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Do you absorb everything from a multivitamin?

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Mine lists 100% daily value for most vitamins and minerals, with 33% iron and 20% calcium. Am I really getting all those nutrients? I usually take it with a meal but occasionally with a snack or nothing at all.

I was wondering because I heard from several shaky sources that the body can't take all those vitamins at once and so some of them just get expelled. 

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i've read the same thing, that your body can't absorb many of those quantities at once.  i used to take a once-a-day, but just today have switched to a 3-a-day, for that exact reason.

i take "new chapter," which is made from whole foods, and apparently is better absorbed by your body than the synthetic stuff.  good luck!

The rest of your diet will also help determine how well vitamins stick to you, especially fats.  I think many of us have become so scared of fat that we avoid it like the plague.  Honestly tho, fat calories should make up about 20% of our daily calories.  Fats help us absorb vitamins and nutrients into our system.  If you're too low, it won't matter how many calcium supplements you take cuz you need fats to glue it to you.

This trick won't help you figure out how much of each vitamin or mineral you absorb, but some supplements just plain absorb into your body better.

I read in one of my health magazines once that you should take one and put it in a cup of vinegar (can't remember how long though!) and after a set amount of time, see how much of it has dissolved.

Sounds like a fun science project, of course i am sure its no good for what you are needing to know...

I take Nature's Way multi vitamins for women. They make me feel better, but i find that i feel sick to my stomach if I don't take them with food!  

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That's good nymo because my average for this month is 26% fats. So I don't have a problem there. I also drink a lot of milk (and I have it with either calcium fortified cereal or calcium fortified powder drink, haha) but it is skim milk and so the cereal probably has more fat than the actual milk. However it's not really calcium I'm concerned about, because that's one of the things I can track here on CC.. but other vitamins you can't, and so with a restricted diet I'm especially concerned.

Also I did hear of that trick msmeg. =3 But I don't have any vinegar. The brand I'm using is Nutrilite... one-a-day general adult daily vitamin. I didn't pick it for any special reason; it's just what my parents gave me heh.

i've just read it in the newspaper (so we cannot rely on it)- only 60-70% of the pill is absorbed.

oh and another thing about vitamin C: it is said to last in our body only for 4 hours so we need to renew the resource as often as possible, i guess..

Well, some vitamins interact poorly with other vitamins, so the answer is no, a multivitamin is not very effective, especially when it has minerals in it. Here are a few examples:

1. Iron reduces calcium absorption.

2. Since they are absorbed through a similar mechanism, calcium and magnesium  can interfere with each other.

3. Zinc can also interfere with magnesium absorption.

There are many others that I will not list here, but many legitimate health sites (like the one the US government has, or the American Dietetics Association) will have more.

I also remember reading/hearing that some vitamins can interfere with absorption of others. I've also heard some experts say that they're not sure how the digestion process works on vitamins and other dietary supplements.

I think it is also effected by what you've eaten. You probably aren't getting 100% absorption of the vitamins you're taking, but if you feel healthier taking them, you're probably getting what your body needs.

The average person does not need 100% of the RDA for any particular vitamin or mineral.

The RDA is determined by deciding how much of a particular vitamin or mineral is needed by, say, 1000 people.  They plot this on a graph and it makes a nice bell curve.  Then they take the 98th percentile, and make that the RDA.

So only 2% of the population actually needs that much of a particular vitamin or mineral.  

A multivitamin, even if it is not all absorbed, is probably more than enough for most of us, especially if we are eating relatively healthy the rest of the time.  If you know you need more of a particular vitamin or mineral, then taking an additional supplement (at a different time) is probably a good idea.  

Pregnant women, body builders/professional athletes, and people with health conditions are all different cases, of course.   :D

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my nutritionist told me that most multivitamins are way too big to be absorbed entirely.  when i do take them (on an off weekend, etc) i cut them in half in order to hedge my bets.  but of course, the most efficient way to take in vitamins and minerals is through balanced meals, and if you're doing that, then the multivitamin can sometimes interfere with the things you could be absorbing naturally from food.

When taking a vitamin in a tablet, pill, or capsule form you are taking in binders, and fillers. You are also only getting about 5% of the nutrients that you read on the label, basically your flushing you money down the toilet (litterly). If you want to get the most from your vitamins look for a liquid or "isotonic" capable one, you absorb 90-95% of those supplements. I can help in finding these!

I just switched over from One-A-Day (synthetic vitamins) to New Chapter (whole foods vitamins).  The cost is more than quadruple, but I only take them 2-3 times a week.  No idea if we absorb more vitamins from whole foods derived vitamins versus synthetic or if all multivitamins are useless...but I'm crossing my fingers.  There's too much conflicting information out there.

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