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Are we Overdosing on Vitamins?

Vitamin pills, they're so well marketed by advertisements that many people think more of them are good. When people catch a cold, what is the first type that comes to mind? Vitamin C! When people want to boost their immune system, the immediate choice is multi-vitamins coupled with minerals. A very quick solution.

I used to be like this as well. If I want to prevent getting sick on an overseas trip...I'd pop some multi-vitamins, for a short period of time. 🙂

However, are we aware that there are limits to how much vitamins we should be taking? After all, they're still chemical compounds which are purified into a pill form, aren't they?

Vitamins in Our Daily Diets

First, let's look at our daily diets. Here are some common foods that we may take on a daily basis. Do you see that they already have vitamins and minerals added in?

cocoa drink fortified with vitamins
morning cocoa drink, fortified with vitamins
bread-oreo
bread (left) and biscuit (right) - fortified with vitamins.
cereals
common breakfast cereals
formula-milk
for kids and adults on formula milk, there's alot of vitamins and minerals added already isn't it?

Is More necessarily good?

Do you know that there are side effects to overdosing on vitamins and minerals as well? Is more of it necessarily good for our health?

Referring to the table below, some of the side effects mentioned here are getting more and more common these days aren't they? Kidney stones, chronic heart related issues, osteoporosis...

overdosing-on-vitamins
side effects on overdosing on vitamins

Why do we still add more?

In the past, I used to only take multi-vitamins just for one-off trips, not on an ongoing basis. Inherently, I never had a liking for taking it on a long term basis. However, I do know of people who take it on an ongoing basis.

If you do have supplements at home, you can also take a look at the ingredient label and check out the % DV (daily value) indicated. 🙂

Here are the ingredient labels of some common brands in the market. How much % DV (daily value) of the vitamins and minerals are they containing? Do we add it up to know whether we're over-dosing?

multivitamins ingredient label
common mult-ivitamin ingredient label.

The next few are commonly used multi-vitamin brands on toddlers and kids. What are the %DV that we see featured here?

boosting immune system
commonly used vitamin for kids
multivitamins for kids
common multivitamins for kids

In addition, some vitamin supplementation have also shown to pose as a health risk. Examples would be like beta-carotene supplements and vitamin C supplements. You can read more at their respective links.

Yes, it is true that we will absorb only what we need and cleanse out the rest. However, what is the impact on our filtration organs like our liver and kidneys? These additional chemicals extracted, will be adding on to the load on our organs, won't they?

At the same time, %DV or RDA (recommended dietary allowance)  numbers also do change. For example, the RDA for Vitamin A used to be 5000 IU (international units). However, it has been revised down to a much lower number at 3000 IU for men and 2330 IU for women. What happens then if we used to be taking 5000 IU?

What better options do we have?

nutritional immunology

Having expanded my mind and learnt about Nutritional Immunology, I have since made a change to using wholesome superfoods instead as a good, clean source of nutrients for my immune system. With wholesome foods, our body can easily regulate the amount of vitamins and minerals we absorb, eliminating the possibility of an overdose.

The variety of nutrients in wholesome foods is also significantly more, compared to multi-vitamins pills. Our most common orange alone already contains 100 different plant nutrients! Understand more about the difference between wholesome foods and extracted vitamins and minerals here.

vegbasket

To get more basic vitamins and minerals from wholesome plant food, I would get Vegecolour. Just under $2 for 28 different types of vegetables. You can read more about it here.

oxyginberry

For more disease-fighting nutrients to enhance my immune system performance and to slow down aging, I will rely on Oxyginberry.  You can read more about it here.

References:

  1. Vitamin Overdose: Taking Too Many Vitamins Can Be Bad For Your Health, But How Many Would It Take To Kill You? from Medical News Today

About the Author

Janice Yap

Having 4 years of experience with nutritional immunology and moving fast towards a more plant-based lifestyle, I would love to help you out if you're looking to improve your health or wellness or that of a loved one...

Drop me a message via one of the channels below!

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