Vitamins can help you stay healthy, but nutritious daily meals can help you live longer and healthier.
Vitamins: Don’t Overdose
In the case of vitamins, don’t be fooled. More is not better — just the opposite is more likely to happen. Overdoing any vitamin or nutrient can easily lead to health risks.
For example, large supplemental doses of vitamin C can cause cramps and diarrhea and under certain conditions. It may also trigger damage to your DNA. In fact, anything you consume in an amount that far surpasses your body’s needs may create a serious risk.
It is important to balance the amount of vitamins you take and realize they are no substitute for daily, healthy balanced meals.
Natural substances carry risks even in moderate doses. For example, kava, often used as a sleep aid or to reduce anxiety, has been linked to liver toxicity.
St. John’s wort, used for depression, interacts with several medications including birth control pills, and can decrease their effectiveness. Lastly, yohimbe, touted as an aphrodisiac, has been linked to high blood pressure, anxiety, dizziness, nervousness, and sleeplessness.
The Bottom Line
Not all supplements are a waste of money — they should be used as supplements to support a natural healthy diet. For example not all natural diets give you sufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and probiotics.
In addition, a supplement regime should be highly personalized. There should be clear benefits without unnecessary risks.
Give careful consideration to how much and how often they’re consumed, as well as any potential interactions with existing health conditions. Also consider personal and family medical history, over-the-counter and prescription meds, and other supplements. They can all interact, sometimes in a negative way.
If you are unsure on how to proceed, then of course talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian.