PREPS

Survival Prep Vitamins and Medications

survival-preparedness-vitamins

Stocking up on multivitamins, Vitamin-C, etc., is an important additional “to-do” on a prepper’s list. As modern life as we know it falls further into decline, you need to stay as healthy as possible in case the SHTF.

Many people will become vitamin deficient because they won’t be eating right…


 

VITAMINS

Thinking, planning, and preparing for a long-term disaster is a natural process of critical-thinking and mitigation while we face real risks to our comfortable way of life. In addition to food, supplies, and practical skills, we should not overlook the value of storing extra vitamins and medications which could become very relevant – especially if a disaster turns into a long-term situation.

An important consideration during a long term disaster scenario is to stay healthy. During the time period following SHTF, many people will not be eating healthy and many people will likely suffer from various vitamin deficiencies as a result.

Although eating a proper diet is the better way, a multivitamin (at a minimum) could prove to be very important to overcome or at least combat the issues of deficiencies.

When you notice any of those ‘big’ bottles of multivitamins going on sale, pick up a few…

In addition to a multi, consider specific vitamins like Vitamin-C (or ascorbic acid powder).

Vitamin D will be very important especially if you live in a northern climate (less sunlight). In fact, an astounding number of people are presently Vitamin-D deficient, right now.

Others like Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin A, B, E, etc…

The point is, you should recognize that you will probably not be eating as well as you’ve been accustomed to, and there may be a need for vitamins in your preps.

Also do some research and learn which foods, and other natural substances are rich in various vitamins. The pills won’t last forever…

 

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

Don’t forget to also stock up on your prescription drugs, pain relievers, and other pharmaceuticals which may apply.

If you have regular prescriptions, particularly those that are absolutely essential for your well being, you should try to build up extra (although sometimes difficult to do, given insurance companies, etc.).

Try asking your doctor to prescribe more for the purpose of having some extra on hand. While an insurance company may deny a purchase of ‘extra’, you could potentially pay out of pocket for your own peace of mind.

Pain relievers such as aspirin which reduces fever and relieves pain (do not give to children). Advil (Ibuprofen), Tylenol (Acetaminophen), etc.

You might consider fish-antibiotics, which are often the same exact pharmaceutical as a prescription.

By the way, do not consider any of this to be medical advice. Do you due-diligence.

 
What are your thoughts on this subject? Any specific recommendations?

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31 Comments

  1. I would also suggest niacin. It has been proved to shorten the length (&, possibly, the virility of a virus). Am currently without any & suffering through a nasty sore throat/ear ache combo, morphing into a head cold. bah humbug
    It is always a problem to know where to go & how to buy meds. There are ways, if you have a sympathetic physician, veterinarian, etc. Few & far between, however.

  2. Glad to see vitamin supplements being covered. I am a long time vitamin taker. Not an expert on all vitamins and herbal extracts but I know what works for me. I agree, that vitamin C crystals are a necessity for home health care. I take 1,000 mg (1/4 tsp.) in my daily water bottle. I also take a 1,000 mg. slow release tablet daily. That is basic. If I feel a scratchy throat or aching in my bones I take more. (I work in the hospitality industry, so I’m exposed to germs all the time.) A conveniently packaged product that also has 1,000 mg. of C plus other nutrients is called Emergen C, I put several packets in each of my kids Go Bags, plus our Evac Bin.

    Another important one is natural vitamin E (d-alpha), get a capsule that has mixed tocopherols: beta, delta, gamma. I take 400 IU daily, but often I take more in the evening because of leg cramps.

    Epsom salts is good to have handy. Not the kind you bath in, the purer form that you get in the pharmacy area, labelled for internal use. It is recommended for constipation, but it works for eliminating facial tics, improving mood, and magnesium is required if you are taking calcium supplements.

    I also always have broad spectrum digestive enzyme tablets on hand. Especially with my survival pantry consisting of lots of beans and rice. lol.

    Oh, almost forgot! I am middle-aged and despite all my efforts was having a hard time coping with my busy life. (work, aging parents, teenagers) Started taking Coenzyme Q10. I figure I take quite a bit, 2x 100 mg capsules daily, but it definitely helps.

    I also take daily 2 mega halibut liver oil capsules (vitamin A and D), B complex, extra B6, and holy smokes can’t believe I almost forgot my life saver, d-pantothenic acid, 1,000 mg, time release.

    Could go on… Love your site. Bye.

    1. Vitamin C has been shown time and time again to have no benefit in preventing or shortening the common cold. Zinc has proven to shorten the duration of a cold. That is why all these OTC cold meds have it. Vitamin C is necessary to prevent scurvy and help in overall health but stop propagating the myth that it prevents or shortens the duration of a viral common cold.

  3. Vitamin D! If you live in a Northern climate, or just don’t get enough sun (Most of us don’t get near enough), you need to be taking Vitamin D. I live in Northern Alberta and have had my levels monitored for the last 3 years. I have had to take 10000 IU daily for 3 months to get my level up and 5000 IU daily to maintain my levels.

    I have had a oncologist tell me that being low in Vitamin D for 2 years increases your chance of colon cancer by 250% (My dad recently recovered from Colon and Liver cancer, his doctor told me the stat). I haven’t been significantly sick since I started taking Vitamin D. I believe I had the swine flu (not diagnosed), and was over symptoms in 22 hours. It was a bad 22 hours, but I was still functional.

    I recommend “Vitamin D ‘Drops’“, as it is a liquid and is easy to take. It can be mixed with any drink or orally. It tastes like nothing, just slightly oily.

    If SHTF, your probably not going to be out suntanning, so I would recommend a few bottles per person be stored. Mine had a shelf life of over 3 years.

      1. Too much vitamin D (and for some it does not take a lot) can thin your blood, and make you bleed easily.

        check out

        Vitamin D “Rat Poison”

        it is added to Rat Poison to make them bleed internally.

        1. Excessive vitamin D intake is rare. It’s probably as rare as argyria (excessive silver intake). Both could happen with obsessive intake but to find either happening ordinarily? Not very often, Anon. Those with excessive vitamin D would be more likely to have calcium deposits or other issues.

          In fact, the vast majority of Americans are vitamin D defficient, and possibly the only way they are getting vitamin D is usually in fortified milk. Tanning by sun exposure is far less common than in my youth when we all were nut brown most of the year from playing outside or working. Instead a lot of Americans have pasty complexions.

          Under ordinary conditions with a healthy diet and exercise, a lot of vitamin supplementation would be superfluous. Many vitamins are excreted during micturation to prevent toxicity since they are not needed for metabolism.

          However during healing, the body needs a lot of vitamin C due to collagen production. Vitamin C has been used to acidify (alter the pH) the urine to deal with urinary tract infections.

          Babies are commonly given a Vitamin K injection while in the hospital as many would have bleeding issues otherwise. If you know some young lady who bruises easily or has dark circles around her eyes, there’s a high likelihood she has low vitamin K.

          But under sustained disaster and post-collapse, then vitamin/mineral intake is one of the best ways of maintaining the health of your tribe, especially children. During those times malnutrition is one of the main medical issues.

          Low calcium will be a major concern, for while calcium can be found in many meadow herbs, not many American children will eat tons and tons of salad even if hungry for it doesn’t provide saiety. I’m far more worried about rickets than bleeding from excessive vitamin D. In medicine, under collapse conditions would be a horse and bleeding from excessive vitamin D would be a zebra. A horse is common; a zebra is rare.

          The most common initial and persistant nutritional defficiency will be scurvy (lack of vitamin C), but that is easily remedied by pine needle tea.

  4. Store them and keep them cool. Don’t worry about exp. dates. I’m taking some 3 years out of date and they work just fine. The gov. inforces very consertive guidelines as far as exp. dates are concerned. (I have a friend that ownes a health food store.) If exposed to too much moisture you will know when you open the bottle and then you can throw it out. I’ve only had to do that once.

  5. Ionic silver, ( The original antibiotic…) Yes, COQ10, but add the red rice yeast as complimentary completion. Slow release Vitamin C was mentioned you can also amp it up ( As it is not absorbed generally above 500 mg. the body spits it out. ) with the use of potassium ascorbic, the body recognized K bonds up to 2000 mg. of C. Just as calcium, dolomite, D’s, are taken on by the body better if you take E at the same time. ( Iron bonds better as well )
    The hidden issue is that the “White Shoe Boys” using the FDA., EPA, and other government alphabets to stop production of vitamins and supplements developed and marketed post 1994. There is hoarding of the raw materials both to stop production and to raise prices. I used to get red rice yeast 500 caps @600 mg. for $5. Now after being pulled from the market and coming back with a 30 caps for $26-$38 price it is settled down to 120 caps for $12-$16. If you don’t know, this is the natural Statin-drops your cholesterol, cleans your arteries, and dissolve fatty deposits. Just got blood work 2 months apart, Keep up your iodine, kelp whatever, hypothyroidism is setting in everyone with the massive ongoing rise in Transuranic elements and their descendants. Read between the lines…
    I’ll return when there is more time. The government is actively trying to stop the natural systems across the board. This is in the news again today. USDA Substance Evaluation ( CDER ) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. They are trying to make nutritionally sound supplements categorized as drugs and stop their marketing! One last one to add to your basic needs as you age is L-Glutathione. As always Survive-All… Awareness/Preparedness/Action…

    1. I have some of the silver. Have been warned about the possibility of the skin turning blue in some cases. Prefer honey myself.

  6. FWIW…One way to get vitamin c is to make a tea out of pine needles…now I tried it about 7 months ago and it tasted like crud…but it was easy to do and didn’t cost me a dime…it did smell really good while I was letting the needles steep. Was reading a book about Ojibwa Indian medicine and saw they used pine needles and white pine bark for colds…

  7. Yes, rarely do you hear more than rose hips in the wild for “C”. The fresh new growth needles are a great spring addition to the wilderness salad. As the needles mature there is less “C” and you loose the available fiber that new growth supplies. It is seasonal wisdom combined with preservation methods that will get you through a wilderness trek or bug out… Fresh growth is also quite tasty. Like legumes, there are enough types of ever-green out there for everyone to find a taste they like. The down fall is it’s a short harvest season in the early spring. One day at a time… Survive-All… One day at a time here/now…

  8. Don’t forget to stock up an ammo can or two with some antibiotics too. Sure the vitamins and pain relievers may make you feel better but they won’t help you for long if you get an infection. Look to your aquarium supply stores for antibiotics. Fish-pen among others are pure antibiotics just like you get with a scrip. Left unopened they can store for 15+ years in a cool dark place.

    1. @Douglas, Do you have recommendations for fish antibiotics and an amount that would be close to human dose in an emergency?

      1. Most of the aquarium antibiotics are the antibiotics made by major pharm manufacturers- labeled for aquarium use. They are available in 250mg or 500mg capsules or tablets. There is no profit to be gained for the pharm companies to make different products for human and vet use. If you are in doubt order a bottle and open it up- compare the markings to a drug identification guide in the library or online. cephalexin, amoxicillin, ketoconazole, and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim or easily available.

        1. Not really a profit issue. Federal law says that pet drugs have to be approved for human use. Same with canned dog food. Not hoping to do the yum-yum on either.

          Really pisses me off that most drugs made here cost more here than the same product shipped overseas.

          In my state feed stores sell common inoculations and drugs for pet usage. The same medications will work for humans. The rabies vaccination is an exception.

      2. Get a used book on medications the kind doctors and nurses use. These tell you any and everything you need to know on what meds to use for what condition how much how often for how long. Toss it in your bug out or in boxes.

    2. To be perfectly honest, there is both a science and an art to discerning the illness of the patient, based upon their subjective descriptions and the level of their illnees, and upon the objective (mostly) opinions of the healthcare team, then comorbity issues (other disease states), then pregnancy.

      It is complex.

      It is so complex that any advice given would be in error. One could never know all of those things or discern them from a casual conversation.

      The reason that of the loss of efficacy of antibiotics is that they are over prescribed as well as misprescribed…over due to the urgency and the inclinations of the patient.

      One could easily take the wrong antibiotic for their condition(s), and worsen the health of a patient, even harming them severely. See Clostridium dificile for that topic, as many antibiotics kill helpful bacterial flora while killing the hurtful bacteria, and then other harmful bacteria take over.

      Give the wrong antibiotic to a pregnant patient who doesn’t realize that she’s pregnant, and you could potentially harm a whole family mentally as well as physically.

      Be very careful about telling people to take fish antibiotics for all of those reasons. Patients when ill, or frightened in an emergency condition, may not be the most calm thoughtful healers. That means a deep study of medicine within your tribe to use that methodology.

  9. Re vitamins and minerals

    Today we’re very spoiled because not only do most people not raise their food and livestock, but actually purchased prepared food products that are fortified. The Western diet brought about major changes in medicine and nutrition, for while there were definitely many bad things about this way of eating, there were many bad health issues that went away too.

    The pioneers, tribal people, folks in urban areas, all had nutritionally related diseases from lack of vitamins and minerals. While we think that these were limited to immigrants and poor folks in American history, that wasn’t always the case. See the history of beriberi for example, a situation in which eating less refined flour resulted in more vitamins, not less, and so the wealthier folks were more prone to getting it.

    Typically vitamin deficiency affected those who didn’t have a varied diet, those who has an inability to acquire nutrients from the sea, those who were pregnant, newborns, or immigrants, or the poor.

    Variation in diet allowed rich supplementation. That could happen from seasonal trade items, or crops being harvested, or wild edibles in season, etc.

    Iodine defficiency was a major issue causing goiters, thyroid metabolism issues, and cretinism.

    The body must have vitamins and minerals to undergo rapid cellular division and growth, and so during pregnancy this can adversely affect the mother or the newborn, or both since they live in a shared relationship. Harm the mother’s health by drawing down on her nutrients to aid the fetus’ growth and the mother’s ill health harms the infant-in-utero.

    Immigrants might work long hours and away from the sun, do work on developing bones that were remodeling under the skeletal strain but not being supplemented by calcium or Vitamin C or Vitamin D and causing rickets. Since vitamin C is essential to collagen production, many diverse folks who were growing, or trying to heal their wounds, or on long sea voyages, etc ended up with scurvy. Any bodily tissue that rapidly turns over for repair like the skin or stomach lining would have inadequate supply and so collagen is ill-formed or weakened.

    Fortification allowed routine foods that were lacking adequate nutrition to be boosted. I think many of you would be surprised at how many prepacked foods that you eat have such supplementation. As such many of you are in effect regularly supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals at every meal and snack.

    Wild edibles do have many of these nutrients, but if you study that, then I think you’ll find issues with sourcing adequate amounts of these wild edibles to create enough vitamins and minerals in your diet, or the season will be incorrect for harvest, or to gain enough nutrition you’d have to eat a tremendous amount of the wild plants. Doing so will have deleterious effects like a massive intake of calcium oxalate and cause many of you to have many kidney stones.

    Vegans often remark that they’ll be fine, but I urge vegan preppers to look at their supplies and then to consider that many of them are imported items with no American source, or they cannot be grown in their soil and temperature zone, or because of the manner in which they are grown.

    Outside of the USA, there are diverse places with huge issues in micronutrients and they continue to have the old nutrition deficiency illnesses.

    A prepper specializing in the medical aspects will have severe consternation once they research all of those types of illnesses and the times when they will happen and the lifelong effects they have upon longevity and comorbidity.

    Multi-vitamins can be stored and do expire, but in truth they expire since their potency will decline based upon heat, humidity, light exposure, and time.

    Re prescription medicines

    I’ll discuss oral, aspirated, and injectable medicines.

    For those on injectable medicines, I’m sorry to say that many will die. For those on oral medicines, they may also die in high amounts. In both cases it depends upon the severity of their illness(es).

    When a drug is ingested it is eventually broken down by stomach acid. The stomach is surrounded by blood vessels, and some of that medicine passes through and into the bloodstream. Then the medicine goes through the filtration of the liver, and recognized as a foreign substance. Over time, the drug overwhelms the liver’s filtration ability, and then the percentage of the drug achieves an increasing amount in the blood stream. The drug is also being excreted, and hence generally the drug rises to a maintained level in the blood.

    In the case of an aspirated drug, then your alveoli in your lungs aspirate the medication along with the exchange of respiratory gases. Then the same principle is in effect for maintaining drugs in your blood. Likewise, when injected, a faster amount of medicine goes directly to the bloodstream. In both of these cases, the drug is faster and bypasses the liver, and so the normal method of dispensing medicines in the hospital or emergency setting.

    There are two other common methods, but we’ll skip those for now.

    As you run out of medicines, your old issues will arise. In some cases they will sharply worsen as the concentration falters. In the case of hypertension, a very dangerous case or rebound hypertension can occur. For many folks though, the amount of drugs will persist in declining amounts for days or as long as two weeks, but the therapeutic level of the drugs will decline so much as to have no effect.

    The smart thing for any prepper to do is to fill prescriptions for the longest period if on a unchanging medication regimen. In fact, your insurance plans likely promote this as it saves them money from rising prices. Whatever buffer you have in your prescription medications will result in maintaining therapeutic blood levels to the target tissues in which the medication acts upon. That could be diverse things like the brain, skin, stomach lining, etc.

    The most commonly prescription medications are oxycodone for intense pain, Simivastin for high cholesterol, Lisinopril for blood pressure management, Synthroid to control hypothyroidism, Amlodipine Besylate for blood pressure management, Omeprazole for GERD, Azithromycin and Amoxycillin as antibiotics, Glucophage to control Type 2 Diabetes, HCTZ as a diuretic for blood pressure management.

    One can guess what will happen when folks don’t have these medications. Lots of heart/circulatory issues. Lots of folks will end up with full blown diabetes type 1 and those with that condition will have severe health issues and mortality. An inability to get warm in Winter and feel sluggish. Those with GERD will have severe issues with lack of sleep and indigestion and burning in their esophagus and scarring. Note the two antibiotics, for we constantly have folks with infections. Those may or may not heal under collapse conditions and may lengthen a recovery period or cause mortality.

  10. In this discussion of prepping and adequate vitamins and minerals, the two most important discussions are in the nixtamalization of corn, and iodine supplementation.

    In fact, writing an article on these subjects should create a major draw to the website since practically 100% of preppers need that kind of information, but most preppers don’t even realize they need to understand those two topics.

    The Nixtamalization of Corn
    While corn is grown both as field corn for meal and as corn on the cob for fast consumption, if we underwent a sustained collapse, most people would be remiss in their diets. Those who relied upon locally grown corn wouldn’t realize that attempting to get adequate niacin and NOT nixtamalizing the corn (treated with an alkalai substance of some kind) will result in the niacin not being bioavailable. Thus we would see a ressurgence of pellagra again in the USA. It would be an epidemic problem among survivors and cause terrible skin disease symptoms, swelling, insomnia, heart issues, and finally dementia.

    I urge you to look up those topics, for there are few articles written for the average person to treat their corn meal to prevent pellagra.

    Likwise, we would have terrible iodine defficiency in the USA. Iodine is in salt usually as a fortified substance. When the salt ran out, unless one regularly consumed sea products (seaweeds, fish, shellfish, etc) then most Americans who survived would be defficient. That leads to newborns with cretinism, a debilitating effect upon mental health, and it also leads to terrible goiters and othe thyroid disorders which affect all of metabolism.

    The iodine issue is further compounded because of Fukushima radioactive pollution on the West Coast, and corexit and oil pollution along the Gulf of Mexico. Both of those ecological disasters will ensure pollution is disbursed in wide regions.

    Iodine could potentially be supplemented from black walnut husks, but this is of course dependent upon them growing in your locale.

    Either could severely hamper survivors without supplementation.

    1. @HNH, Thanks for the comment. You appear to be especially knowledgeable in this subject area. If you feel inclined to write a guest-article on these deficiencies and/or solutions to these issues, feel free to contact us via the ‘Contact’ link at the bottom of the page and we’ll arrange to get it posted. Otherwise, your comment above has at least alerted folks to the potential problem that they may face.

      1. Thanks Ken. I considered writing an article or articles since my comments are often so long. That probably would be better and then spell and grammar checked as well. I’ll consider it, and would include references if you desire that as evidence. I sure don’t want to give you more work to do to fact check or edit that article, but of course all editorial decisions would be up to you as you may not wish to point to outside sources for multiple reasons.

        Because of the Peace Corps and diverse work by numerous NGOs, a lot of that information is applicable to the USA under disaster as well as sustained collapse. As such, you may find that a search of those kinds of archives will provide an abundant source of future articles.

        Those volunteers have to teach in diverse multidisciplinary ways for they may be solely responsible for all aspects of seeing a project come to fruition and under very low technology conditions, though with a pre-existing agricultural foundation. That means if they teach rocket stoves, then they also teach how to gather the clay, make the wooden brick molds, fire the bricks, alternative recipes adapted to the rocket stoves, etc. As such all of the methods are entwined from multiple angles and not just, “Let’s make a stove from common materials…”

  11. Learn to forage wild edibles, and start seeding down your properties with as many medicinal herbs as possible. Remember, up to 70 percent of pharmacy meds are derived from herbs. These can be powerful and contain rich amounts of vitamins and minerals. Strengthen them by tincturing them. Store up plenty of 80 proof vodka to use for tincture. Start now, if stored well, tinctures stay viable for several years. If you don’t like the idea of the alcohol, just put into hot tea, and most will work off. This is free for the learning and herbal remedies work. They are more symbiotic with our bodies…wild herbs-plenty of micro nutrients, NO pesticides, NO GMOS, mostly free. Avoid collecting in areas of high vehicle traffic or intensive factory farming. 200 years ago this information was common knowledge. We’ve bee suckered and duped.

    1. Because some wild edibles were actually not native species in America, but actually came over to America with pioneers and immigrants, then they were in fact cultivated species that often eventually became wild in America.

      Due to their hardiness, nutrition, and culinary and medicinal value, it might make far more sense to intentionally plant several species towards that purpose as you recommend. Many vitamins and minerals will thus be provided in a predictable way versus wild foraging. Because wild foraging means moving far from the homestead, it’s also a security risk under adverse circumstances.

      Herbs vary in their potentcy and based upon growing and harvesting conditions. Standardized extracts are better, but of course under collapse we won’t have that. If there is a big collapse and many deaths, then we’ll be harvesting herbs from stores, for otherwise they’ll be wasted. Preppers can do that only if they have the better herbal resources from which to decide which herb is most appropriate, and then only if they fully understand the patient and the preexisting conditions of the patient. It’s back to the same antibiotic issues.

      Many pathological states could have the same symptoms as toxicological issues, or are the result of malnutrition, stress, mental illness, fatigue, etc.

      Allopathic medicine is built upon the idea of an active ingredient, hence instead of white willow bark for a headache, aspirin was isolated and dispensed. It’s entirely possible that’s a flawed theory, but as yet the one most backed by research.

      Because of the high value in prescribed medications, but without trade networks, then criminals might decide to seize those medications in the early days of a collapse. Likewise they may be commandeered by local, state, or federal governments.

      After the great Crash and throughout the Depression, there wasn’t any real organized means of helping the impoverished with nutrition. Many were tenant farmers who were driven off the land which exacerbated the issue. There also was a Great Drought at the same time.

      When the decision was made to enter WW2, over and over the review boards for the military found rampant nutritional defficiencies. As such, they had to reject a lot of potential soldiers as they were too weak to serve in that capacity.

      In a collapse, a lot of the similar circumstances could result in similar outcomes. Likewise a severe loss of the value of the dollar would most likely lead to the loss of trade networks of pharmaceuticals.

      It might be the only way to treat malnutrition and other medical issues would be from your own garden.

    2. Thanks for bring up tincturing. We grew our heirloom plants this yr. and have made a few different tinctures. So far the purple cone has been great. It has helped both myself and hubby several times this yr alone.

  12. NAC, an amino acid, is a must have. It will cure Bronchitis in three days taking three pills a day, one in the morning, one at noon, and one at night. In studies , it was shown more effective than anitbiotics.

  13. I was reading this post and wanted to throw my 2 cents in. First, I hold a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. I’ve been a practicing Pharmacist for over 22 years now. Most literature will tell you to pitch you prescription medicine after 6 months to 1 year, depending upon the medication. It’s also advised not to store medications in a hot steamy area such as a bathroom too. The main culprit in medication degradation is oxidation. Heat and steam can accelerate this process. Most meds when they undergo oxidation just loose potency, however, erythromycin will degrade into harmful components which is toxic to the kidneys. In theory, prescription medications could be vacuumed sealed and then sealed again in Mylar bags with o2 absorbers to prevent oxidation. This could theoretically increase the shelf life of prescription meds to 10 to 15 years….in theory.

  14. Supplements fall into four graded quality levels, and the highest quality of supplements are pharmaceutical grade. These are the quality level you should be looking for. They are pure and the actually contain the supplement listed on the bottle. Typically, these are sold through a pharmacy and require an RX. However, they are available through other resources. The second highest grade are medical grade, and you would usually get these from a medical professional. The third level is cosmetic grade and this is what you find in most grocery stores, big box stores, health food stores, GNCs, vitamin shops, etc. They have far less strenuous testing and quality controls. Often, they do not even contain the supplement they claim, and they contain unsavory fillers (like sawdust). This level of supplement is not often absorbed by your body. You are literally flushing the supplement, and your money down the toilet. The lowest grade of supplements are agricultural grade and they are not fit for human consumption.

    Now that you know what quality of supplements you need, how do you determine which supplements you actually need? It can be a daunting task. If you smoke, or ever did smoke you should not take beta carotene. It increases your risk of cancer. If you have the MTHFR gene mutation, and an estimates 50% of people do, you can not take synthetic B vitamins. Some RX meds will interfere with supplements. Some will leech supplements from your body, or block their absorption. You must know what supplements you need for your body.

    You simply cannot take an off the shelf one size fits none multivitamin. Customized vitamins are what you should be taking, and buying for survival purposes. The brand my family uses come printed with out names on them, and come in an easy open strip pack. No cumbersome bottles. A month supply will fit flat in a backpack and leave plenty of room for more items.

  15. This is a most informative topic with comments. Perhaps one of the best, at least on this topic, here at MSB. This quote from the comments: “Iodine defficiency was a major issue causing goiters, thyroid metabolism issues, and cretinism.” should get our attention.

    Iodine deficiency can occur with all of us using sea salt, which doesn’t contain iodine. I have a supplement made from sea kelp. A lot of attention is given to herbs, vitamins but minerals not so much.

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