Just yesterday I bought myself some iron supplements. I don’t eat most foods that people get iron from (I’m a vegetarian) and the last time I gave blood, I had the lowest acceptable amount of iron for blood donation. The nurse told me that this doesn’t mean I’m anemic, but it still worried me.
Gosh, that was Mundane and Pointless. If someone has an opinion on the worthwhileness of iron supplements, I’d be happy to read it.
A couple of suggestions. First, talk to your Doctor about your new health regimen, etc. I know this shounds like the warning on coffee cups about coffee being hot, but you really ought to.
If you’re going to start taking vitamins, you should start a log/journal and detail what your taking, and you should also record any changes in behavior, how you’re feeling, etc. You might have some reactions and not associate them with the Vitamins.
[My personal experience]
B-complex Vitamins make me mildly psychotic. No kidding. If I take them, even in a Multi, I get really short-tempered, ill-tempered, and etc. Not fun. And it doesn’t really effect me unless I take the Vitamin dose. In other words, normal amounts of B-Complex I encounter in food doesn’t really effect me.
[/My personal experience]
One more thing…
If you do decide on Vitamin Supplements, get the Liquid kind. The GNC Guys won’t tell you this, but if you have a decent metabolism rate, a vitamin tablet will go through your system quicker than you can digest it. You could eat a banana, and throw 50 cents in the toilet every morning and get the same results as taking most multivitamins.
I bounce between that level and levels so low that they refuse to allow you to donate blood, and the doctor still won’t label me “anemic” though everyone does list items that I should be eating most of which I already am. I’m not a vegitarian. I like beef. The same is true for most of the other items on the list - they’ve done nothing for restoring my iron levels. I took iron supplements for a while, and all of a sudden, my blood actually dropped to the bottom in that stupid blue liquid. (It’s also a much darker red when I’m on iron.)
Currently, I’ve heard pre-natal vitamins are excellent for hair, so I’m about to start giving them a try. Even though they look like horse pills.
I have a great doc. He’s very open to, and up on which supplements, herbs, etc. supposedly help what, and that ones actually do.
On his advice, I’m taking garlic tablets, flaxseed oil capsules and Vitamen E capsules, all for blood pressure and cholesterol. He’s also knowledgable, and enthusiastic, about ways to incorporate the actual foods seamlessly into everyday diet as opposed to just popping pills. Delicious, easy stuff, btw. Some relatively easy dietary adjustments and light exercise put my blood pressure well down into the safe range and lowered my “bad” cholesterol 47 points. (That is not a typo: 47 points. And it was barely borderline to begin with.)
Again, I have a great doc–and that’s saying a lot, given my longtime dread of them. (He even specifies brands, bless 'im, and tells me why The man’s an education.) If you have a similar doc, or can find one, I’d highly suggest consulting him/her. Even readily available supplements can have unintended side effects and interactions. There’s a lot of hype out there, and even dosages can be pretty blurry. The relative purity and potency aren’t always clear. (They ain’t always cheap, either.)
In any case–IMO–it’s just prudent to know what you’re taking upfront. Find out 1.) what they actually do and 2.) if your body needs it, through dietary lack or unusual stresses. Are they actually gonna do something you actually need?
Hope I didn’t dump cold water on ya, Shirley, but if so, apologies. It’s just been a real trip, having a tough-minded M.D. walk me through the folklore and hype. And having it work!
I started taking a multivtimain every day a couple of months ago; after my cancer episode, my doc recommended folic acid as a way to keep up my immune system, and I figured as long as I was going to swallow a horse pill, it might as well be one with “the works.” I had a fairly balanced diet before, but the silly generic multivitamin at about $.06/day has done amazing things for my energy level.
In the morning I take a good multi, an extra 2000mg of “C”, 750mg of red rice yeast, and 1000mg of garlic. At night I take another 1000mg of C, another 750mg of red rice yeast, 600mg of calcium, and 1000mg of flaxseed oil. I started this regimen because I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This combo was given to my by a nutritionist friend and I ran it by my Dr. prior to starting. He agreed that it would help. It’s been about a year since I started and both my BP and cholesterol are now back to normal.
I take a multivitamin with iron as I tend towards anemia if I don’t. If you take iron supplements be aware that your body may not absorb the iron as well if you drink milk at the same meal as you take the pill. On the other hand, vitamin C taken with iron can enhance absorption.
Note that as you start to take much more than 200 mg of vitamin C, your ability to absorb it decreases. I haven’t found that small a dosage, and its toxicity is negligible, so some is better than none, IMO.