Vitamins – A Retrospective

flintstonesvitaminsDo you remember those happy carefree childhood days when, collaring you on your way out to play, your mother would ply you with mass quantities of Flintstones Multivitamins? Thus you were armed against disease, germs, the flu, and cooties. Those curious reddish-orangeish-purplish colored chewables that tasted vaguely like pennies were all the whole WORLD thought you needed to stay healthy as a kid. As long as you had Five Alive! and Fred, you were good to go.

Fast forward to today. We poor addlepated grown-ups are bombarded with Recommended! Daily! Requirements! So many Requirements! So hard to keep up! Are you listening to Doctor Oz? Do you know your Real Age? Are you getting enough Fiber? How about Omega-3’s? If a grown woman doesn’t get enough Calcium she’s going to be the next candidate to man the bell over Notre Dame. Vitamin D! Don’t forget Vitamin D! But don’t stand in the sun too long to get it, or you might get cancer! Here, fight cancer with these anti-oxidants that combat free radicals!

Free radicals? What the hell, are my mitochondria staging a coup???

It’s enough to give a poor girl a headache. So, during one of my visits to my nutritionist, I asked his advice on which supplements I should be taking. Here they are, in no particular order. YMMV, so you should consult your own doctor or nutritionist, or your Google MD, or whatever makes your skirt fly up.

(I totally stole that from Pioneer Woman.)

1. A good, gender-specific multivitamin. One that’s time released, because the body can only absorb so much of certain nutrients at once. I take this one.

2. Fish Oil. It’s full of those “healthy fats” you’ve been hearing about, Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 supports a healthy heart, joints, vision, memory/brain function, and immunity, among other things. I take this one. If you eat fish regularly you may already be getting all you need. You can get Omega-3 from flaxseed oil as well, though it’s not as concentrated.

3. A probiotic. This is a supplement of live digestive bacterias that promote a healthy digestion. Since I have issues in this area, I take this stuff.

4. Niacin (one of the B vitamins). My cholesterol is higher than it should be, so my doctor recommended that I take it in order to support the increase of my HDL, or “good” cholesterol. I take this one. Again, time-release is your friend.

5. Glucosamine/Chondroitin, which supports healthy joints, cartilage, and ligaments. Since I’ve increased my exercise I’ve started taking this to help my body recover from the shock. I take this one.

6. Vitamin D, which can be gained by 15 minutes of sunlight a day. Since in Arizona 15 minutes of sun can translate into a sunburn (and skin cancer, which my sister already went through, and we have the exact same skin so I’m not taking any chances), I’m choosing to supplement instead. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, and may help prevent osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and cancer. I take this one.

7. When I’m trying to lose weight (like now) I add a dose of L-Carnitine and Chromium to my vitamin/supplement regime. L-Carnitine assists in fat metabolism, and Chromium increases the body’s efficient use of glucose and fat.

8. Calcium/Magnesium – the two together promote healthy bones and a healthy nervous system, and as women get older they stop absorbing calcium as well as they used to. If you’re a woman approaching your 30’s you’ve already been told this by your doctor. I take this one.

Now, for Calvin, I have him on a multivitamin for men (this one), the fish oil caplets, the Niacin (though if he goes back on his meds he’s going to need to stop taking this one), and a Calcium/Magnesium/Potassium combo for his high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

The upshot of all of this is, hopefully, a healthier us. Gatorade-style pee is entertaining, too.

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8 Responses to Vitamins – A Retrospective

  1. geerhead says:

    Have you heard of Usana Health Sciences? If not, do some research on this company, you will hear more and more about it as we baby boomers, followed by Gen x and Gen Y age. It is by far the purist product out there today.

  2. Kimmothy says:

    I have such a love/hate thing going on with vitamins. Especially here lately when I was prescribed the pre-natals (what a waste). I did notice good things happening with my hair, nails and energy levels (but then again I was on so many other things too). However, I HAVE to have a decent amount of food in my stomach before I can even THINK about swallowing one of those foul-smelling football-sized things, or I suffer the rest of the day. I tried to remedy that with keeping a bottle at work, but I still forgot on some days. All in all, it’s been a pretty haphazard habit that I hope will improve now that I’m concentrating on healthy type stuff. We’ve actually been most consistent with taking fish oil, mostly becasue the bottle is the size of my refrigerator so it’s hard to miss.
    Very helpful post!

    • Laura says:

      Oh hellz yeah, I have to have something in my stomach before I try taking all those vitamins (I actually break them up and take half in the morning and half at night). The B-vitamins and fish oil (hello, aftertasty burps!) are killer.

  3. Taoist Biker says:

    I’m like Kim. I have to have food in my stomach to take them. I figured this out when I was taking them at home, driving to work, and eating breakfast at work for a while, and every day at the same point of my commute I started feeling nauseated. Finally after about two months I mentioned it to Dys, who promptly whacked me in the head.

    I haven’t taken one regularly in several years, now that I think of it. I probably should get back on that. I do the blueberry-pomegranate juice for Omega-3’s, though. Hell of a lot better than fish oil!

    • Laura says:

      “…I mentioned it to Dys, who promptly whacked me in the head.” Hmm… I wonder how often THAT little scene plays out in your household?

      I keep hearing that blueberries are the end-all be-all of “power foods”, but they SUCK around here. If I still lived in Maine (and how often do I say THAT?) I could be picking them daily.

  4. Kimmothy says:

    I forgot to mention that I used to love my Flintstone vitamins so much my mom had to hide them. So a few years ago I figured why not – it would be a tasty and fun way to take vitamins again. NOT. They taste like ass now.

    • Laura says:

      The DO, don’t they? I tried one of the boys’ when they were living with us. My mom used to have to hide them, too, because I thought they were crack candy back then.

      One-A-Day has vitamin gummies for grown ups now. It appeals to the whimsy in me, and I’d buy ’em if I didn’t have a metric ton of multivitamins already sitting at my house. Damn you, Puritain’s Pride and your buy one get one free deal!

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