Tuesday, November 6, 2012

To Vitamin or not to Vitamin

Let's for a second ignore the fact that some of you may have said VIT-amin thus making my skin crawl, and carry on to more important things.

Original image by Erix, modified by moi under CC license
When I worked as the makeup chick in a pharmacy I would spend a lot of time with the naturopaths being told about all the marvelous things these tablets and potions were meant to be able to do for me. I often wondered whether it was all pseudo science and rather than part me with my symptoms it would just part me with my cash. I decided to try out a few out anyway because a) I had an income and b) I got an employee discount.

I swallowed giant horse tablets of spirulina, fish oil, iron, a multivitamin and, because I was duffed at the time, some super duper folate. I was taking so many different things that upon opening my cupboard a multi coloured foul smelling deluge of digestible plastic would descend on me. It was so stressful being covered every morning that I considered taking a stress remedy then decided cleaning my cupboard would probably be cheaper and more effective in the long run.

I was on my 'prescribed' regime for a year or so and other than having significantly less money in my bank account and wee that looked decidedly radioactive, I didn't notice anything different when I was on them. Though that could have been thanks to the eating chips constantly while preggers then not sleeping at all thanks to a newborn who fed freaking hourly. Apparently they negate all positive effects.

So here I am, a month in to my new health regime and I'm curious about it all again, but obviously not curious enough to actually buy any. And really, aren't blogs just avenues for getting advice?

Do you take vitamins? Should I? How do you pronounce it?

EDIT: 01/12/12 I've been taking a multi for a month now and OMG my nails are so strong. They've never been this strong before - they were always chipping and splitting. Now they're really long and painted blood red. Talons FTW!


  1. Kelley @ magnetoboldtooNovember 6, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    did you know that I used to own a health food store?

    And was on my way to becoming a naturopath?

    True story.

    Also, another true story? Most people that sell you that shit have no idea what they are talking about and are just spewing back what the rep told them to say.

    Thanks for the reminder to get my multi vitamins again... I ran out like 2 months ago...

  2. I did not know that! I was always amazed at the difference a particular magnesium supplement made to all our clients. They all swore by it. But then we'd have a woman come in who was an alcoholic and some would try to sell her liver tonics promising to make her better so I became very skeptical of it all.

  3. I take several things daily, vitamin C, calcium, because I don't drink milk except for a splash in my coffee, iron, because I don't eat much meat, cod liver oil, to boost my immunity, glucosamine because I'm hoping it will help with joint mobility. (I have arthritis). I used to try a multi-vitamin, but they always made me feel a bit sick, so now I take the individual tablets. Until this year, I haven't been sick since a mild bout of flu at age 16, and a severe bout of gastro almost two years ago. So, I think they work. For me anyway.

  4. Food - the healthy sort, not the hot chip sort - is probably far better for you than any compressed tablet of dried stuff. There is a distinct smell that seeps out of the skin of avid consumers of vitamins, which does have to make you wonder. Having said that, since starting the Darlings on a strict regime of a daily vitamin, they have had way less colds than they used to. This certainly makes me feel better, so I'll keep going with it. For myself, I have shifted to herbal teas that I blend myself from camomile, licorice root and the like (no eye of newt though) to help with chest infections and I have to say (with no scientific authority at all) that they actually work for me. Keep it simple, I say.

  5. I say vitamins. Like vitawheats. Hmm I guess there could be people who say it VITAwheats? Umm so I say it like vie-ta-mens.

    The other way? Yeah, it's just wrong.

    I don't take them. My kids don't take them, and I have a chronic eye rolling problem at the kids who take vitamin c's as treats/lollies. I think the focus needs to be in getting those vitamins from eating a good diet. Healthy food choices, you know? Getting some sniffles, break out the orange juice etc.

    If you're popping a pill to give yourself something you could be getting from food (without doctors advice) then surely your body is going to start to rely on that and eventually struggle to absorb what it needs to from foods? I'd rather save them for when I get older and need the help. And yes, this is coming from a junk food addict who doesn't eat 90% of red meats and has ironically never had an iron problem. Yeah, figure that one out.

  6. I say VYTAMINS ahahaha anyways. I don't take like a daily supplement or anything because I am not THAT dedicated. The only time I religiously take my supps was when I was preggers.

    I am with Fussy Eater's Mum. Get most of your vitamins through food. Fruits, veggies, meat, fish etc. WAAAY WAAAY cheaper. If I need a boost of Vitamin C for when I know I am coming down with a cold or chills, I usually take Barroca and Sambucol. :)

  7. We take Krill oil. stronger than fish oil once a day. I found it made a difference when I hurt my neck. I stopped taking it when I hurt it and then started again and it made my neck better. My hubby takes it for his knee and back. Its good for your joints apparently Other than that I haven't seen much difference.

  8. Ah you're a funny lady. And VITT-amins is a funny word. It's up there with YOGGurt. I occasionally take a handful of out-of-date supplements sitting on my microwave when I happen to notice them. Not the best way to test their efficacy I'm guessing. But my dear old dad with his bad knees swears the glucosamine helps.

  9. When I was pregnant I was taking one with folate and iron and it was a struggle to remember to take it every day. The only pill I have remembered to take religiously was The Pill and veen then I forgot once or twice, so now I don't bother. My husband takes all kinds of fish oil and vitamins and potions and powders but I just can't be bothered. Too much effort. And to hard to swallow, why do they have to be so fucking humongous?

  10. I'm English. VITamins not VYtamins for me. The rest of the country can take the piss out of me - my pronunciation is inbred! (I did nutrition at uni - VITamins are entrenched!)

    Fat or slim, I have always been a huge advocate of the fact that in the western world we can get the majority of our nutritional requirements from real food. Who knew?!

    A great deal of the nutrient content of the tablets and supplements are water soluble - your body cannot store these nutrients, so we just piss out what we don't need. Australians have the most expensive piss in the whole world!

    Non water soluble nutrients can build up in the body and excess of some can actually create adverse effects...

    I would go and have a full range of blood tests and see if you actually deficient in anything. Look at your diet - balanced and full of fresh foods - and you'll have no need to part with any additional cash...


  11. Oh Lucy, I do love you! A friend on Twitter replied to me saying "very expensive wee" too!
    Despite my figure, I do actually eat a really balanced diet... I obviously just eat too much of it!

  12. I read somewhere recently that the whole humongous horse tablet thing was a ploy because people thought bigger was better. But I wouldn't quote me...

  13. My pal from London and I tease each other about YOGGurt v yoghurt and the whole vitamin thing! I also give her shit for Hoovering the settee :P I'm glad your dad is getting some relief from the glucosamine - I kinda think even if it is a placebo affect, that can't be bad!

  14. That's really interesting Salz, I've heard of Krill oil but don't really know much about it.

  15. I take Berocca after a big night before I go to bed :P

  16. The first time I ever took a vitamin was on a two week school trip to the snow where they forced us to take a vitamin C every day - I didn't like the idea so gave mine to another student who thought it was cool to take 5... yeah.

  17. FEM you're another one, along with Lucy, that I'm really glad commented because I'm always interested in what you have to say. I must say though that I'm sorely disappointed at the lack of eye of newt. Tsk tsk tsk.

  18. I think if they work for you then that is ace, River! My husband swears by them too x

  19. I pronounce it Vytamins. I don't take any, except every now and then I'll take cranberry tablets. The ladies in my family have a history of getting uti's at the drop of a hat and cranberry tablets are a great natural way of keeping them away. /tmi.

  20. No such things as TMI on blogs :)

  21. I pronounce it both ways, cos I'm cool like that. XD
    My Mum takes so many, she could open her own damn Chemist!

    But she seems good and they're mostly just the herbal stuff she's so into.

    Some are good, some are bad. It just depends on your body's chemistry and what chemicals you need. I just take some Centrum and a Yakault cos I'm constantly eating crap and I figure it will go a ways to balancing out all the crap in my body. =)

  22. Haha yeah I thought that too! I have to say, since I've been taking a cheapo multi that MG bought me, my nails have been REALLY strong!


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