Monday, August 4, 2008

Multivitamin Q & A at

A few months ago I did a question and answer segment on one of the web's most popular wedding planning sites, My fiancé is a blogger there, and as per her request, I answered some questions the "bees" had about premarital health and fitness. The answers were targeted at brides, but are easily applicable to people of all genders. Because there were so many different questions, I chose to begin at the beginning - with the body’s building blocks - VITAMINS!

(reproduced from here)

jfs asks:

I’m trying to be more proactive about my vitamin supplements. I take the one a day plus prenatal and I thought I was doing fine until I read an article on Hillary Swank and she takes 45 plus vitamins a day! Call me crazy but is that a little excessive? Here is the link.Anyway- are brainwave, flax, aloe c ect worth looking into? Some of these supplements cost a fortune and I’m wondering if they are worth it. Thanks so much!

Patty asks:
I’ve been thinking lately of taking vitamin supplements. I know fruits and vegetables are instead the best way to get your nutrients, but let’s be honest I just don’t get 5/day. My skin is also prone to breaking out and I read somewhere that some vitamins can help clear it up. What you recommend a female age 27 who’s never taken vitamins before start with?

Well, you first have to understand that there are more ingredients that are important to our health in food (gasp) than any multivitamin or supplement could ever hope to contain! So unless you have numerous allergies or anything that requires you to limit your food intake (crash diets don’t count), food always comes first - don’t replace food with pills!

(homemade pizza has lots of vitamins. And cheese.)

Having said that, I do recommend that all bees should take a comprehensive multi-vitamin/multi-mineral complex - regardless of whether or not you are planning to get preggers any time soon. Make sure that the multi-vitamin you choose has at least 1 milligram (1000 micrograms) of folic acid to help prevent neural tube defects.
The best route is actually to find a really good prenatal multi-vitamin - then you get the added benefits of super shiny hair (this is according to Miss Shortcake, who does not have any degrees in anything food related, but does have way too many hair products)!


1 - Buy capsules, they are easier to take and might be better absorbed than some of the larger tablets
2 - Take a look at the non-medicinal ingredients - if the list of additives is longer than the list of vitamins and minerals ( ex. titanium dioxide -a possible carcinogen, red and yellow dyes, etc) DONT BUY THEM!

This usually happens in generic and no-name brands of multi-vitamins. Why would you want to add all of that extra junk to your body? Kind of defeats the purpose of trying to improve your health… hmmmm? (my miss would like to add that she bought a generic prenatal multi once and it listed SHELLAC as the coating! WTF!)

3 - Beware of multis that claim to be superior because of their added herbs, phytochemicals, CoQ10 or amino acids. While these ingredients may be good on their own, in a multi they are in such small doses that you get minimal benefits from the extra ingredients and maximum wallet drainage!


If it smells fishy and tastes bad, it’s probably omega 3, and that EPA and DHA is liquid marine love for your body. These supplements help with inflammation, improve heart health, and have many other benefits that I do not have room for here, but you can read about here. If you are pregnant, breast feeding, or thinking about getting pregnant, make sure you are taking extra DHA to help with the baby’s brain development so that you’re more likely to produce a young Einstein!

Make sure that your supplement is made by a high quality company that does ‘third party testing’ so that you are sure to get a pure product free of mercury or dioxins. Make sure that they are from wild fish as well. Liquid or pills, it’s really your preference.

If you find that you are consuming too few calories or do not drink dairy due to allergies, make sure you are taking an extra Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D supplement (they are usually all together), liquid forms are easiest to take, don’t take more than 500mg of calcium in one serving or you will be peeing out the rest!

( take your vitamins like theoddbod and then you too can provide structural support to crumbling ruins in a pinch!)

What vitamins and supplements do you take?

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