A spoonful of xanax helps the vitamin go down...
May 26, 2010 7:50 AM   Subscribe

What is your favorite brand of multivitamins? See potential catches inside:


Hey hivemind! I've been a vegetarian for nearly 10 years now. I taken various supplemental vitamins over the years, but I've always had some problems with them. Can you help me find the right one for me? I'm willing to buy online, of course.

- I have a problem swallowing pills. I'm generally fine with gelcaps. However, I've haven't been able to find a solid gelcap multivitamin, and I've never met a multivitamin that I can swallow without anxiety. It doesn't have to be very small, but a gelcap would help. I have no problem swallowing those giant Sudafed pills. The brand I have now has a clear cover, but it isn't smooth like a gelcap normally is.

- All of the multivitamins I've ever tried have smelled awful. It makes swallowing them even harder, and just the thought of taking one makes me sick to me stomach. I'd like one that has little to no smell. The brand I have now literally stinks up one of my office drawers, and every time I open it I get a blast of this disgusting smell in my face. I put the bottle in a plastic bottle, and I can still smell it through the bottle and the bag.

- I've often resorted to vitamins that were clearly not meant for me, like Flintstone's vitamins. I want something specifically for adult vegetarians. Female-specific would be a plus, but that seems like a stretch.

Does this multivitamin exist for crazy folks like me? I really appreciate your suggestions.

And, before you lecture me: I am aware that vitamins are merely a supplement. I make every attempt to get my nutrients in what I eat. I am not using this as a replacement for anything.

posted by Lizsterr to Health & Fitness (23 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Er, that's supposed to be, "I put the bottle in a plastic baggie, and I can still smell it through the bottle and the bag."

Sorry for the carelessness.
posted by Lizsterr at 7:54 AM on May 26, 2010

My girlfriend is pregnant, and her neonatals were giving her a hard time. So the doctor I do a lot of side work for (who is an OMD, NMD) gave me a bottle of "natural" vitamins. They're all derived from food---they're not Vitamin C as citric acid, etc.

Anyway, she takes 2 a day and has no vitamin headaches or stomachaches or anything. They're not cheap, $30 for a bottle of 60, but non-pregnant people only take 1 a day. I get them free in exchange for work. I don't know the brand off hand, but I can look if you'd be interested. Shoot me a memail.

(she also has a hard time with pills. And these don't smell at all.)
posted by TomMelee at 7:58 AM on May 26, 2010

Oh, God. Vitamin smell. [Shudder.]

Do you live near a health food store/Whole Foods? Go to the vitamin section and ask the people working there if they can recommend something specific that doesn't have the horrible vitamin smell.

My former boyfriend had a hard time swallowing pills and was able to find chewable vitamins for adults at a Whole Foods-type place.
posted by corey flood at 8:05 AM on May 26, 2010

I'm told that what you and I and some other people can smell/taste is Thiamine (see this old AskMe for lots of answers about why Vitamins stink and whether you do, too). I cannot even be in the same room as a bottle of regular vitamins, the stink is completely incompatible with life when it comes to that for me - so I get my vitamins via Emergen-C Multivitamins (Flash, so I can't link directly to the multivitamins area, but there are two flavors, Cherry Pomegranate and Apricot Mango). It can be a little sandy, to be honest, but it doesn't make me gag and I like to drink it hot, in one or two goes, and it's done.
posted by Medieval Maven at 8:11 AM on May 26, 2010

You and I have nearly similar requirements in vitamins (I don't need the lady stuff). I've just started with these:


These are essentially gummy bears. They have no smell and almost no medicine flavor. They also don't seem to cause me any intestinal distress, which is more than I can say for the smelly, impossible to swallow pills I used to take. They meet my supplement needs as a pescatarian.

You can find them for pretty cheap if you shop around. I think Costco has them now for $8 for 200 gummies, or a 100 day supply.
posted by GodricVT at 8:21 AM on May 26, 2010

If you can reconcile the gelatin ingredient with your vegetarianism, this product might work. It works for me, and I have the same swallowing issue.
posted by raisingsand at 8:21 AM on May 26, 2010

I take these Viactiv multi-vitamin soft chews. They come in chocolate and chocolate/cherry, I think. They taste pretty good and are easy to get down. I found mine in my local drug store.
posted by bristolcat at 8:25 AM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm thirding the vitafusion gummy vitamins -- I don't actually take the multivitamin, but I love their calcium and vitamin B supplements. I get mine at target for not very much money, and drugstore.com.
posted by brainmouse at 8:25 AM on May 26, 2010

Another vote for gummy vitamins.
posted by kimdog at 8:27 AM on May 26, 2010

Definitely gummy vitamins, if you're okay with the gelatin.
posted by thejanna at 8:43 AM on May 26, 2010

Life Source or Nature's Way liquid vitamins have worked for me for several years, without ever once upsetting my stomach. If I recall correctly, the Nature's Way tastes a little better. Sometimes I add them to juice, but most of the time, I just do it as a shot.

I believe they both have a few different versions available (with or without iron, etc.), and all versions of either have a lot more good stuff in them than standard drugstore vitamins. (As someone who's been a vegetarian for over 30 years, I can tell you that there are some vitamins/minerals you may not be getting that may not start causing you problems until decades down the road.)
posted by MexicanYenta at 8:44 AM on May 26, 2010

Best answer: I can't do regular vitamins either -- that vitamin smell has made me throw up more time than I can count! I love Gummy Vitamins with my whole heart, this is one of the gelatin-free vegetarian options. I haven't had those particular vitamins but I have had other gummy vitamins from Yummi Bears and I thought they were fantastic.
posted by kate blank at 8:45 AM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

I use a powdered multivitamin and mix it into my daily breakfast smoothie. The linked one is vegan (which is nice, but not why I chose it) and iron-free (which is why I chose it, but may not be ideal for a vegetarian woman).
I find it a little gritty and chalky, but much preferable to solid vitamins, which I can swallow, but tend to nauseate me.
The milk-based version does have iron, so depending on your feelings re dairy, that might be a better option for you. I cannot vouch for its taste or texture.
posted by willpie at 8:45 AM on May 26, 2010

Mine was nutracene, but they dont make them anymore.
posted by digdan at 9:15 AM on May 26, 2010

I really liked these: Pure Encapsulations. They are hypoallegenic w/ no fillers, just pure vitamins.
posted by cwarmy at 9:32 AM on May 26, 2010

What about a liquid multivitamin? I know they sell one at Costco, and I can't imagine they'd be very hard to find.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:46 AM on May 26, 2010

Hit post too soon. I have one of these liquid multivitamins, and though I don't have any problem swallowing pills or with the smell, I don't notice a smell with this one and I put it into a smoothie -- can't even taste it.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:48 AM on May 26, 2010

Why fix it if it's not broken? Flintstone's chewables--I know several adults that use them, and you already know you can tolerate them.
posted by 6:1 at 9:53 AM on May 26, 2010

I'm just here to say that I love my One-A-Day drink mix powder. I usually mix half a packet into a glass of water first thing in the morning, then take the rest later. It gives water a citrus-y but not too chemical taste, is actually pretty refreshing. Also it reminds me to drink more water.
posted by egeanin at 9:55 AM on May 26, 2010

Response by poster: I'm looking for vegetarian-specific vitamins, folks! As in, a multivitamin tailored to someone who doesn't eat meat.

Thanks for those that suggested the gummi bear vitamins. I'll look into them!
posted by Lizsterr at 10:04 AM on May 26, 2010

I like the Country Life Adult Multi chewables. They're on the pricey side but they're vegetarian and gluten free. They may offer other form factors as well.
posted by iamscott at 11:16 AM on May 26, 2010

I like Trader Joe's High Potency Chewable adult multivitamins. They do have a bit of a vitamin smell, but it's very mild and I don't think they smell bad. They don't make me gag at all, and you don't have to worry about swallowing them. I think they smell/taste a little bit like Flintstones's vitamins.

Here are the "other ingredients" (the non-vitamin part)

sucrose, acacia, granular, honey, non-fat milk, stearic acid (vegetable source), natural tropical punch flavor, citric acid, dextrose, magnesium stearate (vegetable source), annato (for color), Glycyrrhiza Glabra (licorice), natural flavors.

I think that since the list goes out of the way to specify that all the ingredients are from vegetarian sources, the whole thing is probably vegetarian (though it's obviously not vegan). If you'd like me to tell you the type of any of the vitamins/ what it contains, let me know.
posted by insectosaurus at 11:43 AM on May 26, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks guys. I'm going to check out the Yummi Bear vitamins. They also have Omega 3-6-9 vitamins that are vegetarian. It's pretty rarely to find omega 9 in a veggie vitamin, so that was great.
posted by Lizsterr at 8:27 PM on May 26, 2010

« Older Hiring manager flakes out?   |   Beyond Burgers and Dogs. Or: over-thinking a... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.