Forums
back to main | back to forum | view rules
multivitamins?
syrahelise Posted at 2011/01/06 2:36pm reply to

syrahelise
Posts: 0
message
Subject somewhat self-explanatory, but what brands of multivitamins do you guys take if you do take one?
UTexasMark Posted at 2011/01/06 3:00pm reply to

UTexasMark
Posts: 371
message
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multivitamin#Evidence_against

A lot of research says multivitamins don't help people who eat enough food with some variety in their diet.  That said, as vegans I hear we should look out for B12, iron, D, calcium, iodine, and omega-3s.

Hopefully someone will pipe in with good vegan brands/vitamins for these things since I honestly haven't paid much attention to who makes the multi I take and I'm sure it lacks some of those things.
Ross Posted at 2011/01/06 3:32pm reply to

Ross
Posts: 4560
message
The multi I take occasionally I got from veganessentials, it's this Ultra Freeda multivitamin w/ iron

I have a couple veglife vegan supplements I take occasionally for Vitamin D and the sort
Gabriel Posted at 2011/01/06 4:07pm reply to

Gabriel
Posts: 827
message
I take Dr. Fuhrman's Gentle Care Multivitamin because it's the only one I've found that is vegan and doesn't contain vitamins that can be harmful when supplemented (vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, beta carotene, copper and iron).

Dr. Fuhrman's recommendations for females of child-bearing age are a little different than they are for men.  He does recommend some iron for them and has a separate prenatal vitamin.  

For non-pregnant females, he recommends 1 Gentle Care Multivitamin and 1 Gentle Prenatal.  For pregnant females, he recommends 2 of the Gentle Prenatal.

You can read all about why some vitamins/minerals are not recommended here:

http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/article10.aspx

http://www.drfuhrman.com/shop/GCF.aspx

It's a good idea to take some extra Vitamin D2 and Omega 3s too.  
weigand Posted at 2011/01/06 6:27pm reply to

weigand
Posts: 538
message
I take DEVA brand vegan one-a-day multi with iron. They're cheap and complete. My blood tests consistently come back "awesome" in everything. I take these in the morning with breakfast. I take a B complex in the evening with dinner. I also supplement with DEVA brand omega-3 DHA and Veglife's Supreme Vegan D.

As far as I can tell, you can't overdose on beta carotene. It's water soluble and is only converted to vitamin A when the body needs it. Anything you don't need at that time gets peed out of you. Not sure why Dr. Fuhrman would say it's bad for you.

Actual vitamin A and E, on the other hand, are fat soluble. Vitamin A is almost always given "as beta carotene" in multivitamins instead of actual vitamin A (retinyl), however. So you're probably safe, but you should check your labels to make sure. Vitamin E, however, is always given as actual vitamin E. However, the amount of vitamin E in multivitamins generally isn't anything to cause alarm. Though, many people eat fortified cereals, sports drinks, and power bars throughout the day, so the combination from all of those could be harmful.

Not a big fan of Dr. Fuhrman. In the past, I've seen some pretty quackish things coming from that guy. He tends to embrace alternative therapies and exaggerates the effectiveness of stuff for which there is little or no evidence to support it. I don't trust him, personally. He apparently has an MD degree, but I've seen many bad MD's in the past.

There's an MD I ran into that sells books on how to cure yourself of cancer. She makes a lot of money filling peoples heads with absolute nonsense. She believes viruses, bacteria, and amoebas are actually the same creature, and we're just seeing it at different stages of its life. She bases that on studies done in the late 1800's, and uses it as a way of discrediting modern science. Seriously, this is an MD. So just because someone has an MD, don't think that means he/she is always legit.

As for copper, iron, zinc, calcium, and B vitamins, these should all be on a vegan's supplement list. They tend to be low in vegans. At the very least, take a B complex and get your blood tested every couple of years.

- Steve
Gabriel Posted at 2011/01/06 11:35pm reply to

Gabriel
Posts: 827
message
>Not a big fan of Dr. Fuhrman. In the past, I've seen some pretty quackish things coming from that guy. He tends to embrace alternative therapies and exaggerates the effectiveness of stuff for which there is little or no evidence to support it. I don't trust him, personally. He apparently has an MD degree, but I've seen many bad MD's in the past.

Steve, can you tell me what "quackish" things you've heard from Dr. Fuhrman?  Dr. Fuhrman is a board certified family physician.  He doesn't really embrace alternative therapies that I've seen, so I think that you may have him confused with someone else.  In fact, he tends to discourage a lot of them.  However, he does help people achieve some pretty incredible things through diet and exercise and other healthy habits.


>There's an MD I ran into that sells books on how to cure yourself of cancer. She makes a lot of money filling peoples heads with absolute nonsense. She believes viruses, bacteria, and amoebas are actually the same creature, and we're just seeing it at different stages of its life. She bases that on studies done in the late 1800's, and uses it as a way of discrediting modern science. Seriously, this is an MD. So just because someone has an MD, don't think that means he/she is always legit.

Okay, well, to my knowledge Dr. Fuhrman has never promoted anything like this, and he is always very careful in that he pays attention to the science out there.  This seems like a red herring to me.
Gabriel Posted at 2011/01/07 12:04am reply to

Gabriel
Posts: 827
message
>As far as I can tell, you can't overdose on beta carotene. It's water soluble and is only converted to vitamin A when the body needs it. Anything you don't need at that time gets peed out of you. Not sure why Dr. Fuhrman would say it's bad for you.>

There are quite a few studies on this where beta carotene actually seemed to raise cancer risk.  Dr. Fuhrman lists some studies and articles on his website:

Mayne ST. Beta-carotene, carotenoids, and disease prevention in humans. FASEB. 1996;10(7):690-701.

Goodman GE. Prevention of lung cancer. Current Opinion in Oncology 1998;10(2):122-126.

Kolata G. Studies Find Beta Carotene, Taken by Millions, Can't Forestall Cancer or Heart Disease. New York Times, Jan 19, 1996.

Omenn GS, Goodman GE, Thornquist MD, et al. Effects of a combination of beta carotene and vitamin A on lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. New England Journal of Medicine 1996;334(18 );1150-1155.

Hennekens CH, Buring JE, Manson JE, et al. Lack of effect of long-term supplementation with beta carotene on the incidence of malignant neoplasms and cardiovascular disease. New England Journal of Medicine 1996;334(18 ):1145-1149.

Albanes D, Heinonen OP, Taylor PR, et al. Alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplements and lung cancer incidence in the alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene cancer prevention study: effects of base-line characteristics and study compliance. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 1996;88(21):1560-1570.

Rapola JM, Virtamo J, Ripatti S, et al. Randomized trial of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplements on incidence of major coronary events in men with previous myocardial infarction. Lancet 1997;349(9067):1715-1720.


>Actual vitamin A and E, on the other hand, are fat soluble. Vitamin A is almost always given "as beta carotene" in multivitamins instead of actual vitamin A (retinyl), however. So you're probably safe, but you should check your labels to make sure. Vitamin E, however, is always given as actual vitamin E. However, the amount of vitamin E in multivitamins generally isn't anything to cause alarm. Though, many people eat fortified cereals, sports drinks, and power bars throughout the day, so the combination from all of those could be harmful.

A healthy vegan diet (i.e. veggie-based not grain-based) is going to give you all the beta carotene you need.  And with the current science showing (see above) that isolated beta carotene could raise cancer risk, I wouldn't call that safe.

>As for copper, iron, zinc, calcium, and B vitamins, these should all be on a vegan's supplement list. They tend to be low in vegans. At the very least, take a B complex and get your blood tested every couple of years.
>

A healthy plant-based diet with veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds is going to supply the copper that you need and most of your B vitamins (except for B12).  Some extra calcium can be helpful, but too much in a supplement can cause arteries to harden (even in vegans).  Iron is abundant in a healthy diet and excess iron has been linked to heart disease. Menstruating women tend to lose a lot of iron, which is why it's probably a good idea for them to supplement.  There are also some health conditions that may require someone to take iron, but for most men it's a bad idea.  It's folly to suggest that someone use supplements that have been linked with problems like these just because they're vegan, particularly when they can easily meet their needs in a healthy diet.

Dr. Fuhrman works with both vegans and non-vegans, but he has the distinction of having worked with more vegans than probably any physician and has seen what kind of problems they might have.  For example, in elderly vegans he observed low levels of long-chain omega 3 fatty acids which is one of the reasons why it is especially important that vegans consider taking some DHA.  However, he says that young, healthy vegans might not always need to and recommends a omega 3 fatty acid blood panel if you want to be certain.   He bases his recommendations on science, common sense, and 20 years of clinical experience.
mollyjade Posted at 2011/01/07 9:24am reply to

mollyjade
Posts: 444
message
syrahelise, I don't take a multi either. But I take b-12 dots that dissolve in your mouth a couple times a week (just whenever I remember). You can find them at some HEBs and at Whole Foods. They're supposed to absorb better because they dissolve. Sometimes similar ones are labeled sublingual.

I take one Deva Cal-Mag-D on days when I don't drink a glass of fortified milk. I bought this online, but you can find it at Whole Foods and some HEBs.

When I worked nights I took a separate vitamin D, but I don't bother with that now that I can get out in the sun.

And I take DHA a few days a week because of specific health conditions I have. I'm not sure I'd take this otherwise since the evidence on general use is still pretty new. I use either VPure or Omega-Zen-3, whichever is cheapest when I'm buying.
weigand Posted at 2011/01/07 5:58pm reply to

weigand
Posts: 538
message
Gabriel, I don't have time to read those papers and truly digest them at the moment. But I can tell you that I see lists like that all the time used to support anything. While it looks scientific, it may not mean what the original author thinks it means or wants you to believe.

What is required is a very deep and broad analysis of all the available research results, examining everything objectively, and discarding those results which don't meet certain standards. In science, this is known as "meta analysis".

A meta analysis - in order for it to be scientific - must itself pass peer review and be published in a scientific journal. I would first ask whether or not this list Dr. Fuhrman has posted and his conclusions has gone through this process?

My mother had lung cancer starting in 2002, right in the heart of the beta carotene phenomenon. Smokers were telling themselves that if they took beta carotene in large doses, it offered some or even complete protection against the possibility of getting lung cancer. They were taking other supplements also, like zinc picolinate, just to hedge their bets.

The beta carotene claim was being tested at that time. Right around then, scientific studies were coming out saying that they saw the opposite: those who supplemented in large doses with beta carotene ended up getting more cancer. Uh oh!

This was soon criticized, however. Was it the beta carotene that caused their cancer rates to increase? Or was it the fact that the people who took the beta carotene supplements were often the ones at higher risk for getting cancer in the first place? Correlation and causation are two very different things.

I did a PubMed search for meta analysis of beta carotene and cancer. This one turned up as the most recent paper:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19876916

It says: "Overall, no effect of beta-carotene supplementation was observed on the incidence of all cancers combined...Beta-carotene supplementation has not been shown to have any beneficial effect on cancer prevention. Conversely, it was associated with increased risk not only of lung cancer but also of gastric cancer at doses of 20-30 mg day, in smokers and asbestos workers."

Back to me...

In other words, yes it is associated with higher risk of cancer, but only in those people who are at higher risk of those cancers in the first place. It doesn't say that the beta carotene caused their cancer or made it worse, it just means that they were the same people who were at a higher risk of getting cancer. Therefore, it is as I suspected.

See, this is why I wrote about Dr. Fuhrman. I said that he often exaggerates stuff. This beta carotene thing is what I'm talking about. He selects what he wants and discards the rest. It's very common for people in alternative medicine to do that. It's not scientific or objective. It's known as "selection bias" or "cherry-picking".

As for why I think he's on the "alternative" track of medicine, it's because what he says is very selective (like that selection of articles on beta carotene mentioned by Gabriel). What he claims generally hasn't gone through rigorous peer review and is often at odds with his peers. He actually writes books that fall into the realm of alternative medicine, like the one where he recommends people fast to treat cancer. He published an article in the journal, "Alternative Therapies" titled, "Fasting in Remission of Autoimmune Disease."

If you go to his blog at "DiseaseProof.com" (the name itself is a big tip-off that something is not right), you don't have to go too far to see that he's often hostile towards "modern medicine" and claims to know the truth whereas modern medicine doesn't.

These are all dead giveaways that someone is on an alternative medicine track. He does scientific analysis and uses science, but he uses it very selectively and jumps to conclusions that are not based on the science.

- Steve
Unidentifed Posted at 2013/04/18 1:35pm reply to

Unidentifed
Posts: 1
message
the most essential vitamins for vegans are vitamin D 5 micrograms daily, Vitamin B12 2.4 micrograms daily and calcium 600 milligrams daily, that's all I take every day. (read more or see the article on how to keep the best vegan diet) I don't think there is a need to drink multivitamins, besides, if you take them some vitamins neutralize others so i guess it makes no sense.
weigand Posted at 2013/05/10 11:53am reply to

weigand
Posts: 538
message
That Vitamin B12 dosage looks low to me. Jack Norris recommends 25 micrograms of B12 once a day, or between 2 and 3.5 micrograms twice a day:
http://veganhealth.org/b12/rec

Good news is that if you're taking a B12 supplement, you're probably getting much more than that. Most of them only come in large doses.

There was a report recently about damage caused by getting too much B12. But I'm not up to date on that issue, and I suspect it wouldn't apply to most people.

- Steve
Post a comment
0 users logged in: