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14 Simple Ways to Make Your Vitamins More Effective

Reader's Digest Logo By Denise Mann, MS of Reader's Digest | Slide 2 of 14: <p>Of all the <a href='https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/vitamin-mistakes/1'>vitamin mistakes you may not realize you're making</a>, perhaps the most problematic is ignoring other pills you may be taking, because as MacKay warns, vitamins and minerals can interact with prescription and over-the-counter meds. In some cases, this will make one or the other less effective and in other cases, it could amplify their effects and put you at risk for an overdose. For example, calcium may interfere with the absorption of a commonly prescribed thyroid medication, and many women take both. 'They compete for absorption in the blood stream and should be taken a few hours apart,' MacKay says. In some cases, supplements may help drugs work better, he says. Cholesterol-lowering statins may cause fewer muscle and joint aches if taken with supplements of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10 plays a role in muscle cell energy production, which is why supplementing may reduce these statin side effects. <a href='https://www.rd.com/health/conditions/coq10-benefits/'>CoQ10 has other benefits as well</a>. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for guidance if you take medication and vitamins or minerals. And while you are at it, here are other <a href='https://www.rd.com/health/healthcare/prescription-medications/1/'>super-important questions to ask before taking prescription meds</a>.</p>

Learn how they work with your other meds

Of all the vitamin mistakes you may not realize you're making, perhaps the most problematic is ignoring other pills you may be taking, because as MacKay warns, vitamins and minerals can interact with prescription and over-the-counter meds. In some cases, this will make one or the other less effective and in other cases, it could amplify their effects and put you at risk for an overdose. For example, calcium may interfere with the absorption of a commonly prescribed thyroid medication, and many women take both. 'They compete for absorption in the blood stream and should be taken a few hours apart,' MacKay says. In some cases, supplements may help drugs work better, he says. Cholesterol-lowering statins may cause fewer muscle and joint aches if taken with supplements of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10 plays a role in muscle cell energy production, which is why supplementing may reduce these statin side effects. CoQ10 has other benefits as well. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for guidance if you take medication and vitamins or minerals. And while you are at it, here are other super-important questions to ask before taking prescription meds.

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