Vitamins and nutritional supplements are seen by many as an essential part of health and wellness. Too often, outdated anecdotes guide our health decisions, in this case the culprit is “you can’t have too much of a good thing.” But this isn’t necessarily the case with supplements.
Is It Possible to Take Too Many Vitamins?
Although they are regarded by many as a health miracle, vitamins need to be taken with caution. It is very important that you discuss any changes to your supplement regimen with a trusted medical care professional, whether that it is your doctor or a nutritionist.
In most cases, people who experience accidental vitamin poisoning take a combination of multi-vitamins alongside single vitamin supplements. To prevent your risk of accidental exposure to these adverse effects, make sure to check the “nutritional facts” section of the supplement label and cross-reference it with any other supplements you are taking.
Many vitamins, such as beta-carotene can have noticeable side-effects if the patient is taking the vitamin in high-doses. For instance, it is relatively easy to contract beta-carotene poisoning just from eating carrots. Beta-carotene poisoning only causes the skin to develop a yellow-orange color, and though the effects of this are relatively minor, it can be rather shocking to those who experience it.
Due to increased awareness of osteoporosis’ effects on the elderly, many doctors may suggest that the patient takes high-levels of calcium to help boost their bone density. Unfortunately, this approach can have the unintended consequence of making the patient overanxious or worrisome. If you are having trouble bumping up your bone density scores, research has suggested that Vitamin D is an excellent supplement to add to alongside calcium to assist your body with bone production.
One vitamin that is known to cause more serious adverse effects is Vitamin A. Recommended dosages are 900 micrograms per day for adult males, and 700 micrograms per day for adult females. Using this nutrient in excessive quantities can cause some very troubling complications, such as:
- In extreme cases Coma or Death
Although it can be a great addition to your bone health regimen, the recommended intake for this vitamin is relatively low for most adults. The recommended dosage for Vitamin D is 15 micrograms per day for both men and women. Adverse effects due to over-consumption can cause:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Kidney damage
The recommended intake for this vitamin is 1.3 milligrams for most adults, but rises slightly after age 50. Because of this increase, manufacturers often give a variety of milligram options for sale, so choose wisely! Excessive consumption can cause serious nerve damage, painful skin patches, and extreme light sensitivity.
Niacin has a recommended intake of 14 milligrams for women and 16 milligrams for men. Excessive intake of this nutrient can cause increased blood sugar levels, as well as increase the likelihood that you will develop an ulcer. In more extreme cases, excessive consumption of Niacin can result in permanent liver damage.
Folate is another vitamin that comes in multiple dosage options. The recommended amount for most adults sits at 400 micrograms and 600 micrograms for women who are pregnant. Sometimes excessive folate can impair the effects of other medications, or can mask a B12 deficiency. Having a vitamin B12 deficiency for long periods of time can cause long-term nerve damage.