I know it is best to get nutrients from food, but I think I should start taking a daily vitamin. Any suggestions? Should I take a female specific daily vitamin?
This article, Do I Need to Take So Many Supplements?, sparked my interest in this topic.
I concur. Real food is the best source of "living mineral" or vitamins. I have however been experimenting with supplementation. Currently I am taking a liquid multi-vitamin made by a company called Nature's Plus (www.naturesplus.com). The product is called Source of Life, and it has quality ingredients. About six months ago I did a cycle of a similar supplement called Optimum Nutrition made by another company called Health Direct (http://www.healthdirectusa.com/). I have noticed moderate increase in energy and decrease in fatigue / recovery time. Who knows how much of that is placebo effect. Another technique that I practice regularly is the weekly vitamin supplementation; at least once a week I drink 12-16 oz glass of fresh vegetable juice. As for the female versions of the vitamins, I think a lot of it is marketing except for neonatal vitamins. My friend who is a guy was taking a neonatal multivitamin, because he is a vegetarian and there is higher levels of iron and B12, which are particiulary of concern to vegetarians and vegans. Some times he combines vitamins by letting the tablets sit in the bottom of a glass until they dissolve, gives them a good stir and down the hatch. I prefer liquid vitamins because I read / heard that they have a higher absortion rate, although I can't reference any scientific journals of the top of my head that confirm such a claim. Hope this helped. ciao.
Nice. Thank you. I'm going to check out that site now. I had heard liquid vitamins absorb better, but never knew it was true or not. It makes sense though. Anyway, this is awesome. Thank you for your help.
Yes! Not only does food supply us with vitamins but also gives us the needed carbohydrates, proteins and fats that are essential to life. Many vitamins were not even discovered before the 1900's. I'm sure there are nutrients in food that science has yet to discover. Vitamins should remain supplements because that is what they are: supplements. And yet, the question remains: Are you getting all the nutrition that you need from food alone? According to the most recent findings, an optimal level of vitamin E would be 400 I.U. To get that amount from food, one would have to eat 29 pounds of spinach every day or 2.3 pounds of Almonds every day or a quart of Safflower oil every day!
According to the Journal of American Medicine, " Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone. Pending strong evidence of effectiveness from randomized trials, it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements. " Vitamins for Chronic Disease Prevention in Adults. In an article I read in the Chicago Tribune, it said that the JAMA recommendations underscore a growing concern among nutrition experts that the recommended daily allowances, or RDA's, for many vitamins are set too low. Take multivitamins, AMA urges in policy reversal
Here are a couple of links from my blog that talk about how to choose a vitamin. The first one has a clip from an interview with Dr. Oz from ABC News. He and Dr. Michael Roizen are interviewed about the importance of vitamins in our diet. The second link is a book review of "The Comparative Guide To Nutritional Supplements." Finally, a book that seperate's the wheat from the chaff as far as vitamins are concerned.
Stay away from vitamins with iron in them. Unless you have been diagnosed as anemic by your doctor, you probably get all the iron you need from food. Most vitamins have a lot of antioxidants in them. Iron is an oxidant and can cause arthritis and a host of other problems that should be avoided. Too much iron leads to a condition called Hemochromatosis.When taken with calcium, it interferes and hinders the absorption of calcium. If you have had an operation or heavy loss of blood, take iron pills separately from your vitamins as they can interfere with one another.
A woman's vitamin could contain more[folic acid|http://www.marchofdimes.com/professionals/14332_1151.asp]to help her baby to avoid neural tube defects like Spina Bifida. In my opinion, a "woman's" vitamin is just a gimmick created by vitamin companies to sell more vitamins. If you choose a high quality vitamin, it should have all the potency and balance that you need. That should be your focus.
I used to take Nature's Plus too. They had a liquid formula for joint health that I used to give to my parents. Taking supplements in liquid form made a lot of sense to me at the time. There was a study done in Canada a few years back that tested the disintegration properties of many different dietary supplements. Over half the tablet products tested failed to disintegrate fully within 20 minutes, a stringent standard, and about a quarter of the products failed the less-stringent USP disintegration tests for supplements. Consumer Labs (ConsumerLab.com) did a study of vitamans recently and found that Nature's Plus® Especially Yours® Women's Multi-Vitamin failed to break apart properly, requiring more than one hour to disintegrate. A relative of mine takes liquid vitamins because he claims that they absorb more quickly into the blood stream. If this is true, then why are most drugs and vitamins still in the tablet form? Like you, I questioned the science behind the claim. Here is what I found.
Nutrients are absorbed by the small intestine (unless they are taken sublingually or injected). When you ingest a supplement in either a liquid or tablet form, it must first pass through the stomach before reaching the small intestine. If liquids were simply absorbed directly into the bloodstream, as some supplement companies claim, would the same happen when you ate soup?
Bioavailability is defined as the degree and rate at which a substance (as a drug) is absorbed into a living system or is made available at the site of physiological activity. Different vitamins and minerals have different absorption rates no matter if they come from a tablet, liquid, powder, or food. Calcium, for example, has a pretty standard absorption rate (around 25-35%). The form does not generally make a significant difference.
A well-made tablet provides a very effective delivery system and is the chosen form of most pharmaceutical medications. This is because tablets have been shown to be a very efficient delivery system for medications. Why would vitamin and mineral supplements be any different? Does anybody doubt that an aspirin tablet is less effective because it comes in a tablet?
Tableted products provide the advantage of an increased amount of active ingredient (almost 3x as much as a capsule and much more than a liquid or spray). In general, the stability of tablets is also superior to liquids.
There are many factors that can affect the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body. Some of these factors are a function of the person taking the nutrient and are dependent on the age of the person, the integrity of their digestive system, the state of their health, the time of day, the person's gender, and if the supplements were taken on a full or empty stomach. People whose nutrient needs are greater - such as growing children, pregnant or lactating women, and those who are currently deficient - may have significantly enhanced absorption rates for certain nutrients. Recently, some individuals and companies have made claims that their products are superior because they are "98% absorbed" or some similar number. This is a misleading statement because there are far too many variables to imply that an individual's absorption is a certain percent of the material consumed. Even absorption of minerals from food sources can vary significantly. Boron, molybdenum and iodine can be absorbed at over 90 percent, while the average absorption rates of zinc, copper, and selenium can range from 30 to 80 percent depending on the form.
It should seem reasonable, then, that stating an absorption rate on a package or in advertising is very misleading.
When looking for a vitamin, you should look for one that is formulated to meet United States Pharmacopoeia standards, which require full disintegration within 30-45 min. Look for the letters 'USP" on the label. This means that it is manufatured to the same standard as a drug. Most vitamins do not meet this standard. Those that do are reaching for a standard of purity and potency that others are not. Unfortunately, the FDA does not regulate the vitamin industry. Therefore, having USP on the label is still not enough. Look for independent verification from an independent lab like ConsumerLab.com or look for certification by the NSF.
The supplement industry itself originated on account of published studies in the scientific literature that contributed to the knowledge and insight into nutritional elements. With the hundreds of studies connecting calcium and vitamin D supplements with bone health, it is hard to dispute that tableted supplements provide an effective delivery system. If tablets weren't any good, why did the researchers get positive results? If liquid or spray supplements are so much better, why are they rarely, if ever, used in published scientific research?
(Keep in mind that I am speaking of multiminerals and multivitamin formulations. There may be certain products, such as children's medicine, that are more appropriate in a liquid form. However, these are the exceptions, not the rule.)
Finally, liquid supplement promoters often contend that liquids are better because they don't contain fillers (excipients used in tablets for disintegration, form, binding, coating, etc). This is perhaps the most ridiculous argument of all, since liquid supplements require even more "other" ingredients, such as emulsifiers, solvents, preservatives, stabilizing agents, coloring, flavoring, etc. Generally speaking, the more vitamin and mineral ingredients there are in a liquid supplement, the more excipients that product will require. Natures Optimal Nutrition liquid vitamin has Sodium Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Natural Flavors and lots of water. Sodium Benzoate is a preservative and is generally considered safe in our foods and cosmetics even though it has been linked to cancer in government or academic studies or assessments. It has also been linked to birth defects, infertility and reproductive organ cancers. Some of it's other names are Benzoic acid or Parabens used in cosmetics. Xanthan Gum is a binder or emulsion stabilizer. Potassium Sorbate is another chemical preservative.
Biochemist Lyle MacWilliam did a six year study on over 1,500 multivitamins in North America in order to help consumers to wade through all of the advertising hype ("We are the best, we are the World leader,"etc). He uses 18 scientific criterion including completeness, bioavailabilty and potency to test the effectiveness of each product. Only 33 products got a 5 star rating. Click on the following link to read my review of his book. Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements.
WOW, that was beautiful. All too true.
It has been a week since I ran out of my liquid vitamins, and upon further consideration I will not be supplementing anytime in the near future, or at least until I further investigate the USP and your recommended title Comparitive Guide to Nutritional Supplements. As you mentioned there is no regulation by the Food and Drug Administration, which has long been the cause of my own skepticism.
The same website you referenced in the Crystalline Fructose post has lots of awesome articles, including this one about Xanthan Gum. Xanthan Gum There is a lot of "organic" food that contains various colloidial perservatives, but if Xanthan Gum is enzmatically processed from corn, who knows the integrity of the corn originally harvested. A great book that I recently discovered is Superior Nutrition by Herbert M. Shelton. Provides lots of scientific reserach as well as an interesting philosophy; that nutrient intake is not as important as absorption.
With that in mind, what about vegetable juice? I have read that contrefugal juicers destroy lots of heat sensitive nutrients, such as chromium. Any truth to that? Does fruit and vegetable juice, or even smoothies with nuritional supplements benefit from being in an aqueous solution / liquid form?
*I went to a health conference a month ago and learned about a product called BarleyMax. It is an organic product but the results are said to be amazing. Personally, I have not tried it but my mom started taking it about 2 weeks ago (she recommends the capsules) and said she not only feels healthier but more alert and energetic. Here is a website about BarelyMax: *https://commerce.hacres.com/product.aspx?id=441
Just a new idea to throw out there.
Fish Oil... I just ate a fish. Similiarly to the integrity of the vitamin company, the fish and its elements depend on the quality of the fish. Either way I prefer to eat fish than drink their oil. Fresh (not frozen), wild (not farmed) fish. My mom told me that my grandma would give anyone who was getting sick a tablespoon of Cod Liver Oil, but my uncle Paul said it was threat of the aweful taste that helped everyone to feel suddenly better. I have heard that there is the potential for nasty burps too. yuck. haha. I only imagine, for like you I have never supplemented fish oils. I did however once hear about a study conducted with alcoholic Irish Americans who were given fish oil supplements to help decrease cravings and anxiety from alcohol withdrawl.
As for BarleyMax, I have been reading about wheat germ and have yet to decide whether or not to incorporate it into my nutritional regiment. The more I learn about new food technology, the more I prefer food. What say yee? ; ]
I came across your question and thought that I would shoot you a quick response. I too believe in getting your nutrients from the food we eat, but with all the stress of every day life and trying to get everything done, it just isn't that easy!! I have been taking and loving the effectiveness of a combination of vitamins by Herbalife. Infact I was so impressed and excited by the results that I started distributing them!!
I would suggest two products for sure : Garden 7, gives you all the required vitamins and phytonutrients you need on a daily basis. It contains seven servings of different fruits and vegetables and is loaded with anti-oxidants. And the second suggestions would be the Cell Activator; this product helps your body absorb all the nutrients you take in through food and vitamins.
If you interested you interested in learning more, here's my web site; www.herbal-nutrition.net/taylor I'd be happy to help you put together a personalized program.
I read the article that you referenced and the author seemed to only concentrate on one reason that someone might take vitamins. More energy? Could it be that there are other reasons to take vitamins? Heart health, brain health, joint health, eye health, metabolizing sugars better? Lowering your chances of getting diabetes, arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer's, spina bifida in your unborn children?
Until recently, most doctors have been taught that vitamins are not only useless, but might also be dangerous to your health. They also make very expensive urine as many vitamins that are not utilized by the body will pass through and out of your system. They tell us that we can get all the vitamins that we need from food. Vitamins are basically silly and if you want to be silly, then go ahead and take them.
On the other hand, there are a growing number of medical professionals that are learning to reject that kind of outdated and archaic advice. In the Journal of the American Medical Association, it was reported that, "Most people do not consume and optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone. Pending strong evidence of effectiveness from randomized trials, it appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements. Vitamins for Chronic Disease Prevention in Adults.
This does not mean that you should be taking buckets of pill in the place of a variety of foods. That kind of thinking would be even more silly. Some foods contain nutrients that we probably have not even discovered yet. Our bodies were designed to eat whole, unrefined, uncontaminated foods. In theory, if we lived in an ideal world, we could get all the nutrients we need from an ideal variety of foods. But the cleanliness of theory is no match for the mess of reality. According to the JAMA study mentioned above, most people do not get the optimal amounts of nutrients from the food they eat. Most of us don't get the variety and balance that we need every day. So, a dally multivitamin pill can get the insurance that you are getting what you need.
Because of bad farming practices in the United States, our soils have become dangerous and depleted of nutrients. Over farming and the use of pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers have created a toxic environment for our crops to grow in. For too long, the concentration has been on volume, size and output for farmers. Cows are fed growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics that get into our bodies by default. Our, once nutrient dense and clean vegetables and fruits have been replaced with foods that are bigger but bankrupt of the vitamins and minerals that they once had. Recent studies that compared the mineral content of soils today with soils 100 years ago found that agricultural soils in the United States have been depleted of eighty-five percent of their minerals (Rio Earth Summit 1992). In other words, a stalk of broccoli is not what it used to be.
Our food system is losing its ability to produce food with nutrient levels adequate to maintain the health of our families. There is no guarantee that the food produced and harvested meets nutritional standards needed to maintain good health. Click on or copy the following link to read a paper from the Nutrition Security Institute.
" The alarming fact is that foods - fruits, vegetables and grains - now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contains enough of certain needed nutrients, are starving us - no matter how much we eat of them." U.S. Senate Document 264 1936
Sara, you had a question about fish oil back in October. I use a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil for several reasons. I was able to lower my cholesterol naturally by about 50 points. I like fish too. I go to a fish fry almost every Friday night. I don't eat the fried fish because of the transfats and saturated fats. I eat the broiled fish instead. None the less, I worry about eating a lot of fish because of the contaminants found in fish, like PCB's, lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and dioxins. The FDA warns that women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children should:
not eat any shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish
eat only two average servings (6 ounces per serving for adults, but less for kids) a week of fish that are lower in mercury, including shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish.
Pharmaceutical-grade fish oil goes through a molecular distillation process that removes these toxic ingredients and leaves you with the essential fatty acids that your body needs for brain, joint and heart health. All fish oil is not the same. The stuff you get at the grocery or drug store usually does not go through a molecular distillation process. Consequently, there can be algae and some of the other contaminants that I mentioned here. A Pharmaceutical grade fish oil is more pure and more concentrated. It costs twice as much but it is more than twice as concentrated which results in fewer pills to take to get the same result. What are some of the results of taking a good quality fish oil? Here are some:
reduces triglycerides and cholesterol
raises HDL ( good cholesterol)
lowers blood pressure
reduces risk of blood clots
reduces risk of heart attack and stroke
reduces arthritis inflammation and pain
alleviates autoimmune diseases
improves eczema, colitis, arthritis, MS, psoriasis, migraines
prevents preterm deliveries and toxemia
helps support brain, eye and joint health
essential for the brain, eyes of a developing fetus
Also, a good quality fish oil like Carlson, Usana, Omega RX or Nordic Naturals will not give you gas or the "fish burps" like the cheap grocery or drug store brand. If you notice, most supplements do not have any health claims on them. Fish oil is the exception. Most of them make claims on the label that have to do with heart disease. Check it out. There are many studies out there that show a benefit for those that have arthritis. My father is 90 and has severe arthritis all over his body. The doctor showed it to me on an X-ray last year. The amazing thing is that he has no pain. I have not given him a pain pill (which he used to take a lot of) for four years now. Doctor cannot explain it.
thx for sharing so much helpful info. i just want to know more info about daily vitamins and their effective to our body.
any post of u will inform what i want i think.
thx for sharing. and any new info will be appreciated.
Years before vitamins and other nutrients were replaced in the dirt and moved to into the plants, but since agriculture methods have altered drastically, so has the vitamin and nutrient content of the crops.
Great ! Thank you for your informative post.
Yes , it's all to know , not only does food supply us with vitamins but also gives us the needed carbohydrates,
proteins and fats that essential to our body ,even to out daily life. But as the fast pace of life goes,
if people don't have a balanced diet or do not have a good eating habits,people can get enough essential Vitamins
though they eat food everyday. Maybe that is why some Vitamins Supplement appeared. But i do believe that liquid vitamins is
easier and better to be taken in by your body than the solid ones, isn't it?