Cheap Vitamins etc?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
162 replies 17.9K views
Solent_StarSolent_Star Forumite
2 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
Hello...
Could someone seriously suggest what vitamins/minerals are good for you and has anyone benefitted from these as I personally feel there is a lot of unreliable information around from people trying to sell these supplements...Thanks
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  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    Welcome to the board Solent_Guy. I am living proof that vitamins work. When i was growing up i had lovely thick glossy hair, but come to have the kids, and the stresses and strains of family life i admit i let myself go a bit. I tend to pick at food, and the good food that i should be eating, i cant be bothered to prepare for myself. It would be different if the rest of the family would eat it but they wont. Anyway, i am making excuses here but anyway back to my hair i found my hair was getting very fine and thin on the crown. It took 2 minutes to wash, and probably the same amount of time to dry. Then i read in a book of the benefits of taking Brewers Yeast tablets - apparently it contains B Vitamins and a small amount of protein which is good for healthy hair. I started taking an iron tablet once a day too as i was always washed out around the end of menstruation.

    I cant beleive the difference its made to my hair!!!! You cant see my crown now for lots of glossy thick dark hair!!!! Minus side to this is that it takes a couple of hours for it to dry now but i am soooo pleased with it.

    I think you need to analyse your eating habits. I knew i was short of vitamin c as fruit gives me indigestion, i knew i would need iron cause of my heavy periods and when i analysed it, i dont eat much meat/nuts/eggs etc either.
  • tdtd Forumite
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    There was a bbc programme about this recently - they reckoned that vit c is no good for keeping colds away but is very good for geting rid of it quicker when you do get it. Vit c is good for helping to absorb calcium. Vitamin A should be taken with care as it can contribute to a higher risk of osteoporosis - but should be okay in a multi vit just not high strength. Vit E is good for anti ageing but depending on type of tablet taken is better taken with some form of fat (a glass of milk maybe).

    It depends what you want to get from it - lots of vitamins are good for specicif jobs - like pre menstrual etc.

    td
  • shannishanni Forumite
    353 Posts
    WOW Judi,

    I never knew that about vit c shortage (and I'm a fan of vits/minerals too). I NEVER eat fruit because of the acid/gastritis I get. I can't even drink orange juice or pineapple juice which I love. So this means I could be short on vit C? Stands to reason with me being a heavy smoker :-[

    I take Bionta vits/mins every day, they've got added bio cultures too. I also need iron due to peiods.

    Will the indigestion pass if I start eating fruit again? I'll have to try it. I have got some vit c tabs in cupboard, might start with them.

    Thanks for info
    Shanni
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    Could someone seriously suggest what vitamins/minerals are good for you and has anyone benefitted from these as I personally feel there is a lot of unreliable information around from people trying to sell these supplements...Thanks
    Well of course there is a lot of hype around from people trying to sell supplements, but some of them work very well for some people. It's a case of balancing what people tell you against what's in it for them. And thinking about your risk factors and / or current health problems. If you have a restricted diet for any reason, then you may be deficient, eg no dairy could mean not enough calcium if you don't make a conscious effort to make up for it.

    Iron tablets if you're anaemic are a jolly good idea, but finding out why you're anaemic would be sensible, and if you're a chap you can rule out what I think are the most common causes, ie pregnancy and heavy periods!

    I'm currently taking Vitamin C, Cod Liver Oil, Glucosamine, and Calcium. But I'm a creaky lady, and I reckon the Vit C won't hurt, the CLO and G ought to help the creaks, and the Calcium might ward off the brittle bone thing which means old ladies tend to break their hips if they fall over.

    I was taking a high dose of Evening Primrose Oil because my GP recommended it for very painful breasts, and it certainly did the trick, I swore by it. But then a few weeks ago I realised I'd accidentally stopped taking it when one bottle ran out and I'd failed to open a new one. If the problem I was taking it for recurs, I've got a bottle waiting.

    I've also taken St John's Wort for mild depression, and again I think it helped. But my depression is like an old 'friend': I've had it before, several times, and I didn't feel it was bad enough to go down the whole GP / antidepressants route. SJW certainly didn't 'work' as well as the prescriptions I've had in the past, which make me superwoman for a week and then settle me down to a slightly elevated mood until it's time to wean myself off them. But it did, I feel, keep me from slipping any deeper into the mire. Maybe I wouldn't have done anyway, maybe it was just the placebo effect, but I still think it was worth it!
    Still knitting!
    Completed: TWO adult cardigans, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees, 2 sets of handwarmers, 1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 3 balaclavas, multiple hats and poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: pink balaclava (for myself), seaman's hat, about to start another cardigan!
  • Hello Solent Guy

    I think that all vitamins and minerals are good for most people....however I would suggest that you have a one off consultation with a qualified Nutritionist - s/he would have a good old chat with you to figure out what, if anything, is deficient in your diet or in your body, then prescribe specifically for you. When I say "prescribe" they prescribe vits and minerals - definitely not pharmaceutical drugs. Be patient though, it might be six months before you notice a significant improvement. Case in point, a woman I work with had terrible joint pain for no known reason...it went on for ages, and her GP advised painkillers (with occasional breaks to find out if the pain was still there..!!) and Cod Liver Oil. After nearly a year the joint pain did disappear (virus suspected), however this woman noticed that at the age of 42 she has long, strong, healthy nails for the first time in her life - the result of the Cod Liver Oil - she had taken it before but never for long enough to get such a result. And just think what else it might be doing for her.

    Hot tip on how to see a nutritionist for free: A friend of mine is currently finishing a 3 year diploma in Nutrition, and as part of her course she gets to do consultations with real patients. She has to do a certain number in order to fully qualify, however the consultation is completely supervised by her course leaders (who are of course competent in the subject). The patient pays nothing for this, and if the student gets it wrong then the misinformation is corrected so that the patient leaves with expert advice. You could be sneaky and phone a few nutritionists to find out where they trained then contact the colleges to offer yourself as a guinea pig to their final year patients.

    Something else that you might like to have a look at is Gillian McKeith's book, You Are What You Eat. Yes, she tries to get you to do her entire diet, which mightn't be quite for you. However there is a very good section about how to tell what you're lacking from common physical indicators, eg white spots on nails = zinc deficiency, etc etc. She doesn't personally benefit from any purchases you make (other than her book and her own branded stuff which you don't have to buy) so I think it's trustworthy enough. I did a very similar diet to hers some time ago...apparently I looked so healthy I glowed and I was in a perpetually good mood...must go back to it really.

    Finally, I have heard that the Recommended Daily Allowance indicated on vitamin packaging is often too little - eg the Vitamin C RDA is designed to prevent scurvy. You're unlikely to be so deficient you'll get scurvy, but if you need a boost you'll need lots more than the RDA. Also, consider the RDA apparently applies to everyone...an eight stone woman or a 20 stone man and everyone over age 18 in between. That doesn't especially make sense to me.

    What a long answer to what you possibly thought was a straightforward question. Do persevere with it all the same, you're entitled to feel as healthy as you possibly can.
    FTS
  • MimiJaneMimiJane Forumite
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    What's very important here but hasn't yet been mentioned are the BRANDS of vitamins/minerals that are the best.  In my opinion, you largely get what you pay for here and I would steer clear from Superdrug/Holland & Barratt in the main if you want good quality.  Many of these tablets go straight through your system and do little good because of the way they're prepared ... some have to be "chelated" to do any good (broken down so they enter your system properly), or they basically do very little to benefit you.

    Some excellent brand names are :-

    Solgar
    Bio Force
    Bio Care
    Higher Nature

    which can be bought at any good health store or on line.

    By the way, I've read that, although Holland & Barrett's quality is very questionable in the main, their multi-vitamin tablets are pretty good and "Seven Seas" cod liver oil tablets are also good, which can be purchased at most chemists.

    Hope this helps.

    :)
    Wins since 2009 = £16,880

    MANY THANKS TO ALL OPS
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    Finally, I have heard that the Recommended Daily Allowance indicated on vitamin packaging is often too little - eg the Vitamin C RDA is designed to prevent scurvy. You're unlikely to be so deficient you'll get scurvy, but if you need a boost you'll need lots more than the RDA. Also, consider the RDA apparently applies to everyone...an eight stone woman or a 20 stone man and everyone over age 18 in between. That doesn't especially make sense to me.
    But remember that one reason why the dosage in a particular vitamin tablet may be less than the RDA is that we can get most things from what we eat, and taking more than the recommended dose in order to get up to or above the RDA isn't necessarily a good idea. Now I know this doesn't apply to Solent Guy, BUT to women reading this: be wary of taking more than the RDA of anything if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. The one I know to watch out for is Vitamin A which I think affects your liver.

    One thing which used to be recommended if you were planning to become pregnant was Folic Acid: there were studies done to establish that it was helpful in preventing foetal abnormalities and miscarriages in some circumstances. A long time since I had a baby so check this advice with your GP or midwife!
    Still knitting!
    Completed: TWO adult cardigans, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees, 2 sets of handwarmers, 1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 3 balaclavas, multiple hats and poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: pink balaclava (for myself), seaman's hat, about to start another cardigan!
  • s@sha[email protected] Forumite
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    One thing which used to be recommended if you were planning to become pregnant was Folic Acid: there were studies done to establish that it was helpful in preventing foetal abnormalities and miscarriages in some circumstances. A long time since I had a baby so check this advice with your GP or midwife!

    This is correct. I'm just about to start fertility treatment & have been advised to start taking Folic Acid again.

    Also worth remembering that taking extra Vitamin A in a supplement is not recommended during pregnancy (unless specifically told to do so by a medical expert)

    If you're pregnant, or planning to be & still wish to take a multivitamin supplement then it's better to take one specially formulated for pregnancy like Sanatogen ProNatal..this doesn't contain any vitamin A, but does have the necessary levels of Folic Acid.
  • With any supplements you are planning to take, it is always worthwhile checking one of the medical websites to see any side effects or, if you have any health problems, to check whether you can actually take them. (i.e. diabetics are not advised to take certain supplements, folk with iccky livers or kidneys are warned off certain supplements).

    Bio Force IS great...particularly the Echinacea drops when a cold starts. You are advised not to take them all the time, however, as this reduces the impact.
  • ReaperReaper Forumite
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    I much more of a sceptic.

    Tablets are a poor way of taking in vitamins. Your body can not cope well with a concentared tablet of vitamins and does not absorb most of it.

    There have been attempts to make expensive tablets which are meant to only slowly release the vitamins to give your body a better chance of absorbing it, but why not give your body the vitamins in the form it can best absorb it at the lowest cost. If you are short of vitamin C eat an orange a day. Vitamin A eat a carrot a day. For Iron eat... I can't resist... chocolate and Guiness! OK maybe that last bit of advice you should take with a pinch of salt but you get the idea.

    Supplements are a huge industry which do their best to ram pills down our throats (so to speak!) but hardly anybody needs them. If something is missing in your diet then change it.

    I should perhaps say that for short term use there may be times when some are suitable, such as illness or pregnancy, but not every day of your life.
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