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#1
Old 07-29-2008, 01:54 PM
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Multi-Vitamins cause nausea, why?

I don't always eat right so I decided to try to take a multi-vitamin, within minutes I get so nauseous that I cannot move for fear of vomiting. I do take them with food but it doesn't help . I did try another brand several years ago but it made me very nauseous, even when taken with food. I have taken individual supplements, like b-complexes, c and e and never had any problems with them. I have even taken Iron, a usual suspect in stomach upset, by itself with no ill effects. But every time I take a multi-vitamin, no matter the brand, I get very nauseous.

I tried to look around online and there is no definitive answer for the culprit, I had the idea that maybe I can find something without that in it. I discovered a lot of people have the same problem, you'd think the vitamin makers might have picked up on this and marketed a no-nausea vitamin but no one seems to know the actual nausea inducing culprit. Some think it is the zinc, some say the niacin, some say iron, some say all minerals and some say it's the coating. I remember taking zinc supplements a long time ago and vaguely recall them making me nauseous. I have a suspicion that they may indeed be the culprit.

But anyway, Dopers seem to be a little more knowledgeable than the rest of the internet and we have a few doctors here so I was hoping someone here might know why multi-vitamins make some people sick or at least recommend a supplement that may not cause nausea.
#2
Old 07-29-2008, 02:20 PM
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I've found the same with vitamins with high doses of acidic vitamins. Take with food, and it should help with the nausea. Vitamin C pills give me a sour stomach and heartburn. With food, I don't have the problem.

I've had different levels of experience with different vitamins as well. (GNC brand) The current multivitamin in my desk doesn't give me any issues at all, however. (BJs brand)
#3
Old 07-29-2008, 02:21 PM
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You could find out the answer yourself by buying a selection of the individual vitamins that make up the multivitamin. Take each one seperately and see if you experience the nausea. If you don't, you've eliminated one possibility (although see below). Be sure to match the dose too. After you've tried each one seperately, then move onto combinations of the indivdual vitamins.

The experiment will be expensive and would take quite a long time to complete though.

You could also be experiencing the nocebo effect, the opposite of the placebo effect.
#4
Old 07-29-2008, 02:56 PM
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Location: detroit, east-side
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Try Flintstone's chewables. Yes, the ones for kids. I have the exact same problem as you and my doc recommended children's chewable vitamins. Danged if he ain't right; I have no problems with those, even if I don't eat a thing with them.
#5
Old 07-29-2008, 03:15 PM
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Prenatal Vitamins

You should try prenatal vitamins. I have the same problem as you and when I was pregnant and HAD to take vitamins, I discovered that certain prenatal ones don't make me nauseated. They smell like vanilla instead of that gross vitamin smell ....which I think comes from the B complex. I am so conditioned that even the smell of regular vitamins will cause intense nausea. I still take the prenatals, even though I had my last baby 5 years ago.
#6
Old 07-29-2008, 03:38 PM
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Wouldn't it take less time & effort to just "eat right" then to do all this?

You are looking over the internet to see what ingredient is causing the nausea, people are recommending that you take a host of individual vitamins rather than one multi-vitamin, special (no doubt expensive) pre-natal vitamins, etc.

Just eat right!
And it's your total diet, over several days, that matters. If you have to eat junk food for lunch at work, balance it out with a good meal at suppertime. It's only if you consistently, over days or weeks, eat a diet lacking in some vitamin that you will have trouble.

IMHO, multi-vitamins are largely a fraud, most of them are just pissed away (literally):
1. the normal American diet provides sufficient nutrients on it's own (the main problem is that it provides too much, especially fats & sugar, thus the frequent obese Americans).
2. If your diet is lacking on some specific vitamin, you should be taking a supplement of just that one, not a shotgun multi-vitamin.
#7
Old 07-29-2008, 05:29 PM
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I always take my vitamin C after breakfast. Never have nausea.
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#8
Old 07-29-2008, 05:47 PM
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I get nausea if I take one in the morning, but it the evening I have no problem at all. I'm under the impression it's the niacin; not sure why though.
#9
Old 07-29-2008, 05:52 PM
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I've often wondered why vitamin manufacturers make their products with 100% of each vitamin. I have a fairly decent diet. If I took a supplement, I'd want one that provided, say, 15% to maybe 25% of the RDA for each vitamin. In my circle of friends, nobody has rickets or scurvy.
#10
Old 07-29-2008, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
Wouldn't it take less time & effort to just "eat right" then to do all this?

You are looking over the internet to see what ingredient is causing the nausea, people are recommending that you take a host of individual vitamins rather than one multi-vitamin, special (no doubt expensive) pre-natal vitamins, etc.
My post was concerning an experiment to discover the cause, not an endorsement of the taking of vitamin supplements (to which I'm opposed unless medically required).
#11
Old 07-29-2008, 06:18 PM
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I look for "time released" tablets. That helped me during my pregnancy.
#12
Old 07-29-2008, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Szlater
You could find out the answer yourself by buying a selection of the individual vitamins that make up the multivitamin. Take each one seperately and see if you experience the nausea. If you don't, you've eliminated one possibility (although see below). Be sure to match the dose too. After you've tried each one seperately, then move onto combinations of the indivdual vitamins.t.
Not a bad idea- but not really all that long- it's likely to be B1, B2, or B3.

It is not Vit C.
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#13
Old 07-30-2008, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
Wouldn't it take less time & effort to just "eat right" then to do all this?

...
Yes, it would, but I'm just not very good at it.


I tend to doubt that it's the B-vitamins because I used to take a B-Complex supplement and the only thing that did to me was make my pee neon yellow.
#14
Old 07-30-2008, 01:58 AM
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Centrum adult chewables solved the problem for me.

Last edited by Philster; 07-30-2008 at 01:58 AM.
#15
Old 07-30-2008, 02:41 AM
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I second the vote for Flintstones vitamins. When the Red Cross declined my blood for lack of iron, they told me to take multivitamins with iron. When multivitamins nauseated me, they recommended the Flintstones with iron, but said to take 2 tabs a day rather than 1. It worked great, brought up the iron and no nausea.
#16
Old 07-30-2008, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Szlater
My post was concerning an experiment to discover the cause, not an endorsement of the taking of vitamin supplements (to which I'm opposed unless medically required).
I ran this experiment some time ago. As far as I can tell it's one of the B-group.

Taking a multivitamin makes me a little nauseated. Taking C, A, D or iron/mineral supplement by themselves do not. Taking a B supplement makes me ridiculously nauseated.

I believe I narrowed it down to B-6 or B-12, but I do not remember exactly. Paradoxically I think those are often used to treat nausea.
#17
Old 07-30-2008, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legalsnugs
I second the vote for Flintstones vitamins. When the Red Cross declined my blood for lack of iron, they told me to take multivitamins with iron. When multivitamins nauseated me, they recommended the Flintstones with iron, but said to take 2 tabs a day rather than 1. It worked great, brought up the iron and no nausea.
That's really good advice actually. I might look into doing that myself..I've been needing to get some vitamins for daily consumption.
#18
Old 07-30-2008, 09:12 AM
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Location: detroit, east-side
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBelding
That's really good advice actually. I might look into doing that myself..I've been needing to get some vitamins for daily consumption.

I gave it first, darnit!

They recently did a whole "new improved flavor!" thing and by gum, they actually DO taste better. Not awesome or anything, but rather tasty.


Don't ever get the Costo Kirkland brand children's chewables. They're dinosaurs and they taste NARSTY!
#19
Old 07-30-2008, 12:06 PM
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I don't think it's B12. I take sublingual B12 in the morning without food with no ill effects. I do agree it's one of the B group though. I can't take a B complex or mutivitamin on an empty stomach.
#20
Old 07-30-2008, 12:21 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Southern Pennsylvania
Posts: 21,599
2 Chewable kids vitamins are recommended to bariatric patients and patients who have had other stomach surgeries (like me.) So apparently they are considered to be very mild on the stomach.
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