Do you know how to take your vitamins? Readers often ask us if they should swallow their supplements in the morning or midday, and whether juice or water is the preferred beverage. One reader is wondering about coffee and its impact.
Do You Drink Coffee with Your Vitamins?
Q. I heard on the grapevine (but I know that’s unreliable) that taking my vitamins with coffee means I won’t get the benefit. Is there any truth to this? How can I learn to be smarter about vitamins?
A. In searching the medical literature, we found no evidence that coffee poses problems for vitamin absorption. In fact, Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, an expert on scientific studies of supplements, suggests that taking vitamin and mineral supplements with breakfast is sensible.
Some Breakfast Beverage Problems:
Coffee can interfere with the absorption of thyroid supplements (levothyroxine). In addition, tea reduces the absorption of iron. A study shows that waiting an hour after taking iron before drinking tea gets around that problem (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Dec. 2017).
To learn more about optimizing your vitamin regimen, you may wish to consult Dr. Low Dog’s book, Fortify Your Life: Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and More. You will find it at your public library or you can obtain a paperback version here.