Plenty of studies have been recently done on vitamin D and we keep discovering new benefits of it every single year. This is not surprising since every human cell has a vitamin D receptor, which means that vitamin D may have an impact on every disease known to men. This is mainly the reason why experts consider it as one of the most important supplement to take. Best sources of vitamin D come from the sun and wild salmon.
Here are 10 reasons why you should take vitamin D :
1. Reduction of the mortality risk: A 2008 study found that a vitamin D deficiency increased the risk of death by 26% compared to people with optimal vitamin D levels ! (1) This may be due to the fact that vitamin D can induce apoptosis therefore reducing the potential for the malignant cells to survive. (4)
2. Reduction of osteroporosis and bone fracture: It has been shown that a vitamin D and calcium supplementation decreased the risk of hip fracture up to 43%. Risk for osteoporosis increases when there is a vitamin D deficiency as it causes mineral loss in the bones like calcium. Without vitamin D, you can only absorb up to 10 to 15% of calcium.(2-4)
3. Decreased cancer risk: Studies have shown that vitamin D levels (25-OH) under 20 ng/ml has been associated with an increase of colon, prostate and breast cancer by 30 to 50% and an increased mortality rate in these cases. Vitamin D controls over 400 genes responsible for apoptosis among other things (permits the auto-destruction of cancer cells). (4-5)
4. Helps the immune system: Vitamin D is an immune system messenger. When the vitamin D levels go under 20 ng/ml, the monocytes cannot elicit an immune response. This could be the reason why black americans, which are more proned to be vitamin D deficient because of skin color, might me more susceptible to contract a tuberculosis than white americans. (4)
5. Decreased Hypertension risk: It has been shown that living at high altitude increases the risk of developing hypertension and heart diseases. This is due to the fact that we produce less vitamin D at high altitude. In a study of patients with hypertension who were exposed to ultraviolet radiations three times a week for 3 months, 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels increased by approximately 180% and blood pressure became normal. (4-6)
6. Decreased asthma symptoms: Asthma is a chronic disease from which the primary cause is still unknown nowadays, but we know that it is a myriad of complex interactions involving many genes and environmental factors. It has been shown that vitamin D promotes the regulatory T cells which plays a major role in the immune response. They also permit the inhibition of T-helper-2 immune responses which are often responsible for many allergic diseases and asthma. (7-8)
7. Decreased multiple sclerosis risk: Studies show that among white men and women, for every 20 ng/ml of 25-(OH) D above 24 ng/ml, there is a 41% reduction of multiple sclerosis risk. (4)
8. Prevent muscle mass and strength loss: It has been demonstrated that low levels of vitamin D, which increases parathyroid hormone secretion would have a direct impact on raising the levels of cytokines IL-6. Studies have shown that elevated levels of cytokines IL-6 is linked to muscle mass and strength loss. That may be due to the fact that vitamin D prevents sarcopenia which is a degenerative loss of strength and skeletal muscle mass associated with aging. (10)
9. Prevents insulin resistance and diabete type 1: A vitamin D deficiency reduces the insulin production, causes an insulin resistance and is directly linked to diabete. In a study with 10 366 children in Finland, it has been demonstrated that after taking 2 000 IU of vitamin D3 daily for their first year of life, there was a reduction of 80% in the development of diabete type 1. Another study showed that vitamin D supplementation combined with calcium in women have reduced the risk for diabete type 2 by 33%. (4-9)
10. The majority of the population in North America is vitamin D deficient: Studies shows that 90% of pigmented people (Blacks, Asians, Hispanics) and 75% of white people have insufficient levels of vitamin D in North America. (11) Insufficient levels means below 30 ng/ml. According to the world experts, around 98% of the population do not have optimal levels of vitamin D in their blood.
To get your vitamin D to optimal levels, I recommend you to take at least 5 000 IU daily of vitamin D3. I suggest you D3 Excellence by Charles Poliquin which is an excellent quality product that I use extensively. Come get your vitamin D3 supplement today at JFT International !
Don’t forget to go out this summer and get some sun !
1. Harald Dobnig, MD; Stefan Pilz, MD; et al. Independent Association of Low Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D Levels With All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(12):1340-1349.
2. Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Giovannucci E, Willett WC, Dietrich T, Dawson-Hughes B. Estimation of optimal serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D for multiple health outcomes. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;84:18-28. [Erratum, Am J Clin Nutr 2006;84:1253.]
4. Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(3):266-81.
5. Garland CF, Garland FC, Gorham ED; et al. The role of vitamin D in cancer prevention. Am J Public Health. 2006;96(2):252-261.
6. Forman JP, Giovannucci E, Holmes MD; et al. Plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and risk of incident hypertension. Hypertension. 2007;49(5):1063-1069.
7. Nancy E Lange, MD, MPH, Augusto Litonjua, MD, MPH; et al. Vitamin D, the immune system and asthma. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2009 November; 5(6): 693–702. [PubMed]
8. Hawrylowicz CM, O’Garra A. Potential role of interleukin-10-secreting regulatory T cells in allergy and asthma. Nat. Rev. Immunol. 2005;5(4):271–283. [PubMed]
9. Hypponen E, Laara E, Reunanen A, Jarvelin M-R, Virtanen SM. Intake of vitamin D and risk of type 1 diabetes: a birth- cohort study. Lancet 2001;358:1500-3
10. Marjolein Visser, Dorly J. H. Deeg, and Paul Lips. Low Vitamin D and High Parathyroid Hormone Levels as Determinants of Loss of Muscle Strength and Muscle Mass (Sarcopenia): The Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism December 1, 2003 vol. 88 no. 12
11. Journal Clinical Endrocrinal metabolism 2010, 95(2), 471
Cold is one of those virus which fight against our immune system. The best trick to give your immune system a boost which is achieved by the help of some vitamins and minerals, but also with the help of some herbs or mush rooms extract. I particularly like the supplement Immucore© made by Metagenics©. This supplement is very simple but works wonderfuly. It is a mix of antioxidants which fight against free radicals and mushrooms extract that stimulate the immune system. By taking this supplement regularly for a month and a half, you drastically reduce the chance of getting sick. If you are already sick, this supplement will help you to get back on your feet in a matter of 2-3 days.
Come see us to get Immucore© and therefore being the only one not getting sick !
Written by Charles Poliquin
What exactly is DIM?
Plant indoles, also know as glucosinolates, are found in cruciferous vegetables and provide a host of health benefits to humans. Cruciferous vegetables are known for their many roles in cancer protection. Two such indoles provided by cruciferous vegetables are I3C (Indole 3 Carbinol) and DIM (Diindolylmethane). DIM is not naturally present in these plants. It gets released with the help of enzymes upon crushing of the broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage or brussel sprouts or during human digestion.
Stomach acid, or HCl, can also aid the joining of two indole 3 carbinols to make diindolylmethane. Lack of HCl will hinder one’s ability to make DIM from I3C. If you are deficient in stomach acid (see my article on that topic), getting rid of lower body bodyfat may be an issue.
So basically, DIM is 2 molecules of I3C combined together. I3C in a capsule is not shelf stable because it is sensitive to light, heat and moisture. I3C is irritating to the stomach and research tells us that it can have very negative side effects in doses over 300 mg daily such as dizziness and unsteady gait which may be due to nervous system toxicity. One study shows evidence that 90% of orally consumed I3C converts to other compounds. Perhaps it is these other compounds that cause these side effects. One compound I3C converts to is ICZ, or indololcarbizol. This compound causes DNA damage. DIM studies show no toxicity when given triple the dose in humans.
Is DIM Hard to Absorb?
Due to its crystalline structure, absorption of DIM when given orally simply as a powder in a capsule is minimal, similar to CoQ10. DIM absorption can be greatly enhanced by emulsifying it with lecithin in rice bran oil, including with it compounds that hold it in solution such as beeswax, and finally adding fat-
soluble nutrients that aid absorption through the gut wall. DIM•AvailTM is a unique combination of such ingredients. We use the same technology to make our CoQ10 more bioavailable in comparison to
powdered CoQ10 and sublingual forms.
How to Take DIM•AvailTM
Patients should expect to get therapeutic results taking DIM•AvailTM at the recommended dose of 1 to 2
soft gels per day taken with breakfast or dinner.
What Actions Does DIM Have on the Body that Make it Beneficial to our Health?
It has been suggested that a low level of the 2-hydroxyestrogen metabolites (2-OHE) and a high level of 16 alpha-hydroxyestrone (16 alpha-OHE1) is associated with an enhanced risk of breast cancer. DIM increases hydroxyestrone and therefore improves the 2/16 hydroxyestrone ratio, making it very protective for women at high risk for this condition.
Research by Bradlow says that DIM also reduces availability of 4-androstenedione for aromatization to estrone.He concludes that DIM is more potent than I3C at protecting against mammary carcinoma due to decreased formation of 16 alpha-hydroxyestrone from estrone.6
Doesn’t Research Support the Use of I3C for Cancer Prevention Such as Breast Cancer?
There are positive studies on supplementation of I3C because they are looking at limited parameters such as improvement in the 2/16 hydroxyestrone ratio. When we take a broader look, however, I3C raises 4-hydroxy estrogen with the potential of aggravating cancers such as breast, endometrial and prostate cancer.
I3C increases 4-hydroxy estrogen production in animals and in humans.8 DIM does not. 4-hydroxy estrogens and CYP1B1, the only CYP source of 4-hydroxy estrogen, have both been implicated in the causation of prostate and breast cancer in humans. 4-hydroxy estrogens and CYP1B1 are also implicated in the causation and growth of uterine fibroid tumors and endometriosis.
Researchers from the Department of Pathology, Sasaki Institute, Tokyo, Japan concluded the following:
“These results suggest that induction of the CYP 1 family in the liver and sequential modulation of
estrogen metabolism to increase 4HE might play a crucial role in promoting the effects of dietary I3C on endometrial adenocarcinoma development
Should Men Take DIM?
Men who wish to prevent prostate cancer and men with a family history of prostate cancer should take DIM. Men who have a problem with aromatization of testosterone would also benefit from using DIM.
What about the role of DIM in Biosignature?
If your hamstrings and quadriceps score are elevated in relation to the triceps reference score, DIM helps reduce those scores. I recently had National team female weightlifter reduce her lower body fat significantly by adding DIM to her supplement protocol. DIM is a favorite of female physique competitors to help get their legs shredded.
Males who have elevated scores in the pec skinfold in relation to the triceps skinfold also benefit from the use of DIM.
You can now find Dim Avail at JFT INTL.
Call or come see us, it will be a pleasure to assist you !
Written by Charles Poliquin
For over fifteen years, I strongly recommended to use branch chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) while you train if you want to increase your lean body mass.
I have learned this trick a while ago from Drs. Serrano and Di Pasquale and I have been using it with athletes who have difficulty gaining size. How does it work? There could be a variety of reasons, namely :
2.BCAAs promote protein synthesis in the fat-free bodymass.
3. BCAA consumed during training raise both growth hormone and insulin at the same time, hence the increased anti-catabolism and anabolism.
4. The BCAAs, unlike the other amino acids, are used as a form of energy by muscle cells.
5. The study by Carli et al. (1992) showed that supplementing with branched chain amino acids prior to a workout not only prevents a decrease in post-workout testosterone levels, but actually allowed testosterone levels to increase following exercise.
6. BCAAs administration has an anti-catabolic effect by favoring a better testosterone/cortisol ratio.
7. BCAAs administration also reduces the exercise induced increase in the muscle concentration of tyrosine and phenylalanine, therefore indicating a decreased net rate of protein degradation during exercise.
8. There is a serious decrement is post workout soreness when you use BCAA during the training unit.
9. An Italian study on natural bodybuilders showed that 0.2 g of BCAA per kg of bodyweight 30 minutes before workout and 30 minutes after workouts lead to greater increases in lean bodymass and strength in the bench press and squat.
10. BCAA decrease body fat (especially visceral fat, the fat that accumulates inside the abdomen and results in that beer gut look.
11. A group of researchers through three different studies demonstrated that BCAA supplementation may also improve exercise-induced declines in some aspects of mental functioning.
12. prolonging endurance performance in the heat and the prevention of muscle loss at high altitudes
13. One of the cause of fatigue during exercise is the enhanced conversion of the amino acid tryptophan in to 5-HTP which makes you drowsy and fatigues. As you may be aware, 5 HTP is sold a supplement to enhance sleep, particularly for the fibromyalgia market.
How much BCAAs should you take?
I recommend taking 0.44 g per Kg of bodyweight. Take half of this within 30 minutes before training, And the other half right after training. So if you weigh 90 kilograms (198 lbs), take 40 grams of branch chain amino acids. If you are on a restricted budget, use at least 20 grams, otherwise don’t bother. Using this type of dosage, it is uncommon for some of my clients to gain 9 lbs of lean body mass in just 3 weeks using this protocol.
Some people have recommend taking BCAA during sleep, suggesting to use an alarm clock during the night to wake the trainee, to take some tablets. The rationale being that a greater anabolic state will be created. That is completely worthless. Sleep should not be interrupted no matter what, as soon as you wake up for more than three seconds, you suppress completely the production of melatonin, the restorative, anti-aging hormone.
BCAAs are best used as an « intra-workout » workout supplement.
Why is the BCAA Excellence superior?
° It contains the exact ratio of 4 leucine to 1 isoleucine and 1 valine that exercises physiologists recommend for promoting exercise recovery and anabolism. Leucine has to be the primary BCAA because:
1) it modulates insulin signaling
2) It regulates muscle protein translation initiation
3) It donates nitrogen for alanine and glutamine
4) It prevents free tryptophan in plasma from having a downer effect on the brain and CNS.
° Easy to digest capsules not tablets
° It has no fillers. Just straight amino acids. 750 mg per capsule!
° 500 capsules of 750 mg for just 51.75. That works to 4 dollars per 40 grams servings. That is cheaper that most Varsol processed protein drinks sold at your local gym. PICP certified coaches are welcome to open up a wholesale account by contacting
You can now find BCAA Excellence at JFT INTL.
Call or come see us, it will be a pleasure to assist you !
Maximize Your Progress with Hydrochloric Acid
By Charles Poliquin
Stomach Acid is more important to your development than you think. Read the latest insights
on digestion with tips for improving your own.
Are your muscles getting all the protein contained in that 12-ounce steak? Does your immune
system enjoy all the antioxidant protection from the vitamins and minerals in organic fruits
and vegetables? Do your supplements work as well as the manufacturer promises? There’s a
50/50 chance that the answer is “No.” The reason is that it’s not so much what you eat or what
supplements you take, but how much you assimilate.
This statement might seem peculiar, but it is true. I’ve worked with countless athletes who
seem to do everything right with their diet and training but make little or no progress in the
gym. Their problem can often be traced to low levels of stomach acids, a condition known as
Stomach acid breaks down food, chemically altering it so that the body can extract the
required nutrients for proper structure and function, including muscle maintenance and
growth. The acid begins the digestion of protein in the stomach and then triggers the pancreas
to secrete digestive enzymes and the gallbladder to release bile into the small intestine. The
acid is also responsible for killing pathogenic bacteria that enters the body via food.
The Acid Test
In our land of abundance, it is hard to imagine that our body’s cells could be starving,
especially when we consume high-quality food in sufficient quantities. Yet many of our
affluent habits prohibit us from properly digesting our food, leaving our cells weak from
If there is insufficient hydrochloric acid (HCl), proteins will pass into the intestine and putrefy
instead of being digested. In addition, carbohydrates will also be left to ferment without
adequate digestive enzymes from the pancreas. Fat digestion is also dependent on the acid’s
influence on the pancreas to secrete lipase and the gall bladder to secrete bile. Poor digestion
of these macronutrients means poor absorption of our basic energy sources.
Low stomach acid prevents adequate absorption of essential minerals such as zinc, manganese
and calcium because they cannot be ionized for proper absorption. Cruciferous vegetables are
known for their estrogen-detoxification properties through the production of
Diindolylmethane from Indole 3C, but this extraction cannot occur without an adequate
amount of stomach acid.
Low stomach acid also puts you at an increased risk of food poisoning since you are missing
your primary defense against bacterial organisms. It has been shown that the drugs that inhibit
stomach acid, such as Prilosec and Tagamet, can cause an increase in stomach bacteria and
Undiagnosed low stomach acid is linked to various neurological disorders such as dementia
and Alzheimer’s because those ailments are linked to folic acid and B12 status (i.e. no
stomach acid, no folic acid and B12 absorption.) In effect, you could go senile just from low
stomach acid. Here are a few of the symptoms of low stomach acid:
1. belching or gas within one hour of a meal
2. bloating and fullness shortly after eating
3. bad breath
4. loss of taste for meat
5. nausea after taking supplements
6. brittle fingernails
7. undigested food in stool
8. foul-smelling stools
9. stomach pain
10. desire to skip meals
11. estrogen buildup
12. acne rosacea
The Growing Epidemic of Low HCl
After taking numerous functional medicine seminars from digestion experts such as Dr. Nigel
Plummer, PhD, from Wales; and Dr. Jeff Baker, NMD, from North Carolina, I realized how
important it is to monitor stomach acid. In Wales alone, it is estimated that over 40 percent of
the adult population is deficient in hydrochloric acid. In the USA, many experts estimate the
deficiency also to be in the range of 40 to 50 percent. Some gastroenterologists are now
advancing that it is today’s most under-diagnosed ailment.
Over the last four years at my training centers, we have been doing stomach acid challenge
tests routinely. In this time I have yet to see a single successful male over the age of 40 with
normal stomach acid levels. Actually some of them are actually achloridic, which means that
they make almost no stomach acid.
There are many reasons for low stomach acid, such as B vitamin deficiency, excess
carbohydrate consumption, hypothyroidism, food sensitivities, H. Pylori infection, soda
consumption and aging. But the most common cause of low stomach acid is actually stress.
Stress experts estimate that we now have 100 times more stress than our grandfathers did.
How do you test for low HCl? Here are a few ways:
1. From your blood chemistry screen values, or by a urine test
2. A string test where you swallow a string in order to measure your stomach pH – not a
pleasant test, incidentally
3. An examination of the reflex point on your abdomen, an inch below the bottom of the
breastbone on the edge of the left rib cage
4. Presence of a zinc deficiency; an insufficient amount of this mineral is associated with
5. Presence of vertical ridges on your nails
6. Stool testing
7. Amino acid profile tests
Finally, there is a simple test you can do at home, but I suggest you talk to a physician
qualified in nutritional medicine before you try it. Nutritionally-oriented physicians often
prescribe this test along with a zinc challenge test. It requires a bottle of Betaine HCl, at 200
mg potency per capsule. Here is how it is performed:
Step 1 -Have a high-protein solid meal (no shakes). Let’s say for illustration purposes a 12ounce
steak and vegetables.
Step 2 -Eat half the protein, roughly 6 ounces of the steak.
Step 3 -Swallow a 200mg capsule of HCL.
Step 4 -Eat the other half of the steak and the vegetables.
Step 5 -Wait 15 minutes.
Step 6 -If your stomach acid is normal, you will feel like you just drank a hot cup of tea. If
you feel nothing, you need HCl as a supplement. So what do you do next? At every meal
repeat steps 1 to 6, upping the dose one capsule per meal until you feel the burning sensation.
So if it takes five meals to get a burning sensation, you need on average four capsules per
meal. If you get to seven capsules and you have no burning, stop the test – you are achloridic!
At our Phoenix center alone we have been doing over 250 tests a year for the last four years.
In that time, I have never seen one person not need at least one capsule; the average person
tested could feel it after five capsules. You are getting better when you start feeling a burn at
your initial determined dosage. For example, if you found that five capsules was your initial
need, you may find that three days later it starts to burn, so then you would cut back to four
capsules with a typical high-protein solid meal. And so on.
Most people achieve normal levels within eight weeks even when they start at seven capsules,
but some individuals take as much as 18 months. I have two clients who need two caps a day
permanently. Why? Because neither one will ever escape their stress levels -one of them is a
real estate mogul, and the other is a highly accomplished author.
Once you go off HCL, it is suggested by most functional medicine experts to take 2g of
histidine a day for eight weeks to support HCl production. (Great Smokies Laboratories offers
a battery of tests that determine proper digestion. They are very helpful; have your physician
contact their technical help line, if necessary.) Take a great multivitamin formula once a day
upon engaging in HCl therapy, as it will accelerate the healing. Make sure that your HCl
product also contains the probiotic pepsin and the digestive enzymes papain and pancreatin,
as they have a synergistic effect with HCl therapy. (Note: You can acquire my version of this
product by contacting Judith@CharlesPoliquin.com. )
One of the most common positive effects our clients get from HCl therapy is enhanced sleep.
Why? Because they are finally absorbing the supplemental magnesium they have been taking.
Minerals need an electric charge to be absorbed. You need sufficient HCl to provide that
charge to the minerals. I had a client, a former Olympian in bobsleigh and former national
weightlifting team member, go from an erratic four hours of sleep each night to a sound eight
hours after three days of HCl supplementation.
In addition to the above HCl protocols, here are a few other suggestions to normalize your
stomach acid levels. First, avoid carbonated drinks. Second, avoid all-you-can-eat buffets, as
they are America’s leading source of food-borne pathogens. Finally, there are numerous herbs
that can contribute to raising HCl, such as gentian, peppermint and ginger, but be aware that
very few controlled studies exist on this topic.
Over the last four years, I have been amazed how a correction in HCl deficiency has led to not
only dramatic improvements in physique and strength but also improvements in a variety of
health parameters. Interestingly enough, in strength-trained individuals those improvements
are often associated with gains of 15 to 18 pounds of lean body mass within two months!
Why? They are now absorbing proteins and minerals.
If you suspect that you are low in stomach acid, you must address this issue with the utmost
importance. You cannot make adequate use of your food or your supplements if you cannot
break them down for proper absorption. It’s true that not only are you what you eat, you are
what you assimilate!
You can now find Metagest at JFT INTL.
Call or come see us, it will be a pleasure to assist you !