Read somewhere that as a lady in my 60's I should consider taking a good multivitamin daily--obviously without Vitamin K in it, At the moment I take the dreaded Bisoprolol and Warfarin but nothing else. Not sure what to take. Do have a healthy diet and a fair amount of exercise and any bouts of extreme tiredness I put down to medication. Any recommendations please?

19 Replies

  • Hi linc2u

    I'm probably going to be unpopular, but my opinion is no you should not take them, they serve almost no purpose whatsoever.

    If you have a healthy diet as you say, then almost all the vitamins you take will literally go down the toilet, they only really serve specialist situations, usually defined by blood tests, and then any shortfall in vitamins would usually be prescribed for you.

    I am aware that for AF this MIGHT exclude magnesium, the jury appears to still be out on that one, but just about nothing else.

    Now I shall wait for the inevitable flak which will follow my opinion, as the vitamin/supplement industry takes in over $50 billion a year worldwide and they have been very good at swaying public opinion, but have not managed to convince almost any truly independent scientific opinions.

    Like I said, that's my opinion, there will be others.


  • I still luv ya .


  • I fully agree, Ian. Multivitamins appear to show no benefit other than for those on a very restricted diet, or with a specific deficiency.

    On the subject of vitamin K, actually that is exactly what people on warfarin should take if they want to stabilise their INR, and also avoid the side effects of Vit K deficiency.


  • I take a Boots multivitamin formulated to improve hair, nails and skin. It's OK with warfarin. My diet is becoming increasingly narrow and I feel this may supplement any shortcomings.

  • Last Tuesday I attended a lecture with the U3A on Dementia given by 2 of the world's top neuro researchers. The finding from this research is that if you want to take something to prevent Dementia take Vitamin D. We were told that probably the whole population is Vitamin D deficient. We were recommended to take at least 800IU daily as a supplement, this will be the new European recommendation. The link between Dementia and Vitamin D deficiency is very strong. The reasons for this deficiency in the 21st C is that human beings were made to live outdoors but these days we don't and if we do we are so scared of cancer that we screen ourselves. To get enough Vitamin D you would need to be naked and in sunlight for over 3 months of the year without sunscreen. Yeah, like I'm going to do that!

    Only warning is don't take more than 2000IU per day, despite what some therapists say as you taking too much can cause renal stones.

    I think there is now enough evidence that we do not get enough vitamins and minerals to sustain optimum health from our food, especially when over 60, but I don't know if I would take a general multiple-vitamin. When you look at the ingredient list I think the main ingredient is usually filler, especially if you buy from a certain high street shop which advertises on TV.

    So Vit D is a definite for me. Personally I also take Vit C, Ubiquinol which is the active ingredient of COQ10 which a lot of people here take as improves energy for those with heart problems, a mineral salt, Omega3 fish oil capsule and Spirulina in capsule form and wheatgrass in my smoothies. I no longer take Magnesium as it is bad for my Mg.

    I also check with my EP and Neuro before adding anything because of the drugs I take.

  • I believe also if you live above the Watford Gap there is absolutely no chance of getting sufficient Vitamin D. And as for those of us living in Wales (and Scotland, I bet), seeing the sun at all is a bit of a 'what the heck is that bright thing?' experience. I must start taking some VitD myself...

  • I've been taking a multivitamin tablet every day for twenty years or more and my INR tends to be within acceptable levels nearly all of the time, so the Vitamin K in it is covered so to speak. Does it do me any good? Who knows, I've got what's called a serious heart condition and, unlikely though it seems to me, I suppose it might have played a part in bringing that on. On the other hand, one of the reasons I decided to start taking multivitamins was that my mother suffered a lot with arthritis from about the age of 45 onwards and I thought it might decrease the chances of me suffering like she did. Touch wood, I've not experienced anything remotely arthritic in my 58 years, I'm not sure if my tablet a day is responsible for that, but, on balance, I think I'll keep on taking it.

  • I take a multi vitamin without iron and with zinc. I started taking it after a spate of infections. I take on board everything about a healthy diet which I htink I have but since I have taken this I have not been ill. Ih vae had other treatment too so can't say it is the multi vitamin. I don't think it hurts to take a low dose multi vitamin, the body excretes out what it doesn't need. I only take a cheap supermarket one. I shall carry on taking it as I have been well since I took it.

  • Completely agree with much of what has been said, as long as you are taking "low dose" then very unlikely to cause any harm whatsoever.

    On famous US doctor said if he could work out how to extract the vitamins that were peed down the toilet every day in New York alone, it would be worth more than $2 million a day.

    I suppose for me I just hate the thought of being cheated by a $50 billion industry built on the back of deceit, lies and just plain human fear.

    Of course there is an argument for some vitamins in some cases, but the great majority of supplements and vitamins are no better than quackery and in some cases a great deal worse than that as the claims they make, and the pseudo scientific "doctors" some of them even qualifed (which makes it so much worse), really scare people into spending ridiculous sums of money on products that in some cases contain no active ingredients whatsoever.

    Sorry rant over but this is a pet peeve. Spend the money on fresh fruit and vegetables instead.

  • I would agree with you wholeheartedly Ian about all the weird and wonderful supplements that one can spend huge sums of money on that are most likely no use at all, but the humble one a day multivitamin can just perk up one's system with something lacking. Yes, 90% of it may not be required, but if there's just a couple of things that are helpful, I think it's worth 20p a day.

    And some things do seem to have benefits. Someone once told me a tale about Evening Primrose Oil. She thought she'd give it a go for pre menstrual tension but decided it was far too expensive. Puzzled by her woefully grumpy attitude a few weeks later, her husband quizzed her saying hadn't she got some wonder pills, and she said she didn't think their budget stretched that far. Next day he came home with six months' supply, saying "This is something we can afford."

    I've never liked the sound of Pernicious Anaemia. I think it's something I don't want to have, and as a semi veggie I feel I need a bit of B12.

  • 25years ago I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma despite having never sunbathed. I was , however, drenched in a downpour 3 days after Chernobyl exploded and parts of this North Wales area are still radio-active. I was advised to take a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement in order to bolster my immune system. I dare not take them although they have done nothing fot my AF and my seriously dilated left atria.

    I read CDreamer's post with great interest. We know how important Vit D is for bones and (now) dementia. One thing has been worrying and confusing me for a long time and I'm asking this question somewhat tongue- in- cheek. Do women who wear burkas all the time suffer from degenerative bone conditions and dementia? If not, why not?

  • I lived in North Wales for over 30 years, and well recall the Chernobyl explosion, and how we were advised not to eat certain foods grown in our gardens, and the poor farmers who could not sell their lambs etc. Makes me wonder!

  • Langara, I didn't make the connection for years until it was suggested to me. My lovely Labrador, Jenny, also got soaked and she died 2 years later of cancer of the spleen. I worked for the Min of Ag and knew of the difficulties of the hill farmers. Some still have to move sheep to lower pastures before they can be sold.

  • Yes they do. A study looked at the Asian/Muslim population in and around Slough / Maidenhead area and it was a huge issue, big posters in the health centers and the local radio and TV. This was when I was working there so some time ago, about 10 years. We told this is not confined to the UK /USA as people in the dry, equatorial regions tend to avoid the sun because of the intensity. For darker colored skins it is a much bigger issue in above 27N because their skin pigmentation is a natural sun screen and therefor they suffer much morel. This is based good scientific, well constructed studies, not quackery. The evidence for Vit D is now overwhelming. Most people may get most of what they need from a balanced diet until the age of 60, after that our ability to utilize the vitamins in food diminishes.

  • Quite a few of the Asian ladies I worked with when I taught in Blackburn had vitimin D deficiency and had rickets. When not at school they all covered up completely and spent very little time outside. X

  • My recommendation is to read what Donna Pessin from has to say on the subject of multivits. I haven't touched em for years...

  • I agree about the multivitamins, not about taking individual vitamin supplements for specific purposes.

  • Thankyou for all the replies. Lots to think about now. Interesting how vitamin D deficiency keeps coming up, not only on this site. I was really concerned though about whether any vits could affect my AF and if I should steer clear of particular ones.

  • I take a vitamin/protein powder along with a fiber supplement and fish oil and have been doing it for 30 years. I started due to being seriously malnourished and with a distended liver from living on the street as a drug addict. My blood tests usually elicit a comment from my internist as being really well balanced and my warfarin rarely needs adjustment. If I skip the vitamins or run out I end up eating more sugar and everything goes out of whack.

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