Getting all the recommended daily vitamins and minerals

I've been using Cronometer since Jan 6 and it is a wonderful tool to track what I eat, but I have not been able to get all the nutrients in the green. I bought two multivitamins for women over 55 and alternated them as they have slightly different ingredients. That got most of the vitamins in the green - over 400% of most of them - but no matter what I eat, the molybdenum and choline are always in the 30% range. Some foods do contain these and yet the vitamins have minor amounts. I am wondering if choline is left out of vitamins for a reason.

In contrast, the B vitamins in the pills, especially B12, look dangerously high - 1200% or more. So I tried taking no vitamin pills at all and still got many of the nutrients in the green. Are these vitamin pills even safe? They don't seem balanced at all, if your chart of all the recommended amounts is right. I am wondering why the vitamin manufacturers think we are all vegans and need huge amounts of B12. You don't if you eat meat.


  • Hi suze4,

    Choline is one of our newest "essential" vitamins - it made the list around 1997. I think because it's a bit newer on the scene, it is less well known supplement manufacturers often do not include choline. We know that choline is plays many important roles in our body, and if we don't get enough we can experience liver dysfunction. However, we do not have good estimates of how much choline generally healthy people consume. There is an adequate intake (AI) for choline rather than a recommended dietary allowance (RDA) because we need more research to determine adequate levels with more confidence. TMI? I have a special place in my heart for choline :)

    Many other water-soluble vitamins, like B12, are generally thought to have little or no toxicity symptoms because whatever you don't use is removed in the urine. While you are not getting extra benefit from these high levels, the high numbers might make a supplement seem like more bang for your buck when you are deciding which one to buy in the supplement aisle.

    Molybdenum is a trace mineral for which we generally do not have a lot of data for the amounts in the foods in our database. Your intake may be higher than it appears in Cronometer, simply because we do not know the value of molybdenum in these foods.


    Karen Stark
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • @suze4

    You can also check to see if a nutrient has a "UL" (or tolerable upper limit/upper range) but clicking on the nutrient and looking for a "maximum". If there is no number then there is no known dose of a supplement known to cause toxicity.

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

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