What are the most important contraindications I should know about?
Some vitamins and herbs can compete with each other for absorption and interfere with certain medications, says Torkos. To avoid doing more harm than good, it’s crucial to talk to your health care provider about everything you’re taking. Keep these important contraindications in mind: If you’re taking a blood thinner, avoid supplements that have an additional blood-thinning effect, such as vitamin E, high doses of omega-3 fatty acids, and Ginkgo biloba. It’s also smart to avoid vitamin K, which can affect how certain medications work. If you’re planning on spending long periods of time in the sun, avoid St. John’s wort, niacin, and vitamin B3, which all increase photosensitivity and may cause sun-related skin reactions, such as rashes, says Torkos. If you suffer from small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, avoid probiotics and prebiotics. They may overcrowd your gut with bacteria and make your gas problems worse, says Gerard Guillory, MD, an integrative physician who specializes in irritable bowel syndrome and leaky gut.