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What multivitamin? (UK)

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  • What multivitamin? (UK)

    Hey guys. I'm so confused about what multivitamin to get! There are so many and I just don't know who to trust! I'm currently taking one from Healthspan, but I am starting to suspect that it's probably not all that good.

    I want the highest quality multivitamins available basically. I don't want to waste my money on rubbish that is doing nothing good for me.

    Please help guide me in the right direction!

    Any help would be hugely hugely appreciated Thank you!

  • #2
    I think Healthspan are pretty good, quality wise. But for multivitamins I've always used Multibionta, as you get the added bonus of probiotics. You can get it on 3-for-2 in Boots etc


    • #3
      Are you looking for a very comprehensive multivitamin, i.e. you want that to be your only supplement? You can end up paying a lot for a multivitamin that covers all the bases. That being said, I personally prefer a good quality multivitamin that covers the basics while I supplement with additional vitamins and minerals as I need/desire. This ensures that I can get high quality supplements that are highly bioavailable, i.e. magnesium glycinate as opposed to the mag oxide that is usually found in many multis.

      For example, I currently take GNC Mega Men as my daily multi (I like the basics it covers along with split dosage and time release over the course of one day) and add other high quality magnesium, K2, krill oil, etc., as desired.


      • #4
        Why do you need one? A nutritionally dense diet is surely enough? the blueprint explains why vit D and omegas are the only things most may need to supplement

        No more diets. No more stress. Health made easy. Living made incredible.


        • #5
          Yeah, am looking fora very comprehensive, very good quality multivitamin with as many added extras as possible. I just want the best basically!


          • #6
            Originally posted by rockstareddy View Post
            Why do you need one? A nutritionally dense diet is surely enough? the blueprint explains why vit D and omegas are the only things most may need to supplement
            I see what you're saying, but I would like to have a vitamin to supplement my diet if I fall off the wagon (which does happen considering the fact I suffer from depression).


            • #7
              Originally posted by apex View Post
              I see what you're saying, but I would like to have a vitamin to supplement my diet if I fall off the wagon (which does happen considering the fact I suffer from depression).
              I wouldn't want to try to persuade you to something you're not comfortable with, but it might be worth remarking that this assumes there's no downside to the multivitamin.

              That's actually doubtful. Any particular nutrient in food isn't necessarily quite the same as that in the pill going by the same name. In addition, in the food it's likely to be accompanied by co-factors -- and may need those there to be effective.

              To give examples --

              Your multivitamin may say "vitamin c" but it probably just contains ascorbic acid not the whole C complex. It's not clear that just upping the dose of ascorbic acid on its own is a good idea. and it may be counterproductive. (This is why some people take acerola powder instead.)

              When it comes to vitamin E there are over a hundred isomers in nature. Pills usually contain only 16 isomers -- and half of those don't occur in nature! Maybe this is why some studies show that taking vitamin E pills increases mortality.

              Is there folic acid? That was never synthesized until 1947. In the U.S. it's now added, by legal fiat, to flour in the hope that the liver will convert it to folate (what does occur naturally -- in kidney or leafy green veg, for example). That conversion happens ... up to a point. It's now thought that the (unvoted-on) doctoring of the U.S. food supply with folic acid has (slightly) reduced the number of neural tube birth defects but vastly increased the rate of some cancers.

              Does the pill have added cereal bran? A useful supplement in CW-land, but definitely not primal (and for good reasons)

              Finally, supplements are fairly unregulated, and independent testing has sometimes found them to be contaminated with heavy metals.

              There are now a number of studies that show that high doses of several vitamins are associated with increased mortality. It seems there's a kind of U-shaped curve. Low doses are a bad thing; but so are high doses. You really want to be just at the right place -- that's achieved by getting your nutrients from high-quality foods. Professor Cordain, in his latest book, lists a number of these studies and gives it as his opinion that the only supplements one should take are Vitamin D (if you don't spend much time in the sun) and fish oil (if you don't eat much in the way of oily fish):

              The Paleo Answer: 7 Days to Lose Weight, Feel Great, Stay Young: Loren Cordain: Books

              I'd have thought one might take a little magnesium, since that tends to be depleted in soil, but he doesn't even mention that. He only suggests those two, and subject to those provisos.

              Basically, if you've the extra cash to spend on a multivitamin, it'd be better spent on better quality food. And actually better food (including vitamin-rich foods and also more protein and more healthy fats than are in average diets) is one of the best strategies to use against depression -- together with exercise:

              Julia Ross' THE MOOD CURE
              Last edited by Lewis; 05-20-2012, 10:19 AM. Reason: spelling


              • #8
                Thank you for all of that, Lewis. Very informative!


                • #9
                  The Case for Supplements

                  I would argue that everyone needs some sort of basic level of supplementation (not necessarily a multivitamin) for several reasons:

                  1) It is impossible for you to know the exact micronutrient levels of the foods that are you consuming, due to depletion of soil minerals, fertilizers used, etc. You can't look on the internet and expect to get that level of minerals out of a certain veg.

                  2) Even if you did know the nutrient levels, soil grown in, organic or not, etc., you don't know how much you are actually absorbing from your food. While the same can be said about supplements, I personally tend to err on the side of I'm not getting enough, especially since I just started paleo two weeks ago and who knows the state of my gut? And you can buy certain types of supplements that are more highly bioavailable than others.

                  3) Depending on personal circumstance like body size and composition, it may be almost impossible for you to get what you need from food. For example, the recommended daily allowance from the US govt for magnesium intake is 420mg for men. I calculated that I wasn't even getting half of that and, aside from scarfing down immense amounts of pumpkin seeds (not great paleo), would not be able to hit even that number. It gets worse when you realize that RDA number is most likely way too low. I think Mark's book estimates Grok averaged 700mg a day and other numbers I've seen run in the 1000-2000mg (1-2g) range. I now take 800mg a day in a divided dose and my body is lapping it up with no altered bowel function, which either indicates A) that is just how much I need daily or B) I was as deficient as I thought I was and I am still rectifying that deficiency. In short, you could make a case that everyone should be supplementing with some level of magnesium.

                  4) Be very careful about looking at current vitamin studies in the vacuum in which they were produced. While I am not maintaining that they are necessarily incorrect, I think that many are largely missing the point. Modern science wants to test vitamins like they test other drugs, i.e. the placebo controlled, double-blind method that has served them well for decades. Unfortunately I do not believe vitamins work that way, in the sense that we have not come up with a way to test vitamins that would allow them to display the synergy in which they likely operate. Again, the science is not great on the synergy aspect so take that how you will.

                  I agree wholeheartedly with those that say you should be getting most of your vitamins and minerals from your diet. That being said, be honest about how much you are actually getting from diet and supplement intelligently from there. Another example: I live overseas at the moment and have zero access to grassfed beef or pastured eggs. As such, I take a K2 supplement daily since I get very little from diet. When I get back to the States I intend to change my diet intake and then I will most likely drop the K2 supplement.

                  Just food for thought (no pun intended).


                  • #10
                    as far as looking for the best multivitamin there is, covering all the bases, all organic I take double x from nutrilite - seriously awesome stuff! no im not trying to sell you it. but go do your own research. here - NUTRILITE Double X and Triple X for Optimal Health, by Amway and Quixtar


                    • #11
                      I have stopped taking a multivitamin. They are mainly designed for people who eat a really awful diet. Since I eat a good variety of meat, fish and vegetables, I think I would overdose on some things if I took one regularly. I think it's better to read up on which foods have which vitamins and then just supplement things you might be low on. I only take D3 and Magnesium for example.

                      Omega 3 fish oil caps are helpful for staving off depression, if you don't like fish. Sunlight is the best cure-all I've found though

                      However if you find you have trouble with getting enough variety in your diet for whatever reason, look for a multi that doesn't have Vitamin A, iodine, or iron if you're a man. I am a young woman but I was still getting the shits from eating a lot of meat + iron in supplements too. I dread to think if I have done myself any damage with vit A!
                      Last edited by CaveWeirdo; 05-21-2012, 09:11 AM.
                      Start weight: 238 lbs (March 2012)
                      Current weight: 205 lbs (July 2012)
                      Loss so far: 33 lbs!!!
                      WOE: Primal + IF
                      Movements: Hiking, sprinting.
                      Goal: to see my abs some time in 2013!