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Syndrome X: supplements.


You need to replenish a lot of minerals, vitamins, etc.

Paul Bergner goes into details on doses of needed supplements:

60 mg zinc
800 mg magnesium
600-800 μg chromium
B-100 complex, complete
lots of antioxidants: Vitamin C, E, etc
L-carnitine, from 500-4000 mg

That's 40-60 mg B6 + the other B-vitamins.

Add vitamin C to bowel tolerance: take 1 g today, 2 g tomorrow, 3 g day after tomorrow, and so on until you get diarrhoea. Back off 1 g, and that's your daily dose. I've forgotten what you'd need to do to protect your teeth from all that ascorbic acid, though, sorry.

Elsewhere Paul has said to take 800-1200 mg magnesium, as magnesium citrate.

Vitamin E is a disgusting sticky mess, but I expect it's better in capsules. And perhaps even better in high-vitamin-E cold-pressed cooking oils, like olive, sesame seed, or rapeseed oils.

You'll also need 1-4 grams of fish oils a day. A tastier alternative is to eat 2-3 meals of fatty salt-sea fish a week. I'm told that salmon oil doesn't come back up to announce for the rest of the day that you've taken it in the morning, but alas, I haven't been brave enough to try it. I do know that codliver oil is disgusting that way. I'm also told that the citrus-flavored codliver oil is even worse, but that the menthol-flavored one is fairly nice, as fish oils go.

Those fish oils should be rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Farmed fish is not.

Unfortunately for vegetarians, plant-based oils (including flax seed oil) simply won't cut it. You can do evening primrose oil to enhance the absorption of omega-3 fish oils, though.

You can take more normal amounts of magnesium, chromium and zinc if you're pregnant and have the diabetes which comes with that. Above levels are meant to get rid of the gut absorption problems that come with too much insulin, and those levels should be kept up until insulin levels are down to normal - 10 to 14 days, if you also do the other two legs of getting rid of Syndrome X. After that you can slow down on most of them.

That's it about Syndrome X, for now. Whew.

The Hyperinsulinemia series: Cravings - Craving magnesium - Craving carbs - Doing without carbs - Syndrome X - Cell responses to insulin - Syndrome X supplements
Related entries: Hyperinsulinemia - Lifestyle troubles.


I just found you blog and love it. I was diagnosed with Syndome X (Metabolic Syndrome) and possible NASH (Non- Alcoholic Steatorrhoeic Hepatosis) last week. Having the supplementation posted and your blog and the one on Hot/Cold Liver were just what I needel. Thank you so much!

: )

I'm curious - WHY (chemically?) won't the flax oils "cut it"?

Dear Henriette

Thanks a lot for writing your blog. It has been incredidbly useful for me. I have a question regarding chromium usage.
A couple months ago, after reading from your blog about how important chromium is, I started my husband and myself on Paul Bergner's vitamin and mineral regimen for people suffering from Syndrome X.
We were both taking 600 μg of chromium -the lowest dose he recommends. Things were great for a couple of weeks. We both lost weight, looked great, our dry skin went away and we had more energy. However after that, we both lost copious amounts of hair and our skin got really oily. Soon my husband and I began losing chunks of hair and developed noticeably empty patches on our heads. Turns out that many other people have been experiencing the same symptoms:
We have both stopped taking the chromium. We have both put on weight and our skin is really dry and scaly but the hair loss has definitely decreased by a big amount.
What are your thoughts on this? Is there any other supplement that would work without such major side effects? If chromium is so essential for the body, why does it have such drastic side effects?

Updated comment: you should do those amounts of vitamins, minerals + trace elements for 2-3 weeks only, in addition to ditching the carbs and adding more exercise.
After that more normal vitamin + minerals are sufficient, provided you still keep the simple carbs off your table, and continue the regular exercise.
Also, I've heard that you need copper if you do large amounts of chromium (or was it zinc?) - alas, I'm no nutritionist, I'm a herbalist.

I just found your site and find it very helpful. I'm thinking of starting this regimen and perhaps recommending it to my husband (after I work with it first). The husband is an insulin-dependent diabetic. I now recognize that he was a SyndromeX person long before the diabetes set in. In addition to consulting with his doctors about such a regimen, would you or Paul have any other advice for diabetics on insulin?

Go very very carefully, in order to avoid dangerously low blood sugar, if applying this to somebody on insulin.

Can you take another type of magnesium in place of citrate? I have interstitial cystitis and cannot take magnesium citrate. Also, I can handle a B-50 complex, but I'm not sure about a B-100. I also have PCOS, Central Hypothyroidism, and digestion problems.