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Is there a certain way/time to take many different supplements? Is any combination not as effective if taken at the same time?

If any specific time or way is important when taking a specific dietary supplement, the label on the bottle will specify (example: take with food, on an empty stomach, in the morning, etc).

There are a few “common sense” scenarios as well. For example, you wouldn’t want to take anything for energy (like B Vitamins) late at night or take anything for sleep (like Melatonin) in the morning… but most of those are listed on the label as well.

Water soluble vitamins may be flushed if you take large amounts at one time.  Periodic intake of smaller amounts throughout the day would result in better utilization.  Calcium should be consumed at a max of 500-600 mg at a time for best utilization.  Vitamin C should only be taken at 1,000 mg or less at a time, or it won’t be efficiently utilized. 

Take fiber supplements separate from minerals or multivitamins since fiber may bind minerals and prevent optimum utilization.

Take supplemental calcium separate from your multivitamin since calcium in large amounts competes with iron, zinc and copper and calcium would win out because of the larger amount taken. 

This question was answered by a trained product specialist at Swanson Health Products. Do you have a question you’d like answered? Send it via email to

(Note: as per industry regulations, we cannot and will not answer medical questions, make treatment or diagnosis recommendations or comment on disease inquiries. Such questions must be answered by your doctor or professional health care provider.)


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