How To Pick A Multivitamin Supplement for Health and Energy by Dr. Angela Agrios, ND
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How To Pick A Multivitamin Supplement for Health and Energy by Dr. Angela Agrios, ND

People will look at the back of like, a Centrum
bottle or something and it says, “100 percent of everything.” And it’s really actually
a low amount of nutrient and it says 100 percent. So when people see something like this one
from Thorne Extra Nutrients, and some things are in the thousands of percentiles. People
are like, “Oh, my god. I’m going to overdose.” People get really worried that they’re going
to hurt themselves because it says, “2,667 percent of thiamin.” So just kind of how
to think about that. RDAs were really created from a disease management point of view, so
what this means is “Let’s look at vitamin C. 60 milligrams of vitamin C is enough not
to get scurvy. It’s enough to keep us from not having a frank deficiency state, but this
doesn’t mean that it’s a dose that supports absolute optimum health. So just know that
when you are at a general store, like Pharmaca or Whole Foods or any kind of vitamin store,
that they’re not going to have things, for the most part, over the counter that you’re
going to be able to hurt yourself with anyways. And when it comes to a vitamin, I actually
really do recommend you do take things that are higher potency. One A Day is one capsule
or tablet or something, and you just can’t fit that much stuff – like, you can’t fit
an exhaustive list of vitamins and minerals and antioxidants and essential fatty acids
and all these claims into one small pill. Not going to happen. So that’s not your
optimum wellness oriented vitamin. Some personal favorites: I do really like this one from
Thorne. It’s called Extra Nutrients. And the reason I like it is because it’s high
potency. So let me say again: High potency really means like, six capsules a day. So
this means you do like, three capsules with breakfast and three capsules with lunch. It’s
a lot. If you’re not a pill person, then I would really recommend that you do a powder
or a liquid because if you think about the amount of nutrition you can fit into like,
a tablespoon of a powder or a capful of a liquid, it’s very easy to get it down. And
elderly people will often have a lot more dryness in their throat, so it’s really
hard for them to swallow a lot of pills sometimes. I’m making a generalization. Sometimes people
have no problems swallowing lots of things, but I don’t like swallowing a lot of pills,
so if you don’t like swallowing a lot of pills, I kind of…when I’m first formulating
a treatment plan for my patients, I talk to them a lot about what’s going to work for
them – like how do they like to think things so that we can custom-formulate something
that’s going to work for them. And one thing I do very commonly is get people on a breakfast
smoothie if they’ll do it, if they’re into it. If they’re not, that’s no problem. But
one thing you can do is get yourself a basic protein powder. You could do whey; you could
do rice protein; hemp; egg. There’s all different kinds of proteins, so it really
depends on one that you’re going to tolerate in your system and not going to have a food
allergy to. So if you know you’re sensitive to certain categories, just think of that
in terms of the type of protein you’re choosing. Whey is really great in that it’s a precursor
to glutathione, but a lot of people have dairy allergies, so if you think you have a dairy
allergy, then I would go with something like a rice protein or a pea protein because it’s
much more hypoallergenic. Soy, egg, dairy tend to be more allergenic for people who
are prone. And then you can mix something like a multivitamin of your choice. You could
do liquid, or you could do powder. You can add the lovely fiber that we see up here.
You could do either psyllium or you could do flaxseeds, and you can get that all into
your morning smoothie. Some of my patients are even go-getters and they throw their fish
oil directly in their smoothie. Personally, I mean, I don’t use fish oil that tastes
fishy, but I still think that’d be far too fishy for me, so flax oil can also go in a
smoothie, and so it’s just a really nice way to start the day and get yourself going.
Pharmaca has some nice health lines here, too. Again, though, I would not recommend
doing them as a one capsule; I would recommend doing three to six if you really want to get
high potency. And so mostly in a multivitamin, what you’re going to find are things that
are water soluble – so your B vitamins are water soluble. There will be certain fat soluble
things like vitamin A and vitamin D and vitamin E, but typically, they’re so low potency in
a one capsule just because you can’t fit it in there. I mean, you really just can’t physically
fit that much in one capsule, but they also know that people are going to be using three
and six of these a day, and so they don’t load them that high so you don’t need to
be worried about overdosing when you’re taking a multivitamin like that. One word of caution
for anybody who is of child-bearing age: Vitamin A, in general – you know, we have all these
toxicity scares about vitamin A that are really just a little overblown, but if you are someone
who is thinking about conceiving or is pregnant, you don’t want over 2,500 IU of actual,
actual retinyl palmitate, which is vitamin A. There’s a lot of beta-carotene in supplements,
so just look because a lot of times, it’ll just say, “General Vitamin A,” but then
it lists out what it is. Actual retinyl for a woman who’s trying to get pregnant or
is pregnant, not over 2,500 IU. That’s really the only thing you need to think about. And
then the other thing I want to call to attention with multis is that there has been kind of
some debate in the media circle around folic acid. And so there is a little bit of a controversy,
and it looks potentially we don’t know yet. Like, some folic acid may actually increase
certain cancer risks, so to steer clear from that, what I would recommend is when you are
choosing a multivitamin, to choose one that says, “folate” versus “folic acid.”
And so again, back to this little Thorne one here. It does say “folate,” and so does
the Pharmaca one, FYI. So that would be a safe form of folic acid to get into your body.
The question was – there’s two questions. One was about folate and dose, so I’ll just
address that. I think that anywhere between 400 milligrams to 1,000 milligrams is perfectly
great in a multi. The second one was about milk thistle and whether it’s something
that can be used on a regular basis to kind of clean out, support the liver. I love milk
thistle. I don’t include it in the regular stuff because people get really overloaded
with the amount of pills, but if you have any issues around your liver, if you drink
a little bit more than maybe we should sometimes, anything like that. Or just knowing how much
work the liver does – how much it’s important in regulating hormone metabolism, cleaning
us out all the time. Milk thistle’s a really kind thing to do to your liver on a regular
basis, and I give my patients 500 milligrams once or twice a day in capsules. High potency
in a regular multivitamin. So for the vitamin A content, 2,500 to 5,000 IU of actual vitamin
A. The mixed or beta-carotenes, 5,000 to 25,000 IU. Vitamin D, no lower than 400 IU and up
to 1,000 IU, and actually, you’ll see in a minute, we’ll talk about vitamin D. I actually
really recommend supplementing vitamin D on top of a multi because there’s just so much
great research on vitamin D and how protective it is against cancer. And most of us are really
not outside enough. And even outside, I have people who are runners – so they’re outside
daily – and they still come back with really low levels in their blood. Vitamin C, 500
to 1,000 milligrams in a multi, and you can always supplement with extra, and we’ll
talk about vitamin C. It’s a great antioxidant. Vitamin E, I really want you guys to pay attention
that it says D-Alpha or mixed tocopherols. No DI-Alpha. That is synthetic, and it’s
really not beneficial to your health. So with vitamin Es, you want it to just say just D-Alpha
or mixed tocopherols, and 400 to 1,000 IU in a multi is a great dose. So note: If you’re
taking capsules and there’s things like vitamin A and vitamin D and vitamin E that are fat
soluble in there, it would be a great thing to do to take that with a little fish oil
or some fat. So just taking it with a meal is a good thing to do, and you don’t want
to take a multi on an empty stomach because B vitamins really can kind of cause some nausea.
The B vitamins, I really like to see it so that it says that we’re in the thousands
of percentages of the RDAs because Bs are so important for stress, and we’re all so
stressed out. They’re really important for protein repair; they’re important for good
cognitive health and neural function; they’re important for adrenal health. There’s a
lot of things that the B vitamins are really important for. Manufacturing more energy in
the body. So you can’t overdose. They’re water soluble. If you take too much, you’ll pee
really yellow, and that’s okay. And if you have a really hard day, you’ll have more in
your system to help you get through what you need. It’s better to have more of a raw
ingredient to help your body manufacture the specific things that it needs to do than to
not have enough and have a rate-limiting step so that you’re more tired. I think zinc is
a really good thing to have in your mineral section of the multivitamin mineral, and copper
and selenium. So doses like 15 to 45 milligrams of zinc, and you always want to balance that
with one to two milligrams of copper because they compete. And if you take a lot of zinc
without copper, you can end up with a deficiency. Selenium, a great antioxidant. So looking
at 100 to 200 micrograms to get a decent dose. You could have more – you could have 400
micrograms. It’s perfectly fine. So magnesium and calcium, most of them will have 250 to
500 milligrams of each, and I think that’s really sufficient. I don’t supplement my
patients with extra calcium unless there’s an osteopenia or osteoporosis issue, and even
then, I work with other issues that are causing the mineral depletion. We eat far more calcium
in our diets in this area of the world than in other areas of the world, and we have far
higher osteopenia and osteoporosis, so I don’t think it’s all about calcium supplementation.
And there are some preliminary studies that show that we might want to be careful with
supplementing more than 500 milligrams of calcium a day anyways and that there appears
to possibly be more calcification of the arteries going on when we do that. So we want to do
a lot of the things like vitamin D and vitamin K and things that get the calcium and magnesium
– that get the calcium into the bone – but I don’t really think we want these
crazy, excessive calcium levels. For people who just really are not great at having 20
million formulas, this is a really nice one, too. It’s not as high potency, but I like
that it’s a good across-the-board one. This is by Pharmax. It’s called Four Pillars,
and what they have in here is one multivitamin mineral, one omega fatty acid, one antioxidant,
and one probiotic. Again, kind of on the low potency spectrum, but it’s one strip that
you just kind of tear off and just have with you if you’re traveling or if you’re just
not a person who can quite handle branching out into too many bottles at this point.

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29 thoughts on “How To Pick A Multivitamin Supplement for Health and Energy by Dr. Angela Agrios, ND




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  2. choosing folate over folic, that really narrows down your choice lol. I know garden of life products have folate in them though

  3. Please help me…my daughter at 20yrs old decided to get 2 'rods' put into her arm as a contraceptive, which are progesterone only. I wasnt happy about this but she was determined. Within a very short time she began to have severe stomach pains which occurred with everything she ate at almost every mealtime, which apparently progesterone can do this. She would cramp badly and eventually lost so much weight because she became afraid to eat. After a few months i took her to my GP to have them out. Since then, 2 years ago, she has been able to eat but has had sometimes monthly, sometimes twice a month, 'episodes' of severe lower abdominal bloating, acompanying nausea, with vomiting and diarrhea where she is laid low for up to 3 days. These seem to be particularly bad after heavy exercise, like football, tramping, tennis. 6 months ago, finishing her 4 year degree and thesis, she wrote so much, exercise went out the window and so did the 'episodes'. She was not bothered at all and gained a little weight but was eating healthy. Last Christmas she went tramping with her father, played tennis and came down with another 'episode' after 6 months of no episodes. I wonder if some of her hormonal system was very affected by the progesterone rods and something is out of balance. She is on the waiting list at the hospital for a laparoscopy explore for endometriosis in 3-6mths. I panicked because a 'specialist' said that they could insert an IUD if endo was found. To me that is another 'insert of hormone' that is not needed. I would love some help as to what we could do that is natural for hormones and getting to the bottom of this. Any ideas anyone?

  4. The notion that a pregnant woman should not get over 2500 IU of retinol vitamin A is a misunderstanding. The Recommended Daily Allowance for pregnant women is 2,500 to 2,567 IU/day. This is the MINIMUM amount required to maintain basic health for a pregnant mother mother and her baby. Confusion was created by the Rothman study. Because of this confusion, scientists from the FDA, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, and Harvard Medical School published a review of all the available studies. They noted that the Rothman study was inconclusive: They said, "… there are a number of methodological questions concerning the study that prevent reaching the conclusion that the dosages of vitamin A (10,000 IU) examined in the study cause certain types of birth defects." At the request of the World Health Organization, the International Vitamin A Consultative Group, a panel of scientists that advises the World Health Organization about retinol, assessed the Rothman study and the other available data and determined that no risk of birth defects occurred at 10,000 IU per day, stating: "lt is safe to give fertile women, independent of their vitamin A status, as much as 10,000 IU daily at any time during pregnancy."

    Subsequently, the World Health Organization produced a paper titled "Safe Vitamin A Dosage During Pregnancy and Lactation,' which notes that it is generally understood that the mechanism by which retinol could cause birth defects is through the influence of high concentrations of retinol metabolites at critical points during the early development of the embryo.

    World Health Organization scientists stated that the concentration of retinol metabolites required to cause birth defects " … does not occur at vitamin A dosage levels of 10,000-15,000 IU, but only at levels above 30,000 IU." To review a fully referenced paper that includes citations for the statements above, please read"

  5. Do anyone know about Tropexolone System? Does it really work? I hear many individuals get permanent enlargement with this popular male enhancement.

  6. Try this multivitamins. Pure fruit and vegetables organic multivitamins —

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  8. Great infos, thanks! I would just add that B12 should be in the form of methylcoblamine (another indicator of a good quality multi).

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