Diet

Which Vitiamins should be Taken Together?

Question:

Please tell me which types of vitamins should not be taken together and which should be taken together for maximum effect.

Answer:

The question of when to take vitamins together or separately is an excellent one. How you take a supplement can be just as important as which product you take — both may impact how much of a nutrient your body actually gets.

A few rules of thumb:

  • If you take a large dose of a mineral, it will compete with other minerals to reduce their absorption. The mineral most often taken in large amounts is calcium: The dose is usually several hundred of milligrams, compared to doses of just a few milligrams or even microgram amounts (1,000 micrograms = 1 milligram) of most other minerals. So if you take a calcium supplement, take it at a different time of day than other mineral supplements or a multivitamin/multimineral supplement.
  • Doses of magnesium can also be relatively large and should, ideally, be taken apart from other minerals. If you take high doses of zinc long-term, be aware that it can cause copper deficiency, so you may need to supplement with copper as well.
  • Some vitamins can actually enhance the absorption of other nutrients. Vitamin C, for example, can enhance iron absorption from supplements and plant foods.
  • The fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) are likely to be better absorbed if taken with a meal that contains fats. In fact, one study found that taking vitamin D with dinner rather than breakfast increased blood levels of vitamin D by about 50%.
  • Taking certain supplements with food can reduce gastrointestinal side-effects. For example, taking magnesium with food can reduce the occurrence of diarrhea, and taking iron with food can reduce the chance of stomach upset.
  • Be aware that vitamins and minerals can also affect the absorption and effectiveness of medications. You can also look up these drug interactions or speak to your family doctor.
reference: ConsumerLab.com