The thing with vitamin and mineral supplements is this: I’m frickin-well obsessed with them. I blame the mammy! She takes a fair share herself and every so often sends me a text about the benefits of a new one she’s found that she thinks I should try. It’s all based on the notion that, while we’re not actually sure if they do us any good, we’re pretty certain that they don’t do us any harm. And we both have good, robust diets that keep us largely on the right path.

So, with lunch I take the following:
Multi-vitamins, minerals and iron
Vitamin B complex
Evening primrose oil
Omega 3 fish oils
Siberian ginseng

In the evenings, I take another batch:
Evening primrose oil (again)
Omega 3 fish oils (again)
Peppermint oil
Echinacea (for three weeks at a time)
Vitamin C
Vitamin D
Vitamin E
Cod liver oil

And before bed, I’ll normally knock bad three of four valerian to help me sleep.

Now, I know that this will seem madness to some, but it’s all part of a reassurance culture I’ve built up for myself. I’m fairly sure that I get all of what I need from my diet, but in taking these supplements, I reassure myself that I’m probably the healthiest person in the whole world. And I figure that even if supplements are over-rated for their physiological benefits, that psychological benefit is worth it alone. It’s all about the aggregate effect, in my book. And they don’t cost the earth – particularly not now that Tesco and Superdrug have them.

So, futile pursuit or worthwhile endeavour, do you think? (Also, if there’s anything you think I should have that I’ve missed off the list, do let me know! What’s another to add to the list! )

20 responses to “Supplementary

  1. Do you take the echinacea continuously? I seem to recall reading somewhere that it should be taken two weeks on, two weeks off, to achieve the full benefit.

    I must say, that’s quite a lot of extras.

  2. does it work? i always think that i should take vitamins, especially as i’m always ill, but i never remember to take them and just can’t be bothered!

    that’s a whole lot to take though, i’m sure if you just took one multi-vitamin it would do the trick….or if there’s something you Know you don’t get from your diet eg. a vegetarian might need to take iron

  3. Jaded, it does say that, yes. I try to take a break from it every so often.

    Pinky, I think it does work. I’m never sick and I feel like I’m in good working order. One multi-vitamin would be good, I think, but it wouldn’t contain everything I need either. For example, evening primrose oil is really good for your menstrual cycle, extra vitamin E (or is that D?) is great for the skin and hair, and Omega oils are important for the brain and heart. So they have those sorts of advantages over and above multi-vitamins.

    It is a lot though, I’ll admit, but I see them as helping me now and perhaps also preventing problems in the future.

  4. I would strongly suggest you knock off the echinacea. It’s wonderful stuff when you are actually ill or as a preventative when you’re surrounded by sneezy people, but if you take it regularly (that is, for longer than six weeks at a time), it not only loses its effect but tends to go into reverse – it can actually weaken the immune system.

    Me, I take much of what you’re taking, plus vitamin C, zinc, a separate iron tablet (I know I need to do this, as I get anaemia otherwise and that’s not pleasant), selenium, and now a soya extract because I’m in early menopause. It seems to have reduced the hot flushes somewhat, though I still get them without warning – at least not so much during the night as I did, though. I hate being woken up by them.

  5. Oh, I do – knock of the echinacea. I take it for three weeks at a time, I think, and then I take a break from it.

    My mum told me about those hot flushes – they sound truly awful.

  6. Well, there have been reports that you can overdose on certain vitamins and that they can do you harm. The best thing is to see your doctor as I’m sure you won’t need half these vitamins. I do know that some manufacturers make the pills very strong. Glucosamine for example which is used for easing movement in the joints can be sold over the counter at 1000mg per tablet where in the dispensary the highest amount we have is 750mg per tablet. Unless you have a vitamin deficiency then I wouldn’t go near them.

  7. That sounds like a lot of multi vitamins and supplements. Every so often I think that I should take some multi vitamins and go out and buy a bottle of them. After a few days I forget to take them any more and then the whole thing repeats with a tedious inevitability every few months.

  8. Hmm, I take the Multivits with “Probiotic” extras. The daft thing is that I’m not really sure why! They are damn expensive tho!!

    I’ve recently tried taking some “Pulse Cardiomax” capsules for the Omega 3 oils, to see if they help to reduce my blood pressure too, and they do seem to be making a difference!

  9. I never take vitamins. Maybe the odd time I’ve caught a cold I’ll take some vitamin C and zinc. But really – don’t you think that you’re going overboard?

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