Is taking supplements over long terms healthy?

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Is taking supplements over long terms healthy?

Postby batran369 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:00 am

I just sent Jack Norris these very questions, but I'm afraid he's too busy for it, and since he said "I do not have time to give free advice on specific brands or types of supplements", I'm not sure if these qualify for an answer, so... I'm asking you guys, too!

I've been vegan for 2 weeks now, and everything was great. I take a supplement for B12 vitamin everyday. Each tablet contains 162mg ferrous fumarate, 0.75mg folic acid, and 7.5mcg vitamin B12. For the first week I only take 1 tablet a day, and I felt light-headedness too often. When I started taking 2 a day instead the problem went away. A local pharmacist (I guess she’s not very vegan friendly) said one should not take more than 20 tablets a month, and only take 1 a day, and 2 a day is for those with serious B12 deficiency. Is that correct? Is taking this amount daily over the long term (like, for the rest of my life) healthy?

Also, I’m 18, and I’m concerned about libido. I have legumes, peas, beans in my diet, not as many seeds, and even less nuts (nuts are not as varied here, and are all roasted), but I’m thinking on adding more zinc. Somewhere on the net recommend 30mg daily, and I think I’ll take that amount every 2 days instead to avoid interfering with copper absorption. Would that be okay? What’s the tolerable upper limit for zinc? Would taking that daily over the long term be healthy?

Oh, one last question. What is the most efficient way to take supplements, so that the body will take most out of them? In meals, after meals, prior to meals?
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Re: Is taking supplements over long terms healthy?

Postby sergio » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:06 am

Quoting from here: http://ods.od.nih.gov/

[quote]Approximately 56% of a 1 mcg oral dose of vitamin B12 is absorbed, but absorption decreases drastically when the capacity of intrinsic factor is exceeded (at 1–2 mcg of vitamin B12)
I'm not an expert, but I'd say that having 6 times the average daily level of intake (if you're eating two tablets each day) could be too much. Not because it's dangerous, just because you won't absorbe it. But I insist, I'm not a nutritionist!

[quote]Existing evidence does not suggest any differences among forms with respect to absorption or bioavailability. However the body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12 from dietary supplements is largely limited by the capacity of intrinsic factor. For example, only about 10 mcg of a 500 mcg oral supplement is actually absorbed in healthy people [8].
In addition to oral dietary supplements, vitamin B12 is available in sublingual preparations as tablets or lozenges. These preparations are frequently marketed as having superior bioavailability, although evidence suggests no difference in efficacy between oral and sublingual forms
I'm also a new vegan and I'm having tablets first thing in the morning before breakfast (2.5 mcg), letting them dissolve in my mouth, plus having some b12 fortified foods almost everyday. I've realized than I'm having more b12 now than when I ate dairy products.

I don't know about zinc supplements but a daily intake of 15/20 mg seems to be enough to made the 2.5 mg daily need, according to the book Becoming Vegan, which is one of the most useful things I've ever read on the matter :)
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Re: Is taking supplements over long terms healthy?

Postby Catt Queen » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:09 am

How much were you eating when you felt lightheaded... ?
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Re: Is taking supplements over long terms healthy?

Postby thestoatyone » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:23 am

B vits are not a problem. They're water soluble, so any you don't need you piss out.

Otherwise the answer is always more nuts.
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Re: Is taking supplements over long terms healthy?

Postby beforewisdom » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:20 am

batran369,

Read all of Jack Norris' site veganhealth.org or read his book "Vegan For Life". If you follow his recommendations to the letter your health will be better and you will be safe.

Stay away from multivitamins. They retard b-12 absorption. Supplemental iron can be bad for men. Take the supplments Norris recommends at the doses he recommends, only and you will be okay.
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Re: Is taking supplements over long terms healthy?

Postby batran369 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:40 pm

Thanks for the prompt replies! So, B12 isn't a problem, since the excess amounts will be pissed out. What about iron? Ferrous fumarate contains 33% elemental iron, which means I'm taking about 100mg iron a day... iron toxicity, according to wikipedia, occurs when the dose is about 10-20mg/kg bodyweight, so I'm far from that. Zinc toxicity occurs in greater amount, about a few grams, and that's also far away.

My main question is, as long as the intake is adequate, is it healthy taking supplements over long periods of time, like years?

[quote="sergio"]I'm not an expert, but I'd say that having 6 times the average daily level of intake (if you're eating two tablets each day) could be too much. Not because it's dangerous, just because you won't absorbe it.

But VeganHealth said daily B12 dose is 25-100 mcg?

[quote="Catt Queen"]How much were you eating when you felt lightheaded... ?

I eat normally, nothing more, nothing less than when I don't feel light-headed. I guess it's because of the iron in the tablet... or maybe I'm wrong.
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Re: Is taking supplements over long terms healthy?

Postby beforewisdom » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:19 pm

[quote="batran369"]Thanks for the prompt replies! So, B12 isn't a problem, since the excess amounts will be pissed out. What about iron? Ferrous fumarate contains 33% elemental iron,


Supplemental iron can accumulate in men enough to cause heart and other problems.


My main question is, as long as the intake is adequate, [b]is it healthy taking supplements over long periods of time, like years?


Yes - AT RECOMMENDED DOSES. I highly recommend reading all of Jack Norris' veganhealth.org and following his instructions to the letter.

[quote]
But VeganHealth said daily B12 dose is 25-100 mcg?


If you read all of veganhealth.org Norris explains that you always take more than what can be absorbed to make sure you get at least the minimum into your system. That amount above is what that is about, adjust for someone taking a b-12 supplement daily.
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Re: Is taking supplements over long terms healthy?

Postby sergio » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:49 pm

[quote="sergio"]I'm not an expert, but I'd say that having 6 times the average daily level of intake (if you're eating two tablets each day) could be too much. Not because it's dangerous, just because you won't absorbe it.

But VeganHealth said daily B12 dose is 25-100 mcg?

Yeah, you're right. Notice that if you have one dose at the time the recommended it's 25 - 100 mcg. If you're having two doses a day it's about 2 - 3.5 mg. I think this is because the intrinsic factor mentioned everywhere. So I decided to have tablets in the morning (2.4 mcg) and fortified soymilk later in the day (around 2 mcg). It has been my solution so far. I think I'm doing right (please tell me if I'm not), blood test will have their say though.
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Re: Is taking supplements over long terms healthy?

Postby batran369 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:00 am

Hmmm... I guess I better get a blood test and make adjustments from there. That seems to be a more certain way than sitting here guessing. Thanks for the replies!
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Re: Is taking supplements over long terms healthy?

Postby Lordmuppet » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:20 am

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_nutrition/vitamins

key thing is to distinguish RDA from tolerable upper limits.

But yeah like BeforeWisdom said follow someone like Norris :)
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Re: Is taking supplements over long terms healthy?

Postby Goob » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:52 pm

Quit worrying. It's not difficult to be vegan, don't make it that way.

If you sometimes don't get enough of whatever, it doesn't matter. You will get more than you need on other days and everything will work out just fine. Eat some green vegetables every day, eat some fortified foods, but most importantly eat enough calories. If you eat enough calories everything else should take care of itself, unless you only eat weird things.

And, for fuck sake, you are 18 years old, you don't need to worry about libido. 18 year olds have too much sex drive as it is, you will not have any problems :P
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Re: Is taking supplements over long terms healthy?

Postby tal » Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:28 pm

It's probably less healthy overall to stress about tiny details than it is to just take the supplement and get on with life.
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Re: Is taking supplements over long terms healthy?

Postby ColleenE » Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:23 am

Check this out from the Journal of the American Medical Association. Adult women who took supplements, esp. Iron, had higher mortality rates than their non-supplementing counterparts.


http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article ... id=1105975

and this one about the harm incurred by taking Vitamin E supplements in rates of prostate cancer:

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.asp ... id=1104493

I think the bottom line for me is *we just don't know* about the long term effects of taking all these supplements, so therefore try to get most of our nutrition from nutrient dense whole foods and forget the pills.
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Re: Is taking supplements over long terms healthy?

Postby wannalift » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:24 am

[quote="batran369"]My main question is, as long as the intake is adequate, is it healthy taking supplements over long periods of time, like years?


It better be. Otherwise I'm screwed. :lol:
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Re: Is taking supplements over long terms healthy?

Postby loveliberate » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:06 am

It seems almost certain that overall supplementing beats being deficient & that getting your needs covered by natural food sources is better still, whenever possible/practical. I've been vegan for over 20 years now & have never noticed any problems. Only in the last few years have I paid much attention to vitamins & supplements. This has been more of a "just in case" sort of thing. Honestly if its making any difference I can't really tell.
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