Vitamin supplements are a popular with people who feel that their diets may be lacking in some needed nutrients. Supplements are a simple way to ensure that the body is receiving all of the support it needs to function optimally, from the digestive system to tissue repair and the immune system. Different vitamins are absorbed in different ways and may be best absorbed if taken with those indications in mind.
A multivitamin is a single pill or chewable tablet that combines many vitamins into one. These are favored by many who like to avoid taking a lot of different pills every day. Multivitamins are best to be taken with the first meal of the day. Since most vitamins are synthetic, the body may be able to absorb and assimilate the vitamins best if they are ingested along with food and its naturally occurring vitamins.
Fat Soluble Vitamins
Fat soluble vitamin supplements include A, E, D and K. These vitamins are usually concentrated into a gel capsule or a liquid drop form for supplementation. As their classification suggests, these vitamins need to be ingested with some form of dietary fat in order to be most efficiently absorbed into the body through the gastrointestinal tract. Because of this, these vitamins should be taken with food containing healthy dietary fats such as poly or monounsaturated fats. Flax oil or nuts are examples of foods that can help the body absorb fat soluble vitamins. Any meal that includes some dietary fats will allow these vitamins to be absorbed and they are not known to have any particular effect that would indicate a time of day that is best to take them. Morning or the first meal of the day is the most optimal time to consume any supplements since they can be active in supporting the body throughout the day.
Water Soluble Vitamins
The water soluble vitamins include vitamin C and all of the B complex vitamins. As with any vitamin, C is best absorbed when taken with food simply because in a supplemental form, it is a synthetic substance and its presence with food in the digestive system helps it to be accepted more readily. Vitamin C could be taken at any time of day, however the B vitamins are usually suggested as a morning supplement because they are known as the energy vitamin, meaning they stimulate neurological activity and may disrupt one's ability to fall asleep quickly. B complex taken at night may interrupt sleep throughout the night. Water soluble vitamins are best taken in the morning with the first meal.
Other Nutrient Supplements
Other supplements include such things as herbal capsules, omega-3 fish oils, minerals, and other substances helpful in the body such as joint repairing, inflammation reducing and energy producing products. Most supplements fall under a blanket category of supporting the body in its daily functions, and are best absorbed and best serve the body when taken with the first meal of the day. The exception to this rule could be when a prescription medication is contra-indicated with the absorption of a vitamin or mineral. Alternatively, natural sleep aid herbs or supplements would be taken at night. Speak to a physician if you are taking prescription medication and are concerned about your vitamins, absorption and their effectiveness.
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- ''Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements''; Michael T. Murray, N.D.; 1996
- ''Staying Healthy With Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine''; Elson M. Haas, MD; 2006
- ''Natural Alternatives to Over the Counter and Prescription Drugs''; Michael T. Murray, N.D.; 1994