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How to Take Vitamins and Supplements

Vitamins and nutritional supplements are items we take to improve our health so we should have some common sense in how we use them.  Storage should be noted on the label of your vitamins and supplements. 

Most vitamin labels say to keep them tightly sealed and to store in a cool dry place.  Read your label to see what kind of storage applies to your vitamins and supplements and comply with what is recommended.

Pay attention to what kind of vitamins you are taking to determine if you should take yours with just water or eat some food with it.  The recommendation for taking a multivitamin is to take them with a meal. 

The reasoning behind this is that most of the fat soluble vitamins, which are vitamins A,D,E and K, are absorbed better when they are taken together with some fat, you could even pair it with an omega 3 supplement, since this is fat.  The other logic behind this practice is that it will reduce stomach upset. 

Do not expect to get benefits from your vitamins if your diet is poor.  There is no substitute for eating a healthful diet with lean protein sources, lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains.  A vitamin pill will not improve your health and immunity to disease without eating a quality healthy diet.

The concept that more is better does not apply to vitamin supplementation.  Overdoing one particular vitamin or mineral can actually harm your health.  Taking a multivitamin is usually preferred to singling out just one vitamin in large doses.  Staying within the normal range of the RDA printed on the label is the usual recommendation.

For all of your health care needs, you should inform your health care professionals of any and all vitamins and supplements you are taking.  A lot of people think that vitamins and supplements are not medications, so they feel there is no need to mention them. 

This is not the case.  For an example of the importance of this communication, a high dose of fish oil can inhibit blood clotting.  This medical fact could be very important if you’re given an anticoagulant such as Coumadin or if you need any surgical procedure. 

Another reason this is important is that vitamins and supplements can interfere with how effective prescribed medication will be.  If your physician doesn’t know about your vitamins or supplements, it could have harmful consequences.

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