Nutrient Absorption

So you’ve been told that you need calcium, magnesium and iron, plus a B vitamin and an herbal formula for stress. This is all well and good, but you might be left wondering how to take them, if you can take them all at once, and if they will interact with other medications and foods.

  • Generally speaking, the four major minerals – calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc all compete for absorption in our intestines. This means that we need to take them all separately, at least 2 hours away from each other.
  • B vitamins provide energy to the body, and they always need to be taken with food. It is via the food that they release energy, and it’s for this reason that we take B vitamins in the morning and not at night when we want to wind down for the day.
  • Vitamin C is best taken in amounts of 500mg or less at one time, as the body cannot absorb anything over this amount. Taking 500mg 3 or 4 times daily is far more beneficial than taking a 1000mg tablet twice daily.
  • Coffee and tea block the absorption of nutrients and foods, causing maldigestion. Tablets need to be taken at least ½ away from coffee and tea.
  • If you are on existing medications, any herbal formulas recommended to you need to be checked with a naturopath to ensure safety.