posted ago by muslimporn ago by muslimporn +15 / -1

I tend to not believe things either way and like to be more precise. I recently wanted to try multivitamins for various reasons such as lockdown limiting my dietary options slightly.

I generally don't believe most of this nonsense with people trying to shove things down people's throats like fruits and vegetables. I'm fairly into evolution and aware of things like we evolved with a semi-chaotic diet.

To a certain degree with health and diet it's more a thing of you don't have to make a huge effort to have a reasonable diet. Instead you just don't mess it up eating a tub of ice cream a day, etc. Though modern society makes stuff like that surprisingly easy to do.

When I search for do multivitamins really work I expect an intelligent response but instead I quickly see loads of responses saying no they won't make you immortal or effect what you die of. Nothing will stop people eventually dying, it's a study largely doomed to fail. It's not entirely useless but it appears to be a primary focus that's not very helpful.

As I see it the primary purpose of making sure you have no deficiency is your life leading up to that point. To be able to stay as healthy and active as possible. It's about your day to day life experience with health. They can of course backfire.

The common approach is to take multivitamins daily. You use a shotgun approach to make sure there's no deficiency. Though this is actually difficult to do in combination with a diet. What deficiencies might you really have? You might cause damage making your metabolism too fast or making vitamins too highly bioavailable preventing your body from exercising to regulate, store and extract nutrients. You might weaken yourself.

That can be hard to test for. Many people will do it as a preventative. That is, blindly. In my view once a week might be a better approach than daily on top of a normal diet as deficiencies are likely to be small and this also prevents some of the above problems.

The thing is in my book it may sometimes be better to let deficiencies happen. This is a necessary technique in engineering to reveal faults then perfectly address for them knowing what you're dealing with first.

If you have some real health problem that might be vitamin deficiency that's really palpable then you can take a multivitamin and see if it makes it better. Most people don't have access to full medical screening especially regularly. Particularly in countries like mine where we don't have private healthcare.

The body is also highly variable and sometimes the only way to know there's a deficiency is to have symptoms and then take the medicine, see if it clears up and hope it's no coincidence or deficiency. This is how in my country they test for infection. They give you anti-biotics and see if the symptoms go away.

You can often make an educated guess based on symptoms as well as having some idea of what's in what your eating or other lifestyle attributes.

The problem is with this approach alone is that what is the deficiency and what is the extent of deficiency? There's no perfect approach but I propose a product for Alex Jones. If no one has thought of it before and it's an original idea I give him the rights to patent it and if it makes tremendous profit he has to buy me a small mansion.

Mucking around aside I would not be surprised if this doesn't exist already. What's it called? Example of the product:

You have a packet of multivitamins. The top row, R0 contains normal multivitamins with everything in. They're all the same forming a single column. You take one of these, if it has a decisive effect then you know it probably works. You wait until the symptoms kick in again.

Now you go to the next row. R1. This one is split into two with two columns, C0 and C1. These are created by shuffling the ingredients of R0 & C0 then the top half goes into R1 & C0 with the second half going into R0 & C1.

If C0 works then you move down to the next row. Otherwise the next column and try C1. You can use this to work out what your deficiencies are. You could combine it with an app (either paper based or phone based) for people who find that too complicated.

It's like this, you have these vitamins and minerals [a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h] then this tree of pills:

  • R0... [C0] = [a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h]
  • R1... [C0, C1] = [[a, b, c, d], [e, f, g, h]]
  • R2... [C0, C1, C3, C3] = [[a, b], [c, d], [e, f], [g, h]]
  • R3... [C0, C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, C7] = [[a], [b], [c], [d], [e], [f], [g], [h]]

This isn't perfect because deficiency can vary (combinations can also sometimes not play out how you might think) and it can take time but I think it's a cool idea. It has lots of complexities like double deficiencies though. Sometimes items might be co-dependent.

This example isn't great because it's a small set. It can be optimised with heuristics. Generally because vitamin supplements are between a dozen to three dozen it's tricky for an optimised algorithm to always necessarily make a big difference.

I don't think you can necessarily roll this out and get optimal results immediately but I think once you start playing with it and getting data back you can end up with an optimal strategy for those who really have no other way than to just try stuff to see what works.

Comments (17)
sorted by:
TallestSkil 6 points ago +6 / -0

Why not just eat foods which contain the stuff you’re trying to


instead? Words have definitions. This one is key. You’re missing something you ought to have, so just go get that directly instead.

muslimporn [S] 1 point ago +1 / -0

The problem is I do eat a broad range of foods so I think my gut is fucked somehow.

deleted 2 points ago +2 / -0
Kolob 2 points ago +2 / -0

This is going to sound nutty, but try meditating. I started with a free Headspace ap. You don't have to pay for the starter version. 10 minutes morning and night. Costs nothing and I could not believe what it did for my digestion.

This doesn't sound like a nutriet deficiency, more likely a sensitivity to a food. Cut all can sugar if you have not already. Eliminate common food sensitivities like grains, eggs, dairy, potato and nightshades, then add them back one at a time. You need to be off for about 2 weeks before reintroducing. I straightened myself out by going to a naturopath in Spokane, Cedar Natural Health, Dr. Caryn Potenza. Some people are affected by an unusual food. I had been to other Naturopaths who were worthless before I went to her. I have been healthy for the 17 years since I saw her and everyone I have sent to her has gotten better.

muslimporn [S] 1 point ago +1 / -0

I suspect it's something to do with my gut but I'm not sure that any specific food is necessarily causing it. During lockdown I've not been exposed to any normal pathogens. No cold, no flu, nothing, I normally get several a year. There are indications of my immune system having a party in my gut. I'm not sure I'm necessarily eating enough grime and giving my immune system enough work.

Kolob 2 points ago +2 / -0

Live pickles, kimchi, and good old fashioned time in the dirt might help

GreatAwakeCoach 4 points ago +4 / -0

Multi-vitamins are largely a waste.

Micro amounts of vitamins/minerals/supplements don't really do anything, and most pressed tablets don't dissolve well in your system.

Supplementing saved my life (I'm 50) - you just have to know what you're taking, why you're taking it, and how to properly dose/pulse.

No one supp/dose works for everyone, hence why people try things (improper doses, time of day, stacks, etc), and when they see no results, they stop.

Be willing to run the experiment on yourself - document dose, brand, time of day, and do tons of research.

Ever need help, don't hesitate to reach out.


Kolob 2 points ago +2 / -0

True that. I am homozygous for the MTHFR 677T mutation and do need extra methylated folate. There are special circumstances.

muslimporn [S] 1 point ago +1 / -0

I think there's a consensus on that generally being the case.

If something is definitely wrong but you don't know what then it's one standard thing to test because it's relatively easy. If you're healthy and fine, barring hypochondria or psychosomatic conditions then a simple thing to check for is any deficiency.

My strategy is to optimise toward when they're actually potentially useful and to try to establish a protocol for that. The symptoms do really want to be quite profound in terms of your normal health levels versus the ailment and the difference made by multivitamins wants to be profound.

If you do find a deficiency you then potentially want to find out what it is. Though it's really quite difficult and extra work so this strategy attempts to reduce the burden. How long might it take for the deficiency to kick in again before you can try again? Also for this you'd want it to be chronic.

GreatAwakeCoach 2 points ago +2 / -0

After reading your well-stated and intelligent reply, your username confuses me even further.

Fine line between brilliant & nuts, sir;).

muslimporn [S] 2 points ago +2 / -0

The name is effectively random. It's an in joke relating to goats. It's really annoying. I've also realise that it may be making search engines unindex anything I post in because it goes under the explicit results category. I'm temped to ask the mods to change it though they don't have that feature.

It potentially messing with search engines though I think is probably a serious concern.

GuyWhite 3 points ago +3 / -0

TL;DR. Supplementing vitamins is largely a scam that started with Bill Shockley (transistors) and him touting Vitamin C. Darkly skinned people are often deficient in Vitamin D but it is pushed on everyone in the name of equality - and to expand the market.

muslimporn [S] 1 point ago +1 / -0

I think they can work but just mostly don't. The scam is nearly always you make cough medicine. You give it to everyone with a cough. Now you're out of customers. So you have to find a way to sell it to more. Say it's a preventative or something. Common scheme.

The approach I'm talking about is one where we try to make sure it actually works. Since lockdown I've had increasing brainfog to the point of it's like slipping into a coma slowly over months.

I've done a few things at once but I don't know which it was. Including trying multivitamins. I feel almost completely normal suddenly. I'm somewhat sceptical of a deficiency because I have a diet that should be relatively rich (perhaps I screwed up my gut) but if it is I'd like to know exactly what.

Kolob 2 points ago +2 / -0

How much and what kind of exercise do you get? How much time in front of screens? Are there other sources of stress you need to manage?

My husband was put on an alkalinizing diet due to a kidney stone. It is roughly 3 parts vegetables to 1 part everything else. I joined him out of solidarity and both of use are feeling very good. It is something to try.

Kolob 2 points ago +2 / -0

Europeans do not enrich their foods or take vitamins and live long healthy lives. In general they used to eat little highly processed food although that is changing. My parents were hard core vitamin takers and did not live so long. They did it to make up for their smoking and drinking (which they eventually quit). I eat a diverse whole foods diet. Grass fed beef I buy from a ranch directly so I know how they are raised. Wild caught fish. Tons of veggies and some fruit. I very rarely eat any cane sugar. I exercise and take care of mysef. The people in Blue Zones do not take vitamins. Synthetic nutrition is not my thing

tentonbudgie 2 points ago +2 / -0

I take a shitload of vitamins and it makes me feel great, I've gotten younger looking every year for the lasts five years and am now down to my college weight at 50. Still have some to go, but my serious health problems are now largely behind me and I can get back to living a normal life. Vitamins and minerals and a few other supplements have been really good to me.

GodEmperorBeerus 1 point ago +1 / -0

I take a daily multi-vitamin knowing full well I won't absorb most of it. Even if I piss out 90% of it, that still means I'm absorbing 10% of a plethora of vitamins I might not otherwise get that day.