Advice on Supplements and/or Multivatimnis

I kind of need a little guidance on getting a supplement or a multivitamin. Have read a bit on a lot of different things that are apparently helpful, but I don’t want to commit yet to anything before doing some more homework, but some leads would be good. I know new studies suggest a Vitamin B Complex to be helpful. What do you guys think, and is there anything you are currently using you feel is beneficial, and definitely worth the investment? These things are expensive, too, so I kind of want to keep it as affordable as I can. (ie, the Vitamin B Complex from GNC was $6.99 for a 100 day supply… Not horrible.) Any input is much appreciated :))

Hi Liz,

Just a quick note as I understand things.

Firstly, I think where Vit B is helpful, is that in persons with a degree of kidney failure vit B may help.

Or, maybe Vit B is just implicated in the normal business of ‘metabolism’ and energy production, so it is some times regarded as a useful supplement. But I think it really falls under the ‘supplement if deficient’ category. So a good multi-vitamin should cover most nutrients, although traditionally it is thought that additional vit b supplementation may be useful in times of stress.

I think Dr Aitkins was also giving very high IV doses of vit b in patients with v high BG, just for ‘symptomatic’ treatment to lowr BG.

Fish oil is another great supplement for their omega fats (cell membranes need them). Flax contains only half the ‘goodies’ as fish oil.

So really you should be thinking about ‘supplementation if deficient’.

Three other areas worthy of note here

  1. Supplements to decrease blood glucose: maybe ?? gymnea sylvestre, banaba, bitter melon, alpha lipoic acid, cinnamon. These are mostly claims from ‘traditional’ use of these so you dont often see clinical trial data.

  2. Supplements to assist in neuropathy: brewer’s yeast, evening primrose oil, alpha lipoic acid,

  3. Supplements to regenerate pancreas: gymnea sylvestre - i’ve seen a couple of studies in mice showing a ‘slight degree’ of regeneration of pancreas/ beta cells. But I’m sure if this was a real/true effect, there would have been lots more follow up research on this with heaps more studies by the investigators (who should be so EXCITED!). But the evidence is scant.

So in general you should view vitamins and minerals for what they are : supplements required from your diet or from ‘pills’.

It is thought that diabetics may be even moreso deficient in vitamins and minerals, which supports the case for 'supplementaion if deficient.

I would suggest a multivitamin. Minerals that I understand American soils are deficient in include chromium (a supplement might be useful).

Antioxidants include vit c and vit e, for ‘general health’; other useful antioxidants include selenium, green tea and believe it or not ‘cocoa powder’!!! Antioxidants are thought to be particularly helpful in cadiovascular disease to minimise the oxidative damage that leds to coronary artery disease (narrowing of the vessels). They do this by inhiting the ‘inflammatory processes in the vessels’.

Some conficting information has just surfaced in the media about T2 and antioxidants. A study in mice showed that anti-oxidants cause insulin resistance, so the researchers said don’t take anti-oxidant supplements. Another study by a different group later said ‘purple carrot’ (juice) reversed diabetes and obesity in mice…the researchers said presumably because the carrots were ‘very very high in anti-oxidants;. So I don’t believe either story. I believe the old school thinking that metabolism produces free radicals which cause ‘aging’ wear and tear’, and in this scenario, anti-oxidants may be useful. I like to take cocoa, vit c and occassionally vit e for this.

michael hutch

I take:
*calcium + D for the obvious reason - I am considering adding more D since I’ve read about a link between vitamin d and a type of insulin that is secreted by the brain (Google it).
*Woman’s one a day multi vitamin
*B - 50 High Energy Complex (Kirkland/Cosco brand) - recommended by my foot dr since it promotes good circulation and nerve health, I don’t have any problems with either my foot dr recommends this for everyone…
*500 mg Psyllium Husk capsules (Whole Foods brand) - I’ve eliminated almost all grains and I was having trouble with getting enough fiber. Psyllium is an insoluble fiber so it has no effect on bs. The directions say you can take up to 4 of these per day…I take one and has helped tremendously.
*I drink a protein drink daily (Jay Robb brand) - I’m a low carber and wasn’t getting enough calories. I was really struggling with what foods to add that won’t make my bs or cholesterol go up. This has helped a lot.
*sometimes I take cinnamon…not everyday or regularly

I’ll second Gerriann on a couple of things.

Vit D is the new ‘modern vitamin’.
it has been linked to general health and vitality bc of its strong effect on the immune system.
Definitely some sunshine every day or supplements, There are high and low dose recommendations for vit D.

You can actually get your blood Vit D levels checked too !

Fibre supplement cant do harm. quite the opposite. you should slowly build up levels of fibre in your diet over a month or so, as sudden increases can cause discomfort.

I get a lot of fiber in my diet… but I don’t think I can consider consuming more calcium, because of my thyroid issues. Extra calcium can interfere with how my thyroid meds are absorbed… So I just consume it from diet, and I do consume quite a bit of dairy, and other calcium packed foods. I think I will do the B-50 Complex, then… sounds like a good plan, to me… :slight_smile: thanks for all the suggestions, guys.

I take lots of vitamins and supplements, in some cases under my doctors advice in others just my valiant attempts to compensate for the my condition. Here is my regime

Costco premium Multi-vitamin
8,000 IUs vit D3 (I am severely vit D deficient)
Super B-complex or B-100 (I take metformin)
8-10 Costco fish oil (~6g of DHA+EPA) (I like the taste)
600 mg ALA (I have neuropathy)
Zinc and Magnesium (I worry about electrolytes, particularly in summer)

I also take creatine monohydrate and whey protein as part of my training nutrition.

I am definitely sold on the ALA, and not just because of neuropathy issues… but check this out:

I’ve never noticed any improvement in insulin sensitivity with ALA. One must also realize that this video is from the infamous Joe Mercola. He is a well known health spokesman, and generally well informed, but often if you read a lot of his writings you are left with feeling like he has broken the world into good and bad. For the bad, he only tells you the critical stuff, and for the good, you don’t hear any of the critical stuff. Read his book “Sweet Decepetion” and you will probably never want to use another artificial sweetener again. Again in this video, he liked ALA, but we heard absolutely nothing bad about it. It is thought to increase hypo risks in people who have hypo problems, in animal studies it showed up as having toxic affects when given with thyroid hormones and some animal studies have shown toxic effects in thiamine deficiencies. I don’t have concerns about these risks, so I use a generous amount, but jeez, it sounds like a magic pill.

I’m just saying that nothing is totally black and white like in Joe Mercola’s world.

I guess I can’t take them… because I have thyroid issues, and take replacement hormone… sigh

Jeez lots of mice died from artificial sweeteners, that you should not necessarily stop you from using them. I mean you are not a mouse are you? I’m just saying that everything is not black and white, it is jsut different shade of grey (or is that gray). If there was a serious risk, somebody would have bought the bottle at walmart, taken it home, taken a pill and died. But that didn’t happen despite many years and millions of people taking the pills. So just take the darn pills, you will be fine.

Well, I don’t think I’m going to DIE from it, or anything…but every site I’ve gone to does warn that it can interfere with thyroid hormone absorption (not for normal people, but of the replacement hormone I take – levothyroxine), and that I would need a lot of close monitoring… so I dunno… I’d at least have to talk to my doctor before doing anything like that… I already take a very high dose of Levothyroxine. lol This isn’t just ‘quackery’ … a lot of things can interfere with thyroid replacement hormone absorption… just gotta be a little careful. Some places suggested maybe using a lower dose a day, and not 600 mg. I dunno


You know so much about thyroid issues. Please let me know if there are any supplements on my list to avoid. I take Levothyroxine also.

Swanson Vitamins has good prices.

I did take ALA with no effect on BG. I’m T1. Didn’t know ALA effects thyroid. Thanks.

Vit E, calcium, magnesium, Vit D3 (oil caps), bioflavonoids, fish oil (Krill oil because regular fish oil makes me queasy), zinc & copper. Ratio of zinc:copper is supposed to be 7:1.

Also, 50 mg of Vit B complex. Be careful with B doses.

B6 over 200 mg raises BG & impairs nerve function (so does excess Vit C supplementation)
B3 (niacin) over 200 mg can raise BG
B1 over 200 mg can inactivate insulin

Vit C can effect test strips & give false lower readings. I think, not sure, it’s at doses over 100 mg.

I also take digestive enzymes with meals.

I just try to check everything, before I get it, and I’ve read a couple of books… many vitamins can be okay if taken at a different time than our thyroid meds. As a matter of fact, it’s probably best to take thyroid meds at completely opposite times of the day as vitamins… so if you take vitamins in the am, take thyroid meds in the pm. Things like iron, and calcium, can interfere with levothyroxine absorption.

A lot of foods can be okay, as long as we take our thyroid meds on an empty stomach. (like say, do not take them right after eating, or just before eating.) I was just reading though, that with ALA, anything over a 100 mg always makes a difference as it can always interfere… but that anything under 100 hasn’t been studied. So naturally, if I take it in any way, I have to tell my doctor and have them monitor me more closely, which your doctor might already do, because interestingly enough, insulin can have a similar effect according to this site. They just lowered my thyroid med, so if I do go off to experiment, I’m afraid I might not get enough hormone. The site also mentions other goitrogenic foods, but those are not as harmful as soy is.

I should check a book I read a long time ago, again, on Women and Thyroid Disease… It had soo much useful info. It’s been a while since I’ve read it.


You will laugh at this, but I take a children’s chewable multi-vitamin. When I told my Dr. she said that was just fine. I don’t know if it really does that much good, but I figure it does not hurt and can’t make me feel any worse than I usually do! Plus I don’t have to try to swallow a horse pill!

I’ve seen gummy cheweables for adults. lol They’re shaped like gummy bears. :slight_smile:


As usual, my endo told me none of this. The levothyroxine I take is low dosage & compounded for slow release. I take it twice a day, 12 hours apart. Do you think the compounding makes a difference regarding food & supplements?

If your dose is compounded, and you take one part in the morning, and the other part at night before bed… maybe take your vitamins in the afternoon. The farther apart from each other, the better.

We all take the Flintstone’s sour gummy vitamins at our house! I bought them for the kids, but they taste so good my husband and I take them too:) I take 50,000 units of prescription Vitamin D weekly for my vitamin D deficiency. I also have thyroid issues and calcium metabolism problems. I have to replace all the potassium and magnesium I am losing in my pee from the diuretic medicine I take to prevent more kidney stones. Potassium supplements are NASTY! I’m taking a big dose - 80 meq/day. Terrible nausea with those.

I have my list of what I take. Important is just to know what you take and why. My doctor bases his decisions on my blood work.
First, he put me on a good multiple vitamin, Caltrate + D, Aspirin 81 and fish oil. Next, my liver / gastro doctor put me on vitamin C and E for my liver numbers (yes, they improved). Because I have neuropathy my endo checked my B12 level. It was non-existant so I get a monthly B12 shot. (yes, I have a level now and I have much better feeling) My endo wasn’t happy with my cholesterol numbers so he started me on Niacin 500mg nonflushing twice a day. (my numbers improved within two months)
I never was a big believer in vitamins or supplements until I saw the blood work and the effect it had on me. I just went off my over-the-counter stuff because of upcoming surgery (two weeks before you have to) and I really can tell a difference. I miss my vitamins!
It costs me about $24-26 a month. I order online through Puritan’s Pride to get the best deal. But we’re worth it.
I’ve enjoyed the blog. It gives me some more ideas of supplements to check out.
Good Luck finding your right mix.

i take a multivitamin, a generic one from CVS. similar to Centrum. my doc asked me to take a multivitamin. on my own i take cinnamon pills. a study claimed that cinnamon helps controlling glucose levels. i take three a day. it costs about 5 dollars a month i get them at a health store.