Why I Threw Out My Multivitamins

This Is Why I Threw Out My Multivitamin

Suzy Cohen RP

From Dr. Heather Hunt DC

I love this article written by pharmacist Suzy Cohen.  I have never been a fan of multi-vitamins myself, and she articulates my feelings about it well.  I am also a real stickler for quality. Personally, I try to eat organic whole foods and stay away from synthetic ingredients, GMOs, etc.  This is why I only carry a few lines of supplements in our office.  There truly is a quality difference and just like the food I buy, I want my vitamins to be top quality.  And I do think that natural supplements can be absolutely vital in improving our health.  Instead of a general multi-vitamin, I recommend doing some blood testing, system surveys and a personal intake with a qualified health care professional to access what your body truly needs, instead of throw a bunch of possible synthetic harmful substances at it.  I do not recommend buying supplements from GNC, Costco, Drug stores or online retailers selling cheap supplements.  In this case, often you do get what you pay for. Indeed, the New Your Times (Feb 2015) and others reported a raid on popular brands of supplements and stated this:

“The authorities said they had run tests on popular store brands of herbal supplements at the retailers — Walmart, Walgreens, Target and GNC — which showed that roughly four out of five of the products contained none of the herbs listed on their labels. In many cases, the authorities said, the supplements contained little more than cheap fillers like rice and house plants, or substances that could be hazardous to people with food allergies.”

Because the FDA does not regulate supplements, it is important that you really investigate the quality of what you are ingesting.  Indeed, they may be doing more harm than good.

Yours in heath,  Dr. Heather


From Suzy:

I’m just like you and have spent a lot of hard-earned money on multivitamins figuring they will work behind the scenes and improve or maintain my good health.  I was never really sure if they did anything for me, so I’d just keep switching brands. It’s not like I felt anything happening, nor did I feel more energy. If I missed a day, I wouldn’t even notice. Was I just making ‘expensive’ urine?

Call me cynical but if you have to spend that much money advertising to convince me your stuff is good, how much money have you put into the formula? Is it possible that companies multi-million dollar advertising budget is just causing you to skimp on ingredients?  And in order to produce massive quantities of multivitamins, cheap excipients have to be used in order to make their machines run faster. It’s a universal dilemma, one that I have faced myself. Take a multivitamin or not? So I don’t. I threw them all out recently.

I used to think multivitamins filled a nutritional gap, but today I think differently. There’s no way that 1.7 mg of any B vitamin will boost energy, or 20mg of magnesium could improve mood. I’m beginning to realize that multivitamins are an absolute joke! It’d be funny except the jokes on us, and you spent good money on them. Here’s my rationale:

Negligible amounts- There are so many nutrients in a multivitamin that the amounts of each become negligible. For example, 1 mg of pyridoxine (B6) doesn’t impact you metabolically speaking. I think it’s on the label ‘for show’ as clearly, this amount doesn’t optimize health. By the time this 1 mg gets past your digestive tract, hardly anything could have made it to your blood stream, no less your nerves where B6 is required. The same goes for cyanocobalamin, a typical form of vitamin B12. One popular multi-billion dollar producing brand has 1 mcg cyanocobalamin in it! MICROGRAM folks, that is just one-thousandth of a milligram. With hundreds of B12 dependent metabolic reactions (including methylation), what do you think that 1 microgram does for you? I’ll tell you, nothing! It’s there ‘for show.’

Allergies– Multivitamins have upwards of 68 different ingredients, some of which are synthetic, are you sure you’re not allergic to this stuff?

Inactive forms– It’s one thing to take insignificant amounts of a nutrient, but there are usually completely inactive vitamins in your multivite, and they remain inactive until converted by your liver to something that could work. After you take cyanocobalamin B12, your body breaks it into cyanide and cobalamin, and then you have to methylate it. Superior forms of B12 are methylcobalamin, hydroxycobalamin or adenosylcobalamin.

Potential toxins– Let’s revisit that cyanocobalamin B12, what I consider to be inferior to other B12 supplements. It contains minute amounts of cyanide which has low potential to do harm when bound to organic cobalamin, but still, I don’t want it in my body even in teeny-tiny amounts.

Cramps and diarrhea– Yep, you could get that due to the addition of cheap forms of magnesium such as the “oxide” form. Gentler forms of magnesium include the “chelated” forms, or threonate, or glycinate.

Artificial colors– One popular brand contains three artificial colors FD&C Red #40, Blue #2 and Yellow #6 and there is a controversy over the safety of those dyes. I’m not sure why colors matter on a multivitamin but apparently the biggest makers like to use them. If you have all the money in the world, why not choose natural colors?! There are many, including blueberry juice concentrate, carotene from carrots, paprika, beet juice, purple sweet potato, hibiscus, natural astaxanthin, CoQ10 (it’s a beautiful orange) and red cabbage extract.

The greatest deception is that the minerals from these multivitamins will get into your bones. Magnesium oxide and calcium carbonate don’t penetrate your bone cells well. They have a tough time leaving your intestines so if you’re taking these minerals to improve bone mass, make sure you take easy-on-the-tummy supplements that break apart easily and travel to your bones.

In my humble opinion, it’s not possible to take a multivitamin once daily, that contains biologically active ingredients, and has them in dosages that advance your health.  This is why I threw out my multivitamins. You can get biologically active nutrients if you just eat real food, nothing from a box or can. Your diet should include the basics like salads, greens, nuts, seeds, citrus fruits, berries and of course, lean, clean protein.

Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum Nutritional Support Protocol


The intention of this handout is to best support your pregnancy, birth and postpartum time with quality supplements and natural remedies I have found helpful both during my own 3 pregnancies and also in my practice.  It is not intended to replace professional advice and I advise you to consult with a licensed health care professional before taking new remedies/ supplements.  All these supplements/remedies are available for sale at our office.

Furthermore, self-care is essential in this time as you are paving the way for a new little being to be in our world, so I strongly recommend proper rest, nutrition, and physical care such as chiropractic, craniosacral and massage. 

Support for Pregnancy

Liver support: (if you have swelling, itchy skin, extreme hormonal mood swings, etc)
Herblore Liver Tonic for Pregnancy- can dose up to 2 droppers-full 3x/ day

Livaplex by Standard Process 2 caps, 2x/day

Adrenal/Stress/Fatigue: (if you feel abnormally tired, are not sleeping well or depending on sugar/caffeine to get your energy up to make it through the day)
Cytocyme AD by Biotics, 1 with breakfast, 1 with lunch, can build up to 2 in AM, 2 with lunch

Iron Deficiency Anemia or Low Iron Levels: (fatigue, pale skin)
Hemevite by Apex Entergetics- an iron in dessicated grass fed liver, an excellent source of Vitamin B12.  Work up to taking 3 caps, 2 times a day. 

Hemeplex—Alison Osborn’s recommendation at Briarpatch

Gall Bladder: (pain under your right rib cage or under your right shoulder blade, especially after eating fats or high carb meals.  Please tell your doctor/birth provider if you have this)

Take all together:

AF Betafood by Standard Process, 2 with each meal

Zypan by Standard Process, 2 with each meal

Cholacol by Standard Process, 2 with each meal

Recommendation for Prenatal vitamin: Designs for Health prenatal vitamin, this has methylated B vitamins, which is important because most of us do not absorb B vitamins well.

Rash of Pregnancy/Itchy skin:  (Itchy skin or rash especially on trunk of body, please tell your doctor/care-provider if you are experiencing this)

Itch Relief by Herblore, also consider Liver support as this rash manifests with liver congestion

Acid reflux/ heartburn:  Enzymix Pro by Apex Energetics, 1 cap before each meal OR

Zypan by Standard Process, 2 before each meal

Gestational Diabetes or General Blood Sugar Support/multivitamin  

Glysen by Apex Entergetics.  Helps regulate blood sugar levels. 2 caps, 3x a day after meals

-or- SP Complete smoothie mix from Standard Process (2 scoopers a day)

Adrenal support is necessary, too, please refer to adrenal section of hand out

Constipation: 400-600 mg of Magnesium Citrate mixed with 1 TBS Calcium Lactate at night before bed as needed.  I digested this combo much better than Calm Cal/Mg.

Leg Cramps: Magnesium Malate or Glycinate, 400-600 mg at night before bed

Headaches/Migraines: Riboflavin (B2), 400mg at night.  Magnesium Glycinate or Malate (up to 600mg/day, broken into 2 doses).  Omega 3s (Cod Liver Oil), Host Defense mushroom immune support.  Hot bath with Epson salt, cold wash cloth on forehead.  Avoid caffeine.

Sinus Pressure/congestion: Craniosacral Therapy, Echinacea, Vitamin D, Omega 3s

Anxiety/Insomnia: Adrena-Calm from Apex.  A cream that literally lowers your adrenaline/cortisol levels.  ½ to 2 pumps, apply onto soft skin (underarms, thighs, belly)

Support for Birth/Directly after birth

Postpartum Sitz Bath by Herblore (wonderful for healing!)

After Pain Tincture by Herblore and Calcium Lactate powder from Standard Process (for the post-partum contractions of the uterus shrinking back to size)

Homeopathic Remedies: Arnica (for muscle injuries) and Aconite (for shock).


Support for Postpartum

Mastitis/Clogged Milk Ducts (pain in breast, redness can manifest in fever and flu like symptoms.  Often occurs with increased stress, so take Poke Root when you travel!)

Poke Root by Herblore, works usually in 1 day! 

Stay on Pre Natal support, consider adrenal support

Increasing breast milk supply 

Nursing Tea or tincture by Herblore (the tincture is much stronger than the tea)

If you are having consistent problems with milk supply, please come in and we will test your thyroid and sex hormone levels.

Adrenals: Cytozyme AD is safe for nursing but I like to transition to an herbal support like Withania Complex by MediHerb or Adrenatone by Designs for Health (ask Dr. Heather!!!)

PostPartum Depression:  Postpartum Support International has a toll free hotline.  Keep on prenatals or female multi-vitamins.  Adrenal support.  Omega 3/Fish oils.  Methylated B vitamins.  Check your thyroid, talk to Dr. Heather about hormones.


Support for Baby

Teething/Fever:  Homeopathic Baby Kit by Uriel and Calcium Lactate tablets (break them up for the baby to swallow) from Standard Process.  1 to 3 tablets, up to 2x/day

Colic: Read BabySense Secret by Meg Faure.  Craniosacral Therapy.  Block Feeding (3 hours on one breast, then 3 hours feeding on the other).  Infant massage.  Have mom take probiotics and Omega 3s.

Reflux: Dietary changes for mom if baby is breastfeeding.  Craniosacral.  See Colic.

Diaper Rash:  Weleda Calendula Diaper Cream.  If yeast rash (you will know if it is yeast because it is “fire engine red” and does not respond to regular diaper creams) then you go to the pharmacy and buy athlete’s foot cream.  Apply to rash 2x/day until it clears.

Dr. Heather recommends not vaccinating on the day of birth with Hepatitis B as this is a blood-born illness and transmitted like HIV.  It can wait till your child’s immune system becomes more robust.


Recommendations throughout pregnancy and postpartum

Blood Sugar Support/General Nourishment Smoothie a day with SP Complete by Standard Process or Clearvite by Apex Entergetics.  These help stabilize blood sugar, are a mild liver detoxer, have great vitamins and more.

Increase Fiber Intake Whole Food Fiber by Standard Process, 1-2 TBS a day in a smoothie. (to clear out extra hormones and toxins through the digestive tract, and to increase stool transit time).  Eat more foods with fiber.

Cod Liver Oil or other Omega 3s.  Helpful for the developing nerves/brain of the baby, good immune support, brain support, and anti-inflammatory.  Fish oils do thin your blood so refrain from taking any from two weeks before your due date to birth.  Dosage on bottle.

Vitamin D.  Vitamin D is necessary for the immune system, hormonal health, mood stability and more. Get a liquid one as it is better absorbed.  Take 1000-4000 IU a day.  I recommend getting your Vitamin D level tested before supplementation so we can best dose you.  We can easily order a blood test to see what your levels are of Vitamin D are.

Probiotics: Eat them (yogurt, keifer, saurkraut, kombucha, etc) and/or take them in supplemental form.  If you are eating them, a therapeutic dose is about 2 Cups of yogurt/kefir a day.  If you have a yeast infection, you can use probiotics vaginally as a suppository for a few weeks and up to the birth (but obviously not after your water breaks!).  Get the vaginal canal ready for baby inoculation!  We have a few to choose from.  Strengthia by Apex Entergetics includes a yeast strain so is helpful for people suffering or who have suffered with yeast infections/overgrowth.

Consider B Vitamins—for hormone support, nausea in pregnancy, energy levels, mood, etc.   Many people cannot absorb regular B vitamins, so a methylated form is recommended.  We have a handful of different choices at our office.  Favorites are B Supreme or Homocysteine Supreme by Designs for Health.


The Baby Sense Secret by Meg Faure.  A must read for all new parents! My all time favorite baby book.  It explains a baby’s sensory development and how to take care of a baby knowing where they are developmentally.  

Anything by Ina May Gaskin and Dr. Sears