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What's the main difference between vitamin supplements?

By October 8, 2008 - 9:18am
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I know that today, most doctors and nutritionists recommend a multi-vitamin to make sure we get all the nutrients daily that we may not get from our food.

Here's my question. There seems to be two different kinds of "daily" vitamin supplement products:

The most common is the single vitamin pill, which includes a long list of vitamins and are often marketed as being "complete," or as specifically designed for stress, for men or women, or for different life stages. They probably cost $8-$12 a month.

The other kind of daily vitamin supplement are those kinds that come in "packets," where there may be 4, 5, 6, even 7 pills in a packet. They often include more things than the one daily pill; for instance, a Vitamin-E softgel. But even taking away the softgels, there seem to be a lot more included. Also, they cost a lot more -- maybe $30-$40 a month.

What does "complete" mean, and are the packets worth the investment for the extra things that are included?

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May 10, 2013 - 12:03pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anne -

Great question!

Complete vitamins contain all the vitamins we humans need to maintain health.

The problem is that these complete vitamins may not contain the correct amount of all the vitamins.

Based on our age, genes, activity levels, diet, medical history and more, one person may need twice what another needs and vice versa.

Therefore the packets of supplements may in fact, be worth the extra money, if you need more than the average 'complete' vitamin can give you.

For example, a vegetarian may need extra packets of iron or Vitamin B12 that they don't get in their regular diet, and a meat eater would be fine with the regular complete pill.

Taking a vitamin supplement is a good idea for most people although with a varied, healthy diet, we should be ok for the most part, without one. These days, however, that seems to be harder than it seems.

I hope this helps.

Here is a link that may give you more information -


October 8, 2008 - 2:38pm
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