How good are multivitamins?


I started taking a multi-vitamin about six months ago, I wanted to be healthy, make sure I am getting all my nutrients. Near the same time I started taking a prescription drug, ( for a vain reason that I don’t medically need.)

Make a long story short, I started having frequent urination issues. I just knew it had to be the prescription I was taking, after talking with my doctor about stopping my prescription, I learned that frequent urination was not a known side effect.

The theory put forth was that it was the multi-vitamin. Sure as shit, I stopped taking the multi-vitamin and a week later my frequent urination started going away. The theory is my body was discarding all the extra nutrients I did not need.


Personally, I (who drinks two bottles of Soylent a day, five days a week) take a multi for two reasons:

  1. I easily go anemic without sufficient levels of iron in my bloodstream. Taking a supplement with iron ensures I have all I need.

  2. Everything I’ve read from the “don’t take multivitamins” crowd talks about eating a lot of veggies and leafy greens to get your vitamins. Well, I don’t like eating a lot of veggies or leafy greens, and I abhor salads. I would much rather take a vitamin pill and eat what I want during the day while only ensuring my protein levels are sufficient and I’m not eating too many calories or sugar.


I don’t eat much in the way of vegis myself so supplement I do.
I remember hearing of a nurses health study that proved the excess vit being excreted protected the elimination channels involved.
Also as I understand it the RDA’s were developed to keep a prisoner alive not necessarily healthy. I believe they are a minimum base line.
Overdose - hard to do. Some are stored in the body and can build up, but Ya gotta be extra diligent at consuming large quantities.
The fix - Easy - stop taking for a wile.
I’ve been a Life Extension (NonProfit) member for over 20 years I think and have consumed many times the RDA’s daily of all for that time
There are published studies (Double blind and cross-over etc etc) for most that give the beneficial amounts recommended.
They continue to learn.


Oh, no, I give my prisoners way less than the RDA and they’re all still alive.


The RDAs have nothing to do with prisoners. They are meant to prevent a deficiency and that is all. The recommendations are by no means the minimum needed for each vita. A lot of them are merely an average intake of a population that doesn’t show a deficiency.


Well that was my understanding as I remember it from research 20 some years ago. Y’all may be right or not ??
But the nurses study info holds true and it is very difficult to over do Vit.s
Thats more a wives tail.


I might also point out that the RDA’s are woefully below the levels recommended by the scientists


Some are above, some below. The real issue is personalized medicine (nutrition) and the ability to scan someone for deficiencies is still fairly expensive. Cheaper sensors will solve this. Population studies are more to do with mitigating disease than promoting health.


Not really. Sounds like you would benefit from doing some more research.


Actually, he is correct. The levels used on the nutrition label of Soylent (the RDAs) ie the FDA DVs from 1968, are below the new DVs published this year (which Soylent will have to adopt by July 2018) on no fewer than 7 micronutrients.

If you are interested, I broke down the contents of Soylent vs both the highest IoM DRI value and the new FDA DV value here:

To summarise, if Soylent doesn’t change its recipe, when it switches to the new labelling system, the following would be the nutrients below the RDA:
Vitamin C - 66.667%
Vitamin D - 50%
Vitamin K - 66.667%
Calcium - 76.923%
Magnesium - 95.238%
Manganese - 86.956%
Potassium - 74.884%

Now that isn’t to say you will be deficient on Soylent so much as you won’t see all of the benefits these nutrients have to offer. However, when he said that the RDAs are considered woefully inadequate, I suspect he means in terms of optimal health as opposed to deficiencies.

The clearest case of where a lot of scientific research indicates the RDAs are very inadequate is in the case of vitamin D. Even the highest recommendation of 800 I.U. per day leads to deficiencies in the majority of the population in winter. An intake closer to 3000-5000 I.U. is significantly preferable, and most scientists are in agreement on this.


No, the FDA standards under which the Soylent label was created are more recent than that - the regulations for the Nutrition Facts label were amended in 1995 “to establish new DVs and to update the DVs (60 FR 67164, December 28, 1995) and in 2003 (to address the declaration of trans fats (68 FR 41434, July 11, 2003).” (From:

There’s disagreement on whether and how much health might be improved by increasing intakes beyond these levels. I side with the group favoring much higher intakes, but there is reasonable disagreement on much of the science.

Also, while the regulations for the new label came out at the end of July this year (rule effective on July 26, 2016), the official FDA guidance on the correct DV’s to use is still in the process of revision.

Actually, Soylent has already been using the new Nutrition Facts labels. The current nutrition facts labels on the web site are already in the new style:

Their label complies with all the new requirements regarding calories and which nutrients need to be listed in which order… but they are still using the old nutrition Daily Values. Given their early compliance on the labeling, and given their existing policy of targeting 100% for all listed nutrients, it’s reasonable to expect them to reformulate their supplement to meet with the new recommendations very soon - perhaps even before the FDA finishes updating their food labeling guide to reflect the new amounts. Their current status of the guidance from the FDA:

Frankly, it might confuse the public to switch to the new standard before the FDA itself has begun indicating the new standard in the instructions that industry is supposed to follow!

Given all this, I think it’s a bit disingenuous to imply that Soylent may not change their formulation for years. I suggest you should strive to be a bit less ominous in marketing your own new product. (But good luck with your pre-sales; I do want to see more and better competition in this space.)


Quit with the bs. None of what he said was promoting himself, and nothing he said even implied that he thought Soylent wouldn’t change its recipe to meet the new requirements, he just said what the effect would be if they didn’t.


No. The RDA is not intended for prisoners nor is it “woefully inadequate”. With the exception of vitamin D it prevents deficiency as intended.

I am glad to hear that the FDA is raising the amounts for some nutrients. I assume this is to promote health instead of just preventing disease.


I should clarify, I was only referring to the statement it is “woefully inadequate”, not that it was intended for prisoners. In regards to it being woefully inadequate, I was assuming we were taking about the old Daily Values, and whilst ‘woefully’ may be an exaggeration, I feel the fact many levels have been raised by the FDA themselves demonstrates that they were inadequate. However equally, I agree that the increases are designed to promote health and not just prevent disease, so I suppose you could argue the RDAs weren’t inadequate at preventing disease and deficiency. However, RDAs are defined as the nutrient intake required to meet the nutrient needs of 97-98% of a population, and this could be interpreted to mean either simply preventing deficiencies or obtaining all health benefits from a nutrient - that is why I argued they were inadequate, though even with my argument, “woefully” is an exaggeration.


Firstly, as Echon says, it wasn’t my intention to promote my product, and having made no reference to it in my post (combined with selling a product type Rosa Labs have said they won’t sell, exclusively in a geographical location they don’t sell to) I don’t feel like I did. Additionally, I was only pointing out the hypothetical situation where they don’t change their recipe to meet the new requirements. However, I will respond to your post in parts.

Whilst the regulations received updates in 1995 and 2003 as you say, these have mainly been additions of nutrients we learn more about, and not changes to the recommendations for micronutrient intake that were established in 1968. I am only concerned with the micronutrient intake, so perhaps I should have used the term RDIs instead - I have no issue with the macros.

When I refer to the new nutrition facts label, I am not referring to the slight change in the way information is shown (such as with added sugars), I am referring to the use of the new recommended intakes which were released in July, and which the FDA have given large companies until July 2018 and small companies until July 2019 to use. Indeed, my question would be whey if they were willing to change the label so quickly despite having so much time, why this wasn’t also accompanied by a change in formula. We will see with the release of their next iteration whether this is just a stock issue (as I suspect) or if they are giving themselves more time.

The FDA has released the new Daily Values, (you can see them underneath the DRIs here if you don’t already know them). The public would not be confused by a change because, frankly, a typical member of the public is just going to ensure they’re reaching 100% of whatever the recommendations on the label are - most people are not going to be looking at the actual quantities of each nutrient in their product of choice, and as such, switching to the new standard (which the FDA has set and said all companies operating on Rosa Labs scale must switch to by July 2018 but can switch to any time before then) would not confuse anyone.

I did not mean to imply they wouldn’t change their formulation for years. Truthfully I think they will with the release of either 1.7 or 2.1. And as I mentioned at the start of this post, I didn’t mean to advertise my own product (for the various reasons stated above and because I actually enjoy having debates like this on nutrition, so did so more out of enjoyment), so I apologise if my post came across like that. Thank you for the food wishes and sorry again if I misrepresented my message in a negative way.


I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt - perhaps you’ve become comfortable here on the forums and forgotten that you’re posting from a promotional account:

You are literally a company spokesman. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you should bear in mind that many of us will be likely to see you through that lens. (Your account name was actually the only reason I realized you were a spokeman; I only Googled Genesis Food Solutions my first time, today.)

Also, advertising or promoting your own product is not the only form of marketing. Being on an active forums with spokesman account is part of marketing. Denigrating your competitor’s quality control is marketing. Casting doubt on the competitor’s formulation is marketing. These are all valid marketing strategies, but some of them are negative.

Perhaps you didn’t mean to go negative, but I feel you did. Moreover, I don’t think you need to, and from your closing statements, I don’t think you want to.

I think you have a a lot of strong evidence to lean on to suggest that a better product would include more potentially health-supporting ingredients. Sticking to the high road usually works out better in the long run, unless you want to take the confrontational approach - and it doesn’t sound like that’s what you want.


Thank you for this. I genuinely didn’t mean to cast doubt on Rosa Labs in this thread (and have actually intended to not post negatively since questioning the quality control in the coffiest poll thread). However, reading back I do see my post could be interpreted that way, especially when my forum name is taken into account. I am very new to business activity, and as such am treating this much like I would do a personal account - that is probably wrong. So thank you for the tip - I will be more careful in future and will keep my opinions to myself on negative matters.

I will reiterate, though, that I had no intention of my post in this thread insulting or bringing into question Soylent or Rosa Labs in any way, and I do believe they are working on improvements as they have been since their inception. I also didn’t consider that any comments could come across as marketing, though now see that as a possibility. I know I personally draw a big difference between Soylent and the product I am offering due to geographic location and product differences, but again, I understand why others may not draw such differences. So thank you again, and my apologies to you and any others who found my comments here to be inappropriate.


Apology accepted, on my part - sorry if we got off on the wrong foot, and I sincerely wish you well with the launch.