Vitamin supplements advice

Hello again you lovely people,

I apologise in advance for this post being full of numbers, but I was hoping people could have a wee look with what I'm doing supplement wise, and if I need to be doing more.

I have hypothyroidism and have been thinking about vitamin supplements. In particular Selenium, Zinc, B6, and Folic Acid.

This page on Thyroid UK gives some advice on vitamin levels:

It advises these levels of supplements daily:

Selenium: 50 - 100mcg (the daily recommended dose is 50mcg)

Zinc: 12 - 20mg (the daily recommended dose from the NHS is 7mg)

B6: 25 - 50mg (the daily recommended dose is 1.2mg so this seems a lot)

Folic Acid: 400 - 600mcg (daily recommended dose is 200mg)

I take a Tesco A-z Multivitamins and Minerals which has:

Selenium: 55 mcg

Zinc: 10 mcg

B6: 1.4 mg

Folic Acid: 200 mcg

So, it looks to me that:

I'm taking enough selenium (I don't want to take too much of this as I know too much is not good)

I could maybe do with more zinc, although I am getting over the daily recommended dose - so I was thinking of taking a 15mcg supplement (taking me to 25mcg, which keeps me under the upper tolerable level of 40mcg).

I could do with more B6 although I am getting over the recommended daily amount (the lowest supplement I can find is 50mg but that should be fine as long as it's kept under 200mg a day)

I could do with more folic acid but the lowest supplement I can find is 400mcg, which means I'd be taking 600mcg - 3 times the recommended daily intake.

I'd rather not take more vitamins if I don't have to but what do you guys think, do I need to supplement with more of anything or is the multivitamin covering it?

I also take

500mg of Calcium (Calcium Carbonate), along with 200mg in the mutivit,

250mg of Magnesium, along with 100mg in multivit

10mcg of Vit D along with 10mcg in the mutivit

200mg of Vit C along with 80mg in the mutivit

1000mcg of Vit B12 (Solgar sublingual)

I haven't had my vitamin levels tested in 2 years and I was a lot more unwell then but then this is what they were:

Serum Ferritin 76 (Range 15-200)

Serum Folate 15.1 (Range 3.1-20.)

Serum Vit B12 237 (Range 200-900)

Vit D 79 (Not sure of range but it says '>50 adequate')

So, Vit B12 was low, so I supplement that. My Vit D was fine ( I think) but I live in Scotland so figured I should supplement that anyway. Supplement with Vit C just to give my immune system a boost as I was getting lots of colds for a while there. And supplement with extra Calcium and Magnesium as Multivit does not provide enough.

Haven't had Selenium, B6, Zinc, or Folic acid checked, as Dr's get humpty about testing and I can't afford private testing.

So, sorry for all these numbers and this rather boring post, but I was hoping people could have a look and advise me if I need to be taking more of anything or doing anything differently.

Thank you :)

35 Replies

I'm sorry, I didn't read the whole of your post, I stopped at 'Tesco A-z Multivitamins and Minerals'.

In the supplement world, you get what you pay for. Even so, there's no such thing as a good multivitamin. For so many reasons. The main one being that with iron in there, you're not going to absorb anything else. You are just wasting your time and money. If I were you, I would cut out the multivitamin, and start again. :(

If multivitamin has iodine in then you need to stop taking it. Hashimoto's needs to avoid extra iodine. It can be like petrol on a fire

greygoose will no doubt tell you other reasons for not taking multivitamins

A good B complex (eg Igennus super B complex) would cover folate and all the B vitamins

You are very unlikely to need calcium supplements. Improving vitamin D and magnesium will automatically improve calcium

I see she's already beaten me to it!

Well, I haven't given all the reasons. I think the one about the iron is reason enough to abandon it. But, you're right, we don't want the iodine nor the calcium. And if there's copper in it, we probably don't want that, either.

Thanks for the replies greygoose and SlowDragon,

It does have iron in it, and copper, and iodine :( The thing is if I don't take a mutivitamin, which has 24 vitamins and minerals in, won't I have to take 24 separate vitamins and minerals? Or at least a fair few. So if I'm not taking a mutivitamin, what should I take? I'd love some advice.

I'm thinking carry on with the B12 (Solgar),

the vitamin D (Holland and Barrett),

and the calcium and magnesium (1 pill, Holland and Barrett) (I could possibly get a supplement that has all 3 things in but they tend to have less of each. I want to contniue with the calcium along with the vit d and magnesium as my mum had early onset Osteoporosis)

Cary on with the vitamin C to help my immune system.

Take a B complex (any recommendations?)

But what about Vitamins A, E, K, Niacin, Iron, Zinc, copper, selenium, and the other vitamins and minerals you're supposed to get?

I know if you've got a good diet you should get a lot of this stuff from food, but to be honest my diet isn't perfect and I want a back up to make sure I'm not deficient in anything.

Taking a calcium supplement because you 'might' get osteoporosis is not a good idea. We've been brain-washed into believing that calcium is the only thing bones need. It isn't. In fact, magnesium is far more important to bones than calcium.

Taking calcium supplements is like swallowing rocks. It's very badly absorbed and tends to end up in the wrong place. You're increasing your risk of a heart attack and kidney stones, without reducing your risk of osteoporosis. It's much better to get calcium from food, it's better absorbed. And, if your parathyroids are ok, there's no reason why you should be deficient in calcium living in Europe. It's very rare.

By taking vit D3 - it is D3 you're taking, isn't it? One never knows with H&B! By taking vit D3, you are increasing your absorption of calcium from food. And, for that reason, you should also be taking vit K2 - MK7, to make sure the calcium goes into the teeth and bones, and doesn't end up giving you a heart attack and kidney stones!

Yes, it ends up as a lot of pills! But it's preferable to the alternative. And, as I said, if there's iron in the pill, you just aren't going to absorb the other things, anyway - not even the iron, because it binds with calcium! Iron should be taking on its own with vit C.

What sort of magnesium is it? As I said, you never know with H&B. If it's magnesium oxide, you won't be able to absorb it.

Niacin is B3, so you'll be getting that in your B complex. Get tested for copper before taking any, hypos usually have high copper. Zinc you can just take some, we're usually low in that.

Did you get tested for iron/ferritin? Do you know you need it? Selenium shouldn't be taken constantly, anyway, you should take a break from time to time. And, during that break, you can take other things - vits A and E for example - you don't want to take them constantly, either. You can work it out. But, one thing is certain, you don't want to take everything in a lump, like that, even if you could absorb it all.

Bet you're sorry you asked, now! lol

I'm not sorry I asked, I'm glad of the advice.

It is Vit D3.

The Magnesium is Magnesium oxide.

My Serum ferritin was 76 (range 15 -200 U).

So, I need to take Vit D3,

Magnesium (what type? Any recommendations?),

Vit K2 MK7 (any recommendations?)

A B complex (any recommendations?)

Selenium and Vits A and E but not at the same time - how much of each and how long should I take each for? Also, again, any recommendations?

Oh, and Zinc - how much? Any particular type?

And what about Iron and Folic acid?

Serum Folate was 15.1 (range 3.1 - 20.0) if this helps.

Sorry to ask so much but you seem to know a lot about this and I need your knowledge :)

OK, so you also need to bin the magnesium oxide/calcium supplement. You really would be better off getting your supplements on Amazon.

Magnesium citrate is the one most people take, but there's also magnesium malate, taurate, glycinate, chloride, carbonate. They're all the good ones. Oxide, sulfate, glutimate and aspartate are the bad ones.

Your folate is good.

I do know some things, but for a real expert, you should read SeasideSusie's posts and read the advice she gives to others on things like iron.

I can't answer your other questions about quantities, etc. off the top of my head. But, I'll get back to you on it. I'm sitting here in the dark, at the moment. lol

Thanks so much greygoose, I'm sorry to be interrogating you about vitamins.

So, if my folate is good, does that mean I don't need to supplement with folic acid?

What does the ferritin result mean?

(I will get the tests done again, and use this advise for when I get the results).

And I'm supposed to be making my dinner at the moment, and you are sitting in the dark, but any advice when you have the time would be great :)

No, you don't need to supplement with folic acid. Folic acid isn't a good thing to take, anyway, methylfolate is better. But, you don't need your folate any higher.

Ferritin should be about mid-range. With your range, that would be around 100, so yours is a bit low. But, I'm no expert on iron, so I can't tell you how much to take. Sorry. :)

Magnesium is hard to absorb so straight through the skin with a spray is often best. H&B do a nice one

....also thought it might save on PILLS lol

Thanks Jezebel69,

That's something to look into, I appreciate the recommendation.

If you can tolerate it. Not trying to put you off, but I found magnesium oil unbearable! lol

However, there is another solution. Epsom salts in your bath - or a foot bath. You would have to put quite a bit in, though, to get enough magnesium.

Hmm, thinking it through, I think I'd rather take a supplement so I knew how much I was taking, but thanks for the advice.

I make my own from magnesium flakes ....

Vit K2 - MK7 : 100 mcg; the brand I'm taking at the moment is Fairvital, seems ok, don't have a preference.

B complex : Thornes, I think is the best, others might disagree.

I don't take selenium, it doesn't agree with me. So, no opinion about that, but people usually take 200 mcg, I think. I think they only do one size tablet, anyway.

Vit A : 5000 IU; mine are Solgar, I think that's OK.

Vit E : 268 mg; same as above.

zinc : 15 mg; I take a French brand, don't know if you can get it : Boutique Nature.


Thanks so much greygoose, I don't know what I'd without the lovely, lovely folk on this forum. Once I get my blood results I shall post them, figure out what to take, and use the recommendations you and others have given me :)

You're welcome. :)

i am making an appointment grey G.

Try this link about the importance of magnesium

Calm vitality magnesium powder is very cheap and easy to use. Start low and slow and increase gradually. Take 4 or ideally 6 hours away from Levo

Or you can use magnesium spray or magnesium flakes in bath

H&B vitamin D sounds dubious unless it's "Better You" vitamin D mouth spray (avoids poor gut function)

Vitamin B complex, I have tried lots. My preferred one is Igennus Super B complex. Twice daily.

Selenium I take Solgar vitamin E with yeast free selenium

Zinc - Solgar zinc picolate - only 2 or 3 times a week

Vitamin A - again only 2-3 times a week

But more important for me than all these together, is strictly gluten free

Thanks so much for the recommendations SlowDragon, that's a really good start for me to begin my vitamin collection!

Do you take Vit C, Vit E, Vit K, folic acid, or Iron?

Solgar Vitamin E with yeast free selenium (as I already mentioned)

Vitamin C - Solgar Ester

Solgar Vitamin K2 mk 7 - now only alternate days as now only taking maintenancevit D (3000iu)

Folic acid - not needed with high dose vitamin B complex - it's already in there

Iron - no - I always had high ferritin. (Can be side affect of Hashimoto's)Now finally lowering since starting T3

Thanks again SlowDragon,

I'm going to figure out what I need to take and then use the recommendations you, and others, have given, I really appreciate it :)

If it's this one just bin it.

It contains iron (nothing else will work) plus iodine and calcium (neither should be supplemented unless tested and found to be deficient, and contains many wrong and the least absorbable forms of ingredients. I honestly think these types of supplements should be banned.

The zinc is zinc oxide - what is found in burns ointment. They don't declare which form of B12 but it will be cyanocobalamin as it's cheap and at £3.50 for 90 of those tablets, you can't expect anything but cheap, nasty ingredients.

Instead of going by the list on ThyroidUK, it would be better to get your vitamins and minerals tested to see what your current levels are and supplement what's necessary, two year old results aren't any good now.

That list recommends 200mcg folic acid. If you already have a good folate level, you won't need it, but if your level requires supplementing then methylfolate is the better form.

You're taking a heck of a lot of calcium that you more than likely don't need, it meds to be tested for.

If you're taking Vit D then you should also be taking K2-MK7 otherwise calcium could be deposited in arteries and soft tissues instead of bones and teeth and cause problems.

Good general thyroid and adrenal support are 2000mg Vit C daily in divided doses (more if you want) and a good B Complex. Then supplement any deficiencies or low levels after testing

Vit D



Ferritin (and an iron panel/full blood count if ferritin is low)

It is that one and I have been fully scolded by greygoose, I shall get rid of it and figure out what to take instead.

I'll try and convince the GP to test me again. I know the results are old but the results then were:

Serum Folate 15.1 (range 3.1 - 20.0 U)

Serium Ferritin 76 (range 15 - 200)

Can you possily advise me on good supplements of methylfolate, Vit D, K MK7, Vit C, and a B complex? And do you have any advice about Vit K or Iron (I know I need to get tested, but any advice you can give at the moment would be gratefully received). SlowDragon has already advised me of their preferred supplements but I want to get recommendations from as many people as possible so that I can make a good choice.

Sorry for the questions, just want to make sure I'm getting the right stuff.

If your folate level is similar to the previous one, you won't need a separate folate supplement. Recommended level for folate is at least half way through it's range so that level was good. A good B Complex contains methylfolate and two good ones I've used are Thorne Basic B and currently use Metabolics B Complex as there is nothing but the active ingredients in it, no fillers.

Vit D you can't beat Doctor's Best D3 softgels for good value, and no fillers, just D3 and extra virgin olive oil to aid absorption.

K2-MK7 look at Healthy Origins (they do a smaller one but this is best value)

Vit C depends on whether you can take ascorbic acid, that's the cheapest. I use a powder form and mix it with orange juice.

Iron, if ferritin is low then eating liver once a week is an easy way to raise I, and liver contains Vit A.

Avoid Holland and Barrett own brand, supermarket and Boots own brand too. They're cheap for a reason.

Thanks so much SeasideSusie (lovely name by the way)

I'm going to take everyone's recommendations and get my vitamins sorted at least :)

When you've tested and got your current levels, post on the forum and we can suggest doses where supplementation is needed.

Thanks SeasideSusie, I will do, I'm seeing the endo in a couple of weeks, so will see the GP after that and ask for the tests.

Hello again, so in your previous post about tiredness when you told me that "All my vitamin levels are fine and I take extra vitamins and have looked into this and have concluded that this is not the problem", that wasn't strictly true was it? Misguided maybe? I see you have had various comments about your levels and chosen products above so I won't repeat lol!

I think a bit more learning and commitment around both this area and diet may well solve your problems with low energy.

Good luck


Well, they were all fine, apart from the B12 which I supplement (and the ferritin which I thought was okay). I looked into B12 and I know to take the solgar sublingual And at that time I thought the multivitamin was okay as I had been taking it when I got the blood tests done and everything was fine (except B12 and perhaps Ferratin which I thought was fine.)

And I had thought from previously reading stuff that the other vitamins I was taking were the right ones, I hadn't considered they might not be the right type of magnesium, etc. There's a lot of stuff out there and it can be hard to get the right information.

I'm still not sure the vitamins are going to help my tiredness massively, I have only felt the level of exhaustion now when my work hours and duties increased, but I read something about selenium and then that got me thinking that maybe I should supplement with other things, and it led to this post. And now I'm thinking that I should at least try to be taking the right vitamins now that I know where I was going wrong. But the issue is mainly the changes to my working hours.

Perhaps if I get the right vitamins, get the right balance of T3 and T4, and go gluten free I'll have more energy, but I just wanted to know if the general belief (from GPs and Endos) that I should only feel a little more tired than those without hypothyroidism was true or not. I was looking to find out if anyone ever gets to feel 'normal' and what I could realistically expect energy wise.

But I appreciate the advice given and people's responses got me thinking, and your method of tweaking T3 depending on activity level is something else for me to bear in mind.

But there's a lot to do and very little energy to do it :(

We all tend to be low in vitamins etc and the thyroid needs good levels to help it function better so lots of good advice above. But you get what you pay for so cheep and cheerful isn't a good plan! One tip to help spread the cost a little is to add each new thing separately to make sure your body is happy on it so that can spread the outlay a little plus nothing worse than changing all at once then find out something is disagreeing with you and it could be one of 8 or whatever.

Try and get your doctor to test but I think MediChecks do a vitamin and thyroid meds and also have offers on a Thursday so might be worth looking into that if doctor not helpful for the future.

One more question, should I stop taking all my supplements for about a week before the test? So I have a blank slate so to speak.

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