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Tips for Taking Vitamin Pills

Posted Oct 23 2008 6:18pm

After taking his daily multivitamin, Dr. John Swartzberg waits at least two hours before taking any other medications.  That's because multivitamin pills usually contain calcium, which can interfere with the absorption of a prescription drug.

Medical_doc Dr. Swartzberg, editor of the University of California, Berkeley, Wellness letter (a monthly publication that advises people on diet and nutrition) buys the cheapest generic multivitamins available.  He checks the bottle to see whether the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) has approved the multivitamin.  USP is a nonprofit group that verifies drugs and dietary supplements.

Dr. Swartzberg, 60 years old, began taking a daily multivitamin two years ago because there is evidence to suggest that, as people age, their ability to absorb vitamins from food is impaired.

He keeps his multivitamins in his kitchen cabinet rather than the medicine cabinet because drugs degrade more quickly if exposed to moisture.

Source: Joshua Lipton, The Wall Street Journal, January 18, 2006

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