Shiny’s current meds, logic, and dosing

Because this comes up all the time.


91yOlO9D66L._SY679_   vitaline coq10 bottles and wafers



So both of these brands use Vitaline CoQ10, which works VERY well. The claim is that this form crosses the blood-brain barrier better, and I’d have to say that the results are definitely more noticeable than TruNature, which we used before (and did have good effects and raised her blood levels very high, but which did not have as profound an effect on Shiny’s language.)

Natrol was terrible, and I think their supplier was fraudulent. Be careful. Other people have used Qunol to good effect, but Shiny can’t tolerate the citric acid.  I found the best price normally at Vitacost for the SmartQ10, but Naturedoc has by FAR the best price on Vitaline 400 mg (by $57 per bottle!). The difference between Vitacost and Amazon on SmartQ10 is very small, so get that one where it is convenient.

Shiny’s CoQ10 dosing is approximately half her weight in pounds, with a zero tacked on, in milligrams. Rounded up always. She’s currently 70 pounds, give or take, and taking 400 mg because it is easier to give her 400 mg in one tablet than 3 1/2 giant chewables. We see no ill effects from a slightly higher dose, but we notice very quickly if her dose is too low.

Kids with 4q deletions are often missing one of two genes which help the body make its own CoQ10. This may or may not cause a frank deficiency in the blood, but it seems to impact muscles, nerves and brain tissue disproportionately. This directly helps correct any deficiency, and increases the amount available as an antioxidant, which can be beneficial even for kids who are not missing one of the genes.

R-lipoic Acid



So, many people have heard of Alpha Lipoic acid, which is a racemic compound of both the S and R isomers of lipoic acid. The R one is the one the body uses. The S one is at best useless and at worse actually gets in the way of the body using R-lipoic acid. A typical dose of ALA might be 600-1200 mg.

For kids with CoQ10 issues, R-lipoic acid helps the body use CoQ10 more efficiently to make energy, which is EXACTLY what Shiny needed. It also protects cells from damage and helps the body recycle antioxidants. Win win win win.

But straight up R-lipoic acid is VERY eager to bond with other molecules. And it is a narcissist. It LOVES itself. In liquids, R-lipoic acid may readily gloop onto itself into long polymer strands, which the body can’t use very well.  So we got some results giving Shiny 300 mg ground up in milk, but they took a couple days to see.

R-lipoic acid can be stabilized with a salt that makes it more water soluble and less likely to “gloop”. K-rala  stands for potassium (K)-R-alpha lipoic acid. The first brand we bought worked pretty well at doses of 100 mg, but we started increasing those doses and the company was bought out by Vitacost, and the quality went downhill… probably due to a fraudulent supplier, but the stuff stopped doing ANYTHING. I did some reading and decided to try the Geronova brand shown above. We gave Shiny 6 drops (20 drops is 100 mg, so this was less than 40 mg, after she’d been on 300) because the company said it was often much more effective at much lower doses due to the ready bioavailability.

They were not kidding. 5 minutes later, she started chattering. It wasn’t super coherent, but she was MAKING NOISE ON PURPOSE and it had been a long, quiet summer, punctuated mostly by her tears of frustration. And she was CHATTERING. Talking constantly. For an hour. Like every word she’d tried to say burbled up at once.

She’s now taking 12 drops per day, at about 70 pounds, and we’ve gone from talking about getting her to cooperate with sitting in a chair at school to talking about them teaching her actual subjects. (She’s in a life skills classroom, but is incredibly interested in science and the natural world.) Use this brand. Don’t bother with anything else ever. Not ALA, not RLA, use the Geronova K-rala if you need anything having to do with Alpha Lipoic Acid.

Everything else she takes is at dinnertime. GIVE THIS IN THE MORNING. Trust me.





So this we buy at Trader Joe’s because it’s $3.99 per bottle there, but even at twice the price it’s a good deal. Most people who need melatonin can get by with 1/2 tablet, which means 200 doses. That’s 6 months for $4, even at twice that it’s a bargain. 1/4 tablet is enough to make me tired. Shiny takes a full tablet.

More is not better for melatonin. This stuff works, and works well, at some of the lowest doses available on the market. It’s chewable, and citrate free. I don’t advocate melatonin for most typically developing kids, but throw in a chromosome disorder, metabolic disorder, autism, what have you, and the stuff is a godsend.

Give only at night, within half an hour of bedtime.

Fish oil

Shiny takes one of these every night. It really seems to help with behavior and frustration levels. The dose is not high, but the price is, but this works and she tolerates it, and that’s enough for me. It tastes terrible. We bribe with chocolate.

Methyl Folate, B-12 and B6, and biotin



Methylated B-vitamins may be absorbed more readily, and we want things to be as absorbable as possible. This is a tiny lactose tablet that dissolves fast under the tongue. She tolerates it very well. B-vitamins can help the R-lipoic acid and CoQ10 work better.  When we added this and other B-vitamins, Shiny’s energy levels picked up even more than with the other supplements. We’re currently giving Methyl B-12, Methylfolate, P-5-P (B6 in a more absorbable form) and Biotin (separate tablet). The doses are probably higher than she needs, but I don’t worry too much about it as she can pee the rest out.  We special order the combo from our local health food store, it’s hard to find online but worth it (cheaper than giving them separately, and less trouble.) The biotin can be had on amazon.

This is another B-vitamin we give. She tolerates it well. If we were more organized we’d probably give the b-vitamins in the morning.

ADDENDUM 6/22/17
We have dropped all the B-vitamins above in favor of mixing half of a B-right capsule with the other powders with a little food. This is cheaper, and gives a broader variety of B-vitamins, and they’re an ideal form.

B-right b-supplement

Vitamin D, because Oregon



This has zero taste and she tolerates a drop on food. The drops come out slow but zero taste and tolerates well makes me not care. One bottle is a year’s supply for one kid. Everyone in Oregon gets D deficient if they don’t supplement, so this would be on the list even if she didn’t have a deletion.


Sunflower lecithin

So this is a good source of choline, which is helpful neurologically. I take it myself, she has a liquid form, not a capsule. It helps a LOT with her mood. Super low risk. This is better than soy lecithin which can be irritating for some.

Magnesium works with the other vitamins and supplements to help the cells work better. We avoid citric acid, so this powder format has been handy. This lasts a very long time, we use a tiny ‘stevia scoop’ for it.  Pretty much magnesium is magnesium. Find a form your kid can tolerate. It’s rarely fraudulent (because it’s cheap and what companies use to cut other meds with, lol!) Bedtime is best for magnesium. Mag can help with asthma and lung reactivity.

Vitamin C:
Pure ascorbic acid does not contain citric acid and seems to be well-tolerated. Buy the smallest jar you can, it only takes a tiny pinch added to foods to boost C-intake dramatically. Can cause diarrhea if you give too much. We bought a large jar and Miles got into it and mixed it with ketchup and most of it was lost and it still took us months to get through the rest. I’m serious that a little goes a long way. 4 ounces is probably a year or two’s worth, watch the fresh date.

Posted in Health, Shiny, Supplements.


  1. I take similar D drops. Same brand, same strength, but not labeled as for babies. I’d bet anything the only difference is price. One drop directly on the tongue. No taste for the first several (like 9-10) months, but often it does develop an oily taste as the bottle gets older. That’s hardly noticeable if it’s put on food, though, and it’s perfectly tolerable even by itself (I just try to put it farther back on my tongue after it develops a flavor), so a bottle usually still does wind up lasting me about a year.

    To avoid the oily flavor altogether, just share the bottle between 2 people and replace every 6 months.

  2. A great way to see if your child (4q) needs CoQ10 or lipoic replacement is to have their CPK’s checked. It basically checks for muscle damage. My son’s was elevated but it always seemed to occur when he did a 3 week pt/ot intense therapy. Didn’t make sense since it should’ve been repairing and not hurting his muscles. We kept an eye on his CPKs because they were elevated. Next time we checked they were even higher and he had not just completed the therapy. Saw neuro who is a mito specialist. By increasing his CoQ10 significantly and adding Lipoate – his CPKs are almost in the normal range. He did have severe hypotonia as a baby. Just an FYI

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