Vitamins and minerals are essential for the body to function properly. However, there are some vitamins and minerals that should not be taken together, as they can interfere with each other's absorption and metabolism. Vitamin C and B12 should not be taken together, according to experts. High doses of vitamin C can reduce the amount of vitamin B-12 that the body absorbs and metabolizes.
It is important to take vitamin C at least two hours after vitamin B-12. 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. When taking calcium supplements, it is important to know when they are taken in combination with other nutrients or medical conditions.
The National Institutes of Health found that the body may not be able to absorb iron effectively when an iron supplement is taken in combination with a calcium supplement. To avoid this problem, it is recommended that people taking both supplements take them several hours apart. Copper and zinc are two minerals that should not be taken together as they have the potential to become villains. There may be some situations where the doctor prescribes a dose higher than the daily value of a particular vitamin or mineral, usually as a result of a deficiency.
Using a vitamin C, vitamin E, or beta-carotene supplement may adversely affect the ability of niacin and cholesterol medications to increase HDL levels. When it comes to fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K), it's best to take them at mealtime. When considering taking a multivitamin, patients should look for a dietary supplement that provides no more than 100 percent of the daily value of each nutrient. As a general rule, patients taking blood-thinning medications should talk to their doctor before taking any vitamin or mineral supplement.
Vitamin A should be avoided by women who may become pregnant as it is easy to ingest too much of it given its availability in many plant and animal foods. Vitamin E has been found to counteract the effects of vitamin K and, when taken in especially high doses, vitamin E can thin the blood and affect the body's ability to properly clot blood. People with certain gastrointestinal disorders or those who have had weight-loss surgery are also considered to be at greater risk of suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B3 is often recommended for use with cholesterol medications, especially simvastatin, to help increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good cholesterol”.
Foods rich in vitamin A should only be eaten once a week to avoid consuming them too much.