Making sure you receive the daily recommendation of vitamins is important. It helps fortify your body against illness while giving you the necessary building blocks to maintain a healthy life.
While you likely have heard of some side effects stemming from low vitamin levels, you may not have heard of side effects coming from too many vitamins. That’s right, you can go way overboard with your vitamins and there actually are some substantial side effects.
You may accidentally go slightly over one vitamin from day to day (plus, the recommended levels can vary slightly based on your height and weight), but going over continuously and in high amounts can have significant adverse effects on your body.
Going Over A, B and C
If you have looked on the back of most food labels lately you may have discovered foods come with more vitamins than ever before. Why? Food manufacturers want the food to appear healthier than the alternative.
Healthy food no longer is all about removing sugar and carbs but also increasing vitamin intake. Due to this, it is surprisingly easy to surpass your daily allotment of these different vitamins. Generally, some side effects include problems sleeping and concentrating. Other side effects include tingling and numbness in arms and legs. You may feel a higher level of irritation, depending on how long you’ve been going over.
This is where receiving too much of a good thing can have serious adverse effects. Elevated vitamin D levels may cause heart problems, ranging from a stressed cardiovascular system to heart burn and even stroke.
If you take a simple daily multi-vitamin and eat a balanced diet, you shouldn’t have much of an issue. However, once you start adding energy drinks to your diet, you run a very serious risk of not only surpassing the recommended levels, but often doubling or tripling it.
Energy drinks are not the only culprit. Exercise supplements are a major issues as well. Some are designed to give you more energy in the gym while others may say to help burn more calories.
Folic acid is added to many white flour products (pasta, bread, cereals and rice) and can help prevent birth defects (which is a serious problem in children who are born with folic acid deficiencies). However, receiving elevated levels of folic acid can hide signs of vitamin B12 deficiency. Hiding these signs can lead to irreversible nerve damage.
Over consumption of iron is one of the most common mineral overdoses, especially in women. Why, exactly? Anemia is a condition where the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the rest of the body, which is by far more common in women.
However, the issue here is many women self-diagnose and simply increase their iron intake. This is dangerous as doing so can lead to a toxic level in the body. This may result in an enlarged spleen or liver, stomach pain, heart failure, irregular heart problems and even diabetes.
Overdoing and overdosing on vitamins (and minerals) is serious. Make sure you go through the nutritional facts of any supplement you take to look at the levels. And, always consider your full intake of foods, drinks and supplements when you’re trying to optimize your health.
So how many are too many vitamins? Taking the recommended levels of vitamins is highly recommended. If you believe you have a condition requiring taking elevated levels, make sure to receive a proper diagnosis and know the upper limit of healthy intake before starting.