NUTRIVENE D, THE HEART OF TNI
By Carina Stjernholm Hoff
TNI stands for targeted nutritional intervention, and the reason for using it is to help normalize the biochemistry of children and adults with Down syndrome. Their extra chromosome gives them an extra set of all the genes on this chromosome that interferes with normal development. These challenges are well known for children and adults with T21, and includes everything from heart problems, to hypermobility, growth, speech and general cognitive issues. TNI addresses gene over expression using natural substances proven by peer reviewed published research to Down regulate over expressed genes, upregulate proteins that are far to low, and fight oxidative stress while providing those nutrients required for optimum health and function.
Out of desperation for her little daughter with T21, who as a newborn suffered from idiopathic immune dysfunction and not expected to survive, from, Dixie Lawrence gathered a team of scientists that together came up with what we today call Nutrivene D. The first form of Nutrivene D was available in 1994. For the last 24 years The Trisomy 21 Research foundation has consistently worked on finding the best ways to treat the gene overload that our children are suffering from. The TNI protocol has therefore expanded throughout the years and there are several other supplements in addition to the Nutrivene Daily that are necessary for our childrens health. Even though all our children do have T21, they also are unique individuals and this is the reason not all of the supplements in the TNI are suitable or needed for all of our kids. This is determined after initially trying the protocol, then determining whether or not a child requires every component. This determination is best made by highly skilled healthcare providers, thoroughly trained in DS biochemistry. The Scientific Advisory Comittee authorizes certain doctors, after extensive training as certified members of the SAC. Some of their names and contact information is included on the Resources page on this site. In addition, starting up on some supplements can take a longer time to adjust to for some children, and hence the need to very slowly increase the dose is crucial form them.
The Nutrivene Daily (NVD) is the heart of the TNI protocol and is designed to specifically target as much of the gene overload issues as is presently possible. It is however, important to realize that it is not possible to put all the supplements our children needs into Nutrivene D, as several of the supplements need to be given apart from each other. That is why there are several add ons to the NVD, like Resveratrol and EGCG and several others, that will be discussed in later articles.
While many will describe Nutrivene D as a multivitamin for children with T21, this is not the case. It does however contain a lot of vitamins and minerals and covers your childs basic need for a multivitamin, but it is at the same time so much more. All of these vitamins and minerals and other components of the NVD are there to help your child develop more optimally, in a way that is not possible without the TNI protocol. It is also worth mentioning that the quality of this product is at an extremely high standard, made with pharmaceutical grade components and developed in an FDA certified laboratory. Our childrens biochemistry in need of so much more interventions than other typical children, but at the same time their bodies are also more vulnerable. That means that a standard over the counter multi vitamin can be wonderful for your typical child, but harmful for your child with T21. At the same time some children with T21 will need more of certain vitamin or mineral, and will need to supplement that in addition to the NVD.
When starting the TNI protocol, this is the product you will start with. It is not necessary to do blood work prior to starting the TNI protocol and NVD. Initially you will want to give a very low dose, about ¼ of the amount required for your childs body weight. Some people find it even better to start with only 1/8 of the full dose for their child’s body weight. Optimally, the dose you give per day, should be split in two and then be given twice a day, about 8 hours or more apart. The full dose for your child depends on his or her body weight, the amounts is given on the Nutrivene D. It is listed as the amount of kg body weight of your child. (go online and find a translator from kg to pounds). In addition to the Nutrivene D box, you also get a yellow measuring spoon to go with it (the powder form). If your full dose is ¾ spoon, that will mean half of that (3/8th of a spoon) twice a day.
There are three types of Nutrivene D, as shown in the picture. Two of them are in a powder form, and one in capsule form. For those children and adults that can swallow capsules, capsules are recommended. For babies and younger children there are two powders to choose from, the standard powder or the micro encapsulated powder.
The latter costs a little bit more and are believed to have less of a taste to it. Some children have a hard time with the taste, while others are used to it and have no problems taking it. You can use a lot of different foods or drinks to blend it with, everything from apple sauce or youghurt to juices or almond milk. Every child is unique and you might have to work a bit on finding the right way to give it to your child, but many children have no trouble taking it. A lot of children bring for instance a premade glass with pureed fruit and Nutrivene D to preschool or school so that their child can have it twice a day.
The Nutrivene D is a supplement that is crucial for our childrens development and that is as important for infants as it is for adults with DS. It is never to early or too late to start using NVD, and it is a supplement that is meant to be given for life, as the gene overload is something that is constantly there every minute, hour and day of our kids life. There are thousands of children with T21 that are currently using NVD and a lot of them even see clear evidence of short term effects. This can be that their child is less constipated or in cognitive issues like speech and concentration or a child suddenly taking that next motor skill, learning to sit, crawl or walk. Others do not see clearly a short term effect and yet others can initially have issues where their childs behavior worsens. Those children usually does much better when they start on a very low dose and very gradually increase the dose of NVD over a long period of time.
Our children does however need this targeted nutritional intervention that the NVD is a big part of, and the really big issue is the long term effects of being on NVD (and the other supplements in the TNI protocol).
Carina Stjernholm Hoffholds an M.S. in Biochemistry and teaches in her native country,, Norway 🇳🇴