However, routinely consuming vitamin and mineral overload can harm you. Too much vitamin C or zinc can cause nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Too much selenium can cause hair loss, gastrointestinal distress, fatigue, and mild nerve damage. There are some possible cases in which people could face a dangerous situation.
The first concern is to take more than the recommended amount. Thanks to popular drinks and foods with high levels of vitamin C, it is possible to far exceed the recommended daily dose without realizing it. For example, consuming too much vitamin C can cause digestive problems. Manufacturers can add vitamins, minerals and other supplement ingredients to the foods you eat, especially to cereals and breakfast drinks.
As a result, you may be eating more of these ingredients than you think, and a larger amount may not be better. Taking more than you need costs more and may also increase your risk of side effects. For example, too much vitamin A can cause headaches and liver damage, reduce bone strength, and cause birth defects. Too much iron causes nausea and vomiting and can damage the liver and other organs.
That said, vitamin D supplements may benefit certain people, including those at risk of deficiency, such as people with darker skin, certain health conditions and older adults, according to MedlinePlus. A recent review of existing data revealed that the most commonly consumed vitamin supplements (vitamin D, multivitamins, vitamin C and calcium) have no discernible risks or benefits when it comes to preventing conditions such as heart attack, premature death, cardiovascular disease or stroke. Vitamin K can reduce the effectiveness of anticoagulants, while vitamin E can increase their potency and increase the risk of bleeding. Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium in the body, and getting enough calcium is critical to health and well-being, as it offers the promise of protecting bones and preventing bone diseases such as osteoporosis, according to the NIH.
While it is true that vitamins and minerals are essential to health, it is not true that taking them in the form of pills, capsules or powder, especially in large doses, is necessary or not risky. In addition, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points out, our body produces vitamin D when bare skin is exposed to direct sunlight, but the increase in time spent indoors and the widespread use of sunblock, as a necessary way to prevent skin aging and skin cancer, have minimized the amount of vitamin D that many of us get from sun exposure. The most recent consensus statement from the American Geriatrics Society specifically suggests that people over 65 can help reduce the risk of fractures and falls by supplementing their diet with at least 1000 IU of vitamin D per day, in addition to taking calcium supplements and eating foods rich in vitamin D. However, when it comes to dietary supplements, many consumers don't know that their vitamin vial or bottle of herbs and other botanical products (such as echinacea and ginkgo biloba) can carry risks.
According to the findings of the same study, just two supplements of folic acid and B vitamins with folic acid could help reduce strokes and cardiovascular disease. Talk to your healthcare team before taking large doses of any vitamin, mineral, or other supplement. In addition, the data showed that people who consumed adequate amounts of magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A and K had a lower risk of death, but only if they got those nutrients from food and not from supplements.