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Do you need a multi vitamin?

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  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Posts: 3,489Member Member Posts: 3,489Member Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    Multi vitamins have been extensively studied and there is no evidence they improve overall health outcomes like getting vitamins naturally from your food does. As far as "vitamin fortified food", I am not sure that has been studied enough as to whether or not they provide any benefit.

    I think if you are trying to focus on health, I would skip the multivitamin, only used fortified foods as a last resort, and try as much as you can to get them from foods where they occur naturally.

    In the U.S. you would have to pretty much skip any commercial baked goods, breakfast cereals, standard milk, and I don't know what else to avoid "vitamin fortified food."

    I am not saying you need to avoid them. What I mean is that I wouldn't necessarily rely on them as a source of vitamin and minerals, vs getting them from foods where they are naturally occurring.

    Unfortunately in US only 1 of 10 adults get the recommended servings of fruits and veggies (which are a significant source of vitamins). A daily supplement might not be bad for most people.

    https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p1116-fruit-vegetable-consumption.html

    Or they could just eat more veg and fruit.

    Very true but do you see it happening in the short term?

    For some. It's easy enough, especially if one is contemplating adding a supplement.

    IMO, veg and fruit is a better choice and easy, but whatever.

    If only 1 in 10 are eating enough of these items it's a huge paradigm shift for the population as a whole. Getting a mutli in the 90% is probably a more realistic short term fix, even though not ideal.

    Well. lucky for me I don't find eating veg and fruit difficult. I'm not really sure how helpful it is to look at the American population on average when considering whether to consume a multi.
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Posts: 5,755Member, Premium Member Posts: 5,755Member, Premium Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    NovusDies wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    MikePTY wrote: »
    Multi vitamins have been extensively studied and there is no evidence they improve overall health outcomes like getting vitamins naturally from your food does. As far as "vitamin fortified food", I am not sure that has been studied enough as to whether or not they provide any benefit.

    I think if you are trying to focus on health, I would skip the multivitamin, only used fortified foods as a last resort, and try as much as you can to get them from foods where they occur naturally.

    In the U.S. you would have to pretty much skip any commercial baked goods, breakfast cereals, standard milk, and I don't know what else to avoid "vitamin fortified food."

    I am not saying you need to avoid them. What I mean is that I wouldn't necessarily rely on them as a source of vitamin and minerals, vs getting them from foods where they are naturally occurring.

    Unfortunately in US only 1 of 10 adults get the recommended servings of fruits and veggies (which are a significant source of vitamins). A daily supplement might not be bad for most people.

    https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p1116-fruit-vegetable-consumption.html

    Failing to get the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables does not immediately mean someone is deficient or that they need a multi.

    Doubtless those rabble-rousing extremist radicals over at the USDA/CDC just recommend them for no reason. :lol:

    Fiber and filling yourself with typically lower calorie items for weight management would be really good reasons.

    I would suspect that there is a way to eat the recommended servings and still fall short just like there is a way to eat less and be fine.

    I like vegetables and I eat well more than some people but I believe there is a point that I hit pretty quickly that afterwards I am only eating them for fiber and satiety.

    If you are not under the care of a doctor for prolonged periods of time I would probably recommend all the servings while adding the word variety and it probably would not hurt to take the multi as well.

  • dmcmillan74dmcmillan74 Posts: 11Member Member Posts: 11Member Member
    It was through a blood test that I found out I was vitamin D deficient. From what I have heard from other doctors, the only vitamin and mineral you should supplement is vitamin D and zinc. All other vitamin and minerals you can through food. They you get rid most of the vitamins and minerals if you are already eating healthy or you intestines are clogged.
  • lynn_glenmontlynn_glenmont Posts: 7,148Member Member Posts: 7,148Member Member
    It was through a blood test that I found out I was vitamin D deficient. From what I have heard from other doctors, the only vitamin and mineral you should supplement is vitamin D and zinc. All other vitamin and minerals you can through food. They you get rid most of the vitamins and minerals if you are already eating healthy or you intestines are clogged.

    Lots of people have deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals that cannot be addressed through diet, due to malabsorption issues, among other things. And you won't just "get rid" of excess amounts of fat soluble vitamins. (Yes, you will lose excess amounts of water-soluble vitamins in your urine.)
  • shaumomshaumom Posts: 912Member Member Posts: 912Member Member
    Cyclist84 wrote: »
    Usually you hear it’s to fill in a gap since our soil is depleted. But what about cereals and bars breads and drinks that already have added vitamins? The story is we don’t eat enough fresh veggies and so on and so forth but of our processed food has the added vitamins in them then wouldn’t taking an extra pill be too much?


    re: the soil depletion and low mineral content - I haven't seen this aspect addressed yet by anyone, but from what I've read, it's less an issue of soil depletion (mineral content seems relatively stable in soils, I've read?) BUT crop varieties grown for higher yield, especially with higher carb content, do seem to have fewer minerals (due to a dilution effect). Some minerals are more affected than others. There's a good article on the issue here. It's not a huge issue, as I understand it, honestly (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889157516302113https://sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889157516302113 ).

    re: fortification - not all vitamins are fortified, so eating food with vitamins and then having fortified food on top of it would only impact certain vitamins. However, for the vitamins fortified? Yeah, you can get too much, in certain cases. It doesn't seem to typically hit toxic levels, from what I've read, but can be problematic (this article talks about how this is being seen more, recently, for iron specifically, called 'iron overload.' - https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/13/a-host-of-ills-when-irons-out-of-balance/[url="http://"]https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/13/a-host-of-ills-when-irons-out-of-balance/[/url] ).

    re: taking vitamins. IMHO, it really depends on your health and diet, whether you might need vitamins or not. Many people with auto-immune diseases are known to have low vitamin D, even sometimes when taking supplements, so vitamin D might be helpful for that group. But a bunch of white people at the equator who work outside all day would likely not need that at all.

    People with certain food allergies or certain gut issues might have trouble getting nutrients due to diet limitations, so certain vitamins could be helpful there.

    But for most people I know who 'need' vitamins, they don't take a multi-vitamin, they take specific, targeted individual vitamins, you know? A multi-vitamin might help overall, but honestly, it's hard to find any today that aren't a bit crazy - with things like 1000% of vitamin X and 333% of mineral Y. Finding one with just 100% of the vitamins in question is rare, now (at least in the vitamins I've been able to find in my area!).




  • CSARdiverCSARdiver Posts: 6,169Member Member Posts: 6,169Member Member
    shaumom wrote: »
    Cyclist84 wrote: »
    Usually you hear it’s to fill in a gap since our soil is depleted. But what about cereals and bars breads and drinks that already have added vitamins? The story is we don’t eat enough fresh veggies and so on and so forth but of our processed food has the added vitamins in them then wouldn’t taking an extra pill be too much?


    re: the soil depletion and low mineral content - I haven't seen this aspect addressed yet by anyone, but from what I've read, it's less an issue of soil depletion (mineral content seems relatively stable in soils, I've read?) BUT crop varieties grown for higher yield, especially with higher carb content, do seem to have fewer minerals (due to a dilution effect). Some minerals are more affected than others. There's a good article on the issue here. It's not a huge issue, as I understand it, honestly (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889157516302113https://sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889157516302113 ).

    re: fortification - not all vitamins are fortified, so eating food with vitamins and then having fortified food on top of it would only impact certain vitamins. However, for the vitamins fortified? Yeah, you can get too much, in certain cases. It doesn't seem to typically hit toxic levels, from what I've read, but can be problematic (this article talks about how this is being seen more, recently, for iron specifically, called 'iron overload.' - https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/13/a-host-of-ills-when-irons-out-of-balance/[url="http://"]https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/13/a-host-of-ills-when-irons-out-of-balance/[/url] ).

    re: taking vitamins. IMHO, it really depends on your health and diet, whether you might need vitamins or not. Many people with auto-immune diseases are known to have low vitamin D, even sometimes when taking supplements, so vitamin D might be helpful for that group. But a bunch of white people at the equator who work outside all day would likely not need that at all.

    People with certain food allergies or certain gut issues might have trouble getting nutrients due to diet limitations, so certain vitamins could be helpful there.

    But for most people I know who 'need' vitamins, they don't take a multi-vitamin, they take specific, targeted individual vitamins, you know? A multi-vitamin might help overall, but honestly, it's hard to find any today that aren't a bit crazy - with things like 1000% of vitamin X and 333% of mineral Y. Finding one with just 100% of the vitamins in question is rare, now (at least in the vitamins I've been able to find in my area!).




    There's a good deal of opportunism and fear marketing at play here. The supplement industry has been using the line of "depleted soil" for decades with little evidence to support.

    Yes soil is depleted after a season, but this is mitigated by a chemical implant or through a patch of nutrient rich cover crops. These are not harvested, but tilled/ back into the ground to replenish the ground. These draw up nitrogen and other chemicals from deeper into the ground into topsoil - making for a heartier yield.
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 844Member Member Posts: 844Member Member
    dodea48 wrote: »
    the guy at the gym leading the 8 week challenge class says: "Can you honestly say you are eating 6 servings of fruits/vegetables everyday. If not, take a multi-vitamin."

    Can't tell if this is sarcasm or not when in text form.
  • baby_browniebearbaby_browniebear Posts: 8Member, Premium Member Posts: 8Member, Premium Member
    My biochemistry professor called vitamins "expensive pee" 😂😂😂. I don't know what to believe anymore.... they may work, or they work solely by the placebo effect. There are way too many opposing views on vitamins. Personally I like to do my research on foods and see what foods are nutrient dense and prefer to get my nutrients that way, but to each their own👩‍⚖
  • SarahAnne3958SarahAnne3958 Posts: 78Member Member Posts: 78Member Member
    I follow a very specific way of eating and supplement specifically for that. So for me I supplement with pink salt daily and magnesium 3-4 times a week. I don't take a multivitamin as it wouldn't benefit me.
  • lonagantheirishlonagantheirish Posts: 1Member Member Posts: 1Member Member
    I can't speak to any experience but my own; I've been taking a multivitamin ever since I contracted mono in college, and my doctor recommended it as a way to help boost my overall immunity and health. I'm vegetarian now, and if I don't take a multivitamin my iron is very low. I struggle to get enough variety in my foods when I'm dieting (calorie restrictions and budget restrictions make it difficult) so for me the multi is a must. If you can afford lots of fresh, out-of-season vegetables and fruits, and expensive meats and fish, maybe you're doing OK. I wasn't.
  • Crafty_camper123Crafty_camper123 Posts: 1,403Member Member Posts: 1,403Member Member
    I'm not sure about a generic multivitamin. They probably in general aren't nessecary. But I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's about a year back. Since my thyroid levels weren't bad enough to warrant thyroid meds, I was told to start taking selenium. I notice a marked difference when I take my selenium vs when I'm not. I've also added magnesium and b12 with folate to the mix. My energy levels and overall sense of well being are greatly improved. I have started and stopped the selenium enough that I'm pretty confident what I'm feeling is not placebo. Actually, thinking about it blood test results also showed an improvement in my numbers too. Just my N=1 to add. I suppose I could just eat a couple of brazil nuts every day... But I don't like them enough to eat them on the daily. And I am apparently not getting enough with all the other foods high in selenium such as eggs. Even though I eat them on the reg?
  • faithk256faithk256 Posts: 12Member Member Posts: 12Member Member
    I'm a bariatric patient so I have a strict vitamin regimen and so far I'm not deficient in anything as evidenced by my blood work so the they must have some benefit
  • Analog_KidAnalog_Kid Posts: 105Member Member Posts: 105Member Member
    I recently had this very same discussion with my doctor. She said, taking a daily multi-vitamin is fine. Most people get all the vitamins and minerals they need through normal food intake. The multi-vitamin will compensate for any shortages. However, she also advised against "wasting money" on individual vitmain and mineral supplements unless a person is diagnosed with a specific deficiency due to illness, disease, or the result of injury.
  • unstableunicornunstableunicorn Posts: 98Member Member Posts: 98Member Member
    Analog_Kid wrote: »
    I recently had this very same discussion with my doctor. She said, taking a daily multi-vitamin is fine. Most people get all the vitamins and minerals they need through normal food intake. The multi-vitamin will compensate for any shortages. However, she also advised against "wasting money" on individual vitmain and mineral supplements unless a person is diagnosed with a specific deficiency due to illness, disease, or the result of injury.


    This. Several vitamins and minerals become toxic when taken excessively, especially over long periods of time (iron, potassium, & vitamin A are the first to enter my mind on this subject). While a daily multi is rarely dangerous to the general public, excessive intake of individual nutrients should be avoided except when deemed necessary by your doctor. Opting for dietary improvement reduces the risk of od’ing and toxicity, but it also helps maintain the lesser known/sought after nutrients that support the big ones and are not found in multis.
  • caprihanacaprihana Posts: 34Member Member Posts: 34Member Member
    Good on you if you are able to eat enough fresh fruit and veg to get all your nutrients. But how do you know for sure that you are?

    Are you going into your garden and picking stuff fresh, just before you eat them? If you buy them from supermarkets how do you know how long they've been there, how they've been stored, and what they've been sprayed or coated with to keep them fresh. I grow some of my own, but nowhere near enough to keep me going through the winter.
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Posts: 7,997Member Member Posts: 7,997Member Member
    It was through a blood test that I found out I was vitamin D deficient. From what I have heard from other doctors, the only vitamin and mineral you should supplement is vitamin D and zinc. All other vitamin and minerals you can through food. They you get rid most of the vitamins and minerals if you are already eating healthy or you intestines are clogged.


    Or if you have all of your intestines. People who have had intestinal resections are usually prescribed something to aid the vitamin deficiency because of loss of partial GI tract.
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