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Vegetarian, want to take multivitamin/calcium supplements. Any side effect?

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Allergist and Immunologist
Practicing since : 1999
Answered : 584 Questions
I am a vegetarian, mostly on a vegan diet, only occasionally consuming milk. Should I consider some multivitamin tablets/ supplements as I am prone to illnesses quite often and and I tend to fall sick often. Are there any side effects to such multivitamin/calcium supplements. I keep myself physically active with 1 hour work out session everyday with at least 3 km running and other ground exercises(no weight training). Also, Is it true that your bone density decreases after 30 years, hence you have to take some supplements?
Posted Tue, 2 Apr 2013 in Vitamins
Answered by Dr. Sujoy Khan 10 minutes later

Welcome to Healthcare Magic and thank you for writing to us.

That you are keeping fit and your current exercise schedule is very good (demanding, to say the least). Running is an impact exercise, and these type of exercise prevent deminerliastiono f bones (i.e., thinning of bones, or osteoporosis).
However, the diet has to be balanced as well and simply exercise is not enough.
That you are a pure vegetarian may affect VitB12 levels, so checking these levels will be a good start. Do get a complete hemogram to know your Hb MCV levels etc that should be done when VitB12 levels are difficult to interpret.

Calcium phosphorus levels, creatinine PLUS Vit D 25(OH)D3 levels can also be done on blood tests, that would show whether you have sufficient Vit D levels. If levels are very low then a replacement treatment will be required.
Bone mineral density scan shows minerlisation levels, but do not need to be done now.
These are the supplements we keep talking about, but there is a rationale for them that is decided by the levels on blood tests.

Best Wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Vegetarian, want to take multivitamin/calcium supplements. Any side effect? 2 minutes later
Thanks doctor for your prompt response. I am planning to go for a general health check up, which are basic tests that you would suggest in this context?
Answered by Dr. Sujoy Khan 51 minutes later

Basic tests:
Liver function tests
Vit B12
Calcium, phosphorus
Renal profile
25(OH)D3 levels

Best Wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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