Do daily multi-vitamins really do anything?

Friendly Lich

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Feb 15, 2012
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In your personnel experience does taking a daily multi-vitamin really do anything? Do you know about or have you heard anything about them over the years that proves they actually work? I try to take them everyday but I've heard some people say they don't actually do anything. What are your thoughts?
 

Spaghetti

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Sep 2, 2009
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I suppose if you're seeking a specific boost in some area it really is useful I take a multi-vitamin for the Vitamin C and Iron, both of which I really need more of. As for just taking it for a general health boost, I'm as stumped as you.
 

dmase

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Mar 12, 2009
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Multivitamins do help keep you healthier but some of that might just be the thought that I'm taking multivitamins so I do feel better.

http://www.metapress.com.proxy.library.vcu.edu/content/376k6462v16w31v7/fulltext.pdf
http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/15/8/1427

But what a lot of people don't realize is that the amount of vitamins you need for healthy life can be obtained by just eating healthy. Of course 5 bucks for multivitamins versus 5 bucks for a gallon of milk is more cost effective for getting calcium,iodine, and iron.

There are however some bad effects to some multivitamins, like Iron. Unless your anemic you probably don't have an iron deficiency and taking too much iron can actually cause kidney and liver problems.

If you wanna do further research on it google it but don't use websites use google scholar and see how the research is funded. Most papers will acknowledge if they have a bias so look for it.
 

mysecondlife

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Simply, ask your doctor and nutritionist. I'm getting by ok without it.

I do take cinnamon and ginger pills at times. Multiple sources say they're good for you and they don't go into my food all that much.
 

RustlessPotato

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Aug 17, 2009
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The problem is that even though some people eat healthy, they use vitamin supplements, which can actually cause problems. Too much isn't good either. I say, if you eat healthy enough, don't worry too much about it.

(also, Iron isn't a vitamin as someone else has posted).
 

DugMachine

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I take a daily multivitamin and it's basically a placebo effect. If I didn't take it I doubt I'd feel any different as I've never had issues with deficiencies but I take it just to have whatever vitamins I need to be considered "healthy".
 

deathninja

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If your diet's shit, then they can balance things out.

A lot of marketing's aimed at the 'worried well' though; eat right and you don't need supplementation.
 

Cavan

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I began taking some of them with my other medication (ask a professional before you do this, or at least do a search, lots of medications are affected by vitamins in different ways).

My diet isn't awful but neither is it outstanding so I felt like it'd be a safe bet. I tried to avoid the really over the top powerful ones and just get some fairly varied and lower strength ones.

They will never do nothing, although some of that is obviously going to be you having more of something than you need.

If you're worried about them I would say just try and experiment with fruit juices and vegetables and vary your diet up that way instead.

deathninja said:
If your diet's shit, then they can balance things out.
Every single one is going to have "SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS A REPLACEMENT FOR A HEALTHY DIET". How much of that is them covering their arse in case of accidental death and healthicide is up for debate.
 

Frission

Until I get thrown out.
May 16, 2011
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Some of them may be placebos. Normally in my experience if you're perfectly healthy you don't eat them. So don't feed your kid vitamins if he's healthy for example. Just give him an apple.

They're probably useful if you're suffering from some deficiency.
 

wintercoat

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Unless you're malnourished and actually need the vitamins or minerals, no, it doesn't really do anything other than make your urine super fortified(what did you think you're body did with the extras?)
 

IckleMissMayhem

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I (fairly recently found out I) have coeliac disease, so I take multivitamins and extra mineral supplements, to try and make sure I do get everything I need to be healthy. Doctor says they're worth it.
 

Sarah Frazier

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It only does anything useful if your body isn't making/getting enough of something naturally, either because of a very poor diet or some medical condition screwing things up.

I had to take multi-vitamins for a while because of medical problems, but once that cleared up there was no reason for them and there haven't been any problems since as long as I eat well enough. It's more likely that a healthy person eating 'fortified' foods will end up getting sick as they accidentally overdoes on vitamins and minerals. It may not be commonly recognized, but anything taken to extremes will cause health problems.
 

Spakka

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I actually registered to respond to this...

multivitamins in healthy young people are actually harmful. This one of the best researched topics in the whole of medicine (I'm a final year medical student). Daily multivitamins in a healthy male population (a study size of over 100 000, double blind, placebo controlled) INCREASED mortality (edit:this means death rate) by over 20%.

They have been linked to increased cancer risks, and even in older populations (50+) have been shown to have no positive effect, but as above increase the risk of some cancers.


The possible problem is many of the 'antioxidants' as well advertised by 'health' companies become oxidants if in high enough concentrations.




in other words, if you are a healthy person and have a reasonably balanced diet then you should really avoid taking vitamin supplements.





Disclaimer: Some people *need* to take supplements e.g. alcoholics, people with absorption problems etc. if you have been advised to take them you should do so.


P.s. the 'iron' in over the counter supplements is a pathetic amount. Personally I have seen a patient who had iron deficiency anaemia, she was spending over £300/month on super special supplements etc. They weren't working. You know why; all of them added together equated to less than 10% of the amount provided by prescription strength supplements.



To conclude: multivitamins are harmful. They are essentially a scam to make a fuckton of money for the manufacturer (sales >$11billion/year in the USA). This is so bad they are used as an example of us (the medical profession) ignoring high quality high powered research in clinical practice.
 

Bvenged

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If you're deficient or ill they help out, but as a daily supplement to take for "a boost" I call bullshit. As long as you eat healthy you don't need them and even then, they're not worth the price for what they can do.

Well, that's from my experiences with them anyway.

If you want a boost, caffeine tablets such as Pro Plus are where it's at (assuming you don't drink much coffee to build up a resistance to it). Even then, a glass of water does the trick for me in setting my head straight as I don't drink much anyway. Good ol' hydration.
 

SciMal

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Spakka said:
I actually registered to respond to this...

multivitamins in healthy young people are actually harmful. This one of the best researched topics in the whole of medicine (I'm a final year medical student). Daily multivitamins in a healthy male population (a study size of over 100 000, double blind, placebo controlled) INCREASED mortality (edit:this means death rate) by over 20%.

They have...
Thanks for saying it before me.

Vitamins, if you already eat a healthy diet, don't do squat. They may harm you significantly if you overdose (which is possible), and many have been associated with increased mortality rates. The only supplement that I've not seen any negative press about is Calcium, but take too much Calcium and you end up with kidney stones.

Unless you are diagnosed deficient, there's no reason to take them. Especially because, in the United States at least, there's ABSOLUTELY NO REGULATION OF THEM WHATSOEVER. They can slap whatever the hell they want on the bottle, put whatever they want into the pills (some tested had sawdust), and one company was putting Ephedrin into their pills.

Because, you know, fuck your heart.

Hell, even if one of them did do something, by taking 1000% of it doesn't mean its bioavailability allows it to be used. When you scarf down 1500% of your Vitamin C because you have a cold, your body will take 100% and then (because it's completely water soluble) just piss out 1400%. The same goes for all the water-soluble vitamins. The fat soluble ones can cause complications if you eat enough to store large amounts in adipose tissue and then (perhaps because of surgery) see drastic weightloss. When your body metabolizes the fat, it gets a huge influx of vitamins and can overload the liver.

To quote my favorite advice ever on eating:

"Real food. In moderation. Mostly plants."
 

Owyn_Merrilin

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May 22, 2010
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SciMal said:
Spakka said:
I actually registered to respond to this...

multivitamins in healthy young people are actually harmful. This one of the best researched topics in the whole of medicine (I'm a final year medical student). Daily multivitamins in a healthy male population (a study size of over 100 000, double blind, placebo controlled) INCREASED mortality (edit:this means death rate) by over 20%.

They have...
Thanks for saying it before me.

Vitamins, if you already eat a healthy diet, don't do squat. They may harm you significantly if you overdose (which is possible), and many have been associated with increased mortality rates. The only supplement that I've not seen any negative press about is Calcium, but take too much Calcium and you end up with kidney stones.

Unless you are diagnosed deficient, there's no reason to take them. Especially because, in the United States at least, there's ABSOLUTELY NO REGULATION OF THEM WHATSOEVER. They can slap whatever the hell they want on the bottle, put whatever they want into the pills (some tested had sawdust), and one company was putting Ephedrin into their pills.

Because, you know, fuck your heart.

Hell, even if one of them did do something, by taking 1000% of it doesn't mean its bioavailability allows it to be used. When you scarf down 1500% of your Vitamin C because you have a cold, your body will take 100% and then (because it's completely water soluble) just piss out 1400%. The same goes for all the water-soluble vitamins. The fat soluble ones can cause complications if you eat enough to store large amounts in adipose tissue and then (perhaps because of surgery) see drastic weightloss. When your body metabolizes the fat, it gets a huge influx of vitamins and can overload the liver.

To quote my favorite advice ever on eating:

"Real food. In moderation. Mostly plants."
This.

To add more to it, they're called "supplements" for a reason. You should only need one if there's a gap in your diet, which you really shouldn't have. And this is completely ignoring the fact, noted above, that this stuff isn't regulated by the FDA, which means it doesn't necessarily contain what it says it does.
 

mysecondlife

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Feb 24, 2011
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Spot1990 said:
mysecondlife said:
Simply, ask your doctor and nutritionist. I'm getting by ok without it.

I do take cinnamon and ginger pills at times. Multiple sources say they're good for you and they don't go into my food all that much.
Except go to a dietician not a nutritionist. Nutritionist isn't a protected term and there's no qualifications needed to call yourself one. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist.
Yeah, you're right, though people like myself use the term nutritionist and dietitian interchangeably.
 

lacktheknack

Je suis joined jewels.
Jan 19, 2009
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Let's imagine that you're not getting enough vitamin D and iron.

You take a multi-vitamin pill.

You are now getting more vitamin D and iron.

...What was the question again?