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how much and how often do you take supplements? B12? D? etc....

I recently had occassion to visit my nutritionist from a couple years ago. She is fantastic and supports a vegan diet among others. Based on my typical intake she did recommend that I take B12 and D daily. I just bought B12 and am taking 500 micrograms daily. She recommended 200-500 and the 500 was the only one at the store. I haven't gotten the vitamin D yet.

Just wondering what your experiences are with supplements? Do you take them in pill form? buy fortified foods? Eschew supplementation completely?
Did you see a nutritionist or doctor, or figure things out on your own?

I have a history of eating disorder, depression and anxiety and have noticed that over the last couple days my mood has improved--I'm more energetic and feel my baseline is happier. I don't know enough about B12 to know if that's where credit is due. I avoid fortified food because I feel that if I supplement with vitamins etc. then I don't really know how much I'm getting everyday.

I used to take B12 once a week (the percentage is so high, and apparently it can be stored, so I didn't see the point of daily supplementation). But now I take a multivitamin that contains B12, so I take it daily. My multivitamin also has vitamin D; I'm not particularly concerned about that one, as I'm pale and get sunlight throughout the year.
The other supplement I take is calcium/mag/zinc, because I don't usually get enough calcium from my diet.
I eat fortified foods sometimes, but I don't make an effort to (e.g. most soymilk is fortified, so yeah)

I haven't had anything evaluated by a doctor/nutritionist/dietician, except I guess having a CBC is sort of indirect for B12/iron.

True about the fortified foods... For instance, I usually take 100% calcium per day, but then if I have soymilk that's 30-40% per cup, so I'm sure I go over the requirement at times.

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i don't supplement... i like mcdougall's take.
http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2010nl/may/vitamins.htm

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I wonder if he feels differently about B12 (he must?), or pre-natal vitamins, or specific nutrients; I'm guessing he'd feel differently about iron for anemia because there's at least some evidence of deficiency. But what about specific nutrients you know you're not getting enough of through diet? (like me and calcium...)
bottom line: I am not eating that much kale :-p

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I take a Vit D supplement daily, at my last physical exam my Vit D level was quite low and I live in an area that has very little sun Oct-May. I also take a  multivitamin and calcium supplements as well, but not as regularly. We don't rely on fortified foods, nice if it's there but I don't seek them out. I have thought about trying B vitamins as they're supposed to help with energy and I could certainly use more of that!!

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I try to go by these recommendations: http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/dailyrecs

Here's my routine:

    1 tsp of ground flax seed daily
    200 mg DHA supplement every other day
    500-1000 mcg B12 (sublingual) every other day
    Calcium/Magnesium/vitamin D supplement irregularly (I try for every other day)

This is also a nice blog for keeping up with vegan nutrition info: http://jacknorrisrd.com/

I'm gonna be lazy and just link to this to explain my B12 saga:
http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=32980.0

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I take a B complex sublingual once a week, daily calcium/magnesium supplement and a D2 supplement separately (I have osteoporosis and it's NOT from being vegan as I had it long before so I need the extra supplementation regardless of how healthy my diet is or how much time I have been spending outdoors), and a vegan algae derived DHA supplement. 
I also incorporate a teaspoon of flax oil in my daily smoothies or ground flax seeds in other foods daily, and try to include avocado or walnuts as much as possible as well as fresh organic leafy greens (kale, collards, etc) daily.  Nutritional yeast is another one I use a lot of which has some B12.  I like to include a tablespoon of molasses on hot cereals or use in homemade breads for added iron/calcium.  I dont consume a lot of commercial products but do drink fortified hemp, rice, or almond milk daily.  Once every few weeks I may have a cliff bar (especially when hiking or camping), and once every few weeks I may use Earth Balance margarine to bake. 

I dont think my diet is unhealthy as much as I know deep down I dont eat enough (struggling with eating disorder) so yes I am guilty of using supplements in place of food.  The calcium and D though I need extra anyway.  I'm just struggling with whether D2 is going to be as effective as animal derived D3.  I switched to D2 a month ago.  It will be more of an issue in winter as I live in a very northern latitude.

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I wonder if he feels differently about B12 (he must?), or pre-natal vitamins, or specific nutrients; I'm guessing he'd feel differently about iron for anemia because there's at least some evidence of deficiency. But what about specific nutrients you know you're not getting enough of through diet? (like me and calcium...)
bottom line: I am not eating that much kale :-p

Yeah, I tend to really like his writing and work but I do disagree a bit here. I only skimmed the article but he doesn't seem to mention B-12. I only know from my own recent experience that it seems to really help my energy level and mood. I actually wasn't taking any multivitamin or anything for a long while because I thought as long as I eat a varied diet but I did a micronutrient assessment through my nutritionist and there were  few areas I was surprised to see I was deficient in.

I take a B complex sublingual once a week, daily calcium/magnesium supplement and a D2 supplement separately (I have osteoporosis and it's NOT from being vegan as I had it long before so I need the extra supplementation regardless of how healthy my diet is or how much time I have been spending outdoors), and a vegan algae derived DHA supplement. 
I also incorporate a teaspoon of flax oil in my daily smoothies or ground flax seeds in other foods daily, and try to include avocado or walnuts as much as possible as well as fresh organic leafy greens (kale, collards, etc) daily.  Nutritional yeast is another one I use a lot of which has some B12.  I like to include a tablespoon of molasses on hot cereals or use in homemade breads for added iron/calcium.  I dont consume a lot of commercial products but do drink fortified hemp, rice, or almond milk daily.  Once every few weeks I may have a cliff bar (especially when hiking or camping), and once every few weeks I may use Earth Balance margarine to bake. 

I dont think my diet is unhealthy as much as I know deep down I dont eat enough (struggling with eating disorder) so yes I am guilty of using supplements in place of food.  The calcium and D though I need extra anyway.  I'm just struggling with whether D2 is going to be as effective as animal derived D3.  I switched to D2 a month ago.  It will be more of an issue in winter as I live in a very northern latitude.

What does that mean, sublingual?
I too was having problems because although I eat very nutritious foods I often don't eat enough of them. And for awhile I've been quite fearful of foods that are grains or proteins so I struggle to incorporate those and there's so much good stuff in whole grain bread and tempeh etc. Ahhh well. Keep trying, keep trying.

For those of you that take Vit. D.....D2? D3? There's so many to choose from! How do you know?

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Quote:
What does that mean, sublingual?
I too was having problems because although I eat very nutritious foods I often don't eat enough of them. And for awhile I've been quite fearful of foods that are grains or proteins so I struggle to incorporate those and there's so much good stuff in whole grain bread and tempeh etc. Ahhh well. Keep trying, keep trying.

For those of you that take Vit. D.....D2? D3? There's so many to choose from! How do you know?

Sublingual means either liquid drops you put under your tongue or tablets that dissolve under the tongue.  I like sublingual vitamins/meds etc because they reach the bloodstream faster and do not have to go through the liver to be processed.

D2 (ergocalciferol) is plant based and D3 (calciferol) is animal based.  There is controversy over whether D2 is as effective as D3 and studies point both ways.  Most of the vitamin D in supplements added with calcium etc are D3 (I had a heck of a time finding calcium that does not have D3 laced in there) but a lot of the D that is fortified in vegan type foods (plant milks, soy yogurt etc) is D2.  Also watch for the inactive ingredients in vitamin supplements as so many have animal glycerin and other hidden animal ingredients.  Omnivores seem to own the market on supplements, yet accuse vegans of needing them because our diet is inadequate.  Sighs.

Thanks for your encouragement!  I too struggle with the protein aspect.  I do not consume a lot of soy other than tempeh three times a week or what is in tamari or Earth balance etc.  I try to get my protein from beans, nuts, and seeds as well as high protein grains but well you know I have to stick with my little one serving portions which do not really fill me up.  It's so confusing and hard in a society that is so obsessed with "portion control" and weight loss.  I have this innate guilt that I carry around in every area of my life (as part of my disorder) and then what the media and people all around me "feed" me just adds to that if I eat to fill my hunger.  I get complimented for my "discipline" and self control and for being so thin but they have no idea the hell I live with, the numbers in my head or the weeks of obsessing and planning and no spontinaity when eating unless I have a rebellious binge or that I have osteoporosis in my thirties from years of being underweight (and also having had my ovaries removed and an unnecessary hysterectomy that triggered my eating disorder in 2005).  I wish I had tougher skin.  I am very very sensitive.  I have been through enough treatments to know what I need to do, it's just needing the encouragement to do it.  I have little of that in real life right now.  I wish you the best too in meeting your needs.  Sounds like you have a lot of knowledge of nutrition too. 

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I think you can get D from tanning beds since they are UV, that way you don't need to do the animal derived D. I'm lucky and have enough sun year round.

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Quote:
What does that mean, sublingual?
I too was having problems because although I eat very nutritious foods I often don't eat enough of them. And for awhile I've been quite fearful of foods that are grains or proteins so I struggle to incorporate those and there's so much good stuff in whole grain bread and tempeh etc. Ahhh well. Keep trying, keep trying.

For those of you that take Vit. D.....D2? D3? There's so many to choose from! How do you know?

Sublingual means either liquid drops you put under your tongue or tablets that dissolve under the tongue.  I like sublingual vitamins/meds etc because they reach the bloodstream faster and do not have to go through the liver to be processed.

D2 (ergocalciferol) is plant based and D3 (calciferol) is animal based.  There is controversy over whether D2 is as effective as D3 and studies point both ways.  Most of the vitamin D in supplements added with calcium etc are D3 (I had a heck of a time finding calcium that does not have D3 laced in there) but a lot of the D that is fortified in vegan type foods (plant milks, soy yogurt etc) is D2.  Also watch for the inactive ingredients in vitamin supplements as so many have animal glycerin and other hidden animal ingredients.  Omnivores seem to own the market on supplements, yet accuse vegans of needing them because our diet is inadequate.  Sighs.

Thanks for your encouragement!  I too struggle with the protein aspect.  I do not consume a lot of soy other than tempeh three times a week or what is in tamari or Earth balance etc.  I try to get my protein from beans, nuts, and seeds as well as high protein grains but well you know I have to stick with my little one serving portions which do not really fill me up.  It's so confusing and hard in a society that is so obsessed with "portion control" and weight loss.  I have this innate guilt that I carry around in every area of my life (as part of my disorder) and then what the media and people all around me "feed" me just adds to that if I eat to fill my hunger.  I get complimented for my "discipline" and self control and for being so thin but they have no idea the hell I live with, the numbers in my head or the weeks of obsessing and planning and no spontinaity when eating unless I have a rebellious binge or that I have osteoporosis in my thirties from years of being underweight (and also having had my ovaries removed and an unnecessary hysterectomy that triggered my eating disorder in 2005).  I wish I had tougher skin.  I am very very sensitive.  I have been through enough treatments to know what I need to do, it's just needing the encouragement to do it.  I have little of that in real life right now.  I wish you the best too in meeting your needs.  Sounds like you have a lot of knowledge of nutrition too. 

It sounds like--although you may in fact be highly sensitive, I don't know--you've also been through many challenges, and I truly believe that eating disorders are what we do to cope with the things that overwhelm our capabilities at the time. Unfortunately, they are so powerful and can take over fast. I can definitely relate to the feeling of knowing what to do but needing a push. In fact, throughout my stay at a treatment center I found the quote "Nothing changes if nothing changes." to be very fitting. I am so willing to learn all about how to stop have an ed, but it feels excruciating to carry it out.
Anyway, I won't get tooo much more into this since I should probably reserve it for the eating disorder thread, but I do want to say thank you for sharing your experiences because it is really helpful to have people who can empathize and make a very isolating thing feel less so.  Also....if you can, pick up the latest issue of the magazine PsychologyToday. There is an interesting article about Highly Sensitive People that I thought 'wow, they pegged me' and perhaps you will identify with it as well. It talks about how some people are even born with a more sensitive nervous system....it's quite validating actually.

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The supplement I take has D2: http://www.devanutrition.com/calciumplus.html

Here's lots of info on Vit D http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/bones
including stuff about D2 (vegan) vs D3 (not): http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/bones#d2d3

I think you can get D from tanning beds since they are UV, that way you don't need to do the animal derived D. I'm lucky and have enough sun year round.

And stuff about tanning beds: http://jacknorrisrd.com/?p=944

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I have heard horror stories about the effects of tanning beds as far as burns and skin cancer.  I also burn easily as I am very fair so I need to be very careful. I think I will stay away from a tanning bed.  I do get out in the sun daily as I ride my bike 8 miles a day to work and back (at least from April to October) but I live in a northern climate (NE Minnesota) and most of the year the sun isnt going to be as effective at getting vitamin D to me.  I am trying vitamin D2 (Deva brand) for now and I may have my levels measured in the Autumn when I get my health insurance back and can see my doctor again.  I would love to report if there is an increase or decrease in my levels.  My last check was low normal but I dont have the numbers in front of me.  I was taking D3 at the time, 800 IU daily.  Right now I am taking 2400 IU of D2 but only a few times a week.  I dont know what possessed me to order such a high dose and I seem to get headaches with it so I am spacing it out some.  I wonder if you can cut vitamins in half or would that affect absorption? 

Thanks aggplanta for the info.  I will check it out and in the meantime let you get back to talking about vitamins!  :)

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I'll be the first to admit I don't know much about tanning beds...just a thought!
i just think that, of course, their could be many other things that we don't know about that we needs, or that interact in different ways, which is why i push for healthful diets above supps. I honestly do not know what stance I will take if I am ever found to be deficient in anything (I hope to do bloodwork regularly). -hesp.

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With regards to B12 and D, I probably take them about 1-2 times a week? I usually don't really need to take Vitamin D supplements (plenty of sun down here) but it's winter and I'm of course not spending time outdoors much so I find myself taking the D2 supplements. The Vitamin D we take is Freeda D2 400 IU. It recommends 1 tablet daily, but like I said, I probably take 1-2 a week. B12 I take a little more of, I take 2 tablets about twice a week. Every so often I'll take a Zinc and Magnesium supplement, to make sure that the calcium I get stays in me. Even though I am a lacto vegetarian, I rarely consume dairy, so I need to keep my calcium in check. It's difficult finding calcium supplements which don't have D3 in them around here :( I'll probably have to make an online order or bug the health food lady to order something in for me. I'm thinking about taking some flax seed oil capsules on a daily basis again. I don't really find myself taking any other supplements. So currently all I'm taking occasionally is D2 and B12.

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I'm breastfeeding, so I take supplements as sort of an 'insurance policy' for days when my nutrition may be inadequate.

I take:
DAILY: Deva prenatal, NOW Cal/Mag (the one w/ 50%RDV per tab), Deva vitamin D
2-3x/WEEK: NOW Zinc (vegan formula) DEVA DHA

I also try to eat cold-pressed flax oil, nutritional yeast, leafy green veggies, and dark berries several times per week.  In the winter, I lay in the tanning bed once per week.

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With regards to B12 and D, I probably take them about 1-2 times a week? I usually don't really need to take Vitamin D supplements (plenty of sun down here) but it's winter and I'm of course not spending time outdoors much so I find myself taking the D2 supplements. The Vitamin D we take is Freeda D2 400 IU. It recommends 1 tablet daily, but like I said, I probably take 1-2 a week. B12 I take a little more of, I take 2 tablets about twice a week. Every so often I'll take a Zinc and Magnesium supplement, to make sure that the calcium I get stays in me. Even though I am a lacto vegetarian, I rarely consume dairy, so I need to keep my calcium in check. It's difficult finding calcium supplements which don't have D3 in them around here :( I'll probably have to make an online order or bug the health food lady to order something in for me. I'm thinking about taking some flax seed oil capsules on a daily basis again. I don't really find myself taking any other supplements. So currently all I'm taking occasionally is D2 and B12.

I have had the same issue with calcium supplements.  Even at Whole Foods Coop where I live most of the calcium supplements have D3 in them, or else they dont have D but are combined with a high amount of magnesium and I end up with diarhea for days.  I did find a pure calcium citrate at GNC called GNC Calcium Citrate 1000 (only inactive ingredient listed is cellulose).  No magnesium, no D.  You have to take four large caplets to get 1000mg of calcium and it doesnt specify the elemental amount.  The bottle is labeled vegetarian with a V symbol.  GNC is a national chain so maybe there is one near you? 

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I take B12 and Iron everyday.  :)

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I take a multivitamin every day that has B12 and vitamin D in it. It's a vegan vitamin too.

I have been B12 deficient before and I got pretty sick (blood tests showed I was very low in B12 and folic acid, which is also a B vitamin). I started being good about taking my multivitamin and got better. Then I slacked off again on taking it and found myself getting sick again. So now I am very good about taking my multi so I don't get B12 deficient again. It is not something you want to mess with.

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I was watching Dr. Oz yesterday and it was mostly about b12 deficiencies. I never knew it could eventually lead to irreparable nerve damage! I'm not sure if I get enough. I had been taking a daily b12 supplement but then got slowly out of the habit of doing so. i should start up again and try out using spirulina.

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I've had to take B-12 and Vitamin D for low levels on and off, but now take a lot more in vitamins due to my gastric bypass.  I take 2 Multi-Complete multivitamins and 3 Calcium 500 Plus calcium citrates each day.  Once a week I take a sublingual B12 and a Vitamin D supplement since I'm low on D again.

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