The Dangers Of Too Many Over The Counter Supplements And Vitamins
The backs of over-the-counter supplements all have one thing in common: they tell people to consult their doctor before putting anything new into their bodies; especially if they’re already on any other prescription or non-prescription medication. Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop health nuts from doing their own “research” and overdoing it anyway. People often take thousands of milligrams of vitamins and minerals a day without even knowing it.
Limit Your Supplemental Vitamin And Mineral Intake Until You Speak With Your Doctor
Depending on the medications you are taking, you will have to constrict or limit the types of foods and vitamins you consume because for some medications the vitamins you take could be the reversal agent. For instance, if you are taking Warfarin you have to limit the amount of vitamin K in your diet because vitamin K is the antidote for taking too much Warfarin.
In addition to taking supplements that may reverse your medications, taking over-the-counter supplements can lead to a dangerous combination. One over-the-counter supplement that you may hear your physician ask you specifically for time and time again is Saint John's Wort. Why? You might ask, it's over the counter so it must be safe to take. Saint John's Wort on its own is safe when taken in appropriate amounts; however, most prescription medications have dangerous side effects when combined with Saint John's Wort. In combination with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRIs and many other psychiatrist medications, Saint John's Wort boosts the effects of medications and can lead to the body producing too many neurotransmitters which can cause harm and even death to people using it unwisely. If you are considering taking supplements in addition to your prescription medications, it is extremely important that you talk with your doctor first before using them.
Each vitamin has its own unique pharmacologic makeup and can affect how it is stored and used in the body. What many people do not realize is that some medications cannot be overtaken because they are water based and any excess amount that your body does not need will be eliminated when you pee. But another serious concern about over-the-counter supplements is that many of them can be stored in the body and become toxic if taken excessively. Some side effects that can be caused by taking too many vitamins and supplements include elevated blood pressure, elevated blood mineral levels, gastrointestinal issues, bone loss, hair loss, nerve damage, and even kidney failure. If you are considering taking supplements it is highly recommended that you research how much you should be taking daily and the best way for it to be absorbed.
Why Supplemental Vitamins and Minerals Are Necessary
Now that you understand the dangers of taking over-the-counter vitamins and supplements irresponsibly, let us discuss why you should take them. Vitamins and supplements can provide nutrients your body needs and can be crucial for some individuals. For individuals who choose to consume specific diets such as vegetarian, vegan, or celiac they may find that they cannot get enough of specific nutrients in their diet. Another lifestyle that may need over-the-counter supplements is individuals who work nights. By working night shifts, your body can become depleted in vitamin D and melatonin which are both important to your overall health. Vitamins and supplements can fix these issues. In addition to being beneficial for certain lifestyles, supplements can also help individuals whose medical condition, allergies, or medications cause them to lose or need extra vitamins or minerals. Instead of having to eat extra food to get the natural nutrients, vitamins and minerals can provide these necessary resources for your body.
When considering taking over-the-counter supplements and vitamins, it is important to understand how much you should be taking daily. The Food and Drug Administration conducts studies and analyzes the data so that they can provide accurate and reliable information regarding daily recommended values for vitamins and minerals. On the back of most containers, you should see on the label this information regarding how much of your daily value each tablet or drop contains and the recommended amount you should take every day. This is important information because if you do not take enough it will not change your health and if you take too much it can either be eliminated from your body or lead to dangerous side effects.
Make Sure You’re Taking Over-The-Counter Supplements Correctly
Another aspect of over-the-counter vitamins and supplements you should research before taking them to make sure you are taking them effectively is how and when you should take them. For some vitamins such as vitamin D, you may need to take large amounts depending on your dietary and medical needs however you cannot take them all at once. In some cases, you actually have to take the supplements and vitamins at various times during the day in order for your body to absorb them. In the case of vitamin D, your body can only absorb so much of it at on time. So, if you need to take large amounts, you will need to spread it out so that your body can have a chance to absorb it all. Another important thing to look for regarding how to take a supplement is how it is best absorbed. For example, vitamin B12 or vitamin B complexes generally have a better absorption rate when taken sublingually or under the tongue in a liquid formula. Another example of the importance of how you take an over-the-counter supplement is whether or not you should take it with food. Food can help vitamins digest, or it can cause uncomfortable side effects such as nausea.
When taken appropriately, over-the-counter vitamins and supplements can be extremely beneficial to your health. Vitamins and minerals are important resources in your body to keep you moving and feeling well and they can help prevent you from becoming skin. Many benefits associated with taking the right number of vitamins include prevention of heart disease, prevention of some types of cancer, prevention or improvement of type 2 diabetes, improvement of your immune system, regulation of the gastrointestinal system, and many more. You should not be afraid of taking over-the-counter vitamins and supplements, with proper research and proper handling you can prevent dangerous side effects that are associated with taking too many supplements.