Taking dietary supplements can be beneficial for many people, but there are some vitamins that should not be taken together and some medical conditions where people should avoid taking certain vitamins or minerals. To ensure that your dietary supplement is not doing more harm than good, it is important to understand which vitamins should not be taken together. Calcium and vitamin D are two important minerals that the body needs to function properly. Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth and a healthy heart, while vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption.
Approximately 40% of the population in the United States is deficient in vitamin D, so it is important to ensure that you are getting enough of both minerals. Iron is another essential mineral that the body needs to produce red blood cells. 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 is enough to improve iron levels, but some people may need to take an iron supplement.
However, it is important to note that taking calcium supplements at the same time as an iron supplement can reduce the body's ability to absorb iron. To avoid this problem, it is recommended that people taking both supplements take them several hours apart. Vitamin K plays a critical role in the body's ability to properly clot blood. If your doctor recommends a vitamin K supplement, avoid taking high doses of vitamin E, which could counteract the effects of vitamin K.
Vitamin E supplementation of more than 800 IU can interfere with blood clotting and make the blood thinner. Don't take any individual mineral at the same time as an MVM or an antioxidant vitamin formula, such as one with beta-carotene and lycopene. Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is generally considered a safe supplement to take in combination with other vitamins and minerals. Find out if it's OK to take vitamin D and fish oil, how it affects absorption, and what's the best way to take vitamin D to improve absorption.
Water-soluble vitamins, such as complex C and B, can be eliminated from the body when there is an excess, but fat-soluble vitamins D, E, K, and A are stored in the body, so taking large amounts can be dangerous. Vitamin A plays many different roles in maintaining the body's health, including supporting eye health, and while extremely important, it can also be dangerous and cause significant side effects when taken in large quantities. For example, many vitamins for older people have more calcium and vitamins D and B12 than younger people need. Using a vitamin C, vitamin E, or beta-carotene supplement may adversely affect the ability of niacin and your cholesterol medication to increase HDL levels.
But if you're taking magnesium, it is recommended not to take it 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. Folate can treat anemia but taking folate and vitamin B12 at the same time is generally not problematic. Higher folate levels can mask a B12 deficiency so it is important to monitor your levels closely if you are taking both supplements at once. A separate study showed that it may be calcium supplements that cause an increased risk of stroke while taking them in combination with vitamin D seemed to lower this risk.
Studies show that taking these two supplements at the same time can reduce the amount of vitamin B-12 you receive. It is important to note that there may be some situations where your doctor prescribes a dose higher than the daily value of a particular vitamin or mineral usually as a result of a deficiency. While taking these supplements at higher doses may be beneficial for some people it is important to consult with your doctor before doing so.