What happens if I take my vitamins on an empty stomach?

The bottle of fish oil capsules I bought says to take three a day, preferably with meals. But what if I don’t? What if I just consume enough water to wash it down?

And while we’re at it is their any agreement on how much fish oil to take daily?

You can get a tummy ache.

General vitamins (like a multivitamin) will make me very nauseous if I take them on an empty stomach.

I’ve heard of having fishy burps after taking fish oil caps on an empty stomach. Gross.

I think that’s from the acidic components, like Vitamin C. Or at least, that’s what I’ve been told in the past.

A real shame, as they certainly help a hangover, if you can keep them in your stomach. :cool:

I have to take a handful of pills every day, at specific times. It doesn’t seem to make any difference whether or not they’re taken with food.

The B vitamins can have a similar, unpleasant effect on an empty stomach. I don’t know how to describe the actual flavor but it’s not nice.

My endocrinologist wrote me out a prescription for Omega-3 oil tablets that are not derived from fish (as a WAG). Ask your doctor; there are a ton of them, are cheap, and have the benefit of being regulated to have the exact same amount of medicine per pill (which is not the case with OTC pills).

I usually don’t get the fishy burp . . . but when I do, it’s just one small burp; no big deal.

Several vitamins are fat soluble. If you don’t take them with a meal they won’t be absorbed. It won’t do you any harm, but it is a complete waste of vitamins.

What about taking vitamins with alcohol? Will it harm your liver if you wash it down with booze?

By this logic, ingesting, say, a small piece of butter, about the same size as a typical fat soluble vitamin tab/cap, in the absence of any other simultaneous food intake, would not be absorbed either. So, I don’t think you are correct. I’m not trying to be adversarial, but do you have a cite for your statement?

I don’t know about a cite, but I am certian there is a difference between a compound which is fat-soluble (such as the vitamins in question) and a fat (such as the butter).

Just because something is water-soluble does not mean it will be act like water in the absence of water. If something is fat-soluble and does not have fat available to dissolve in, it will not work the same way.

That’ll vary from person to person. My wife gets deathly nauseated if she takes most pills without food; I take all sorts of stuff on an empty stomach and it’s never bothered me at all.

Just like panache and Smeghead, I can take mine (a bunch, with some horse-size pills thrown in) on an empty stomach and never have a problem. No burping either. Obviously though, your mileage may vary.

You don’t have to take fat soluable vitamins with a food made of fats. I’m certain it’s because all those pills can cause stomach problems if taken by themselves.

It’s really all about one’s individual tolerance levels

I think the best answer is that taking fat soluble vitamin supplements with a fat-containing meal, may augment the former’s absorption. This statement is based on what is said in a review of the area which, unfortunately, I cannot link to. The reference is:

Factors Affecting Intestinal Absorption of Highly Lipophilic Food Microconstituents (Fat-Soluble Vitamins, Carotenoids and Phytosterols). Borel P. Clin Chem Lab Med 2003; 41(8):979-94

There are meals which do not contain fat?

Well, they probably contain a bit of fat. According to my reading of the reference, fat-soluble vitamins might not be absorbed as efficiently (? not as completely) if taken with such a meal.

Alcohol will tend to decrease the absorption of certain Vitamins.

And the Fat Soluble Vitamins are K,A,D,E

Another fact sheet on those vitamins.

The big thing between water soluble and fat soluble vitamins besides their intake also has to do with the fact that Fat soluble vitamins tend to stay in the body longer especially in fatty tissue, so those vitamins not only have deficiencies associated with them, but they also have Toxicities associated with them because having them in large amounts can lead to toxicities and poisonings, while water soluble Vitamins (the Bs and Vitamin C namely) tend to be renally excreted, so if you tend to take those energy drinks/ pills that give you 500% the daily value of Vitamins B and C, you will take what you need and then pee the rest out in your urine without any major trouble. This isn’t quite the case for Vit. K, A, D, and E.