6 Surprising Interactions Between Supplements And Other Products

According to current information on complement use, 57.6% of individuals over the age of 20 take a dietary complement not less than as soon as a month, and older individuals are much more prone to take dietary supplements on an everyday or semi-regular foundation.

While the info on the effectiveness of dietary supplements is blended for individuals who don’t have any recognized nutrient deficiency, there may be compelling proof to help the concept dietary supplements may be useful for sure teams. A current examine discovered that taking a multivitamin day by day can enhance reminiscence in older individuals, for instance, whereas one other discovered that supplementing with a high-dose B-complex vitamin might enhance power together with bodily and psychological well being.

If you’re one of many many individuals within the U.S. who takes dietary supplements, it’s essential to know that sure medicines and way of life selections can work together with them. And in sure circumstances, these interactions may be harmful.

“Many consumers are under the impression that any dietary supplement available over the counter is always safe but that is not necessarily the case,” Mindy Haar, the assistant dean of the New York Institute of Technology’s School of Health Professions and a registered dietitian, advised HuffPost.

“While substances considered drugs undergo a battery of testing before being released to the public, substances in the category of ‘dietary supplements’ are actually innocent until proven guilty: They may be offered for sale until there are substantial reports that they are dangerous,” Haar mentioned.

For this purpose, she mentioned, it’s essential to all the time speak to your physician earlier than taking a brand new complement ― particularly in the event you’re taking a prescription medicine which may have a damaging interplay with sure dietary supplements.

With that in thoughts, listed here are just a few stunning objects and habits which may work together with dietary supplements. While this data just isn’t meant to switch the recommendation of your physician, it’s price bearing in mind earlier than taking a dietary complement.

Coffee And Tea

According to registered dietitian Kelsey Costa, consuming espresso and tea with natural dietary supplements that include caffeine-like compounds can result in stimulant overload and improve the danger of uncomfortable side effects comparable to complications, jitters and elevated coronary heart price.

“For example, guarana is a stimulant found in many energy drinks and supplements containing almost twice the amount of caffeine as coffee beans,” she mentioned.

Additionally, caffeine could make it tough on your physique to get what it wants from the nutritional vitamins you’re taking.

“The tannins and caffeine in coffee and tea can bind to and hinder the absorption of essential minerals like iron,” Costa mentioned. “Due to their diuretic effect, they can also lower the concentration of water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C and B-complex. When taking vitamins and minerals, waiting at least an hour after consuming coffee or tea is best.”


On a spherical of antibiotics? You might wish to skip the probiotic dietary supplements till you end it up.

“Antibiotics interact with certain supplements, such as probiotics, which contain live bacteria to restore healthy gut flora and promote better digestion,” Costa mentioned. “Taking antibiotics can interfere with the effectiveness of probiotic supplements due to killing off beneficial bacteria in the gut.”


Consuming alcohol with sure dietary supplements might intrude with the absorption and metabolism of the complement or improve uncomfortable side effects from the complement or alcohol, Costa mentioned.

“Some examples include taking iron or vitamin B12 supplements with alcohol, which can decrease the absorption and effectiveness of both,” she added.

Herbs And Spices

Certain herbs and spices, comparable to turmeric or garlic, can work together with medicines and dietary supplements.

(*6*) Costa mentioned.


If you’re taking an antidepressant comparable to an SSRI, you’ll wish to keep away from St. John’s wort, which is a complement some take to deal with despair. However, most docs advise in opposition to taking the complement altogether ― primarily as a result of it will probably work together with medicines.

“Taking St. John’s wort with certain medications, such as antidepressants, can cause something called serotonin syndrome or a dangerous increase in serotonin levels,” Costa mentioned. “This increases the risk of side effects such as confusion, agitation and even seizures.”

Birth Control

St John’s wort shouldn’t simply be prevented by individuals taking antidepressants. There’s additionally some proof that it will probably make contraception much less efficient.

“Certain supplements, like St. John’s wort, can interfere with the effectiveness of birth control pills,” Costa mentioned. “These supplements contain chemicals that induce liver enzymes which cause hormonal contraceptives to be broken down more quickly in the body than normal. This increases the risk of unintended pregnancy if taken with birth control pills.”

Certain Foods

Finally, sure wholesome meals might work together with dietary supplements like iron or calcium and stop them from being absorbed.

“Many foods like dark green vegetables, apricots, quinoa, nuts, and chocolate contain compounds called oxalates that can interfere with iron and calcium absorption,” Costa mentioned. “Enjoy high-oxalate foods separately from iron or calcium supplements and fortified foods.”

Additionally, high-polyphenol meals like pink wine, grape juice, berries, cocoa, nuts, and seeds may additionally inhibit particular nutrient absorption.

“Polyphenols decrease the bioavailability of minerals like iron and zinc when consumed together,” Costa mentioned. “Therefore, it’s best to avoid consuming these high-polyphenol foods around the same time as a mineral supplement.”

How To Know If You’re Experiencing A Negative Supplement Interaction

Even in the event you’re cautious, damaging complement interactions can nonetheless occur. So how are you going to know in the event you’re experiencing one?

“The top signs that you may be experiencing a supplement-related interaction include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, rashes or hives, abdominal pain or cramping, and changes in heart rate,” Costa mentioned. “If you experience any of these symptoms after taking supplements, it is essential to seek medical help immediately. Additionally, if you are taking multiple supplements, it is important to monitor for any unexpected changes in health or well-being.”

It can be essential to pay attention to potential drug-supplement interactions.

“If you are taking medications and supplements, discussing any possible interactions with your doctor or dietitian before taking them is important,” Costa mentioned. “This will help ensure that you take the correct doses and help you avoid potential risks.”

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