Supplements. Where to start? There are so many out there, each with its own individual benefits and so deciding which ones to take, without breaking the bank and simply creating expensive urine, can be a minefield.
Anyone who follows me will know that I am a huge fan of liposomal vitamin C and in particular the brand Altrient. So, when I got the chance to chat to Dr Thomas Levy, a respected board-certified cardiologist, author of The Primal Panacea, and one of the world’s leading authorities on vitamin C, this week, I wanted to find out why he rates Altrient/Live on Labs (US) so highly and what else he takes.
Why is Altrient so different from other vitamin Cs?
Alice Hart-Davis: Hi everybody. Good evening and welcome to a chat about vitamin C. I am going live this evening with a very well-respected board-certified cardiologist and an expert on vitamin C supplements called Dr Thomas Levy. Those of you who follow me will know that I got very interested in liposomal vitamin C a couple of years ago when this brand Altrient put me through a trial to see whether taking lots of their particular vitamin C would actually improve my skin and, much to my amazement, it absolutely did. So, I’ve been a big fan of that ever since. I have read Dr Levy’s book which is here called The Primal Panacea and he is the foremost researcher in this area. Hi Dr Levy.
Dr Thomas Levy: Hi, how are you doing?
AHD: I am doing fine. Thank you so much for joining us today.
TL: Glad to be here.
AHD: It’s particularly nice to finally meet you, at least through the screen. I was just saying by way of introduction how I have read your book and been amazed by the amount of research you have done in this area but we have never actually managed to speak before so this is a great treat. I want to talk to you about liposomal supplements, which I only found out about a few years ago and which I know you have studied extensively, and to talk about which you regard as the best and why.
TL: Liposome supplements are actually a fascinating technology. I’ve been a consultant to LiveOn Labs for 15 years because their product blew me away.
I wasn’t even interested in it until I ended up taking some and getting over a flu more quickly than I’d ever gotten over a flu in my life. I said “mmm, maybe you need to research liposomes a little more carefully” and that began the saga, if you will.
Let me just say before I go on that buyer beware – there is more fraud in liposomal supplements than any other type of supplement I have seen. I wrote an article on this, my website https://www.peakenergy.com
Based on my early research with other liposome supplements, I’m not convinced (until I see hard data and analysis) that any of these other things have liposomes. If they do, I don’t know about it. The only two I have confidence in are Altrient and LiveOn Labs.
Real liposome C is literally like an artificial cell. It has got the same membrane, even though you have constructed it outside the body, it has got the same physical membrane that’s in the cells of your body so, when you take it, you absorb virtually all of it.
Rather than getting quickly excreted, like intravenous vitamin C does (because it is un-encapsulated), these liposomes either merge into the cell wall by a process called “reverse pinocytosis” and deposit their contents inside, or, they pass through one of the tiny pores in the cells directly and do the same thing to any of the intracellular organelles – the mitochondrial, the endoplasmic reticulum, you name it. So, you are getting the delivery of an energy-producing substance without consuming energy. This is why when you just have regular vitamin C in the blood, even if you got it intravenously, you still need to consume energy to get it inside the cell, and this is probably the major reason why a true liposome supplement is so incredibly valuable clinically.
What are the four key supplements for optimal health?
Alice Hart-Davies: Fantastic, thank you. Would you be up for telling us what other supplements you take, skin-related or non-skin related?
TL: That is an ongoing evolution, but I always talk about the four baseline supplements. A lot of people obviously want to help themselves but they can’t afford a lot of supplements. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of supplements that are good for you if you take them, but whatever money you have to dedicate to supplements should absolutely include the basic four, which are magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin K2. All four of those things positively modulate calcium metabolism and get calcium levels down inside your cells, which is the single pathophysiological reason for abnormal intracellular metabolism and all disease. Each one of those supplements by themselves decreases your chance of death from everything, ok, so those are powerful supplements.
There are many more that are good, there’s the B complex, there’s Coenzyme Q-10, there’s, you name it, many, many, many. I take some curcumin and a good source of iodine such as Iodoral and a few other things too because I’m always experimenting. I will take something and then after the bottle is done I will say, ‘did that really make me feel difference?’ And I will either continue it or go onto something else. But always remember the big four.
Vitamin C versus collagen supplements
AHD: Fantastic, I think I am going to write those out and stick them on the fridge. What about the benefits for the skin of oral liposomal vitamin C versus collagen supplements, which is another kind of supplementation I am really keen on. I feel I need to take both, having talked extensively to people who do research on each of these. I certainly don’t want to drop the vitamin C, but I also don’t want to drop the collagen supplement for the benefits they bring.
TL: I don’t think you need to take just one or the other. I mean vitamin C is your energy producer, or your donator of energy – it’s powering the factory, if you will. That doesn’t mean you still don’t need as many building blocks as possible for that power to be utilised in the production of healthy skin.
My top three supplements for skin health
Having tried many supplements over the years the three I most rate for supporting skin health are:
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