Right Time to Take Vitamin Supplements - Part 1

I believe in the concept that food is medicine. But sometimes the deficiency makes the doctor to prescribe some supplements. It happens once in a while and I have been advised to take Iron and B12 supplements after weight loss. All go by doctor's suggestion. Once I bring the tablets to home, I usually search for two things. First, I reconfirm the expiry date and then I would find the right method of taking tablets.

This is because of my past experience during pregnancy. In which my Hb count kept constant, in spite of taking iron tablets continuously. The doctor suspected me first and then found the reason. I took the tablets along with calcium tablets, which will inhibit the absorption. Right from then, she instructed the pharmacists and nurses to advise patients. In that hospital, we have to give the medicine to nurses after buying it from pharmacy. They will tell us when to take the medicine and how to. They will also tell us the reason, if they are not busy. This experience is the reason for my searches on right method of taking tablets. For making it easier, I will list them one by one in a table. In this first post, let us see Iron, Calcium, B12, Folic Acid and Fish Oil.


Iron should not be combined with Calcium tablets. Though empty stomach favors more absorption, it is always good to have iron tablets after a light carb meal. For example, Idlis or Dosas. Eating fruits, fibers, raw vegetables, milk, eggs or protein can happen 2 hours before or 2 hours after having Iron supplements. It is good to drink a glass of orange juice along with Iron supplement, as it favors more absorption.


Calcium should not be combined with Iron tablets. There should be a 2 hours gap between Iron and Calcium. Calcium should not be combined with citric acid, oxalic acid and phytic acid containing foods. Eg. Lemon, Oranges, Spinach, Nuts and Beans. It is good to have Vitamin D along with Calcium. Because, they may result in calcification in Kidneys. It is good to combine Milk, Eggs, Cheese and Butter with Calcium supplements. As per doctor's advice, it is good to have calcium along with morning and evening milks.

Folic Acid

Folic Acid Supplements should be taken after a full meal. People having morning sickness can better take it during night times and sleep. Some doctors feel it is better to combine both iron and folic acid together. In that case, follow all the measures applicable for Iron Supplements.


This Vitamin offers a great comfort zone. It can be taken in mornings, afternoon and even at night time. As they are energy booster, it is better to avoid them at late nights. They can be combined with any meal. It is better to place the tablet under tongue and let them dissolve (sublingual). This will make them get absorbed in blood more quickly.

Fish oil 

There is no specific time for taking fish oil. But to avoid the odor of the fish that comes with burping, it is better to take it first and then take any meal 5 minutes later.

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authorHi. This is Sabari. I am the author of this blog. You can check out my weight loss story and more about me here.
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