Why Supplements And Multivitamins Are Better Together

The health sector has evolved over the years, and so has the consumption of vitamins. According to Harvard T.H. Chan, over 70% of Americans over 71 years take vitamins — of which, about a quarter take multivitamins. Vitamins are naturally occurring compounds that the human body requires daily, in minute quantities, explains Medical News Today. According to the source, the main source of vitamin consumption comes from the foods we eat. However, since our bodies don't produce enough vitamins, many people choose to supplement with vitamins to help fill in any nutritional gaps.

According to Healthline, the most well-known vitamins include A, B, C, D, E, and K. Vitamin supplementation comes with various benefits. However, specific benefits largely depend on the vitamin you take. Vitamin K, for example, helps improve your body's blood clotting abilities. Vitamin D is vital for healthy immune and bone health, while vitamin C works as an antioxidant. In addition to vitamins, some people also supplement with various herbs, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes, according to the University of California San Diego. Some common minerals include sodium, calcium, and potassium, per Harvard T.H. Chan.

Why take supplements and multivitamins together?

According to Harvard T.H. Chan, multivitamin supplementation might offer little to no benefit to someone who consumes a healthy and balanced diet. However, they might come in handy for people who can't receive essential nutrients from diet alone. The source also notes that individual supplementation might work best for people who have some form of nutritional deficiency or who can't absorb vitamins.

In some cases, vitamins and minerals are paired together for better absorption. According to a 2022 review, vitamin C is known to enhance iron absorption. Such a combination might be vital for people who have iron-deficiency anemia. Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is vital for forming collagen, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels and also protects against free radicals and their effects, explains the Mayo Clinic. Iron, on the other hand, aids in the formation of hemoglobin, a necessary protein that assists in the movement of oxygen within the body, says Healthline.

According to Healthline, vitamins D and K also work together as a team, especially when concerning calcium metabolism. While vitamin D regulates your blood levels of calcium, vitamin K helps reduce the calcification of your soft tissues, such as your blood vessels and kidneys.

Tips for taking different vitamins

According to WebMD, it's best to receive most of your nutrients and vitamins from food. However, while eating a healthy diet is needed, multivitamins also come in handy. Some vitamins are better absorbed with meals, while others aren't. Also, good timing is essential when taking vitamins. For example, vitamin C and Vitamin B12 should be taken with a minimum of 2-hour intervals between each other, since vitamin C can keep your body from using B12 effectively.

Cleveland Clinic writes that it's best to separate your fat-soluble vitamins from your water-soluble ones. Since water-soluble vitamins aren't stored by the body, WebMD advises consuming them daily. Examples of water-soluble vitamins include niacin, thiamin, cobalamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and biotin.

Fat-soluble vitamins should be consumed with a meal featuring fatty foods. This is because they depend largely on fat for proper absorption in the body. Some examples of fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins K, A, D, and E, says Healthline.