Best Time to Take Supplements

People always ask me when the best time to take supplements is. We can easily tell usage from the suggestion in product’s label. For example, you may find it here:

best time to take supplements

Recommendation: Take 1 tablet daily, preferably with food.

It is one multivitamins/multiminerals product, normally contains vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and other nutrients. To have a better absorption of these fat soluble vitamins or minerals, you’d better take it after a meal. For calcium, magnesium and iron, stomach acid helps them released from the supplement tablets and lead to a better absorption for zinc.

And if it has multiple pills in daily serving, you may divide them evenly to your three meals in morning, noon, and dinner, although some products may state as a time release caplets.

For some workout products, such as protein, glutamine, and here is the suggestion when you should take it:

  • 30 minutes before workout;
  • Right after you’ve done with a workout session;
  • Before your bedtime and just wake up in the morning;

But if the product label didn’t have any suggestion, when shall we to take it?

For example:

best time to take supplements

This is a kind of herbal supplement, in order to have a best effectiveness you’d take it in each morning before your breakfast or before each of your meal.

For the following herbal products below, you should be aware of above suggestion for best practice:

  • Grape seed extract
  • Milk thistle
  • Bilberry extract
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • St. John’s wort
  • Turmeric/Curcumin
  • Maca
  • Saw palmetto
  • Echinacea
  • Garlic
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger root
  • Black cohosh

Some nutrition supplements have an enteric coating, one protective layer applied to a softgel, capsule and caplet. Normally made of materials, such as starch and plasticizers. This coating prevents the ingredient from being released in the stomach and destroyed by acid in the stomach, e.g. some digest enzymes. So the ingredient can keep intact in stomach acid and reach the small intestine for a better absorption. Sometimes, supplements like fish oil or garlic are designed with enteric coating, not just for the maximum absorption in small intestine, also to avoid the unpleasant aftertastes or burps after taking the pills.

So for these supplements with strong smell you shall follow the recommendation in the label, possibly take them after a meal.

Somehow, you may find probiotics supplements are suggested to take in an empty stomach, or may also be taken with food. You can take as suggested in the label, but you may need to know some tips when you take probiotics:

1, some strains can survive from stomach acid, such as:

Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Streptococcus species

So probiotics included above strains are not necessary using enteric coating, but according to a study, only 10-20% of strains are able to survive from stomach acid if took without food. But it has more times of survival rate if the probiotics supplement has enterically coating. So normally the probiotics supplement with coating effects better than the one without coating, of course, the price will be costly also.

best time to take supplements

EnteroGuard® Coating is one kind of enteric coat technology.

2, some products are with enteric coating technology, but some are not. If the pill doesn’t have an enteric coat, you’d better take it just before you have a meal or during a meal.

Here is a few recommendation of the best probiotics for infant.

We can find whole food source supplements become popular on the market. Although most of these food base supplements are more expensive than others, we still can get benefits from the ingredients from natural food.

best time to take supplements

For example, the above mentioned prenatal vitamins is the best prenatal vitamins, gentle organic formula and can be taken with or without food.

As it contains vitamin B6 and ginger root, that will help soothe the stomach from upset in the morning when a pregnant woman in her first trimester.

best time to take supplements

And some supplements are prescribed from your physician, you have to follow the instruction from a professional. Be careful, some supplements may interact with medicine, such as natural vitamin E will thin your blood, if you’re taking warfarin or aspirin, don’t take them at the same time in a high dose until you have a suggestion from a pharmacist!

Natural Remedies for Pregnant Women

It is a big challenge for a woman when she’s in pregnancy. Her body system need to sustain two humans that causes a tremendous impact to her blood vessels, bone structure of the body and internal biochemistry. While a group of small cells will grow up to a full size infant. So for many years, people try to find some natural remedies to support pregnant women’s health and body function with conventional ways or new technology.

Some researches proved that some natural treatments shows promise for the condition improvement to pregnancy. We will list some common treatments here with scientific evidence support, for example, nausea in pregnancy. But some following natural treatments had not been tested widely with solid research evidence, while the dose of some vitamins and minerals had recommendation from authority, such as FDA. So please get professional advice from nutritionist or your OB first before you take any action.

natural remedies

  •  Nausea

It’s very common in the first trimester of pregnancy. That effect the normal life and nutrient intake but it is vexatious if plans to have drug therapy, as the fetus is quite vulnerable at the first trimester. So we’re glad to see some natural treatments here are more welcomed as a safe alternative.

Option 1, Vitamin B6

According to a large trial in 1995, covered 342 women in pregnancy, received vitamin B6 in 30 mg or placebo daily, researcher found that the vitamin B6 help reduce the severity of nausea, but vomiting frequency were not relieved significantly. The result was based on the recording from the subjects for their symptoms about the severity grades of nausea and vomiting frequency in the morning, compared with placebo group.

Here we know the dose 30 mg of the vitamin B6 is quite safe for pregnant women, normally we can find the vitamin B6 in the prenatal vitamins.

If you’re interested in finding the best prenatal vitamins, you can refer it by click here.

Option 2, Ginger

It was recommended from ancient in several countries to use ginger as nausea cure, now many physicians will suggest to use it as well. A double-blind, placebo controlled trial in 2001, which involved 70 pregnant women, the effectiveness of using ginger (250 mg ginger powder, and three times per day for a period of four days) for nausea in the morning was evaluated. It was proved the ginger reduce the rate of sickness and vomiting significantly, and without any side effects found after compared the ginger group and placebo group.

Some other double-blind, placebo controlled studies had the same conclusion, maybe ginger has the effectiveness for the morning sickness was equivalent to vitamin B6, somehow, it’s found a better result than vitamin B6 in one trial!

Other Options

Several studies proved that the acupuncture point, P6, showed a promise for the treatment of nausea in the morning. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study also stated that acupressure has shown good effectiveness to relieve the sickness symptoms.

natural remedies

Some other vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin K and vitamin C are sometimes suggested for sickness. Lack of iron, somehow will make it worse for the morning nausea. Also it was used for anemia treatment. So the next illness will be…

  • Anemia

During pregnancy, it is very common symptom for women, possibly it caused by the deficiency of iron. But if you take the iron supplement, maybe it will upset your stomach as iron supplement somehow is hard for on the stomach which may aggravating morning nausea. There was a research showed that a very low dose of iron, about 20 mg per day had an almost equivalent effectiveness as a high dose, such as 40 mg or even more, 80 mg per day. So it suggest that a lower dose, even less than the amount in some prenatal vitamins, 20 mg would be recommended which will definitely cause less side effects to women’s gastrointestinal system.

Another study showed the co-work of intake iron and folate is better than taking iron alone for the treatment of anemia for pregnant women. Even they’re not appear to be deficient of folate.

If pregnant women don’t have anemia symptom, please do not take exceed dose of iron which may be do harm to the to-be-mom and fetus.

  • Leg Cramps

Leg cramps are also common experienced by pregnant women, sometimes. A well-controlled double-blind study found that magnesium intake was more effective than placebo group which totally involved 73 women.

Calcium, also has been used for cure leg distress, but so far only little evidence can support calcium’s effectiveness.

To know the best calcium/magnesium for pregnant women, you can refer it by click here.

  • Hemorrhoid

Hemorrhoid is a kind of varicose veins in external or internal of anus.

A study with double-blind control which enrolled 97 pregnant women, showed that the intake of oxerutins, 1,000 mg per day, had a better result than placebo group after analysis of bleeding, inflammation and pain of hemorrhoid.

  • Constipation

It is still not clear for the reason of women’s constipation when they’re conceived. It does bother them from time to time. For the most reliable suggestion about the natural treatment, is to take fiber supplements, such as psyllium seed. It seems much safe for pregnant women, so it is normally recommended by professional obstetrician.

Another high-fiber seed, flaxseed somehow contains some substances estrogen-like, had a potential risk of harm to fetus.



pregnancy symptoms

constipation remedies

natural remedies

Breastfeeding Diet

You may already know the breastfeeding is also a best way to lose weight for a mom. breaskfeeding dietNormally we worry about the vitamin C and vitamin B amount more than the fat in breast milk. Because they are both effected by the mother’s diet significantly. Simply speaking, once the intake of water solubility vitamins by mother is not enough for her daily nutrient demand, the amount in milk will be inadequate immediately for a baby. Baby is easy to be infected with an infantile beriberi if the mother is severe deficient of vitamin B1, the worst result it leads to a sudden death ever! So if lack of these nutrition from mother’s diet, the quality of breast milk becomes lower at same time, then baby will be suffered from the essential deficiency.

Then how can we ensure the breastfeeding diet to supply of these water solubility vitamins?

You may get enough vitamin C and folate from abundant vegetables and fruits. It is necessary for a mother to take about 1 pound vegetable, half pound fresh fruit, especially the green leafy vegetables are a good source of folate.

For vitamin B1, the best source is from all kinds of grain crops, beans and tubers.

Vitamin B2, is from dairy product, yolk, and beef. You can also find plenty of vitamin B2 from sweet almond, peanut, pistachio, and some other nuts.

Besides, the calcium amount in breast milk are steady, but when calcium intake from mom’s dietary drop down too much, you have to produce the milk with the calcium from your bones. It is a potential risk for a mom’s pregnancy diet which may results in osteoporosis in the future. So don’t forget to take milk, yogurt, beans, vegetable and fish. If you can’t make it, you’d better take 400 mg calcium daily from supplement. Find the best calcium supplement, you can refer to here.

As a conclusion, for your breastfeeding diet, take more dairy (be careful if has lactose intolerance history in family), bean, vegetable and fruit will be a good choice. Do remember, less fat, less rice, instead with other grain crops, tubers, appropriate fish and egg supports a health latex for both of you and your baby.

Breastfeeding tips: How to lose weight fast and healthily

Is it true the fat still bothering you even you gave a birth to the baby after a few months? Do you want to lose weight, but still have concerns about breastfeeding your baby at same time? Here are some breastfeeding tips to kill one two birds with one stone.

breastfeeding tipsThere is misunderstanding that you cannot lose weight while you’re lactating. On the contrary, it’s good timing to lose weight when you feed your baby. You will store a couple pounds of fat during your pregnancy, preparing for milk secretion. If you’re an over weighted mother, don’t worry about the fat, all of it will be motivated to be the source of making milk.

What’s inside of milk?

It contains 1% protein, 4% lactose, plenty of calcium and vitamin A, D, vitamin B family, also some variable amount of fat.

The amount of milk secretion will reduce if the mother has protein deficiency. But if the nutrients from dietary meet the daily requirement for a mom, the nutrition amount in the milk will not change too much and latex supply amount will be stable, even you don’t eat meat or less oil in your diet. So it is no significant increasing of the protein ingredient in the milk if you have a lot of fish or soup.

But if mother’s diet is oily, the fat amount in latex will increase. As the breast milk becomes thick which means the baby will intake more fat and easy to grow fat. In fact the subcutaneous fat will not be beneficial for the internal organs, height or a better brain development than other children.

Breastfeeding tips: the best way to lose weight for a mom

A research thirty years ago announced that, if the fat  intake is deficient from daily diet, the mother will produce the breast milk  with the body fat herself. Keep in mind, a mother has plenty of foods from beans, vegetables, and fruits to ensure the adequate of protein and other vitamins, in the mean time be far away from the high dose fat, such as mutton and beef, during the breastfeeding, that will be helpful to consume mom’s fat continually. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusively feeding your baby with breast milk for the first 6 months. After that, you may supply vary natural foods to your baby meanwhile feed breast milk, and let baby quit feeding naturally when he/she is 2 years old.

So during this period, if the mother have a healthy breastfeeding diet, controlling the fat intake, it is a best way to lose weight naturally without any harm to herself or baby. That’s the breastfeeding tips you may refer to, it will give you confidence to rebuild your shape. And for those mothers have nutrient deficiency, there is the postnatal vitamins and DHA you can take within the first year since your baby birth:

4 Breastfeeding Tips to Stop Pain

With no difficulty, an experienced mom has a way to deal with everything. For example, breastfeeding. I ever saw a mother attach a screaming baby to her breast carefully, then calming her promptly, while telling a waitress she would prefer to a salad with the Thousand Island dressing. breastfeeding-tipsThis good example might encourage you that you will find nursing just so easy. It would be very discouraging if you are the one carrying a crying infant but don’t know how to feed her/him in a comfortable way. Don’t be mad with it, here are 4 breastfeeding tips to help you out from the pain of lactating. Follow these ways and you will be the easygoing experienced mother yourself in no time.

No.1 Hold your baby in the latch

You will possible feel a severe pain if your baby isn’t taking the areola into his/her mouth entirely. So a correct posture is halfway success that you baby is latching on comfortable. Please get help from your pediatrician or a lactation consultant before you leave the hospital.

No.2 Prepare for nursing

It is not just mean you are wearing a maternity clothing when breastfeeding, you should apply a safe, all natural ingredient nipple butter on your nipples before/after each time of your nursing. You may choose this toxin-free, no preservatives product Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter (Amazon link: .

No.3 Breast milk flows freely

If you have milk ducts clogged engorgement when you miss some feedings for some reason, it leads to a more serious pain consequently in the most time. You may suffers from the engorgement, as a much larger breast or both. It can be relieved by feeding your baby from two breasts frequently. Or if you have to be apart from your baby for a long time, please prepare a breasting pump when necessary. Keep in mind it may leads to mastitis, a kind of breast infection if you ignore this pain.

No.4 Be careful with thrush

The oral thrush, a very common infection in infants’ mouth and mother’s nipples by yeast. Although it could be harmless and often goes away without treatment, but causes an extreme pains between baby and mom. There are some ways to decrease the risk of thrush as below:

  • Intake a probiotic supplement, you may refer to here to choose a best infant probiotic
  • Sterilization for pacifiers, milk bottles and pumps before each use
  • After breastfeeding, dry your breasts in air
  • Wash baby clothing, diapers and your feeding bras frequently and sterilized thoroughly

Once you begin a rocky startup, with the above experience of breastfeeding tips and more patience, I believe that you will join the ranks of confident moms in no time. You will find it is worth for these efforts when you look down at the baby in a sound sleep against your chest.

Folate – An Essential in Prenatal Vitamins

Folate, also known as folic acid, vitamin B9, plays a key role in cell division in human body. It is an important essential in prenatal vitamins. In some researches, we found it reduce the risk of heart disease, and it is helpful lessen the incidence rate of some cancers.

folate-prenatal vitaminsYou can find the folate from dark green leafy vegetables, and oranges. These are natural good source of folate, but the synthetic source of folic acid seems has a twice absorption and a more bioavailability as well as the natural source folate.

There are two new synthetic source of folate products, Metafolin and Quatrefolic were accepted by FDA individually in 2001 and 2010. With stabilized form in Metafolin (calcium salt, Metafolin® is a registered trademark of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany) and Quatrefolic (glucosamine salt, Quatrefolic® is a registered trademark of Gnosis S.p.A. Corporation), they have an active compound, called L-5-methylfolate, which is same created in the body as folate and folic acid does. People with common genetic mutations were suggested to take these new forms, as it was proved to have more effectiveness than folic acid in a short term.

Benefits for pregnant women
It is helpful to reduce the risk of spina bifida in fetus if folate consumed in prenatal vitamins by pregnant women. Folate is also proved to lessen the occurrence of leukemia and some other defects among infants.

A research from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo announced that, the women took folic acid (400 mcg per day) from 4 weeks before to 8 weeks after their pregnancy had a 39% lower risk of autistic disorder in children, compared to the children whose mothers didn’t have any folic acid supplement.

But many pregnancies are unplanned, it is difficult to recommend a folic acid supplement before conception. Most of time the neural tube defects may have already occurred, because the average of first antenatal visit normally is 9 weeks.

Since 1998, folic acid were fortificated in cereal grains mandatorily and as a result, there is less than 1% of people in Americans have folate deficiency. Then over 50 countries around the world have followed this mandatory fortification with folic acid.

Recommended dose
As a result, the RDAs doses are based on the regular food sources, if you are taking folic acid in prenatal vitamins or fortificated food, which are twice absorbs in the body, you have to take 1/2 following RDAs:

For Children 1 – 3 years old: 150 mcg
Children 4 – 8 years old: 200 mcg
Children 9 – 13 years old: 300 mcg
Over 14 years old: 400 mcg
Pregnant women: 600 mcg
Lactating women: 500 mcg

The ULs of folate (total amount from fortified food and supplements):
For Children 1 – 3 years old: 300 mcg
Children 4 – 8 years old: 400 mcg
Children 9 – 13 years old: 600 mcg
Children 14 – 18 years old: 800 mcg
Individual over 19 years old: 1,000 mcg

There are increasing concerns for the folic acid intake 1000 mcg per day from supplement, associated with a more than doubling risk of prostate cancer. Meanwhile, the folate from natural sources was not found any risk raised.

Although folate may reduce the incidence rate of cancer, e.g. the notably colorectal cancer, there are some concerns about the exceed folic acid from supplements and fortificated foods may increase the risk of cancerous tumors or pre-cancerous. For example, it was observed that the risk of colorectal cancer was increased after the country began to fortify the wheat flour with folic acid in Chile and other countries in 2009.

But according to a recent study in U.S. (2011), there was no significant association found between the colorectal cancer and folic acid serving. In contrast, this study found a 19% reducing in the risk of colon cancer comparing the people took the highest dose of folic acid (including both of the natural folate and folic acid) to those with the lowest dose intake.

Improve Digestion and Immunity – Find the Best Probiotics for Infants

Before pick out the best probiotic supplements, we’d like to understand what the probiotics is for firstly, and how we can call a probiotics product is the best probiotics.

best probiotic supplements

What is the probiotics?

A definition from the World Health Organization, 2001:
Probiotics is live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.

You can found these ‘friendly’ strains of bacteria in our dietary everywhere, in yogurt, cheese, and some fermented foods.

We calculate the number of live organism cells with CFU (Colony Forming Units).

Why do we need probiotics, especially for pregnant women and infants?

  • Antibiotic-associated Diarrhea (AAD). Some evidence proved that probiotic shows benefits to support the treatment of AAD. This kind of AAD will happened among 20% of children after an antibiotic treatment.
  • Infections. A few strains of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) may decrease the dental caries in children, reported by one clinical trials; these LAB product might be helpful for the children who are affected by rotavirus infections.
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis. Some clinical researches proved that the probiotics possibly reduce the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis and the death rate in premature infants.
  •  Eczema. From 2007 to 2011, there were a lot of evidences found to prove the effectiveness from probiotics intake during pregnancy and infancy, reduced from 34% to 26% in the rate of atopic dermatitis in fourteen trial studies.

You may find some useful strains of probiotics when you’re conceived or nursing. Here is the benefits of different probiotics from recent research:

Lactobacillus paracasei St11 (or NCC2461):
Reduce the diarrhea rate in children;

Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM combined with Bifidobacterium animalis subsp lactis Bi-007:
Decrease running nose by 59%, coughing by 62%, fever by 73% and shorten the duration of above symptoms by 48%;

Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730 (Lactobacillus reuteri SD2112):
Mitigation diarrhea in children; reduce crying in colicky babies; fever and diarrhea in children;

S. salivarius K12 (Bactoblis®, BLIS K12®):
Fewer throat infection, streptococcal infections reduced by 96%, viral oropharyngeal infections reduced by 80%

Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis (DSM 17938, daughter strain of ATCC 55730):
Shorten the duration in diarrhea children, reduce crying in colicky babies; reduce diarrhea rate in children; affect children’s chronic constipation and functional abdominal pain; decrease in feeding intolerance and hospitalization duration if given to premature babies;

Lactobacillus GG (a strain if Lactobacillus casei):
Reduce the severity and frequency of abdominal pain in the children aged from 5 to 14.

Lactobacillus fermentum CECT5716 or Lactobacillus salivarius CECT5713:
Helpful in the mastitis in breastfeeding mothers and a lower rate of recurrence of this inflection than those took an antibiotic;

Base on the current literature we had researched, taking probiotics when in pregnancy or lactating doesn’t have any evidence for adverse effect for women and fetuses or infants

What is the best probiotics for infants?

You may refer to following tips before pick out the best probiotic supplements.
1. It’s better if the probiotic has FOS (fructooligosaccharides, a kind of Prebiotics) essential in the supplement formula. FOS is an assistant fuel for bacteria bioactivity when absorbs in the gastrointestinal tract. It is termed synbiotics when combine probiotics and prebiotics in one capsule.
2. Take the proper strains of probiotics suits your specific purpose. As you know from the introduction of probiotics benefits listed above, for your daily health support you can choose a combined probiotics supplement. But you’d better find the right strain which shown to work for your condition.
3. Make sure if the dosage intake provides an adequate number of organisms for your symptom. From some clinical trials, you cannot see any benefit until you take enough dose probiotics.
4. The enteric coated or microencapsulation of the probiotics supplement can ensure the viability of organisms survive from stomach acid and break apart to release ingredients in small and large intestines.
5. Keep probiotic supplement out of heat, light and moisture. Some may need store in fridge after open.
6. Compare the price. We will compare the vary product and find the best probiotics supplement with best price-value ratio.

There are few probiotic supplements designed for infant or kids. Some of them were found contains less amount than their label from a testing report by ConsumerLab. Here we have some recommendations for different demands:

Best Probiotic Supplement for children over 3 months:
Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Kids, 96 Grams
Multiple strains of Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus;
Supports digestive and immune system;
Inulin (a kind of prebiotic) supports the growth of probiotics;
23 RAW and organic fruits and vegetables;
5 billion CFU per serve for children over 3 months;
With USDA organic certification;
Store in a dry place at 71°F (22°C) or below. Best if refrigerated;

Best Probiotics for infants:
Gerber Soothe Colic Drops
Lactobacillus reuteri Protectis® (DSM 17938);
Shorten crying time 50%, relief from infancy colic;
100 million CFU, 5 drops per serving, safe for infants;
Store in a cool, dry place. Maximum 77°F/22°C

What is the probiotic side effects?

It is safe for most of the healthy people if take probiotics in an appropriate dose. Occasionally some people may feel a more digestive gas after a probiotic serving.

In some rare reports in 2012, two cases with eosinophilic syndrome (a kind of autoimmune disease) were in onset after taking probiotics. Another woman developed eosinophilic esophagitis several weeks after serving Pearl IC in 2012.

These reactions are uncommon, but we still need to watch out if any allergic reaction by your immune system after probiotics intake.

Maybe you’re interested in:

How to choose the best prenatal vitamins?

Recommendation for best fish oil for pregnancy

Find out the best multivitamin for women