Fitness for One and All Home Page
Books and eBooks by the Director
Daily Multiple Tablets For Men
by Gary F. Zeolla
In the First Edition of my Creationist Diet book, published in 2000, I included a chapter on supplements. In the book, I mention that the daily multiple vitamin/ mineral product I was taking was CVS’s Spectravite Senior (CVS’s equivalent to Centrum Silver). That meant I was taking one simple, inexpensive multiple that contained 100% of the Daily Value (DV) for a variety of nutrients.
The reason I was taking it is as I stated in the book:
One way to insure one does not sustain a nutrient deficiency is to take a multi-vitamin/ mineral supplement that contains 100% of the RDA [Recommended Daily Allowance] for a wide variety of nutrients. Such a supplement could provide "insurance" against deficiencies that one might have and not be aware of (p.188).
But after that time, as my health problems worsened, I began experimenting with higher dose and much more expensive products hoping they might provide some benefits for my health issues. First I tried products by Jarrow Formula. The first was their Multi 1-3, then later their Multi-Easy Powder. Both of these seemed to be high quality products that initially did seem to provide some benefits. But over time, I must have become sensitive to something in them as they began causing me problems, so I stopped taking them.
Then I switched to products by Twinlab. First was their Daily One Caps then their even higher dose Daily Two Caps. Again, initially they did seem to provide some benefits, but eventually they began causing me problems also, so I stopped taking them as well.
It was at that time that I began researching higher dose supplements in more detail and wrote the two-part article Folly of Mega-Dose Supplements. In that article I discuss how taking doses of nutrients much higher than the DV (or better RDA) can cause problems. I then switched to Twinlab’s Food Based Ultra Daily. As the name implied, the nutrients are derived from real food, and they are in “reasonable” amounts which is to say 100% of the DV. And once again, initially, the product did seem to provide benefits. But there were a couple of problems with it.
First off, it was rather expensive. Second and most importantly, the company stopped making it. As a result, at the beginning of 2010, I began to look for some other food-based product to take. But everything I looked at was even more expensive, some of them terribly expensive. As such, I began to wonder if maybe I had it right in the first place, that just a basic one-a-day product with 100% of the DVs would be the way to go.
I was going to go back to the Spectravite product I had started with a decade before, but I didn’t like that it contained artificial colorings and other artificial ingredients. But then I noticed One-a-Day’s Men’s Health Formula. It seemed to be a well balanced product that was rather inexpensive. I also liked that of all of the One-a-Day line of products, it was about the only one that did not contain artificial colorings or other artificial ingredients. But since CVS had their own equivalent of it, which was even cheaper, I went with that. CVS often has BOGO sales, meaning “Buy one get one for half price” or even "Buy one get one for free" which makes the product even less expensive. Most recently, I purchased two bottles of 200 caplets on a BoGo for $12.00 total. That works out to three cents each.
After taking this product for several months, rather than the higher dose or food based products I’d been using over the past decade, all I can say is I have noticed no change in my health situation. By that I mean, my health has not gotten worse. As such, I feel a little ripped off. I feel like I wasted a lot of money on a lot of high priced useless supplements over the past decade. As such, I will stick with just a basic once daily multi from now on. And this one seems to be as good as any.
But I should add, the Women's One-a-Day, and thus the CVS equivalent, contains artificial colorings. I have no idea why the difference. Maybe the One-a-Day company thinks women will only take a pill if it is a pretty color, unlike men who will take one that is a pale tan color. That smacks of sexism to me, and if were a woman, I'd complain to them. But given this, I cannot fully recommend it.
Shortly after the First Edition of my Creationist Diet book was published, a reader wrote me claiming that the nutrients from a pill like the CVS Spectravite were not absorbable. This was, she claimed, for two reasons. First, it is a hard tablet, so it is not digested well. Capsules, she said, are much better absorbed. Second, the nutrients are artificial, so they are not the same as natural ones. I believed these claims for a while, and that in part led to my long experimentation with much more expensive products. But, as indicated above, I eventually come to believe this was folly. This belief was proven to be true in October of 2012.
At that time, for health reasons, I was mostly housebound and never went outside. This meant I never got any sunshine and thus was not getting any vitamin D from sunshine. Also, I was getting very little vitamin D from food, as I was not drinking fortified milk and was only rarely eating eggs and fish (the only natural food sources of vitamin D). And this had been the case for over two years. As a result, the only vitamin D I was getting was from the CVS Daily Multiple for Men (which contains 700 IUs) and from Country Life's Calcium, Magnesium with Vitamin D (which contains 200 IUs in the two capsules I was taking). That means, the bulk of my vitamin D intake was from the CVS multi.
With that background, my doctor performed a blood test for my vitamin D levels, and they were perfectly normal. But if the vitamin D in the CVS multi was not absorbable, it is very doubtful my vitamin D levels would have been normal since the RDA for my age is 600 IUs. That put to rest any concerns I had about the nutrients not being absorbable.
In addition, I simply feel better when I take this multi. I tried stopping it a couple of times, but each time, after a couple of weeks, I began to fatigue more easily. But when I restarted this multi, my energy levels came back up. Of course, that could just be placebo effect, or something else could have been happening, but since this CVS product only costs pennies a day, there's no reason not to take it.
Below are the “Nutrition Facts” from a bottle of CVS’ Daily Multiple Tablets For Men.
Serving Size: 1 tablet
Nutrient – Amount per Serving – % Daily Value
Vitamin A (as Vitamin A Acetate and 14% as Beta-Carotene) – 3500 IU – 70 %
Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid) – 60 mg – 100 %
Calcium (as Calcium Carbonate) – 210 mg – 21 %
Vitamin B-6 (as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride) – 3 mg – 150 %
Vitamin B-12 (as Cyanocobalamin) – 18 mcg – 300 %
Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2) – 1.7 mg – 100 %
Thiamin (Vitamin B-1) (as Thiamin Mononitrate) – 1.2 mg – 80 %
Niacin (as Niacinamide) – 16 mg – 80 %
Folic Acid –400 mcg – 100 %
Biotin (as D-Biotin) – 30 mcg – 10 %
Vitamin D (as D3 Cholecalciferol) – 700 IU – 175 %
Vitamin E (as Dl-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate) – 22.5 IU – 75 %
Vitamin K (as Phytonadione) – 20 mcg – 25 %
Magnesium (as Magnesium Oxide) – 120 mg – 30 %
Manganese (as Manganese Sulfate) – 2 mg – 100 %
Pantothenic Acid (as D-Calcium Pantothenate) – 5 mg – 50 %
Zinc (as Zinc Oxide) – 15 mg – 100 %
Potassium (as Potassium Chloride) – 100 mg – 3 %
Copper (as Cupric Oxide) – 2 mg – 100 %
Selenium (as Sodium Selenate) – 110 mcg – 157 %
Chromium (as Chromium Chloride) – 120 mcg – 100 %
Lycopene – 300 mcg
No milk, soy, wheat, gluten, lactose, or sugar.
Other Ingredients: Cellulose (Plant Origin), Croscarmellose. Contains Less than 2% of: Cellulose Coating, Dicalcium Phosphate, Gelatin (Bovine, Porcine), Mannitol, Silica, Starch, Vegetable Magnesium Stearate, Vegetable Stearic Acid.
There is no iron, which is a good thing. Adult males generally do not need supplemental iron. Most carnivorous males get more than the 8 mg of the RDA for adult men from their diets. Only vegans might need supplemental iron, as discussed in the Second Edition of my Creationist Diet book.
Only having 70% of the DV for vitamin A is a good thing. The RDA is now only 3,000 I.U.s, while the Upper Tolerable Limit is just 10,000 I.Us. Therefore, if this multi had the full DV of 5,000 I.U., it would more easily push a man over the UTL.
Biotin is well distributed in most foods, so a deficiency is very unlikely. As such, having only 10% of the DV is no problem.
Having 175% of the DV (700 I.U.s) of vitamin D is a good thing as the RDA is now 600 I.U.s.
The levels of calcium and magnesium are well below the DV. But most men get enough of these minerals in their diets. If you feel you need more, try Country Life's Calcium, Magnesium, with D.
The level of selenium is a bit high, with the UTL being 400 mcg. But most men will not go over that between their diet and this supplement. Just be sure you are not taking other supplements with it, and limit your intake of Brazil nuts, by far the best food source of selenium.
Lycopene is an antioxidant that is purported to help to prevent prostate cancer. But the level of it is meaningless, as 20 mg is the recommended amount. The best way to attain this is to consume cooked tomato products.
It is good this product does not have the ingredients listed as these are all common allergens. And again, not having artificial ingredients or even sugar or is a good thing. The “Other Ingredients” contain some ingredients that I am not familiar with, but I don’t think any are problematic. I know I have not had any problems from them after years of use.
So there are a few caveats, but overall, I think this is a well-balanced supplement for an adult male like myself.
June 2017 Update
I have continued to take this supplement and have had not problems with it. Meanwhile, my health has improved since I wrote the above article. That is probably due to paying even more meticulous attention to my diet, as detailed in the Second Edition of my Creationist Diet book. And during this time, I have not taken any vitamin/ mineral supplement other than this one. In fact, I might not even need this supplement given that my diet provides well more than the RDA for all nutrients. This is is seen in my ongoing diet evaluations. But again, this product only costs pennies a day, and I have not experienced any negative side effect from it, so I see no reason to stop it or to try anything else. "If it's not broken, don't fix it."
CVS: Daily Multiple Tablets For Men. Copyright © 2010, 2014, 2017 by Gary F. Zeolla.
The above article was posted on this site December 1.2010.
It was updated June 14, 2017.
Supplements Supplement Descriptions
Text Search Alphabetical List of Pages Contact Information
Fitness for One and All Home Page
Books and eBooks by the Director