Its worth taking a look at what’s in your vitamin supplements and knowing what amount our bodies can actually absorb…Is the determining factor, such as a higher level of a particular vitamin, actually a good reason to purchase one brand over another?
I have had a look at two market leaders in woman’s multi vitamins and compared the amount of each vitamin to the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) as per the Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). It’s surprising the difference between the RDI of a vitamin and the amount of each vitamin the brands actually contain.
What’s also interesting is that impressive high volumes of some vitamins may be pointless when the body is only able to absorb a small amount at a time. Less really is more; and more in this case is just money spent on expensive body excretion!
A stand out with this comparison of multivitamins is with the B Vitamins. These vitamins are water soluble meaning they can’t be stored by the body with the exception of Vitamin B12 that can stored in small amounts. The excess is excreted. However these market leaders are providing 50 µg of Vitamin B12 when the RDI is just 2.4 µg/day – https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/thiamin.
Furthermore the body can only absorb 56% of a 1mcg dose of Vitamin B12 and this absorption rate decreases as you increase the dosage – https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/.
In one brand Vitamin B1 is marketed as containing 50 mg. According to …the RDI for men is just 1.2mg/day and 1.1mg/day for woman. This is about 3400% more than the RDI. For a vitamin that is water soluble this is again excreted.
Another high contending ingredient in these leading brands is the mineral Zinc. Zinc is called an essential trace element because, as its name infers, only very small amounts of zinc are required for the growth and upkeep of our bodies. As zinc is quite easily obtained from a balanced diet with zinc rich foods, diet alone should satisfy our daily requirements. Zinc rich foods include meat, shell food, legumes, nuts and seeds, eggs to name a few. However if you chose to take a supplement it is worth noting the RDI.
The RDI for woman aged over 19 is 8mg and 14mg for men in the same age group – https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/zinc. However one of these market leaders multivitamins has 50mg of zinc; the upper limit of intake of this vitamin is 40mg before the chances of suffering side effects such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea make take effect.
You also need to look out for marketing ingredients that may cause you to buy the product over another, but contains so little of this ingredient it will have no benefit.
For example Siberian Ginseng. This herb is said to strengthen your body and to increase your resistance to daily stress. It also claims to help with conditions such as chronic fatigue, depression, heart disease, diabetes… the list goes on. Sounds great but there is insufficient evidence to support these claims – www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-985/ginseng-siberian.
In addition one of these market leaders contains 25mg of Siberian Ginseng in their multi vitamin but unfortunately for Siberian Ginseng to help with even the common cold you need 433mg at least.
So in a nutshell make sure you check the amount of each vitamin that is contained in your multi as there may be either so much that your body can’t absorb it or so little that there isn’t enough for it to have any benefit.
Dr Ross White from Bodycare Nutrition has formulated a drink Revitalise. In this drink you will not find any wasted ingredients or latest marketing fads. It also allows for the vitamins we already receive from a balanced diets. Furthermore this drink is safe for people with diabetes. You can meet Dr Ross here.
Any information I have put in this blog has just been from me researching and then writing up my findings. I have absolutely no expertise in this field but do find it very interesting. I also want to know that what I am buying is actually beneficial to me and that I’m not being sold a dud.
As always please share your thoughts and let me know what I have got right or wrong so we can all learn what to look for when we purchase our next batch of vitamins.