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In our fast-paced world, we want immediate results and that is especially the case with vitamins and supplements.
Many people take health supplements or natural health products and expect immediate results, and if they do not experience results within a week or two stops drinking these health supplements.
However, the time between starting to take a supplement to feeling or seeing an impact will vary depending on a variety of factors that impact vitamin absorption – from the type of supplement you are taking to the ways certain nutrients interact with each other in the body.
Unlike medications, which are designed to treat an existing problem, vitamins are designed to proactively support your health.
Everybody’s biochemistry is different and the length of time before you feel a tangible benefit will depend on your body and what it needs to feel at its best.
If you are extremely deficient in a particular vitamin or mineral, it could take longer to rectify the deficiency. Alternatively, you may require a higher dose to help you recover to those levels faster. If you are taking them because you have been diagnosed as deficient in a specific vitamin or mineral , it can take much longer to build back up to optimal levels.
All nutrients need other nutrients for their absorption and utilization. Many vitamins and minerals are interrelated in how they work. A good example of this would be the relationship between vitamin D and calcium. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, so if you have low levels of vitamin D, you will struggle to maintain a healthy calcium level. Plant-based iron is best absorbed when paired with vitamin C, and vitamin B6 relies on zinc to function optimally. Curcumin (the key compound in turmeric) is very poorly absorbed unless taken with Piperine, which increases absorption by 2,000 per cent.
This pairing system works both ways. For example, zinc and copper compete with one another for absorption in the small intestine. When paired together in a supplement, you may end up with less copper absorption, as the recommended intake for zinc is higher than copper.
Certain lifestyle factors and habits, such as drinking alcohol and smoking, can cause malabsorption and require a higher intake to maintain an equilibrium. Caffeine can block the absorption of certain nutrients such as vitamin B6, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
As indicated above it all depends on what you are taking the supplements for. Below we are looking at some of the reasons supplements are used for and the time it will take for results to take effect.
Several vitamins and minerals are involved in energy production, most notably B vitamins, which are heavily involved in producing ATP, the biological unit of energy. The effects of B vitamins anecdotally can be instantaneous whilst research has found B vitamins (alongside vitamin C and minerals) help participants feel more alert within about 2 weeks.
Not only are B vitamins important for energy, but also vital in producing the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin. In addition, magnesium also helps to produce serotonin and is involved in at least 300 other functions in your body.
Research has found that magnesium, together with some other key nutrients such as zinc can help people sleep better within around 8 weeks. Several studies have shown that magnesium can help with anxiety and perceived stress within about 28 days.
If your skin is an area of concern, research has found that supplementing with antioxidants, vitamin C, and zinc improves skin radiance by increasing skin luminosity and reducing imperfections such as dark circles and redness as well as improving skin firmness within around 8 weeks of supplementation.
Three months should be long enough to assess whether you feel any benefits. But again, it depends on why you are taking vitamin supplements in the first place for example if you have been diagnosed as deficient in a specific vitamin, or you are just taking them as a precaution. Ultimately everyone is different, and regular testing will help to assess the impact the supplementation is having.
If you stop taking the vitamins but do not ensure that you have a healthy, balanced diet, blood levels of nutrients will decrease. Correcting low blood levels can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months
1. Healthy aging: As we age, our nutritional needs increase. At the same time, it gets harder for the body to absorb nutrients.
2. Good for your heart: Studies show that taking a high-quality multivitamin may reduce cardiovascular disease.
3. Reduces cancer risk: Vitamin use has been associated with a decreased risk of some cancers.
4. Boost immunity: Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant known for strengthening the immune system. Vitamins D and E boost immunity.
5. Supports eye health: Vitamins A, C, E, Niacin (B3), and selenium support eye health.
6. Healthy hair and skin: New research say look for Vitamins B3 (Niacin), biotin, and Vitamin C for fuller hair. For healthy skin, look for Vitamins A, C, E.
8. Feel better: Thanks in large part to the Vitamin B family, taking a multivitamin is associated with a boost in energy levels, feelings of wellbeing, as well as a decrease in stress and anxiety.
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