Get the Most From Your Daily Vitamins

Half of all U.S. adults regularly take vitamins or dietary supplements, according to data released this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But taken incorrectly, vitamins can do more harm than good. Here are some vitamin-safety tips, plus ways to get the most benefit from your vitamins:

Take your multi with a meal
Many vitamins—such as A, E, D, and K—need to be eaten along with fat for your body to fully absorb them. Taking vitamins with food also reduces vitamin-related stomach upset.

Maintain a good diet
Vitamins alone are not enough to reduce your risk of disease. Vitamins are meant to complement—not replace—a healthy diet. It’s important to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Don’t overdo it
High doses of certain vitamins can be harmful. Too much iron, for example, increases the risk of cardiovascular problems. So stick to the recommended dietary allowance, printed on most labels. Take a multi-vitamin instead of single supplements, unless you’ve been diagnosed with a specific deficiency or are instructed otherwise by your doctor.

Spread them out
Unless you’re taking a multivitamin, swallow your supplements throughout the day instead of all at once.

Talk to your doctor
A whopping 75 percent of Americans don’t tell their physicians about their vitamin intake, says an official with the American Dietetic Association quoted by Parade.com. That’s a big problem because vitamins can have drug-like effects. (Very high doses of fish oil, for example, can inhibit blood clotting.) Vitamins can also work against each other, or make some prescription medicines more or less effective. Keep a list of your supplements in your wallet so it will be handy when you visit your doctor. He or she can guide you on what vitamins to take, and when.

Sources: eHow.com, Parade.com, MSNBC.com

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram

@kristencarney

Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.

@sixthformpoet

Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”

@NicCageMatch

Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 
—Alcohol

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Reader's Digest Survey