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  • When do you take your vitamins?

    Just got my first Dr. Andrew Weil's "Self Healing" newsletter. Front page article is all about taking supplements.

    About a year ago my cardio recommended these specific supplements:
    Vitamin E (400IU)
    Selenium (200mcg)
    Magnesium (250mcg)
    Vitamin C (500mg)
    Centrum Silver

    I've been diligently taking these ever since, but I didn't know, until I read Dr. Weil's article that WHEN these are taken is just as important.

    Here's a synopsis:
    Vitamin E should be taken at lunch time to increase absorption (vitamin E is fat-soluable and best taken with a meal containing some fat). The natural form of vit E is best. Weil also said most adults should take 400IU a day, but anyone 40 or over should take twice that amount (800IU).

    I'm not so sure I'll go right out and up my dose to 800IU before consulting with my cardio, however I will surely change from slamming all my vitamins down at once with breakfast.

    Also take at lunch with vit E to enhance absorption (avoid taking selenium with vitamin C as they interfere with each other's absorption)

    Vitamin C
    Daily recommended dose is 200mg taking 100mg with breakfast and 100mg with dinner.

    Weil's article went into detail on other vitamins such as A, B, B-complex, Calcium and D but said nothing specifically about the magnesium supplement. I will look into that. I get these additional vitamins via the Centrum Silver.

    I'm certain I'm overdoing it with vitamin C with 1000mg per day and I'm also probably overcooked on Magnesium at 500mg a day.

    I will however, change my "cocktail" hours to different times of the day to optimize absorption and effectiveness.


  • #2
    Hi Perry,

    Just wanted to add that Vit E is also a blood thinner. So if you double your dose... you will most likely have to watch your INR and adjust your meds.

    I take 400 if E, 500 of C, and a multi vit - Centrum in the morning with my breakfast, along with my Atenolol and 325 mg Aspirin. I then take another 500 of C with my Coumadin in the evening.

    3/23/00 Ascending Aortic Dissection-St. Judes mech valve+graft, Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN
    9/16/10 ON-X Aortic Valve/Root Replacment, Cleveland Clinic,OH, Dr Pettersson
    9/16/10 Aortic Stent and Frozen Elephant Trunk Procedure, Cleveland Clinic,OH, Dr. Roselli


    • #3
      The health food store told me that when we reach 'older' we should take two multi-vitamins/day instead of one.
      My philosophy:
      No matter where you are, who you are with, what you are doing, enjoy every moment, every day. Blessins.........


      • #4

        I take all of my meds including vitamins in the PM. Was having such a problem with the Counmadin in the beginning that I was not taking a supplement. Now I take 250mg day C, which is the RDA. You should be getting some in your diet as well. Also take Chromagen which is an RX iron supplement. At one time my MD suggested B6 to boost my energy level. B6 doubled my INR!

        I have been meaning to pick up One a Day Woman multi when I have a moment to play around with INR swings. It does not contain K.....but I am afraid the B vitamins will boost me up.

        Tempted to get myself one of the mutils that included K. I believe your Centrium does? Did you add that supplement before or after starting your Coumadin? If did it effect you?

        FYI to all. I have read a few artciles as of late that state we need Vitamin K so we can properely absorb our calcium. I have factored in 3-4 small salads a week. Adjusted my coumadin up 1/2 mg a day to accomodate.

        Perry......I wanted to add that taking all of those vitamins at different times may drive you crazy. Alarm to reminder. Personally, if you take your Coumadin in the PM. Take them all at the same time. It can't make that much of a differance, can it?:confused:
        Last edited by LUVMyBirman; January 24th, 2002, 07:49 AM.
        All the best,
        LuvMyBirman :)
        MVR, 3/99


        • #5
          Hi Gina,

          I have been taking the multi vitimin Centrum for years, even prior to my surgery. My levels for Coumadin are already adjusted for the Vit. K in the vitimin. Also, I asked my doctor about eating salads, since I just don't eat them. Found that to be the best way to stay stable with my INR levels. He agreed with your statment about vit K already being in the Multi V, and said that as long as I am taking the Multi V, avoiding salads was not an issue. If I stopped taking the Multi-V, then I would have to have some salad intake.

          Ohh well... all I know is that the routine seems to be working for me.

          Considered a real Soggy Bottom Boy in TN today.. with over 6 inches of rain in the last 24 hours.
          Last edited by RobThatsMe; January 24th, 2002, 10:15 AM.
          3/23/00 Ascending Aortic Dissection-St. Judes mech valve+graft, Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN
          9/16/10 ON-X Aortic Valve/Root Replacment, Cleveland Clinic,OH, Dr Pettersson
          9/16/10 Aortic Stent and Frozen Elephant Trunk Procedure, Cleveland Clinic,OH, Dr. Roselli


          • #6
            Thanks Rob.....will post my results when adding the multi to my regimen.

            May go with the multi minus the k. I do enjoy my salads. Try iceberg lettuce. It does not have as much K. You may find you can do it. Also, remember to peal your cucumbers. They are loaded.

            Rain, rain....please go away. It's pretty soggy over younder too :D
            All the best,
            LuvMyBirman :)
            MVR, 3/99


            • #7

              Brother Rob, it's amazing how close we are in our routines! Looks like the only thing that separates us is our pony tails (mine doesn't exist!) and our weight lifting (I'm puney compared to you!). But I'll keep on pluggin' away at it. It feels good to just be doin' it, for sure.

              I too take my 400 of E, 500 of C, a multi vit - Centrum in the morning with my breakfast, along with a 10mg Altace and an 85 mg Aspirin. I then take another 500 of C with my Coumadin in the evening along with another 10mg of Altace.

              I'm definitely going to try and change my "cocktail hours" and do the E and Selenium at lunch. Probably won't even notice it!

              I forgot to disclaim that Dr. Weil's information is most likely meant for "normal-healthy" people, not "bionic people" or post heart operation people like us. Your reminder of the Vit E being a thinner is well taken and I wouldn't do anything drastic unless the doc recommends it.

              Gina, I think the Centrum does contain a minute trace of Vit K. I started it long after I was on Coumadin, but not until I went through another multi-vitamin that contained far too much K which did drive the INR's wacky. Pretty stable now, knock on wood.



              • #8
                Multi Vitamins

                Hey Perry......I was curious about the vitamins and the K content. So...on my way home stopped at Walgreens to check it out.

                Your Centrum Sliver has 10mg, all of the others that contained K were 25+. There were a few different types of the One a Day brand that do not contain that's what I went with. I try to get my K in my salads.
                Anyway....I will give it a whirl and let you know how my INR turns out. My guess is higher than lower with my past experience with other

                I would like to correct myself on the Vitamin C RDA. Average is 60-75MG. Per day. So what you see in the Mutil what you are to take? Why are some of you taking large doses? Just curious. Thought 250 was low until I looked it up. Just read that your body cannot absorb more that 200MG per day. I am totally confused now.Good question for my MD.
                Last edited by LUVMyBirman; January 24th, 2002, 05:51 PM.
                All the best,
                LuvMyBirman :)
                MVR, 3/99


                • #9
                  I am pre-surgery, so I mostly searched for things that would help with the stress of Aortic Stenosis. Not on any medications or blood thinners, so I don't have to worry about interactions of that type.

                  Coenzyme Q10 100 mg at breakfast, 50 mg at lunch.
                  Magnesium 125 mg per day - no specific time.
                  Vitamin E 200 IU with Selenium 25 mg with dinner.
                  Omega Fatty Acid Blend with dinner.
                  Taurine (amino acid) 1 gm twice a day with a little dissolvable Vitamin C to make it tastier.

                  There have been many articles on Coenzyme Q10 and heart disease. I feel it gives me a real boost of energy. Unfortunately my cardiologist doesn't seem to have any interest in the subject.



                  • #10
                    Slightly Clueless

                    Gina, I have no clue why the heck I'm doing so much Vit C/Magnesium. That's why I'm here, to educate myself and hear from others' experiences.

                    The Weil Newsletter was timely and I have learned a few things already. Even he says we don't need so much Vit C and 200mg is plenty, so I'm cutting back there.

                    Luckily my PCP trains with Dr. Weil and is a believer of natural healing. I have e-mailed my PCP and the nutritionist on his staff questioning my "overkill" on these supplements and any other heart-healthy supplements that I may be missing. Will let you know their response.

                    Alan, it's too bad your cardio doesn't put much faith in natural ways, but you have to go with his professional advice, nevertheless. The medical profession in general is slowly taking to it, but it's spotty.

                    I have heard good things also about Coenzyme Q10, however I believe it is one of those good-for-you supplements that unfortunately messes with the INR's of Coumadiners. My first bottle of Red Yeast Rice (which my PCP prescribed for me to fight Cholesterol) contained Coenzyme Q10. It majorly messed with my Protimes and I have since switched to a RYR without the CQ10.

                    Guess we all just need to be aware of what's in our "cocktails!"


                    p.s. Applause!! I survived a 2-1/2 hr. root canal yesterday. My dentist is a true artisan and he saved me from an extract and created a beautiful new tooth instead. Funny thing, the most pain was in the anticipation! Thank God, I don't have to take any more Amoxicillin for awhile!


                    • #11
                      Coenzmye Q10


                      Back in September I was really feeling tired at work. I work as a computer programmer, so it's a desk job and physical activity is not an issue. Late in the afternoon a wave of fatigue would just wash over me and I could hardly function.

                      Around about that time I had an echo and those results, combined with fatigue and lack of exercise tolerance, made me and the cardiologist agree that it was time for surgery. Neither my family doctor nor my cardiologist had any suggestions at all about how to copy or improve my energy level.

                      I really believed that I was going not going to be able to continue to work full time. So I started searching on the Internet for anything at all that would help me. Coenzyme Q10 kept popping up on my research so I bought some and started taking it. I can't say that the effect was as immediate as taking Aspirin or Tylenol for a headache, but eventually it was significant enough that I no longer felt so tired and worn out at work.

                      My exercise tolerance has continued to get worse, but my energy level has remained high enough that I have continued to work full time and I feel I am quite productive, despite my worsening valve condition.

                      Originally I was taking 100 mg in the morning. I switched to 50 mg twice a day and I started to feel tired again. I switched to 100 mg in the morning and 50 mg at lunch and I've been pretty good.



                      • #12
                        I don't understand

                        I've always been curious about something.

                        What are the reasons people take vitamins?
                        Why not just eat properly instead?
                        Am I just ignorant to the way the body works? I thought the human body was built to process vitamins from food rather than pills.

                        Many of my friends take a regular regime of vitamins and when I ask why they take them, I never get a straight answer.

                        Isn't the human body built to process vitamins from food rather than pills?


                        • #13
                          Dr. Weil's Answer


                          I think this is the answer you're looking for (quoted directly from Dr. Andrew Weil's Self Healing newsletter): "There are times when a good diet may not be good enough. As evidence mounts, many experts have moved away from thinking of vitamins and minerals primarily as substances needed to prevent deficiency diseases (which are rare these days) and are acknowledging their broader role in promoting optimum health. Researchers are finding that some important vitamins and minerals (Vitamin E, for instance) are hard to get in amounts considered protective against disease through diet alone, no matter how conscientious an eater you are."

                          Here's his website:


                          • #14

                            I kind of agree--I get a lot of nutrients by using my juicer--it gives you alot of natural food source--if anybody any ? ask-I swear by juicers--any brand---I am an athlete--and they are good to use once a day (moderation!)---I think vitamins do some good-but I like the natural supplement (vitamin) the juicer supplies.


                            • #15
                              Hi Gary47

                              What brand of juicer do you use? I've been interested in getting one for a while now.