Supplements: A dangerous mix could lead to uncontrollable bleeding, warns pharmacist

Supplements: A dangerous mix could lead to uncontrollable bleeding, warns pharmacist

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Speaking to, pharmacist Scott McDougall – co-founder and registered manager of The Independent Pharmacy – said mixing two supplements could be “dangerous”. “Ginkgo biloba and Omega-3 fish oil supplements are dangerous when taken together,” warned McDougall. “Ginkgo biloba is a traditional Chinese supplement that can increase the levels of nitric oxide in your blood,” he stated.

“The reason it can be dangerous to take ginkgo biloba and omega-3 fish oil together is that they both have the potential to thin your blood.

“This means that taking them together can reduce your blood’s ability to clot or lead to uncontrollable bleeding.”

It is for this reason that McDougall does not recommend taking ginkgo biloba with omega-3 fish oil.

As for general supplementation, there is an “individual limit” to how much you can take.

McDougall pointed out that “supplements can interact with each other”.

While there is “an enormous amount of combinations of supplements that can be taken together”, omega-3 fish oil and ginkgo biloba is not one of them.

“People also have different medical statuses,” said McDougall. “So their bodies may have either deficiencies or surpluses of certain supplements.

“This means it can’t be said definitively how many different supplements a person should take daily.

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“What can be said definitively is that you should always check the recommended daily amounts of supplements you’re taking (or planning to take).

“This will tell you how much of an individual supplement you can take daily.”

People who are tempted to mix supplements are advised by McDougall to speak to their doctor or a registered pharmacist.

“They’ll be able to take your personal circumstances into account and advise the correct amounts of supplements for you to take.”

McDougall emphasised that supplementation is not as simple as taking all the best supplements and getting the right reaction.

Even taking certain supplements together can lower their beneficial effects.

“Vitamins D, E and K are all beneficial supplements,” said McDougall.

“Vitamin D helps keep your teeth, bones and muscles healthy. Vitamin E strengthens your immune system, as well as helping you maintain healthy eyes and skin. Vitamin F improves your cardiovascular functioning.

“But if you take all of these vitamin supplements together at the same time, it can reduce their effectiveness.”

McDougall suggests taking such supplements “at least two hours apart” from one another so that they don’t cancel each other out.

The NHS stated that people can get all the vitamins and minerals they need by eating a healthy, balanced diet.

However, during the autumn and winter, the NHS do recommend supplementing with daily vitamin D.

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