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From: B. Harris)
Subject: Re: good multivitamin
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997

In <> writes:
>I'd like to start taking a multivitamin, and don't know where to
>begin.  A friend of mine takes a really expensive brand called
>Bronson (sp?).  Aren't vitamins pretty much all the same except
>for dosages?  Any ideas on where to look for more info?

   They're not all the same, but it's almost impossible for a customer
to judge quality.  We tend to do it indirectly by looking at how fast
the company turns around the order, whether it makes this or that
mistake, does the vitamin packaging look good, does the product smell
good, does it have long storage life before it changes smell and color,
does the advertising and company literature have factual nutritional
statements, do the formulations make nutritional sense or do they
conform to fad, etc, etc.   On all these scales I rate Bronson
Pharmaceuticals (1-800-235-3200) very high.  But I don't know.  Only
the guy with the liquid chromatograph knows for sure. I also am a big
fan of Twinlab products, which you can't get directly, but can buy in
most big chain stores like Fred Meyer or G.N.C.  But again, I do not
speak from expertise here.  You pays your money and takes your chances
when buying vitamins.

   As to particular product formulations, I think that more than the
RDA of a number of vitamins and a few minerals, is more likely to help
than harm the average person. I tend to go with companies which
formulate to give the same larger doses of these things than the other
nutrients, without going overboard on the others, or adding junk which
is not nutritionally active and which may be poisonous (eg, vanadium).
When a company formulates correctly, I know they've hired somebody who
is reading the prevention literature.

   Among Bronson products, I recommend as general preventive, their
Fortified Therapeutic Vitamin and Mineral Forumla (perhaps 4 tabs a day
rather than the recommended 6).   Twinlab makes a good general formula
called Daily Two, which can be supplemented with some extra calcium and
magnesium to make a general formula much like the Bronson "fortified
therapeutic" one.

   Good luck.

                                     Steve Harris, M.D.

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