Have You Ever Wondered 125

  • if antacids are as effective as calcium supplements as an extra calcium source? That depends. Look for an antacid without aluminum hydroxides. Aluminum in antacids can interfere with calcium absorption.
  • if vitamin nasal sprays or patches are effective? No research evidence says so, even though they're promoted for faster, more efficient absorption. In fact, they may not be absorbed at all. Here's the reality check: Fat-soluble vitamins need fat from food to aid absorption. Vitamin C in your intestine aids iron absorption-a problem if vitamin C comes from a spray. Vitamin B]2 binds with intrinsic factor made in the stomach during digestion. That cannot happen with a spray or a patch!

likely adequate. Higher amounts should be taken only if prescribed by your healthcare provider.

  • Take iron supplements on an empty stomach— between meals or before bedtime—to enhance absorption.
  • Take them with water or juice—not milk, coffee, or tea, which can inhibit absorption. As an aside, drinking vitamin C-rich juice with an iron supplement isn't necessary. Unlike nonheme iron in plant-based foods, the iron in supplements is in an absorbable form.
  • Drink plenty of water to help avoid constipation, a common side effect from taking iron supplements.
  • Store them where children can't reach them. Adult iron supplements can be extremely toxic to children!
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