Are you taking a multi-vitamin? If so, you’re not alone. U.S. sales of multi-vitamins and supplements exceeded $27 billion dollars in 2016. We all have heard that taking a vitamin is good for us, and many suggest that everyone should take vitamins.
But what isn’t talked about very much is the potential dangers of taking these supplements. We’ve all heard the old saying “too much of a good thing,” and it also applies to vitamins and supplements if we’re not careful.
Here are a few symptoms of vitamin toxicity:
- Vitamin C or zinc: nausea, diarrhea, stomachcramps
- Selenium: hair loss, upset stomach, fatigue, mild nerve damage
It’s not just individual vitamins we should be aware of. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, here are a few signs of multi-vitamin toxicity:
- Cloudy urine
- Frequent urination
- Dry, cracked lips
- Irregular heartbeat
- Rapid heartbeat
- Mood changes
- Yellow-orange areas of the skin
- Hair loss
- Loss of appetite
- Upset stomach
Will everyone experience these symptoms? Of course not. However, there could be cases where a person is experiencing these symptoms (among others) and does NOT realize it’s because of a vitamin overdose. As a result, they might take medicine to feel better, not knowing the extra vitamins they are taking everyday is the culprit.
In other words, that vitamin isn’t helping them, it’s hurting them and they don’t even know it.
Yes, we can easily become reliant on supplements, as there’s a big push to be healthy. The message often being conveyed is in order to meet our nutritional needs, we must take a supplement.
There’s two thing we must keep in mind:
1. It’snot the pill that’s going to help keep us healthy, it’s the foods we eat (or don’t eat.)
2. Our body actually stores some nutrients in out fat and bones. This is why people are able to fast up to 40 days and be perfectly healthy when the fast is completed.
Many of us are under the impression that a pill, powder, or energy bar will meet all our nutritional needs but that’s not true.
Part of the problem is many of the healthy foods we eat have various compounds in them that interact together, providing us with a variety of health benefits. While the pill just tries to extract a certain vitamin or component, there’s no guarantee we’ll get the same benefit as eating that specific food.
For example, an apple has vitamin C, but it also has fiber and a high water content. It can also move food particles off the teeth.
A single vitamin supplement can’t duplicate these benefits, so if you choose to take a supplement, make sure you’re eating good food at the same time. Don’t rely on that pill to keep you healthy!
If you want to take a vitamin supplement, take one that gives just the recommended daily allowances and not more, because your body may not need it.
In addition to monitoring your vitamin intake, it’s critical we look at the ingredients in these supplements as well. Some vitamins are not as healthy as we are led to believe:
Be mindful of the foods you eat and the supplements you take. Your body will thank you.
Get more great tips in my books The Three Pillars of Strength: Increasing Your Physical, Mental and Spiritual Fitness and The Diet of Success: Healthy Eating Tips for Hard Working Professionals. Available in paperback, kindle, and Audible versions on Amazon.