Most people agree that vitamin supplements are a healthy addition to your daily routine.
In particular, if you do not eat a diet naturally rich in the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your body requires to fight illness and disease and function properly, vitamin supplements can help you meet the minimum recommended daily requirements. However, studies in 2007 and 2008 suggest there may be negative risks of vitamin supplements people are not considering.
Interestingly, while a quick Google search unearthed news stories about these studies from several years ago, it didn’t show any more recent studies or updates. Therefore, it is unclear if these potential risks are truly the risks of vitamin supplements they were originally touted to be. In fact, even at that time there was controversy about how the studies were conducted, so there was no conclusive evidence that vitamin supplements put people who took them at any greater risk than non-supplement takers.
One of the very real risks of vitamin supplements, however, is a potential overdose of one or more vitamins or minerals. While it is nearly impossible to get an overdose of a vitamin or mineral from eating a normal diet of foods, taking vitamin supplements with too high of a dose of a particular vitamin can be dangerous. Likewise, taking too many vitamin supplements could definitely result in an overdose.
The symptoms of an overdose of a particular vitamin or mineral can vary. Common symptoms, however, include nausea and/or vomiting which could result in weight loss. In addition, muscle weakness and/or nerve damage could result.
If you do decide to take a multivitamin supplement, you can reduce the risks of vitamin supplements by taking only water soluble supplements. This means they dissolve in the body’s fluids. It also means excess amounts of the vitamin should get flushed out of the body and reduce the chance of an overdose.
While it isn’t a risk of vitamin supplements per se, there are a few potential disadvantages associated with taking them. For instance, supplements can be costly and many come in large pill form. Some people have trouble swallowing large pills. This could be unpleasant or require them to buy more different supplements to swallow to get smaller sized pills.
On the other hand, there are also some distinct advantages for vitamin supplements. Certainly pregnant and nursing women-and those women who plan to become pregnant-can benefit from taking supplements. Likewise, people who are unable to consume adequate calories or get the appropriate nutritional components from their diet would do well to consider taking a vitamin supplement.
This can include several groups of people: those who are ill or suffering from a chronic condition, those with digestive problems or disorders, and anyone who excludes entire food groups from their diet for whatever the reason. Of course, even those people who may benefit from taking a vitamin supplement should consult a physician or nutritionist for professional advice. This helps ensure they make wise choices and take the proper supplements to best meet their individual needs.
-The Health Dude-