Multivitamins, Mega Doses
Most people take vitamins expecting some sort of health boost. But sometimes they have the opposite effect — often as a result of the mega doses in multivitamin supplements, which are unregulated, meaning anything could be in that bottle you pick up at the supermarket. New Jersey-based dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade, author of the “2 Day Diabetes Diet,” suggests looking for a brand you can trust that has been third-party tested.
This isn’t a concern when you get vitamins from food. “It can be almost impossible to consume dangerously high levels of a specific nutrient from food alone,” Palinski-Wade says. But multivitamin doses can contain 1,000% of daily recommended values, and “it is possible to have too much of a good thing when it comes to supplements. Taking in more of a certain nutrient than your body needs can have a negative impact.”
Supplements are meant to supplement a balanced diet, not replace it, and Palinski-Wade recommends working with a registered dietitian to find the ones that match your needs and health goals – then making sure your doctor and pharmacist know what you’re taking, because some vitamins can interact with medications even in modest doses.
There are two kinds of vitamins: Water soluble and fat soluble. Your body will generally eliminate excess water-soluble vitamins, which include all the B vitamins and vitamin C, in urine. But since the body can store large amounts of fat, fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D, and K, can build up. They are many of the vitamins and minerals we’ll look at for the effects of excessive intake. If you’ve had a bad experience with vitamins, tell us in the comments.