Vitamins and other nutritional supplements are not new, but their growing popularity among American adults and children has led us to understand how they can be most effective, as well as avoid drug interactions and other common side effects. Some questions arise about how to avoid it. Can I take multivitamins on an empty stomach or should I always eat beforehand? Is it okay to take iron with breakfast? Can I take calcium supplements at the same time as taking my blood pressure medication every day for convenience, or could it cause dangerous drug interactions?
More than half of U.S. adults (58.5%) and one-third of children said they had taken a dietary supplement in the past 30 days, according to a report released in April by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Information about the best way to supplement is important, especially since these products are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Although the FDA has established good manufacturing practices for companies to follow to ensure the identity, purity, strength, and composition of dietary supplements, compliance with those practices is not strictly enforced.
When you take nutritional supplements is important. Smart timing can make a difference in how well your body absorbs the nutrients in your supplements, says co-author Doug Cook, RDN. Nutrition for Canadians for Beginners and the host pursuit of health Podcast.You can also avoid drug absorption problems that can occur if you take the supplement with certain medications. (That’s why you should always tell your doctor what supplements you’re taking.)
“It’s easy to correct deficiencies and improve your health by simply being consistent with your supplement intake,” says Cook. Here’s some helpful advice on some common nutritional supplements, courtesy of Cook and other nutrition experts.
Timing tip: Any time of the day is fine, but it’s best to take it with a meal.
According to Cook, you can pop in the daily mulch whenever you want. However, there are two benefits when taken with a meal or snack. First, having food in your stomach may help you avoid the upset stomach and nausea that some people experience when taking multivitamins on an empty stomach, reports the Cleveland Clinic. Masu. And second, the presence of dietary fat in what you eat may enhance the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins in your multi. Vitamins including A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, according to research published in September 2022. nutrition and metabolism They discovered that they play important roles in a variety of bodily functions, including immune regulation, vision, bones, and mental health.
Similarly, according to the Cleveland Clinic, washing down your mulch with a glass of water not only makes it easier to swallow, but also helps break down the water-soluble vitamins it contains.
Although many people have the habit of taking vitamins first thing in the morning, there is no need to combine multivitamins with breakfast. It’s equally delicious for lunch or dinner. “The key is to continue taking supplements in a way that works for you,” says Cook. Multi doesn’t have to be a tablet. Cook says gummies that you mix with water, liquid vitamins or powders, sublingual drops, dissolvable tablets that dissolve under the tongue, and even sprays are good options. Check the Nutrition Facts panel to ensure the form you choose provides the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you need in the required amounts.
1. Individual water-soluble vitamins: Bs and vitamin C
Timing Tip: Try taking your B12 in the morning and spreading out your vitamin C throughout the day.
A wide range of B vitamins – including thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9), cobalamin (B12) – and vitamin C all require water for absorption. Please enjoy it with a glass of H.2O.
It doesn’t matter when you take B vitamins, but if you want to take vitamin B12, it’s best to take it first thing in the morning. why? This particular B vitamin plays a role in energy metabolism and has gained a reputation for enhancing athletic performance and endurance. However, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), these are not claims supported by research unless you have a vitamin B12 deficiency. Still, Cook says it may be worth trying taking it in the morning instead of at night in case you experience an increase in energy.
When it comes to vitamin C, the human body cannot synthesize this nutrient, so the best source is through diet, according to the NIH. Water-soluble vitamins like C don’t stay in your body for long, so it’s best to give your body more time by taking small amounts of C two to three times a day, rather than all at once. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City suggests absorbing nutrients the same way you would ingest them from food. Be careful not to overdose. According to the NIH, consuming more than 1,000 to 2,000 mg per day can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
2. Fat-soluble vitamins: vitamins A, D, E, K
Timing Tips: Take with a fat-containing meal or snack.
Cook says that when taking fat-soluble vitamins, having some fat in your stomach is essential for absorption, but that can vary depending on the specific vitamin.Research published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition In November 2019, we discovered that eating fat within 12 hours of taking vitamin E can improve the bioavailability of vitamin E.
“Fat helps the body produce bile, which is needed for maximum absorption,” he says. The specific amount of fat you need depends on the vitamin. Past research suggests that about 10 grams (g) of fat may be ideal for vitamin D absorption.
Cook says healthy fats include a little nut butter, a handful of almonds, and a half tablespoon of olive oil. “Any meal or snack that contains fat will help,” he says. “While you don’t want to get your fat-soluble vitamins from black coffee, a bowl of cereal, and skim milk, you can get the fat you need by simply adding peanut butter on your toast.”
Although the body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium, you don’t need to take these two supplements at the same time to be effective, he added. “Calcium and D are often combined into one supplement for convenience,” he says. “But your body stores some D in your fat tissue, and some in your plasma.”
Timing Tip: Most calcium supplements are taken with meals, but do not exceed 500 to 600 mg at a time. Some medicines require caution.
Most types of calcium supplements (such as calcium carbonate) should be taken with a meal rather than on an empty stomach. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, stomach acid secreted to digest food breaks down calcium supplements and increases absorption. A convenient exception: Calcium citrate supplements can be taken on an empty stomach. The research group points out that it’s absorbed even when you’re not eating anything.
However, the rule of taking calcium with meals has its pitfalls. According to the NIH, the body absorbs calcium most efficiently at doses below 500 mg, which includes calcium found in food and drinks. “If you need more than that amount from a supplement, be sure to split it up and take it at different times, several hours apart,” Cook says.
If your breakfast is heavy on dairy products, fortified cereals, or juices, you may want to move your calcium supplements to lunch, dinner, or another time of the day to get the most out of them. That’s because 8 ounces of plain low-fat yogurt contains 448 mg of calcium, and 8 ounces of low-fat milk or fortified orange juice each contains 300 mg of calcium.
Calcium supplements can interfere with the absorption of various medications, so be sure to discuss this with your doctor if you are prescribing a new medication, starting to use calcium, or if you have not previously discussed calcium. Please discuss with us.
Drugs of concern include:An antibiotic called a fluoroquinolone (ciprofloxacin) [Cipro]levofloxacin [Levaquin]) and tetracycline (Doxycycline [Bio-Tab, Doryx, Doxy-Caps]tetracycline hydrochloride [Achromycin V, Panmycin, etc.]), according to the Institute for Safe Medication Treatment (ISMP), a nonprofit drug education organization. The group recommends that if you are taking calcium, you should talk to your doctor about the best time to take these medications, but in general, these antibiotics should be taken 2 hours before calcium supplementation. Or, it is recommended to take it 6 hours later.
antiepileptic drug According to ISMP, calcium can affect the levels of seizure control drugs such as phenytoin (Dilantin), carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Tegretol, Petiol), phenobarbital, and primidone (Mysolin). In general, the researchers noted that taking the drug two hours or more before or after taking a calcium supplement may be effective.
thyroid hormone According to Indiana-based Beacon Health System, calcium can interfere with the absorption of the synthetic thyroid hormones levothyroxine (Synthroid, Unithroid, etc.) and liothyronine (Cytomel), as well as thyroid extract supplements. Wait at least 4 hours before and after administering these medications before taking calcium supplements.
Osteoporosis treatment drug Doctors often prescribe calcium and vitamin D supplements for people with osteoporosis, as well as bisphosphonates such as alendronate (Fosamax, Binosto), ibandronate (Boniva), and risedronate (Actonel, Atelvia). To do. However, taking them together can reduce absorption of the drug. Instead, ISMP advises taking supplements at least 30 to 60 minutes after taking bisphosphonates. Talk to your doctor about the best timing.
Timing Tip: Take your iron with vitamin C-rich foods or drinks for maximum absorption. Add food to reduce nausea or take at bedtime. Some medicines require caution.
If your doctor recommends iron supplements, you may hear conflicting advice about the best way to take them. Although best taken on an empty stomach (MedlinePlus reports that calcium, multivitamins, high-fiber foods like whole grains, and even caffeine can also interfere with absorption), a glass of orange juice It is best to take vitamin C, such as in the form of vitamin C supplements. According to a study published in , taking iron supplements increases absorption. communication biology And that “fasting and iron supplements” advice can cause nausea. In that case, he says it’s okay to take it with food (like oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and kiwifruit, which are rich in vitamin C). Or try ironing it at bedtime. You probably won’t notice any mild tummy discomfort while you sleep.
Be careful with drugs. Iron can interfere with the absorption of levothyroxine (Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Tyrosint, Unithroid) drugs. The Office of Dietary Supplements advises that you consult your doctor and avoid taking iron for at least 4 hours after taking this medication. It may also interfere with some antibiotics, such as tetracyclines and penicillins. On the other hand, proton pump inhibitors such as lansoprazole (Prevacid) and omeprazole (Prilosec) and acid-reducing drugs such as the H2 receptor blockers cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), and nizatidine (Axid) reduce iron MedlinePlus reports that it may reduce absorption. The University of Michigan Health System advises waiting at least 2 hours before or after taking iron supplements before taking these medications. Also, tell your doctor if you are prescribed these medications and are taking iron.
5. Other mineral supplements: Magnesium and Zinc
Timing tip: Some medications require caution.
According to ConsumerLab.com, an independent supplement testing company, both magnesium and zinc can interfere with the absorption of fluoroquinolones and tetracycline antibiotics. Please consult your doctor. The Office of Dietary Supplements recommends that antibiotics be taken at least 2 hours before or 4 to 6 hours after these supplements. If you are taking the rheumatoid arthritis drug penicillamine, the group recommends waiting an hour before and after taking zinc to avoid absorption problems. If you are using bisphosphonate osteoporosis drugs, wait at least 2 hours before taking magnesium.