Family winter vitamin plan

(14 Posts)
WhichTaMin Sun 10-Jan-21 14:41:50

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by this.

Could folk help me put together a sensible vitamin plan to reinforce my family health?What would you add to this mix.

Teenagers and adults

*High dose vitamin D
(On account of lockdown lifestyle - plus eldest had a blood test that showed a deficiency)

*regular dose iron (eldest had a blood test showed her levels were very low. Others in the family vegetarian so I think low iron real risk)

*probiotic (I am a big fan of probiotics)

* Kalms anti-anxiety things (for the older teen and adults to help with lockdown anxiety)

* Multivitamin

* Fish oil

Primary aged kids

* Multivitamin gummies

*Spatone in orange juice for the older one who doesn’t eat properly and looks very pale

* probiotic drinks

Whole family really quite run down. The vitamin can be a bit ad hoc - people often forget about them. I wanted to get more organised with it all - including reviewing what I gave them.

OP’s posts: |
Cormoran Sun 10-Jan-21 18:55:55

Vitamins are not substitute for a healthy diet and have shown to bring no benefits unless there is a proven deficiency is one specific mineral or vitamin.
For example probiotics give no benefit if you give the introduced bacteria the food they need. It is like taking a dog to bring happiness in the house but then feeding that dog chocolate on which he can't thrive and he will die. You can keep introducing more dogs, but they will be little joy in the house.
Multivitamin gummies are basically lollies.
And fish oil capsules, the majority have a very short shelf life so chances are the one you have have already oxidised. You should take a plant based EPA DHA (not ALA or flaxseed)

Fruits and vegetables have thousands of compounds that work together. Vitamins on their own have less efficacy and can even be harmful as proven in the very famous medical study in which people given beta carotene supplement had a HIGHER risk of lung cancer than those who didn't. Bottom line a carrot is good for you, the carotene extract isn't .

Eat your fruit and veg, avoid refined grains and have quality meats/fish

WhichTaMin Sun 10-Jan-21 19:25:28

We’re doing the best we can.

I appreciate the advice is meant well - but I am coming from a position of having done everything I can to improve the diet - and needing nutritional support in the meanwhile.

Sometimes this is how things are. We might wish them different - but they’re not.

And yes we have diagnosed deficiencies in iron and vitamin D.

OP’s posts: |
TierFourTears Sun 10-Jan-21 20:36:01

I'm revising this at the moment. What I'm not sure about is stacking things ontop of each other. So if the vitamin tablet has vit D in it, what are the implications if taking additional vit d? Ditto for iron (although we have multivit and minerals, so that might not be an issue for you).

WhichTaMin Sun 10-Jan-21 21:06:33

Yes - that’s true. Though I always assume the multivits are not as bioavailable as the good quality standalone sources (e.g. myself I take iron as Floradix - and the same nominal dose makes a much bigger difference to my wellness - preusmably because of the other things mixed in.

OP’s posts: |
Cormoran Sun 10-Jan-21 21:47:48

Vitamins from a bottle will address a deficiency but they will never compensate for the damage that a crappy causes.
Unhealthy will not only give you some deficiencies but they will also cause harms to your hormones, enzymes, gut and no pill can fix that.

All the probiotics in the world without the fibres and flavonoid from the vegetables will do nothing but dig a hole in your wallet.

You talk about wellness , anxiety and gut is proven to control and regulate mental health.
Take a week challenge. For a single week, the whole family will eat healthy only, from the first bite in the morning to the last at night and everything in between, drinks included

WhichTaMin Mon 11-Jan-21 05:27:18

Thanks for that. Contemplating the “damage crappy causes” is exactly the boost I needed on this dark January morning.

I could try your challenge. I would end up with at least two children very poorly indeed - since their autism based eating disorder means that they will starve themselves rather than deviate from their rigid and very plain eating habits. Would also have some cross HCPs - since this would go against their advice of ‘don’t restrict their food - prioritise calories’. Our challenge is not ‘make a healthier dinner’. Our challenge is ‘try to avoid more that 12 hours at a time of total food refusal’.

The vegetarians - maybe they would feel better - but I still think that a vegetarian teenager is always going to struggle to get their micronutrients.

But I’m sure I would be feeling tip-top at the end of the week.

OP’s posts: |


oohmamama Mon 11-Jan-21 05:39:49

I think @cormoran is trying to help but perhaps could be a bit more gentle with you!

We have a nutritionist in the family and she's advised us pretty much what you are already taking. I would probably swap the gummies for the kids for something like the solgar chewable kids ones and just make sure any fish oils are mercury free. I'm pretty sure that vitamin D at high doses is ok (esp at the moment - lots of research recommending high dosage to ward of effects of covid). I've always used Solgar as I know their vitamins are generally more available than the cheaper high street brands.

Good on you for cracking on with this -
I struggle to remember to give these out daily on top of everything else to remember! I have found that having them out on the side next to the kettle helps so I'm reminded every time I make a cuppa to dole out the goodies!

Cormoran Mon 11-Jan-21 10:28:28

Sorry OP didn't mean to be hurtful, you didn't say your children had Autism related feeding difficulties.
Your HCP is probably better suited to guide you towards supplementation in this case.
Autism requires some specific supplementation that goes beyond typical family needs.
In your case, I would suggest adding prebiotics to your probiotic to compensate for lack of fibre . For the primary kids, you can get probiotics more efficient than the mini-drinks.
You are right to focus in this case in the gut since there is a possible link and there is a finger prick test that measures the omega 3 index and there is also a very strong recommendation for a minimum of a value of 8. Generic fish oil will be poor, look for strong EPA DHA on label.
Instead of hoping your omega 3 supplement is working, get the test done, and switch brand if you are under 8.

WhichTaMin Mon 11-Jan-21 10:51:24

Can you recommend a fish oil brand?

I struggle with fish oils – the older non-eater will swallow tablets but won’t take fish oil because she says there is an aftertaste. I have ordered some fruit flavoured ones - fingers crossed.

The younger non-eater can’t swallow pills. Won’t take liquid supplements generally - but I have a little bit of leeway with making her a yoghurty concoction with liquid vitamins and probiotics mixed in – and also a smoothie. I’m however very wary of overdoing it, because it doesn’t take much to type some into rejecting a previously accepted food. The older one won’t drink home-made smoothies anymore after she detected an aftertaste when I added some Spatone to it once.

OP’s posts: |
WhichTaMin Mon 11-Jan-21 10:54:20

HCP says vitamin D high dose/ iron/ multivitamin - but to be honest I think that is a little bit minimal considering how restricted her diet can be sometimes. Think ‘white bread ham sandwich for lunch/instant noodle for dinner’ for weeks on end - with pretty much nothing else bar the odd biscuit or chocolate or juice. Lockdown/school
closure has only made it worse really.

OP’s posts: |
MacbookHoHoHo Mon 11-Jan-21 10:58:37

I would:

1. Get vitamin D mouth sprays (they’re tasteless, my kids don’t mind it at all).
2. Get chewy multivitamins.
3. Get Yacults.
4. Get liquid Iron and add it to orange juice.

JemimaTiggywinkle Mon 11-Jan-21 11:02:02

To maximise iron absorption, take with vit C/orange juice, as mentioned above.

I’ve also heard that dairy prohibits iron absorption, so for example there’s no point taking it with cereal and milk for breakfast - best to take it with a meal without loads of dairy.

Cormoran Mon 11-Jan-21 16:58:17

@WhichTaMin I take this one for EPA-DHA that I buy from the USA because can't find it in Australia. There are more expensive, but there are also 90 capsules per box. Algae bases, no after taste of any sort and I can take them during day time no problem. I take two a day right now.

For iron, consider the lucky fish , no cramping, no abdominal issues, ... you can't use the water for tea/coffee, but yes to herbal teas (chamomile, moringa) , or soup or stew. Even to cook rice. More than cooking with it, I boil 1 litre of water for 10 min with the iron fish and drops of lemon, then I have a jug for the water and use it during the day, soups, broth,
It turns out super cheap as well if you compare it to Floradix, as it is for life.

Whatever multivitamin you buy, make sure it covers the daily need for vitamin A. The " white " diet examples you gave can cause blindness in fussy eaters. There were several cases here in Australia .

However a word of warning, excessive vitamins A from supplement is toxic because excess is stored in fat so don't go overboard. You don't really need much. Any chances your kids can like sweet potatoes chips? Or mash?

As said in earlier post, more than general multivitamin , ideally you target specific nutrients otherwise you might have to many of some and not enough of others

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