The Dangers of Taking Supplements: What You Need to Know

Taking supplements can be beneficial for your health, but it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with taking too much. Excessive amounts of vitamins and minerals can cause headaches, liver damage, nausea, vomiting, and other health problems. In addition, dietary supplements are not regulated by the U. S.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so it is up to manufacturers to ensure that their products are safe and effective. It is also important to be aware of potential interactions between supplements and medications. Research suggests that few supplements help prevent heart disease, with the exception of omega-3 fatty acids and folic acid. Additionally, some studies have linked high doses of calcium with an increased risk of death from cancer. However, other studies have found that getting these nutrients from food rather than supplements can reduce the risk of death.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides detailed information on the benefits and risks of individual vitamins and minerals, as well as herbal supplements. When it comes to taking supplements, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and benefits. Here are seven popular supplements that experts recommend taking with caution:

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for health and well-being, as it helps the body absorb calcium and can protect bones from diseases such as osteoporosis. Vitamin D supplements are popular because it can be difficult to get enough from food. However, taking high doses of vitamin D can cause muscle pain, mood disorders, abdominal pain, kidney stones, heart attack, and stroke.

Guidelines and research may seem to contradict each other when it comes to vitamin D supplements, so it is important to talk to your healthcare team before adding any new supplement to your regimen.

St. John's Wort

St. John's Wort is a plant that is used as tea or in capsules for a variety of conditions such as depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), menopausal symptoms, insomnia, kidney and lung problems, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and wound healing. Research suggests that St.

John's Wort may be effective in treating mild depression. However, St. John's Wort can interact with medications such as birth control pills, chemotherapy drugs, HIV/AIDS medications, and medications to prevent organ rejection after a transplant. If you are considering taking St. John's Wort, it is important to learn about possible drug interactions and talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of this supplement.


Calcium is essential for strong bones but taking too much can be harmful.

The NIH recommends 1,000 mg of calcium per day for women ages 19-50 and 1,200 mg per day for women over 50. Taking more than 2,500 mg per day for adults ages 19-50 or more than 2,000 mg per day for people age 51 and older can cause problems such as hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis and an increased risk of heart disease.


Iron is an essential mineral that helps transport oxygen throughout the body. However, taking too much iron can cause nausea and vomiting and can damage the liver and other organs. It is important to talk to your doctor before taking iron supplements.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is an essential vitamin that helps maintain healthy vision and skin.

However, taking too much vitamin A can cause headaches and liver damage, reduce bone strength, and cause birth defects.


Magnesium helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels as well as nerve function. Research suggests that getting magnesium from food rather than supplements may reduce the risk of death. However, taking too much magnesium can cause diarrhea.


Zinc helps boost immunity and supports wound healing. Research suggests that getting zinc from food rather than supplements may reduce the risk of death.

Taking too much zinc can cause nausea and vomiting. It is important to talk to your doctor before taking any dietary supplement or making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.

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