Combining several supplements or taking higher doses than recommended may increase the risk of potential harm, according to nutritionist Kitchin. Excessive amounts of vitamins and minerals can cause nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, hair loss, fatigue, and even mild nerve damage. It is important to understand the recommended dietary dose for each supplement and not exceed it. Dr. Bailey suggests that once you know what you need most, you can add vitamin supplements to your daily routine.
The labels on supplements indicate how much of a recommended dietary dose is needed. However, tracking the percentage is essential to avoid taking too much of a particular nutrient. The Office of Dietary Supplements has detailed fact sheets that describe the warning signs for each nutrient. Once the body has used the vitamins and minerals it needs, the rest is excreted or stored. It is best to work with a nutritionist or health professional who specializes in dietary supplements to ensure that you are taking them correctly.
Supplements can help prevent nutrient deficiencies and increase levels of certain nutrients faster than food sources alone. Whether or not to take a supplement with food depends on the supplement, as some are better with them and others are better without them. A sudden increase in vitamin K through diet or a supplement may decrease the effectiveness of anticoagulants.
In addition, it is important to know that you're taking them correctly. If your gut works well and you're following a balanced diet, you're probably getting all the nutrients your body needs and shouldn't have to take a supplement. It is essential to talk to your doctor about any supplements you're taking, including vitamins and minerals, and also about the dose you're taking.
Adults who normally far exceed the safe daily maximum limit for vitamin D of 4,000 international units (IU) could end up with serious heart problems.