Which vitamins/minerals can you space out, and which are important on hourly/daily basis

I hate trying to cut vitamin/mineral pills to get the exact amount I should be having a day. Is it okay in general to space things out, like every 3 days take a pill that’s 3x as strong as the RDA?
How about specifics? Which vitamin/minerals can be spaced out, and which are important on a daily/hourly basis?
Like which “toxic” doses are talking about long-term accumulation, and which vitamins are toxic IMMEDIATELY if you take too much?
THANKS GANG AS ALWAYS. You save my life! :smiley:

Water soluble vitamins generally have to be redosed every few days while fat soluble vitamins can be stored for longer periods.

At the same time, some vitamins are just dumped if doses are too high. Too high a dose of vitamin C will just be dumped by the body. Too much magnesium results in diarrhea.

Which ones are toxic is hard to determine. Too much vitamin A or D can be toxic, but with water soluble ones like vitamin C or the B vitamins your body will just dump.

Frankly, unless you’ve been diagnosed with a specific disease or specific vitamin/mineral deficiency which is actually impairing your health, or are following an extremely restrictive diet, I doubt very much that taking vitamin/mineral supplements are benefitting you whatsoever. Nor are they harming you unless you’re taking megadoses.

And that’s not just me talking, that’s current medical opinion, per UpToDate.com:

My wife and I are both 72. She takes a slew of vitamins and things like cranberry, local honey and pollen, etc. I have never even held a vitamin pill in my hand. I would say I am in better health then she is.


There’s no need to cut vitamin tablets, unless you have trouble swallowing them. If you need an exact dosage, you should be under a doctor’s care.

Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble and A in particular is toxic in excess, which is why it’s sold OTC as beta-carotene. Vitamin K can be an issue if you take Coumadin. As for the other water-soluble vitamins, whatever your body doesn’t use is usually excreted by the kidneys; this is why taking riboflavin produces such bright yellow urine. Excessive iron is not good for you either.

I personally take vitamin B6 because I do a lot of knitting and it’s useful for the prevention of carpal tunnel syndrome, and calcium + D because I’m post-menopausal and also on a hormone blocker due to breast cancer.

Are you saying I should stop taking my vanadium supplements? Really? Then what I am supposed to about my tired blood?

Neutronium would be more helpful, frankly.

And thus far there’s no good evidence that vitamin B6 prevents or improves CTS.

Total Utter Hijack

Your link didn’t work for me so since I wasn’t sure if it was a pure joke or attempted link to a parody site, I played with it a little.

Guess where suckerborneveryminute.com takes me?


Well , of course, you would say that. Neutronium is your bread and butter.

What about that case? What would be most important then?

Maybe it’s a placebo effect for me, but if I miss my B6, I wake up with numb hands.

I think it would depend on what vitamins and minerals you are not getting in your very restricted diet.

Antioxidant vitamins (at doses available in some supplements/multivitamins) might actually increase cancer risk.

On a more mundane level, I don’t think the OP needs to worry about having a constant infusion of vitamins minute-to-minute as opposed to getting them regularly with meals.

(it’s probably not a good idea to eat the kind of diet that gave sailors scurvy in the old days for weeks at a time, and then binge on vitamin C).

Same at my house - my husband takes all kinds of crap; fish oil, protein powder, glucosamine, etc. He gets a cold at a drop of a hat, has all sorts of aches and pains. The only thing I take is 2 fiber gummies/day. I have no complaints. I know genes play a role too. He is convinced he needs to take all of that junk.

Well, it’s better than eating a sailor’s diet and not taking vitamin C, at least. But there’s no reason anyone would want to eat a sailor’s diet, anyway.

The question about vitamins and supplements comes up often and the usual answer is that healthy individuals do not need supplements.

I agree, that “healthy individuals” do not need supplements but how do you define “healthy individuals”. I am not sure if clinical studies are done for continued use of medications and vitamin deficiencies. For example :

  1. My friend used a proton inhibitor (OTC medicine like omeprazole ) for number of years. He is a very healthy individual but was diagnosed with magnesium deficiency. May it is not related .

  2. Many diabetics I know develop Vitamin D deficiency

  3. Autistic folks seem to do better with liquid B12

Then many folks take blood pressure medication or cholesterol or have celiac or are lactose intolerant etc etc
I understand that the above are anecdotal and lack scientific evidence fitting GQ, but the point I am trying to make is that the statement - “Healthy individuals don’t need vitamins” is not helpful. A more helpful statement would be - “ The median American male between the ages of XX to YY needs no vitamins with following exceptions …”

Another common assertion in this thread is that two people with similar diets will have the same vitamin deficiency profile. This is certainly not true for people with allergies who typically have vitamin D deficiency (just google allergies and vitamin D).

So although two people may have the amount of vitamins in their diet, the body’s ability to absorb them maybe different.

There are many special case circumstances. Listing the individual exceptions and which specific supplemental vitamin or mineral in which form makes some sense for those case would be quite a task. They exist and for those “diagnosed with a specific disease or specific vitamin/mineral deficiency which is actually impairing your health, or are following an extremely restrictive diet” (as QtM put it) supplementation might make sense, depending on the condition.

The industry however is mostly not thriving on those people, but on the worried well.

And those worried well who think that taking vitamins offset poor intake of actual vegetables and fruits and in general mistaken.

To the op as a hypothetical - if for some justifiable reason someone was on a diet so restricted as to be seriously deficient in various vitamins and in need of regular supplements it would be fine to split them up. You could get away taking 3 days worth of vitamin C every three days and your vitamin A for the week once a week just fine. Probably even farther apart than that.

Please help me understand what you mean by “special case circumstances”. People have acid reflux or seasonal allergies tend to believe they are otherwise healthy individuals. Which of the following commonly occurring ailments do you count as special circumstances :

  1. Acid reflux
  2. Allergies
  3. Pre-hypertension
  4. Elevated blood sugar
  5. IBS
  6. Mild autism
  7. Depression
  8. Constipation

Most of my friends have one or more of the above.

Thankfully, Orrin Hatch is fighting to ensure that the dietary supplement industry remains unregulated.