It's a familiar situation: you have a bunch of vitamins to take in a day, but you're not exactly sure when (or even if) you should take them all. While it is always a good idea to obtain vitamins and minerals from food, sometimes supplements can help fill in the gaps in our diet. Now, you have chosen your vitamins (which should be prescribed or recommended by a medical professional). Still, you aren't sure how to take them.
This confusion is because, for some supplements, absorption may vary depending on which one you are taking together. Combining the wrong supplements can lead to adverse interactions with your health. So, pay close attention to the vitamin combinations that work better when taken separately.
1. Magnesium & Calcium
Healthy bones and other body functions are supported by calcium and magnesium. Magnesium is essential for calcium absorption. Magnesium prevents osteoporosis by suppressing parathyroid hormone and stimulating calcitonin by putting calcium into bones. Without magnesium, calcium becomes toxic, causing calcium deposits in soft tissues that cause arthritis. Wouldn't it be beneficial to take these two minerals together? Minerals are more readily absorbed when combined with large quantities of other minerals. You should take calcium and magnesium supplements at least two hours apart to maximize your benefit.
2. Copper & Zinc
If you take copper supplements because of copper deficiency, avoid taking zinc simultaneously. Zinc can help boost the immune system but can interfere with your body's absorption of copper. If you must take both, take them at least two hours apart.
If you experience fatigue, weakness, brittle bones, and easy bruising, you may still suffer from a copper deficiency. In addition to promoting internal and external healing, copper and zinc play a critical role in immune health. Together, they improve wound elasticity and resistance. Unfortunately, zinc can interfere with copper absorption. Furthermore, high supplemental doses of zinc (≥ 50 mg/d) over the long term can cause copper deficiency. Although the copper deficiency is rare, it can cause anemia, hypopigmentation, hypercholesterolemia, connective tissue disorders, osteoporosis, other bone defects, abnormal lipid metabolism, ataxia, and infection.
3. Vitamin C & Niacin (Vitamin B3)
As a nutrient, Niacinamide, also known as Vitamin B3, helps build proteins in the skin, prevents fine lines and wrinkles, improves skin tone, and reduces enlarged pores. It adds radiance and glows to the skin. Niacinamide and Vitamin C, however, cancel each other out chemically, making both formulas ineffective on your skin. The niacinamide compound takes out all of the benefits of Vitamin C and turns it into a substance that causes breakouts and causes redness.
4. Folate & Vitamin B-12
Vitamin supplements containing folate and vitamin B12 are widespread, and Folate is essential during pregnancy. People who need B12 supplements most often suffer from severe gastrointestinal disorders, older people, and vegans.
Although these dietary supplements can be taken together safely, a unique problem can occur. Anemia is one of the most severe complications of low B vitamins, and Folate can mask vitamin B12 deficiency.". Folate will correct the anemia, but it won't address the underlying vitamin deficiency. As a result, you can be deficient in vitamin B12 but not know it because Folate interferes with the testing. Studies have shown this causes permanent nerve damage.
Suppose you have a vitamin B12 deficiency (especially if you are vegan). In that case, you should be cautious of this interaction and seek professional medical advice.
5. Iron & Green Tea
Green tea is not necessarily a supplement, and however, it does have several health benefits. Sadly, taking iron supplements and drinking green tea isn't the best combination.
Iron is another key player in immune health. It's essential for several processes, including oxygen transport. Mixing it with certain beverages will prevent your body from absorbing it. Thanks to vitamin C, Citrus juice can boost iron absorption, and milk, due to calcium, can have the opposite effect.
What can you do? Avoid green tea on days when you're taking an iron supplement and reduce your weekly consumption.
6. Fish Oil & Gingko Biloba
A fish oil supplement, rich in omega-3, can help with heart health, loss of fat and weight, improve vision, and enhance cognition. A different treatment for cognitive impairment has been ginkgo Biloba supplements (though the evidence is mixed). What are their similarities? Both have blood-thinning properties. Therefore, taking them together reduces or prevents blood clotting and increases the risk of uncontrolled bleeding.
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7. Vitamin E & Vitamin K
Vitamin K cannot be adequately absorbed when combined with Vitamin E and Vitamin D. Taking these vitamins together may not harm you, but it will not be as effective as your body cannot absorb them properly.
Your body's ability to clot blood properly relies on vitamin K. Consult with your doctor before taking large doses of vitamin E. More than 800 IU of vitamin E can cause your blood to thin.
For those taking blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin, this is especially important to keep in mind. It is possible to become hemorrhagic by taking vitamin E with these medications. If you take blood-thinning medicines, follow your doctor's recommendation about dietary supplements.
8. Melatonin & St. John's Wort
Since ancient times, St. John's Wort has been used as an analgesic, a sedative, and a treatment for menopausal symptoms, anxiety, and depression. When combined with herbs or supplements with sedative properties, St. John's Wort has also increased therapeutic and adverse effects. It's best to avoid taking St. John's Wort in combination with melatonin since melatonin is a natural sleep aid that is well-known and potent.
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9. Niacin & Cholesterol
Taking vitamin B3, also known as niacin, as a supplement is generally considered safe, and many multivitamins contain it. When used with cholesterol medications, especially simvastatin, vitamin B3 helps raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol. There are, however, some unintended effects from the combination of niacin and cholesterol medications. Suppose you take a vitamin C, vitamin E, or beta carotene supplement. In that case, you may be negatively impacted by niacin and your cholesterol medication. If you take too much niacin along with simvastatin, it won't be able to raise HDL cholesterol appropriately. Nevertheless, if you take cholesterol medicine and a multivitamin, ask your doctor how to get the most out of them.
10. Iron & Calcium
According to Mayo Clinic, iron-deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia, which occurs when you don't eat enough iron-rich foods. Dietary iron should be increased by eating beef, other meats, beans, lentils, leafy dark green vegetables, as well as dried fruit for those diagnosed with this condition. If necessary, your doctor may recommend an iron supplement.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) warns that calcium supplements can interfere with the body's ability to absorb iron. In this case, taking a calcium and iron supplement simultaneously could completely negate the iron's effect. Usually, this problem can be easily solved by taking your iron and calcium supplements a few hours apart or on alternate days.