Vitamin and Mineral Complex Guide

After going online and seeing that punk Don Labare selling vitamins and minerals online I got very angry about how companies are lying to their customers. In efforts to make better and to share some things I have learned over the last few months being in the supplement industry, let me share some secrets that many companies don’t want you to know.

Price: The first thing is what it costs to produce the supplement, from Research and Development to shipping the stuff to your house…it all costs money and ranges based on company structure. For example some big names have big salaries for their executives, meaning that it costs a lot of money to ensure their Rosewood tables from Austria are replaced, their corporate office windows cleaned, and their marketing blitz rolling. Anything past 40 dollars a month is overhead, not paying for scientists to go to the rainforest to find the rare flower of health.

Process: Most companies claim they have “state of the art” labs with world class researchers and medical specialists on their staff. Not so. Most don’t because when a product is complete they are just salaries that can be better spent on jets and summer homes. Even if one does have great equipment, you can use vendors more effectively since you don’t have to worry about upgrading equipment.

Quality- Everyone claims that their stuff is the most bioavailable or pure. With infomercials of farms in California being cared for by some silver haired guy that looks like he is making love to the dirt is completely bullcrap.

Dosages: Most athletes need slightly more than the RDA and DV scores, so getting percentages of 1000% is just hype. Buy something that has good scores near the 50-100% levels. Toxic amounts is rare unless you are a pill popper.

Clemson Quote:

A vitamin and mineral supplment should be treated like a good driver and a seatbelt. While a seatbelt is not required to drive car (save the law), it is a great insurance policy for small mistakes in driving. Still good driving is up to the person behind the wheel, so good diets are number one.

Clemson what’s your opinion on splitting supplementation of minerals.
Conte recommends copper/chromium in the morning, iron and selenium at night, and of course ZMA at night. It’s very hard to determine how much of what he has said is true-not just because of the BALCO scandal-but also because he points to studies that weren’t exactly on the up and up. He has said that the minerals in a multi were found to do nothing for improving mineral ratios/numbers in blood sample. I find this hard to believe. I agree that minerals do fight for absorption, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any absorption.

These are two selections from two articles I have been writing so forgive the spelling mistakes

They can serve as general advice and I’d also welcome any discussion. I’ve cut some sections of the articles out as some of the research is in it’s infancy so far.

Particularly with regard to some of the neuro-chemistry, some ideas I have I can’t yet stand over and are speculative.

This is also just the sections with regard to Vitamins and Minerals so bear that in mind the holistic view must always be considered.

Minerals and Vitamins for Optimum Athletic Performance

Vitamins are naturally occurring compounds that are essential for human development, but as unlike the common perception, they are not a magic bullet. These vitamins are used only in minute amounts. The use of vitamins is exaggerated in today’s diet. A proper healthy diet over a course of a week will supply enough vitamins for any active person. The key word here is ‘proper’. The diet needs to include good quality foods, vegetables and fruits, the better the source and the freer from pesticides the better the quality of vitamins and minerals available for absorption.

Minerals are unlike Vitamins inorganic and are responsible for such things as tissues regeneration and chemical reactions at a cellular level. Metals are regarded as minerals and of course while in large doses are toxic, in smaller levels are critical for many important tasks, not all of which are fully understood. There is growing evidence to suggest that metals may have a major bearing on the rate of healing in damaged ligaments and other tissues.

Metals are also crucial in certain areas of hormone generation. Another crucial mineral, calcium can be of immense importance to athletes, especially protein levels and muscle density as bone acts as a storage system for many building materials. With the growing incidences of bone disorders in female athletes, proper adherence to balanced diets with appropriate levels of calcium while at a training and competing age is absolutely critical to offset disease in later life. Low iron levels can also cause extreme and debilitating fatigue and is very common among younger female athletes.

The problems of supplementation arise when an athlete is unable to maintain a proper balanced diet. A proper balanced and varied diet will provide an athlete with all the vitamins and minerals they need. Vitamins are critical in the fight against free-radicals – which are released as the body undergoes training stresses and the antioxidant properties are only now becoming properly understood…
Just a number of brief points on multi-vitamins.
• Many of the commercial brands on the market provide a percentage of the RDA – Recommended Daily Amount. Remember the RDA is a figure decided on for the average person, firstly some time ago and secondly certainly not under the same stress as an athlete holding down a full-time job while training everyday. In some cases athletes can become mineral deficient in a matter of weeks while under severe training stress.
• Secondly, while many brands proclaim to provide proper vitamins profiles the exact nature and most important - the type of vitamin is very important.
• Taking extra quantities of multi-vitamins will offer no further benefit if the appropriate level has been achieved through a proper and balanced diet.
• Many Vitamins compete for receptors in the body and in some cases if consumed with another are not absorbed at all. Some vitamins need to be consumed at different times to avoid competition and maximise absorption.
• Many multivitamins also need to be consumed only with certain foods and liquids to permit absorption.
• Some vitamins can be more effective at certain times in the athletes circadian rhythm and can maximise performance in these instances.

Multi Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation

Do we need to supplement our diet with additional Vitamins and minerals?
The ideal answer is no – the right answer is yes.
If our diet is properly balanced and comprehensive the majority of people would not need to supplement their diet – this is not the case for the majority of people.
There are a number of key things that we need to consider with regard to vitamins and minerals-
 Those people who have particular demands on their lifestyle such as athletes where the continuous demands on the body’s store of minerals and vitamins is above that of the normal person.
 Where the lifestyle of the person concerned prevents the following of a proper diet. In many cases those travelling and on the move are forced to eat a diet that does not contain a wide enough and balanced range of vitamins and minerals. This is very often the case for athletes travelling to training camps and competition as well as those juggling jobs or studies.
 Evan many simply observing a standard western diet do not gain proper nutrition and if current trends continue then vitamin and mineral supplementation may be a necessary staple of the western diet.

Neurotrition is the use of diet and dietary supplementation to maximise the performance of an athlete. Restricting the brain from receiving its proper nutrition can be extremely detrimental to athletic performance. Vitamins and Minerals are essential for performance, but when combined with other nutrients their impact on neurotransmitter production is very effective. Chromium, manganese, B Vitamins and other minerals for example can have a very big impact on the mood and neural ability of the athlete to recall, concentrate and perform at an optimum level. The combined effect along with amino acids and other nutrients is extremely important for optimum performance.

Restoration and Relaxation
B12 can be very helpful in encouraging the athlete to relax and sleep. Manganese, B6 and zinc also help the brain manage stress and along with vitamin E research suggests may contribute to alleviating seizures. Magnesium with B6 has been used to supplement treatments of high cholesterol. Vitamin D needs sun exposure to promote bone regeneration and health, becoming more critical for many female athletes.

Athletic Performance
In terms of neural alertness the neuro-transmitter L-phenylalanine is critical in terms of mood management, pain relief and anti-depression. Vitamins such as iron, copper, niacin, Tyrosine, Vitamin C and the B-complex are needed to produce and manage this critical neurotransmitter. Again this is just one example of how a poor diet can unbalance an athletes neuro-stasis or on the other hand can maximise the mental alertness of the athlete.

Key Points to understand when choosing a Multi-Vitamin or Mineral
 Beta Carotene is not Vitamin A but is converted to Vitamin A within the body
 Chelates are aminos which minerals are attached to
 In some cases the amount of mineral available is therefore quite small once released from the chelate.
 Fillers and Binders are used to bulk the powders and allow them to be bound into tablets or granules for capsules.
 Citrate Minerals are quite well absorbed
 Almost all companies use fillers and binders, more reputable ones will list them.
 Some tablets can be over-coated and this can slow or even prevent absorption
 Retinol is pure Vitamin A and Beta Carotene measured in comparison to it
 In these cases the athlete needs to maintain good digestive and stomach health in order to maximise use of the supplement.

Key Points for Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation
Using a good wide ranging multivitamin covers many of the nutritional foundations
The multi-vitamin should have:
 Wide range of B-Vitmain complex
 Relatively large dose of Vitamin C
 Magnesium
 Iron
 Zinc
 Chromium
 Selenium

Suggested Additional Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation
 Suggested Additional Vitamin C. There has been much research to suggest that additional or higher doses of Vitamin C may be very beneficial for many illnesses. Minimum 1gram.
 Additional Calcium may be very beneficial for the production and maintenance of bone density, particularly in younger females. Avoidance of many fizzy or carbonated drinks also assists.
 Vitamin A along with C and E are invaluable anti-oxidants and may be very beneficial for encouraging recovery post exercise.

These are simply general guidelines and a more accurate blood and urine-based assessment will determine a better profile for Vitamin and Mineral supplementation. However this will offer a good guideline for a supplementation program for optimum athletic performance…

I’m going to with an antioxidant formula ACE plus selenium post workout, a B complex plus vitamin C in the morning, and ZMA at night. In addition I eat a good diet, would there be any need to supplement chromium,copper,iron? Or would they be covered by foods like wheat germ and natural peanut butter two foods I eat with breakfast everyday.

Nice work, No23!

No23, in order to have better absorption of each of the vitamins/minerals, would it be better to have them seperately, instead of a multi-package?

and are there any specific times of the day that certain vitamins/minerals should be taken and apply to everyone?


  • For some vitmains and minerals - yes
    Not just because they are easier absorbed but because they do certain things better at certain times and also because they compete with others.

  • But also bear in mind real food doesn’t split up viatmins and minerals as we eat it so don’t get too caught up on the idea.

  • But it’s generally not very practical to be constantly splitting up minerals and vitamins - only the key ones

  • The key ones?
    Vitamin C is one I have been looking at for some time… I know CP went of on one of his legendary stories on T-mag recently but ignore that ****. I was looking at it after I came across some commnets by an English nutritionist - The real research has been conducted by Pauling a twice Nobel Prize winner. He has alot of good reccomenedations for higher dosing of Vit C.
    I don’t have the data just now but I reccomend looking at it.
    The other thing before you go grabbing the oranges is that higher doses will give you severe gastro issues so split the doses across the day.

Wouldn’t that be a better reason to eat oranges as opposed to powder form? It’s not possible to consume enough to give yourself stomach problems from the Vit. C

Yes and no.

Better from a natural and more healthy point of view but perhapos not practical

By the way a Kiwi is one of the best Vit C sources out there twice that of an orange per gram

A normal orange has roughly 70 mg of Vit C. and a normal Kiwi fruit has about 60 mg of Vit C.

So back to your question …
One Viatmin cap generally has a gram so that’s 1 000 milligrams or in other words about 14 oranges !!!

Oh and that’s without even discussing the issues of fibre content of oranges or other fruit!!!

and i suppose oranges are not good before intensive training, but good before eating beef and other foods rich in iron -better absorption, i believe, to which calcium doesn’t help; please, correct me if i am wrong here!

i think i have seen a documentary (about vitamins in general) with this guy and his research on Vit C and although it looked promising, i think, it was concluded that too much vit C doesn’t have the positives that most think (e.g., vs. colds); but then again, they didn’t say anything negative about high doses of this vitamin, i.e., if not sure whether diet is enough or not, take it;

positive comments were also made about vit E and that there is no danger of overdosing, whereas this risk exists with vit A, which can become acidic in high quantities…

i hope i remember all these correctly; any comments/corrections, appreciated!

With regards to supplements, how can we tell if the product is quality? How do you know how much of it is absorbable? I personally look for timed release formulas and bioflavanoids

What do you think about the shelf life of the fruits and vegetables we eat these days? For example, in the UK we get a lot of our oranges from Spain. They have to be picked, packed and shipped to the UK. They are then on the shelf of the supermarket for x amount of days and then in your fruit bowl for x amount of days. Each day they are losing their nutrients. Plus you’ve got to consider pesticides, soil depletion etc. So this orange that began with 70mg of vit c may have half of that or less by the time you get round to eating it.

True or false? The RDA’s were guidlines to prevent diseases such as rickets and scurvy and athletes need way more?

True, but to what extent, I would like to know…

Clemson, interesting post. I have worked in New Product Development and believe me it is always the same. Some companies try to win by innovating, while others remarket existing products (sometimes the exact same product) and focus on asthetics. The very best do both.

Weider publications and more recently T-mag are excellent examples of fantastic marketing machines. They create the market for thier own products by integrating quality content with subtle promotion. The problem for the consumer is that they don’t know where the science ends and the hype begins because the two are so tightly integrated.

And people wonder why Charlie occasionally trys to curb discussion on certain nutritional topics! Remember you can read what you want but only ever between selected lines.

in my search for some info on calcium i read this thread.
Now i have a supp with Calcium 500mg and Vit D3 440uG.

In the discription there is a warming fro overdosing vit D.
Anyone here have some info n that, and about safe dose for athletes?

As a student of molecular biology and biochemistry, I find this thread both accurate and interesting.

My question, then, is since I do not have access to the actions of companies and how exactly they construct their product, which multivitamins/minerals are recommended by the folks on this forum?

Sorry mate not off the top of my head

I use NOW and Optimum individual vits

i know by far the best mineral formula i have used is;
T.J. Clark , colloidal mineral formula

Not that i have axcess to it anymore, but Amway used to have good quality vitamins. they actually did not produce the Yellow or Orange wee that a lot of em produce, becasue they are not synthetic, they are/were compressed plants, herbs ect. I dont think the concentration was as high, but the absorbability was high, and you could actually notice something working.
I have not came across anybody in amway for yrs, so do not know what they are like anymore!?

I have a question about multivitamins. How does one know its being absorbed, I take one by a company called “Progressive” and it is supposed to be one of the top rated ones in canada. But i urinate a very bright yellow after i conusme it. Now leaving all others out is this because of the multivitamin? I have read it is because of the B2 vitamin is that true? Am I just urinating it all out or am I actually absorbing it? Anyone with info would be great.

B2 (Riboflavin) will turn your urine bright yellow. this does not mean you are losing the effect.