CNET published this article:
You've likely seen the advice about which vitamins can help us achieve certain health goals. For instance, there are vitamins to boost your energy and others that aid in hair growth. Since vitamins are so good for us, you might even assume that more is better. But with certain vitamins, there can be too much of a good thing. Some vitamins can build up in your system and lead to unwanted side effects like nausea and headaches.
Are you taking too many vitamins?
Is taking too many vitamins bad? Some people also ask questions like: Can you take too much magnesium? Or can you take too much biotin? The key fact is that vitamins can be either water-soluble or fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. This means that they can dissolve safely and pass out of your system if you take too many or the body does not need them. Fat-soluble vitamins do not dissolve in water. With time, too many of these fat-soluble vitamins build up in your body because they can be easily absorbed into your body's tissue, which can lead to toxicity.
Getting too many vitamins through our diets is unlikely to be harmful. Most food has relatively low amounts of vitamins. For instance, a 100-gram serving of eggs has 540 international units (IU) of vitamin A. However, men can have 3,000 IU daily (or 900 mcg RAE) and women can have 2,333 IU per day (or 700 mcg RAE), according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Where vitamin dosing can get dangerous is when we start popping the highly concentrated supplements that may be delivering hundreds or even thousands of IUs per day, depending on how many individual vitamin supplements or what type of multivitamin we take.
Potential side effects to watch out for
Below is a list of popular vitamins. Read on to learn about which side effects can come from consuming too much of each vitamin.
For decades, vitamin C has been touted as a way to prevent or cure colds. It might be easy to assume taking megadoses of it might even prevent illness. However, you can get too much vitamin C. While water-soluble, Mayo Clinic lists the side effects of vitamin C overdose as:
Also called niacin, the side effects of B3 overdose can include:
Nausea and vomiting
Severe skin flushing with dizziness
Vitamin B6 may be also called pyridoxine. Its overdose side effects may be:
Having a lack of muscle control or coordination
Sensitivity to sunlight
Painful skin lesions
Less ability to sense pain or extreme temperature
This vitamin is also called folate or folic acid. Excess folic acid is excreted in the urine, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, high folate intake might mask vitamin B12 deficiency until the neurological effects are permanent. Sometimes doctors prescribe taking both B12 and folic acid supplements together.
However, other side effects of regular oral use may include:
Loss of appetite
Sleep pattern disturbance
Many people like supplementing with Vitamin A, since it's important for vision, cell division, immunity and growth. It also has natural antioxidant properties, so it may have cell-protecting attributes. However, it's fat-soluble so it can lead to issues with toxicity.
The Mayo Clinic says that a single large dose of over 200,000 IU may cause:
Over 10,000 IU per day might cause:
Bone or joint pain
Vitamin D toxicity usually comes from large doses of supplements, not exposure from the diet or sunlight, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you have vitamin D toxicity, also known as hypervitaminosis D, you may experience:
Kidney issues, like having calcium stones
These side effects come from overdoses of Vitamin D causing a buildup of calcium in the bloodstream.
Vitamin E is another popular vitamin with antioxidant properties, so it's easy to assume more means better. Vitamin E supplementation can come with the following side effects, and higher doses can increase the risk of these side effects:
Increased concentration of creatine in urine
How to take vitamins safely
Make sure that you are staying within the daily recommended doses for each vitamin supplement that you take. Factor in how much of the vitamin you get from daily food sources.
Can You Overdose on Vitamins?
CNET published this article:
TWEET YOUR COMMENT