Have Vitamins Helped You?

First off, which vitamins do you take?

Which ones worked, and which ones worked. Please describe (even in one short sentence) things you noticed physically/mentally.

If I ever buy vitamins in the future, they’re going to be chewables :slight_smile:

Vitamin B12. I was diagnosed with a deficiency. (I am not vegan or even vegetarian. This deficiency is more common among vegans. In my case it’s probably a genetic disorder.) I got better.

Vitamin D. I live “oop north” and so I get very little sunlight.


Asking for opinions and personal experiences is better suited for IMHO than GQ. Moving.

First, I fully understand there’s a metric ton of “Woo!” about Vitamins. The following is only my opinion, may not be your experience, and may be full of crap.

  1. Vitamin B, B12, and cohorts. They usually all come in the same pill. Its kept my anemia at bay.
  2. Vitamin C. Most pills also contain D and others, and it seems to have helped keep colds away.
  3. Calcium. I take calcium pills, and it seems to help with my fingernails from cracking/breaking so much.

I DID try fish oil, and garlic, but they didn’t do much except make me smell bad.

My bloodwork indicated low B12 & D and those are the ones my Doctor has me on. Nothing self-medicating, just what the Doctor told me I should be taking.

My levels have been excellent for several years now. I might drop the D as I walk every day for over a year and quite possibly don’t need it anymore, I’ll be asking about that one.

I’ve read that vitamins are a mixed bag, with some having more impact as supplements than others. That said, I do take vitamin C and vitamin D3, both of which are important for building up natural immunity. I’ve been trying to eat more natural fruits and veggies as of late, but some weeks are better than others. I tend to eat well Friday - Sunday and not so well Mon - Thurs.

I personally wouldn’t drop that D - it’s very important, especially now with the whole COVID thing going on. It’s responsible for a range of metabolic processes and most of us don’t really get enough sunlight naturally, nor do we get enough of it through our diet.

I used to take B12 and probably should pick it back up. It was great for energy. It was in the form of a spray that you would spray inside your inner cheek. I don’t remember the brand; I think my coworker got it from some MLM company and gave it to me.

That’s why I’ll be discussing it with my Doctor.

What I take would probably be described as overkill: a multivitamin, an extra 1000 mg Vitamin C, and a B-complex with more vitamin C. Plus I drink a pint of low-sodium V8 every morning with my breakfast. These I take for general well-being and daily energy. I have tried taking other supplements for other things but there was no discernible difference with or without.

I am very rarely sick, I almost never catch colds and when I do they are short-lived. This may be partly due to these vitamins (and minerals). It may also be partly due to a lifelong exposure to the normal run of germs, which I believe has strengthened my immune system compared to what it would be if I were more into cleaning. Anyway, that’s what I tell myself.

Not really a vitamin, but I take glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM supplements. They really do help with my knee pain.

Multivitamin; B; C; calcium; fish oil; resveratrol; glucosamine/chondroitin. I don’t know what is helping me but I’m pretty healthy. I take B complex because I drink more booze than I should. And glucosamine/chondroitin because my joints recently started bothering me a bit. Resveratrol because earthworms who took it lived longer (yes it may be a silly reason!). Fish oil because my therapist recommended it (although I didn’t notice a difference in anything). Calcium to try to prevent osteoporosis.

Here’s the general current medical consensus on vitamins from UpToDate.com:

●In general, vitamin supplementation is not necessary for most adults who eat a balanced and varied diet and get regular sun exposure or drink vitamin D-fortified dairy products. However, many people take multivitamins, and common formulations, generally containing 0.5 to 1.5 times the daily reference intakes of individual vitamins, are likely safe in nearly all people.

●A balanced diet with fruits and vegetables promotes health not only by providing known vitamins, but also because it contains fiber and other less well-defined nutrients and replaces meat and animal fat. People on restricted or special diets, or those living in regions of the world with widespread malnutrition, may have additional needs for vitamin supplementation.

●For adults with a balanced diet, there is no convincing evidence that taking multivitamins in the usual doses of 50 to 200 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is either helpful or harmful.

●For people in resource-abundant countries eating balanced diets (ie, those eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins), we suggest not taking multivitamin supplements

●Testing for vitamin blood levels is not indicated in healthy adults and should be undertaken only if there is clinical suspicion of vitamin deficiency

●High doses of vitamins, especially fat soluble vitamins, are toxic and some may be risky even at doses short of toxicity.

●A large and growing research literature suggests many other harms and benefits of vitamins, but so far without high enough quality evidence to change clinical decision-making, except as noted above.

Personally, I take vitamin D because I don’t get that much sunshine or vitamin D supplemented foods, and I take L-methyl folate because genetic testing indicates I am deficient in the enzyme which converts folic acid into L-methyl folate. The latter has improved mood tremendously.

The wife and I both take a Centrum Silver multivitamin once a day. I cannot say definitively that it helps, but we figure it can’t hurt (yes, I know about the negative views of the hand-wringing crowd), and for all I know it’s a contributing factor to our being relatively healthy in our 60s apart from some standard aging issues.


How about those of us who don’t really eat a balanced and varied diet? Should we take supplements?

I’m really confused by this part:

I can’t see the harm. It might even be a good idea, if the doctor tells the patient that no, they don’t need to buy vitamin A pills (since high doses of fat-soluble vitamins are bad for you).

It’s also a good way to catch some deficiencies which aren’t obvious. (When I was diagnosed with B-12 deficiency, I presented with one mild symptom which could have dozens of causes. I was sent to the lab with a battery of tests. The doctor didn’t know what I had, with deficiency just being one potential explanation. The doctor called me in a panic because my levels were so low!)

Sorry for the double post, but I forgot how to multi-quote.

Deficiencies aren’t always caused by a bad diet. My diet is pretty good but I still had a deficiency. Someone might have a good diet but still have high cholesterol levels, etc.

IMO you should talk to your doctor about blood tests for vitamin levels. You might even find that you aren’t suffering from any form of malnutrition. Different people have different genes. Or you might find something worrying that you need to “fix” and quickly, whether that deficiency is caused by diet or genetics.

If we are including flavinoid supplements among things folks might take to improve their health, is there a medical consensus on their value? And if I drink a lot of black tea, am I getting useful doses of flavinoids?

Certain instances may call for supplements, sure.

If you’ve got poor intake, like due to poverty, older adults, alcoholics, restrictive diets (eg, vegan), then you may need them.

Malabsorption| such as occurs with bowel diseases like Celiac, Crohn’s, short bowel, gastric bypass, older adults call for considering supplements too.

Abnormal body losses as occur with hemodialysis, chronic diarrhea may need supps.

Abnormal metabolism like genetic polymorphisms, alcoholism (increases folate metabolism) need it.

Inadequate synthesis like Vitamin D (Northern climates, homebound, little exposed skin) need it.