Questions about multivitamins etc.

soozOctober 12, 2003

My DH brought home a bunch of different vitamins for us to take (guess they had a sale at Costco!). I read on one label, for example, that one 500 mcg tablet of B-12 provided 8333% of the minimum daily requirement. I don't think I need over EIGHT THOUSAND percent of any vitamin!

I'd like to take a good multivitamin, cuz I don't always eat right. Do you have a favorite multivitamin? (I'm slightly over the "half-century" mark if that has any bearing in recommendations)

I'd like to round out a once-a-day multivitamin with extra "C" and "E" and also Caltrate-D--maybe B-6 and B-12 (but NOT over 8000% !) Any other vitamins or supplements you'd recommend? Cyberspace seems to have **too much info** for me to wade thru effectively!

Thanks for any input you may have!



Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

First of all....the MDR figures are based on the figure below which disease occurs which is proven to be caused by the lack of that nutrient. The MDR is not a calculation of the amounts that provide for optimum health. The huge B-12 dose was likely meant for someone with severe anemia.
There are those that believe that individual vitamine pills are absorbed better than a multi vitamin.
I take 1000 Mg's of C....15,000 of A, a high dose B complex, 400 IU's of E, lecithen, glusomine-chrondrointen....and 2 Caltrate with D...and pop a calcium chew or so during the day.
I know too many women in their late 60's and early 70's who are breaking bones not to be sure to take my calcium.
Linda C

    Bookmark   October 15, 2003 at 2:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

8000? Good grief. It is possible to have too much of a good thing in the way of vitamins. And I think your body just excretes mega doses of vitamin C, so it ends up being pointless.

Here is a link that might be useful: Multivitamin overdose

    Bookmark   October 21, 2003 at 7:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was just reading an article the other day about women and Vitamin A that too much in pregnant women can cause serious birth defects.

It's like everything. Moderation is the key.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2003 at 7:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would think a good multivitamin alone would do the trick. Then supplement with diet. One thing you definitely need as a woman is calcium. You start to lose bone mass after hitting age 30. The vitamin craze is a lucrative business - they make money by telling you you need to take megadoses several times a day of their product, when many times it hasn't been proven/tested by the FDA, so there's no real proof of its efficacy.

Here is a link that might be useful: RDA of Vitamins

    Bookmark   October 22, 2003 at 4:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One thing to remember is that while the tablet contains a certain % of the needed amount, only a small percentage of that amount may be retained by body. Some excess is lost through the kidneys or intestinal tract. I think, (not sure) that B12 is one of those that only a tiny, tiny fraction of the total amount is absorbed.

Some vitamins are stored for later use when the diet in deficent. This excess can be built up to toxic levels. It depends on whether the vitamin is water or oil soluble. I am sorry, but at the moment, I don't remember which excess is stored, and which is excreted.

There are many good books that will give you a better idea as to what is needed. It would be well worth your time to buy one.

At any rate, follow your doctor's advice and be sure to keep him/her informed as to what you are taking.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2003 at 10:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A few months ago I started taking a B complex which I get from Trader Joe's. It provides 50 mg of each B vitamin. I cannot believe how much it has increased my energy level. I'm not hyper at all -- I just have all the energy I need throughout the day instead of feeling like I'm dragging all the time. They DO give me energy, I know it's not the placebo effect. I had been feeling very low in energy for quite some time, just dragging, and reallly didn't expect to notice a difference, so I'm really pleasantly surprised.

While researching B vitamins, I came across a site which lists the vitamin content in many foods. I was very surprised to learn that a small portion of a cantaloupe (maybe 1/3 or so) contains almost a day's RDA of Vitamin A. I think it was 7000 IU or so. That's not much cantaloupe either. So if you're already taking 10-15000 IU a day, eating a little cantaloupe will take you way above that. Sounds like eating a little cantaloupe and a carrot or two every day is all that's needed to meet the vitamin A requirement.

PeaBee -- it's the fat soluble vitamins which are stored in excess, such as vitamin A. An example of a water soluable is vitamin C, the excess of which does flush out.

I think it is best to eat as much of a balanced diet as possible (including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables) and then take individual vitamins to supplement, such as C, B complex (in my case; you may not need them), and calcium.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2003 at 11:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Has anyone tried the One-A-Day Over 50 vitamin?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 6:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is an old thread that I would really like to see revitalized. No one has responded to Cheerful's question and I, too, (age 60) feel the need to take a multi-vitamin. In fact, my doctor recommended it. What he didn't do was give a recommendation as to which one. Anyone out there taking multi-vitamins?

    Bookmark   September 27, 2005 at 3:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm 58 and just recently started taking a multivitamin every day. I've been getting cracks in the sides of my mouth for a couple months, and after researching it, I found out it can be caused by a vitamin deficiency. So, I went to Target, and there side by side on the shelf, was "One A Day for Women", and Target's Multivitamin for Women. Both had the identiical values, and each had 200 tablets. The OAD was $12.00, and the Target brand was $7.00. I took them both to the pharmacist and asked him which one he would buy. He told me they are probably both made by the same manufacturer, and he wouldn't hesitate to get the generic brand. I asked about the absorbency of them, he said they were identical. The cracks in my mouth cleared right up. So it must be working.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2005 at 8:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My GYN just recommended I start a multi-vitamin. Always had a tendency to anemia. Latest hemoglobon test showed 11.5, in the normal range. MD told me to take B complex with C, and don't overdose on A and D. I already take meds for hypertension. And I have gained 8 lbs. in the last year. Darn!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 9:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Sure, we need to base our diet's nutrition on good foods properly prepared. But if you are 50 yrs. old or more, you are not likely to be absorbing enough from food alone.
I believe in a high quality supplemental program from reputable sources. Popping single pills like calcium leaves a lot to be's a synergy that you need. You need magnesium along with the calcium to work properly. So again I like a quality formulation. Cheap sources will give you synthetic vitamin E every time and it will be fragmented instead of having the different parts like alpha, beta, and gamma as a family. If your vitamin E is dl alpha, you are being ripped should be d alpha.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 7:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I will do what I can to answer the questions posed above.

The One-A-Day Over 50 multivitamin is an inferior product. All One-A-Day products are, as are any Centrum products or anything from WalMart, Costco, or any big box store. Like any other industry, the supplement industry is tiered. The highest grade raw materials go into professional products because the vendors that sell them have access to near-infrared spectrophotometry, atomic absorption spectrophotometry, inductively coupled plasma technology, or high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to insure they are getting what they paid for. Raw materials that are rejected at that level roll down hill until they find a buyer, with WalMart-like operations being the bottom of the barrel. With supplements, you generally get what you pay for. As a rule of thumb, the higher the quality of raw materials, the more pure (i.e. the less incipients), the better they are absorbed by the body and the more useful they are when they are absorbed.

While we are on the subject of cost, you should be aware that a multivitamin typically includes flowing agents, lubricants, binders, and fillers. Some of these may be necessary, some may be included simply to decrease the cost of making the product. Various fillers, like lactose (milk sugar) can cause allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. The best insurance that you are getting a good product is to a) educate yourself about companies that have a good reputation and b) do your research. Natures Way makes a fairly good, consumer grade product. If you would like to see what an excellent professional grade product looks like, go to the Thorne Research site that I have included below. And no, I have no financial affiliation with them or NatureÂs Way.

Moving on, once you have high quality raw materials, they need to be placed into a matrix that the body can adequately break down so the nutrients can be absorbed. Generally, capsules (not caplets) are superior to tablets in this regard, since tablets are created under enormous amounts of pressure, which make them more difficult for the GI system to break down, particularly if you have gastritis or hypochlorhydria. The trade off here is convenience vs absorption. The tablet is more convenient because you may have to take only one per day, whereas with capsules you may have to take 3 a day or 3 twice a day. But then, if the tablet passes right through you, you are literally just throwing money down the toilet.

Some vendors like to throw in what I call a "fairy dusting" of impressive sounding herbs with their multivitamins that "combat stress" "support adrenal function" and "enlarge the size of your reproductive organs." If you think about this for a short time, you will see what a poor strategy it is to take such products. For one, you probably do not need all of those herbs. In fact, some may be contraindicated for you. For example, if you are dealing with rheumatoid arthritis, you should typically not be taking Panax ginseng, which is a favorite addition to such multivitamins.

Second, consider again the tiered nature of the industry. The same forces that affect the making of a multivitamin also operate in the world of botanicals. If you are buying a "fairy dusted" multivitamin with Panax ginseng at your local Safeway there is a almost no chance that you are a) getting it a therapeutic dose and/or b) getting real Panax ginseng given that people have paid upwards of $2000 for one perfect Korean red ginseng root. In addition, the active ingredients in herbs fade over time unless they are preserved in some way, as in a tincture; this disintegration is sped up exponential when the herb is powdered (as they are to put into multivitamins), since you have exponentially increased the surface areas exposed to heat, light, and oxygen. Professional level and some health food store (not GNC, but a real health food store) level supplement vendors control for this; most department store level vendors do not. If you need botanical medicines, purchase them separately from a quality provider and take them at the therapeutic dose. End of story.

The OP mentioned that she wanted a multivitamin because "I donÂt always eat right." She also requested that people share their favorite multivitamin. I just want to mention in this regard that a multivitamin is not a magic bullet or an insurance policy. It does not take the place of eating correctly, in large part because it does not provide the macronutrients (e.g. protein, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, etc.) that the vitamin and minerals require as substrates. It also does not take the place of a rational eating plan that includes appropriate water intake (not soda, which is dehydrating because of the sugar content, or milk, which is problematic in so many ways except for making money for the dairy lobbyists) and exercise. You can take the highest level multivitamin available, but if your primary meals are Twinkies and cola, an ER visit is not too far in your future. Finally, you should really consider that what works well for one person may not work well for you. To give one easy example, pre-menopausal females really do need a formulation with iron, whereas men typically should avoid iron if they are eating correctly, unless they are anemic, because it can be pro-inflammatory in the body.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 4:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would suggest you change your eating habits. You'll be better off for it in the long run. Eating a variety of foods over the course of a day and week is good to do, since food sensitivities can develop if you repeat a small variety of foods over and over for a long time.
I agree with Swanoir, that the quality of vitamins can vary a lot and with some you are likely just flushing money down the toilet.
It's a more stressful world these days, with people burning the candle at both ends day after day and wearing out their system. It takes more of some nutrients to keep that lifestyle from ruining your health and exercise is important too.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2005 at 1:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Or as my 91 year ol' friend (who'll be ready for Sunday School 'n Church in a smart suit & her 2" heels by 9:00- after she's made & eaten her breakfast & cleaned the house) says: "You can either spend it at the Grocer's or at the Doctor's, and I like to eat a lot better than I like paying to visit someone!"

After church tomorrow she wants to go to the cemetery, out to eat, then shop for awhile...she thinks she needs a new outfit for her next cross country trip!


    Bookmark   December 10, 2005 at 7:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Suzi, I love to hear about people like that. My aunt's mother will be 105 next year. She had to give up bowling at 101 or 2 I believe, but was doing pretty darn good. I haven't seen her for a year or so, but the last time we stopped by, she was still doing pretty well. She doesn't take any drugs and hasn't much in her life. She doesn't do anything special at all, one of the lucky ones.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 1:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I take a lot of vitamins and supplements. I don't know if it does any good, but I've been following this regimen for years and have been healthy. After breakfast I take a Centrum Silver, calcium and D pill, green tea, grape extract, alpha lipoic acid, milk thistle, Co-Q, fish oil and two baby aspirin. After lunch I have B-6, B-12, B-1, B-2, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid, magnesium, lutein, DMAE, chromium picolinate, glucosamine/chondroitin, and flax seed oil. After dinner I have C, E, selenium, alpha lipoic acid, grape seed extract, Co-Q, milk thistle, curcumin and fish oil. It seems like a lot but I can usually down all my pills with one swallow. I also have a good diet.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2005 at 5:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

just got copper bracelets..not sure if they`ll work..take glusomine & green lipped mussel....small exercise chihuahuas like the walk..

    Bookmark   December 5, 2006 at 7:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My favorite, after years of trying this, that, and the other, is a liquid multi-vitamin called Liquid Life Complete Nutrition. The recommended daily dose is 2 tablespoons, but a daily dose has 200% of the rdr of most of the vitamins on the label. It also has a wide variety of minerals, a few herbs, amino acids, and a few other things. The price isn't too bad compared to other vitamins I have used. A bottle costs around thirty dollars, but that one month supply lasts me two months because I use half the recommended dose. I eat good high quality foods as a general rule, but I probably don't have an adequate daily intake to meet all my needs. Supposedly, liquid vitamins are much better absorbed than tablets. If you prefer taking capsules, I really like the Solaray brand vitamins. It's just time consuming and costly to buy and take all those different vitamins separately.
Mrs H

    Bookmark   December 5, 2006 at 8:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Quite a few people have recommended that I take a B12 Complex vitamin. What doese and brand do you recommend? Is it okay to take it in addition to my daily multivitamin pill?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2006 at 12:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Please be aware that if you have a B12 deficiency, taking it by mouth probably won't do you a bit of good. It may work, it might not do a bit of good. B12 is one of those strange things that require a certain bacteria in the stomach to process it. As we grow older, we have less and less of it. Therefore, pills don't work and we don't absorb it from our food.

The solution to that is B12 injections. You can give them to yourself easily and they are very inexpensive. Please ask you physician about this.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2006 at 12:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I took alot of different vitamins and have spent alot of money on vitamins and supplements that said they did this and that for you, give you more energy make you feel better. But none ever gave me the result that I was looking for. I finally found an all natural vitamin that has help me out. I feel better when I get up in the mornign and have energy through out the day, and feel healthier all around. I get all of the nutrition that I lack in my diet all with one little pill. I suggest that maybe this will help you also, you can find more info on this vitamin at this website:

    Bookmark   December 12, 2006 at 6:09PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Hydration cubes
Has anyone tried the Bezwecken hydration cubes for...
Vitamin D makes my hip ache.....
Has anyone had this to happen? When I try to research...
itchy skin eczema?
I have been itching and scratching since the end of...
air purifier, blueair 650E/IQ healthpro plus/whirlpool AP51030K
I am considering buying one or two more air purifiers...
Relentless Night Cough/Post Nasal Drip
Hello, I am desperately seeking information/advice...
Sponsored Products
Gelato Bronze Blue Fusion Jack Mini Pendant
$174.96 | Bellacor
Rachel Amber Fusion Jack Bronze Mini Pendant
$371.52 | Bellacor
NM Chewy Pralines 32 oz. - N/A
$55.00 | Horchow
Otis Bed 8 in. Phoenix Futon Mattress - 11PH9
$179.99 | Hayneedle
Flute Amber Fusion Jack Mini Pendant
$289.44 | Bellacor
AICO Furniture - After Eight Media Cabinet Pearl Croc - 19081-12
Great Furniture Deal
AICO Furniture - Lavelle Blanc 3 Piece Occasional Table Set -...
Great Furniture Deal
Abetta Square Skirt Saddle with Cushion Seat - 205166BK
$402.06 | Hayneedle
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™