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Do you take supplements and do they work?

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I'm curious if any of you out there take any vitamin, mineral or other supplements and whether you think they have any genuine effect on your health or feeling of well-being.

I'm not just focusing on sweating, blushing or flushing but any you take for any reason.

Personally, I find I can get a boost from a B50 or B100 complex as well as ginseng. Magnesium does seem to make me relax a bit (and I'm not talking in the laxative sense) and zinc seems to be a bit of a, um, libido enhancer.

Other than that, I'm not sure if others have much of a noticeable impact.

Anyway, curious to see what you have to say. This started as a quickie in the Q&A thread but thought it might make a good thread.


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I agree with CJ in the use of Glucosamine/chondroitin. Awesome stuff. In fact, I find that it also makes my nails and hair grow faster...not sure why.

I use Vitamin C also...imo, there's NOTHING better for preventing colds and such.

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I think a good diet with plenty of herbs and spices does the trick. Since I started cooking most of my food from fresh I havent had even a sniffle!

Well, not everyone is lucky enough to be a bear, who hunts for his food daily and so it's always fresh! :wink:

Seriously, though. I remember that you mentioned once that you used honey. Besides the taste, what did you use it for? I think I saw honey listed as helpful for rosacea?

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I take vitamins and quite a few specific supplements like Omega oils and the like but there is only one that I can feel works for me and I notice if I do not take it and when I do: L-Tyrosine.

It's a terrific supplement to lighten the mood... it just lightens it. I can't explain it any other way. I like how I feel, mentally, when I take it. I can't take antidepressents, they make me feel worse. I react a bit backwards to a lot of drugs. And, I'm not depressed in a chemical or a morose way, I'm more like just "kinda down and in a bit in a funk" because of my flushing and rosacea.

I highly recommend it :)

Here's a blurb from the 'net on it:



Rxosine (Tyson Neutraceuticals), Free-Form L-Tyrosine (Solaray), Tyrosine Power (Nature's Herbs).


L-tyrosine is a protein amino acid. It is classified as a conditionally essential amino acid.

Under most circumstances, the body can synthesize sufficient L-tyrosine, principally from L-phenylalanine, to meet its physiological demands. However, there are conditions where the body requires a dietary source of the amino acid for its physiological demands. For example, L-tyrosine is an essential amino acid for those with phenylketonuria. L-tyrosine is found in proteins of all life forms. Dietary sources of L-tyrosine are principally derived from animal and vegetable proteins. Vegetables and juices contain small amounts of the free amino acid. The free amino acid is also found in fermented foods such as yogurt and miso.

In addition to being involved in protein synthesis, L-tyrosine is a precursor for the synthesis of the catecholamines epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine, the thyroid hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine, and the pigment melanin.

L-tyrosine is also known as beta- (para-hydroxyphenyl) alanine, alpha-amino-para-hydroxyhydrocinnamic acid and (S)- alpha-amino-4-hydroxybenzenepropanoic acid. It is abbreviated as either Tyr of by its one-letter abbreviation Y. The molecular formula of L-tyrosine is C9H10NO3, and its molecular weight is 181.19 daltons. L-tyrosine is an aromatic amino acid with the following structural formula:



L-tyrosine has putative antidepressant activity.


The mechanism of L-tyrosine's putative antidepressant activity may be accounted for by the precursor role of L-tyrosine in the synthesis of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine. Elevated brain norepinephrine and dopamine levels are thought to be associated with antidepressant effects.


Following ingestion, L-tyrosine is absorbed from the small intestine by a sodium-dependent active transport process. L-tyrosine is transported from the small intestine to the liver via the portal circulation. In the liver, L-tyrosine is involved in a number of biochemical reactions, including protein synthesis and oxidative catabolic reactions. L-tyrosine that is not metabolized in the liver is distributed via the systemic circulation to the various tissues of the body.


Results are mixed, but largely negative, with respect to claims that tyrosine is an effective antidepressant. Claims that it can alleviate some of the mental and physical symptoms of environmental stress are based on preliminary evidence. Further claims that tyrosine is useful in narcolepsy and attention deficit disorder have been refuted by some studies. Another study found that tyrosine supplementation did not improve neuropsychological performance in subjects with phenylketonuria. Claims that tyrosine is helpful in alleviating symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and drug withdrawal are largely anecdotal and unconfirmed. There is no evidence tyrosine has any effect on dementia, Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's disease.


Two small, early studies suggested that tyrosine might have useful antidepressant effects. A subsequent follow-up with more subjects and conducted in a randomized, double-blind fashion failed to find any significant antidepressant activity, compared with placebo, in subjects with major depression. The dose used was 100 mg/kg/day of tyrosine for four weeks.

One study has concluded that tyrosine can protect against some forms of environmental stress. Subjects were given a 100 mg/kg dose of tyrosine and then exposed for 4.5 hours to cold and hypoxia in this double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Tyrosine was reported to significantly decrease adverse symptoms, including mood and performance impairment. Follow-up is needed.

In another double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, tyrosine had no significant effect on subjects with narcolepsy and associated cataplexy. Dose used was 9 grams daily for four weeks. Similarly, tyrosine failed to produce lasting, significant improvement in subjects with attention deficit disorder. In this small, open study, tyrosine seemed to improve this condition after two weeks of supplementation, but this improvement was not sustained.

Recently, tyrosine was tested to see if it could improve the neuropsychological test performances of individuals with phenylketonuria. This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Maximum dosage used was 100 to 150 mg/kg/day. The supplementation increased plasma tyrosine concentrations. Higher tyrosine levels correlated at baseline with improved performance on the neuropsychological tests, yet higher concentrations achieved through supplementation in this trial did not enhance test scores.



L-tyrosine is contraindicated in those with the inborn errors of metabolism alkaptonuria and tyrosinemia type I and type II. It is also contraindicated in those taking non-selective monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. L-tyrosine is contraindicated in those hypersensitive to any component of an L-tyrosine-containing supplement.


Pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid supplementation with L-tyrosine.

Those with hypertension should exercise caution in the use of L-tyrosine.

Those with melanoma should avoid L-tyrosine supplements.


L-tyrosine is generally well tolerated. There are some reports of those taking supplemental L-tyrosine experiencing insomnia and nervousness.



Non-selective MAO inhibitors: including phenelzine sulfate, tranylcypromine sulfate and pargyline HC1 — Concomitant use of L-tyrosine and non-selective MAO inhibitors may cause hypertension.


Those who use supplemental L-tyrosine typically take 500 to 1500 mg daily.


Capsules — 300 mg, 500 mg


Tablets — 300 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg


Banderet LE, Lieberman HR. Treatment with tyrosine, a neurotransmitter precursor, reduces environmental stress in humans. Brain Res Bull. 1989; 22:759-762.

Elwes RD, Crewes H, Chesterman LP, et al. Treatment of narcolepsy with L-tyrosine: double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. 1989; 2(8671):1067-1069.

Gelenberg AJ, Gibson CJ. Tyrosine for the treatment of depression. Nutr Health. 1984; 3:163-173.

Gelenberg AJ, Wojcik JD, Falk WE, et al. Tyrosine for depression: a double-blind trial. J Affect Disord. 1990; 19:125-132.

Gelenberg AJ, Wojcik JD, Gibson CJ, Wurtman RJ. Tyrosine for depression. J Psychiatr Res. 1982-83; 17:175-180.

Reimherr FW, Wender PH, Wood DR, Ward M. An open trial of L-tyrosine in the treatment of attention deficit disorder, residual type. Am J Psychiatry. 1987; 144:1071-1073.

Smith ML, Hanley WB, Clarke JTR, et al. Randomised controlled trial of tyrosine supplementation on neuropsychological performance in phenylketonuria. Arch Dis Child. 1998; 78:116-121.

Young SN. Behavioral effects of dietary neurotransmitter precursors: basic and clinical aspects. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 1996; 20:313-323.

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I take omega 3 fish oil, vitamin D, grape seed extract, lycopene, zincgluconate. I once took vitamin C but as I eat so much fruit and the effect is little through pills I have stopped it.

I have found certain fruits with seeds useful against my rosacea. Strawberries, figs and red grapes (never green grapes). In general I eat 1-3 kilos of fruit per day. I also eat about 20-30 grams of walnuts at my major meal.

I only have one major meal early in the day...I never eat anything heavy after 5 pm. I drink loads of water and don't use spices, only salt enough to cover the water intake. I don't exercise much but my weight is not bad.

Well, now I have not only mentioned the supplements...I don't think you should rely entirely on supplements. Furthermore, I think you be aware that the supplements taken may interact with what you eat. For example, I never take zincgluconate together with walnuts..these 2 don't go together (guess there are some minerals in walnuts interacting).

You eat 1-3 KILOS of fruit everyday?! Wow. That's a lot.

I've read recently that the l-tyrosine that I posted on above is a real no-no for folks who have migraine, and that it may be bad for flushers. :( Bummer. I'm going to stop for a while and see if I flush any less, if no then I'll put it back in the mix.

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yeah I have really eaten crap today...I normally don't eat as much licorice but my throat was really bad, been coughing all night.

Well I have perhaps gotten a little too much sugar lately. Saturday I drank like 12 bottles of Coca Cola and Schweppes :)..but as long as I don't do it every day I hope I am forgiven

You can get the licorice in a jar that you take by spoonful from a naturopath or perhaps a healthfood store. It is a licorice root mixture with out the added sugar, and alas, without the yummy flavour. I love black licorice and won't have the red crap in the house, hate the smell. :evil:

Coke Zero is really good.

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Hey Twickle,

Thanks for the info on the tyrosine. I have been taking one when I get up and really do get a pick-me-up from it in the mornings. I think that 2 a day can be a bit much for me so try to limit it but there is something to it.

Don't think it has had any effect on my HH but it helps the mood (which is negatively affected by the HH!)


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Hey Twickle,

Thanks for the info on the tyrosine. I have been taking one when I get up and really do get a pick-me-up from it in the mornings. I think that 2 a day can be a bit much for me so try to limit it but there is something to it.

Don't think it has had any effect on my HH but it helps the mood (which is negatively affected by the HH!)


Hi Tall Blue Eyes,

It really was a great mood picker-upper. But, I think it made me flush. :( So I stopped. I'm going to try it again in the new year and confirm if I flush from it or not.

I'm glad it's working for you!

Twickle Purple

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