Loading up with vitamin C? Too many dietary supplements will be unhealthy, nutritionist warns

Some Michiganders have turned to dietary supplements this chilly and flu season to spice up their physique’s defenses.

Whereas nutritional vitamins may also help enhance the immune system, an excessive amount of of a great factor can have unfavorable results, defined Sarah Hutchinson, a registered dietitian at Henry Ford Well being.

“Dietary complement toxicity is the place you get an excessive amount of of a vitamin or mineral, often from dietary dietary supplements or synthetic sources,” she stated. “It is turning into extra of an issue with extra available dietary supplements.”

It is vitally unusual for people to ingest a poisonous quantity of a specific vitamin or mineral from dietary sources alone. However the addition of a number of dietary supplements may end up in an consumption of tons of or 1000’s of share factors over the every day suggestion.

For instance, Hutchinson described a scenario the place a affected person takes a every day multivitamin plus a every day dose of a vitamin C complement resembling Emergen-C, a zinc complement, and an elderberry complement that additionally comprises zinc and vitamin C.

“They take a product on prime of one another, despite the fact that they most likely solely want that multivitamin on daily basis or each different day,” she stated. “I heard a great metaphor the opposite day: In case you give a automotive extra fuel, it would not go quicker. The identical goes for nutritional vitamins and minerals, simply because we now have extra doesn’t suggest your physique will operate higher.”

The signs of an excessive amount of vitamin or mineral consumption will be common or non-specific, resembling complications, belly ache or tachycardia. Extra severe reactions can embody blood clots and stroke-like signs, particularly in individuals with liver or kidney issues.

An excessive amount of of 1 nutrient may also appear as if a deficiency in one other nutrient, making it troublesome to self-diagnose the issue. A blood check may also help assess unhealthy ranges; This lets you higher consider meals labels when figuring out which dietary supplements to take.

The required vitamins listed on the everyday dietary label have modified in recent times to mirror vitamins that many Individuals are usually not getting sufficient of. Labels should nonetheless embody calcium and iron, however as a substitute of nutritional vitamins A and C, they now require vitamin D and potassium.

Dietitians counsel avoiding the dietary supplements in favor of a nutritious weight-reduction plan every time potential. For instance, citrus fruits and broccoli are good sources of vitamin C. B. When you have got bother getting sufficient of a specific nutrient naturally.

Hutchinson additionally recommends avoiding dietary supplements that far exceed every day suggestions. A great way is to debate nutrient choices with a household physician to raised decide that are proper and if a complement may work together negatively with different medicines.

For instance, the US Meals and Drug Administration warns that medicine for HIV/AIDS, coronary heart illness, melancholy, organ transplant remedies, and contraception capsules are much less efficient when mixed with a natural complement known as St. John’s Wort. As well as, combining a number of blood thinners, together with a vitamin E complement, can improve the danger of inside bleeding or stroke.

Provided that the common American weight-reduction plan “has room for enchancment,” Hutchinson stated, there’s nothing incorrect with taking a multivitamin usually. However some are higher than others.

“The most effective rule of thumb is to ensure you’re not getting greater than 100% of the (advisable every day dose),” she stated. “It is extra useful to take smaller doses somewhat than getting 100% unexpectedly.”

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