Eye Care Tips: Vitamins & Supplements

As we get older our bodies tend to absorb nutrients less easily. Therefore, if we take supplemental nutrients, it is worthwhile paying attention to when we take them. Sublingual and/or liquid vitamins are assimilated very quickly by the body. Capsules are the next fastest as far as rapid assimilation is concerned.

Vitamins   Minerals   Enzymes   Herbs   Probiotics   Digestion

Vitamins

  • Take most vitamins with a meal because your body's digestive enzymes help to absorb them.
  • Some vitamins enhance absorption of other nutrients, so you can take them together:

    • Vitamin A is best absorbed taken with vitamin E. Note: A, D, E & K are fat-soluable vitamins. Take them with a meal that includes some fat.
    • B vitamins are more readily absorbed taken with vitamin C. In cooking, both B and C break down with long exposure to water and heat, so cook quickly - steam lightly or saute.
    • Vitamin B9 (folic acid) absorption is better absorbed with foods like dark leafy greens that are rich in folate.
    • Vitamin C enhances iron absorption.
    • Vitamin D enhances calcium and phosphorus absorption. Taking D at dinner time increases absorption significantly.
    • Vitamin E is best absorbed taken in a meal that includes fat.
    • Vitamin K enhances calcium absorption. Take it with a meal that includes fat. This is one reason why dark leafy greens, which have lots of calcium and vitamin K are so good for you.
  • If you are taking a large dose vitamin on the recommendation of your health provider, understand that doing so reduces absorption of other vitamins, so take it separately. Vitamin K absorption is especially diminished by other large-dose vitamin intake.

Minerals

  • Large doses of minerals taken with other minerals can reduce the absorption of the lower-dose minerals - so take them at different times of the day. For example calcium and magnesium supplements might be large-dose and should be taken apart from other minerals.
  • Calcium absorption is enhanced by vitamin K and vitamin D, so take them together with a meal containing fats.
  • Phosphorus absorption is enhanced by vitamin D, so take them together with a meal containing fats.
  • Take magnesium or iron with food to minimize any stomach upset.
  • Taking zinc long term can impact your copper levels - so check with your health provider before taking.

Enzymes

  • If you are supporting strong digestion by taking digestive enzymes, you generally should take them along with food. This also assists in reducing chronic inflammation.
  • However, some targeted enzymes such as Nattonkinase and Serrapeptase should generally be taken with an empty stomach. This is because their role is to enhance the break-down of debris in blood and tissue that contributes to inflammatory (including autoimmune) conditions.

    If instead, you take them at mealtime, they behave as digestive enzymes operating in the digestive process rather than in the debris cleansing role.

Herbs

  • Many homeopathic remedies and herbs, including Chinese herbal formulations are to be consumed between meals where they are more effective. Consult your healthcare provider for the best routine.
  • Aloe vera increases bioavailability of vitamin C (2 oz dose) according to one researcher.

Priobiotics

  • For people who need to take antibiotics: between your antibiotic dosages take acidophilus supplements. Probiotics will enhance the build-up of the digestive tract's good bacteria which are damaged or killed by antibiotics. Elderly patients, especially, should take acidophilus regularly to support the digestive process.

Enhancing Digestion

  • Reduce fluids consumed at the same time as your meal to improve digestion. Iced drinks kill the digestive "fire" - so reduce these when you eat.
  • If you have trouble swallowing vitamin capsules, you can open them, and add the contents to yogurt or juice.
  • You may be already taking a multivitamin daily and have decided to add eye vitamins. If so, you can continue the multivitamin.
  • One enhancement that will stimulate digestive enzymes is a little apple cider vinegar just before you eat. Another digestive stimulant is a thin slice of ginger root.