The Dos & Don'ts of Taking Multiple Vitamins and Supplements

When it comes to combining supplements, it pays to know which may block each other from doing their good work and which may amplify their effects.

The Dos & Don'ts of Taking Multiple Vitamins and Supplements

When it comes to combining vitamins, it pays to know which may block each other from doing their good work and which may amplify their effects.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins: A, D E, and K

Absorption is improved if you take fat-soluble vitamins with a meal containing healthy fats. One study found taking D with your largest meal of the day increases your blood level by 50%.


Vitamin A may be better absorbed when taken with vitamin E, but remember, Johns Hopkins research shows doses of vitamin E over 400 units daily are associated with a higher risk of all causes of death. That may be because most vitamin E supplements contain just one of the eight forms of vitamin, alpha-tocopherol. Make sure you buy vitamin E containing mixed tocopherols, or at least the one most experts think is beneficial: gamma topherol.

Water-Soluble Vitamins: C and the Bs (B6, B12, biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and thiamine)

Keep the following in mind:

Take water-soluble vitamins on an empty stomach with a glass of water.

Excessive doses of vitamin B6 can produce peripheral neuropathy, especially if your levels of B12, B2 and B9 are low.

Vitamin C increases absorption of iron from supplements and food.

Your Takeaway

Increase your vitamin intake with fresh fruits and veggies, oily fish, nuts and seeds. Twice daily, take half a multivitamin/multimineral that delivers the recommended levels of nutrients. Don't go for mega-doses — a balanced intake is what you're aiming for. Get a blood test to check for vitamin deficiencies; then follow your doctor's advice.

Signs You May Need More Vitamin D & How to Get It

Don't leave yourself vulnerable to illness or weak bones. www.doctoroz.com

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