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Old 02-02-2012, 01:36 PM
 
621 posts, read 671,701 times
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Default Vitamins: Is it worth paying more for "premium and exclusive" brands?

I'm talking about general vitamins--like Vitamin A, Omega 3, etc. Pills and stuff. I just got back from CVS, and I noticed most vitamins are "no preservatives, no coloring, no artificial flavors" etc. Basically they're natural. Is that true or a lie? Are they legally allowed to lie? Actually to be honest I was surprised, as I was under the impression that over the counter vitamins are artifical and were full of chemicals--which is why I've been promoting the brand Nutrilite from Amway Nutrilite | Amway but that was because I was convinced that they were one of the few truly "natural" brands in the world, hadn't bothered checking the labels of in-store brands.

Nutrilite and maybe other premium vitamin manufacturers (I don't know of others so can't name them) make their entire vitamins in house and that their ingredients are all organic, etc. They are about 2-3 times in price what you'd find over the counter though. Is it worth it? ...are you flushing your money down the toilet by buying vitamins over the counter?
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:41 AM
 
Location: Wallis and Futuna
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Some people have allergies to various dyes and fillers. As such, alternatives that don't contain them are available. Other than that, there's no benefit to "all natural" vs. "not all natural." EVERYTHING is chemical, *and* everything is derived from nature.

99% of all pharmaceuticals are derived from natural sources. And 100% of all pharmaceuticals are made up of chemical components.

So you can see how easy it is for a brand to say "all natural" and charge extra for it. It's a sucker's market and the supplement businesses know it, and profit from it.

There are very few supplements that absorb less efficiently when they're manufactured one way, vs. another way. Your body cannot distinguish between the two, in most cases.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
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The reason why there are so many forms of calcium is because it is very hard to absorb properly. There were studies done of certain vitamins which found that people who took them had shorter lives. I know that will cause some controversy, but I am passing this on. A study of calcium takers found that they had more clogged arteries.

I take calcium anyway in the most digestible form that I know of. (BoneUp by Jarrow or one by Ethical Nutrients). I take turmeric as an anti inflammatory, Co enzyme Q-10, Sam-E, Vitamin D, Omega 3, and some other things. Very few actual vitamins. I have a good diet but don't eat a lot of fish, I cover myself in the sun, etc.

What I am trying to say is that I try to take things that supplement my life style and diet, and not things that I already get enough of.

Various studies can be slanted. Is the NYTimes an authority on vitamins? I doubt it. When push comes to shove we all should do some studying and make up our own minds, no?

This is an article on vitamin E and men:
Vitamin Supplements: Be Very Careful | InjuryBoard Melbourne
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
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The best way to get vitamins and minerals is from food.

If you have a documented deficiency, then you need to replace it.

In the US, so many foods are fortified with extra vitamins and minerals that it is hard to be deficient in most things.

Having said that, vitamin D deficiency appears to be more common than previously thought, especially in people who do not consume many dairy products. Your doctor can test your vitamin D level and tell if you need a supplement.

Similarly, vitamin B12 deficiency can be tested for.

All of the minerals are just chemical salts. It does not matter where they come from. Your body cannot tell the difference. Some salts may be better absorbed than others. Look for "USP" on the label. That stands for U. S. Pharmacopeial Convention, which provides standards for drugs and supplements.

About USP | U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention

The fact of the matter is that if you eat a varied diet, you will get what you need.

I do not eat much fish, so I take fish oil. I also take a multivitamin (Sam's Club brand) and since I take a statin I take enzyme Co Q 10, also Sam's brand.

As Anon said, "natural" is just a marketing buzzword. Who is going to sell "unnatural" vitamins?
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:14 AM
 
1,677 posts, read 1,864,142 times
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Let's do a quick poll?
Vitamins:

a) a waste of money

b) MAY do some good, IF you have a deficiency

c) even if you aren't deficient, they can't hurt (provided you don't OD on fat soluables, etc.)

d) they're definitely worth it by adding to what nutrients you get from food (which may deficient itself due to not being fresh or how it's grown/processed)

I've been taking a premium brand: Andrew Lessman's Procaps (Hair Skin and Nails). I'm debating buying more. I likely will, but am on the fence. I figure: it can't hurt, and even if it doesn't do ALL its supposed to any little bit will help -- and so ALL the money spent isn't a waste.....and even if it is ...trust me... it's not the most money I waste on something. And at least this was trying to improve my health so it was a worthy cause.

I want to take one of Lessman's multivitamins but can't decide.

My doc has me on 4,000 mg a day of therapeutic calcium. Last time he checked I had practically NO Vitamin D. He put me on it right away.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
8,987 posts, read 8,170,900 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
Let's do a quick poll?
Vitamins:

a) a waste of money

b) MAY do some good, IF you have a deficiency

c) even if you aren't deficient, they can't hurt (provided you don't OD on fat soluables, etc.)

d) they're definitely worth it by adding to what nutrients you get from food (which may deficient itself due to not being fresh or how it's grown/processed)

I've been taking a premium brand: Andrew Lessman's Procaps (Hair Skin and Nails). I'm debating buying more. I likely will, but am on the fence. I figure: it can't hurt, and even if it doesn't do ALL its supposed to any little bit will help -- and so ALL the money spent isn't a waste.....and even if it is ...trust me... it's not the most money I waste on something. And at least this was trying to improve my health so it was a worthy cause.

I want to take one of Lessman's multivitamins but can't decide.

My doc has me on 4,000 mg a day of therapeutic calcium. Last time he checked I had practically NO Vitamin D. He put me on it right away.
Mostly a waste of money if you are not deficient. The more expensive ones are not better. If you want to take a multi, get a store brand generic. Your body will not be able to tell the difference.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:00 PM
 
1,677 posts, read 1,864,142 times
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Quote:
Mostly a waste of money if you are not deficient. The more expensive ones are not better. If you want to take a multi, get a store brand generic. Your body will not be able to tell the difference.
What about studies that show that some brands don't have the amounts in them that the label says? Surely a brand that at least is honest enough to have in it what it says is better (in that regard).

Now whether those amounts are enough to make a difference in you body is another issue, but at least I want to be able to trust what's on the label.
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
8,987 posts, read 8,170,900 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
What about studies that show that some brands don't have the amounts in them that the label says? Surely a brand that at least is honest enough to have in it what it says is better (in that regard).

Now whether those amounts are enough to make a difference in you body is another issue, but at least I want to be able to trust what's on the label.
Look for one that says "USP" on it.

USP Verified Dietary Supplements | U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Chicago
1,514 posts, read 1,349,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzy_q2010 View Post
Mostly a waste of money if you are not deficient. The more expensive ones are not better. If you want to take a multi, get a store brand generic. Your body will not be able to tell the difference.
I take supplements for specific purposes. For example, I take magnesium to help prevent migraines that I'm otherwise prone to.

I spend a little more on some supplements for a couple reasons:

1. Not all forms of a supplement are equally absorbed; magnesium oxide isn't absorbed by your body as well as magnesium citrate

2. I'm very sensitive to gluten and you'd be amazed how often it is in vitamin casings. Even if a gel cap doesn't directly have wheat, if it's processed in a plant that also processes wheat products, there probably is gluten in it.

I'm not into any particular brand; I ask other people I know who have similar health goals and get recommendations that way. I use different brands for different supplements. So I guess, IMO, it isn't about paying more, it's about knowing exactly what is in each particular supplement and really looking at the labels. Some brands are "cleaner" than others.
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Old 04-28-2012, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Wallis and Futuna
11,168 posts, read 14,259,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitakolata View Post
2. I'm very sensitive to gluten [...] if it's processed in a plant that also processes wheat products, there probably is gluten in it.
If you're -that- sensitive to gluten, then you're not just sensitive. You're deathly allergic. Which would make you pretty interesting to be around at the supermarket. Do you not go? I mean, they have a whole bread aisle, and most supermarkets these days have full service bakeries and delis that carry meats with gluten in them, fully exposed to the air with their slicers. The supermarket I go to has a deli, a bread aile, a bakery, a sandwich station, AND a pizzeria. Just inhaling the air might send you into apoplexy.

If you're merely sensitive, and not deathly allergic, then the minutely thin gel covering of gel caps, made in a building that -also- made things with gluten, doesn't have enough gluten in it to cause gastric upset to a gluten-sensitive gerbil.

I think some people really just want to justify their designer supplement choices by pretending to be "sensitive" to products when in fact, they're just buying the hype that certain ingredients are bad for you and ours don't have that ingredient, therefore you should pay extra and buy ours.

In summary, it isn't worth it for *people who have no specific medical conditions requiring specific ingredients and excluding specific ingredients* to buy designer brands of anything at all. Most people will benefit, at least marginally, from a daily generic random ordinary basic multi-vitamin. Most people who need to start thinking about osteoporosis (people who are past middle age and in generally good skeletal health) will benefit at least somewhat from adding a single TUMs to their morning routine. Most people will also benefit at least marginally from adding a modestly dosed Vitamin D cap every day.

But most people will not -need- any of that, and will continue to be generally, relatively healthy even without supplements.
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