Do I Need to Take Additional Vitamin B12 if I'm Already Taking Other Types of Dietary Supplements?

Learn about potential interactions between vitamins when taking dietary supplements such as multivitamins or herbal supplements.

Do I Need to Take Additional Vitamin B12 if I'm Already Taking Other Types of Dietary Supplements?

Whether you're taking a daily multivitamin to improve your overall health or relying on herbal supplements to fill nutritional gaps, it's important to be aware of potential interactions. Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential in small amounts for normal metabolism. Taking certain vitamins together can affect their absorption in the body, sometimes worsening them and sometimes improving bioavailability. In addition, some vitamins can interfere with the effectiveness of medications and even exacerbate side effects.

While measuring serum levels of several vitamins is widely available, testing for deficiencies is often unnecessary. Here's What You Need to Know About Using Vitamin Supplements Wisely. It's also important to know which vitamins should not be taken together. These are the supplements that don't go hand in hand or don't go with food. Some combinations should be avoided, even if they are not inherently problematic.

For example, while it's safe to take vitamin D with vitamin B12, it's not recommended, says Dr. Virgilio Sanchez, a board-certified family medicine doctor at the Conviva Care Center in Miami, Florida. This is because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is better absorbed with food, while B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin that should be taken on an empty stomach, says Dr. The same is true for vitamin C and vitamin D, which must be taken at different times. In general, water-soluble vitamins can be taken together without food, and fat-soluble vitamins can be taken together with foods that contain healthy fats.

The following supplement combinations may actually be more effective when combined. Vitamin D and vitamin K (especially K) complement each other, Dr. Vitamin K1, or phylloquinone, is found in dark leafy vegetables, while vitamin K2 (menaquinones) is found in fermented and animal foods. Research indicates that the two fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin D and vitamin K) work synergistically to ensure that bones absorb calcium instead of accumulating in the arteries. Fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K, can be taken at the same time.

According to Dr. Sean Ormond, interventional pain doctor at Atlas Pain Specialists in Phoenix, Arizona, fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body's liver, fat and muscles, and must be taken with fat from a meal for the body to better absorb and use them. Healthy plant-based foods such as avocados or nuts work well, Dr. When it comes to combining copper with zinc, it's all a matter of balance. Zinc interferes with copper absorption, but taking too much zinc can even cause copper deficiency.

If you are taking zinc, it is recommended that you also take a 2 mg copper supplement to maintain the balance of these two minerals in the body. Taking These Two Supplements Together May Improve Heart Health. Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential fat that may protect against medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Vitamin E is an important nutrient with antioxidant properties that improves the immune system. A small study of 60 male patients with coronary artery disease found that a combination of omega-3 and vitamin E had beneficial effects on serum insulin and insulin resistance.

Research has linked the decline in insulin resistance to the development of heart disease. Ask your provider if you would benefit from this combination. Iron is the most common nutrient deficiency in the United States. The mineral is vital for the optimal functioning of the human body and is an important component of hemoglobin, a red blood cell protein that carries oxygenated blood from the lungs to other areas of the body. Iron insufficiency, or anemia, prevents this process, causing fatigue and requiring iron supplementation. If there are no known interactions between vitamins, it's OK to take multiple vitamins at once, Litt says.

If you are not sure if there is an interaction, contact your healthcare provider. Your body needs vitamin B12 to produce red blood cells. You can get it from food or supplements but sometimes there may not be enough vitamins in what you eat. This can happen if you're vegan or if you don't eat a lot of meat or dairy products. If you're concerned about heart disease or other medical conditions related to vitamin B12 deficiency then it may be beneficial for you to take additional supplements of this essential nutrient.

Some observational evidence also shows an association between supplements containing vitamin B12 and an increased risk of certain types of cancer. Vitamin B-12 is vital to human life because of its role in the production of red blood cells and in supporting brain and nerve function. From there, vitamin B12 combines with a protein called intrinsic factor so that it can be absorbed further down in the small intestine. It is used to treat and prevent vitamin B12 deficiency anemia (when you have low levels of this vitamin in your body). While there is no evidence that vitamin B12 alone reduces the risk of breast cancer population studies have shown that women who consume more folate in their diet have a lower risk of breast cancer. However the study found no association between the use of vitamin B12 supplements and the risk of cancer in women.

Additional clinical trials are needed to better understand the effects of vitamin B12 supplementation on cognitive function and cognitive decline. Overall available evidence suggests that taking additional vitamin B12 supplements may be beneficial for people who are deficient or at risk for deficiency due to dietary restrictions or other factors. It is generally considered safe to take up to 1000 mcg a day of an oral tablet to treat a deficiency. The Institute of Medicine states that “no adverse effects have been associated with excessive intake of vitamin B12 from foods and supplements in healthy people. However it's important not to start taking any type of high-dose supplement without first consulting with your doctor. The names logos brands and other trademarks of pharmacies are the property of their respective owners.