Vitamin/Mineral Absorption Questions

JBS

Leatherneck
Verified Military
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Messages
2,150
Location
USA
I- like probably many others here- take vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidant supplements, and I was reading about benefits. I now have a few questions, stemming from online discussions in other places; The following three questions are the results of things I read on nutrition-based forums:

  • I heard that if you drink coffee, then take a multivitamin (or other supplements) immediately before or after your coffee, that your body will actually dump out all of the vitamins in your urine, and will not absorb any benefit from it. Is there any truth to this?

  • I read online- in less than pleasant language, and described with great detail- that a sanitation worker who cleans out portable toilets has discovered what basically amounts to hundreds of undigested vitamin tablets and capsules while in the course of his work. Is this possible? The rumor was that it is common knowledge among sanitation workers that vitamins end up in the toilets. Do vitamins pass through the digestive tract intact? Or is this just baseless rumor? Or perhaps only certain types of vitamins?

  • Are there any specific times of day a vitamin / mineral supplement should be taken for maximum effect and absorption?
 
W

WillBrink

Guest
I- like probably many others here- take vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidant supplements, and I was reading about benefits. I now have a few questions, stemming from online discussions in other places; The following three questions are the results of things I read on nutrition-based forums:

  • I heard that if you drink coffee, then take a multivitamin (or other supplements) immediately before or after your coffee, that your body will actually dump out all of the vitamins in your urine, and will not absorb any benefit from it. Is there any truth to this?

As written, no. Coffee can reduced absorption of some specific nutrients and or can increase the excretion of others, but as usual, it's an issue of moderation. Coffee also has health benefits, so as always, there are two sides and moderation is key.

  • I read online- in less than pleasant language, and described with great detail- that a sanitation worker who cleans out portable toilets has discovered what basically amounts to hundreds of undigested vitamin tablets and capsules while in the course of his work. Is this possible? The rumor was that it is common knowledge among sanitation workers that vitamins end up in the toilets. Do vitamins pass through the digestive tract intact? Or is this just baseless rumor? Or perhaps only certain types of vitamins?

Depends on the vitamin tablet. The above specifically seems more an urban myth, as I have yet to see any real proof of the above. However, correctly made vitamins have very specific standards for vitamins, including disintegration and dissolution test requirements rates set forth by the USP. If the company follows USP guidelines and tests their vites, they will break down on digestion, etc. Companies that don't, vite may or may not pass through digestion. Thus, those who tell you all vites are the same, are incorrect..See:

http://www.dissolutiontech.com/DTresour/599articles/RoyHansonarticle.htm


[*]Are there any specific times of day a vitamin / mineral supplement should be taken for maximum effect and absorption?
[/LIST]


Depends on the nutrient.
 

medic1

Unverified
Joined
Sep 18, 2007
Messages
37
Location
Perth, WA
hey, I have always advocated that the best form of vitamin intake is by ingesting them in the form of good quality, fresh food........bloody hard to do in the field I know!! multivits fit into the cammo's so easily!!
Medic 1
 

JBS

Leatherneck
Verified Military
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Messages
2,150
Location
USA
hey, I have always advocated that the best form of vitamin intake is by ingesting them in the form of good quality, fresh food........bloody hard to do in the field I know!! multivits fit into the cammo's so easily!!
Medic 1

I have a good diet, and I go out of my way to eat healthy. But I also spend alot of money every month on supplements and protein, etc. I just don't want to waste my money on vitamin and mineral supplements if my body is just going to kick it out. I am right there with you, though. Step one is a balanced diet.

WillBrink said:
Depends on the vitamin tablet. The above specifically seems more an urban myth, as I have yet to see any real proof of the above. However, correctly made vitamins have very specific standards for vitamins, including disintegration and dissolution test requirements rates set forth by the USP. If the company follows USP guidelines and tests their vites, they will break down on digestion, etc. Companies that don't, vite may or may not pass through digestion. Thus, those who tell you all vites are the same, are incorrect..See:

http://www.dissolutiontech.com/DTres...sonarticle.htm
Will, is there a seal, stamp or other designation located on the outside of a vitamin bottle that identifies it as having gone through the process of testing? I know with many other products, a certification of some type can guarantee a grade of one kind or another, as the manufacturer must demonstrate that they adhere to specific guidelines, which are then periodically inspected for continued compliance. Any such thing with vitamin and mineral supplements? If so, is there a central repository or database where I can find what manufacturers are meeting those specs?

Again, I don't want to blow $100 or $200 a month on garbage supplements. I am a huge believer in supplements, as I can simply feel the difference with many of them. For instance, in the a.m., I take a few multi-B vitamins, and I honestly feel a huge increase in energy. On the days when I don' take it, or completely forget to take it, I find myself later in the morning feeling a little bit run down, or less focused. I end up asking myself why I feel a little run down. Within a few seconds it then occurs to me, "hey, I forgot my vites today!". I have similar pronounced effects with other products. Still other supplements create absolutely no difference in "feel", that is, I don't notice it one way or the other. With niacin tabs, I get all flushed in my ears and lips. My point is that I know some of them are working. But I take a dozen tablets or more every day. How do I know which are NOT worth it?
 
W

WillBrink

Guest
Will, is there a seal, stamp or other designation located on the outside of a vitamin bottle that identifies it as having gone through the process of testing?

Short answer is no. Long answer is, well, long. There's no seal that lets one know X product is superior to Y. Some do carry the USP seal which lets you know it at least passes basic USP tests for disintegration and dissolution.Per the link above for example:

"A recent study at Tufts University reviewed 10 vitamin brands -- five labeled "USP" and five not labeled "USP" (7). The five brands with USP label claims all passed dissolution test requirements, whereas two of the five without USP label claims failed to meet USP specifications."

I know with many other products, a certification of some type can guarantee a grade of one kind or another, as the manufacturer must demonstrate that they adhere to specific guidelines, which are then periodically inspected for continued compliance. Any such thing with vitamin and mineral supplements?

No. Per the link article above:

"A primary concern is the quality, potency, and efficacy of nutritional supplements vis-à-vis their label claims. Under the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), FDA's required premarket review of nutritional supplements is less in-depth than that of other products the agency regulates, such as drugs and food additives. This means that consumers and manufacturers are responsible for checking the safety and truthfulness of label claims."

The dietary supp industry, being a largely unregulated industry, does not have standardized testing. There are pros and cons to regulation - or lack there of - and that's one of the cons. Better known companies will tend to follow USP guidelines, have their products made in GMP facilities, test for dose, etc. Formulation is a total wild card as there are no standards there at all, which is why you find such huge variability in formulations, ranging from total POS to excellent.

But I take a dozen tablets or more every day.

I would put up my vid of all the products I take, but the last time I did that, it caused a big fight and the thread got locked, etc.

How do I know which are NOT worth it?

Research. You have to do your research on the topic, similar to many issues we all face, be it health/fitness or other, ergo cars, guns, meds, etc, etc.

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