Sunday, 15 September 2013
Recently I have been trying out the new vegvit & the new vitamin D3 tablets from vitashine. Before we look at each of these separately I would like to point out that neither vitamin D, nor a multi will give you a "I took this & gained 20 pounds" or "I took this & it made the me a beast when I worked out". A basic multi is kind of like an insurance, you should be eating everything you need to get all the nutrients, but just in case a multi will cover any you might inadvertently miss out. This is especially true for those who are dieting down as lower calories means less chances to get everything you need. The same is true with vitamin D, you may not be getting enough, but for different reasons we'll look at below, but first let's look at vegvit.
Vegvit is the new multi from the makers of vitashine & opti3 vitamin D3 & DHA/EPA pills. This is their first go at a multi so I was interested to see what they could come up with.
My first look is quite encouraging, they have pretty much everything in it you'd want, they do not mega-dose (more is not always better) & they have a nice mix of less common things added as well (like superfood extracts etc). Also a lot of the minerals are in the form of chelates & so are absorbed more easily than other commonly used (cheaper) ingredients.
I did find a couple of interesting points that I have asked for clarification about. The first is that in the ingredients it says "Vitamin A (as beta-carotene & vit A conc)". I have not heard of a vegan vitamin A (Retinol) being available? This could be just a brand name for a proprietary carotenoid blend or similar, but I have asked about it. I liked the inclusion of the plant extracts, that is unusual in a multi pill & I thought it was a nice touch.
The only thing you may consider 'missing' from this pill is the inclusion of a vitamin K2. There is vitamin K1. I know that the need has not been 100% proven, but I personally believe that it is a useful addition to the diet (either through supplements or through the inclusion of fermented foods). It would have been perfect if it had included that (I don't think there is a multi that includes it, so it is not exactly lacking in that department, it would have been nice though) - for more on K2 check out this blogpost.
So, I'd say the pill gets 99 out of 100 as it doesn't mega-dose & has a nice mixture of vitamins, mineral & natural plant extracts.
Vitashine 1,000 & 2,500IU tablets
I'm guessing that many of you have tried out the 5,000IU vitashine capsules or the spray. They have now expanded the range to include a 1,000IU & 2,500IU solid tablet. Unlike a multi, you do not generally get vitamin D in plant foods (unless they are fortified).
The ideal is to get vitamin D from the sun, unfortunately, many of us work indoors & only have limited times of during the year when it is possible to synthesis vitamin D. I have seen studies that have shown that as many as 50% or more of the population of western societies may have sub-optimal vitamin D levels! How does that affect you? Well, if you are a strength athlete then vitamin D can also be classed as a hormone & levels have been shown to affect strength, so if you are chronically low, then your strength may be being held back by low levels. Also bone & teeth strength are linked to vitamin D, so adapting to a new load could be slowed if the bones are not adjusting to increased loads as quickly as they should (bones & ligaments are the slowest to adapt to changes, so they could possibly hold you back at times). There are dozens of ways that vitamin D may affect training from immune function to strength output (in some studies), so if you are serious about strength you will make sure your vitamin D is at an adequate level.
Other factors you might like is that the tablets taste like sweets! They are very tasty, so I would rate them for that. If you have a sweet tooth, it could even help take off that edge? I'm not really a 'sweet' person in general, so I'm guessing, but I thought it was worth mentioning. The good thing is that you now have loads of options. You can go for the spray, the 1,000IU pill, the 2,500IU pill or the 5,000IU capsule, so you have a load of choices. Personally I will probably stick to the 5,000IU during the winter, so my levels stay high, but during the summer I may drop down to the 1,000IU or 2,500IU (depending on how the summer is going). A lot will depend on where you live, how much you can get outside & your skin colour when deciding which might be the best vitamin D for you. The darker your skin, the less time you spend in the sun & the further north (or south in the southern hemisphere) you are will mean the more you ought to consider taking. So, there isn't an easy answer about intake. If you have any concerns you can get tested for vitamin D as it is a fairly common test available now, for more on vitamin D take a look at this post on the subject. I rate vitamin D as pretty vital for anyone not getting out into the sun on a very regular basis (& for those in the far north or south even that does not increase levels), so I consider this a absolutely vital supplement for me!
Where to buy
You can get vegvit pills here
You can get vitashine vegan vitamin D3 here
As a side note they do also make a DHA/EPA pill that you can get here