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What is the Best Time of Day to Take Vitamins?

What is the Best Time of Day to Take Vitamins?

If you’ve ever wondered when you should be taking your vitamins — Breakfast? Lunch? Whenever you remember to? — depends on the type of vitamins. If you’re talking about a multivitamin (one vitamin that combines lots of other vitamins into one), then the best time of day is usually the morning, with your first meal. That’s because vitamins are a synthetic substance and are best absorbed in your body when they are taken with food and its naturally occurring vitamins. Taking them in the morning allows for the best chance that they’ll be absorbed into your system with the food that you eat all throughout the day.

You may have heard of fat-soluble vitamins — these are vitamins that are stored in the body’s fat tissue. These vitamins need to be taken with some sort of dietary fat (such as nuts) in order to be absorbed into your system. Vitamins A, D, E and K are all fat-soluble vitamins. Another type of vitamin is a water-soluble vitamin, such as vitamins C and B, which are not stored in the body’s fat tissue and if needed, must be replaced each day. Again, it’s generally recommended to take vitamins in the morning, but the best time of day for you to take a multivitamin or any supplement is when you are most likely to remember to take it daily.

The only exception to this is B vitamins, which are known to help people trying to combat stress or fatigue. Since these are known as the energy vitamins, it’s definitely better to take them in the morning, since taking them at night can interfere with a good night’s sleep.

Which brings us to the controversial and central issue regarding vitamins in the first place — do we even need them at all? For many years, doctors advised taking a multivitamin to reach your recommended daily dose of vitamins and nutrients, especially if you weren’t eating a balanced and nutritious diet, which — let’s face it — who is?

But some studies in recent years have shown that taking multivitamins may be unnecessary and even dangerous for some. One study published in 2008 showed that too much folic acid (which is contained is most multivitamins) can lead to prostate cancer. Another buzzed-about study published in 2011 which followed thousands of women over 25 years found that taking a multivitamin actually increased the risk of death. Yikes!

Another thing to consider is that unlike prescription drugs, vitamins are not subject to FDA approval or testing before they go on the market. One way to check the safety of vitamins is to look for the USP Verified mark, which indicates a seal of approval from the U.S. Pharmacopeia-National Formulary, a nongovernment, nonprofit organization.

Let’s also not forget that much of the food that we eat today is fortified with vitamins — eating vitamin-enriched foods on a daily basis and taking a multivitamin can take you over the top of the recommended dose of a certain vitamin. What should you do? Best to check with your doctor to see if you need to be taking supplements at all, and if you do, exactly which vitamins and how much of each you need to be taking.

 

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article by Chanie Kirschner

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Kara, selected from Mother Nature Network

Mother Nature Network's mission is to help you improve your world. From covering the latest news on health, science, sustainable business practices and the latest trends in eco-friendly technology, MNN.com strives to give you the accurate, unbiased information you need to improve your world locally, globally, and personally – all in a distinctive thoughtful, straightforward, and fun style.

42 comments

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5:22PM PST on Jan 29, 2014

Don't cook as a single, disabled person with long-term knowledge and practical management of what is optimum nutrition for me. Have a reguler routine of taking supplements with food in the morning.

5:03PM PST on Jan 29, 2014

Most people who eat a healthy diet don't need vitamins or supplements. I have had gastric bypass and must take specialized vitamins. However, that is because I no longer have a jejunum and do not digest nutrients as thoroughly as I should. We need to get off the idea of taking vitamins and get into eating healthy.

7:33AM PST on Jan 29, 2014

I take at least vitamins and supplements as possible. It is much better to each a variety of foods.

6:51PM PST on Jan 28, 2014

I am trying to decide if the authors are in denial, being paid off or simply don't know about high quality phamaceutical grade supplements. These supplements are bioavailable - they are very important to people's health -especially if you have a chronic illness - how many people in America have a chronic illness? They help with everything from Fibromyalgia to arthritis, from the common cold or flu to helping with energy and sleep issues. I am wondering - again - why care2 has not - to my knowledge - had an article about the limitless importance of QUALITY (bioavailable pharmaceuitical grade) supplements? Vitamin D? Does this auther live in the same world we do? How many people today actually eat enough organic fruits/veggies to get what they need? How much do people really need? I would LOVE to see a true expert on this be invited to write an article - There are several very high quality brands out there (in which the supplements don't just pass right through or just sit undesolved in your stomach) Ask one of the specialist from Thorne -for example - or - better yet - Usana. Just get someone who knows what they are talking about. please. I think of Care2 as something one the edge of its time - pushing for better quality of life for all of us - not dragging us back with articles the question the need for supplements in a country full of sick people. How about an article about what drugs do at least as much damage as they do "treat" (cover up) the symptom - I have b

4:35AM PST on Jan 28, 2014

ty

4:34AM PST on Jan 28, 2014

4 me it's never--don't touch them. Thanks

1:06PM PST on Jan 26, 2014

thanks for sharing

3:55AM PST on Jan 26, 2014

thank you for posting

10:56PM PST on Jan 25, 2014

Thanks for posting :)

8:35PM PST on Jan 25, 2014

No I've never wondered, I take them when I think of it.

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