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You and me both.

Too be honest I take NOTHING. I give my 3 little kids NOTHING. My hubby takes loads of stuff. And guess what. He get sick more than any of us.

In fact, my 6yr old hasnt been ill in 3yrs. My 3yrs old in 18mhts, my 18mth old in a year. And I as mom havent been ill in 4 years!!!

I really think the vitamin industry is a money making racket. Some people swear by the stuff and say it really has helped them but I am not convinced.

I will get a B12 shot from my GP (only done it once) if I feel my immunity dippping. If I feel a cold coming on; I take 2000mg of vitamin C and it klaps it one time!

Anyway, thats just me.

I think vitamins are a bit of a rip off. All the manufacturers say that their stuff is the best, but unless you actually have a deficiency that needs addressing, or are pregnant etc, you can get all you need simply by eating a balanced diet, especially when you consider that manufacturers are adding stuff like extra folic acid, omega 3 and calcium to their products these days. Plenty of fruit & veg & a varied diet is all you need! Having said that, I get terribly tempted with the supplements, like evening primrose & royal jelly that promise to give you great skin/hair etc. I've tried all that and even though they don't make a bit of difference, they are still beguiling!

It's like any other medication: each person's requirements are different, therefore dosage and frequency are different.

I look at it this way: your body can only absorb so much of anything at once (personalized ability). Therefore, a really high dose is most likely getting mostly flushed from your system. Also, they're supplements, to ensure you're getting everything consistently, not a one-stop shop.

That all said, I've been reading a book about proper diets, and I swear to get everything Health Canada says you should in a day, I'd be never NOT eating. Very frustrating.

Multi is fine for most things. The reason you need to supplement with Chromium (btw, it makes a difference what the second word in the name is-- one type of compound is absorbed much better than another) is that due to PCOS you have impaired sugar control, and chromium is a co-factor for one of the enzymes involved. When the action is not efficient, adding more cofactor can improve the efficiency (when there is more around, it's easier for the enzyme to grab hold of the cofactor, and then do its job). Depending on what other things are going on with you, you may need other supplements. Vit B complex, for example, is required for some people but not others. Etc.

I've always read that a decent multivitamin, plus a calcium/vitamin D supplement for us women, provides most of what we need as healthy adults. The high doses of other things were only if you were treating a certain condition/deficiency, or if you were trying to ward off germs (like when your kids have colds and you are trying not to catch them, etc. You could be a nutritional saint and not get all the vitamins/minerals you need from your food, but then what and how much to supplement - it is utterly confusing.

You should read "You: the Owners Manual" by Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen. Not sure if it is as popular by you as it is here in the States, but it is a plain, no nonsense explanation of how alot of this stuff works - we like it very much. (There are 2 others in the series - "You: On a Diet", and "You: Staying Young" - but I think the basic one is the place to start.

Let us know what you find out - so many different theories!

The fact is that few - if any - supplements have been tested for effectiveness. The people who tell you to take X mg of this and Y mg of that are just guessing. More than likely, at megadoses, you're just making very expensive urine.

I agree with other commenters who have suggested that a multivitamin and a calcium supplement are sufficient for most healthy adult women (and a prenatal if you're pregnant, for the extra folic acid).

I believe that each dosage is related to each person. I completely relate to your frustration though because the market is so huge and confusing. I have been taking vitamins on and off for over 10 years and I don't get flu very often at all which is surprising as every one around me drops like flies during the winter months. I am sure the vitamins help. I may start getting sick and then I up the dose and within a day, I am already feeling much better. They seem to work more for me when I can feel the onset of a cold or flu. I have been a loyal Solgar user for many years and love the product. I don't go overboard and take a whole bunch. I just take the Vitamin 2000 which is a multi, the Gentle Iron, (as I suffer from dizzy spells and I love this product as it does not constipate you like all the other iron supplements.) I honestly do feel terribly light headed when Im not on my iron tablets. I also try remember to take Flax Seed capsules as this is supposed to keep you calm (ish!). On the onset of flu or a cold, I dose myself with Vitamin C Crystals and I swear by them.
That's my opinion but I don't force it on anyone. We are all different and need to figure out what works for each of us individually.

More is not always better. I agree with a pp about the expensive pee.

I'll have to check back and see where this goes. I don't take anything, but I probably should since my diet isn't the best. My husband takes a whole shelf full of supplements and it drives me nuts, but he swears by them.

My kids do take a children's vitamin, simply for the iron and calcium. I can't guarantee their little bodies get what they need each day, and they are still growing so fast. I figure it can't hurt, right? Hmmm....

See? I'll stop back later and see where this has gone. I need to read and heed, too.

My husband, a pharmacist, says that high dose vitamins are for the purpose of making expensive pee, as above a certain level all your body can do with water soluble vitamins is excrete them.

It probably caught on as a sucessful marketing tactic because lots of us are prone to thinking that if some is good, more must be better.

Well, I agree about the expensive pee as far as most vitamins, but some are more critical than others for some people. Like the Vitamin C? You do need 1000 mg, but one glass of juice or one piece of fruit will give you most of that. So unless you live a life completely free of fruit and veg, (and no wine does not count), you are most likely fine.

I am lactose intolerent and although I drink soy milk, I simply do not get enough calcium and
vit.D. And since I live in Canada, and we get very very little sun to give us Vit.D naturally, it is critical I take a supplement for that. You, being in SA probably don't need it at all, beyond the tiny amounts added to food.

The problem is that some of these vitamins, like Vit A palmitate are stored in fat cells, and are extremely toxic to fetuses. Micro amounts are needed to prevent retardation, but no where near the amount we get in our diet. Docs here have been trying for years to persuade the govt to replace Vit A with beta carotene, a much safer version, and add more folic acid to food, but so far, no dice. I guess nobody gives a damn if babies die....

The UK doesn't add folic acid to food btw, Canada and the US in tiny amounts, and not enough in the EU, not sure what they do in SA?

Most all of the vitamins are water-soluble. Your body only uses what it needs. You don't store the rest for later, you just pee them out! (This is why your pee turns such a lovely color when you're taking vitamins).

Vitamins A, D, E, & K are the fat soluable vitamins. If you take more than you need, they will be stored in your body. In some instances, people can take too much of these and reach toxic levels.

The lower dose, once-a-day vitamin is most likely all you need right now. Keep up the good work!

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, since I joined a gym and the (cheap) personal training sessions that I signed up for seem to be worth every penny. Dude kept pushing me to take their proprietary vitamin even after I told him that I have hereditary hemochromatosis and DO NOT WANT any additional iron in my blood. Sigh.

As far as I can tell, the vitamin deal is mostly a racket. Certainly you don't need to take excessive amounts, since your body will just pee out the extra, in most cases. And vitamins A, D, E, K, and iron can actually accumulate in your body, so it's entirely possible to overdose on them. A fair number of groups do push megadoses of vitamins as anti-cancer or weightloss therapies. The science really doesn't back them up... though at least one Nobel chemistry laureate that I know of spent his latter years pushing for mega-vitamin C use.

Personally I take a (no-iron) generic multivitamin that I buy at the grocery store. It's got 70-100% of the US RDA of most of the biggies, and I try and eat a healthy diet (which is a much more efficient way to get your needed vitamins anyway). They are really all pretty much the same, so if you don't feel like your nutritionist is ripping you off you may as well try the one she likes.

I take a hugely expensive omega supplement daily ("Eye-Q", to make my brain work!), as well as magnesium (makes my migraines shorter, less sore and less frequent) and folic acid (you know...). Similarly, I think if you need, say, chromium more than other people because of a specific reason, it would be a good idea to buy a really good, reliable and recommended chromium supplement. Or whatever else you need, looking at your holistic and unique body profile and lifestyle. I think a generic multivit could maybe prevent people following a really crap diet from getting scurby, lol, but I think it is better to look at yourself and your unique needs and take what would improve your life visibly, or whatever it is you are obviously not getting enough of. Very much like the Canadian lady talking about their vitamin D shortage due to lack of sun etc.

I totally agree with you about the confusion over vitamins.

I take one of the Flintstones with iron vitamins I got for the kids (which they don't really like themselves). I try to eat fruits and veggies and call it a day. I have friends that take TONS of vitamins. Gigantic capsules, etc. I just think it's a racket or at the least, not scientifically supportable. I think that people like to feel they are doing *something* to be in control.

Talking about expensive pee ... does anyone consider where the pee goes? In most places in the world, this is released into the environment (even after going through sanitary sewer treatment), and can wreak havoc on natural ecosystems. Excess vitamin levels that your body does not absorb has to go SOMEWHERE! They don't just dissappear! Birth control pills with estrogen cause particularly disturbing consequences to aquatic communities ...

I used to think they were a bit of a ripoff too, until I figured out that a major cause of my (then) daily headaches was iron deficiency. I don't tend to get a lot in my diet, and supplementing makes my headaches disappear.

I tend to believe that you only really need to supplement if you're not getting a balanced diet. For those of us who eat a lot of junk, they're a lifesaver.

I chew Flintstones with my kids too. In fact, when I was preggo, my OB said that if the (expensive) prenatals that he prescribed made me nauseated, then just get Flintstones.


What you don't absorb you pee out in beautiful flourescent urine. More is not better. You either flush it down the loo hours later or you stress your body trying to process it. Those people that take mega doses are getting 100% of their daily needs and flushing another 90-100% down the toilet. Just take them once and eat more then candybars and wine during the day. You'll be fine.

I know of know data supporting megadoses of multivitamins -- Trusting a trustworthy nutritionist seems like a good plan to me. ADEK are dangerous in high doses, because they are fat soluble and are not excreted in pee. I think for the others, it's mostly meaningless if you take extra, unless you're taking an insane amount, or are taking vehicle (i.e. what the mix up the pills with) that harm you.

Tertia - ask about DS24?

I eat heathly, but take a couple different supplements. I top up my calcium intake with a supplement at breakfast and dinner (need to take with a meal for the best absorbtion), take glucosamine, chrodroitin & MSM as joint deterioration runs in my family and I don't want the crippled hands, knees or hips, a iron pill because anemia also runs in my family (have been anemic in the past and can tell when I am low in iron) and a couple pills for brain food and energy. The joys of getting older....

IMHO, it's all a hoax. I don't take anything except Floravital (a liquid iron and herb supplement when I need it, since I have low iron). The important thing is that you eat lots of veggies and fruits-they give you the REAL vitamins you need. And that's usually sufficient.

Ditto what everyone said about the water soluable vitamins. You're only going to absorb so much, and beyond that, hey, Vitamin B makes your pee neon! Neat!

Taking megadoses of fat soluable vitamins can be harmful, and interestingly, some vitamins/minerals need other vitamins/minerals for proper absorption, so if you take too much blah, you could end up with a deficiency of whatever.

Calcium blocks the absorption of iron supplements, so the inclusion of both iron and calcium in multivitamins has always struck me as super dumb.

I'd like to second, third, or eightyfifth the suggestion of just taking a standard multi unless you're anemic, in which case, pop an iron tablet and chase it with some Vitamin C at least two hours from your multi, and be done with it.

I know that my doctor was ok with me not taking any vitamins, although he recommended a calcium/vit D supplement. Then I was very, very sick and vomited daily for months and didn't eat because I was too sick and I wound up with sores on my mouth from a vitamin B defeciency (something to do with a fungal infection from the malnutrition). If I don't take a B complex I have sores and have to use steroid cream. That means for an easy decision. I also take a medication that can cause hair loss, so I take selenium and zinc to decrease that.

I can't tolerate a multivitamin, they make me nauseous, so I don't know how I really feel about them. I know that I find certain supplements tempting (esp. cinnamon for lowered blood sugar) but I can't find firm information that makes me want to try them.

I take Niacin because the doctor said it's a natural way to lower you cholesterol. I take a calcium/magnesium/vitamin mix and 1000mg of vitamin C. I use to take a children's chewable multi-vitamin because I bought them and the kids wouldn't take them and I hated to see them go to waste. When I took the last of them, I didn't replace them. No real reason, I just thought that's what I needed.

Not that you're in the US, but the common saying is that the US has the most expensive pee in the world due to excessive vitamin use. As a general rule, without an actual reason to take them (anemia, metabolic disorders, etc.) anything beyond a multivitamin is a waste of money.

If those are the same Nutrilite vitamins I take, I think they're a good thing. They're not huge doses, and they're food sourced, rather than giant batches of chemicals. I feel better when I take them. But the mega doses? They seem to be wasteful at best, and can be dangerous.

Glad you brought this up.

I had been taking stamingro for ages, and then the lady that i do power plates with recommended Double X and how great it is, so i thought what the heck i would pay the price (bloody expensive) and get a good quality vitamin. So i came home and compared the ingredients to that of my stamingro, well to my horror stamingro had more vitamins and more mg of the vitamins than double x. Yeah fair enought double x has the anti oxidants in it which stamingro doesn't. So now i am taking stamingro and double x cause i dont know which one is best. So yip i must have really expensive pee.


Sounds like I missed out on a fantastic career opportunity: selling vitamines to women!

The only thing I'll take (if I ever get pregnant) is folic acid, since that's highly recommended by every gynaecologist (in The Netherlands). I don't take anything else, I don't see the point as you eat most vitamins and mineral through well, eating.

If I need something extra, my doctor will prescribe it, there's no way I'm going to take potentially harmful stuff by myself. Of course a high dose vitamin C pill won't prevent or cure a cold once you caught it: vitamins don't work 'against' viruses and bacteria.

In The Netherlands every bottle contains vitamin pills/capsules has a list of ingredients on the backside, saying how much of every vitamin/mineral is in there and how much of that ingredient makes for your daily need. This is to make sure no one takes too much.

The amount of a certain vitamine in each pill varies by brand and target group; the "recommended maximum dosage per vitamine per day for healthy adults" is the same on every bottle for every brand.


Huge topic and I have looked into this in a major way over many years and due to a time issue (don't have much at the mo to reply in detail) I'll put down some points down off the top of my head....

A worth while website to check your vit brand is www.consumerlab.com It is an independant lab that tests vits and mins and supplements. There you will find if your multivit really contains what it says it does. A test a few years ago showed that 3 out of 5 ante natal multis had less than the recommended 400mcg of folic acid that they said it contained on the label.

I personally do not like vits and mins being sold from pryramid sales. I feel there is an ulterior motive that choosing what is best for the client.

I take vits and mins and believe that the quality of food today does not cover all our needs in todays world. They are to supplement ones diet and can be adjusted at any time.

Everyone has their own invidual needs. PCOS sufferers def need chromium. It takes time to wade through all the info.

Supplements work in synergy. It is no use supplementing e.g. a single Vit B if you are not taking a Vit B complex as well. Vitamin C is the most easily destroyed vitamin there is. It is destroyed by oxygen, heat (above 70 degrees) and it leaks out into the cooking water because it is a water soluble vitamin.

The best source for Vit C is not only orange juice. Nor is orange juice the best. Apparently a yellow kiwi is.

It is Vit B (specifically vitamin B2 (riboflavin) that results in bright yellow urine due to the vitamin producing yellow fluorescent substances.

There are various questionnaires that can determine to a certain degree what vits and mins you are low in and supplementing. If you want me to do yours let me know. It can be a useful guideline.

Blood tests usually only tell you your levels for that moment in time and so cannot be relied upon 100% but still with signs and symptons can help.

I believe you need supplements however I am not convinced that the one you have is the best one for you (beside the chromium that is).

Many docs prescribe vits/mins to those on anti-depressants esp the B range.

An important test that will show if you are in need of vits etc is the homocysteine test. This is a far more accurate indicator for health risks. A high H level is a greater risk factor for heart disease than cholesterol. High Homocysteine has been directly linked to over 100 diseases. And is easily treated with Vit B again.

Multivits and PCOS - interesting to read is



An new study found that the more supplements you take, the healthier you are. Supplement fanatics have long been accused of ‘just making expensive urine’ but an authoritative study, published in the Nutrition Journal, finds that the more supplements a person takes, the healthier they are. The study, conducted by Dr Gladys Block at the University of California, examined a number of health measures, including blood vitamin levels and disease risk, in three groups of people – those who took no supplements; those who took a multivitamin usually based on basic RDA levels; and those who took a combination of many supplements such as vitamins C, E, D, essential fats, lecithin, coenzyme Q10, glucosamine, B complex and others. The risk for diabetes was 73% less and the risk for coronary heart disease was 52% less in the multiple-supplement takers compared to those who didn’t take any supplements. On self-assessment, the multiple-supplement takers were 74% more likely to rate their health as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.
In blood tests, none of the multiple-supplement takers had sub-optimal levels of vitamin C, while 94% had optimal levels (defined as greater than 1.0mg per decilitre). However 32% of the non-supplement takers had sub-optimal levels, as did 9% of the single-supplement takers. Less than half (47%) of the single-supplement takers had optimal vitamin C levels.

BUT as always there is be half that say it is good and half that say it isn't. Plus it can take up to three months for the supplements to have an effect so best to try for that time and re-evalute. However, I really think the Insulite people have sussed out for PCOS sufferers and have made the combo with herbs etc.

Could go on for much longer....but guess this is enough for now.

Boots, I'd heard of that study too, but wasn't there a question of whether the good health was a direct result of the supplements or whether people who take supplements also tend to take better care of themselves (eat healthier, exercise etc) and are healthier due to their overall lifestyle?

Oh man, this is such a confusing area. The way I handled it was by talking to 2 different people I trusted. Both explained to me that some of the mass-marketed stuff (Over-the-counter multi-vits) have so many additives that they are not very helpful. However, taking too much can absolutely be either inaffective or harmful. Not to mention, some vitamins/minerals can only be absorbed in certain forms or in combination with other vits/mins! ARGH! Like I said, I have gone to 2 prof. and am now on a certain regimen that I like very much.

I also take Chromium for my PCOS. I take an aqueous form, which tastes NASTY as hell, BTW, but eliminates the need for ONE MORE PILL. Mine is 150 mcg, or 125% of the Daily Value. I do 2 drops/day. I'd ask your nutritionist for more specific doseages, if I were you!

Good luck!!!! But, I do think supplementing can be good, if you're given good guidance. But damn, you can be taken for a ride and tons of $$$ if not careful! It's scary!!!

I'm against all Amway(Nutrilite is Amway's nutritional range)products. You can only buy it from a member (probably the Nutitionist). It is a piramid scheme and although there is no proof that their products are inferior (on the contrary)I do not wish to support them.

They tell you that their product is way better than any other on the market because no other product ingredients are so pure/more absobable etc. In my mind it can not be that they are the only "good" ones and all other are "bad" . Not in that industry. Get a second opinion. Most doctors will tell you any well known brand is allright to use. It is also incredibly expensive. (a way to meke us believe it is better....)

I hate it when someone is an Amway member because they will not whant to sell you anything else. They get commission/ point etc on their sales.

Google Amway....

If the nutritionist is not a Amway member and it is her opinion that the stuff is the best amongst the ones she knows - that is another story...

Just a word of caution on Chromium, please take care not to take too much due to a lot of bad press about Chromium being cancer related. I know there is a lot of speculation about it but you should be made aware of what it has been tested for and be weary of it. There are other ways of regulating blood sugar...

For me... I think it depends on the person and what their diet is. Also if they have an deficiencies or medical conditions.

I personally take 6 vitamins a day... I cant take the all in one pills because they make me sick to my stomach. I have MS (so I need to take things to help my immune system) and a B12 deficiency so I take...
A&D combo
Calcium & D combo
Ginkgo (for memory)

I just ordered some minerals but I haven't gotten them yet.

Thats my 2 cents :o)


This formula was specially designed as an alternative to Floradix

Once a day v twice a day has to do with lifestyle...if you work out alot, you burn more calories, you have more internal/chemical reactions in your body, and you also use/destroy more vitamins. Its not that complicated...if you burn more calories, your body needs more fuel than a couch potato.

Nutrilie once a day is still good bc it is more than the average american will get in their diet. Twice a day is optimum..especially if you have a stressful job, or exercise regularly.

Its kinda like...will walking/jogging 30 min two to three times a week have health benefits...yes. Will doing it 60 min 5 days a week have more health benefits...yes! Make sense!

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