Top Supplements to Take Together

Some people may choose to combine their supplements and take them at the same time for convenience, but did you know that some supplements may actually absorb better and work synergistically when taken at the same time?

Mindfully combining nutrients and botanical products may improve their health benefits. Additionally, taking a vitamin, mineral or herbal supplement, with a healthy diet may also be the best way to reduce some of the side effects related to prescription medication use and avoid nutrient depletion. (Note that medications interactions should always be kept in mind)

Top Supplements to Take Together

Combining for Convenience

Taking all your supplements at once may help eliminate the need to keep track of supplements throughout the day, but keep in mind that it may also have the following limitations:

  • Reducing absorbability due to high nutrient load 

  • Undermining the efficacy of a nutrient that the body needs at a specific time of day

    • Some supplements have a "best time for action" window like melatonin

  • Taking a combination of supplements on an empty stomach may cause gastrointestinal discomfort

Combining for Absortability

Some nutrients absorb better when they enter the gastrointestinal system combined with other supportive nutrients. The advantages of this specific type of nutrient combination include, but are not limited to:

  • Easier accumulation

  • Faster action

  • Higher efficiency

  • Need for smaller amounts

Vitamin C and Iron

Vitamin C aids in the absorption of an iron supplement that is from plant-based sources, such as leafy green vegetables and legumes. It helps to break down plant-based iron, making it easier for our bodies to absorb. This is important because plant-based iron is not as easily absorbed as meat-based iron. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant, which means it helps to protect our cells from damage. So, not only does vitamin C help us to absorb more iron, but it also helps to protect the body from the oxidizing effects of iron. A lack of vitamin C can lead to a decrease in the absorption of iron. (1)

While combining iron supplements with orange juice may support their absorption, for those with moderate to severe iron deficiency, iron-rich foods and nutritional sources of vitamin C may not be the best approach as they take a long time to accumulate the needed iron in the body. This means that they are less likely to promptly satisfy the body's nutrient needs. vitamin supplementation is a faster approach, especially when done daily.

Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids

Bioflavonoids are a type of plant pigment that supports the absorption of vitamin C into the body. They help to improve the bioavailability of the nutrient, meaning that it is better used by the body. Bioflavonoids also work to protect vitamin C from damage, ensuring that it can deliver its beneficial effects. By helping to improve the absorption and protectiveness of vitamin C, bioflavonoids make this important nutrient even more effective. (2)

One of the most well-known bioflavonoids is hesperidin, which is found in citrus fruits. Studies have shown that hesperidin can help to support immune function and fight respiratory infections, especially those that are caused by viruses. Bioflavonoids are also thought to promote digestive health and overall good health. They are a good option for people who are looking for ways to improve their health and well-being. (3)

Target Absorbability to Avoid Side Effects

While combining magnesium and calcium is a form of nutrient combination that falls under the category of combining for absorption, adding vitamin K2 to the mix changes the dynamic and targets absorbability even further.

Magnesium and Calcium

Calcium supplements are often combined with magnesium supplements to improve efficiency and reduce side effects. Someone who is taking a calcium supplement might also want to take a magnesium supplement, as magnesium helps the body to better absorb calcium.

Someone who is taking a vitamin D supplement might also want to take a vitamin K supplement, as vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium while vitamin K helps to keep bones strong. (4)

Vitamin K2 and Calcium

There are a few reasons why it's important to take Vitamin K2 with calcium. Most may not consider that un-combined, calcium supplements may cause health issues and lead to the accumulation of calcium in areas of the body where it is not naturally found.

First, Vitamin K2 helps to direct calcium to the bones, where it is needed, and away from the arteries, where it can cause problems.

Second, calcium can block the absorption of Vitamin K2, so taking them together ensures that you get the most benefit from both nutrients.

Finally, Vitamin K2 has been shown to help improve bone health and reduce the risk of fractures. (5)

Combining for Functional Synergy

Vitamin D and Zinc

Sometimes nutrients can have overlapping functions that help target a health issue from a different dimension. For example, research has shown that synergy exists between vitamin D and zinc in supporting the immune system. Both Vitamin D deficiency and zinc deficiency have been linked to poor immune health. When combined, these nutrients are more effective in preventing infection than when used separately. In addition, both vitamin D and zinc are important for healthy bones and teeth. (6)

Selenium and CoQ10

Selenium is a mineral that is found in many foods, including Brazil nuts, seafood, and poultry. Selenium is also available in dietary supplements. Coenzyme Q 10 (CoQ 10 ) is a natural antioxidant that is found in the body. CoQ 10 helps to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Studies have shown that CoQ 10 may help to support heart health. Selenium may also help to support heart health. The combination of coQ 10 and selenium may help to protect the heart from damage caused by free radicals. (7)

Combining for Effect Amplification

Nattokinase and CoQ10

Nattokinase and coQ10 are two nutrients that are often recommended for those who suffer from high blood pressure. Nattokinase is a natural enzyme that helps to break down fibrin, a compound that can cause blood clots. CoQ10 is a nutrient that helps to improve blood circulation and protect from future heart disease. When taken together, nattokinase and CoQ10 can help to improve blood pressure levels and protect from cardiovascular disease. (8,9)

Silica and Folic Acid

Silica and folic acid are two important nutrients for vascular health. Silica helps keep blood vessels healthy and elastic by maintaining the collagen in their walls, while folic acid helps to prevent the build-up of homocysteine, a harmful compound that can damage blood vessels. When taken together, silica and folic acid provide a synergistic effect that helps to maintain cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. (10)

Black Seed Oil & Oil of Oregano

Black seed oil and oil of oregano are two powerful natural remedies that can be used separately or together to help treat a variety of health conditions. Black seed oil is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Oil of oregano is also high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. When used together, black seed oil and oil of oregano can provide even more benefits, such as supporting the immune system, fighting unwanted growths, and reducing inflammation. (11)

Combining for Body-System Activation

Another way of combining nutrients to boost absorbability is to include a substance that activates a body system, leading to better function and higher absorbability. This method of combination can be utilized by individuals who may be aware that they have some form of organ function alteration.

Black Seed Oil and Fat Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins are those that dissolve in fats and oils. These vitamins, including A, D, E, and K, are absorbed through the intestinal wall with the help of certain proteins. The absorption of fat-soluble vitamins is aided by the presence of bile salts in the intestine. Bile salts are produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. When food is eaten, the gallbladder contracts and squeezes bile salts into the intestine to help with digestion.

The fatty acids found in black seed oil help to improve the function of the gallbladder and increase the production of bile salts. Bile salts are essential for the digestion of fats, and they also play a role in the elimination of toxins from the body. (12)

The absorption of fat-soluble vitamins is supported by black seed oil because it helps to emulsify the lipid content of foods. By breaking down these large molecules into smaller pieces, proper gallbladder function allows for better absorption of nutrients. Additionally, the antioxidant properties of black seed oil help to protect these vitamins from oxidation and damage, further aiding in their absorption.

Greens and Bone-Support Supplements

The importance of alkaline greens for bone health cannot be overstated. These nutrient-rich foods help keep bones strong by neutralizing the acids in the body and restoring the natural alkaline balance. 

Consuming a healthy amount of greens sets the environment of the body for bone building, not breakdown. Thus, when bone-building mineral supplements are given to the body they are more likely to participate in bone-building and less likely to get wasted and used for acid-base balance. 

This means that less calcium intake is needed to achieve the same results. Too much calcium may be hazardous to health, especially when it comes from unnatural sources. Greens are naturally packed with minerals like calcium and magnesium which are essential for bone health. Eating alkaline greens regularly can help support bone health significantly. (13)

Safety is Important

When it comes to vitamins and supplements, more is not always better. It's important to check with a healthcare provider before taking any supplement, especially if you have a medical condition. Treatments for some medical conditions can reduce the tolerance for certain nutrients. 

Supplements can interact with medications, and certain vitamin combinations can be dangerous. For example, people with diabetes should be careful about taking supplements that contain chromium, since this can affect blood sugar levels. Likewise, pregnant women need to be cautious about taking vitamin A supplements, as too much vitamin A can lead to birth defects. (12, 13)

So before you start popping pills, be sure to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure that you're taking the right supplements for your individual needs.

Article References

  1. Lynch SR, Cook JD. Interaction of vitamin C and iron. Ann NY Acad Sci. 1980 Dec 1;355(1):32-44.

  2. Johnston CS, Luo B. Comparison of the absorption and excretion of three commercially available sources of vitamin C. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 1994 Jul 1;94(7):779-82.

  3. Bellavite P, Donzelli A. Hesperidin and SARS-CoV-2: New light on the healthy function of citrus fruits. Antioxidants. 2020 Aug 13;9(8):742.

  4. Moe SM. Disorders involving calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. 2008 Jun 1;35(2):215-37.

  5. Lanham-New SA. Importance of calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K for osteoporosis prevention and treatment: symposium on ‘diet and bone health’. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 2008 May;67(2):163-76.

  6. Doğan A, Dumanoğlu Doğan İ, Uyanık M, Köle MT, Pişmişoğlu K. The Clinical Significance of Vitamin D and Zinc Levels with Respect to Immune Response in COVID-19 Positive Children. Journal of Tropical Pediatrics. 2022 Oct;68(5):fmac072.

  7. Alehagen U, Aaseth J. Selenium and coenzyme Q10 interrelationship in cardiovascular diseases–A clinician's point of view. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology. 2015 Jul 1;31:157-62.

  8. Abdelbaset M, Safar MM, Mahmoud SS, Negm SA, Agha AM. Red yeast rice and coenzyme Q10 as safe alternatives to surmount atorvastatin-induced myopathy in hyperlipidemic rats. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. 2014;92(6):481-9.

  9. Stanhewicz AE, Kenney WL. Role of folic acid in nitric oxide bioavailability and vascular endothelial function. Nutrition reviews. 2017 Jan 1;75(1):61-70.

  10. Crane F. CoQ 10 and vascular protection.

  11. Ashraf SA, Al-Shammari E, Hussain T, Tajuddin S, Panda BP. In-vitro antimicrobial activity and identification of bioactive components using GC–MS of commercially available essential oils in Saudi Arabia. Journal of food science and technology. 2017 Nov;54(12):3948-58.

  12. Luetjohann S. Healing Power of Black Cumin. Lotus Press; 1998.

  13. McBride J. Vitamin K: another reason to eat your greens. Agricultural Research. 2000;48(1):16.

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