advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Vitamin Variations?

When you take a multivitamin that has more than 100% of the recommended daily dose of a vitamin, is it possible to absorb that much nutrient at once? Do one-shot energy drinks really contain 2,000% of daily B vitamins? Can you absorb all that in one sitting? When you take multivitamins, especially the ones that have more than one pill, is it better to take all the pills at once, or divide them into several doses? 

A
Answer (Published 3/20/2009)

Yes, it is possible to absorb more than 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of a vitamin at one time. Remember that the RDA or RDI (for reference daily intake) for various types of vitamins are not set in stone or necessarily the optimal amount you should get daily. An RDA is the amount considered to be sufficient to meet the nutrient requirement of nearly all (97 to 98 percent of) healthy individuals by age and gender. (To confuse matters further, these recommendations are also called dietary reference intakes - DRIs.) Whatever you call them, these recommendations don't indicate how much of a micronutrient the body can absorb; they are approximate amounts deemed necessary for good health at various ages. But the numbers are open to question - and revision. For example, the current recommendation for vitamin D is 200 IU for everyone up to age 50, 400 IU for adults from 51 to 70 and 600 for those over age 71. But many experts believe that regardless of age, we all need at least 2,000 IU for optimum health, and this is the dose I now recommend.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor for Supplements & Herbs - If you are interested in supplementing your diet, and want to take the mystery out of choosing vitamins, try Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor. Visit today for your free, personalized Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor Recommendation.

As far as energy drinks are concerned, I can't tell you if advertising claims are true that some provide 2,000 percent of the B vitamins, but I can tell you that the body readily absorbs almost all of the B vitamins you consume and excretes what it doesn't need.

If a multi-vitamin comes in divided doses (requiring you to take more than one pill) I can only suggest that you follow directions on the product label.

Please remember that vitamin supplements won't compensate you for a poor diet - but they can help fill nutritional gaps in a good one. Your objective should be to make sure that you're eating a healthy, varied diet that meets your nutritional needs. Include as much fresh food as possible, minimize your consumption of processed foods and fast food and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. If you follow my anti-inflammatory diet, you'll get the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and dietary fiber you need for optimal health.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

 


Take the guesswork out of which vitamins and minerals you need - get your free, personalized recommendation from the Weil Vitamin Advisor.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here