How good are multivitamins?


This article seems well researched but I do question it’s validity. I have no access to a real computer right now so looking into the studies it references isn’t a real possibility but I do wonder what the effects on things like soylent where the addition of vitamins is extremely common. I know that several popular recipes use additional vitamins to make them nutritionally complete.

These were just the first three recipes I saw, so maybe all recipes use additional vitamins? I know the recipe I’m currently concocting does. I don’t know how much of this article is based on reality or how valid the studies it referenced were but if they are indeed studies that carry weight it seems they are something we should be taking seriously.



You need some vitamins (100% of the RDA), but that’s it.

Most people get enough of them just from normal food, and pills just push you over the top. Mostly it’s a waste of money, but you can overdose on vitamins as well. Same with water. You need water, but you don’t want 5 gallons a day.

Soylent keeps this in mind and uses the pills to get 100%. Not past it. Don’t take vitamins pills on in addition to soylent.


Mellored is right. Vitamins are meant to fill in any gaps in your diet. If there are no gaps, like on 100% Soylent, vitamins are unneeded. It’s worth mentioning that vitamin deficiencies can and do still happen in the US.

You also have to take crazy large doses of vitamins over a period of time to get symptoms of an OD.

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I think the key thing here is the difference between the diet, and supplements to the diet.

The article expresses doubt over whether supplemental vitamins have merit - that is, vitamins eaten above and beyond what’s in a healthy diet - and, to them, a healthy diet is one that already meets all of or needs.

For Soylent and DIY recipes, the vitamins aren’t supplements - they ARE the ingredients of the healthy diet. (It doesn’t matter that the vitamins are purchased from people seling them as “supplements,” we’re using them as ingredients.) Without the vitamins, it wouldn’t be a healthy diet that meets our needs.

You might use that article to support the idea that if you’re eating Soylent, you don’t need to also take a vitamin supplement.


OK, you guys are saying some thing that were kinda in the back of my mind but I assumed when I thought them that they were stupid but when you say them they don’t sound stupid (like how seeing as these are ingredients for the silent rather than supplements then we should be good to go).


Weeelll… it does matter, in that supplements are unregulated. If it’s sold as a food, nutrient values are legally obligated to be accurate. Not everything conforms to the law, but the law is there. If it’s sold as a supplement [in the US, at least,] there essentially is no law. That makes it significantly harder to say that you are getting what you’re supposed to be getting, just because there’s no oversight on the source. If you get vitamins from broccoli, you have some idea that you’re getting what you expect. If you get it from a pill, you don’t.


You are kinda missing the point. The OP was considered about whether he was getting a dangerous amount of a nutrient. The quality of supplements is an entirely different issue.


Actually, I don’t ever recall seeing an accurate nutritional facts label on broccoli, nor do I believe the FDA requires them.


Isn’t that because the nutrition facts on produce are considered to be the standard values from the USDA database?


The values in the USDA database are just an average over a large sample and have nothing to do with the exact sprig of brocolli you hold in your hand. Especially after you cook it. Things like soil composition and other growing conditions can greatly affect its nutritional value.



It’s because the nutritional values in crops vary widely based on growing conditions, varietal, prevailing weather, soil conditions, storage and handling…

For example, tomatoes from Colorado will have about five times as much iron in them as tomatoes from Virginia. Illinois tomatoes have 50% more Phosphorous than Maryland tomatoes.

In the study above, the specific batches of tomatoes with the highest iron content were nearly 2,000 higher in iron than those with the lowest iron content! This is the extreme; most constituents don’t vary that much, but the point is that individual plants can vary a whole lot. Assuming they all meet a specific ratio of nutrients is a mistake.

Two of the same varietal grown in the same conditions will match each other very closely, but the nutritional info will vary due to all other factors. The soil makes a bigger difference for minerals, while weather probably makes a bigger difference for vitamins. But even in the same conditions, two different varieties can have very different values. Romaine lettuce is much more nutritious than iceberg lettuce; both are just “lettuce leaves.”

For most of human history, plants have been engineered by farmers for hardiness, edibility, ease of growing, flavor… it’s only recently that we’ve started actively looking at nutrition information and trying to create more nutritious varieties.


This is true, but your link is to what’s pretty clearly the Onion of Navy members.


I don’t quite get the reference :blush:

I picked the article because I found it amusing. A modern day navy officer got scervy and fixed it by adding a Monster a day to his diet.


A multivitamin is good for someone like me because I have a terrible diet.
Like what even is a vegetable diet.

Doesn’t help I had four teeth pulled this year making it even harder to eat well.


That’s what they have Soylent for.


I can’t afford soylent :cry:


It’s not a real story. :slight_smile:


It’s what @Syke said. That’s a satirical site. The stories aren’t real. People are malnourished in America, but that sailor and his Monster fix are fictional.


Still amusing :blush:


If you’re deficient, it makes sense to take a supplement. I always enjoy reading news articles interpreting studies that found no benefit to consuming extra vitamins and then try to spin it as nobody should take vitamins. Obviously if you are obtaining enough of a vitamin without supplements … you are obtaining enough of a vitamin without supplements.