Is it Healthy to Take Too Many Supplements?

Vitamins and minerals are essential for good health, but taking too many supplements can be hazardous. Just like eating too much sugar or drinking excessive amounts of water, taking too many vitamins, minerals and supplements can be dangerous. While supplements are safe in moderation, more is not necessarily better. Combining several supplements or taking higher than recommended doses can increase the risk of harm. When it comes to vitamins, many people worry that they are not getting enough of what their body needs.

But it is also possible to take too much. To get an idea of how many micro- and macronutrients, such as proteins and healthy fats, you eat, Dr. Bailey recommends using an app to track your eating habits for a typical week. The Department of Agriculture has one that's free called SuperTracker, and MyFitnessPal is another popular option. Once you know what you need most, the next logical step is to add supplements of those vitamins to your daily routine.

Supplements have labels that indicate how much of a recommended dietary dose needed, so that's where you can fill the gap. Dr. Bailey suggests aiming for 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance. The problem comes when you don't track the percentage. So what's the first physical indicator that you're consuming too much of something? Dr.

Bailey says that each nutrient has different red flags, but the Office of Dietary Supplements has some pretty surprising fact sheets that describe everything in great detail. This is not an immediate cause for alarm. If you accidentally take two of your multivitamins on the same day, don't freak out, you should still be OK. It's more about taking too much supplement on a consistent basis, even if it's something like calcium that you know is key to your health. A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that while foods rich in calcium can help protect heart health, calcium supplements can increase the risk of plaque buildup in the arteries and cause heart damage. Beyond that, there are other common supplements that experts say can be risky if you take too much. Like calcium, overloading potassium supplements is potentially problematic for your heart.

The mineral has the function of regulating the heartbeat, and taking too much of it can cause heart problems. Vitamin A is another example of a seemingly excellent supplement that can wreak havoc on the body. While it can help maintain healthy vision and immune system, vitamin A toxicity can lead to hair loss, bone loss, confusion, and even liver failure. Unlike water-soluble types, such as vitamins B and C, which normally only urinate if there is an excess in your body, vitamin A is stored in body fat. Iron and zinc can easily build up in the body and cause various problems. The symptoms of overdoing it with a supplement vary depending on the vitamin or mineral, but digestive problems are often the first sign that something is wrong.

People can also experience nausea, vomiting, seizures, or a rapid heartbeat. If you notice any of these symptoms and suspect that you may have taken too much of a supplement, stop taking it immediately and call your doctor. In fact, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor before taking any type of supplement. Even if you don't take any medications and you're in good health, your doctor can do a blood test to determine if you really need to take a supplement. If you choose to take a multivitamin, look for one with no more than 100% of the daily value of any nutrient and not spend a lot of money. Scientists know that people who eat a lot of foods rich in vitamins and minerals tend to live longer and healthier lives.

Energy bars, meal replacement drinks, protein shakes, cereal bars, cereal itself contain a lot of vitamins and minerals up to 100% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA).

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