You know the exercise: you have a ton of vitamins in a day, but you’re not sure when (or really if) you should be taking them all. And while we should always turn to food for our vitamin and mineral intake, sometimes a vitamin supplement can help us fill in the gaps in our diet. So here you have your chosen vitamins (which should be properly prescribed and / or recommended by a doctor) and you have no idea which strategy is the best to take them.
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One reason for the confusion is that with some supplements, their level of absorption may depend on which you are taking together, and that this can also lead to adverse interactions that can be harmful to your health.
Here are six vitamin combinations that you definitely shouldn’t take together.
Magnesium and Calcium / Multivitamin
Many people like to take magnesium in the evening as it can promote a feeling of calm and support muscle relaxation. However, if you are taking magnesium, Erin Stokes, ND recommends not taking it at the same time as your multivitamin, as it can interfere with the absorption of smaller minerals in the multivitamin such as iron and zinc. She also says to refrain from taking calcium, magnesium, or zinc together as they “compete for absorption”.
While Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy says that taking calcium and magnesium will help prevent osteoporosis, should you take them two hours apart to maximize benefits.
Vitamins D, E and K.
“Studies have shown that a person’s absorption of vitamin K can be reduced when other fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin E and vitamin D are taken together,” says Dr. Chris Airey hours apart to maximize your absorption. “
Fortunately, there are no harmful side effects, but Dr. Airey says taking them together is “just not efficient” because your body’s ability to absorb the vitamins is reduced if you take them together.
Fish oil & gingko biloba
While omega-3 fish oil supplements are of great importance for heart health and gingko biloba can be used to support cognitive impairments, according to Dr. Tripathy both have blood thinning potentials and “both together can increase the risk of uncontrollable bleeding or the inability to clot. ”
Copper and zinc
If you’re taking copper supplements because of copper deficiency, avoid taking zinc at the same time, says Dr. Airey. “Zinc can strengthen the immune system, but it can affect your body’s absorption of copper. If you need to take both, take them at least two hours apart. “
Signs that you are still dealing with a copper deficiency include tiredness, weakness, brittle bones, sensitivity to cold and easy bruising.
Iron and green tea
While green tea is not a supplement, it is a delicious antioxidant fortified drink that many of us enjoy for its health benefits. Unfortunately, taking iron supplements with green tea is not a good mix.
“Green tea can actually cause iron deficiency if taken in large amounts over a long period of time,” says Dr. Tripathy. “Iron, on the other hand, can make green tea less effective.”
The solution? Skip green tea on days you are taking your iron supplement and lower your weekly consumption.
Vitamin C and B12
According to Dr. Airey have shown some studies that vitamin C can break down vitamin B12 in your digestive tract and decrease your B12 absorption. Because of this, you want to wait at least two hours before taking vitamin C along with your vitamin B12.
“Vitamin B12 plays an important role in red blood cell production and the proper functioning of your nervous system. B12 deficiency can lead to deterioration in nerve health and impair the development and function of red blood cells.”
While mixing supplements can be overwhelming at first, according to Stokes, the most important aspect of a nutritional supplement program is to keep it simple and prepare for success. “For example, I always take my multivitamin and turmeric supplements in the morning and my magnesium and probiotic in the evening. That is the basic plan. Depending on the time of year, I can add extra zinc and vitamin D3 that I take with lunch. Once you get into a routine and know what to take and when, it simply becomes part of your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be complicated. “
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