History of use

When is it better to take copper in the morning or evening?

Very often we take various vitamins and minerals without a doctor’s prescription and without undergoing preliminary diagnostics, which is a big mistake. As a result, we don’t get the desired effect and come to the conclusion that they “don’t work.” Roskachestvo expert, Doctor of Medical Sciences Mariyat Mukhina, helps you figure out how to drink vitamins and minerals correctly, which of them are compatible with each other, and at what time they are best absorbed, on an empty stomach or with food. Compatibility of vitamins and microelements The correct ratio of vitamins and minerals is important for all life processes. An excess or deficiency of one or another element can lead to serious disorders, such as: a weakened immune system, anemia (iron deficiency, B12 deficiency), diabetes, problems with the cardiovascular system, disturbances in the gastrointestinal tract, dysbiosis, developmental delay in children, bone diseases, low libido, constant fatigue, depressed mood, calf muscle cramps, split ends and hair loss, brittle nails, dry and irritated skin. If your doctor has prescribed you to take vitamins or minerals, it is important to know which ones are well absorbed together and which vitamins cannot be combined.

Take water-soluble vitamins with water only.

B vitamins: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9) and cobalamin (B12). These vitamins fight stress and improve the condition of the nervous system. Vitamin B12 is responsible for the level of hemoglobin in the blood. Its deficiency can lead to B12 deficiency anemia. If we talk about the compatibility of B vitamins with each other, keep in mind that B1 is better absorbed separately, and vitamins B12, B5 and B9 are well compatible. Vitamin C is extremely important for immunity and is an antioxidant. It is better absorbed with vitamins A, B5, B9, E, as well as iron and calcium. The question arises: what is vitamin C incompatible with? It conflicts with vitamins B1 and B12. B vitamins help produce energy, so they are best taken in the morning. Vitamin C – at any time. Food interferes with the absorption of water-soluble vitamins, so they should be taken 30 minutes before meals. You can only drink water. Drinks such as tea, coffee, juice, milk contain components that interfere with the absorption of these vitamins. Mariyat Mukhina
Doctor of Medical Sciences B vitamins should not be taken with caffeinated drinks, since caffeine contains tannins, and B vitamins contain nitrogen. These components, when reacting, deprive B vitamins of effectiveness. Therefore, if you take a course of B vitamins and like coffee, separate them. Water-soluble vitamins must be supplied to the body constantly, as they do not accumulate.

Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K should not be taken on an empty stomach.

Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble, and in order for them to be absorbed, they must be combined with fat-containing foods: milk, kefir, yogurt. They should not be taken on an empty stomach, simply washed down with water: gastrointestinal upset may occur. Fat-soluble vitamins compete with each other and reduce each other’s effectiveness by about 10–50%. Therefore, it is better to take them separately, especially vitamin K. An exception is the pair “vitamin A and vitamin E.” They can be taken together, as vitamin E promotes better absorption of vitamin A.

“For greater effect, take vitamins D, E or K with an interval of several hours between them or other fat-soluble vitamins,” explains Mariyat Mukhina.

Fat-soluble vitamins accumulate in the body, so it is important to follow the dosage prescribed by your doctor.

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids taken with food

The correct ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids is essential for health. The immune and cardiovascular systems depend on their balance. These fatty acids should be taken with food. Ideally, the ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 acids in the body should be 1:1. But such a proportion is unattainable. Therefore, the German Nutrition Society recommends a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 acids of 5:1. Unfortunately, this ratio in our diet is usually 15 to 1, and sometimes 30 to 1. Therefore, you should consciously consume less omega-6 fatty acids and more omega-3 fatty acids. In quality preparations, omega-3 fatty acids should be in their active form – EPA and DHA.

Minerals: make sure they don’t conflict with each other

Many minerals conflict with each other and are typically taken with food. The exception is iron – it is better absorbed on an empty stomach. If your doctor has prescribed you to take a supplement with iron, be sure to take it separately from calcium, zinc and magnesium, as well as foods high in these minerals. Take iron with water or citrus juice, as ascorbic acid promotes iron absorption.

“If you feel nauseous when taking dietary supplements with iron, then take the prescribed drug after meals,” says Mariyat Muradalievna, “but exclude foods containing calcium from this meal (eggs, yogurt, cheese, milk, etc.).

Very often on the Internet there is a request “vitamin d and iron compatibility”. These two components do not oppose each other. But vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium, and calcium almost halves the absorption of iron. Therefore, take iron in the morning, and calcium and vitamin D in the evening, so they will not counteract and the effect will be maximum. In addition, calcium has a calming effect. The same rule applies to zinc and magnesium: take zinc in the morning and magnesium in the evening, as it improves sleep. Be aware that high doses of calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc may reduce the absorption of carotenoids (beta-carotene, lycopene and astaxanthin) from foods and/or supplements. It is better to take them at different times. And taking 50 mg or more of zinc daily over a long period of time (10 weeks or longer) can cause copper deficiency. Poor compatibility of vitamins and minerals will reduce the effect of therapy to a minimum, therefore, before starting a course of treatment or prevention, carefully study how all the prescribed components interact with each other.

Drug compatibility

You should take vitamin and mineral supplements with extreme caution if you are undergoing medication treatment. For example, vitamin K reduces the effect of blood thinning medications, and taking more than 1000 mg of vitamin E per day, on the contrary, increases the risk of bleeding. Medicines that normalize the functioning of the thyroid gland should not be taken with medications containing iron, calcium and magnesium, so as not to reduce the effect of therapy. At least four hours should pass between taking the medicine and these dietary supplements.

Vitamin deficiency: how it will affect your health

  • For example, excess vitamin A can cause dizziness, increased intracranial pressure, liver fibrosis, cheilitis, and hair loss. Also, with high levels of vitamin A, you can get sunburn, as the skin becomes hypersensitive to sunlight. Vitamin A deficiency is especially dangerous for pregnant women, as it can provoke the development of pathologies in the fetus.
  • Vitamin D retains calcium in large quantities in the body, which is why this macroelement begins to accumulate in organs and tissues. Sleep is disturbed, appetite decreases, joint and muscle pain, headaches, kidney problems and gastrointestinal disorders occur.
  • High levels of vitamin E reduce platelet aggregation (ability to stick together) and lead to blood thinning.
  • Excess vitamin K in children is dangerous for the development of hemolytic anemia and hyperbilirubinemia.

A surplus of water-soluble vitamins, unlike fat-soluble vitamins, is less dangerous, since they are not retained in the body and are quickly eliminated. However, if you take vitamin supplements uncontrollably, this can lead to dire consequences.

  • Excess vitamin B12 can cause heart failure, peripheral vascular thrombosis and pulmonary edema.
  • High levels of vitamin C are rare, but if you overdo it with dietary supplements, you may experience an allergic reaction, nausea, insomnia, gastritis and peptic ulcers, hypertension, and kidney stones.
  • Vitamin B6 in a high dose can provoke poor coordination of movements, cause dizziness, convulsions, dermatitis and numbness of the skin.
  • Excess vitamin B7 (biotin) is rare, but if the level is 10 times higher than the daily value, sweating and urination may increase.
  • An overdose of B9 can cause seizures.

How to determine what vitamins and minerals the body needs?

Tests that determine the level of vitamins and minerals are quite expensive, and many patients perceive negatively the doctor’s referral for such diagnostics, believing that they are simply being scammed out of money. But this is a misconception!

Dietary supplements with vitamins and minerals can only be taken as prescribed by an endocrinologist and based on examination data – blood tests to select an individual dosage and determine the duration and schedule for taking the vitamin-mineral complex.

When prescribing this type of dietary supplement, a doctor must take into account not only the results of tests for the content of vitamins and minerals in the patient’s body, but also data on his chronic diseases. This is important because there are diseases in which taking certain vitamins and minerals can make the condition worse. For example, for people who have had leukemia, taking B vitamins can cause serious harm, and for people with kidney disease, taking potassium is dangerous.

Is it possible to combine vitamins and minerals?

Vitamins and minerals are like puzzles: every element matters. It is advisable to undergo diagnostics to determine their level in the body once a year. After all, it is better to prevent any disease than to treat it. And be sure to pay attention to how to properly combine the vitamins and minerals prescribed by your doctor.

Compatibility table of vitamins, minerals and trace elements
A B1 B2 B3 B5 B6 B9 B12 C D E K B Fe Mg Cu Ca P Zn

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The relationship between hair loss and micronutrient deficiencies is not often discussed at scientific conferences. Of all the mineral deficiencies, only iron deficiency attracts the attention of domestic trichologists. However, when reviewing the scientific literature, we can find that zinc and copper play a large role in the physiology and pathology of hair.

Copper. Basic provisions

Copper – one of the main physiological synergists of iron. Good food sources of copper are meat and organ meats, legumes, grains, nuts, and green vegetables.

Molybdenum increases copper loss in urine. Zinc in ionic form can compete with copper for absorption.

In the experiment, copper deficiency directly led to iron deficiency anemia due to impaired iron absorption.

(Reeves PG, DeMars LC Copper deficiency reduces iron absorption and biological half-life in male rats. J. Nutr. 2004; 134 (8): 1953–1957)

Copper absorption

The entry of copper into the enterocyte is facilitated by the copper transporter and the divalent metal transporter. Already at this stage, competition between minerals for transport (zinc, copper, calcium, iron, etc.) is possible.

The human body contains 70-100 mg of copper.

The brain and liver, which make up only 5% of the human body weight, contain 25% copper.

The main site of copper absorption is the duodenum; a smaller part is absorbed in the stomach and small intestine. The mechanism of copper absorption is not yet fully understood. When the copper content in food is low, its absorption occurs actively, while when it is high, it is absorbed through passive diffusion.

Copper in the human body

Known enzymes containing copper: ascorbinase, tyrosinase, cytochrome oxidase, superoxide dismutase.

Copper is also included in:

  • an enzyme that is responsible for the production of elastin, collagen, connective protein tissue;
  • superoxide dismutase – antioxidant, anti-inflammatory enzyme;
  • histaminase, which controls histamine metabolism.

Copper exchange

In hepatocytes, copper binds to ceruloplasmin (CP), which enters the blood and contains 95% of the total amount of copper in the blood serum.

The role of ceruloplasmin in copper transport is not very significant, unlike albumin and transcuprein. Excess copper is excreted in bile; only about 15% of copper is reabsorbed into the intestine.


CPU – copper-containing ferrooxidase. Beta globulin bound to 6 copper molecules.

Biosynthesis occurs in the liver.

  1. Transport and circulation of copper
  2. Serum iron immobilization
  3. Participation in acute phase reactions
  4. Regulation of biogenic amines (adrenaline and norepinephrine)

(Vashchenko V.I. and author 2006)

Role of ceruloplasmin

Ferroxidase – oxidizes divalent iron into trivalent iron, like the protein hephaestin (6 copper atoms).

Ceruloplasmin oxidizes iron in the blood plasma, and hephaestin on the membranes of enterocytes.

Antioxidant function

Antioxidant, but weaker than intracellular superoxide dismutase (copper concentration increases in areas of inflammation and, if there is a lack of copper intake, this can lead to increased lipid peroxidation).

Causes of copper deficiency

    Congenital (Menkes syndrome) – a disease of curly hair.

  1. Long-term parenteral nutrition
  2. Excessive zinc intake (dietary supplements, denture retainers, taste perversion)
  3. Impaired absorption of copper (resection of the stomach, small intestine)
  4. Unclear etiology

Anemia associated with copper deficiency was found in 20% of patients with a previously established diagnosis of B 12 deficiency anemia and who received appropriate treatment. Copper deficiency can be combined with vitamin B12 deficiency. This is probably due to the presence of common reasons.

Diagnosis of copper deficiency

The diagnosis of copper deficiency is established on the basis of a detected decrease in the concentration of copper and/or ceruloplasmin in the blood serum.

According to E. Beutler (2007), the results of assessing the concentration of copper in the blood serum are more reliable than the data determining the concentration of ceruloplasmin, which is an acute phase protein, the concentration of which increases during infectious and inflammatory processes, which makes this indicator non-specific for copper deficiency.

However, some authors consider the assessment of serum ceruloplasmin concentration to be the best test for diagnosing copper deficiency, since in all cases of copper deficiency it is reduced.

Treatment of copper deficiency

In case of copper deficiency associated with excessive intake of zinc into the body, discontinuation of zinc preparations may be sufficient to correct the patient’s condition.

Copper sulfate, gluconate and copper chloride are used to treat copper deficiency.

  • Sulfate and gluconate are administered orally.
  • Copper chloride – intravenously.

There is conflicting information about the effectiveness of copper gluconate.

Some authors do not recommend the use of this drug due to poor absorption, while at the same time there are publications indicating the success of the use of copper gluconate in patients with copper deficiency.

Patients are prescribed 2–10 mg of elemental copper per day for 3 months.

The Mayo Clinic uses the following treatment regimen: Week 1 – 8 mg elemental copper per day, Week 2 – 6 mg, Week 3 – 4 mg, then 2 mg per day.

Cu and HA

The effectiveness of the combined use of zinc and copper preparations was higher than treatment with zinc oxide alone. It is recommended to conduct anti-relapse courses every 6 months.

Treatment: zinc oxide 50 mg three times a day and 5% copper sulfate solution (15 drops 3 times a day) for 20-30 days. Break 7 days. Repeat the course 7 times.

Based on the report Kayumova S. F., Ph.D., President of the Union of Trichologists at IV symposium “Trichology for cosmetologists” as part of XV International Exhibition of Professional Cosmetics and Equipment for Beauty Salons INTERCHARM professional.

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