Can You Get Too Many Nutritional vitamins?
Lots of people take vitamin dietary supplements simply to guarantee that they’re getting the really useful quantity of vitamins. (See additionally my episode on “Are Fruits and Greens Getting Much less Nutritious?”) However individuals taking dietary supplements typically find yourself getting considerably greater than the really useful quantity of some vitamins, and extra shouldn’t be all the time higher.
Vitamin A: How A lot is Too A lot?
Vitamin A is an efficient instance. Vitamin A helps you see at the hours of darkness, battle off infections, and make crimson blood cells. The really useful quantity is 3000 IU for wholesome grownup males and rather less for grownup girls. However many vitamin dietary supplements—particularly high-potency formulations—can include as a lot as 5,000 IU.
For those who take a few totally different dietary supplements, corresponding to a multi-vitamin plus an immune-booster, you possibly can simply go over the protected higher restrict of 10,000 IU. Indicators of vitamin A overload embrace complications, bone and joint ache, and itchy, peeling pores and skin. Finally, it may result in liver harm.
Vitamin A shouldn’t be onerous to get from meals. It’s present in eggs, milk, butter, and fortified breakfast cereals. Your physique additionally makes vitamin A from beta-carotene, which is present in, sure, carrots, however every kind of different fruits and greens, as effectively. Beta-carotene is just transformed into vitamin A as wanted, by the way in which, so dietary supplements or meals that include beta-carotene gained’t contribute to vitamin A overload.
My recommendation is to examine the label on any and all dietary supplements that you simply take frequently and guarantee that the whole quantity of pre-formed Vitamin A, or retinol, doesn’t exceed 2,500 IU per day.
Folic Acid: How A lot is Too A lot?
Folic acid helps you metabolize protein and synthesize DNA, protects towards most cancers and coronary heart illness, and prevents severe delivery defects. Though it’s vital to get sufficient folic acid, extra shouldn’t be essentially higher. The principle downside with getting an excessive amount of folic acid is that it may masks B12 deficiency—and it’s actually vital to diagnose and proper B12 deficiencies as a result of they’ll result in neurological harm.
Lately, there’s been some buzz about folic acid and colon most cancers. Suffice it to say that folic acid doesn’t trigger colon most cancers—in reality, it protects towards it. But when you have already got colon most cancers, excessive doses of folic acid can feed tumor development, which is one other good purpose to not go overboard with the dietary supplements.
When you’ve got any historical past of colon most cancers in your loved ones, you’ll need to be significantly cautious about dietary supplements; examine along with your physician.
Wholesome adults want about 400mcg a day and ladies want additional throughout being pregnant. Leafy greens like spinach and kale are supply of folate, as are lentils and different legumes—and there’s actually no hazard of getting an excessive amount of folate from meals. The true concern is with dietary supplements. Now, in case you’re pregnant, your physician has most likely given you a pre-natal vitamin that accommodates loads of folic acid. That’s as a result of it’s so vital to ensure that you’re getting sufficient folic acid once you’re pregnant.
My recommendation for everybody else is to eat numerous folate-rich meals however to not get greater than 400 mcg of folic acid from dietary supplements. When you’ve got any historical past of colon most cancers in your loved ones, you’ll need to be significantly cautious about dietary supplements; examine along with your physician. And, after all, everybody over 50 must be screened for colon most cancers yearly.