Can you get too much of a good thing? If we are talking about vitamins, then in some cases the answer is yes. Most people don’t take the time to consider that they might be getting too many of any particular type of vitamin. That is fair as by far most people are more than likely to be deficient than have an abundance. But for people who follow a healthy diet and regularly take vitamins and extra nutrients into their bodies, they should keep an eye on overall intake to make sure they aren’t getting too much of certain things.
Let’s look at what you need to watch for.
Common Nutrient Overdoses
Carotene – This is rare in adults but can come from ingesting an excess amount of carrots and other vegetables that contain carotene (sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, etc). While not harmful in a really bad way it will turn your skin orange which can be rather alarming. If you take it as a supplement and are a smoker then it can turn into a pro-oxident that increases lung cancer possibilities.
Vitamin A – General speaking you want to take in about 700 to 1000 mcg of Vitamin A per day. It is a valuable for many bodily functions and as an antioxidant. But if you get over 3000 mcgs then you are in danger of having liver problems, reduced bone density, and birth defects (for women). It is found in milk, eggs, and some veggies.
Zinc – Generally zinc is considered something everyone needs but only in limited amounts of 10 to 15 mg per day. It is helpful because of immunity benefits, maintains hormone levels, and is an antioxidant. But if you get over 40 mg per day then you are at risk for dealing with vomiting, diarrhea, and even muscle spasms. When people are sick they often times up their zinc intake to help plus obtain it from things like throat lozenges so you need to be careful.
Vitamins C – Much like zinc, Vitamin C is a common cold and sickness fighter. But if you ingest too much (above 1800 mg) per day then you are at risk of the same upset stomach, diarrhea, and vomiting as when taking too much zinc.
Iron – You naturally get iron in meat and some types of beans. Generally taking in 20 to 30 mgs is easy enough for non-vegans. But once you get over 45 mgs per day there is a concern that the iron will compete within the body to be absorbed, or basically getting in the way of other things you need more.
Calcium – You would not think calcium would make this list and yet it does. You only need about 1000 mgs per day. Too much (over 2000 to 2500 mgs per day) can lead to calcium build up in the body which then leads to kidney stones, weakened bones, and calcium deposits in the arteries which then clogs them.
So when you are looking at your dietary intake make sure to monitor vitamins and other supplements. If you have a well balanced diet already then usually there is not a need to take additional amounts of the basic vitamins and minerals otherwise you might suffer some of the issues listed here.