Health Advice



Individual vitamin supplements -- do's and don'ts

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

When it comes to combining vitamins, it pays to know which may block each other from doing their good work and which may amplify their effects.

Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K

-- Absorption is improved if you take fat-soluble vitamins with a meal containing healthy fats. One study found that taking vitamin D with your largest meal of the day increases your blood level by 50%.

-- Vitamin A may be better absorbed when taken with vitamin E, but remember, Johns Hopkins University research shows doses of vitamin E over 400 units daily are associated with a higher risk of all causes of death. That may be because most vitamin E supplements contain just one of the eight forms of vitamin alpha-tocopherol. Make sure you buy vitamin E containing mixed tocopherols, or at least the one most experts think is beneficial: gamma topherol.

Water-soluble vitamins C and the Bs (B6, B12, biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and thiamine)

-- Take water-soluble vitamins on an empty stomach with a glass of water.

-- Excessive doses of vitamin B6 can produce peripheral neuropathy, especially if your levels of B12, B2 and B9 are low.


-- Vitamin C increases absorption of iron from supplements and food.

Your move? Increase your vitamin intake with fresh fruits and veggies, oily fish, nuts and seeds. Twice daily take half a multivitamin/multimineral that delivers the recommended levels of nutrients, not mega-doses -- a balanced intake is what you're aiming for. Get a blood test to check for vitamin deficiencies, then follow your doctor's advice.


Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



Fowl Language Carpe Diem Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee Aunty Acid Andy Capp Bart van Leeuwen