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When To Take Vitamins?

(December 13, 2010)

Vitamin supplements help us to obtain the necessary nutrition that our body needs. Our body does not produce vitamins and hence we are dependant on external sources of vitamins. If our diet does not contain sufficient vitamin sources, or our needs are exceptionally high, such as during a pregnancy, we require vitamin supplements. A lot of people, however, remain in doubt as to when to take vitamins. All vitamins work uniquely and hence there is no specific time to take specific vitamins.

The time of the day hardly matters and there is no harm if you take vitamins at night.

Here are some general guidelines that will help you understand when to take vitamins:

• Certain vitamins are fat soluble. Hence, it is best to take these vitamins with some fatty foods. This is will help the body to absorb these vitamins. Therefore, it is best to take vitamins E, A, D, and K along with lunch or a healthy breakfast. It is better to take them with lunch as this is the meal which usually provides the maximum fat to the body, but if you have a breakfast containing fatty foods, then you can have them with breakfast as well.

• Some vitamins, such as those belonging to the vitamin B group, will provide a boost of energy and hence help the body in sustaining energy throughout the day. Hence, it is usually recommended to take such vitamins in the morning, at the beginning of your day instead of taking these vitamins at night.
• A few vitamins are such that it is best to take them with other vitamins. They augment each other and it does not matter much when you take the vitamins, as long as you take them together. Vitamin D is required in adequate amounts to ensure that calcium is absorbed into the body. Hence these vitamins should be taken together.

• It is best to have mineral supplements like iron, magnesium and calcium on an empty stomach. The same is also true for amino acid supplements such as lysine and tryptophan. This is because they are absorbed better when the stomach is rich in acids. Therefore the best time for having them is about half an hour before you have a meal. Furthermore, taking them individually will help to absorb them better.

A common question troubling women is when should I start taking prenatal vitamins? The answer is simple: the earlier you start the better. You can start taking them when you are trying to conceive. This will also help you prevent birth defects. When you find out that you are pregnant, your doctor will generally recommend that you start taking prenatal vitamins. During pregnancy, the body of a woman goes through a lot of stressful changes. Pregnant women are susceptible to iron deficiencies as they are supplying blood to the baby as well. The development of the baby’s skeletal system can cause a calcium deficiency in the mother’s body. A good prenatal vitamin will contain the necessary vitamins and minerals that women need, in order to deal with such stresses of pregnancy. However, it is not advisable to take a multivitamin in addition to a prenatal vitamin as this can cause an excess of vitamin, which can be harmful to both the child as well as the mother.

Submitted by S M on December 13, 2010 at 01:19


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