Vitamins and Supplements You Shouldn’t Take Together – SheKnows


You know the exercise: you have a ton of vitamins to take a day, but you’re not sure when (or really if) you should take them all. And, while we should always look to food for our vitamin and mineral intake, sometimes vitamin supplementation can help us fill in the gaps in our diet. So here you are with the vitamins you have chosen (which must be properly prescribed and/or recommended by a healthcare professional) and you are unsure of the best strategy for taking them.

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Part of the reason for the confusion is that for some supplements, your absorption level may depend on which ones you take together and can also lead to unwanted interactions, which can be harmful to your health.

Here are six vitamin combinations you absolutely shouldn’t take together.

Magnesium and calcium/multivitamins

Many people like to take magnesium at night because it can promote feelings of calm and promote muscle relaxation. But if you take magnesium, Erin Stokes, ND, recommends not taking it at the same time as your multivitamin, as it may interfere with the absorption of smaller minerals present in the multivitamin, such as iron and zinc. Additionally, she says to refrain from taking calcium, magnesium, or zinc together because they will “compete for absorption.”

While Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy says that taking calcium and magnesium helps prevent osteoporosis, to maximize benefits, take them two hours apart.

Vitamins D, E and K

“Studies have shown that a person’s absorption of vitamin K may be reduced when other fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin E and vitamin D are taken together,” says dr. Chris AireyMD “It is advisable to take these vitamins at least 2 hours apart to maximize their absorption.”

Fortunately, there are no harmful side effects, but Dr. Airey says it’s “just not effective” to take them together because your body’s ability to absorb the vitamins will be reduced if you take them. take together.

Fish Oil & Gingko Biloba

While omega-3 fish oil supplements are great for heart health and gingko biloba can be used to help with cognitive impairment, according to Dr. Tripathy, both have blood-thinning potential and “taking the two together can increase the risk of uncontrollable bleeding or inability to clot.”

copper and zinc

If you’re taking copper supplements because of a copper deficiency, avoid taking zinc at the same time, says Dr. Airey. “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.

Signs that you are still suffering from copper deficiency include fatigue, weakness, brittle bones, sensitivity to cold, and easy bruising.

Iron and green tea

Although green tea is not a supplement, it is a delicious antioxidant-infused beverage 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 for long periods of time,” says Dr. Tripathy. “Iron, on the other hand, may decrease the effectiveness of green tea.”

The solution? Avoid green tea on the days you take your iron supplement and decrease your weekly intake.

Vitamin C and B12

According to Dr. Airey, some studies have shown that vitamin C can break down vitamin B12 in your digestive tract, reducing your absorption of B12. Accordingly, he says you want to wait at least two hours before taking vitamin C with your vitamin B12.

“Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the production of red blood cells and the proper functioning of your nervous system, and a deficiency in B12 can lead to poorer nerve health and affect the development and function of red blood cells.”

Although the mix of supplements can be overwhelming at first, Stokes says the most important aspect of a supplement regimen is to keep it simple, to set you up for success. “For example, I always take my multivitamin and turmeric supplements in the morning, and I take my magnesium and probiotic supplements at night. This is the basic program. Depending on the season, I may add extra zinc and vitamin D3, which I take with lunch. Once you get into a routine and know what to take and when, it just becomes part of your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be complicated. »

A version of this story was published on March 18.

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