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A question about multi vitamins

(6 Posts)
Arnoldthecat Sun 05-Jan-20 12:52:13

Now i know the general consensus is that a balanced healthy diet is all you need plus maybe a vit D supplement in winter in UK but the other day i was looking at the label on a tub of Boots A-Z multivitamins. It had a list of assorted vitamins per tablet plus some elements such as iron,manganese, etc etc. Now i can visualise what a bit of metal like iron,manganese,magnesium or chromium looks like but what does a vitamin A,B,C,D B1 or indeed some thiamin look like?

What is actually in these tablets?? I mean what does a vitamin B look like? could someone put it on a plate for me to look at? Where does it come from and how do they get all these things into one tablet?

OP’s posts: |
Utini Sun 05-Jan-20 16:17:26

The elements in a multi vitamin aren't just metals in their elemental form, they use salts (e.g. iron sulphate, magnesium citrate), as these are forms that are more easily used by the body.

I think some vitamins can be synthesized in a lab from easily available starting materials, some are extracted from plants, some (e.g. vitamin b12) are created by bacteria and then presumably purified.

I think all of these things will just look like powders of various colours, which are mixed together in the required amounts, and put into capsules or mixed with some kind of inert filler and pressed into tablets.

SirTobyBelch Mon 06-Jan-20 11:35:35

Vitamin B1 looks like this:
You could put a pile of crystals of it on a plate.

SirTobyBelch Mon 06-Jan-20 11:38:48

In fact, here's a pile of crystals of vitamin B1 on a plate:

Arnoldthecat Mon 06-Jan-20 12:03:18

So essentially,vitamins are either artificially synthesised in the lab to make commercial products, extracted from some natural product and concentrated or made by ourselves due to the ingestion of foods containing those vitamins? . Minerals of course are a lot easier as they are more identifiable ?

I have always had a good diet and try to look after my health. I started taking a multi vitamin a week ago and think i feel better all round. Maybe its just chance, placebo effect or i as lacking in something...or maybe its just a winter requirement thing..

OP’s posts: |
SirTobyBelch Mon 06-Jan-20 12:53:04

The definition of a vitamin is something that you have to have to take in from the environment (e.g. in your diet) as you can't synthesize it yourself.

Vitamin D is a bit of a misnomer: it's actually UV radiation that's the "vitamin". Skin cells convert 7-dehydrocholesterol to vitamin D3 on exposure to UV. Vitamin D3 is in turn converted by the liver & kidneys into 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (calcitriol), which is a hormone. You can take in vitamin D (e.g. vitamin D2 from fungi) in the diet, but this is less efficient.

Humans and guinea pigs are the only mammals for which ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is a vitamin. Other mammals can synthesize it themselves and don't need it in their diets.

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