We have some recommendations that will ensure that you get the best out of your prescribed supplement programme.
With or without food?
As a general rule supplements should be washed down with water and never with hot drinks like tea or coffee. The tannins in these drinks can interfere with absorption of nutrients and the heat can kill bacteria in probiotics.
Most supplements are best taken with food, but there are a few exceptions. Always take supplements with food unless directed otherwise by your practitioner.
What about timing?
Take multi vitamins and B vitamins before late afternoon just in case they disturb your sleep.
Calcium and magnesium are best taken in the evening due to the relaxation effect. Please note calcium must be taken at least 2 hours away from zinc. Speak to your practitioner if you need further advice
If you’ve been prescribed an am or pm compound then take as it is indicated – am in the morning, pm at night.
Where should I store my supplements?
A cool dark place is best – possibly the pantry. Fish oil, B12 and some probiotics are better stored in the fridge to protect them from degrading in the heat.
What’s a contraindication?
Make sure you tell your practitioner about all prescribed drugs or self prescribed supplements you are taking. They can interact with each other so this is important information to share. For example, taking a supplement and a prescribed drug that are both designed to do the same thing may be contraindicated, so ensure your practitioner knows about everything you are taking – both prescribed medication and supplements or herbs.
What does fat soluble mean?
Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble. This means they are soluble in lipids (fats). These vitamins are best taken with food that contains some fat. They are stored in the body for long periods of time.
What does water soluble mean?
Vitamins B and C are water-soluble. These vitamins are used up and not stored in the body for long periods of time. These vitamins are best taken with a meal as they can cause stomach upset, but do not need to be taken with fat in order to be absorbed.
Is there a difference in supplements recommended by my practitioner and those I can buy off the shelf ?
Yes. Understanding the chemistry of the ingredients in a supplement is important if self prescribing. Practitioners at ITH will only recommend supplements that have been produced ethically from sustainable and clean sources.
Your practitioner will be looking at the specific ingredients of supplements, avoiding fillers and cheap replacement molecules. They will consider the most absorbable form of each vitamin, the highest quality and dose per capsule or scoop. They can be more expensive than other more available brands, however, this way we can be assured that you are getting the quality and dose we feel is right for you, with minimal risk of side effects. We are always willing to work with you on what you feel is affordable.
Your practitioner will be carefully assessing the most therapeutic dose for your specific needs and is available to help you simplify your regime.