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Diet & Nutrition Guide

Christine Jeffries

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ask: How long does it take for vitamins or supplements to start working?

By GauguinFan
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How long does it take for supplements to take effect? For example, I am taking calcium supplements and am wondering how long I will take them for before I see some results? I'm hoping to see healthier, stronger nails.

I don't depend on supplements for over-all health but am wondering if it takes just a couple of weeks to help, or months?

Add a Comment22 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I hope vitamin d3 can help to decrease my sebum production on my face! would it work?

August 2, 2014 - 8:12am

Vitamin D defeciency can be pretty serious. My level was low, but not super low. I had many many problems from it. I had convinced myself that I had MS. I was extremely tired, all the time. I was extremely weak. Muscles hurt. I was off balance. Couldn't walk right. Could barely walk up steps. Finally after several months of going to different Docs, one told me it was my Vitamin D. He told me to take 2000iu a day, and that I would be better in about a month. He was right!! I'm all better now. Never thought Vitamin D defenciency could cause so many problems.

October 8, 2012 - 10:03pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Ulala37)

Just seeing this and you are a carbon copy of me!!! I have been scared to death I had ms. I had numbness and tingling sore joints very light but sporadic incontinence at times. My vitamin d was 16!!! I've been told it can mimic ms too. So glad im not the only one experiencing it. I'm on another 8 weeks of the high dose vit d because after finishing the first round the symptoms seemed to reappear..

September 9, 2014 - 9:42am
Butterflynora (reply to Ulala37)

the same thing happened to me and my levels were extremely low, My doctor put me on 50,000iu twice a week but they made me sick so she changed it to 2,000 daily. I can't explain how much better I feel. I had been feeling bad for almost 6 months and was afraid that it was something worst and didn't go to the doctor because of fear until I started to feel depressed. Its been two months now and I don't go one day without my D3 pills

March 6, 2013 - 12:57pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Ulala37)

OMG! I feel the same way. I'm in pain all the time, my body aches, muscles, joints. I don't even leave my house anymore on weekends because I feel tired all the time. My aunt told me she went to the doctor with pretty much the same complaints and blood tests confirmed she was low on Vitamin D. I just got off a natural herbs and supplements website ordering Organic Multi Vita-Min. I'm willing to try it and was just wondering how long it will take before I see it working, and that's how I saw your comment. I'm very hopeful, I can't continue living this way. It is not a good way to live.

November 3, 2012 - 2:43pm
EmpowHER Guest

I think is candida I had ringing ears chest pains sinusitis pain in muscles,brain fog anxiety, fatigue, all from candida which can be caused by antibiotics, diet high in sugar, i got better on anticandida diet

October 7, 2012 - 11:19am
Dr. Daniel Heller

Anonymous, I don't want to waylay this site or conversation to get too far off subject. I'm not going to comment on any specific vitamin, but a multivitamin and a generally healthy diet aren't ordinarily an adequate treatment for anxiety and depression (which, by the way, are very different from schizophrenia.) And superfoods won't do anything for anxiety and depression, unless they're on your plate or bowl rather than in a pill.
I think you're right on to point out that there is a price to be paid for getting on and off SSRI and anxiety medication. Fortunately, that is not the only way, there are natural ways to address depression, diet certainly an important one, as is counselling and psychotherapy (which is scientifically proven to work.)
Regarding diet, the articles at this page are written for women but they are universally applicable:
I'd look at them all, they work for women, men, pms, pmdd, depression, and more. I would suggest that you try out our suggestions but that you also try to find some guidance in working your way through this. You're obviously making great strides, but it is way too complicated to sort this all out yourself, based on information you find online.
Best of Health,
Dr. Daniel Heller

November 15, 2011 - 11:26pm
Dr. Daniel Heller

Hello all: maybe this will revive this interesting and useful thread. I am a holistic doctor and rely on supplements a great deal in my practice over the past 16 years. Generally, vitamins don't work quickly, as for instance in your example of calcium and nails. For one thing, nails grow slowly anyway. Another consideration is that your nails require much more than just calcium: they are mostly protein, and your body requires many nutrients to properly make keratin, the protein in skin, hair, and nails.
The vitamin D examples are interesting, because Vitamin D can work incredibly quickly. What is amazing about Vitamin D is that it is much more like a hormone than it is like a vitamin. And if your level is below 20, you're better off taking a larger amount than 1000 mg / day. Vitamin D toxicity is almost unheard of, so if you only take it for a month or two, you're unlikely to get even close to a dangerous level.
Another thing about Vitamin D: people with dark skin do not make it very efficiently when they are in the sun. So african-american and south indian and other dark-skinned people, especially those who live in cloudy climates or places with a long winter are much more likely to require Vitamin D supplements.
One of the most useful supplements, magnesium, which is a mineral, can take many months or years to have its effects when taken as a supplement, though I've seen people respond to it quickly.
Dietary supplements and vitamins are useful, despite all the misinformation that has been in the news lately. They certainly don't make food and proper diet any less important. And neither do they work rapidly like drugs do.
Best of Health
Dr. Daniel Heller

October 26, 2011 - 3:03pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Dr. Daniel Heller)

Dr. Daniel Heller,

I am a 25 yr old male. I eat healthy and resistance train fairly vigorously about 3 times a week (the rest of the time I'am burning calories as a union carpenter) . My diet is chicken, sweet potatoes, rice, bagels, and fish. I consider myself in pretty good shape next to your average 25 year old male . Don't get me wrong, i'll sploodge and eat like crap once, maybe twice a week. I recently bought a multivitamin/super food titled "super nutrition Opti-pack". you can check it out here

http://www.supernutritionusa.com/productpages/optipack.html .

I was wondering about how long this might take to get into my system to where i feel the full affects of this product. And when I say "effects" I mean, I've struggled with poor concentration/focus/memory/anxiety, and mild depression issues since i could remember. I've been down the medical route as far as treatment goes and the SIDE EFFECTS! from the drugs those doctors gave me were too much to handle. The drugs kicked right in when i needed them but there was always a price to pay when they wore off it seemed. Its been about 6 months since i've been taking any prescription drugs and still don't feel the same.

I've turned to good health, dieting, vitamins, and exercise for the past year but still don't feel like a mentally focused individual-like I should feel.

Not too long ago I read an article on a psychiatrist that CURED a patient with schizophrenia through DIETING and VITAMINS, and now his patient went on to becoming a teacher and getting his masters degree or some crap. In reading that article I thought for sure eating right and taking vitamins would help my anxiety and add/adhd or whatever the hell... what are your personal/professional thoughts on the subject, and multi-vitamin in the link listed above ???

email me- saavedraguitar@yahoo.com

November 15, 2011 - 10:00pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I know this is a while back but if you see this, I hope it helps.

I've suffered from depression and anxiety for a long time and I think treatment does work for a lot of people but it shouldn't be the FIRST option. Exercise, diet etc all help as they help to balance the chemical imbalances that may be present. Some are physical (i.e just there), others are dietary or caused psychologically.

The way I beat it and handle any episodes I have was by learning about body language, studying people that I admire and are confident and learning their postures, gestures, modelling behaviour of theirs that I really liked that would make me feel confident. I used Robert Downey Jr, Derren Brown, David Tennant, Benedict Cumberbatch and others. I'm not saying pretend to be these people but take on aspects of heroes you have that you would like to have and model them. Learn about social dynamics and the way we interact on a metasocial level. I.e learn about status, small gestures, good language. It takes a bit to make it feel more natural, at first it will feel very forced but you get great benefits from it.
Body language is more important than you realise, changing it can change almost everything. Of course it's not permanent and not a complete strategy alone but learning about it is a powerful weapon against both anxiety and depression. Think of it as a gun, it's a great tool but it needs ammo.

Take note of the way you talk to yourself internally and stop and study ANY negative thoughts such as: I can't...I hate...I wish...I don't. You say these things to yourself a lot (lots of people do) but if you take them apart and ask yourself: Why can't I...? What if I tried...? Maybe if I asked...? Who can help me with this? What do I need in order to be able...?
Asking yourself better questions, especially ones that assume that you can do X, Y or Z, you can find yourself with answers and solutions that weren't there when you just said: I can't do it or something like that. Seriously, this will tackle a lot of subconscious patterns and thoughts you have. It really helped me a lot.

Your diet and sleep pattern will make a big difference. I know I'm having an episode or about to if my sleep starts going or I stop eating as well. No matter how confident I am, sleep and good food are the fuel for dealing with anxiety and it nearly always comes back if I ignore it.

Lastly, I'd say treatment is very helpful and has direct effects but it can also have nasty side effects or be overkill for some patients. I think it really depends on the issues involved, the physical problems involved and other genetic factors. That said, I think treatment is a last resort when nothing else can help or the physical/genetic factors are too strong and should not be a blanket treatment for all depression/anxiety. It's too prevalent and it's damaging.

-Experience: 4 years confidence coaching. Also trying to get body language taught in schools to help students have better social skills and more confidence.

February 14, 2013 - 1:29pm
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