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What Vitamins Do You Take?

April 22, 2014   52 Comments

Snack Girl is not a fan of vitamins in pill form.

Vitamin D

My view is that I should be fulfilling all of my nutrient needs from the food that I eat. If I eat my fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains, then I don’t need a vitamin, right?

Recently, my doctor informed me that my vitamin D was low and told me to start taking vitamin D3 in capsule form. I was like, “No way….” and then she told me that she takes it – so I bought some and started taking it. Amazing how that worked.

Vitamin D is nicknamed the “sunshine nutrient” because it is produced in your body when your skin is exposed to sunlight. I live in Massachusetts where I spend an entire 6 months out of the sunlight (unless one of you would like to fund a trip for me to fly to Tahiti next winter).

Exposure of the hands, face, arms, and legs to sunlight two to three times a week for about one-fourth of the time it would take to develop a mild sunburn will cause the skin to produce enough vitamin D. How about that?

You can also get vitamin D from fish, eggs, and fortified dairy products (which is like a vitamin in your milk).

Two large research studies which included data on more than a million people came to the conclusion that adults with low levels of vitamin D had a 35 percent increased risk of death from heart disease, 14 percent greater likelihood of death from cancer, and a greater mortality risk overall.

Holey moley!

Taking vitamin D3 (not vitamin D2) reduced overall mortality by 11% -which I think means that you had a 11% less chance of dying from heart disease, cancer, and other diseases if you took the supplement. Of course, you will die eventually but maybe your life is longer if you take vitamin D3.

What is the downside of taking vitamin D3? I poked around the internet and found that taking it is safe unless you take over 4000 units per day. It is, of course, hard to know about long term side effects as these are harder to measure.

What do you think of vitamin supplements? Do you take any? What about vitamin D3?


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52 Comments:

I take a ton of vitamins. My docter is very pro vitamins, so I am on a pretty big regimin. I take calcium, chromium piccolinate, D, zinc, St. John's Wort, C, Tyrosine, Flaxseed Oil, L-Glutamine, and a Multi

on April 22, 2014

My family has taken vitamin d3 for years now. My daughter and I would get bronchitis yearly until we started to take it. My naturopath suggested 1,000 iu's a day for kids and 3,000 iu's for adults. When cold symptoms start she told us to boost it to 5,000 for kids and 10,000 for adults. I know it sounds like a lot but you only take it until cold systems disappear which is usually 3-4 days. We have stuck to this for 4 years now and with a family of five we have only had one antibiotic in that time! No more bronchitis or colds that are bad enough to miss school or work. Interesting enough we live in canada and also just came out of the winter months. Even with taking the amount I just mentioned my sons vitamin d3 level was still on the low end when tested! I was told that when taking vitamin d3 it should be taken with some type of oil of fat to help it be absorbed.

on April 22, 2014

I take am amazing liquid vitamin daily called Omni IV. It is 96-98% absorbable in your body vs a pill form at 10-20%. Tastes great and you can Feel the difference. Easy to remember since you notice how good you feel.

on April 22, 2014

I'm not a fan of pills, but thanks to an excellent primary physician and WW, I've learned to start each day with a calcium supplement with D, extra D (my level tends to run too low otherwise) and a fish oil capsule. Also B-complex and a mild anti-depressant because we too live in the Northeast, and I've dealt with Seasonal Affective Disorder for years. My bone density levels are good, my cholesterol is excellent and my blood pressure is on the low side of normal, despite my being rather....um.....voluptuous. Even though I work full-time and deal with the public daily, I only get a cold every other year or so, and haven't had a sinus infection for at least 10 years now. So I think it's all working!

on April 22, 2014

I take vitamins. I am on D3, E, B-12, Calcium, Cranberry supplements. I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, my doc put me on most of these as support. I also took 15,000 units of Vitamin D a few years ago to bring up my levels and felt best when I took that high of levels.

on April 22, 2014

I've been taking supplements for 34 yrs. just remember not all vitiams are created equal.

on April 22, 2014

interesting discussion. doctors often are against supplements, others that are of another persuasion are for it. i have always supplemented myself as best i could and will go on doing it according to the ability of my pocket and judicious reading of research etc. it is hard to diet and get all the nutrients one needs and if one ate all the nutrients, one would not stop eating all day long.

on April 22, 2014

I live in the UK where we have very little sun. My doctor takes vitamin D supplements and if it's good enough for him then it is for me too! I use a spray called Better You DLux which has 3000iu vitamin D3 which I bought online.

The spray isn't unpleasant (tastes minty) and I keep it in my desk drawer at work and 1 bottle seems to last a very long time. PS. This is the only vitamin or supplement I can be bothered to take.

on April 22, 2014

I take a multi vitamin for women over 50 yr old and calcium and have for a long time. Frankly it is wonderful to say you should get everything from food, but a very very small percentage do so it is more important to me to do it this way.

on April 22, 2014

I also take Vitamin D3. I ended up in my Dr. office for lack of energy come to find out my D levels were next to nothing. I feel a lot better since I started taking them.

I also take fish, flax, and borage oil.

A few times a week a take a multi vitamin as well.

on April 22, 2014

No vitamins for me. I am not against them or anything but have never been able to develop a habit of taking them. I fall off the wagon every time. I don't have any problems with iron deficiency and living in Florida would seem to eliminate any vitamin D deficiency. Since I am pretty healthy, I haven't seen the need to worry about it too much.

on April 22, 2014

I take a lot of Vitamins and supplements but only those made by ProCaps Labs/Andrew Lessman since they are in capsules and not rock hard tablets and pure ingredients, no added fillers or colors,etc. I am the first one to admit that I do not always eat right...thus the vitamin supplementation and I feel better for it. I would NEVER take a rock hard vitamin tablet as you do not get the full benefit of the vitamin or supplement as it does not always fully dissolve,etc.

on April 22, 2014

I've always been skeptical of vitamins in pill form, mostly because I get the more affordable kind from Target or the grocery store. Just this week I became a believer, at least in vitamin D3 supplements. My daughter has Type 1 Diabetes and last year her levels came back low (20.2 ng/ml) with the normal scale being 30-100. The doctor strongly suggested she take a supplement. Last week she was re-tested and has come up to 31.2. Not ideal, but an improvement. All by taking 1 pill of 1000 units of D3 each morning. We live in MN, so our exposure to sun all year (especially this year) is limited as well.

on April 22, 2014

I also had a D deficiency, so I take D3 1000iu a day...took awhile, but it did come back up to normal! That's the only supplement I'm taking right now.

on April 22, 2014

My doctor recommended vitamin D3 several years ago and I have been taking 1000 iu daily ever since. I try to get outdoors as much as possible, but sometimes that is not enough in the colder months. I also take a multi-vitamin and fish oil, which I have taken longer than the D3.

on April 22, 2014

Where do you find Vitamin D3?

on April 22, 2014

It's pretty impossible to get all the nutrients you need with the way food is grown. To get the minimum RDA of D you need about 6 servings of milk per day. I take Vitamin D,a whole food multi-vitamin and fish oil. My energy levels are much better when I do this.

on April 22, 2014

I take a multi vitamin for women and a collagen supplement. Every now and again I will take a b12 if my energy levels are low. I admit I used to take d3 but it's been a while since I last took it since I eat a lot of dairy & take a multi. I guess I should resume in taking it because I heard that it helps with depression,which I have been dealing with lately. Another supplement I should get back on is iron,since I have a tendency to suffer from mild anemia.

Susan I found some d3 supplements at Kroger

& publix with the other vitamins made by a few different brands. I'm sure any pharmecy would also carry them. Also check out Drugstore.com

on April 22, 2014

@Susan -you can find vitamin D3 next to the other vitamins at your pharmacy. It is not super expensive either.

Thanks for your question!

on April 22, 2014

We don't take vitamins in our house as we try to get it from our food, we do however take Juice Plus as it is whole food based and has published third party research, that is a requirement in our house before we take anything. We have noticed having less colds and I took it soley during both pregnancies instead of prenatal vitamins.

on April 22, 2014

My daughter was very sick this fall and run down. She ended up being very low in vitamin d. She was so low she had to take prescription Vitamin D for 6 weeks. We both take it now.

on April 22, 2014

I had always been a fan of vitamins, but had to back off from some of them when I developed kidney stones some years ago (vitamin C, calcium).

As a Michigander, I too, had a rather serious vitamin D deficiency one winter about 3 years ago. My doctor put me on a heavy duty supplement for two months.

I continue to take 2000 i.u. of vitamin D3 daily now ever since and it seems my levels are normal. I also take some vitamin E daily, B-12, biotin and Omega 3. I use a melatonin to help me sleep when needed.

The rest of my nutrients I hope I am getting through my diet.

on April 22, 2014

I take a multi vitamin for women over 50 & a calcium suppliment. They both have D in them,but neither specifies D2 or D3. Anyone know?

on April 22, 2014

Vitamin D3 also helps keep your bones strong, reducing the incidence of osteoporosis. You should check out this website on how to keep your bones safe. There is an entire section on what vitamins you need to get everyday - either from food or supplements. http://www.betterbones.com/default.aspx

on April 22, 2014

Unfortunately it is possible to have all the correct sun exposure but not absorb vitamin D from the sun due to the inability of our skin to convert into active form, so we must take a supplement. Recommend yearly vitamin D level.

on April 22, 2014

We don't take vitamins here (except I do take a Vitamin D along with my Juice Plus, my kids (all 5 of them take the Juice Plus chewables (free) since we take the adult capsules. I also drink the smoothies. It is all Whole Food Nutrition, Fruits and Veggies, not a vitamin, just adding more nutrition through whole food. We love it!

on April 22, 2014

Recently had to start taking vitamin D , as my levels were low. I have more energy for sure. Just remember, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin so be sure to take it with food or a glass of milk for it to be absorbed properly....

on April 22, 2014

I had a stroke 3 years ago. To combat some of the fatigue issues my neuro suggested Q10. It worked great, but the side effects were times of the month when I (literally) wanted to jump off a bridge. So I stopped taking it. Then someone said take Krill Oil supplements with the Q10. Problems fixed. Far less fatigue and no suicidal tendancies one day a month. I'm not sure about the wide ranges out there, but for this fix, they worked.

on April 22, 2014

I take vitamin D in prescription form of 50,000 per week. I am amazed at how much it helps. I was to the point of wanting to sleep like 15 hours a day, and when the doctor tested my blood, my vitamin d level was at a crucially low point. They pinpointed my being tired to this, and since I have been taking the rx - I am healthy, and feel great. (I don't drink milk - and cannot get enough of the vitamin in the other foods that I eat - that is the reason I take it)

on April 22, 2014

I don't take vitamins. I'm not against. They sound like a good idea. Just not my thing. Here's my health plan: reasonable exercise, eating well, good sleep (including naps!)and a yearly check-up, mammogram, and pap. 60 minutes of walking or biking daily or an avg of 420 minutes a week. I added a 6-miles daily component just for challenge which is easy to get if I bike. I get these exercise bits in by walking or biking with friends, alone, or not using my car for transportation to the store, meetings, appointments, etc. that are close by, so within 5 miles, usually. I have a good rain coat and other goodies to keep me going Nov - June when it RAINS here in the PNW. We do weights at the gym-- but not enough once the weather improves. Food: I shoot for a broad variety of fruits and veggies daily (7 or more) and try to eat them at all meals. Soup for breakfast! Veggie fruit smoothie in my Vitamix anytime. Whole grains, etc. You know this drill. My downfalls: sweet tooth, being a darn good baker, and snacking at night!

on April 22, 2014

I am very vitamin conscious. However, one has to do their homework and look at ingredients and manufacturing practices. I take a multi daily plus liquid fish oil. Vit D in the winter only. My goal is to maintain a strong immune system. I do this by juicing organic carrots with Spinich or Kale. My allergies are gone and I very seldom get sick. If I do, it's the sniffles!

on April 22, 2014

I live in Brazil where we have a lot of sun but, my VIT D level was low (I'm 60). Now I take liquid VIT D every day and the level is pretty good.

on April 22, 2014

I agree with those who said it's hard to get all your needed nutrition from your diet if you aren't hard core into clean eating. I take a daily multi, plus extra iron and a B complex. I also take the fish oil and a probiotic daily. Interesting topic, Snack Girl! :)

on April 22, 2014

I agree that taking vitamin D is necessary for most of us. I've also seen many times that if you are going to take a vitamin D supplement you also need a vitamin K2 supplement. Here's a quote from a Dr. Mercola article...

"When you take vitamin D, your body creates more of these vitamin K2-dependent proteins, the proteins that will move the calcium around. They have a lot of potential health benefits. But until the K2 comes in to activate those proteins, those benefits aren't realized. So, really, if you're taking vitamin D, you're creating an increased demand for K2. And vitamin D and K2 work together to strengthen your bones and improve your heart health."

http://www.mercola.com/article/vitamin-d-resources.htm

on April 22, 2014

My doctor said since they've been checking vitamin D levels in patients they're finding that many people have surprisingly low levels. I know several people who are having to take prescription-level supplements. He also says some children in inner cities in particular are developing rickets because they simply don't get outside enough and therefore aren't getting enough vitamin D. Anyway, as for vitamins in general I just recently started taking One a Day Women's Formula vitamins, and can already tell a difference in how I feel.

on April 22, 2014

More important than D3 is Magnesium I think.

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/magnesium

We use it in liquid form. I add all our supplements to our daily kefir smoothie. I go by the manufacturers recommended dosage or as prescribed by a licensed medical practioner.

As diabetics and as I am menopausal, we need more magnesium and other vitamins.

I add C, D3, B complex or nutitional yeast, Astaxanthin, Chlorella from blue-green algae, Milk Thistle, Pycnogenol, Nattokinase, Ionic Magnesium, Fucoidan (Brown Seaweed), Glycemic Factors, Chinese herbal tablets to control blood sugar, and 2 cups raw Kale (Vit. C, and K). Not a lot of supplements are needed to achieve fantastic results iun our case and most of these are super foods or derived from whole foods. We would have to eat an enormous amount of food to get all daily requirements. I research all our vitamins through WebMD and other sources such as universities. I read the reviews from WebMD as well.

Magnesium is the most important because it helps utilize calcium and other minerals and vitamins instead of them becoming waste. Magnesium affects every organ in the body and most people are deficient. It affect about 300 bodily processes. Only 1% of magnesium shows up in blood work so current testing does not reveal a deficiency. Gluten (in wheat) and Phytic acid in all veggies, nuts, and beans can both block vital minerals and vitamins from being absorbed. Soaking beans and cooking and cooking veggies as well can reduce or eliminate phytic acid which also makes them easier to digest.

Those with celiac autoimmune disease can have life threatening results from consuming gluten and even a small amount of gluten can make them ill.

Check with WebMD to find out about interactions with medications. For example, those supplements that thin the blood for better circulation may need to be stopped a certain length of time before a surgery.

on April 22, 2014

I'm not taking any vitamin supplements (yet). Like Snack Girl, I believe you can get it from food eaten. I drink green smooties daily (anywhere from 35-45 ounces depending on how everything blends up) so I'm certain I get everything I fruits and veggies have to offer. About 2 or 3 times per week I eat some type of lean meat...the same for whole grains. I drink a lot of almond milk and get lots of sun here in SC. Although I eat all the right things (most of the time) I have fears of coming up deficient in some vitamin. I'm afraid it will be something like B12...but I still haven't committed myself to take supplements. We'll see...

on April 22, 2014

I'm really surprised that no one has mentioned magnesium, but then it is a mineral, and a very important one that many of us are low in. Helps promote good sleep, relieve cramps , good for PMS, weightloss, high blood pressure, depression fibromyalgia, and many other issues. Taking the right dose is what is important

I've just read the book the Magnesium Miracle well recommended.

I also take Vitamin D

on April 22, 2014

@Wanda, look at my previous post. It is all about magnesium. It is just about 3 up from your post.

on April 22, 2014

I take lots of supplements. A multi vitamin, Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, Fish Oil, Vitamin B12, and Ubiquinol ( Coenzyme Q10). I doubt if I eat perfectly enough to get all the vitamins I need. my doctor tells me I am unusually healthy for a 70 year old.

on April 22, 2014

Oops sorry I_Fortuna

on April 23, 2014

I do take vitamins each day but wouldn't take anything but Shaklee. Unfortunately with today's food supply it's hard to get the nutrients we need from our diet. Up to 80 % of Americans are deficient in vitamin d and they are finding that a deficiency can impact many body systems. In a very unregulated industry it's important to find a vitamin company that does research and is backed by science and quality.

on April 23, 2014

We also try NOT to take vitamins in our household and really try to get everything we need in our bodies with food. However, I am pregnant currently and I have to take iron supplements and obviously pre-natal vitamins.

on April 23, 2014

I go to a nutritionist and take whole food supplements - nothing chemical, all derived from food. The brand she recommends is Standard Process. I was falling into the trap of taking a new supplement every time I read an article spouting the benefits. I discontinued everything and followed the nutritionist's advice. At least I know there's some rhyme or reason for what I take now - and I've had very good results.

on April 23, 2014

I take Vitamin D but not daily. My doctor said even those of her clients who work outside in the sun have low levels so she advised I take it. Other then that I prefer vitamins from fruit and veggies!

on April 23, 2014

I live in the tropics and walk my dog 5 kilometres (3 miles) a day in daylight. I consider I get enough Vit D from that alone. That being said, I live in Australia and we have chronically impoverished soil in tropical Australia due to our monsoonal rain leaching nutrients from the soil. I take a generic multivitamin despite my diet being rich in whole (not juiced) unprocessed foods. I also have an underactive thyroid, common in folk of my age. I have never had the flu or a flu-shot. I am a nurse in a hospital, we call it The Germ Factory, and am rarely sick.

on April 24, 2014

From what I understand most women - especially 50 and over - need to take a calcium and vitamin D supplement daily, because of increased risk for osteoporosis and years of having monthly cycles.

on April 24, 2014

I take Vitamin D3 because my OB/GYN, my family physician, and the bone density technician all ask me if I am taking my D3. OB/GYN says it helps to prevent breast cancer and my regular physician and bone density technician tell me it is more important for my bones than calcium. Even if they didn't ask me each year, I would still take it and the other vitamins I take. I used to have allergies and a regular vitamin routine has really helped me so much. In this day when our soil is contaminated with so many bad things and the nutrients are depleted by over use, we can't get all our needs from food. I believe if I am good to my body, my body will be good to me :) So I bought your book for myself and two of my friends :)

on April 24, 2014

I forgot to mention that in addition to our whole foods supplements, I add nutritional yeast (Brewer's yeast) for B and amino acids and flax meal or flax oil for omegas. In fact, Dr. Oz has recommended that two heaping tablespoons of nutritional yeast be consumed each day.

http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/holistic-cures-your-bad-heal…

Dr. Oz mentions other supplements and foods that are essential for good health in this same article.

on April 24, 2014

My family also takes Juice Plus which is fuits and vegetables in a capsule. It is not juice, as some of my friends ask, when I am talking about it. It fills in the gap between what we eat and should eat when it comes to produce. Do not believe in multi-vitamins or trust them. Many are made in China and other countries. Good health is very important to us and Juice Plus has kept us healthy for 8 years.

on May 7, 2014

What kind of supplement a 35-55 year old (i am shy to tell my age) woman like me should take to improve my lifestyle? IF you are in my situation what supplement you will be looking for?. for example supplement for stamina, energy, sleep, bone health, Hair and Nails, Multivitamins, Menopause, Bone Health, Skin Care, Sex Drive, Stress, Sleep, Brain Health, Aging etc?. I dont wanna go to a doctor I need answers from personal experiences..

on August 8, 2014

@angel griffin - I would not suggest supplements to anyone because everyone is different and each person's needs are different. This is why one needs to see a licensed health professional (I recommend a doctor) to help them determine what is best for them. Why waste your money on supplements you don't need? I believe nutritionists and dieticians in some areas are allowed to recommend supplements. Depending on your own needs you may just be throwing your money away or you may need other specific supplements. I will say that on days I don't make smoothie, we take a whole food multi supplement which is very complete.

The problem with prescribing them to yourself is that you don't know if there is an underlying illness that may be responsible for lack of energy or other problems you may be having. A doctor can do tests for thyroid conditions, check you for diabetes, celiac disease, and other common or general health issues. It is important to know this so you and your doctor know how to proceed whether by diet or medication or both.

Diabetics must have certain supplements in particular. Those with undiagnosed or misdiagnosed celiac disease can actual be doing harm to their bodies through their diet so supplements may not even be absorbed properly or at all. 1 in 105 people are among those undiagnosed or misdiagnosed that have celiac, an autoimmune disease that can lead to other autoimmune diseases like osteoporosis, diabetes, cancer, arthritis and others.

I recommend seeing a doctor and doing as much research as you can.

on August 9, 2014


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