CF Healthy Eating - Vitamins

People with cystic fibrosis have trouble absorbing fats, which means they have trouble absorbing vitamins that need fat to be absorbed -- A, D, E and K. These fat-soluble vitamins are critical to normal growth and good nutrition.

People with CF also need to ensure that they get vitamins from the water-soluble group, which contains vitamin C and the B-complex vitamins, including folic acid, biotin and pantothenic acid. They are called water soluble because they are easily absorbed by water inside the body and washed out of the body with sweat and urine. Because they can leave our bodies so easily, we must find ways to get them every day.

Besides eating a good diet, you may have to take vitamin supplements to get the extra nutrients needed to best manage CF. Vitamin supplements with one or more of the fat-soluble or water- soluble vitamins can come in pills, capsules, tablets or liquid drops.

Many types of vitamin supplements are available today. Over-the- counter vitamins can be found on the shelves of most local grocery stores and pharmacies, but they may not be adequate. Because people with CF have trouble digesting certain vitamins, a prescription vitamin supplement may be used to meet your extra nutritional needs. If you have questions about affording prescription vitamin supplements, contact CF Foundation COMPASS by calling 844-266-7277 or emailing compass@cff.org.

To get the most from your over-the-counter or prescription vitamin supplements, always take them with meals -- preferably in the morning to use the best amount of natural bile acids -- and your enzymes. If you forget to take them in the morning, you can take them later in the day. As with all prescription products, always follow the orders of your health care provider.