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Supplement overload!!! O_O what do I really need/not need?

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  • Supplement overload!!! O_O what do I really need/not need?

    I know about the importance of vitamins, minerals, and other micro-and macronutrients, but I’m having a hard time swallowing all these horse pills several times a day. Here’s what I’m currently taking:
    - calcium/ magnesium
    - B vitamin complex
    - glucosamine chondroitin (I have terrible joints)
    - Vitamin E

    And here’s what I know I need more of:
    - Vitamin D
    - Probiotics
    - Omega-3/ fish oils
    - Magnesium (for nighttime, like Natural Calm)

    I don’t so much mind taking supplements, but having to do it 3x a day, and (some of them) 2 pills at a time for each supplement? I don’t want to underdo it, but I definitely don’t want to overdo it either (though I know it’s pretty hard to OD on supplements); it’s just all. Those. PILLS. Also, the main reason I’m not depending on food sources alone for my micro- and macronutrients is because honestly, really, I just cannot eat that much food in a day, sometimes not even 2 days. Does anyone have some suggestions as to what I need and don’t really need, and whether there are truly decent food sources for the stuff I do need without having to eat a metric ton of it? Any help is appreciated. Thanks, and Grok On! =)
    "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." -Virginia Woolf

  • #2
    I don't take all the stuff you listed, but can you purchase more concentrated doses? for instance, my vit D pills are 5000 IU each, I believe that might be the highest you can get, so I only take one a day or every other day, instead of taking 3-4 1000IU a day or whatever. Same goes for the O3 I buy. Besides those two, I take cod liver oil about 3x/week and mag (400mg) once nightly, but I forget to all the time.
    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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    • #3
      I would stop taking any supplements for a couple weeks. Then, add them in as you see fit, and only add ones you know are helping you.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Bosnic View Post
        and only add ones you know are helping you.
        How do I know which ones are helping me? Other than falling asleep easier because of the magnesium and a little more oomph in my energy from the B complex, I can't tell what's "working" and what's not. How can you tell?
        "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." -Virginia Woolf

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Siren View Post
          How do I know which ones are helping me? Other than falling asleep easier because of the magnesium and a little more oomph in my energy from the B complex, I can't tell what's "working" and what's not. How can you tell?
          I guess it's hard to tell... But I'd say stick with the most important ones like Vit. D (humans don't get enough sunlight), Fish Oil (balance O6/O3), Probiotics (if you're having digestive problems), and then work from there. You have to ask yourself if the small amount of stress from having a supplement "schedule" is worth the possible benefits.

          I'd cut out the calcium/magnesium AND the other magnesium. You can easily get those from foods for nutritional purposes. And if you're having trouble sleeping, there's many non-nutritional factors in place. Try doing more exercise during the day, getting sunlight during the day, turning off all bright lights+TV+computer a couple hours before bed... etc.

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          • #6
            I'm with Al Kalvado (spelling?) on this question. I don't take supplements at all ever. The human body when being fed the world's most optimal diet (Primal) doesn't need supplements. Mother nature did not design us to be deficient. I think most of the "deficiencies" are created as hype by people who want to sell you supplements.

            Caveat: occasional individuals with real health problems can benefit from supplementation. E.g. I needed extra calcium and such when recuperating from chemo to get my bone density back to normal. Another example : if someone couldn't eat right say due to traveling a lot for work, I can see that some supplements could help close the gap.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Siren View Post
              How do I know which ones are helping me? Other than falling asleep easier because of the magnesium and a little more oomph in my energy from the B complex, I can't tell what's "working" and what's not. How can you tell?
              In this case, I would take the B complex and magnesium and get rid of the rest. Maybe some fish oil if you are concerned about O3s. Beyond that, if you're joints start aching, add back the glucosamine, and so on...
              Last edited by Yvonne PHX; 10-25-2011, 10:10 AM. Reason: clarity

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              • #8
                I would say the bare essentials are fish oil, vitamin d, and a multi. In my opinion everything else is probably not needed. Then again if you are eating lots of fruits and vegetables, get a lot of sun, and eat fatty fish on a regular basis, you probably don't need even these.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                  I'm with Al Kalvado (spelling?) on this question. I don't take supplements at all ever. The human body when being fed the world's most optimal diet (Primal) doesn't need supplements. Mother nature did not design us to be deficient. I think most of the "deficiencies" are created as hype by people who want to sell you supplements.

                  Caveat: occasional individuals with real health problems can benefit from supplementation. E.g. I needed extra calcium and such when recuperating from chemo to get my bone density back to normal. Another example : if someone couldn't eat right say due to traveling a lot for work, I can see that some supplements could help close the gap.
                  Yes and no on this one. I just started a major supplement routine (The Mood Cure) and I'm also learning about the nutrients in modern food. Her basic premise is that a lot of our mental issues stem from malnutrition. Yes, we are getting better nutrition than the average person. However, the average meat and vegetable is not as nutritious as they were even 50 years ago. I am on major supps because I have major deficiencies to fix- and it's working. Will I remain on the multivitamin, calcium, and vitamin C twice a day indefinately like she seems to expect? No. I hate pills. But I will keep them to take at least sometimes until I can control my food from seed to plate- and it has the nutrient profile I need.

                  OP- with the glucosamine/chondroiten, I've heard that the best way to test it is actually to drop it for a time. If you do not feel worse, it's not working. I know it's expensive, but Cosequin (is the human version Cosamin?) is supposed to be the best.
                  http://cattaillady.com/ My blog exploring the beginning stages of learning how to homestead. With the occasional rant.

                  Originally Posted by TheFastCat: Less is more more or less

                  And now I have an Etsy store: CattailsandCalendula

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by drssgchic View Post
                    Yes and no on this one. I just started a major supplement routine (The Mood Cure) and I'm also learning about the nutrients in modern food. Her basic premise is that a lot of our mental issues stem from malnutrition. Yes, we are getting better nutrition than the average person. However, the average meat and vegetable is not as nutritious as they were even 50 years ago. I am on major supps because I have major deficiencies to fix- and it's working. Will I remain on the multivitamin, calcium, and vitamin C twice a day indefinately like she seems to expect? No. I hate pills. But I will keep them to take at least sometimes until I can control my food from seed to plate- and it has the nutrient profile I need.

                    OP- with the glucosamine/chondroiten, I've heard that the best way to test it is actually to drop it for a time. If you do not feel worse, it's not working. I know it's expensive, but Cosequin (is the human version Cosamin?) is supposed to be the best.
                    I'm so glad it's working for you. Mental health issues are a real health problem so supplementation can definitely do some good there. What I am against is people taking loads of supplements because somebody told them it was good for them on general principles. If you have something wrong to fix, by all means fix it. But if it ain't broke....

                    And I agree that the average food product is not as nutritious as it used to be, but we are not eating the average. We Primals are eating grass fed, organically grown everything right?

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                    • #11
                      Seriously, the only things I supplement right now are salt, water and occasionally magnesium if I feel cramps coming on after a workout. Cooked greens and liver pretty much have you covered.
                      Crohn's, doing SCD

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                      • #12
                        Vitamin E and B Vitamins should probably just come from food, though if you are facing a lot of stress the B Vitamins are probably helpful. If you hardly ever eat fish or you eat nuts often, I would keep taking the fish oil. I think calcium and magnesium are good to supplement unless you know that the water you drink and the soil your food is grown in has a rich supply. Especially magnesium for anyone dealing with stress and the mood+attention problems that it can result in. I'm really skeptical of vitamin supplements, especially A, D and E. Without the cofactors they come with in nature, they're probably not even safe. I'd recommend fermented cod liver oil and sunshine.

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                        • #13
                          One thing that makes no sense to me is that people complain about how it's too expensive to buy organic produce and grass fed meats but yet are willing to shell out quite a bit for supplements.

                          And I agree with weirdfish that over-supplementation can go beyond the benign, as the adage says creating expensive pee, to actually being harmful in some cases.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                            as the adage says creating expensive pee
                            LOL! I know what you mean by that one; I get some *ahem* interesting results after taking my B-complex.

                            @weirdfish: the Vitamin E isn't a fish oil, at least I don't think it is. I'll have to check the ingredients again (I bought all these supplements before going Primal, so I wasn't exactly scrutinizing labels at the time). Since we're on the subject though, does anyone take Mark's supplements? If so, what kind of results have you had with them?
                            "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." -Virginia Woolf

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                            • #15
                              Get rid of the calcium, it can cause heart disease.

                              If glucosamine chondroitin is not clearly helping after 3 months of use, drop it, it's not going to help

                              Take K2 along with D3, it might help joints, definitely good for getting dietary calcium where it belongs. You can take 45mg if you have osteoporosis (15 mg 3x a day), otherwise I woud go with 5 mg.

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