How To Tell If Your Supplements Are Overdose (2021)

Vitamins are essential to your health, but you simply need them in small amounts and you should be ready to eat many of the foods you eat. But can you get too much of any vitamin?

Yes absolutely. While it is almost impossible to urge an excessive amount of any vitamin when eating food, you will overdose on some vitamins if you are taking large doses of supplements for extended periods of your time.


Why It’s Possible to Overdose on Vitamins

How To Tell If Your Supplements Are Overdose (2021) Why It's Possible to Overdose on Vitamins
Article: How To Tell If Your Supplements Are Overdose (2021)

Most of the vitamin supplements you see on store shelves are sold in doses that will not cause problems as long as you follow the directions on the label. But sometimes people take much larger amounts, called “megadoses” of vitamins, in the hope that the supplements will help prevent or treat specific health problems.

Taking large amounts of vitamins has two drawbacks. To begin with, there is almost never a scientific justification to take huge doses of any vitamin (unless under the supervision of your doctor), so you’re definitely squandering money.

Second, you will develop health problems if you take mega doses of some vitamins. Problem is usually reversible if you stop taking mega-doses, but not always, so if you find that you have been taking a vitamin for a large dose, contact your doctor directly.


Which Vitamins Are Dangerous in Large Doses?

The Food and Nutrition Board of the Division of Health and Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has established maximum tolerable intake levels (UL) for all vitamins and minerals. The UL is the highest level of daily intake of a nutrient that does not represent any risk for a healthy person. Here’s a look at the ULs for all vitamins and what can happen if you are taking too much of them.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is important for normal vision, cell development, and system function. Adults need about 700 to 900 micrograms (mcg) per day and it is found in liver, fish, meat, dairy products, and colored fruits and vegetables.

The UL for Vitamin A by Age:

  • 0 to three years: 600 mcg
  • 4 to eight years: 900 mcg
  • 9 to 13 years: 1,700 mcg
  • 14 to 18 years: 2,800 mcg
  • Adults: 3,000 mcg

Since vitamin A can be a vitamin, it is easy for your body to store it, so it can build up over time. Prolonged intake of excessive amounts of vitamin A can cause intracranial pressure, dizziness, nausea, liver damage, headaches, rash, joint and bone pain, coma, and even death.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is necessary for the strong functioning of animal tissues and systems. It is also an antioxidant that will help prevent free radical damage. the typical adult needs about 75 to 90 milligrams (mg) per day. Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables, but people often take vitamin C supplements in hopes that they will help them avoid colds and flu.

UL Vitamin C by Age:

  • 0 to 12 months: unknown
  • 1 to 3 years: 400 mg
  • 4 to eight years: 650 mg
  • 9 to 13 years: 1200 mg
  • 14 to 18 years: 1,800 mg
  • Adults: 2,000 mg

Taking large amounts of vitamin C is not life-threatening, but it can cause diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps and has been linked to kidney stones.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps your body absorb and use calcium, so if you don’t get enough vitamin D, you risk weak bones and osteoporosis, among other things. Most adults need 600 International Units (IU) a day.

Vitamin D is not found in food, but it is produced by your body when your skin is exposed to sunshine. Vitamin D is a popular supplement, but if you take a big amount every day, you’ll receive too much.

The ULs for Vitamin D by Age:

  • 0 to six months: 1000 IU
  • 7 to 12 months: 1,500 IU
  • 1 to 3 years: 2500 IU
  • 4 to eight years: 3,000 IU
  • 9+ years: 4000 IU

Taking too much vitamin D from supplemental type can raise calcium levels in your blood, which can be bad for your heart and kidneys.4 You won’t get too much vitamin D from too much sun exposure. and it is extremely difficult to eliminate an excessive amount of vitamin D from your diet. An adult need around 15 milligrams per day.

Vitamin E

Your body needs Vitamin E for normal system function, and it also works as an antioxidant and helps prevent blood clots from forming in your blood vessels. It is found in one species of food, but mainly in nuts, seeds, and green vegetables. the typical adult needs about 15 mg per day.

The ULs for Vitamin E by Age:

  • 0 to six months: unknown
  • 7 to 12 months: unknown
  • 1 to 3 years: 200 mg
  • 4 to eight years: 300 mg
  • 9 to 13 years: 600 mg
  • 14 to 18 years: 800 mg
  • Adults: 1,000 mg

Taking too much vitamin E can increase your risk of bleeding, which is particularly important if you are at increased risk for stroke or take blood-thinning medications.

Niacin

Niacin helps convert the foods you care about into the energy that your body must do whatever you are doing. Deficiency is rare because it is found in a wide variety of foods, but it is also sold as a supplement that is often used to control cholesterol levels.

The ULs for Niacin by Age:

  • 0 to six months: unknown
  • 7 to 12 months: unknown
  • 1 to three years: 10 mg
  • 4 to eight years: 15 mg
  • 9 to 13 years: 20 mg
  • 14 to 18 years: 30 mg
  • Adults: 35 mg

Taking large amounts of niacin can cause liver damage and affect blood glucose levels in people who have diabetes.5 In the short term, taking an excessive dose of niacin causes a niacin flush, which while not harmful, is uncomfortable and can scary.

Vitamin B-6

Your body needs vitamin B-6 to help convert protein and sugar into energy, and it is essential for the assembly of hemoglobin and the function of the nervous system. the typical adult needs about 1.3 mg per day. It is quite difficult to be deficient in B-6, so no supplements are needed, but it has become used to reducing homocysteine ​​levels and helping to treat depression and carpal tunnel syndrome.

The ULs for vitamin B-6 by age:

  • 0 to six months: unknown
  • 7 to 12 months: unknown
  • 1 to 3 years: 30 mg
  • 4 to eight years: 40 mg
  • 9 to 13 years: 60 mg
  • 14 to 18 years: 80 mg
  • Adults: 100 mg

Long-term use of vitamin B-6 supplements can cause nerve damage, skin lesions, nausea, and sensitivity to lightness.

Folic Acid

Folic acid can be a synthetic type of folate, a B-complex vitamin that is essential for DNA creation, cell division, and growth. Folate is found in green fruits and vegetables, while vitamin Bc is generally used to fortify cereals and bread. the typical adult needs around 400 mcg per day, but it is also sold as a dietary supplement.

The ULs for vitamin Bc by age:

  • 0 to six months: unknown
  • 7 to 12 months: unknown
  • 1 to three years: 300 mcg
  • 4 to eight years: 400 mcg
  • 9 to 13 years: 600 mcg
  • 14 to 18 years: 800 mcg
  • Adults: 1,000 mcg

Taking large amounts of vitamin Bc can mask a vitamin B-12 deficiency that can cause nerve damage. It is also possible that huge amounts of vitamin Bc increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

Choline

Choline may be a B-complex vitamin that your body needs for various biological processes, and you would like it to supply a brain chemical called acetylcholine. the typical adult needs about 500 mg per day.

The ULs for Choline by Age:

  • 0 to six months: unknown
  • 7 to 12 months: unknown
  • 1 to eight years: 1,000 mg
  • 9 to 13 years: 2,000 mg
  • 14 to 18 years: 3,000 mg
  • Adults: 3,500 mg

Taking an excessive amount of choline on a day-to-day basis can result in fishy body odor, excessive sweating, low vital signs, and liver problems.


What About Other Vitamins?

The Food and Nutrition Board has not set ULs for vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B-12, pantothenic acids, or beta-carotene (a plant-based precursor to vitamin A).6 That doesn’t mean it’s okay to take large amounts of mega doses, only tolerance levels have yet to be determined.


Vitamin Supplement Safety

How To Tell If Your Supplements Are Overdose (2021) Vitamin Supplement Safety
Article: How To Tell If Your Supplements Are Overdose (2021)

Here are a couple of important tips to keep in mind if you want to require vitamins as supplements:

  • If you are taking supplements, follow the directions on the label, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Keep all vitamin bottles out of the reach of sons and daughters.
  • Remember that taking supplements will not fix unhealthy eating habits, so stick to a diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Talk to your doctor if you are considering taking a vitamin or dietary supplement for a specific medical condition.

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