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  • Writer's pictureBon Blossman

Are Your Supplements Clashing? Combos You Must Avoid to Maximize Health.

Supplements: Which Ones Shouldn't Be Taken Together?

Nutritional supplements, including vitamins and minerals, have become a mainstay in the health and wellness world. Many individuals rely on them to fill nutritional gaps in their diet or to target specific health goals. However, just like with medications, it's essential to understand which supplements might interact negatively when taken together. While some combos can boost the effectiveness of each component, others can interfere with absorption, decrease effectiveness, or even pose health risks. Here are some combinations to be cautious of - but remember - always consult your physician before making any health changes.

Spoonfuls of vitamins.
Are you taking the wrong combo of supplements together?

Calcium and Iron Why not? Calcium can inhibit the body's ability to absorb iron.

  • Tip: It's best to take them at different times of the day. This is particularly important for those who are at risk of anemia.

  • The best pairing with Calcium is vitamin D, which improves calcium absorption.

Calcium and Magnesium Why not? They both compete for absorption in the body. High doses of calcium can interfere with magnesium absorption and vice versa.

  • Tip: If you need to take both, consider separating their intake by a few hours.

Zinc and Copper Why not? High doses of zinc can interfere with the body's ability to absorb copper.

  • Tip: Many high-quality multivitamins that contain both minerals will balance them in a way that optimizes absorption.

  • Animal protein is known to enhance zinc absorption, so eating meat, poultry, and seafood are good sources.

Zinc and Whole Grains/Seeds/Nuts/Legumes Why not? The phytates from whole grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes can inhibit zinc absorption.

  • Animal protein is known to enhance zinc absorption, so eating meat, poultry, and seafood are good sources.

Vitamin D and Vitamin A Why not? Both are fat-soluble vitamins. Large doses of vitamin A can interfere with the beneficial effects of vitamin D.

  • Tip: Avoid taking high doses of these vitamins simultaneously unless a healthcare professional advises.

  • Vitamin D is best taken with healthy dietary fats (avocado or nuts), as it's a fat-soluble vitamin.

Vitamin C and B12 Why not? There's evidence that vitamin C can destroy the molecular structure of vitamin B12, rendering it useless.

  • Tip: If you’re taking both, separating their intake by a couple of hours is a good idea.

Folate and Vitamin B12 Why not? Taking excessive amounts of folic acid without adequate vitamin B12 can hide a B12 deficiency.

  • Tip: If you're supplementing with folic acid, ensure you're also getting adequate B12.

Iron and Green Tea or Coffee Why not? The tannins in both green tea and coffee can interfere with iron absorption.

  • Tip: Avoid drinking tea or coffee close to when you take an iron supplement.

  • Vitamin C is the best pairing with iron, which enhances non-heme iron from plant sources. Take your iron with a small glass of orange juice or eat some bell peppers and strawberries.

Calcium and Thyroid Medicine (like Levothyroxine) Why not? Calcium can bind to the medicine, reducing its effectiveness.

  • Tip: If you’re on thyroid medication, take it on an empty stomach and wait at least 4 hours before taking a calcium supplement.

Magnesium and Certain Antibiotics or Osteoporosis Drugs Why not? Magnesium can interfere with the absorption of certain antibiotics and osteoporosis medications.

  • Tip: Always consult your doctor when taking medications and supplements simultaneously.

  • Magnesium is best paired with a balanced meal. Combining with vitamin B6 can enhance the uptake and storage.

Final Thoughts: Supplementation can be an excellent way to optimize health, but it's crucial to do so with knowledge and awareness. The interactions mentioned above are just a few of many. It's always a good idea to:

  • Consult with a healthcare professional before starting or combining supplements.

  • If you're on medications, always check for potential interactions with supplements.

  • Remember that more isn't always better. Stick to recommended dosages unless otherwise advised.

You can optimize the benefits while minimizing potential risks by ensuring you're well-informed and attentive to how you supplement.

I'm a 'doctor' by title, but not your medical doctor - so this is only information and not medical advice. Use this as a starting point to have a chat with your doc and do more research.

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