Vitamin and mineral supplementation

With a couple of exceptions, it is unnecessary for most Marshall Protocol (MP) patients to supplement with vitamins or minerals. A balanced diet of whole foods usually offers a person all the nutrients needed for good health. While nutritional supplements including multivitamins are wildly popular, there is no solid evidence that they contribute to long-term health, reduce symptoms, or cure chronic disease.

Patients who are concerned that their diet is less than ideal should study the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) values of the standard nutrients against their diet to determine if they are deficient. Patients should not consume more nutrients than what is recommended than the RDI. Note that both vitamin D and supplemented (not naturally occurring) folic acid are contraindicated.

Multivitamins and B-complex vitamins can be purchased without vitamin D but they contain folic acid. In order to avoid added vitamin D and folic acid and or potentially immunomodulatory herbs, take each of the vitamins and minerals needed, if any, separately.


  • folic acid and folate – folate is a water-soluble B-vitamin that occurs naturally in leafy foods; folic acid is the synthetic form of folate; MP patients must avoid products containing supplemental folic acid as it contributes to bacterial growth
  • vitamin B12 – readily available in meat and dairy products so, unless a person is a vegan, he or she is probably not deficient; exceptions include certain malabsorption syndromes and pernicious anemia, conditions where people cannot absorb B-12
  • vitamin C – ascorbates promote the transcription of Th1 inflammatory mediators and, therefore, continual large doses of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) may prove to affect the immune system in a way that is counterproductive; as little as 10mg per day of vitamin C is needed to prevent scurvy. Do Humans Need Vitamin C?
  • vitamin E – supplementation has fallen out of favor with healthcare professionals
  • vitamin K – promoted for osteoporosis prevention but deficiency in adults is rare

Juicing vegetables can increase the concentrations of individual ingredients to a level which your body cannot handle.

Vitamin D

Do not consume vitamin D as it is immunosuppressive and will interfere with progress on the MP.

Note that the ban on vitamin D includes synthetically produced vitamin D analogues, which go by any of the following names: calciferol, calcitriol (Calcijex, Rocaltrol), calcifediol (Calderol), calcipotriol, calcipotriene (Dovonex), cholecalciferol aka vitamin D3, ergocalciferol aka vitamin D2Form of vitamin D created by plants and fungi. When ingested the secosteroid is (sometimes) converted into 25-D. Also known as ergocholecalciferol. (Drisdol), Delta-D, Radiostol, Radiostol Forte.

According to a 2006 estimate, 18% of the global cancer burden is attributable to infectious agents, but almost every indication is that this figure is far too conservative.1) Researchers confined by the logic of Koch's postulatesCentury-old criteria designed to establish a causal relationship between a causative microbe and a disease. Koch's belief that only one pathogen causes one disease has now been called into question as multiple postulates are increasingly considered out of date. have looked for a single microbe causing a single disease. Evidence suggests, however, that it is communities of microbes that are responsible for cancer. According to the Marshall PathogenesisA description for how chronic inflammatory diseases originate and develop., chronic microbes persist, in large part, by dysregulating the Vitamin D ReceptorA nuclear receptor located throughout the body that plays a key role in the innate immune response. (VDRThe Vitamin D Receptor. A nuclear receptor located throughout the body that plays a key role in the innate immune response.), a key nuclear receptorIntracellular receptor proteins that bind to hydrophobic signal molecules (such as steroid and thyroid hormones) or intracellular metabolites and are thus activated to bind to specific DNA sequences which affects transcription. with a well-characterized role in both the innate immune responseThe body's first line of defense against intracellular and other pathogens. According to the Marshall Pathogenesis the innate immune system becomes disabled as patients develop chronic disease. and metastasis suppression. Indeed one of the hallmarks of cancer is a disruption in the vitamin D endocrine system including high 1,25-DPrimary biologically active vitamin D hormone. Activates the vitamin D nuclear receptor. Produced by hydroxylation of 25-D. Also known as 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, 1,25-hydroxyvitamin D and calcitirol. and slowed activity of the receptor. As they progressively multiply through a process known as successive infectionAn infectious cascade of pathogens in which initial infectious agents slow the immune response and make it easier for subsequent infections to proliferate., microbes elicit an inflammatory response, a response which has been shown to increase over time the risk of metastasis.

Several patients have worked with their doctors to treat their cancer with the Marshall ProtocolA curative medical treatment for chronic inflammatory disease. Based on the Marshall Pathogenesis.. However, the MP appears to be most effective as a preventative measure.

It may be particularly important for MP patients with cancer in the family to avoid caffeine as far as possible.

“It is difficult to assess the practical significance of phagocytic suppression, but our previous work (unpublished) has shown that cancer cells can suppress phagocytosis in a similar manner. If this is the case, caffeine may be aiding in the suppression of immune response in the tumor microenvironment.” 2)

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That having too much vitamin D in our blood can be bad for our health has never been proven before, and it may have great influence on our future intake of nutritional supplements.

These are very important results, because there is such great focus on eating vitamin D. We should use this information to ask ourselves whether or not we should continue to eat vitamins and nutritional supplements as if they were sweets. You shouldn't simply up the dose to feel better. University of Copenhagen Peter Schwartz


  • calcium – mineral is important for bone health and may protect somewhat against osteoporosis and osteopenia; available in a variety of foods
  • iron – although physicians frequently prescribe iron supplements in the face of low levels of hemoglobin and hematocrit, they may also want consider an alternate view that, low levels of iron are an adaptive physiologic response to infection
  • magnesium – for patients who suffer from constipation, Milk of Magnesia or magnesium oxide tablets will prevent this symptom and provide magnesium supplementation also; Epsom Salt baths may be palliative and can add to magnesium levels (Note: patients with poor kidney function should check with their doctor before supplementing magnesium to avoid hypermagnesemia).
  • potassium – do not take potassium supplements without a doctor's approval and periodic testing
  • zinc – vegetarians may need supplemental zinc

“angiotensin 2 receptor antagonists can result in an increased urinary excretion of zinc with subsequent systemic zinc deficiency” therefore those on Olmesartan may be excreting Zinc.

see Braun LA, Rosenfeldt F. Pharmaco-nutrient interactions -a systematic review of zinc and antihypertensive therapy. Int J Clin Pract2013;67(8):717-25. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.12040 [published Online First: 2013/01/03

Food sources

Thank you to TC for

Cashews: Cashews are one of the highest sources of zinc in any plant food. 1 ounce of cashews contains 1.6 mg of zinc. Not only are cashews high in zinc, but it's been demonstrated in studies that cashews are also effective against gram-positive bacteria Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus and can be used to fight infections.

Chickpeas: Regular consumers of chickpeas have also been shown to have higher levels of dietary fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, and iron. Just 1 cup of chickpeas contains 2.6 mg of zinc. Additionally, research is now suggesting that chickpeas may play a beneficial role in weight management and glucose regulation.

Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds have a wide range of healthy and healing properties. The seeds are high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, support diabetics with controlling blood sugar levels, and even improve sperm quality. 1 ounce of pumpkin seeds contains 2.2 mg of zinc. Pumpkin seeds are not only high in zinc and other phytonutrients, but they're also used to naturally kill parasites.

Hemp Seeds: One of the most versatile plants in the world brings us a high amount of zinc, amongst other essential nutrients. Just 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds contains 1.98 mg of Zinc and almost as much protein as soybeans. One study showed that compounds in hemp seeds may have neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, effects and may also help to regulate the immune system.

Kidney Beans: Kidney beans have a reputation for naturally lowering cholesterol levels, regulating blood sugar levels, support in weight loss and also prevent cancer. 1/2 cup of cooked kidney beans contains about 1 mg of zinc. Cooking or sprouting kidney beans enhances the bioavailability of zinc.

Avocado: This creamy, delicious, versatile fruit is not only healthy for the eyes, skin, bones and heart, but also comes is one of the highest in zinc. 1 avocado contains 1.3 mg of zinc, making it one of the highest fruit sources of zinc. Avocados also contain high amounts of folate, a mineral imperative during pregnancy and for preventing depression.

Blackberries: Blackberries are not only very high in antioxidants, but their astringent qualities make them useful for detoxification. Blackberries are also used as a remedy for diarrhea. Just 1 cup of blackberries contains 0.3 mg of zinc.

Interaction with minocycline

Do not take iron supplements, multivitamins, calcium supplements, antacids, or laxatives within 2 hours before or after taking minocycline. These products can make minocycline less effective.

No evidence of a therapeutic benefit

According to a 2009 study, approximately 33% of US adults use multivitamin/multimineral supplements (another 50% use dietary supplements).3)

Long-term studies on the use of multivitamins show that the pills tend not to protect against disease:

  • Supplements don't prevent infections in the elderly – A 2005 BMJ study said that there was “conflicting data” in their systematic review in the use of multivitamins and mineral supplements in preventing infections in elderly people.4) However, in an erratum, the authors retroactively excluded three studies from their analysis and said there was “no benefit.”
  • Children who end up taking vitamins in the United States today don't actually need them - A 2009 Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that about one-third of American children ages 2 to 17 had used a vitamin or mineral supplement within the previous month, but that most of them did not need to supplement their diet.5)
  • Increased risk of pre-term birth – Regular multivitamin-mineral supplement use during pregnancy, in a developed country setting, is not associated with size at birth. However, a 2010 study of British women found that daily multivitamin use in the third trimester was associated with preterm birth.6)


Use of vitamin and mineral supplements among cancer survivors is widespread. In studies combining different cancer sites, 64% to 81% of survivors reported using any vitamin or mineral supplements and 26% to 77% reported using any multivitamins.7) However:

  • Multivitamins don't protect against cancer – A study of more than 160,000 post-menopausal women, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that multivitamins did not prevent cancer, heart attacks, or strokes and did not reduce overall mortality.8)
  • Multivitamins may increase breast cancer – A large prospective study of 35,329 cancer-free women found that multivitamin use was associated with a moderate but statistically significant increased risk of breast cancer (breast cancer survivors reported the highest use of multivitamins among cancer survivors9)) after an average follow-up of 9.5 years.10) After adjustment for breast cancer risk factors, women who used multivitamins had a 19% higher risk of breast cancer than those who did not use multivitamins.
  • Vitamins don't protect against lung cancer – A 2008 prospective cohort of 77,721 men and women found that supplemental multivitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, and folate were not associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer. Supplemental vitamin E was associated with a small increased risk.11)

Cardiovascular issues

Vitamin D supplementation is ineffective in improving cardiovascular health among various patient populations, including in the presence or absence of vitamin D deficiency. 12)

Vitamins B

Related article: Folic acid and folate

In a 2010 randomized controlled trial appearing in JAMA, the effect of high-dose vitamin B (folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12) on diabetics was studied. In the trial, those receiving the B vitamins had significantly greater worsening of kidney function, measured as GFR. (Glomerular filtration rate is the test used to measure the level of kidney function.) The participants also had twice as many heart and stroke incidents.13)

The article on antioxidant supplementation discusses other such research.

Read more

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Vitamin B therapy dangerous for millions of diabetics with kidney disease https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-04/uowo-vbt042210.php

Dr. David Spence of Western's Robarts Research Institute and his colleagues began their study of people with kidney disease, anticipating that people who received high dose vitamin B therapy (folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12) could see improved kidney function and fewer heart attacks and stroke, compared with those on placebos.

The opposite was true. Those receiving high dose vitamin B therapy had significantly greater worsening of kidney function, measured as GFR. GFR (glomerular filtration rate) is the test used to measure the level of kidney function. They also had twice as many heart and stroke incidents.

B-vitamins and diabetic nephropathy https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/731177 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8143940

Oral cholecalciferol 3000 IU/day does not affect arterial stiffness or blood pressure after 16 weeks of treatment in healthy normotensive adults. 14) =====References=====

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