Hello! Lately I have been wandering aimlessly at the health food store and spending a small fortune on supplements of all sorts, hoping that one of them will be my "supplement in shining armour" that is going to magically combat my depression, lack of energy, etc...The problem is, if I were to take these supplements as they are directed, my liver would probably be black from overuse. Therefore, how do I know which supplements to take/how frequently I need to take them? I have been vegetarian for 7 years and vegan for less than a year now and wish that there could be some sort of a vegan multivitamin that covers all the bases (maybe there is?)...right now, I am taking B100 everyday as well as zinc, iron, vitamin D, plant based Omega 3 and various others intermittently, is this healthy or am I overdoing it? My pee is also bright green more often than not, so I am assuming this is a bad sign? Any guidance would be greatly appreciated :)
Bright green pee is not good! Urine should be light yellow to clear. The most likely reason your urine is not so clear is that your body is not absorbing all the excess supplements you are taking and so it's going out in your pee. Dark pee is also a sign of dehydration, but since you mention taking sooo many supplements, I'm pretty sure it's that!
As a vegan that is eating your fruits and veggies (you are right?!), you don't NEED very many supplements. Less is more. I would say B12 and maybe a DHA sup..and maybe probiotics. I'm waiting for powerlifer to chime in here ;-)
As you have already alluded to, there is no magic pill! The right diet and exercise will help you get your energy levels and mood up. Talk to your doc to get screened for any vitamin deficiencies, and other blood work so you know that nothing else is to blame.
Bright green pee pending there is nothing wrong with your kidneys is just the excess b vitamins being flushed out this is normal and common with high dose B vitamin complex supplements.
One supplement you do need as a 100% vegan is vitamin B12, there is no getting around it sadly.
It is not wise to supplement with iron either unless you are low. The body naturally witholds iron from cancer cells and supplementing with iron can cause iron overload which is not good.
Zinc is a common nutrient deficiency with vegan diets but there are good plant food sources such as pumpkin seeds. Personally again unless you have been diagnosed or suspect being low i would look to whole food sources before supplementing.
A plant based omega-3 is not a bad idea at all for vegans, plants dont contain 2 types of omega-3 fatty acids known as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Now research has been abit up and down some studies show vegans to have acceptable levels of these fatty acids whilst others show vegans to be low. The body requires us to convert ALA(alpha-linolenic acid) to EPA then to DHA. Supplementing with any of these microalgal plant based EPA/DHA isnt a bad idea in my opinion.
Vitamin D is one that if your not getting regular sunlight then it is a wise idea to supplement. As the winter months come in the sunlight isnt strong enought to produce the reaction in the body to manufacture vitamin D so supplementing over winter is advised. We just got in a vegan vitamin D3 spray, which is the active form of vitamin D. - Vitashine Vegan Vitamin D3 Spray
As Mary and yourself have said there is sadly no magic pill, a good healthy varied diet is and always should be the basis of a healthy lifestyle. Saying that there are many good supplements such as herbs which can improve health and arent expensive.
DEVA nutrition makes vegetarian/vegan supplements. It's what they specialize in. I stumbled upon them by accident one day and was very glad to find them. If you're in the Seattle area they are sold at the Sidecar for Pigs for Peace store. I've not tried them yet personally so I can't vouch for them, I'm sorry! HTH
Hi Powerlifer - quick question for you. I recentley read an article stating that B12 in multivitamins isn't absorbed as well as taking the supplement on its own. Since I was looking for Vitamin D as well, I found a multivitamin with the following ingredients...is it better to take them separately? Thanks so much!
If you were low in vitamin B12 it would be wise to take it on its own for that little extra absorption but for the most part taking a multi-vitamin i.e multiple vitamins at the same time is ok and not any worse. As far as B12 supplements go sublingual is considered the most effective, patches ive heard are good too but expensive and probably still only on par with sublingual b12 supplements.
Watch most vitamin D3 found in multi-vitamins is not vegan and is derived from sheep. Vitashines vitamin D3 spray that we sell is vegan and vegetarian society approached, first active vegan D3 on the market.
If its a vegan multi-vitamin then 9/10 they contain vitamin D2 which is an inactive form and requires conversion in the liver and kidneys to the active D3 form.
All I take is Dr Fuhrman's Gentle Care multi-vitamin. If you read his blurb on it on his website it makes alot of sense and I find I feel good on it. I also take an liquid Iron supplement that's vegan when I am feeling a bit run down. I am not religious with either of them unless feeling tired ... I sometimes skip a day here or there and take every other day .... if I am eating right with lots of veggies and wholegrains etc I should have most of what I need .... I wasn't eating a very balanced diet for about a week a few weeks back .... just a lot of short cut meals and pies and that sort of thing ..... and it's amazing how crap it made me feel. I got back on the band wagon and upped my vitamin and iron intake and I feel much better.