Many of us take vitamins and supplements in order to support our health and well-being. One of the challenges we face is choosing from the many options. It might be an even greater challenge yet to properly prioritize our vitamin intake.  We must address such questions as, “Is there a specific time of day to take a given supplement that is most ideal?”, or “Can they all be taken together at the same time?”

Indeed, we should be mindful about which supplements to take, when.  According to the latest research from the medical community [1], some vitamins and minerals, like calcium and iron, can inhibit absorption of each other up to five fold [2]. On the other end of the spectrum there are vitamins such as iron and vitamin C that work in synergy with one another, and taking them together improves absorption [3]. In fact, there has been a great deal of quality research conducted for years which we can draw upon, that can lend itself to practical, daily, real-life application.

Knowledge is power.

Below is the summary of the strongest and most common interactions of vitamins and minerals with each other and with food. Following suggestions outlined below will help you get the most from your supplements. Until now, most people have lacked the proper information about vitamin interactions.  With the vitamin secrets I share below, you will be able to take them in a way that they have the most positive effective on your body.  If you are prepared to receive these well-kept, hidden secrets of vitamin know-how, it will prove beyond powerful in the most beneficial, healthy ways.

Secret 1

Take vitamins B1, B12, iron and CoQ-10 during the first half of day.

These micronutrients especially in the larger quantities have energizing effect on the body and as such are best taken during the first half of the day [4,5].

Secret 2

Take all fat-soluble vitamins and minerals with a meal containing fat.

Fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D and K) as well as fat-soluble micronutrients such as CoQ-10, lycopene, lutein, astaxanthin and other carotenoids need presence of fat to be absorbed well [6].

Secret 3

Take calcium and magnesium supplements in the evening.

Calcium and magnesium are important minerals that can help our bodies relax. The body uses calcium at night as it is a natural muscle relaxant. Research has shown that disturbed sleep patterns, such as a lack of deep REM sleep, have been associated with low levels of calcium [7,8].

Secret 4

Take calcium and iron supplements at least 4 hours away from each other. Opt for liquid iron supplements and take them with vitamin C. Drink with water or orange juice.

Calcium and iron can inhibit absorption of each other up to five-fold and are best taken at different times of day [2].  Vitamin C greatly improves iron absorption. Iron absorption can be inhibited by polyphenols in beverages, thus iron supplements should be taken with water or juice.

Secret 5

Do not drink soda, tea or coffee within 2 hours of taking your supplements other than antioxidants.

Polyphenols in many beverages greatly inhibit absorption of vitamins and minerals [9,10]. Take your supplements with water or juice.

 

While it might be the most convenient to take all the supplements at once, in order to get all health benefits it’s worth following the Vitamin Secrets and setting appropriate times for taking each of them.

 

List of References:

1. http://www.vital-formulas.com/scientific_evidence/nutrient-interactions/

2. Calcium supplementation: effect on iron absorption. Cook J.D., et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 1991; 53: 106–11.

3. Effect of ascorbic acid intake on nonheme-iron absorption from a complete diet. Am J Clin Nutr January 2001 vol. 73 no. 1 93-98.

4. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin). University of Maryland Medical Center. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-b12-cobalamin

5. Clinical aspects of coenzyme Q: Improvement of cellular bioenergetics or antioxidant protection? Littarru, Gian Paolo, et al. Handbook of Antioxidants, Eds. Enrique Cadenas, Lester Parker, New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1996, pp. 203-239.

6. Influence of dietary fat on beta-carotene absorption and bioconversion into vitamin A. Nutr Rev.</span> 2002 Apr;60(4):104-10.

7. The multifaceted and widespread pathology of magnesium deficiency. S. Johnson. 2001. Med Hypotheses. 2001; 56(2).

8. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/163169.php

9. Inhibition of food iron absorption by coffee. Am J Clin Nutr. 1983 Mar;37(3):416-20.

10. Inhibition of non-haem iron absorption in man by polyphenolic-containing beverages. Br J Nutr.</span> 1999 Apr;81(4):289-95.

Featured photo credit: Vitamins Clock via vital-formulas.com

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