To ensure you get the most out of your vitamins and minerals, it's essential to ensure their bioavailability: that they are absorbed from your intestines efficiently and presented to your cells in a form that can be used or stored. Following the dos and don'ts below will help you to maximise this bioavailability.
Take supplements with snacks
As this aids absorption and lessens any potential side effects.
Take after your evening meal
As mineral movements and repair processes in your body that use these nutrients are greatest at night.
Wash down with water
Enough to comfortably take the supplement.
Take fat-solubles with food containing fat
For example, Co-enzyme Q10, evening primrose oil, fish oils, and vitamins A, D, E,K should be taking with food containing some fat, such as milk.
Spread doses through the day
Try to spread more than one dose (if you have to take 2 or more tablets or capsules of the same supplement) throughout the day. This will help to maximise absorption and maintain more even blood levels.
Give your supplements time to work
Try to remember that some vitamins, minerals and supplements can take up to 90 days to work. Be patient!
Take with hot drinks
Especially tea or coffee, as these can interfere with absorption and increase the loss of other minerals from the body. The heat can destroy live microorganisms such as 'friendly' bacteria.
Take fish oil before breakfast
Don't take fish oil in the morning before you've eaten, as the essential fats will be used by the body for energy rather than used for key functions.
Take with grapefruit juice
Although the affects of grapefruit juice has not been investigated with nutritional supplements, in the case of prescribed medication the juice greatly increased blood levels of the medication.
Don't be tempted to double up if you miss a dose: just take it at the next convenient time.
Exceed the recommended dose
Don't exceed the recommended dose on the packaging, unless suggested by and under the supervision of your doctor.
Take supplements with prescribed medication
Check with your doctor before taking vitamins and minerals if you are taking any prescribed medicines.