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Best vitamins in the UK?

Messages
91
Sorry if this is a stupid question but I wondered what’s the best vitamins to take as a 21 year old with some CFS symptoms (CFS caused by shingles and glandular fever) remaining and an extremely poor immune system with frequent infections (chronic sinusitis, cellulitis , flu viruses etc....)?

I am conscious of side effects to vitamins as I’m sensitive to a lot of medications and I don’t want to waste my money also! I used to have b12 vitamins but stopped them as didn’t have any effect on me and the doc said I was no longer deficient (hmm!)

Is it even worth taking vitamins or is consuming a lot of vegetables and fruit enough? (And a horlicks everynight!)
 
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Messages
366
Not a stupid question, I don't think there is definite answer out there at the moment.
I had the experience that some vitamins helped me greatly with some symptoms and others significantly worsened symptoms. So vitamins are a tricky issue.

I do best on some single vitamin supplements in low doses and try to stop supplementing if I notice negative effects.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and hydroxoB12 help me. Vitamin B2 helped me a lot with histamine problems, mood and fatigue after meals. It might worsen anxiety though, I think because it is a cofactor for breaking down serotonin and choline.

I am also taking vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid/niacin), but I am concerned at the moment that it might worsen my histamine problems as it can reduce methylation.

Is it even worth taking vitamins or is consuming a lot of vegetables and fruit enough?
I don't think there is a sure answer for that question yet, too, especially when you are chronically ill. My opinion is that in general you can get a lot of vitamins sufficiently from your foods, but maybe supplementing some selected vitamins can be helpful.

There also seem to be individual differences in how well vitamins are tolerated. I think that has to do with indivdual genetic makeup and different neurotransmitter levels.
 

pamojja

Senior Member
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2,380
Location
Austria
Is it even worth taking vitamins or is consuming a lot of vegetables and fruit enough?

We are all different. If one has negative reactions to vitamins it's worthwhile to investigate what's causing it (could be most likely a deficiency of other nutrients needed in the same metabolic pathways). Personally measured my intake levels with a software like cron-o-meter, and found however strange I twisted my food-intake - which never is sustainable in the long run - I never got the RDA of all vitamins.

And measuring actual levels in my body revealed that even multiples of the RDA supplemented didn't improve already severe deficiencies (like in my case with Magnesium. Turned now to IV to correct that. But also Potassium, Sodium, Vitamin D3, preformed Vitamin A, etc.. despite supplementing much above the RDA)

How Much is Too Much? : Appendix B: Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies in the U.S.

Nutrient from food alone, ranked by the occurrence of dietary inadequacy among adults | Percentage of dietary intakes below the estimated average requirement for a specific population* | Naturally occurring sources of nutrient**

2-to-8-year-old children | 14-to-18-year-old girls | Adults 19 and older

Vitamin D | 81% | 98% | 95% | Fatty fish, mushrooms [vitamin D is naturally formed in the body when skin is exposed to sunlight; vitamin D is added to fortified milk]

Vitamin E | 65% | 99% | 94% | Nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, green leafy vegetables

Magnesium | 2% | 90% | 61% | Whole grains, wheat bran and wheat germ, green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds

Vitamin A | 6% | 57% | 51% | Preformed vitamin A: liver, fatty fish, milk, eggs; provitamin A carotenoids: carrots, pumpkins, tomatoes, leafy green vegetables

Calcium | 23% | 81% | 49% | Milk, yogurt, cheese, kale, broccoli

Vitamin C | 2% | 45% | 43% | All fruits and vegetables, particularly citrus fruits and tomatoes

Vitamin B6 | 0.1% | 18% | 15% | Many foods; highest levels in fish, beef, poultry, potatoes and other starchy vegetables, and fruit other than citrus

Folate | 0.2% | 19% | 13% | Many foods; highest levels in spinach, liver, asparagus, Brussels sprouts [mandatory, standardized addition to enriched flour and flour products]

Zinc | 0.2% | 24% | 12% | Red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, some seafood, whole grains

Iron | 0.7% | 12% | 8% | Highest amounts in meat and seafood; lower levels in nuts and beans [mandatory, standardized addition to enriched flour and flour products]

Thiamin | 0.1% | 10% | 7% | Whole grain products [mandatory, standardized addition to enriched flour and flour products]

Copper | 0% | 16% | 5% | Shellfish, whole grains, beans, nuts, potatoes, organ meats (kidneys, liver)

Vitamin B12 | 0% | 7% | 4% | Animal products: fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk

Riboflavin | 0% | 5% | 2% | Milk and dairy products, eggs, meat, green leafy vegetables, legumes [mandatory, standardized addition to enriched flour and flour products]

Niacin | 0.1% | 4% | 2% | Meat, fish, seeds and nuts, whole grains [mandatory, standardized addition to enriched flour and flour products]

Selenium | 0% | 2% | 1% | Found in different plant and animal foods; highest levels in seafood and organ meats (kidneys, liver)

These are just the most common deficiencies. With chronic conditions one can expect it much worse. And again, the RDA is calculated just to prevent worst deficiencies symptoms, but doesn't tells a thing how much would be needed for optimally functioning of all bodily systems. Multiplied by the uncertainty of individual needs.

Would always recommend to start with lowest possible doses to catch always possible reverse reactions early on (which also could come from 'inert' fillers). And add one supplement at the time, gradually increasing.

Also test for the most common deficiencies (RBC Mg, 25(OH)D, electrolytes, zinc, ferritin, B12+B9..) and adjust doses accordingly.

Avoid Multi-vitamins with too much iron, copper, manganese, calcium, folic acid or synthetic dl-alpha tocopherol. (note: horlicks contains very low amonts of essential nutrients, has synthetic folic acid and vitamin E, much too much calcium and iron).

Personally only get severe adverse reactions from prescriptions medication, not from vitamins or supplements, some at very high pharmacological doses. And through the years got remissions or improvements with very severe conditions with supplementation and diet changes(PAD, COPD, T2D). But everyone is different, your millage may vary. However, with my encouraging experiences I consider it always worth to try it out.
 
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pamojja

Senior Member
Messages
2,380
Location
Austria