Dos and don’ts of supplements

Published 9:49 am Friday, September 16, 2011

In previous columns, we’ve explored exactly what vitamins and minerals are and why they are so important for our health.
This week I’d like to show you how to and how not to take your supplements.
My favorite multivitamin/mineral supplement is called Provide, manufactured by Solaray. The allowances and ratios in Provide are the ones I suggest my own clients take.
I do recommend however, that everyone read the nutritional profile given on the label of any nutritional supplement taken.
The profile of a nutritional supplement gives the serving size (by the way, sometimes the dosage is more than one pill or tablet), the allowances, which are usually measured in (mg) milligrams, (mcg) micrograms or (Iu) international units and the percentage of the nutrient’s daily values, which is the term on food labels of the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) designed to help consumers use food labels to plan a healthy diet).
Now let’s go over some supplement do’s and don’ts.
Do take your multivitamin/mineral supplements with food.
There are two reasons for this. First, of all vitamins do not absorb well without food. Second, vitamins, particularly B vitamins can make you nauseated if taken on an empty stomach.
Don’t take vitamin supplements with dinner, or at night, if you don’t sleep well. Vitamins can sometimes act as mild stimulates, and can interfere with sleep.
If the form of calcium you take is calcium citrate, don’t take with food. If the form of calcium you take is calcium carbonate, do take with food.
Don’t take calcium and vitamin C within an hour of each other. The reason for this is that calcium is a base, and vitamin is acidic. If they are in the stomach at the same time, they will negate each other’s affects.
Another dietary supplement I recommend is called coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10. CoQ10 is known as a ubiquinone. This means that it is found throughout the body.  It’s a powerful antioxidant that also affects the mitochondria, or energy producer of the cells, especially in heart cells.
One thing to be very careful of though, is to check with your doctor to make sure you have no conditions that would make starting a supplement program contraindicated.
Also, check with your doctor and pharmacist to make sure that any medication you are on is not affected by any supplement you may be taking.
Diet or exercise question?
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David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist for 24 years. He served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., head strength coach for the S.C. stated champion girls gymnastic team, USC-Spartanburg baseball team, Converse college equestrian team, lead trainer to L.H. Fields modeling agency, and taught four semesters at USC-Union.

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