If you choose to take vitamin and mineral supplements, be aware that taking too many or for too long can cause harmful side-effects.
Risks Of Taking Too Many Vitamin And Mineral Supplements
It Dramatically Ups The Autism Risk In Pregnant Women
As the old saying goes, “too much of a good thing is not a good thing”. That is true for vitamins and minerals too – and new information shows that very high maternal levels of Folate and Vitamin B-12 during pregnancy have been linked to an increased risk of autism.1
Some supplementation with these vitamins is beneficial because moderate supplementation decreases the risk of autism and birth defects.
However, a recent study from Johns Hopkins University showed that expectant mothers with extremely high blood levels of both Folate and B-12 had a 17 times greater risk of her child developing autism.
Either alone did not carry the same risk even though the risk was slightly higher when either vitamin level was very high. Pregnant women should still take vitamin supplements, but this is a warning that they should avoid excessive amounts. The same holds true for other people who take supplemental vitamins and minerals.
In the early 1990s, U.S. health officials began recommending that all women who might become pregnant take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. And in the late 1990s, federal regulations began mandating that folic acid be added to flour, bread and other grain products.
Now, we find extra vitamins and minerals added to sports drinks, juices, milk, pudding, peanut butter, and other products. Vitamin supplement makers may promote products such as B-100 Complex with more than 1,000 times the recommended daily amount of B-12 and more than 5,000 times the recommended daily amount of other B-vitamins.
It has been thought that water-soluble vitamins are harmless when given in large amounts, but mega doses of almost anything should usually be avoided.
It Is Tied To Neurological Problems In Older Individuals
More bad news links excessive amounts of common mineral supplements to increased risk of Parkinson’s disease, heart attacks and death. More than 2,000 mg of total calcium each day increases the risk of broken bones, and more than taken alone increases the risk of heart attacks.
Vitamin K2 helps decrease the risk of calcification of arteries and, along with vitamin D, may help prevent the harmful effects of too much calcium. However, too much zinc, and manganese are linked to increased risk of neurological problems in older individuals.
Increased mortality rates have been identified in women who take too much iron, zinc, magnesium, and copper along with excessive B vitamins and Folate.2 Heart attacks may be more common in any adult who take too much Folate and B-vitamins.
It Is Linked To Increased Risk Of Prostate Cancer In Men
Men who take excessive vitamin C, vitamin E or excessive Omega-3 fatty acids increase their risk of prostate cancer. These are often promoted as anti-oxidants, but oxidation is one way our bodies fight cancer during early stages of cancer development.
Most studies of anti-oxidant intake have not shown positive or negative effects on cancer risk, but prostate cancer seems to be an exception.
As more is learned about excessive vitamins and minerals, it is best to avoid mega-doses. This means paying attention to the amounts consumed in fortified foods and beverages along with avoiding mega doses in your supplements.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Is autism linked to a vitamin encouraged during pregnancy?, Washington Post.|
|2.||↑||Mursu, Jaakko, Kim Robien, Lisa J. Harnack, Kyong Park, and David R. Jacobs. “Dietary supplements and mortality rate in older women: the Iowa Women’s Health Study.” Archives of Internal Medicine 171, no. 18 (2011): 1625-1633.|