Product Type: Bayer Vitamin 50mg
Newest Review: ... but have always just put up with it as it's my own fault. That was until my friend recommended these. These tablets cost £4.50 for 15... more
My get up and go has got up and gone!
Member Name: collingwood21
Date: 21/08/02, updated on 23/08/02 (59289 review reads)
Advantages: Tastes good, makes you feel better, easier than swallowing tablets
Disadvantages: Terrible packaging, expensive, prolonged use may not be good for you, orange wee(!)
I first heard about Berocca about a year ago, when an article in a magazine I was reading reviewed it as part of a survey on hangover cures. I don't think it came off very well, but then it is not exactly marketed for this purpose! Berocca is more suited to when you feel run down with stress or after a period of illness rather than the morning after the night before. I have taken two packets of Berocca now - one after a kidney infection left me really washed out about six months back, and one I started about a week ago to help me through the stress of finishing my dissertation.
● So what exactly is this stuff?
Berocca are effervescent tablets that you dissolve in a glass of water to make an orange flavoured drink - you take one a day, preferably in the morning to set you up for the day ahead. They contain high doses of 10 vitamins and minerals that are easily absorbed by the body, as they are soluble, so they help to rehydrate you and deliver the nutrients to your body quickly and easily. (You can also buy Berocca as regular tablets, but the doses you get are much lower - I have not tried these, so for the purposes of this review, I am sticking to the soluble form of this supplement).
The tablets come in two tubes of 10, packaged in a green box. The packaging (like the name) is hardly inspiring, but don't be put off by this. The logo of the product is supposed to be an orange arrow whizzing across the packet with the slog
an "stay sharp" beneath - although to be honest, it really looks more like an ear of corn!
● What does Berocca contain?
Each soluble tablet has:
Vitamin C (1667% RDA) - This is required for your body to form and maintain collagen, to heal wounds, help prevent infections and helps in the absorption of iron from food. Many people consider very high doses of vitamin C to be beneficial in warding off colds and flu, but laboratory research has not found this to be the case. Although unused vitamin C is quickly excreted from the body, large prolonged doses may lead to the formation of bladder and kidney stones, the destruction of vitamin B12 and loss of calcium from the bones. This is why I cannot understand the need for quite this level to be included in Berocca, or the claim that it can be used "every day throughout the year". I really wouldn't recommend doing this - one packet is fine as a pick-me-up, but I really wouldn't think long term usage of it does you much good.
Thiamine (842% RDA) - Thiamine, or vitamin B1, acts as a catalyst to help release energy from carbohydrates. This should help your body to get energy from foods, and therefore help relieve tiredness.
Riboflavin (938% RDA) - This is better known as vitamin B2. It also works in carbohydrate metabolism, releasing energy for your body.
Niacin (278% RDA) - Vitamin B3, used for metabolism of foods to produce energy. Mega doses of niacin have been used experimentally to treat schizophrenia, but there is no proof that this treatment works - although it is thought to help reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood. Large doses of niacin over a long period of time can cause toxicity in the body though, leading to liver damage. Another reason not to take more than one packet in a row, I reckon.
Vitamin B6 (500% RDA) - Used in the absorption and release of energy from proteins, the actual amount of this you need
varies depending on how much protein there is in your diet. This vitamin is also thought to be a mood enhancer, and may help reduce the symptoms of PMS; this is an obvious benefit to anyone feeling run down. However, be warned that taking too much can result in lethargy and insomnia.
Vitamin B12 (1000% RDA) - Required for healthy functioning of the nervous system and production of red blood cells. Recent research has suggested that giving high doses of B12 to people who suffer from acne can have positive effects in clearing up skin inflammation. As poor skin and spots often accompanies periods of stress and/or illness, then this part of Berocca may help to clear it up and help you to look healthy again. Experiments are also underway to see if high doses will help people with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Biotin (100% RDA) - Hardly an essential ingredient, as the body can synthesise its own biotin, and its deficiency is unknown in humans. It is involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates and fatty acids.
Panothenic acid (367% RDA) - Thought to work in a similar way to biotin, although its actual role is still unclear.
Calcium (13% RDA) - Everyone knows that calcium is needed for bones and teeth, but it also has a role to play in the clotting of blood and in allowing the muscles to contract properly. Only a small amount of calcium are included, which comes from the calcium carbonate base of the tablets. To get any higher dose, the tablets would be too chalky to be palatable.
Magnesium (33% RDA) - A mineral with a variety of functions, it occurs in Berocca as magnesium sulphate (better known as Epsom Salt). As well as helping to release energy from food, it helps to regulate body temperature and may help lower high blood pressure. Deficiency can cause irritability and anxiety, so taking magnesium could help lower the effects of stress on the body. There is also evidence that taken in combination with a high dose of vi
tamin C, it may be very beneficial to the cardiovascular system (see http://www.vitamincfoundation.org/EDTAPR081402.htm )
● What does it taste like?
Quite good actually! It produces a mildly fizzy orange flavoured drink, which is pleasant to drink and doesn't leave a nasty aftertaste as some artificial orange flavours can. I does have an, umm, interesting side effect though. When you go to the loo, you may notice - how shall I phrase this? - that things are a bit more orange than usual...
● Does it work?
Well, I have to admit that I felt better after taking a 20 tablet course of Berocca on both occasions that I used it. I felt less stressed, had more energy and the spots that I always get when stressed cleared up - it really does work as a tonic to help replace what the body loses in times of stress and illness. I would recommend to anyone who has the run down, "sick and tired of feeling sick and tired", "my get up and go has got up and gone" type of thing.
However, as I mentioned earlier, prolonged high doses of many vitamins and minerals can do your body more harm than good - they can build up to toxic levels and do you real damage. While a 20 day course is not going to cause these problems, taking Berocca on a daily basis could well be hazardous in the long run - I was very surprised to not see a warning to this effect on the packaging. So, I would have to say do not take over a long period of time, and never indulge in high levels of vitamins in the long term except under medical supervision. As with all over the counter medecines, check with a doctor or pharmicist if you are unsure about anything or think they may affect an existing condition or medication.
Berocca is available from Boots, Superdrug and other stockists of health supplements - it costs around £6 for a 20 tablet pack.
Roche Consumer Health
Welwyn Garden City
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