Have Vitamins Helped You?

Flavinoids in foods like fresh fruit & veg, tea and cocoa have been shown to lower blood pressure. The recommendation is to not take supplements to get them, but to get them in food/drink.

I take vitamin D at the urging of my skin doctor and with the blessing of my GP. I take vitamins C and E due to superstition. I’ve run them by my GP who agrees the doses I’m taking are unlikely to hurt me. And hey, placebos work, right?

Again, per UpToDate, this practice is unwarranted in most asymptomatic low risk patients for two main reasons:

●There is insufficient information about the optimum serum levels of vitamins, making it difficult to interpret subtle deficiency states.

●There is a lack of evidence that vitamin supplementation can prevent disease in most healthy adults with low blood levels of vitamins (apart from those individuals with specific diets or medical conditions).

Testing for specific deficiencies remains appropriate in clinical situations where deficiencies are suspected or are an important part of the evaluation.

I take a multivitamin with iron, a vitamin D capsule, a magnesium supplement, fish oil capsules, a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement, and a lutein/zeaxanthin supplement for my eyes. All of these have been recommended to me by various medical professionals.

The only one that has absolutely, unequivocally helped me is magnesium. A physician recommended this when I complained about PVCs (premature ventricular contractions). I started taking a magnesium tablet every day, and after a few days the PVCs stopped and never returned.

The fish oil and glucosamine are supposed to help with my sore knees, and I think they have, but I’m not sure. I’ve also made a point of avoiding any kind of activity or exercise that might put stress on my knees, and that may have helped too.

On the advice of my retina guy I take the PreserVision AREDS 2 vitamin. I’ve only got one functional eye, and he had started to see drusen forming in the other, a sign of macular degeneration. The photos taken during my last visit show no change over the course of the last year, so that’s something; anyway.

I have endometriosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren’s syndrome, plus a few other things, and am vegetarian (though not vegan - my diet’s OK but I eat less than average), so unsurprisingly have anaemia and am also deficient in vitamin D, calcium, and some of the B vitamins (can’t remember which). I’m prescribed ferrous fumarate, and if I don’t take it then my iron levels drop low and I get even more tired than usual.

The others I take as part of a multivitamin that I checked online wasn’t going to cause an overdose in any vitamins/minerals.

I also take evening primrose oil and turmeric in capsules. There’s conflicting evidence about how much they help, but they don’t seem to be bad for you either, and they’re not expensive. For me it’s hard to tell if they actually help because my conditions fluctuate anyway, so it’s pretty much done on trust and so that I can honestly say that I’m doing my best to help my own health.

Oh there’s also folic acid, but that’s to counteract the side-effects of other prescribed medication.

I do my best to make my daughter - vegetarian, doesn’t eat healthily enough, doesn’t get enough sun - to take a multivitamin for vegetarians. She is low in iron and calcium, after tests done at the doctor’s, so she does need it.

I’m kind of serious. We all want to feel like we can do something to help ourselves, and i think doing something is better than doing nothing a lot of the time. If it might help, and it won’t hurt, and it’s not expensive, then go for it.

(I’ve also considered taking turmeric.)

Yep, that’s my POV too. But with the caveat that it’s not expensive. I’ve seen a couple of people pay out huge sums of money for “cures” that did nothing except bolster their hypochondria.

Also with the caveat that it doesn’t have major side effects. My principle is that, if something is that anything that has positive effects can have negative effects; if it’s totally without side effects, odds are it’s not doing anything at all.

Evening primrose oil definitely can have negative effects, and turmeric can in very high doses, though it’s rare (and this is the one I’m less sure about being effective).

Vitamins and minerals can have extremely serious side effects (even vitamin C can cause problems sometimes). The sister of a friend of mine died of an iron overdose after taking supplements. So, basically, do your research, and, if unsure, check with your GP or a pharmacist.

Yeah, I run all my alternative medicine by my PCP.

I never really thought about the value of placebos until a friend, whose father treated a lot of people with arthritis, told me that her father got really angry at the the quacks who sold expensive and dangerous things to his patients. But he didn’t mind that a lot of his patients wore copper bracelets, and never tried to talk them out of that, because those were cheap and widely available and harmless.

They’re also quite pretty.

The irony with bracelets for rheumatoid arthritis is that it might be difficult to get them on due to swelling or difficulty adjusting the band with your other hand. :smiley:

FWIW the turmeric capsules I take are disgusting. It’s not like the one time I broke apart a cod liver oil capsule to see if it really did smell as bad as old stories said (it does; don’t try it indoors), these smell and taste like dead goats even when you open the bottle.

I think that it’s to increase the placebo effect - if it smells this bad, it must be doing something for me!

I take a daily iron supplement, because when I was going to donate blood I was getting turned away due to low iron. Asked my doc and he said “yeah most women of menstruating age are low in iron. Take it.”

Not sure how it’s done for me physically, as I think I began taking it around the time I started my CPAP and my new diabetes drugs, so I felt better for other reasons. My iron has been great every time I donate now, though. Every 8 weeks!

The wife takes “eye vitamins” due to the early stages of macular degeneration. A mix of three substances whose names escape me now. Seems to have worked to slow it down so far for her too.

I would surely be dead without vitamins - the ones I get in my diet (noting also that fruits and vegetables contain an array of antioxidants and other bioactive substances that cannot be duplicated in any multivitamin/flavonoid supplement. They also taste a lot better.).

A lot of supplements contain many times the RDA of certain vitamins. This can pose harm (for instance, if you overdo vitamins A or D* - even too much vitamin E has been linked to increased incidence of some types of cancers). Even if it isn’t harmful, as in the case of excessive B vitamins, the end result is what has eloquently been termed expensive pee, without demonstrable benefits.

Inquiring minds are curious about how much vitamin D you take daily, if it’s not too personal.

*a favorite example of overdoing it involves woo guru Gary Null, who reported being seriously poisoned by his own vitamin D supplement, as pills reportedly contained far more vitamin D than what was listed on the label. Mislabeling/adulteration is a continuing problem in the supplement industry, though if you stick to major vitamin brands the odds of trouble should be low.

800 IU 3 x a week.

Qadgop the Mercotan - Your cheese consumption isn’t adequate?


The only actual vitamin I take these days is B12. I eat a mostly plant-based diet, was once diagnosed as deficient, and though subsequent tests showed my levels back to normal, I still often feel fatigued. I know that can have a million other causes, but I figure it can’t hurt to eliminate this one.

I take an iron supplement only to replace what I lose from donating blood. The first two times I donated, my levels were fine; the third time they turned me away (although I was still in the healthy range for women, just below the cutoff for donation.) Since then I’ve successfully donated 9 more times and been turned away 3 more times. Taking iron every day for a week before seems to help me pass the test. Going in only half as often as they say I’m eligible to donate seems to help too. (In case you’re wondering, I keep a log of my donation attempts, in order to figure out how to avoid driving all the way to Westwood for nothing.)

Lastly, I take a cranberry extract supplement to prevent UTIs. That one’s been life-changing.

Cheese doesn’t get supplemented with vitamin D. It’s made from milk that’s not had vitamin D added to it. Fresh milk has very very little vitamin D in it. That’s added later in the processing.

That was done to help combat the rickets epidemic. It was discovered in the 1920’s that rickets was caused by a vitamin D deficiency so there was a push to supplement staple food and drink with that vitamin. Soon children were getting lots of vitamin D via milk or cod liver oil supplements and the rate of rickets dropped greatly.

It actually can hurt for the reasons that Qadgop mentioned: there may be too much of certain vitamins which you’d be getting in addition to whatever amounts you take in naturally. I’d check with a physician.

I personally take vitamin D and C, both of which are somewhat difficult to OD on and are often helpful in regulating immunity and other metabolic processes in your body. You can get too much vitamin D but that’s typically by consuming more than 4000 IUs on a daily basis and that would take place over time.