Thursday, May 17

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back, or My Multvitamin Supplement Purchase

As I mentioned in a recent comment I realize I am not the most voracious consumer of vegetables. I also realize how important they are to health. Unfortunately, I've never been able to develop a taste for them (parents, don't let this happen to your kids) either. So, just this morning I went ahead and reordered my super duper, top of the line, mega multi-nutrient supplement.

I should note that they do have several different variations of this product, but here is the ingredient list for the one I buy:

Vitamin A (as 20% Betatene D. salina natural beta-carotene with mixed carotenoids1 and 80% acetate)

Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid, calcium ascorbate, ascorbyl palmitate, magnesium ascorbate, niacinamide ascorbate, and acerola juice powder)

Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol)

Vitamin E (as D-alpha tocopheryl succinate)

Thiamine (vitamin B1) (as thiamine HCl)

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) (with 2 mg riboflavin 5’ phosphate coenzyme)

Niacin (vitamin B3) (as 53% niacinamide, 38% niacin, 9% niacinamide ascorbate)

Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine HCI with 2.5 mg pyridoxal 5’ phosphate coenzyme)

Folic acid

Vitamin B12 (as 42% cyanocobalamin, 42% hydroxylcobalamin, 16% ion exchange resin)


Pantothenic acid (as D-calcium pantothenate with 5 mg pantethine)

Calcium (as calcium ascorbate, D-calcium pantothenate, Calcium D-Glucarate)

Iodine (as potassium iodide)

Magnesium (as magnesium oxide, citrate, glycinate, taurinate, arginate, ascorbate)

Zinc (as methionate [OptiZinc], zinc succinate)

Selenium (as 50% se-methylselenocysteine, 25% L-selenomethionine (yeast free) (SelenoPure), and 25% sodium selenate)

Copper (as copper bisglycinate chelate)

Manganese (as manganese gluconate)

Chromium (as Chromium 454 bio-organic yeast extract matrix)

Molybdenum (as sodium molybdate)

Potassium (as potassium chloride)

N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC)



Phosphatidylcholine (from soy)

Choline (as choline bitartrate)

Dilauryl thiodipropionate

Thiodipropionic acid

Boron (as boron citrate/aspartate/glycinate complex)

Ascorbyl palmitate (fat soluble vitamin C)

para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)

Trimethylglycine (TMG) (as betaine anhydrous) (from sugar beets)


Citrus bioflavonoid complex [50% total bioflavonoids (650 mg)]
  Flavanone (Hesperidin) 35% (455 mg)
  Flavonones (Naringin, Naringenin 7-B-Rutinoside and others) 14% (182 mg)
  Flavonols, Flavones and related phenolic compounds 1% (13 mg)

Broccoli sprout concentrate (A proprietary blend of broccoli sprout concentrates and Calcium D-Glucarate) (providing sulforaphane, glucosinolates, D-3T, and PEITC)

Calcium D-Glucarate

Decaffeinated Green tea (Camellia sinensis) extract (leaf) [std. to 98% polyphenols (318.5 mg) and 45% Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) (146.25 mg)]

Acerola juice powder extract 1:4 (Malpighia punicifolia) (fruit)

Ginger root extract (Zingiber officinale) (root) [standardized for 5% gingerols (10 mg)]

HiActives 100% fruit/berry complex (A proprietary blend of concentrated blackberry, blueberry, cranberry, elderberry, persimmon, plum, and cherry powders)

VitaBlue Wild Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) 130:1 extract (fruit) [standardized to 14% Total Phenolics (21 mg), 4.9% Total Anthocyanins (7.35 mg), 660 ppm Pterostilbene (0.1 mg)]

Milk thistle extract (Silybum marianus) (seeds) [standardized for 85% silymarin (85 mg)]

Pomegranate (Punica granatum) extract (fruit) [standardized to 30% Punicalagins (25.5 mg)]

Bilberry extract (Vaccinium myrtillus) (berry) [standardized for 25% anthocyanidins (7.5 mg)]

Leucoselect grapeseed extract (Vitis vinifera) (seeds) [std. for 95% proanthocyanidins (23.75 mg)]

BioVin grape extract (Vitis vinifera) (whole grapes) [std. for minimum 95% proanthocyanidins (23.75 mg), minimum 75% total polyphenols as gallic acid monohydrate (18.75 mg), minimum 200 ppm trans-resveratrol]

Bromelain (from pineapple) (2400 gelatin digestive units per gram)

Lutein (purified concentrate from marigold flowers) (Tagetes erecta) (providing 465 mcg zeaxanthin)

Olive juice extract (fresh fruit) [std. to 10% polyphenols (1.25 mg), 7% hydroxytyrosol (0.88 mg)]

Sesame (Sesamum indicum) lignan extract

Luteolin [from perilla leaf extract (Perilla frutescens)]

Lycopene (from natural tomato extract) (Lyc-O-Mato)

It's not cheap! I'm bemoaning the fact that my purchase, lumped into a single month like it is, puts me backwards in my goals a tiny amount. However, as I always say, health is number one. I'll adjust that to include family I suppose, and then job, career and financial concerns can comingle underneath.

I don't eat tomatoes everyday. I don't eat broccoli everyday. I don't always drink green tea every day. I don't eat cherries, blueberries, pomegranates, blackberries, elderberries, cranberries, persimmons and plums every day. I don't eat pineapple everday. I don't eat grapes every day. Most of the rest are chelated versions of common vitamins and minerals available in most good multi supplements.

So, this morning I bit the bullet and bought my annual supply of these nutrients. Is it absolutely necessary? Maybe not. I am aware that many people are uncertain about the value of supplements. I consider it insurance. I may or may not need it, but I feel that the body will utilize what it is given to maintain itself at the highest level of health that it can. Quite honestly, if most of these ingredients pass through my body unutilized, I am absolutely fine with that.

However, if you follow along with health research, you'll see that there are many studies showing that antioxidants and many components of fruits and vegetables that have striking beneficial effects on both health and disease resistance. The LEF (the people who sell the supplement above) have a track record of fighting to ensure supplements remain available to the public as well as funding longevity research to help find ways for us to retain higher quality of life for longer.

You owe it to yourself to check out their web site if you have any health concerns or disease predispositions in your family. They'll give you lots of reading material and summarized research -- and of course a ton of supplements that target nearly any issue. There, that should do for my annual pimping of the company that I buy my supplements from...

Live long and prosper! ;)

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Anonymous said...

I too was not a lover of veggies, but i have found a way to make them enjoyable so that i can eat them regularly. i use stir fry sauces and when i use them, i don't add any other seasoning. the sauces add a delicious flavor and enough salt/sodium to veggies. you may find some fault with this arrangement but this works for me and i don't find that my health is suffering for it. i make stir fries with broccoli, mushrooms, green onions and a small amount of chicken and i am good to go. and i also make a vegetable stir fry on a small amount of rice and enjoy that as well.

Frugal Guy said...

Hi Anon,

Thanks for the comment. I certainly appreciate any suggestions for improving my vegetable intake -- and it might also help other people with the same issue.

I do certainly eat a lot more vegetables than I used to, but I know it still isn't enough. I particularly have trouble with the "real" vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, asparagus and so forth.

Lesser vegetables, such as tomatoes, onions, peppers, various types of lettuce, corn, peas and carrots, for example, can be snuck into my diet in various ways.

All the same, I'm happy to buy and use supplements that provide all kinds of preventative nutrients...

Bob T said...

If you know this will be an ongoing annual expense, why not start budgeting 1/12 of the cost each month. That way you'll have it ready next time and it won't set back your planning.

Mom2fur said...

I'm a big believer in vitamins. They may get 'pricey,' but if they help you to stay healthy, how can you put a price on that?

Frugal Guy said...

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the note. I guess I should... though it's a somewhat irregular expense. I also think part of me rails against having to plan for everything. I want my spontaniety too!

Hi Mom2fur,

Yeah, I think so too. Thanks for the note of support! ;)

Fuschia said...

Just discovered your blog whilst googling frugal living and there are some very handy tips in your archive, thanks! A tip of my own for you - I bulk buy a lot of things, inc rice and lentils from the local Asian wholesalers. It's cheaper than the other wholesalers round here and sell better quality / a wider range of rice. I'm fussy about my rice! Lentils are a great, cheap and tasty staple. They're used in a lot of Indian food and in some recipes I use them in place of mince. My boyfriend thinks lentil cottage pie is much tastier than normal cottage pie.

The problem I've been having with a lot of frugal living websites is the emphasis on cheap food. This is the one area in my life I don't mind spending money on. I believe some food isn't meant to be cheap because, for example, it means raising animals in horrible conditions. About a year ago my partner and I decided to eat only ethically produced meat. Because it's more expensive we now only eat meat once or twice a fortnight.

I've been thinking about this tension between frugal and environmental living for awhile now. Consuming less is obviously better for the environment but is it also the case sometimes we sometimes need to spend a little more to be environmentally friendly? Or is that just a middle-class justification to make environmentalism more glamorous and set them apart from the working classes? What are your thoughts?

David said...

When I was an athlete at the University of Missouri, the athletic trainer (read: physiology expert, not diet expert) said that most multivitamins have too much: 10 x the recommended amount of vitamin C is just more work for your liver. Is this medical fact? I'm not sure, but it might be wise to get multivitamins that don't give much more than the recommended amounts.

Another thing: cheap vegetables have no flavor (sp? spell check says flavour). If you want to enjoy your veggies, you'll have to be willing to spend some money.

Frugal Guy said...

Hi Fuschia,

Thanks for the comment.

I'll focus just on the one portion of it that deals with conflict between frugality and other concerns.

First, obviously, there are people that are simply forced to be frugal due to a lack of money. It might make sense for them to set aside their judgment of the food industry somewhat and simply worry about nutrition and cost.

Beyond that, I think a large aspect of frugality is just using your money wisely. This will let you reallocate portions of your money based on whatever social issues you feel are important enough to focus on.

I suspect that while there are many people forced into frugality, that many others are simply choosing frugality... and they have plenty of room to moderate frugality concerns.

That's my "off the cuff" take anyway. Thanks again!

Frugal Guy said...

Hey David,

I appreciate the thoughts.

Personally, I'm pretty pro-supplement in my thinking. I do realize that some vitamins have toxicity issues if over consumed for periods of time though.

However, recent research on vitamin D3 shows that perhaps the RDA values are far too low. Of course, D3 is often available with vitamin A, so to supplement with one you'd usually have to take more A than would be recommended.