If you are looking for a bargain, there are various places to shop to buy good items for less. Flea Markets, 99 Cent Stores, Family General, thrift stores and even garage sales can be the greatest things since sliced bread. Then there are the more pricier items you would find at WalMart, KayMart, and Target, with the added benefit that the item you purchase is unused (albeit for those of us that have worked there, that statement is questionable) and you can always take it back if you don't like it. That said, now is the time to take your multivitamin back and get a refund. What? Well you can tell the associate that they don't absorb into your body, rather they pass right through the intestine and oxidize while doing so. Don't feel bad for doing this because that associate makes about $9 per hour and really doesn't care about anything except going home at the end of the day.
Why should you care. Most multivitamins are packed with fumerates, sulfates, gluconates, and dangerous forms of various oxides. These compounds are cheap ingredients but work well to encapsulate the vitamins and minerals in powder form. However, these ingredients pose problems during digestion and absorption. Dimethyl fumerate, for example, is very reactive and is subsequently banned in Europe because it has been known to cause severe reactions such as eczema. Cupric oxide is not a bioavailable source of copper, and magnesium oxide has been known to trigger mood changes or cause dizziness, tiredness, weakness, or allergic reactions in some people.
Then there is the concern of contaminants within multivitamins. Trace amounts of lead, mercury, nickel, arsenic, and other heavy metals or chemicals can make an individual sick. The amounts may be too small to notice right away, however changes in memory, sleep, hunger patterns and overall feeling can be a clear indication that the supplement contains unwanted contaminants.
There are a few sources of vitamins on the market which are superior, are safe, do not oxidize or contain harmful ingredients, and have a high bioavailability. First on the list is Melaleuca's Oligo which does not oxidize in the digestion process and is over 80% more soluble than Centrum. Next on the list is a tie between Karuna Maxxum 4 and Mountain Naturals Superior Care which are both made from top quality ingredients. Last on the list is Universal Nutrition Animal Pak, however this multivitamin is strictly made for athletes and is not suitable for children or pregnant women.
Bright yellow urine is actually a good sign that your multivitamin is working, however it is an indication more water is needed throughout the day. Green or orange urine is not a good sign and could indicate artificial dyes or synthetic ingredients. When a multivitamin fully absorbs at the cellular level, excess minerals are absorbed by the nephrons in the kidneys to regulate water/mineral concentration levels. A well hydrated body can withhold more nutrients than a dehydrated body. When the body's cells absorb the nutrients it needs, cells function better and organs, tissues, and muscles begin to work better. The right dosage of vitamins and minerals allow for proper disbursement of the necessary nutrients. Simple noticeable changes to the body can occur within weeks of starting a good multivitamin regimen. Hair will grow thicker and stronger, nails will grow faster and thicker, eyesight will become sharper, skin will be tougher and more radiant, and in some cases, even the signs of aging will reverse (gray hair will slow down and facial skin will tighten again). When your urine is a light, bright yellow, you know that your multivitamin is absorbing correctly because the excess riboflavin (what makes your urine naturally bright yellow) is being excreted along with the other excess nutrients your body doesn't need for the moment. It is also important to remember that your body naturally knows what it needs so making a judgement call based on a whim usually isn't the most efficient way of giving your body the right dosage.
Lastly, vitamins need fat soluble lipids and carbohydrates as a transport vessel into the intestine. Some people feel nauseated or sick to their stomach after taking a multivitamin on an empty stomach. This is because the vitamin is dissolving and there's nothing to take it to the intestine. Vitamins and minerals rely on lipids and carbohydrates to act as guides for better absorption. Eat a little snack or even a meal before taking your multivitamin and drink plenty of water with it. These small changes will have big impacts on your body.
Baker, David. "Cupric Oxide Should Not Be Used For A Copper Supplement For Either Animals or Humans" The Journal of Nutrition
McEntee, Joanne. "Fumaderm: What is the Evidence for its Efficacy and Safety" North West Medicines Information Center.
O'Brien, Jacqueline Sc.D., Council for Responsible
Nutrition, Annals of Internal Medicine