Can Too Many Multivitamins Be Harmful To Your Health?
Are people recommending multivitamins to you? Have you been popping multivitamin pills instead of visiting a doctor to see what was wrong? Well, you are not the only one who does that. Are you one in the group that feel multivitamins are necessary and popping a pill is going to help what ails you. No wonder then, the most well-known nutritional supplement sold the world over are multivitamins. It is one of the first nutritional add-on people of all ages think of when they consider vitamin deficiency.
Many adults will tell you, they had these small chewy tablets when they were young, but stopped when they were in high school and college. However, as they grew older they considered taking multivitamins again. Not all of us would read labels and the scientific information before popping a pill, which doesn’t help unless you know which multivitamin will really help you avoid sickness. Have you considered there could be side effects of multivitamins that you are not aware of?
Most research studies state that crucial vitamin add-ons do not prevent the occurrence of diseases, and in a few cases it may also increase your risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer and could lead to death too. According to a study by NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, the data suggests that dietary supplements do not improve health or prevent disease.
Do you really need vitamins?
Multivitamins are ideally nutritional supplements that have a combination of vitamins like vitamin A, K, E, D and minerals in them. The question you should be asking yourself is “Do I need multivitamins to maintain my health?” To answer you, yes, you do need vitamins as they are needed by the body to function easily without causing any health issues.
Not only does your body require the common vitamins like vitamin A, K, E, and D, but it also requires calcium, beta-carotene and potassium. Deficiency of these minerals and vitamins can also cause illnesses and could be underlying causes of a few diseases. The best way to get these much needed vitamins is to make sure your diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains etc. Most often you may end up having processed foods that have added minerals and vitamins.
If you are eating healthy and still popping multivitamin tablets then it is quite possible you may reach levels that are higher than those recommended by the FDA.
Are multivitamins harmful?
There is a big difference between getting your quota of vitamins from the food you eat and getting them from tablets available in the market at a pharmacy. The tablets have 100% or more of the suggested daily limit of vitamins C, A, calcium and iron. Only if you consider your food to have absolute zero nutritional value, does it make sense to have these supplements.
Would you have an anti-cancer tablet in advance to prevent cancer? Or perhaps consider taking anti-allergens to avoid allergies you do not have? If you think no, then should you really take multivitamins when you do not suffer from vitamin deficiencies?
Take a look at the side effects of multivitamin supplements
- Mild diarrhea
- Stomach upset
- Headache and nausea
- Allergic reactions like rash or hives
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Face, mouth, lips or tongue swelling
- Unresponsiveness or skin tingling
- Nasty taste in the mouth
Everyone displays different side effects and not all of them are listed here. Consult a doctor if you suffer from one or more of the side effects of multivitamin supplements. Not only side effects, but there are one or two disadvantages you should consider before you take multivitamins.
When compared to diet:
The Mayo Clinic believes that vitamin supplements have disadvantages when you compare them to nutrients you may get from your diet. Your diet has more than just vitamins while a supplement will have the one or more vitamins only, for e.g. a vitamin D supplement will give you only vitamin D. However, food items also have antioxidants, fiber, minerals and phytochemicals that help to strengthen your defense mechanism to keep diseases away and maintain your health.
Too much is toxic:
The chances of multivitamin poisoning are high when you take too many of them. There are water soluble and fat soluble vitamins. Taking too many water soluble vitamins could increase the creation of urine in the body. The exception to this rule is vitamin B12, which can be stored in the whole body. Excess of the water soluble vitamin C can cause kidney stones and other digestive diseases instead of creating urine like the other water soluble vitamins.
In the case of fat soluble vitamins they are usually stored in the body. Too many of these can lead to a buildup, which can cause health issues. For e.g. an overdose of vitamin D can hamper mental health, cause tiredness and kidney stones. Over use of vitamin A can lead to issues with skin, bone and hair, cause headaches and irritation.
Not always approved by FDA:
Not all vitamin add-ons are approved and monitored by the FDA, like other medicines. Most manufacturers offer their products to the market before validating their effectiveness or confirming they are safe enough to take. There are chances of these vitamins reacting negatively with other medications you may take causing complications.
Reading the article above clearly shows that too much of something can be harmful, just like side effects of multivitamin many are not aware of. Making sure you get your quota of vitamins and necessary nutrients from food and not supplements, unless recommended by a doctor.