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Vitamin B makes me nauseous

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Initial post: May 20, 2011 1:42:49 PM PDT
My doc says I need more B12, so I bought some at the store, took one after dinner and wham! Major puking episode. Just to be sure it was the pills and not dinner (enchiladas and rice, who knows, I might just have been a little ill) I tried the pills two more times, once after lunch and a second time after dinner, I still ended up feeling horribly nauseated.

What do I do now? Is there any way to get enough B12 through food?

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2011 10:56:29 PM PDT
Susanna says:
B vitamins--and lots of other vitamins- do that to me too. I have had good luck with Solgar brand. I can take their "gentle stomach iron" as well as their multivitamin. I have their B complex but haven't gotten up the courage to try it.

Even typcial brands like one a day make me throw up; I have wondered if it is the coating. For Solagar, I select the capsules instead of the tablets; these seem to sit better.

Apparently throwing up after taking vitamins is not a usual occurance. Beware of zinc! I could only keep that down for a few minutes. And you probably know take them after eating a largish mean. Dinner works best for me, although I have found I can take Solgar early in the day. You can get them at Vitamin Shop (and probably here on Amazon!).

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2011 10:57:09 PM PDT
Susanna says:
Oh yeah, and if you eat meat, that is a good source of B12. If you don't, try miso.

Posted on May 21, 2011 1:31:05 AM PDT
YamaMayaNyaa says:
I bought a store brand equivalent of Centrum and boy were they ever lousy!! It made me sick every time I swallowed it. One a Days as well, in fact, I don't think my stomach likes multivitamins, I'll stick to taking them individually.

Posted on May 21, 2011 7:36:53 AM PDT
E. S. Franke says:
NOW Foods ADAM for Men, and EVE for women. I highly recommend them...

Otherwise, look for a good B complex. I like, but there are many others.

Posted on May 21, 2011 9:22:14 AM PDT
Strikerfm says:
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Posted on May 21, 2011 12:28:12 PM PDT
Carl Ross says:
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In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2011 3:40:45 PM PDT
E. S. Franke says:
I wouldn't take advice from anyone plugging a book on Amazon.

Posted on May 21, 2011 3:42:12 PM PDT
E. S. Franke says:
By the way, NOW Foods uses Methylcobalamin as their source of B12, rather than Cyanocobalamin like most supplement makers. It probably costs them more but they still put out competitively priced products that beat the pants off almost everyone else.

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2011 3:47:54 PM PDT
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin and other types) is not readily absorbed by mouth. B12 is best obtained from eating certain foods such as (ranging from high amount to lower) liver, clams, beef sirloin, Swiss cheese, and chicken, etc.. Injection is the usual preferred B12 delivery method when someone has pernicious anemia and cannot absorb this vitamin properly and or is B12 deficient. The sublingual (under the tongue) delivery method of B12 vitamin may have better absorption capabilities than "by-mouth" products. One example of a sublingual type is "Perfect B" (by Pharmaceutical Purveyors of Oklahoma, Inc.). Note: The niacin content in some vitamin B sublingual and by-mouth products may cause headaches for some users.

People sensitive or allergic to cobalamin, cobalt, or any other product ingredients contained in B 12 supplements may have trouble. Alcohol, certain medications, and vitamins and minerals may cause interactions when taken with B vitamins. Generally speaking, people who react badly to B vitamin supplements (commonly produced from yeast) may be reacting to the ingredient from which the B vitamin was obtained for manufacturing.

A person with an allergic bowel disease such as celiac disease may find he or she cannot take most B products. Celiac is a common gluten allergy grossly under diagnosed and missed by US physicians. Celiac is a genetic, nutrient deficient, autoimmune disease, characterized by gluten sensitivity and inflammation of the small intestine, leading to vitamin deficiency, malnutrition, and other complications. Vomiting is not a common symptom of celiac but it can happen. When supplements and medications are manufactured a binder is used to keep it working and enable its delivery. For instance corn starch is a common binder used in dry products; whereas alcohol is a common binder used in liquid extracts. People can be allergic to these and other binders. Depending upon people's allergic reactions to substances, 2 brands that may have purer binders may include Bluebonnet (Bluebonnet Nutrition Corporation) or Thorne (Thorne Research Inc.).

One dynamic for consideration is to find a pure brand and try one supplement rather than a grouping of vitamins and minerals etc., and wait 3 to 4 days before trying something else because allergic reactions can be delayed 2 or 3 days depending, in part, how long it takes the colon to get rid of it. General rule of thumb, the closer to nature a substance is the better it tends to be for the body. Always have 'conversation' with body to know what is needed or not.
Best Regards, Dr Fitz

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2011 4:34:43 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jul 17, 2013 9:22:35 PM PDT]

Posted on May 22, 2011 3:48:08 AM PDT
Great Cook says:
I also get sick after taking a multi B Vitamin, or just the B-12..but I Bought from "Trader Joe's" (if you know what I'm talking about!) There B-12 1000 MCG. It does not make me sick at all.
It's the type you put under your tongue. You do not taste it, and I have never gotten sick from it.

The other alternative is, buying "Nutritional Yeast". Its Full of B-12. You have to buy it at a good health food store, or Whole Foods carries it.
It looks like a flour. It taste's a bit like Parmasan cheese.
I sprinkle it on veggies, pasta, potatoes etc. anything you want..
But I think you should not take more then 2 Tablespoons a day..
Check it out on Google.

I personally think when I swollow that BIG Vitamin B, it lays in my stomach, and it is Nauseating.

Btw if your really low in B-12, your Dr. can give you a B-12 shot, and you will feel full of
energy, and great. It will not make you sick.

I think someone mentioned taking Iron! If you do not eat and take Iron, that can really make you sick. I almost pass out and had to go to the Hospital,

Good Luck..

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2011 5:13:48 AM PDT
Carl Ross says:
Hmmm. Seems like someone's plugging a website.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2011 5:21:01 AM PDT
E. S. Franke says:
Did I link to anything? Nope. But I happen to have purchased things from them recently after doing loads of research.

Nothing but facts here, unlike your shameless plug for your book.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2011 5:46:08 AM PDT
Carl Ross says:
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Posted on May 22, 2011 5:51:47 AM PDT
E. S. Franke says:
I'm not saying you're completely wrong. The last half of your comment is correct, the first half incorrect.

Everyone's nutritional needs are different depending on their age, their genetics, their activity level, and other factors. Who are you to say that supplements aren't useful for a high-intensity athlete that depletes certain nutrients very rapidly? His/her needs will be very different than a sedentary 80+ year old.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2011 6:05:52 AM PDT
Carl Ross says:
An athlete absolutely does need a higher nutritional intake. But at the cellular level the stuff from a vitamin pill is not easily assimilated than that what's come from fruits or vegetables. The chemical compositions of a vitamin pill or some supplement is different from vitamins that you find in natural food. The body is programmed to absorb what's natural and tends to reject man-made chemicals which is what supplements are.


In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2011 7:00:59 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 22, 2011 7:02:19 AM PDT
E. S. Franke says:
Which is why I suggest you look a little closer at the actual ingredients that go into supplements.

Not all of them are created the same way so while you are generally correct in what you are saying, there are some companies that go the extra mile to formulate their supplements with the best possible forms of each nutrient for the human body. For example, beta-Carotene and mixed carotenoids rather than straight Vitamin A. Methylcobalamin vs Cyanocobalamin for B12. Pyridoxal-5 Phosphate (P-5-P) for B6 rather than Pyridoxine HCl. Chelated minerals rather than Oxides. That's just a starting point but those things are worth looking for and the brand that I use and mentioned earlier is one of those rare companies.

And ALWAYS take these supplements with food. You need the fat, carbohydrates, water, oils etc to absorb and process these things. While whole foods are always your best bet, supplements can be very useful additions to your diet - when done right.

In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2011 7:24:45 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 22, 2011 7:36:02 PM PDT
ES says:
Try using a sublingual B12. It's possible that you're just sensitive to an INACTIVE ingredient in the brand of B vits you bought. One thing about B12 is that there are 2 types - one is more readily absorbed by the body, but only under the tongue (sublingual). Read all of the ingredients on the bottle.

Look for Vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin. Try using drops instead of pills because they've got fewer ingredients and absorb easily. You just put the B12 drops under your tongue. One that is highly rated on VitaCost is Pure Advantage B-12 -- 1 fl oz, 500 mcg 8333% DV (ingredients - Purified water, vegetable glycerine, and potassium sorbate).

I've used Natural Factors B12 (Methylcobalamin) -- 1000 mcg

I'd recommend both of those. I get my vitamins through VitaCost, sometimes Amazon. Both of the B12s I mentioned are under $10 and will last you a few months.

Hope that helps! You may also ask your doc for a B12 shot, if your insurance covers it.

edit - There IS evidence that vitamins are not as beneficial as people think they are, however, there are still some vitamins or supplements you should use if you aren't getting it from food, for whatever reason. Buy WHOLE FOOD supplements whenever you can. They're more expensive, but they're better and actually deliver. Look critically when big PHARMA companies are the financial backers of supplement studies because they have billions of reason to discredit alternative medicine and the supplement industry. Pharma companies are crooked.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2011 6:27:56 AM PDT
Hi Jennifer,

I too have thrown up from store vitamins, whether pregnant or not. I found that the solution for me was to buy whole food sourced vitamins, they are easy on the stomach, you may even find you don't even need to eat to take them.

The difference is most store vitamins are made as cheaply as possible, with ingredients that may not even be digestible. Therefore, you are likely not receiving the claimed benefits anyway, as the vitamins would be biologically unavailable to your system. Vitamins made from fruits, veggies, etc may cost more, but you are actually able to absorb them.

Some brands include Now Foods, New Chapter, Solaray, but there are more.

Good Luck.

Hopefully you can just find the actual food sources to supplement your diet, but if not, try the whole food vitamins. Many are available on Amazon for cheaper than the natural food stores.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2011 6:58:11 AM PDT
Orange Poppy says:
I also have problems with nausea after taking B vitamins. I've read that if you take B vitamins about 15 minutes after your meal, it helps prevent the nausea. I have found this helpful.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2011 7:18:34 AM PDT
ColdShot says:
try the sublingual that dissolve under the tongue.

sounds also like you have an underlying condition/weakness that is not being addressed

you should seek out a doctor of nutrition or a medical doctor who specializes in nutrition
cuz most doctors only get 2 weeks training...not enuf to be a good diagnostician

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2011 9:59:20 PM PDT
Ali says:
Hello, Jennifer L. Rinehart. What are the reasons that your doctor says that you need more vitamin B12 for in the first place?

Posted on May 25, 2011 1:03:42 AM PDT
Wow, lots of good info everyone thanks so much for replying, I was feeling a bit hopeless.

These are the helpful bits I will give a try:

I will try to increase my intake of foods with B12

I will look for the capsules, I already tried the sublingual pills, they lead to the aforementioned yakking.

Also, I think I'll give the other kind of B12 a try, even if it is pricier.

I don't have celiac (was tested two years ago) but it is something others with deficiencies should look into.

my doc and the lab says I have iron and b12 deficiency, kinda weird because I don't feel sick, but I guess we caught it early on. Good point about getting to the underlying condition, might have to get a second opinion, my doc is more of the treat-the-symptoms type.

It is interesting that vitamin supps aren't as absorbable as previously thought, it makes sense I suppose.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2011 1:23:39 AM PDT
Ali says:
It's a comforting theory that one can take a blood test, see what the level of iron or B12 is, and then know whether someone is deficient. It just doesn't work that way, though. Unless these numbers are severely low, these numbers are suggestions, not solid answers, because biochemistry is vastly intricate. Nor is it clear that supplementation both solves the problem and won't prevent other complications. Beyond that, there are various forms of supplements.

Since you appear to be low in both iron and B12, not exactly uncommon, I suggest raw liver (rich in both iron and B12), for instance blended into into pate with onion. Also I would suspect that you have a bacterial imbalance in the gut and poor digestion. There are varying reasons for low B12 [H Schjønsby, Table 2, "Vitamin B12 absorption and malabsorption", Gut. 1989 Dec;30(12):1686-91.].
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Discussion in:  Health forum
Participants:  21
Total posts:  37
Initial post:  May 20, 2011
Latest post:  Aug 20, 2014

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