement section of the FoodsMatter site has been growing away quietly for some years but, buried away in the depths of the 5,000 pages plus of FoodsMatter, it has been almost impossible to find. So, since nutritional supplements are an important part of many food allergic and food intolerant people’s health regime, we decided to give it a bit of a make-over and a site all of its own!

So welcome to

The site will carry regular new product reviews – and we are delighted to say that we have recruited our good friend, nutritionist Micki Rose, to cast her expert eye over the products that we will be reviewing. We will also be developing the supplement directories and will, of course, continue to add to the already bulky portfolio of articles and research reports on everything from digestive enzymes to vitamins and superfoods.

TGF Grain and Dairy Free Supplements Master List Update

Just to let you know I have today sent your free TrulyGlutenFree safe supplements master list update for you so check your in-boxes.

Highlights include a new herbal range, a D3 5000iu, a comparison of some safe, some not papaya extracts, green tea granules (something ready-to-use, I know!) and some new magnesium sprays.

Stuff that didn’t pass muster this time included several bone calciums, a flower remedy range and a rosehip capsule.

grain and dairy free supplements master list coverI’ve also updated the cover – hope you like it, took me ages. I’m gradually redesigning all the ebooks and factsheets, which is a task in itself!

If you haven’t got the list yet, do yourself a favour and save a load of time and hassle: I am doing the legwork for you. Click the image to read about it more.

Hope it helps.