Forum: Advice / Health & Nutrition

Health & Nutrition
Merits of taking vitamins
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:24 PM

So, I kind of got talked into buying some different vitamins. My personal trainer is also a nutritionist, so I'm kind of just trusting her on this. It's a multivitamin, fish oil, magnesium, b-100 and D3 (I'm hoping some of these are combined into one pill, because that's a lot of pills). A six month supply of those.

I figure I'll try it out. Right now I've just been taking a multivitamin gummy. She said I'm deficient in my micro-nutrients and it would help my metabolism (she's seen my food diary etc). And these are the same one she takes.

I figure, I'll try them out. I assume she knows what shes talking about. My mom will be pissed if she finds out I was talked into buying these (I started to tell her but I could tell she would not approve so I didn't).

20 Replies to Merits of taking vitamins

re: Merits of taking vitamins
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Wed Feb 04, 2015 01:18 AM
Why would your mom be upset over you taking your vitamins? You can usually get them for cheap at Safeway or whatever store you have. ( avoid wholefoods, super expensive)
Here is what I take.
1, Prenatal Multivitamin. ( not pregnant, but I need the extra iron and calcium found in these)
2. Vitmain D3
3. Fish oil several times a week.
4. Ginger Pill
5. I also take my branch chain amino acids before a workout, but that is powder form.

You aren't getting ripped off,nor is it a scam...if that is what your mom is afraid of. I know you are on a strict diet now, so you need to make sure you take your vitamins or get them in your food. It is hard to get everything you need, when you are in a restricted diet like your food plan said.
re: Merits of taking vitamins
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Wed Feb 04, 2015 06:22 AM
Yeah, she thinks its a rip off. I'm buying them through the gym so the price is just tacked onto my fees for next month. I looked up the brand and saw the prices, it looks like they are charging me what they actually cost (maybe a little bit of a mark-up, but not much).
re: Merits of taking vitamins
By LoriCook Comments: 1762, member since Mon Aug 17, 2009
On Wed Feb 04, 2015 07:32 AM
I don't believe in taking anything without having a blood test to see if you are deficient. I take a few vitamins as recommended by my doctor for deficiencies. I haven't noticed any change in energy and it certainly does nothing for the "metabolism".

Some studies have shown certain vitamins are actually harmful, such as vitamin E and mega doses of Vitamin C. One study I read found daily multivitamin use was associated with a shorter life span.

Don't buy into the vitamin hype without having a physical and blood test. One size does not fit all. The ones she is recommending are fairly standard, ( at least she didn't throw in anything whackadoo like shark cartilage or lecithin)! I am sure you are working on improving your diet, keep on that path.

Fish oil pills suck, by the way.
re: Merits of taking vitamins (karma: 2)
By imadanseurPremium member Comments: 16604, member since Thu Dec 04, 2003
On Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:45 AM
Edited by imadanseur (79325) on 2015-02-04 11:48:08 ..
First and foremost: "Nutritionists" are not regulated. They have varying degrees or certifications (some have very little and some have a masters degree but that would be rare as a personal trainer). Since the term "nutritionist" isn't regulated, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist and dispense nutritional information without having any education whatsoever. They sell products, write books, and basically have their own belief system backing them up. My best advice? If you want advice on your diet, food, or nutrition, I'd see a dietitian unless a nutritionist could prove to you how much education they've had.

I think supplements and vitamins are a bunch of crap. Unless my doctor who has actually run blood work on me finds I am deficient in something, then I will explore taking something. I don't know that she can say you are deficient in micro-nutrients. I guess based on a food log she could easily say you are deficient in fiber (lack of vegetables), but she has no idea what your iron level is, what your rate of absorption is etc. I would love for her to produce cold hard evidence that it will increase your metabolism...and provide proof to where your metabolism is now and what it will look like when it is suddenly "boosted." There is no way to measure that. It's such a nonsense thing to say and sell.

Foods containing many micronutrients are considered nutrient dense. This ratio compares the amount of calories the food provides to the amount of nutrients it contains. Low calorie foods with many micronutrients, such as fruits and vegetables, have higher nutrient densities.

Research regarding micronutrients in the form of supplements is inconclusive. While multivitamins are commonly recommended by health professionals and consumed by the general public, their effectiveness is unproven. People should proceed with caution when consuming micronutrients in supplements, as the price, quality and safety of these products varies considerably.

The truth is that most vitamins in supplements are made or processed with petroleum derivatives or hydrogenated sugars. The cheaper they are, the more processed and more chemicals you are putting in. So, getting them at Safeway is something I'd really discourage. You're better off not getting them if you do a little bit of research on how they are made. www.doctorsresearch.com . . .

These are just 2 articles on supplements being bogus. Your trainer probably gets a commission on the products she/he sells. They have monthly sale quotas, and normally the gym makes 20% of their income from supplements. IT'S A BIG BIG BIG money making business. I personally think that most trainers in this situation do not have your best interest at heart, and why I would never ever work for a gym that does this.

yousowould.wordpress.com . . .

scienceblogs.com . . .
re: Merits of taking vitamins
By saaammiemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 440, member since Thu Apr 01, 2010
On Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:48 AM
Always see a registered dietitian, anyone can call themselves an nutritionist.
re: Merits of taking vitamins
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8688, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Wed Feb 04, 2015 01:09 PM
Edited by YumYumDoughnut (99333) on 2015-02-04 13:12:44
I just looked up the prices of vitamins at my Bf's gym. Holy moly are they overpriced?!
They are charging $18 for vitamin D, and I get the same pills for $6 at the store.

My vitamins aren't the chewable kind with sugar in it. As Renae said, they can be filled with sugars and stuff, so I buy this natural brand that my doctor recommended.

I did a blood panel and I have low levels of Vit D, calcium and iron, I did ask my doctor and she recommended that the average adult take a multivitamin because the Western Diet doesn't always meet all the nutritional needs. Have you asked your doctor what they recommend?

The Vitamins that your trainer gave you, doesn't seem super out there or expensive. If they are making commission on sales....I would be a bit weary. Ask for recommendations, but tell them you are buying elsewhere.

I don't always have the time or energy to cook healthy meals, so I like knowing my bases are covered each day. That being said, I try to eat super healthy at least 2 of my meals. I take vitamins on a full stomach though, I get a stomach ache otherwise.

I've also started to make green smoothies, and add extra spinach for iron and almond for protein and chia seeds. I have another blood panel in 3 months so I hope that the results show that something is working.

I have my thoughts about vitamins, and so do other people on this thread. As I said, I been told by my doctor that the majority of people would benefit from a multivitamin. But, I see there is conflicting research and I trust other people on this site are also knowledgable. As they also mentioned, check with a doctor.

I take vitamins not to boost my metabolism though. I take them for my health and I've never heard them boosting your metabolism any huge significant way.
re: Merits of taking vitamins
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Wed Feb 04, 2015 05:57 PM
I appreciate all of the comments. I like reading different opinions on stuff like this (and if there is actual science behind, all the better). I figure, I'll buy them and try them (it's not that much, for how long they will last). I'm not so sure about the fish oil, though. If I don't think they are doing anything, I just wont buy anymore.

I don't think they make a commission off of it, the mark up from retail isn't that much (they don't keep them in stock and they order them in). They sell lots of stuff at their "Cafe" (I use that liberally because it only sells protein shakes food wise etc. other than that they sell shirts and some skin care products).

The only doctor I see regularly is the gyno, so... no doctor has been consulted.

This brand doesn't have all of the extra crap that is in the cheaper ones.

I am not gullible but I am easy to talk into buying stiff. Sometimes I will but something just to shut someone up (if it is not too expensive).
re: Merits of taking vitamins
By Gavrilushka Comments: 872, member since Wed Jul 11, 2012
On Thu Feb 05, 2015 06:18 AM
The only ones worth getting are calcium and vitamin D and that's because no one wants osteoporosis. I'm with LoriCook on this one, no point in getting something without a blood test done. My husband and I eat the same food, but he has high blood pressure and needs to go easy on the salt while I'm the opposite. He also has to eat more greens than me and has more B-12 than I do. Looking at what a person eats isn't going to tell you what that person needs.

Also, it's better to adjust your diet than get a bunch of pills. A lot of these vitamins just turn to waste and don't get absorbed by the body.
re: Merits of taking vitamins
By hummingbird Comments: 10419, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Thu Feb 05, 2015 09:08 AM
What testing did you have? We had a dietitian working out of our studio whilst we had the space for her and her testing equipment was amazing, it was just like hospital equipment. I know for a fact she never sold anyone vitamin supplements, she tried to correct people dietary patterns.
re: Merits of taking vitamins
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:06 AM
I am not gullible but I am easy to talk into buying stiff. Sometimes I will but something just to shut someone up (if it is not too expensive).


If someone can convince you you're short on "micro-nutrients" just by reading what you ate on a piece of paper, then I should say!

My husband takes fish oil pretty religiously. He got a pretty nasty eye infection a couple of years ago, and the optometrist turned him on to it, said it'd help reduce the chance of recurring infections in the future. So he takes it, and so far the optometrist has been proven right, so it's all worked out.
re: Merits of taking vitamins
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:18 PM
Theresa wrote:


If someone can convince you you're short on "micro-nutrients" just by reading what you ate on a piece of paper, then I should say!

My husband takes fish oil pretty religiously. He got a pretty nasty eye infection a couple of years ago, and the optometrist turned him on to it, said it'd help reduce the chance of recurring infections in the future. So he takes it, and so far the optometrist has been proven right, so it's all worked out.


Don't tell me you've never came home from the mall with something you didn't really want just because you couldn't escape the sells person (this is probably just me, I'm bad at lying or coming up with excuses on the spot). I usually avoid eye contact and keep walking (but every once in a while I get lured in). This situation was a bit different, it was via text message and I was just like "eh, why not."

There is also the "wow" factor. This chick is training for the Olympics (pole vaulter). I know that doesn't equal they know what they are talking about, but...still, damn. She's educated, sounds like she knows what she's talking about and is an athlete.
re: Merits of taking vitamins
By imadanseurPremium member Comments: 16604, member since Thu Dec 04, 2003
On Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:32 AM
She may know what she is talking about from an athletic point of view, but that isn't your goal. I still find it bizarre that people say they can boost your metabolism with a pill. It's not correct...it just isn't.
re: Merits of taking vitamins
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Sat Feb 07, 2015 05:17 PM
Don't tell me you've never came home from the mall with something you didn't really want just because you couldn't escape the sells person (this is probably just me, I'm bad at lying or coming up with excuses on the spot).


Well, you said I shouldn't tell YOU, so I'll tell everybody else.

Yeah. That's never happened to me before. Never been duped in to buying proactiv, or those dead sea nail scrubs, or whatever the heck else.

I'm not asking for a medal or anything, I'm just saying.
re: Merits of taking vitamins
By LoriCook Comments: 1762, member since Mon Aug 17, 2009
On Sun Feb 08, 2015 03:37 AM
LOL my husband came home with a bag of Dead Sea stuff for me. He is easily persuaded. When we buy something big, I insist on doing the talking or we will soon have all the add ons and extended warranties. He sees it as being polite and I bet you do too.
When it's time to buy more, just say it isn't in your budget this time.
re: Merits of taking vitamins
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 8949, member since Sat Jul 19, 2003
On Sun Feb 08, 2015 08:28 AM
I worked in the supplement industry (think along the lines of Whole Foods, not pyramid scheme nonsense) and while I do genuinely believe that supplements can and do have a place, they're overhyped and overused. I also inherently distrust pyramid schemes.

Anyhow, I've been to a million trainings, read a million studies, and here's my "vitamin plan" I follow.

-Fish oil, because I don't eat any fish/seafood. I try to get as much omega-3 through food (like flaxseeds), but that doesn't always happen.
-Garden of Life women's multi. I really like this one because it takes four pills to get your full daily value. Unless you subsist on like, Doritos, you should be getting your nutrients from your food. I'll pop one of these (again, 4 is a full dose) on days I don't eat particularly well.
-Vitamin D3 in the winter
-Vitamin B12 periodically
-Probiotics, because I've been having a lot of stomach issues

Blindly taking high potency vitamins can be dangerous, and it's not actually linked to any health benefits.
re: Merits of taking vitamins
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11592, member since Thu Dec 16, 2004
On Mon Feb 09, 2015 03:14 PM
People (specifically women) who take vitamins die earlier than those who don't.
healthland.time.com . . .

There is little evidence to show that calcium supplements prevent osteoporosis or fractures. Worse, there is inconclusive evidence linking calcium supplements with heart disease.
well.blogs.nytimes.com . . .

So I'm with Kekoa. I take a multi every once in a while just to hedge my bet.
re: Merits of taking vitamins
By Gavrilushka Comments: 872, member since Wed Jul 11, 2012
On Tue Feb 10, 2015 05:00 AM
^ I'm going to be very skeptical of that first article. It's full of assumption without evidence - they speculate a cause of death, without showing what that cause of death was. For all we know, the sample of women they chose could have had the vitamin taking group dying more from car accidents, unpredictable cancers like melanoma as opposed to the vitamins themselves being responsible for the cause of death. Also, reading the study, the results are very underwhelming, in a lot of the cases they found no difference in mortality. The 6% could very well be a result of their sample. This was a longitudinal study and it comes with a lot of problems here - how consistent were the participants in taking the vitamins over these years for example. But more importantly, vitamins are not intended to prevent mortality.

The second article you posted is just as vague, there is evidence to prove for and against the taking of supplements. But I think it remains that if you're at a low risk/no risk, supplements are not mandatory. Vitamin D + calcium combined pills are recommended for women (and men) by doctors for a number of bone related health problems. My mother takes it for degenerative disk disease.

Anyway, it's a lot cheaper and better for you in the long run to eat a well balanced diet than pop some pills, majority of which doesn't get absorbed by your body.
re: Merits of taking vitamins (karma: 1)
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11592, member since Thu Dec 16, 2004
On Tue Feb 10, 2015 08:01 AM
OMG deep breath... The Time article links directly to the source study. I chose that study because it specifically looked at women. But IF YOU HAD EVEN TRIED to google vitamins and death instead of telling me you disapproved of my post, you would have found several other studies dating back to the early 1990s that showed similar results. Here. Let me do that for you.

www.nytimes.com . . .

You're welcome. And you say the second article I posted is just a vague? Maybe that's why I SAID IT WAS INCONCLUSIVE. The point is there is not much evidence that calcium supplements prevent osteoporosis. *insert eye roll here*

I didn't expect those two brief articles to solve all of life's eternal mysteries. I expected you to use them as a starting point to do your own damn research.
re: Merits of taking vitamins
By Gavrilushka Comments: 872, member since Wed Jul 11, 2012
On Tue Feb 10, 2015 08:43 AM
I never said I disproved of your post. I just said that I was skeptical if the link between death and vitamins is really substantial, and reading the actual study a few details were missed. I admit, I don't know much on the topic, but there are multiple factors that could be linked to people using vitamins and their rate of death which is kind of what I was getting at. I'm interested to know why taking more of a certain vitamin would put people at these elevated risks and why vitamins are even unnaturally high doses. I guess it's just common sense to know too much of a good thing can be bad for you.

And my statements weren't meant to disagree with what you presented. It was just my commentary on what you linked, to which I agreed on the second one.
re: Merits of taking vitamins
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Sun Feb 15, 2015 09:52 PM
Anyway...

I received the vitamins on Friday. Out of the four pills, I can only physically swallow two of them. I have issues with big pills and the multi and the calcium/magnesium pills are HUGE (and you are supposed to take them 3 times a day) . And they are soft-gels so I can't cut them in half. The B vitamin and D vitamins are fine. So, I'll take those until they are gone (plus the b vitamin also has folic acid, and my current multi doesn't). I might try the bigger pills another day, and try to trick myself into thinking they are not giant horse pills. If not, I just wont take them. No big deal. I might be able to pawn them off on someone else.

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