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Diet and Nutrition

Vitamin C and calcium

07/17/2007

Question:

Each morning I take a multivitamin, vitamin b, vitamin c, vitamin e. I have also been advised to supplement with 1200 mgs of calcium. How long after taking vitamin c, must I wait to take calcium?

Answer:

Thanks for your question.  Although you did not ask about this-you do not mention which 'vitamin B' supplement you are taking.  Most of your B vitamin needs will be covered in the multivitamin.  Additional B vitamins are not recommended and can become toxic if taken in excess for long periods of time.

As for the calcium supplement, it does not interact with vitamin C, but does affect iron absorption as calcium and iron compete for the same binding site in the small intestine.  If your multivitamin contains iron, take the calcium supplement at least 2 hours after your multivitamin.  Calcium is best absorbed with food, so I suggest you take it after meals in divided doses.  If 1200 mg/day is suggested, take 600 mg twice a day if possible.

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Response by:

Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD Lisa Cicciarello Andrews, MEd, RD, LD
Adjunct Faculty
University of Cincinnati