Why I Don’t Take Multivitamins

Pills

Multis are gateway supplements.

They’re often the first step in people’s health enlightenment. Along with a gym membership, maybe. Or a Fitbit.

But there are a lot of people for whom a multivitamin is it. No other supplements, diet change or exercise. That’s all they’re willing to do. They couldn’t quit smoking, so they’ll take a multi instead. Or their spouse is on them to get healthy.

So they buy a giant bottle of multi at Costco. Centrum. One-A-Day.  Or (ha!) an ‘adult gummy.’

Good for them. You’re not them.

But seriously, if you’re taking an adult gummy vitamin, stop it. Just stop it.

Is there one multi or supplement pill that has it all?

You want a good multi so you don’t have to take so many pills. You may even take an Omega-3. You may be considering taking Vitamin D3 or a probiotic.

This is when the hunt for a good multi heats up.

I get a lot of questions about which multi to choose. I don’t like multis and I don’t take one. But, if your doctor wants you to take a multi, take it…there is no need for discussion.

Why I don’t recommend taking multivitamins:

Several reasons:

  1. Multis usually have the wrong TYPE of nutrients
  2. Multis usually have too little of some and too much of other nutrients, contributing to nutrient imbalance
  3. Multis are never complete or comprehensive
  4. ‘100% Daily Values of everything’ can give you a false sense of dietary accomplishment
  5. You can still have several deficiencies after taking a daily multi

Here’s what I mean:

1. Vitamin A

Many multis have beta-carotene as a Vitamin A source. Beta-carotene is not Vitamin A but a precursor to it. Some people convert it to Vitamin A and some don’t.

You need the retinol form of Vitamin A, not the carotenoid forms.

Severe Vitamin A deficiency is rare in America, but it is very common in developing countries and causes night blindness. Just because things aren’t that bad here does not mean things are peachy.

Since we stopped eating egg yolks, butter, liver, and animal fats in the 70s and 80s, we have collectively been consuming a lot less retinol Vitamin A.

Mass market multis are hopeless sources of Vitamin A. Eat the foods listed above. If you don’t eat liver, take 10,000 IU of preformed Vitamin A from a product like this.

10,000 IU is not too much assuming you get plenty of sun exposure or take Vitamin D3 too. Keep in mind that disease-free cultures like pre-westernized Inuits used to consume between 30,000 and 40,000 IU of retinol Vitamin A daily. People are unnecessarily worried about Vitamin A toxicity…something that happens usually when you’re Vitamin D deficient. If you have enough Vitamin D, the toxicity level of Vitamin A is about 200,000 IU per day.

What I do for the kids: we blend in grass-fed beef or bison liver with hamburger meat. No one’s the wiser. I also get them this liver + beef snack from Epic.  It’s actually pretty good.

2. Folic acid

Multis have folic acid. Multis should have FOLATE, the metabolic active form of folic acid.

We were all told that pregnant women need folic acid.

Never mind that you need FOLATE, not folic acid. And that you need it 3 months BEFORE pregnancy as much as you need it for 3 months after conception. So starting with folic acid during your second trimester is missing the boat.

Folic acid in multis is synthetic and needs to go through five different enzymatic conversions before it becomes folate. This conversion declines as we age.

Even if you’re not pregnant, folic acid must be converted to folate before it can reduce homocysteine, a risk factor for heart disease. There are implications for mood disorders too, as folate is required in processing brain neurotransmitters.

The folic acid in your multi may not be doing much for you.

B-Right is my preferred source of folic acid.

3. Vitamin D

Most multis have very low levels of D3. Some even have the poorly-absorbed D2 form.

Get your blood level tested and supplement to get up to optimal levels.

Most people need between 2000 and 5000 IU of D3 per day along with Vitamin A (see above.) Unless you’re getting a lot of full body summertime sun exposure and eating a lot of seafood, you’re going to need supplementation. Following the FDA’s 100% Daily Value (600 IU per day) is virtually guaranteed to keep you deficient.

If you’re dark skinned or pregnant, you will need more than what most multis or prenatals provide.

Taking Vitamin D without A and K2 is a bad idea.

My preferred source.

4. Vitamin K2

Most multi buyers haven’t even heard of Vitamin K2. How can you be sure you’re buying the right K2 supplement. Your body needs K2 to figure out  what to do with calcium. K2 keeps calcium in your bones and teeth instead of in your arteries.

Vitamin K2 is absent in most multis. Some ‘health food’ multi brands now have K2 in the MK-7 form. That’s nice, but what you really need is MK-4.

Want K2? Eat dairy fat from cows that recently ate rapidly growing green grass. Or eat european hard cheeses and pastured egg yolks.

If you’re pregnant, MK-4 is essential and MK-7 may be useless for the baby’s development. Strangely, I’ve yet to see a prenatal that contains MK-4 form of K2. It is critical for the baby’s bone and skull development. And virtually every pregnant mother is deficient.

In retrospect, I’m really glad my vegetarian wife developed a pregnancy craving for meat and european hard cheeses.

Most multis have K1, a nutrient that is almost impossible to become deficient in because it is recycled by the body. It does not help that the FDA and the Institute of Medicine are decades behind and have not established a formal daily value for K2.

You need between 500 – 1000 mcg of K2 daily, most of it in the MK-4 form and some in the MK-7 form.

This is a good liquid form for kids.
Our sister brand (InnovixLabs) makes this.

There is a trend here that some of you may have noticed. Three of the 4 nutrients discussed so far are fat-soluble vitamins. Nutrients that we all began going deficient in when we started avoiding fats and meats.

5. Magnesium

None of the mass market multis have enough magnesium.

Centrum has 50 mg (13%) of Daily Value as magnesium oxide. Perfect example of wrong quantity and wrong type.

One A Day has 140 mg (35%) as magnesium oxide.

You need 400 to 600 mg of magnesium daily. Very few of us get this much magnesium in our diet, even with a near-perfect diet. Our soils are depleted from intensive agriculture. Our bodies burn through magnesium due to high-stress lifestyles.

No wonder we are cranky, sleepless, and anxious. This is one nutrient that I think all of us need to supplement.

Magnesium oxide is close to useless. You might as well swallow a pebble. Sadly, it is found in all the biggest-selling multis and magnesium supplements.

Magnesium citrate is a little better. But you’re best served by far better absorbed forms like glycinate, malate, threonate, lysinate.

All the well-absorbed forms are fluffy and light – so you’ll need a lot pills to get 600 mg a day.

A few options available on Amazon:
Powdered magnesium glycinate – nice to blend into your smoothie or beverage for kids.

Capsule form with malate and glycinate forms

A few more reasons:

The FDA has known how critical choline is, especially during pregnancy. They’ve had the data for 20 years. But have done nothing with it.

In the meantime, 90% of pregnant women are deficient in choline.

Where do you get choline? Yup – meats, egg yolks, and animal products. All things the government told us to avoid.

Then there’s Vitamin E. Vitamin E is actually a complex of 4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrieneols. What you find in multis is the synthetic version of one of the tocopherols. I’ve yet to see a multi with all eight Es. In the meantime, try this supplement.

Most multis have B12 in the cyanocobalamin form. It should be in the methylcobalamin form.

These are some (but not all) of the reasons why I don’t take a multivitamin.

There are other reasons, but I think you get the drift.

Oh, but the multi I get at Whole Foods has food-based synergistic cofactors!

Sure.

Some are a little better. I’ll give you that. Some of them have B12 as methylcobalamin. Some throw in the wrong kind of K2. They have natural Vit E.

But for the most part, health food multis make you feel special by throwing in ‘proprietary blends’ of antioxidants or fruit and veggies extracts or intangible mumbo jumbo blends. The purpose of these blends is to separate one product from another on the shelf.

Holier-than-thou health food store multis also have long lists of things they do not contain, starting with gluten. Not having gluten is great. But the internet has made false demons out of things like magnesium stearate and ascorbyl palmitate. Mag stearate phobia is not based on science, but fools fan the fears.

Look to whole, nutrient-dense foods for nutrition

Take another look at egg yolks and liver. They’re nature’s multivitamins. If you’re not OK with liver and organ meats, you need supplements.

Go back to colorful berries. Fresh seafood and leafy greens. Locally grown fruits and nuts. Go back to butter.

Maybe, just maybe, eat your liver and eggs in the midday sun in the backyard. Naked. You make Vitamin D for free and the neighbors move out in a hurry. It’s a win-win. I know. Brilliant.

 


Disclaimer

This website is for your education and general health information only. The ideas, opinions and suggestions contained on this website are not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment from your doctor for any health condition or problem. Users of this website should not rely on information provided on this website for their own health problems. Any questions regarding your own health should be addressed to your own physician. Please do not start or stop any medications without consulting with your doctor. We neither encourage you to do so, nor can we be held responsible for the fall out of failing to seek the counsel of a medical health practitioner.

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Vin Kutty
Vin Kutty, MS, is co-founder of Innovix Pharma. He is a nutritionist, author, and Omega-3 expert with 20 years of experience.

Comments

Join the Conversation

  1. Vin – really great article this month. Thanks!
    Is dry vitamin A – Retinyl Palmitate OK? It does not have any soybean oil or other O-6 oils which most gelcaps have.
    Does Innovix have any plans to offer a comprehensive B-complex with all the right forms?

    • Hi Mike – dry retinyl palmitate is OK…but just make sure you don’t take too much. This is easy to do with dry powders of fat-soluble vitamins.

      We’re getting a lot of requests for a high-quality B-complex. If we do make one, it won’t be ready until 2016 or later.

  2. Great article Vin, what a wealth of helpful info, humor is always good medicine (Proverbs 17:22) had to chuckle over eating your eggs & liver in the midday sun !

    Keep up the good work

    Jim

  3. Hi Vin,
    I loved reading your article. I am now more confused about what I should be taking. I currently take all of the wrong things. I take a one a day, magnesium and fish oil. I am 43 years old and do moderate exercise. Would you say that I need to take everything that is in a multi vitamin, just in more natural forms, or if I take the vitamins listed above I should be good? Also, at my age, do I still need to be taking Folate?

    Thanks for your help.

    Lori

    • Hi Lori – sorry, I wasn’t trying to confuse people! 🙂 It’s just that I constantly get asked what multi I take and which one I recommend. I don’t take a multi (obviously) and if you must have a multi, at least now you are armed with some information to go out and find a BETTER multi. I think you can certainly do better than One A Day multi. Both magnesium and fish oil are probably good ideas for most people – may be you could move up the quality chain. Ideally, get everything from your diet, but that’s not very helpful for most people. I have 30 bottles of supplements in the medicine cabinet but only take them if my diet is lacking. Examples: if I eat liver or a lot of eggs, I might ease up on the trace minerals and Vitamin A. I don’t take D3 in the summer time when I’m tanned. I don’t take Omega-3 if I eat salmon. I eat more fruits in the summer, so I skip Vit C. It’s hard to get enough magnesium and Vit K2, so I take those most days. I don’t think normal people need or want 30 bottles of pills…and I certainly don’t expect you or anyone to do that. There is no one formula that works for anyone because of where your current health, diet and lifestyle is could be drastically different from someone else.

      Folate is necessary at ALL ages.

  4. Hello again,

    Thank you for the reply. I will take your advice and buy the magnesium you posted. I do need the multi as I don’t eat like I should. I have never taken a separate magnesium supplement, can you tell me when best to take them? Should I take them in the am with my multi or alone and when?

    Thank you again,

    Lily

    • Hi Lily – makes no difference when you take magnesium, but many people take it at night, claiming it relaxes them and gives them better sleep. Aim for 400 mg Magnesium per day.

    • Hi Ken – the standard doubt that is planted (usually by marketers) is that Omega-3s will not absorb well when enteric coated. But the human body is so adept at absorbing fats that skipping the stomach and going straight to the intestines with enteric coating will not cause any reduction in absorption.

  5. Vin,

    Is there a fat soluble vitamin complex (D K A E) that you know of? If not have you considered making one with the forms people should be taking?

    John

    • Hi John – Nutricology D3 Complete is the closest thing, but the formula needs tweaking. Not enough A, D, and E for my needs. and it is missing the MK-4 type of K2. More D than I need in the Summer and not enough in the winter. It’s a one-size-fits-all formula but one-size-fits-all doesn’t work with supplements. But I have to give Nutricology kudos for recognizing that people need fat-soluble vitamins. Sadly, these combo formulas rarely sell and are always at risk of discontinuation.

  6. Hi Vin,

    Do you have any opinion on the “threonate” version of magnesium that you mention? I have seen it claimed that it is the only version that crosses the blood brain barrier. Does this make it superior? Or does it even matter? Is it a case of just “pick one” out of glycinate, malate, threonate, and lysinate?

    Thanks!

  7. What a great blog, so glad to find you. I’m geek enough to enjoy trying to find a way through the technical/medical language, but what a joy to not have to, and have things laid out so clearly, simply, and with truly great writing. Already started taking your advice and reexamining the various vitamins and supplements around the house.

    After having a big LAD heart attack a few years ago, I’ve been enjoying your columns on cholesterol, really eye-opening. I’d really gone astray on diet for so long, despite being relatively in shape. No red meat or eggs, but lots of baked goods! Live and learn (if one is lucky enough to).

    Thanks, looking forward to the next one and catching up on the archives.
    R

  8. Hey Vin,

    Kind of a dumb question, but was wondering if the triglycerides form of fish oil actually have any negative effects on my cholesterol/triglycerides levels at all, or would it essentially be the same as the esters form (meaning it has no negative side effects|I’m finishing off my last bottle of Nordic Naturals and the name “triglycerides form” scared me a bit due to a history of high triglycerides)? Thanks!

    • Hi Robert – triglyceride form and ethyl ester form of fish oil have the same health impact on the body. The only minor difference is how the body metabolizes them. The ‘triglyceride form’ of Omega-3 has nothing to do with the triglycerides floating around in your blood, which is mostly a result of what you eat.

  9. Wow have I learnt alot today; mainly that I take too many vitamin supplements. My main enquiry is that I had Osteoporosis which is now Osteopenia and I take Caltrate 600mg, with 25mcg D3 and Magnesium 50mg,also contains some Zinc, Copper and Manganese. I am 52 years old, 60kg, do zumba and eat well. I am interested in your recommendations. Thank you. Leanne

  10. Thanks, this has been helpful, it started me into doing some further review. The folic acid has been the most concerning. So overused especially for someone eating reasonably healthy most of the time.
    I generally took the multi for the minerals anyway and extra vitamins like b complex, D3 and vit C.
    Any chance you could follow this up on the mineral side post? I have not had much luck finding a multi mineral yet. Would be nice to have something basic then add a few extras if desired.

    • Hi Steve – most of what I say above applies to minerals as well. You can’t stuff enough of the ‘macro’ minerals like Calcium, potassium, and magnesium into a multivitamin pill. If you did, it’d be a dozen pills. There is a nutty rule/law somewhere that prevents making substantial potassium supplements, so you will only get small amounts in pills. Magnesium is a huge issue – most people are deficient in it. And the most common form of magnesium is magnesium oxide. It is very poorly absorbed. Look for malate, bisglycinate, threnoate, or even citrate forms. Trace minerals are a little easier. This one is OK: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TGFNP7A/

    • Hi John – we’re sold out! Really sorry about that. I’m told we blew threw 6 months’ worth of products in just under 2 months. We are scrambling to get it back in stock. It will be available in early September. Again, our apologies.

      • Thanks Vin. I will keep an eye out and double order this next time!

        Is there any specific time or method that I should be using to take my “stack” of supplements? On your advice I am trying out separate quality supplements to take the place of the fermented CLO and HVBO that I was taking everyday. Right now, my morning consists of:

        A pastured egg
        One capsule Innovix K2
        One capsule Omegavia fish oil
        One capsule Nutrigold 5000 iu D3
        One capsule 10000 iu Now Foods Vit A
        ~5-6oz Raw Milk
        One capsule Garden of Life food based Zinc
        Two capsules Innovix Magnesium

        Any reason to not take all of this together in one sitting each morning?

        (The daily serving of Zinc is two capsules so I take another sometime later and maybe another Omegavia later as well).

        I just want to make sure that none of that interferes with any of the other items or I should be spacing out supplements. Thanks!

        • Hi John – I don’t see any potential issues with interactions. All the oils and fat soluble vitamins will work well together. I’d test your Vit D levels and see if you can get your level boosted with sunlight during the summer. Go to D3 supplements in Winter and Spring.

          This is just me – I’d double the eggs and nix the milk.

          If you’re stressed or are not sleeping well, I’d increase the Magnesium. Or may be take it before bed time.

          I’d take this 2-3X/week instead of just the zinc: http://www.amazon.com/Pure-Encapsulations-Minerals-Premium-Packaging/dp/B00TGFNP7A/

          As always, everything is better coming from foods instead of pills.

    • Hi Melanie – we haven’t been sending out newsletter for a few months now. We’ll post a sign-up form on the blog pages soon, so you can get our blogs automatically. Thanks.

  11. Hi Vin,
    I have elevated levels of triglycerides, around 350, which is not very high. I am also taking statins for LDL (around 150). I understand that while DHA is important it also raises LDL, which makes EPA 500 the better choice for people with triglycerides above 500. How about someone like me who has high but not very high triglyceride levels, and also takes statins? Should I take EPA 500 or the regular one, or should I completely avoid fish oil and bring my levels down through exercise and diet (I am in late 30s)? Also, what would be the daily recommended dose for me?
    Thanks.

    • Hi Raz – if you have the discipline to reduce your very high triglycerides with diet and exercise, then, by all means, do it! If you decide to supplement as well, try the regular OmegaVia at 4 pills a day with meals.

  12. A couple of things that I forgot to ask in my previous post: what’s the expiry date of these supplements? If I order 4 or 5 bottles that can last 6 to 7 months, is there a chance they will turn rancid?

    In the FAQ section for EPA 500, it is mentioned that the gelatin is both kosher and halal. What about the gelatin used in omegavia fish oil?

    • Hi Raz – the expiration dates are usually 2-3 years away. There won’t be any issue with rancidity. The gelatin in OmegaVia is from fish, so yes, it is certainly both kosher and halal. There are no non-fish animal ingredients in OmegaVia.

  13. Bravo Vin! Love your writing style and informative (and witty) delivery. I’ve just placed an order for your O3 capsules and can’t wait to get started. I have been taking FCLO for a couple of years now (with no ill affects) and definitely took heed of your comments on Chris Kresser’s recent article. Thanks for this wonderful resource and keep up the great work!

    • Thank you, Mrs D. Oh, yes, the Chris Kresser post – I was sorely disappointed that Chris did not take a stronger stance on this. But I’m glad that you were happy with FCLO while using it. I think there are better sources of Vits A, D, and K2 besides FCLO.

  14. Hi Vin,

    Do you have another Magnesium supplement that you recommend since the InnovixLabs brand is currently out of stock on Amazon?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Lori – the Innovix magnesium item should be back in stock at Amazon in the next day or two. But if you’re in a rush, try Dr. Best (good value) or Jigsaw health (good pill size).

  15. Hi Vin, just out of curiosity… why is there both an Omegavia brand Omega 3 and Innovix? I was thinking both were your company?

    And I am very interested in your probiotics, but notice Innovix has two types now. Are you going to do a blog post on the pros / cons of either / both?

    And maybe a “what’s new” or “upcoming supplements” post? Seems I randomly find new Innovix products on Amazon (like Circumin) that I had no idea you made. (incidentally that product sounds good but I noticed it messes with male fertility so I guess I need to stay away for a bit while we try to conceive!)

    Thanks!

    • Hi John – yes, both brands belong to Innovix Pharma, the parent company. The OmegaVia brand provides premium, high-end Omega-3 – oil purified with liquid CO2 chromatography at low temperatures, 90%+ Omega-3 purity, fish gelatin (instead of beef or pork) etc. It’s the ‘Cadillac’ (or if you’re a youngster, Tesla) of fish oils. We’re always finding ways to improve OmegaVia items to be best among its peers. We don’t spare any expense. This means not everyone who needs it can afford it. And that was not OK with us. So about 3 or 4 years ago, we decided to launch a different brand, InnovixLabs, that provided both high quality and high value, mostly targeting inflammation and metabolic disorders. InnovixLabs is also a direct-to-consumer brand – this means lower prices (no middle man.)

      Yes, InnovixLabs has two probiotics (and possibly more on the way) – one is a full-spectrum product with a LOT of different strains of probiotics. The second one (and I will probably write a blog about it) is based on a proprietary formula developed and extensively studied by Institut Rosell/Lallemand for mood/anxiety/depression. We actually buy the formula directly from them. It is the exact same formula used in two positive, published clinical studies. It’s the first commercial probiotic formula to have that degree of scientific support in the mood area.

      Curcumin is a great anti-inflammatory. Most anti-inflammatories taken at the correct dose increases fertility. See Pycnogenol. The one study on curcumin and fertility was done in-vitro and in mice models using ungodly amounts of curcumin. The lesson there, if reproduction is still in the future, is to not take ‘ungodly’ amount of anything – while lowering inflammation and increasing DHA. Oh, speaking of, we have a new DHA item too. 🙂

      Stay tuned – lots more to come.

      • Great, thanks! I went ahead and got some of the Curcumin when I ordered the (now back in stock!) magnesium. Should I take two Curcumin in the morning with the rest of my vitamins and breakfast of eggs and raw milk, or take the second Curcumin pill later in the day? I know it has a time release already….. And would it interfere with sleep at all if taken later? Or help sleep?

        • Hi John – I’d take the two curcumin pills in the morning with food and your other pills. The bioperine in the curcumin may help increase the absorption of the other nutrients as well. I have not heard about curcumin disturbing sleep…or helping it. The magnesium will help with relaxation and sleep. The Glycine in the mangesium glycinate will also help a little with relaxation and sleep.

          If sleep is an issue, try some lifestyle/diet stuff first: walk 10,000 steps a day outside during sunlight hours and without shades, no TV/screen time after sunset, wear blue-blocking uvex glasses, no alcohol before bedtime, no caffeine after morning, if your mind is racing (monkey brain), then consider yoga during the day and guided meditation in the evening. Lots of other tips but start here.

  16. Hi Vin,

    I have a 2 year old with a suspected fish allergy and I am worried about his omega 3 intake. I do feed him grass-feed milk/eggs with increased omega 3 on the label. Would you recommend taking Nordic Naturals Algae Omega? If so, do you have any opinions on the appropriate dose? Also, any thoughts on adding a magnesium supplement?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Cuong – if you’re giving your child Omega-3 eggs and grass-fed milk, chances are low that you’re low in Omega-3. Cut back on vegetable seed oils that contain high levels of Omega-6. You might want to try one of the products reviewed here: https://omegavia.com/omega-3-kids/

      Your best bet for adding magnesium is with small doses of powdered magnesium like Natural Calm into drinking water. Too much can cause a laxative effect, so work with your pediatrician if in doubt.

    • HI Eugene – Nutrigold makes good products. You know my opinions on multivitamins, but if you MUST take a multi, this one is OK. Much, much better than the mass market brands like Centrum and One-A-Day.

      • Hi, thanks, it’s for the relatives 🙂 finally bought Doctor Best Multi, like good components…except for Vit K, there are only K2 (menaquinone-7)

        Another question, please: Should i store OmegaVia & Innovix Omega 7 in the fridge? during the multi-day delivery nothing will happen?
        i read “the capsules is not terrible temperature, because there is no oxygen” is this true?

  17. Hi Vin,

    I read above information says choline is very important, may my wife takes more choline alfoscerate in the third trimester ? Choline alfoscerate is fine for the pregnancy ? If she can take it, will she take how many grams choline alfoscerate per day

    Thanks

  18. Hi Vin,

    Can you recommend any vitamin supplements for children? My kids can’t swallow pills yet and it really needs to be something chewable.

    Thank you,

    Lori

    • Hi Lori – I can’t think of a single product that is really good. Sorry. If I were to concoct something for kids, it’d be half a dozen different products…even then it’d be insufficient.

  19. Hi vin, you said, ” taking Vitamin D without A and K2 is a bad idea,” but i am severe deficient of vitamin D and it is 3ng/ml only. My doc.prescribed me calcium with vitamin D (tayo 60k) and some multivitamin capsules. I am on these pills for the last three months and not very much happy with the results. Besides this, i am taking fish oil (ocean blue) without consulting doctor now everything seems to be going wrong. Should i take vitamin A alongwith vitamin D?

    • Hi Babli – if you’re under a doctor’s care, he or she should be directing you on everything, not me. However, if your D level is 3 ng/ml, you have a serious problem. I’d be shocked if 60,000 IU D3 tablets don’t raise those levels quickly. Permanently staying at that dose without A and K2 is not a good idea.

  20. Hi Vin,love your blog
    I am currently taking aspirin and an anti-platelet named Effient.I’m
    wondering what your reading and understanding would be in regards to supplementing with k2.My cardiologist has not commented on it and I take the Life Extensions super k about twice a week,5000 d3 every other day,along with omegavia fish oil,coq10,and 40mg Lipitor daily.I find I sleep much sounder when I take the vit k,but I am paranoid to take it and much prefer to take the innovix product..
    As a side note the omegavia fish oil is excellant I’ll spare the testimonial.
    Thanks
    Don

    • Hi Don – have you read this? https://omegavia.com/how-to-choose-the-right-vitamin-k2-supplement/ I go into details about some misconceptions and risks of existing formulas.

      First generation anti-coagulants like coumadin/warfarin work by creating a false Vit K deficiency. So adding K1 and K2 to the mix counteracts some of the effects of those medications. So make sure both you and your doctor discuss this.

      I am generally not in favor of supplementing with K1 because the body recycles K1. So if you ate a salad last week, that is enough K1 to keep you going for a while. Hard to become K1 deficient if you eat any veggies. K2 is a different matter. You need a wide variety of K2. And you need it in the appropriate form. Our bodies need it in the ‘trans’ form. See the article above for an explanation.

      PS: glad you’re happy with OmegaVia.

  21. Hi Vin, again good article with some nice points.
    I think multi’s in many cases would be better without Magnesium. Takes up too much space. Just let the consumer know they have to buy it on the side.
    And I think Thorne V is close to being a very good multi – if you take K2, Magnesium & Iodine on the side your butt is pretty covered 😉
    EXOS multi elite is also good. (EXOS brand is gonna go under Thorne from now on it seems).

    • Hi Nik – I’d prefer if multis COMPLETELY left out magnesium and/or listed it as present at 0%. This is because most people see magnesium listed on the side of the bottle and assume that the need for the mineral has been addressed. They move on, without realizing how deficient most people are and how desperately they may need it. From a marketing perspective NO multi brand/company will suggest the consumer buy magnesium in addition to the multi, for obvious reasons.

      To get a multi right, you’d need about a dozen pills per day. But who’d buy that? Even then, what’s right on paper, may not be right for you.

      EXOS is not bad. Still, 6 pills a day. I can think of several improvement I’d make to the formula, but that’s just me…and it would still be inadequate or inappropriate on an individual basis.

  22. Hi Vin,

    In an earlier comment here, you mentioned a Trace Minerals Supplent from Pure Encapsulations. My concerns about that product is that it has less than the RDA of Iodine (‘m on a low sodium diet and don’t get much iodine from salt) and the Vanadium level is about 17 times the amount someone gets from a well-balanced diet.

    Are these valid concerns? I’m having a hard time trying to find trace supplements in reasonable dosages. I can find sources for all major vitamins & minerals along with selenium, iodine & zinc. Do you think it would be a problem not supplementing copper, molybendum, chromium, manganese & boron?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Peter – iodine is something many people on low-sodium diets are low in. If it is a concerns, look into seaweed snacks – very popular these days. Or you may always take something like Life Extension’s Sea Iodine. I don’t know if the Vanadium levels in your trace minerals item is a concern – hard to answer that. Pure Encapsulations, I’m sure, have a good explanation and rationale. I take it once or twice a week.

  23. Hi Vin,

    What do you think of the new Multi for Men vitamin made by MegaFood? It has all the B’s in the correct form, mixed tocopherols Vitamin E, Vitamin K2 (MK7) and Choline. Only 2 pills per day.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CQ3DUO6/ref=sr_ph_1_s_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1482111992&sr=sr-1&keywords=megafood%2Bmulti%2Bfor%2Bmen&th=1

    I believe it is short on the D3 requirements (only 800 IU) and no Vitamin K2 (MK4). For that, what do you think of Thorne’s new Vitamin D/MK4 product?

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0038NF8MG/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Of course, magnesium (this multivitamin doesn’t pretend to have a sufficient quantity) and fish oil are still needed.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Joe – you had my hopes up when I first saw your comment. I didn’t go through the whole formula, but was already disappointed half a dozen lines through the Supplement Facts panel. The first line was a red flag – beta carotene is NOT Vitamin A. Beta carotene is a precursor to Vit A and some people do not convert it well to Vit A and they just turn orange instead. Yes, Vit D is just enough to prevent deficiency. Bad idea to consider K1 and K2 as one nutritional entity. They are different molecules that do different things. So, when the label tells me ’80 micrograms of K1/K2′, I have no clue how much of each is present. Folate and B12 are in the right form, but in the wrong quantity.

      I like Thorne’s D3/K2 mix.

      • Hi Vin,

        I actually wrote MegaFood on the K1/K2 breakdown in their formula, and they responded letting me know that it is a 50/50 ratio with 40 mcg of each.

        I see your point on the rest. I will continue to look for a better formula. Thanks!

  24. Vin…..I wish I could take you to the store with me and you could pick out a vitamin regimen. I thoroughly enjoy reading your great information. Thank you.

    • Hi Meg – I wish I could do that with you too! 🙂 There are lots of professional nutritionists who know what they are doing (and unfortunately just as many who’re still caught in the low-fat, high whole grain thinking from the 1990s) who can help you. If I were to go with you to the store to buy your customized vitamins, know that I’d have to spend a few hours REALLY getting to know your diet and lifestyle.

    • Hi Jerry – nothing wrong with them. ‘Raw food’ and ‘Food-derived’ are marketing buzz words that my colleagues in the supplement industry concoct. I know many vitamin formulators – they are scientists who have been ordered by the marketing department or company management to come up with new ways to differentiate their products in a crowded marketplace. These nicer-sounding formulas may make us feel safer (emotionally) but ultimately, multivitamins are a one-size-fits-all approach to compensating for dietary negligence and are grossly inadequate. How’s that for harsh judgment? 🙂

        • Hi Shameer – most of them don’t hurt. If you are the type to take a ‘greens’ powder, chances are you’ll add it to a green breakfast smoothie with relatively healthy ingredients. While you are doing that, you are not eating pancakes and drinking orange juice. So, are you getting leaner and healthier because of the greens or because you are not eating pancakes/cereal? Some ‘greens’ powders are worth taking. Others are mostly hype.

          Overall, any behavior that helps you avoid worse behavior is worth looking at. This is why ‘cleanses’ and ‘juicing’ seem to help people.

          A very good friend of mine lost 20 lbs after he began juicing. I let him enjoy his triumph. While juicing, he’d successfully avoided orange juice, breakfast cereal with skim milk, pancakes, donuts, toast with jam, and bagels.

  25. Hi Vin,
    I have been alternating the following daily:
    1. 1 capsule of Life Extension, Two-Per-Day Capsules (which has 37.5mg of B6)
    2. 1 capsule of Jarrow Formulas, B-Right (which has 35mg of B6)

    Recently I read some article that mentioned high dose of B6 may be unsafe including causing seizures to newborns – https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/934.html

    I’m getting worried has I have been taking this while nursing my baby for the past 1 year. Wondering if you could share your insights or point me to online resources that I could research more?

    Thanks and kind regards,
    Chris

    • Hi Chris – good (and timely) question. Life Extension and Jarrow use the form of B6 called pyridoxal 5’-phosphate or P-5-P, the active form of B6. This is different from Pyridoxine hydrochloride, another (lesser) form of B6 used in cheaper mass-market products like Centrum and One-a-Day.

      Pyridoxine in cheaper products has been associated with nerve damage, while P-5-P has not. P-5-P has never been shown to cause issues. It turns out Pyridoxine causes some inhibition of P-5-P and that leads to B6 deficiency-like symptoms.

      Bottom-line: you are taking the good stuff. Stay away from the crappy stuff – you get what you pay for.

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