T Nation

Good And Bad Multivitamins

i was just wondering how to determine whats a good company and where to buy multivitamins, i see they are sold everywhere but how do you figure out whats beneficial and whats not.

I go to gnc, i see their brand and i compare it to walgreens and its the same thing, what should i be looking for, are there any warning signs. also what vitamins and minerals are do you view as superior to others???

What I know is that certain brands have different absorbtion rates. My local GNC dude said some certain brand that I didn’t buy had a rate of 60% while a brand like Centrum has about a 3% absorbtion rate. The brand that had the higher rate cost about 40 bucks. Piss on that and just eat the right foods I suppose.

I’ve been looking for the best multivitamin as well. After about 2 hours of searching I still am not sure. Every multi claims to be the best. There were a few I liked but some of them were quite expensive(Nutrilite). I think I like Vitaplen. http://www.vitamins-nutrition.org/vitamins/products-reference.html

I’m not sure though. Just try and keep a healthy diet so if your multivitamin isn’t giving you all the vitamins and minerals you need, your diet can provide what your multivitamin is leaving out. But thats just my opinion.

i take Usana’s essentials…after researching it was the best i could find…it was #1 in the comparative guide to nutritional supplements for north america.

The absorption of the vitamins and their ability to be spread over time have a lot to do with it.

For example, there are many different forms of vitamins and minerals. Look into chelation and whether or not you are getting both fat and water soluble forms of some vitamins.

If money is not really a problem, go to the http://www.lef.org/ site and look at their Life Extension Mix product. You take it in three doses over a day. They are horse pills, but they have everything but the kitchen sink in them.

You’ll get berry extracts, broccoli concentrate, grape extracts, easily absorbed forms of most vitamins and minerals, and fairly high doses of some pretty nifty stuff.

Whenever my income allows me to I keep this stuff in stock. I consider it a not so expensive insurance policy against many of the ills of old age.

On a related note, and I of course take a multi (GNC’s Mega Men, usually), I wonder how much of this whole think is just bunk, just a racket? Especially with the more expensive ones, like LEF, etc.? I’m not saying it necessarily IS bunk, but if you try to think ahead to the day you die, think about whether you would’ve lived a day, or a month, or a year longer (or in much better health for the latter years of your life) as a result of the super-expensive vitamins you took for years, or if . . . you were just getting taken for a ride, pissing away thousands of dollars over years and years, when you would’ve gotten exactly the same out of some cheap store brand.

I just wonder . . . .

thanks for the help guys, as i see now, im not the only one with these questions, im just confused by all the stuff thats out there, one company says they are the best and so will the next company. i just want quality stuff, price isnt an issue because if i know the stuff works, then the money is not wasted, i guess an easier way is just to get it through my diet but i try to take multi vits and mins just to make sure i have no deficiencies, thanks again

I think much of the cheap mass market stuff is on the low end of the list. I also realize that much of the supplements you take, even the high quality ones, do end up being eliminated anyway.

However, there are many studies show the effectiveness of various substances to help prevent or treat various conditions. For example, resveratrol, indole-3-carbinol (I3C), leutine, various lignans, phenols, polyphenols, cyanidins, and so forth have been fairly heavily researched.

Personally, I take the view that the body will do the best it can with what it has, so why not make sure it gets some effective nutritional help from time to time so it can perhaps ward off common issues better. For example, macular degeneration happens to a fair number of older people, but this condition appears to respond well to lutein and zeaxanthin.

An excerpt…

Lutein and age-related macular degeneration
http://www.jr2.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/band123/b123-2.html
[i]
There may be some scientific sense for these results. There seems to be a link between age-related macular degeneration and oxidative stress, some from the actions of light on the retina, and some systemic. As with heart disease, cancer, and other disorders, diets with higher levels of antioxidants, or antioxidant supplements, or both, are associated with less chance of the disease. It is the old healthy living message about eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, getting some exercise, not smoking, and having the odd medicinal glass of what you fancy.

Lutein is a yellowish pigment found in egg yolk, some algae, and in many plants. Zeaxanthin is found in small amounts in most fruits and vegetables. Both are found in the retina, and both are found at relatively high concentration in the macular region of the retina. Zeaxanthin is preferentially found in the foveal region and lutein in the perifoveal region. A systematic review [5] examines how these two pigments might be related to protection against macular degeneration.

Lutein and zeaxanthin may protect the retina in two ways, as antioxidants to oxidative stress from metabolism, and, by filtering short wavelengths of light they also reduce the oxidative effect of blue light.

There are a number of studies that indicate a lower risk of macular degeneration associated with consumption of lutein and zeaxanthin, with their levels in diet, or higher levels in the blood. For instance, in a good epidemiological study of 380 people aged 66-75 years in the UK [6], people with lower blood levels of lutein plus zeaxanthin were more likely to have age-related macular degeneration (Figure 4).
[/i]
I’m sure there are many other sources of information than this thing, which came up near the top when I googled for macular degeneration. So, if you supplement with various nutrients it appears that you can lower various risk factors. No guarantees, but if you are prone to developing a condition and don’t supplement to fight it, then what choice does your body have?

Considering that my grandmother has suffered vision issues in her old age and that I’ve had laser surgery which surely stresses the eyes, I’m happy to knew that my multi provides these nutrients as well as many others.

[quote]childs play wrote:
i was just wondering how to determine whats a good company and where to buy multivitamins, i see they are sold everywhere but how do you figure out whats beneficial and whats not.

I go to gnc, i see their brand and i compare it to walgreens and its the same thing, what should i be looking for, are there any warning signs. also what vitamins and minerals are do you view as superior to others???[/quote]

Animal Pak, 18.99 for 42 day supply at prosource.net

The only multivitamin I’ve heard of people actually noticing its effects (deeper sleep, better recovery from workouts) is USANA Essentials.

I took Animal Pak for a while and didn’t notice shit.

Get the most cost-effective multivitamin you can buy. And then chew it instead of swallowing it whole.

[quote]Miserere wrote:
Get the most cost-effective multivitamin you can buy. And then chew it instead of swallowing it whole.[/quote]

I’m in this camp. Chew it with your meals. You can even break it up and take part with your morning meal and part with your evening meal.

Why? Most multivitamins are the same and they are better absorbed with real food.

I’m taking Usana right now, and while I can’t say I notice much from it, I can say it empties my wallet.

That said, it is a very high quality pharmaceutical-grade vitamin. This means that it does for a fact contain what it says it contains. Certainly a plus in my book. The thing about multivitamins is that you really shouldn’t feel any effects from them, the point is a lack of other problems.

I’m thinking of trying Animal Pak after this set is done simply for cost alone.

usana also has a potency guarantee. it will dissolve in a glass of water so you dont need to chew it down. i was suffering from a mild case of chronic fatigue syndrome during basketball season and the usana’s multi helped a ton. i also haven’t been sick since last spring break when i stopped taking them.

Useful info for a guy looking for an upgrade from Vitamin Shoppe’s Ultimate Man. Thanks, all.

I want to try USANA, but it’s not convenient to buy them. I’ve used Animal Pak in the past and did notice a difference, but there are so many pills it’s crazy.

[quote]BFBullpup wrote:
Useful info for a guy looking for an upgrade from Vitamin Shoppe’s Ultimate Man. Thanks, all.

I want to try USANA, but it’s not convenient to buy them. I’ve used Animal Pak in the past and did notice a difference, but there are so many pills it’s crazy.[/quote]

I believe it’s called Ultra VitaMan (unless they have two kinds). With the buy one get one half off that anyone can get from them it was my choice. It seems to be chock full of extra good stuff

-DT

I’ve tried a few over name brand ones over the years.

Universal’s Animal Paks (taken once a day)

AST’s Multi Pro-32X (taken twice a day)

GNC’s Ultra-Mega Gold (taken twice a day)

GNC’s Mega Men’s (taken once a day)

And of course Flintstones chewable vitamins when I was kid. Damn those were tasty.

I’d rate AST’s best, followed by Animal Paks.
Cost wise, AST wins of those two. Animal Paks while effective because of all the bells and whistles in it are just not worth the cash to me, nor is swallowing the 22 pills that make up a serving.

I firmly believe that one-a-day multivitamins are shit. Your body runs 24 hours a day and requires nutrients for 24 hours a day. Time released or not, one-a-day type multi vitamins still have a half-life in the body of 12-15 hours.
So…half the day you’re not covered AND the potency has been depreciating since you took it!

In attempts to overcome this some have created high-dose multi’s which is bad news as it means the other half that’s not used right away is pissed away or worse, if it’s a vitamin or mineral that can build in the body, you now have toxicity concerns.

AST and GNC’s Ultra Mega Gold, both of which tell you to take 2 caplets/tabs a day, 12 hours apart with meals is the sensible way to take a multivitamin and assure 24 hour coverage of important nutrients.
AND keep it mind AST’s was designed for bodybuilders and hard-training people, no Joe Susie looking for an every day, one-a-day.

I finally switched over to AST’s about 6 months ago after my local drugstore’s (London Drugs) house brand, high-dose multi was discontinued.

I have to say that it is the first multivitamin that I could actually feel work more effectively than others!

Compare it against any on the market (at its 2 a day proper dosage) and you’ll find it has equal profiles to the top multi’s out there, except it’s now and properly split in two doses per day. Beauty of that is you can time it how you like (an hour before training with a meal and then 12 hours after that).

Hope that helps.
p.s. I get mine for $16 for 100caplets (50 days worth) on bodybuilding.com (where it’s the #11 top sold supplement they carry; Animal Paks is #9 or something like that).

Anyone heard of Alive! Whole Food Energizer Vitamins?

Flintstones now has gummy vitamins.
I steal my daughter’s all the time. They do add a few grams of sugar though.

I used to love their other chewable vitamins, but I haven’t been able to find them (not that I really looked, because my daughter like the gummies).

[quote]SWR-1240 wrote:
Flintstones now has gummy vitamins.
I steel my daughter’s all the time. They do add a few grams of sugar though.

I used to love their other chewable vitamins, but I haven’t been able to find them (not that I really looked, because my daughter like the gummies).[/quote]

No shit, eh! I saw gummy vitamins a while back and got pissy. WHY didn’t they think of that when I was a kid! Dammit. Oh, wait, I know…cuz I would have overdosed constantly.
I remember sneaking a few extra Flintstone vitamins in because it would make your pee ultraviolet orange.
Me and my little bro would have contests of who could make thier pee more yellow/orange.
Good times!