Vitamin/Supplement regimen?


Not sure if this belongs here or in the General Discussion section as it has basis in both fact and opinion… thought I’d play it safe and ask it here :slight_smile:

In any case, I’m looking to put together a vitamin/supplement regimen to follow. Basically, I don’t have a horrible diet but I’m not entirely sure I’m getting the ideal amount of what I need out of it and I’d like to cover all my bases.

In particular, I’m interested in helping strengthen my immune system and to help my skin. Overall, I’d like a well-rounded setup.

On the flip-side of that, what are foods to stay away from that might undermine the effectiveness of such a regimen? Makes no sense to be dilligent in taking vitamins, etc… just to have them nulled out by a crappy diet.

Finally, is there any/significant truth to the fact that taking one of those multi-vitamins in a solid form is a waste because your body never has the chance to fully break it down and only about 8-12% of the vitamin is actually absorbed? I heard this on an infomercial promoting a liquid vitamin supplement drink. So, while it sounds possible that it might be the case, I’m also a bit skeptical as it was in the context of someone trying to sell a product.


Dunno about the whole breaking down the vitamin thing, but the usual stuff you’re probably not getting from a crappy diet are always good. Folic acid, iron, potassium, magnesium, et cetera. I also take a B complex pill for energy and to keep bugs off me, and I alternate between a few herbal pills for boosting immune function (I have a really crappy immune system), usually echinacea or some derivitive thereof but occasionally other stuff, and a large amount of vitamin C (the excess, I’ve been told, just goes through you so it’s not a big deal).

If you’re not drinking enough milk I’d suggest a calcium supplement, too. They have chewables of almost all vitamins now so that you probably wouldn’t have to worry about the whole not being digested thing.

I’ve never taken anything to aid my complexion because I use a special face wash instead that does the trick. Sorry.


Thanks for the feedback :slight_smile:

I’ve heard of echniacea being good for the immune system. I’ve heard of several other things that are supposed to be very effective as well… which brings me to post this question… With so many options, how does one know what’s better than another, etc…

Well, thank you for the feedback, and for any other advice that might be offered…

I’d google it. Or drag out a dictionary, or ask your doctor. I prefer echinacea because I had a case of whooping cough (or so the idiot doctor said - I think he was wrong) and it got rid of it when the antibiotics wouldn’t. I’d had whatever it was for over a month and nothing did the trick until I started taking echinacea. Worked like a charm.

Some people, however, have bad reactions to it. So I’d do a scratch test or something first. Echinacea generally comes in capsule form, so you can bust one open and use the powder to do the scratch test.

Vitamin C does wonders as well. It’s never cured whooping cough, but it has kept me from having to take a week off of work. I had a cold of doom and stayed home from work one day. Every two hours I took a thousand milligrams of vitamin C and an echinacea tablet, and washed it down with plenty of water, and the next day I felt great.

I don’t put a lot of faith in modern pharmaceuticals. Never have. Not that I put a lot of faith in new age crystal healings either, but herbals kept humanity alive for millenia.


Yeah, humanity, but how about the individual humans?

Life expectancy in the pre-pharmaceutical era was in the 30’s. Now, in countries where there is good access to appropriate pharmaceuticals, the life expectancy is in the 70’s or higher. Co-incidence? I don’t think so.

Quackwatch has some nice pages on vitamins:

They conclude:

Oh, and this link is quite good too: Dietary Supplements: Appropriate Use

Antibiotics given for whooping cough (pertussis) are not to help you, the patient, get better. They are to stop you from infecting others. The symptoms are caused by the release of endotoxins from the bacteria as they die.
Pertussis is under-diagnosed in adults. Cultures are often false negative since the bacteria load is decreasing by the time symptoms appear. So, if you were told you had it, you probably did. Symptoms in adults vary from mild cold symptoms, to serious respiratory compromise. Adults often don’t exibit the charactistic “whoop.”

I’m glad to hear that echinacea was helpful for you. Like most herbal remedies, its effectivness seems to vary with the individual.
Sorry for the hijack… please carry on.

Picunurse - the doctor didn’t give me pertussis, or any of the generic names for that. He gave me amoxicillin, and it didn’t work; in fact, it made me puke, and if the doctor had looked in the medical records I’ve had with that hospital for ten years, he’d have noticed a note that my mom had put in there (that I didn’t know about) that said “reacts badly to amoxicillin.”

The doctor was, plainly put, an idiot. I think he may have gotten his degree out of a machine. He told me that the ear and the throat are in no way connected and that your ears don’t have to drain, ever, let alone into the throat. Yeah. That’s why they have Ear, Nose, and Throat doctors. Idiot.

Incidentally, I honest-to-God don’t think I had whooping cough. I didn’t have a single one of the symptoms distinctive of whooping cough. The guy was just a moron.

Qadgop - I hate pharmeceuticals. They’ve never worked for me (except for ibuprofen, the only painkiller I can take without breaking out into hives, puking, or seeing things). The thing is, I think, anyway (and this is purely speculation so I can’t exactly back this up) is that when places get things like proper medicines, they also usually get instructions like “Don’t eat your own feces, it’s not good for you” and “You should probably take a bath every now and then” and “Don’t hug your grandmother if she has the plague.” I suspect that if you coupled mostly herbal medicines (note the mostly - sometimes even I have to break down and use the Real Stuff) with good hygenic practices, the lifespan would be a relatively nice age. Remember, until just recently (in comparison to the long span of history) people still advocated things like leeching. Just because people could remember a pharmacopea doesn’t mean that they were necessarily smart.

Not only that, but freaking A pharmaceuticals are expensive. Screw that crap.


Pertussis, as picunurse indicated, is the scientific name of “whooping cough”.

And as picunurse indicated, pertussis can present in any number of ways in adults, often without any distinctive symptoms. That’s why doctors do cultures to diagnose such things.

That’s very nice and all, but frankly, you sound like you have a bit of an ideology in the area.

Right . . .

Funny thing is how recent, large studies on echinacea suggest that it’s not effective at all. An individual person is hardly in a position to evaluate the effectiveness of a drug, and claims that drugs in general don’t work are signs that you’re clinging to your own prejudices on the subject - as indicated by your false belief that echinacea cured your pertussis. Particularly since, going by picunurse’s description of the course of the disease, it sounds like you were already getting better (in fact, nothing you’ve indicated suggests that it wasn’t the antibiotic!)

Perhaps you’re not aware of how many terrible diseases suddenly became curable with the development of modern pharmaceuticals. There’s a reason penicillin is so famous - once it was discovered, there was suddenly an actual treatment for diseases that killed millions of people. You don’t have to take drugs if you don’t want to - you have the right to decline any sort of medical treatment you don’t want. But that doesn’t change the fact that there are no herbs that will treat many of the diseases that can easily be treated with drugs. You can’t cure tuberculosis with herbs; prior to the development of antibiotics, the disease was generally fatal. And you can see how terribly ineffective treatments for diseases were by examining what they were. Syphilis, for instance, was treated with mercury before the development of antibiotics. It may have been somewhat effective, but we don’t really know. What we do know is how terribly poisonous mercury is; the fact that such a toxic ‘drug’ was used before antibiotics shows the effectiveness of traditional medicines at treating diseases. Later on, the treatment was refined - to the arsenic containing (and thus also highly toxic) arsphenamine. In fact, syphilis was such a problem that it was often treated by infecting the patient with malaria - you see, a high fever sometimes seemed to cure the disease. The lengths people were willing to go to - toxic ‘drugs’ like mercury and arsenic, and the deadly disease malaria, were the state of the art before the development of antibiotics.

So the claim that modern medicine could be just as effective without drugs is rather tough to believe. The evidence is that the drugs produced by medical science are key to its success, and that while some diseases remain difficult to treat, many others - ones that killed millions of people - can now be easily and effectively treated through modern pharmaceuticals, when before they were completely intractable to traditional forms of medical treatment. That’s why drugs have been developed - because what we had before didn’t work. It didn’t work at all.