HOW to take your Vitamins

Really!  There is a right way and a wrong way.

There are ways to enhance the stuff you’re taking.

There are ways to block the benefit of the stuff you’re taking.

And let’s be honest here – it’s a big commitment – financially, in terms of mortal fortitude, discipline, and the like  – none of us wants to waste the effort involved, right?

So – why not make the most of the supplements you need to take?  And I don’t care who you are – you NEED to take your vitamins – remember, all DS post-ops need to view their vitamins as life support – they are no longer optional!

So here are some things that matter:

Timing – especially if you are taking any other medications.

What is taken with what.

Your level of hydration.

Whether or not you’re getting in adequate dietary fiber.  (Seriously – it’s true!)

Okay?

Here are some basics – stuff I’ve learned along the way:

  1. It’s easiest to take oral iron supplements first thing in the morning.
  2. Iron and calcium should be spaced at least 2 hours apart from one another.
  3. Iron is better absorbed in company of fruit juice and/or Vitamin C.
  4. Drink LOTS of water! Makes all of the work of getting all of those vitamins in worth it – they’re better absorbed if you’re hydrated.  DS post-ops should be getting in a bare minimum of 64 oz of non-sweetened (artificially or otherwise) daily by the time they are 10 days post-op.  By the time you are 6 months post-op you should be getting in twice that amount.
  5. Get your fiber in!  Inadequate fiber in your diet will prevent your body from getting optimum absorption of your vitamins!
  6. Calcium can only be absorbed in 500 to 600 mg quantities – the rest just gets flushed out of your system (according to my endocrinologist) so spread the calcium out over the course of the day.  Recent studies support that calcium taken in 500 to 600 mg increments at least two hours apart is the best way to gain maximum absorption.
  7. DO take your calcium, vitamins A, D, E, K, and magnesium in company of one another – they boost absorption of one another.
  8. Take your multivitamins solo – not with other stuff.
  9. If you supplement zinc – calcium, iron, and copper can all interfere with zinc supplementation.  Don’t take your zinc with a high fiber snack/meal – the phytate in these foods will block absorption.  I take mine solo – all by itself.

So – I have a bit of a schedule that I put together YEARS ago that helped me to figure it all out.  I’ll share it here.

PLEASE – DO NOT DO THIS FOR YOUR VITAMINS.  This was my routine based on my lab returns.  We are each unique and individual – and yes, we do have baseline minimums for vitamins for DS post-ops – but after you get a little age under your DS belt – you’ll find that YOU need specific supplementation based on where YOUR labs are.  Okay?  Promise me!

Dina’s Vitamin Schedule

Schedule Time Taken Vitamin
First thing in the morning with fruit juice and/or Vitamin C   Iron
2 hours later   1 – 500 mg capsule calcium citrate
1 – 250 mg tablet magnesium
1 – 50,000 IU capsule Dry D3-50
1 – 25,000 IU capsule Dry A (Palmitate)
1 – 400 IU capsule Dry E
1 hour later   1 multi vitamin
1 hour later   1 – 500 mg capsule calcium citrate
1 – 100 mcg Dry K
1 hour later   1 multivitamin
1 hour later   1 Super B Complex
1 – 5,000 mcg B-12 microdot
1 hour later   1 – 500 mg capsule calcium citrate
1 – 250 mg tablet magnesium
1 – 50,000 IU capsule Dry D3-50
1 – 25,000 IU capsule Dry A (Palmitate)
1 – 400 IU capsule Dry E
1 hour later   1 Super B Complex
1 hour later   1 – 500 mg capsule calcium citrate
1 – 250 mg tablet magnesium
1 – 50,000 IU capsule Dry D3-50
1 hour later   1 Super B Complex
1 hour later   1 multivitamin
1 hour later   1- 500 mg capsule calcium citrate
1 – 250 mg tablet magnesium
1 hour later   1 Super B Complex
At bedtime   1- 500 mg capsule calcium citrate

 So that gives you an idea…  You can make yourself a schedule like this – use that center column to write in the time you take stuff – it will help you build a habit – and before long taking your vitamins will be second nature – not a chore!

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Lisa says:

    You are an inspiration!

    1. Dina says:

      Lisa, I hope this is helpful to you! It’s just what I’ve learned over the years – finally finding a way to get maximum absorption and results after a lot of sad trials and mostly errors!

  2. dix84 says:

    Thank you sooooooo much for this post!!! I seem to be on the right track with my vitamins, but I haven’t been taking them at the proper times or in the right order it seems like! I am getting my bloodwork done next week so I am looking forward to finding out how far off exactly I am! I am so glad you posted about your blog on Instagram! VERY Helpful!!


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