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Vitamins: which vitamins aid in absorption; which vitamins interfere with absorption when taken together?

By October 16, 2008 - 1:32pm
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Has anyone found an easy explanation (graph or chart form) that illustrates what vitamins can be take with other vitamins, and which vitamins should be taken separately?

For instance: for your body to absorb calcium better, is it best to take with Vitamin D or magnesium...or both?

Are there some vitamins when taken with other vitamins, that may interfere with the others' ability to work in the body and/or be absorbed? Meaning: these vitamins should not be taken together.

Lastly: how do you know what vitamins to take with food and those to take with water? I heard some are "fat soluble" and others are "water soluble"...what does that mean?

Add a Comment5 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I found a useful chart here and wanted to share it:

December 8, 2015 - 11:42pm
EmpowHER Guest

Thank you all for the great information. This is the type of information that was needed. The links are extremely helpful.

November 17, 2011 - 9:53am
EmpowHER Guest

The recommendation to stagger vitamins throughout the day because some block the absorption of others is why I sought info from this article in the first place. Unfortunately, the recommendation is useless without information that explains which vitamins are incompatible when taken together! Without that information, I could stagger them incompatibly due to my ignorance. Please clarify which should be taken together and which should not.

September 11, 2011 - 8:45am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Lisa P
I am having the same problem. I have to take certain medications also ... so what vitamins when & with what? What medication when & with what? After trying to figure this out to no avail now I need something for anxiety! lol
I just found the best resource seen to date. Go to http://www.whfoods.com/nutrientstoc.php
Click on your nutrient listed, then click on "Nutrient Interaction" Lots of info there. Hope this helps.

October 14, 2011 - 4:36pm

Connie, what a terrific question. I haven't yet found anything as user-friendly as a chart or a graph, but i did find some information.

-- Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluable vitamins, and are absorbed with fat from the intestines into the body. If you have excess, the body can store it. Because of this, a person needs to not take them in mega-doses.

-- Vitamin C and the B vitamins are water-soluable vitamins. They stay in the body only a short time.

Sally Squire of the Washington Post gives some guidelines:

"Take vitamins, both multi- and individual vitamins and minerals, at the same time each day. Don't take them all at once. Because some vitamins and minerals interact in a way that depletes absorption rates, stagger your supplements throughout the day. Take some with breakfast, some with lunch, and some with dinner. Just be consistent.

"Do not take calcium with multivitamins or zinc and iron supplements since calcium blocks their absorption. Take the latest recommended amounts, but no more. There is no scientific proof that megadoses help.

"Keep it simple. Don't bother with the time-released or sustained release vitamins. They cost more and have no apparent benefit. Think about your stomach. Some vitamins can cause stomach irritation when taken without food, such as iron and calcium, while others are best absorbed without food. Fat soluble vitamins--A, D, E, and K--should be taken with food containing some fat."

Here's a page that indexes some interactions between vitamins and herbs:


And here's a link to an article by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that has a little more info:


October 17, 2008 - 9:20am
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