a general health question

About three weeks ago I started taking Centrum (a multivitamin). I knew I wasn’t getting proper nutrition, and also my doctor’s been on my ass about possible malnutrition anyway, so I decided to try them.

And you know what? Other than being less nervous and having fewer nightmares and headaches, I really don’t feel any different.

I mean, I’m getting 100% of just about all the vitamins, so why don’t I feel any significant…well, betterness? I don’t know what exactly it was that I was expecting.


If I recall correctly…

Vitamins and minerals often digest more efficiently when actually taken with meals. Otherwise–whatever is undigested just passes through your system and is excreted with the rest of your bodily wastes.

Since this is all coming from Ashley’s noggin–I can’t provide a cite. I invite anyone to add or correct me in the name of fighting ignorance.


Fewer headaches and less stress isn’t feeling better? Not that a multivitamin will necessarily be connected with that, but seems to me both fit well within reasonable betterness.

I wouldn’t expect to be able to bend steel bars or leap over tall buildings in a single bound. Health, it seems to me, is pretty much not getting sick all that often, sleeping well, and not feeling run-down most of the time.

There are two kinds of vitamins: fat soluble and water soluble. If you are ingesting fat soluble vitamins (A, B, D, and K), it’s better to take them with a meal. If they are water soluble (C and E) it doesn’t matter.

Health, as stated, is feeling well. So if you’re feeling well, what’s your complaint? However, there are some aspects of a proper diet and nutrition which are not subjectively felt: lower cholesterol levels, better immune system, better circulatory system, etc. In short, there are things going on in your body that will not affect your “well-being” until they get to a terminal state. So, you want to prevent that before they get there. In other words, good nutrition will prevent deteriorating health in the future.

I would say that it is unlikely that you had actual vitamin deficiencies before. Even a lot of the crappy food we eat is vitamin enriched, so few Americans suffer from serious malnutrition. So (although there are many who believe there are benefits to taking megadoses of certain vitamins) you’re probably not going to feel better than normal from taking multivitamins.

So, has the scurvy cleared up?

*SERIOUS * malnutrition yes. A little here and a little here, and when you get to be old and senile like me that can add up.

Vitamin enriched yes. Take away all the vitamins from grains by bleaching them and destroying the germ and bran, and enrich them with a small percentage of some of the nutrients no longer there and call them “enriched” if you wish.

You’re not going to feel better with mild nutrient deficiency and no exercise, but your body will thank you in the future if you exercise and take in the optimal nutrients.

loislane- vitamins cannot perform magic, unless you really do have scurvy, in which case you should see a dramatic improvement. Your teeth will stop falling out, for one thing.

I think it’s sound advice to take a daily multivitamin. As an RN, I often recommend that my patients do this. I warn against believing that the more vitamins you take, the healthier you’ll be: overdosing on vitamins is just as dangerous as OD’ing on prescription drugs. It’s also needlessly expensive. (I’ve had patients who spent upwards of a thousand dollars each month on vitamins! It made them very sick, but they couldn’t believe the vitamins were the source of the problem. Their nutritionists told them it was a faulty energy field or some such hogwash. :rolleyes:

Most women would do well to take a little extra calcium and iron. Women who may become pregnant should definitely take folic acid. Smokers need extra vitamin C. Vitamins A, E, and C will help with wound healing. People who are taking Coumadin (a blood thinner) must not take extra vitamin K. People who have not-so-great kidneys should avoid potassium (among other things).

Again, taking extra vitamins can hurt you. I have seen people with terrible gallstones and kidney stones from massive overdoses of vitamin C and calcium. (VC is water soluble, but if you take enough of it, your body can’t flush it out fast enough.) Fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K) remain in your body and can potentially kill you if you overdose. Minerals such as iron are also dangerous if you OD; when my son was a baby, he found my iron pills and had to have his entire gastrointestinal tract flushed out. Iron overdose is a very common cause of childhood poisoning deaths.

Taking a multivitamin won’t make you feel better in the short-term, but it can do a lot of good over time. Check the labels, by the way- many generics are just as good as the name brands, and much cheaper.

I know of no documentation that vitamin C can cause kidney stones, altho we are warned against it. Dr. Karl Gauss, in another thread sometime ago, said there was no documentation of that. Anyway, no one is saying taking massive doses.