why your vitamins and supplements aren't working

Why your Vitamins and Supplements aren’t Working

Have you ever purchased vitamins and supplements but then felt like they didn’t help, or you didn’t feel or notice any beneficial changes in your body from taking them?  There can be many reasons why our vitamins and supplements aren’t working.  Let’s examine some of those reasons.

Not drinking enough water

One reason your vitamins and supplements may not be working is because you’re not drinking enough water.  Our bodies need plenty of water to absorb the vitamin and supplements we give it.  Vitamins and supplements need water to travel through your body.  For maximum absorption be sure to drink a glass of water after consumption of vitamins and supplements.  Strive for at least 8 oz. of water, but ideally try to make your water intake be a minimum of 16 ounces if you can.  And, each day, try and drink half your body weight in water.  So, if you weigh 200 pounds, that means drink 100 ounces of water a day.  Similarly, if the directions say to take your vitamin and/or supplement with food do so!

Wrong combination/Vitamin contradictions

Another reason your vitamins and supplements may not be working is because you’re taking the wrong combination together. Taking the wrong vitamins and/or supplements together can cause them to cancel or contradict each other. As tempting as it may be to take your all supplements at once, mixing some supplements can limit their individual effects.

One such example is iron and calcium. Calcium can block the absorption of iron, so these two minerals should be taken separately. Space out the time between when you take these two supplements.  For instance, if you take an iron pill in the morning then take the calcium pill sometime in the afternoon. Wait at least 3 hours in between to be on the safe side.  Using this same logic, you shouldn’t consume foods high in iron after taking a calcium supplement.  Or vice versa-no consuming dairy products that are high in calcium after taking an iron pill. 

Alternatively, you may need to take a combination of vitamins and/or supplements for them to be the most effective and have a high absorbency rate.  One combination of vitamins that should be taken together is Vitamin D3 and K2.  You can purchase vitamin capsules with D3 and K2 already combined into one capsule. 

Vitamin D and K2 can also be found in meats, eggs, and some cheeses.

Low quality vitamins

It’s true what they say-all supplements are not created equal. Don’t buy cheap supplements.  You get what you pay for.  Find a trusted brand and company to buy your supplements and vitamins from. In other words, do not run to your local drugstore and purchase these items. Instead opt for purchasing supplements and vitamins from reputable companies and businesses that offer quality products with the best ingredients.  That means no fillers.  Look for terms like organic and non-GMO, soy-free, non-alcoholic, gluten free, etc.

Keep in mind also that you may need a different form of the vitamin.  Instead of a capsule you may need the liquid form as it may be easier on your system or more potent than the capsule form.

You have a medical condition

Do you have MTHFR or some other type of illness or disease?

MTHFR stands for methyl-tetrahydrofolate reductase.  It’s an enzyme responsible for the process of methylation in your body.  It’s more common to have than one might think.  If you have a MTHFR gene mutation, it can contribute to a variety of health issues.  Common signs that may alert you that you have a MTHFR variant include folate, B-12 deficiencies, and high homocysteine levels. 

It’s best to get checked and then take supplements accordingly after discussing with your doctor. 

If you have celiac disease this means your immune system reacts to eating gluten.  Gluten is a protein found in products like wheat, barley, and rye.  Your small intestine may be working overtime and have difficulty digesting food.  As you can imagine if you have celiac disease, absorption can be a challenge.  That challenge includes absorbing vitamins.   If you have celiac disease, be sure to get checked for vitamin deficiencies so that you and your doctor can decide on the best course of action to absorb the vitamins you need in your body. 

If you have MTHFR, celiac disease, or some other related illness, try taking a liquid form of the vitamin to see if that’s a better fit for you to gain full absorption. 

Here’s a side note that may help you as well.  If you’re taking B12 take one that contains both adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin. This combination helps with the conversion process and is best taken in liquid form.  Not all brands have B12 with both. Most just have methylcobalamin.  Here’s a high-quality liquid B12 that has both. 

Taking too many at one time

Don’t overdo it!   There is such a thing as getting too much of what you need. Overdosing on vitamins can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, and more.  If you only take a multi-vitamin this leaves little chance that you’re taking too much.  However, if you’re taking lots of individual supplements on a consistent basis, then carefully monitor your intake. Consider writing down what you’re taking each day, the amounts, and how you feel. This way you will have a clear account of what’s going in your body.  

Not taking the right dose

Just like how taking too many vitamins can cause your vitamins not to work, so does not taking the right amounts. More times than not the RDA (recommended daily allowance) is not nearly the amount that you actually need if your body is deficient.  For instance, you may think you’re getting enough vitamin D if you take 1000 IUs when actually taking more like 5000 IUs is what you really need. That’s why it’s so important to get your vitamin and mineral levels checked.  Proper testing and monitoring are important.  You can discuss proper levels with your doctor keeping in mind that the standard or normal range isn’t always accurate for you.

Interaction with Medications

Not sure if your medication interacts or effects vitamins?  You can ask your doctor and also check out this meds interaction website

You didn’t need them

If you’re just guessing what you need or only think you may need a certain vitamin or supplement, then you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Bottom line…only take what you need.  Some doctors will not test your vitamins and minerals levels. If you find one that will then you’ll still have to do your due diligence to make sure you understand what your body needs.  Unfortunately, sometimes doctors will just go by the algorithm or “norm” when it comes to numbers.  Just because you get a test result back and the range is “normal” that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right range for you.  In addition, some of the standard ranges are outdated and the range or what’s acceptable is too low. 

The best way to understand what your body needs is to get tested!  Get a vitamin and mineral test done.  This way you know exactly what your numbers are.  If you’re just interested in getting tested for specific vitamins you can do that as well.

Why your Vitamins and Supplements aren’t Working

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