Many people take dietary supplements to improve their health, but it is important to understand which vitamins and minerals should not be taken together. Taking certain vitamins and minerals together can interfere with absorption, cause adverse interactions, and even lead to serious health problems. It is important to understand the potential interactions between vitamins and minerals, as well as the potential risks of taking certain supplements. Calcium and iron are two important minerals that the body needs to function properly.
Iron is essential for the production of red blood cells, while calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth and a healthy heart. People with iron deficiency may experience a condition called iron-deficiency anemia, whose symptoms often include extreme fatigue, weakness, and lethargy. Normally, increasing consumption of iron-rich foods, such as beef, dark leafy vegetables, lentils, beans, and nuts, is enough to improve iron levels, but some people may also need to take an iron supplement. However, people taking calcium supplements should know when to take them.
The National Institutes of Health found that the body may not be able to effectively absorb iron when taking an iron supplement in combination with a calcium supplement. To avoid this problem, it is recommended that people taking both supplements take them several hours apart. Vitamin B12 and folate are commonly prescribed supplements, and the latter is especially important during pregnancy. The maximum recommended daily allowance for folate is 1,000 mcg of food and supplements, unless otherwise noted. Taking antibiotics, especially those in the tetracycline family, along with iron supplements can lessen the effects of antibiotics, making them less likely to work.
Always follow your doctor's recommendations for any dietary supplement if you take blood-thinning medications. Pregnant women who receive too much vitamin A can experience serious birth defects, so it is recommended that women of childbearing potential avoid taking multivitamins or other supplements that contain vitamin A. Too much vitamin A is easy to eat because of its availability in many plant and animal-based foods, so women who may become pregnant should avoid supplements that contain it. Erin Stokes, ND recommends not taking magnesium at the same time as your multivitamin as it can interfere with the absorption of smaller minerals found in the multivitamin such as iron and zinc. In addition, she says to refrain from taking calcium, magnesium or zinc together as they will “compete for absorption”. These three minerals are common additions to multivitamin supplements that promote the “one-day comprehensive” philosophy.
The problem with taking magnesium, zinc and calcium together is that they all try to be absorbed by the body in the same way. They compete, and in that competition a significant part of each mineral can be lost. If you want to get the most out of your vitamins and supplements you need to understand how your body will best achieve the perfect state of harmony for your wellness products to work properly. Omega-3 fish oil supplements can control inflammation and improve mood but when you take these supplements with blood-thinning herbs such as ginkgo biloba or garlic they can prevent clotting and cause uncontrollable bleeding. If you're one of the 95 million Americans with high cholesterol you might like the idea of taking a natural supplement to lower your levels. But if you mix it with green tea black tea or curcumin supplements the body will not absorb the mineral.
St. John's wort is an herbal supplement that has been used for hundreds of years to treat mental health problems. Not all dietary supplements are created equal and the nutrients contained in each multivitamin can vary widely as can the dose of nutrients. Part of the reason behind the confusion is that for some supplements their level of absorption may depend on which ones you are taking together and it can also cause adverse interactions which can be detrimental to your health. To ensure that your dietary supplement is not doing more harm than good we have put together a list of vitamins that should not be taken together as a result of possible interactions with other nutrients or medical conditions. It is important to understand which vitamins and minerals should not be taken together in order to get the most out of your dietary supplement.