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How Do I Take My Vitamins: Should Vitamins Be Taken With Food or Without Food?

Updated on May 1, 2014

An increasing number of people today are choosing to supplement their diet with vitamins. This is particularly important if a large percentage of the diet consists of cooked, highly processed, prepared food. Even individuals who eat a healthy diet may not always get the proper nutrition. Proper nutrition for adults means five to nine servings of fresh fruit and vegetables daily. In addition, traditional farming methods deplete soil nutrients making it difficult to get the needed nutrition from the recommended daily intake. Unless you are eating lots of organic produce everyday it is a good idea to supplement.

There is a lot of controversy about whether vitamins should be taken with or without food. The answer to this question is more than a simple one. Vitamins supplements can be naturally derived from plant sources or synthetically derived in the lab. Many synthetically derived vitamins are simulations of the real vitamin such as vitamin C and E. These types of simulated vitamins are used in many processed foods and multivitamins because they are inexpensive. The saying “ you get what you pay for” once again proves to be true. Synthetic vitamins are poorly absorbed by the body providing small nutritional benefits because they are artificial.

Studies show that synthetic vitamins may exhibit unpleasant side effects. Supplying the body with nutrients is a complex process. Vitamins from natural sources are whole foods that maintain there original chemical structure. Along with the vitamins come enzymes and other nutrients essential for there absorption and utilization.

Vitamins that are in the natural “whole food” state have the capacity to be effectively absorbed and therefore can be taken on an an empty stomach. They will be equally effective whether taken with or without food. Synthetic vitamins will go right through the body if they are not taken with food. Many individuals report symptoms of nausea which may be due to the synthetic nature of the vitamin and its incapability with the body. When taking a multivitamin make sure that it is derived from natural sources. When taking vitamins individually, whole source vitamins such as niacin and B12 will be more effective on an empty stomach.

Here are a few high quality products to consider when choosing vitamin supplements:

Arbonne Essentials Daily Power Packs For Men And Women - Arbonne’s motto is “ pure, safe and beneficial.” They produce a premium quality “whole food” line of vitamin supplements including their daily power packs. Designed to be more than a multivitamin they contain an impressive list of super foods, fruits, vegetables, herbs which includes probiotics for maximum absorption, in gender specific formulations to meet the specific needs of men and woman.

MegaFood One Daily Multivitamins - This company produces a high quality whole food multivitamin supplement. It obtains whole food ingredients from local farm partners. All processing is done with out the use of heat, retaining all the vital nutrients found in each food. All ingredients are tested for purity and potency. Supplements are made from a large variety of super foods, fruits, vegetables and herbs enzymes.

Included in the blend is a yeast called S. cerevisiae known to be one of the most nutrient rich foods found in nature. Choosing a whole food vitamin will allow you to take them with or without food. Synthetic vitamins, although less expensive than whole food vitamins, have to be consumed with food and provide limited health benefits with unwanted side effect. Spending more on a product that works is better than spending a little on one that is a waste of money.


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    • profile image

      Giselle Maine 

      7 years ago

      An interesting hub on an intriguing question about vitamins.

    • Sa`ge profile image


      8 years ago from Barefoot Island

      hank you binging clarity to this question many have asked. Great hub you got my vote. :D hugs :D

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Thanks for answering a question I have always wondered about. It is true you do get what you pay for. Great hub.

    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 

      8 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      never hurts to learn something new especially when it comes to my health. thanks.

    • ftclick profile image


      8 years ago

      they always seemed better to take when eating foods. So is whole vitamin E liquid capsules not good w/o foods?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for the great info :0) I found a really good site that has great info on raw super foods and smoothie recipes

    • bayoulady profile image


      8 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

      Right now I'm taking Centrum Liquid, but only on days when I was unable to get what I needed from whole foods.

    • einron profile image


      8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

      Well done and interesting.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      8 years ago

      Well, I just learned something. I think I should throw out my vitamins and start over.

    • Neverletitgo profile image

      Abdinasir Aden 

      8 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      This well done hub and I really enjoying. From now on I will try to follow the link you gave us. Thanks Steve


    • nursegrace profile image


      8 years ago

      very informative stevemark! I take evening primrose 500mg and vitamin C 500mg both 1 tab daily. The bottle on the evening primrose says to take with food. Anyways I usually take both regardless of empty stomach or not. Both don't irritate my GI tract, I say a vitamin is just a vitamin. Very nicely written and thank you for following me. Hope to be posting more articles soon! :)

    • BobbiRant profile image


      8 years ago from New York

      Hey, just when I Thought I Knew the answer to this question you had to ask it and confuse me again. LOL Kidding. This is a great hub because I have wondered about this and it does not always say on the bottle. Good advice here. Thanks.

    • stevemark122000 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks Theresa, glad I was able to help.

    • Theresa_Kennedy profile image

      Theresa Kennedy 

      8 years ago from Minnesota

      Thank you so much for responding to my question! Consider me 100% sold on the benefit of taking whole food vitamins vs. synthetic. In fact, I'm on my way to check out the links you provided.

      Thank again!


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