We have grown up hearing this phrase but may never have really grasped what it means. Everyone wants to have supplements and pills to ensure that their bodies are getting the recommended amounts when it comes to vitamins. However, have you ever considered the possibility of what might happen if you overdose on vitamins?
Overdosing on vitamins is a genuine concern. There are two types of vitamins, including water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. The body can excrete water-soluble vitamins so that they do not remain in your system. However, fat-soluble vitamins remain in the body and can be toxic if you consume too many.
Water-Soluble And Fat-Soluble Vitamins
When you ingest water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C and B-complex, they make their way to the tissues in the body and do not get stored in your system.
However, fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E, and K get absorbed with the fats you eat daily and, hence, remain in the fatty tissue of the body and the liver. These vitamins get stuck in the non-muscular parts of our bodies. This means that when you take too many supplements that have a high dosage, fat starts to accumulate in the body and does not get flushed out.
It is rather difficult to overdose on vitamins by following a well-balanced diet, but too many vitamin supplements can be detrimental to the body. Hence, if you do take supplements, make sure to monitor your needs and ensure that you do not take the same dose twice during the day.
Fat-Soluble Vitamins To Look Out For
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be found in a number of food products, such as eggs, beef, fruits, and many vegetables.
Overdosing on vitamin A may result in a number of problems, such as liver damage, confusion, bone loss, and hair loss. It also increases the risk for death and lung-related problems, especially for those who smoke. This is worse for female smokers due to the way their bodies are made.
Vitamin E is found naturally in some foods and is a fat-soluble nutrient. It is also added to a couple of fortified foods that help protect the cells in our bodies from free radical damage, like pollution.
However, if you overdose on this vitamin, you can suffer from internal bleeding, especially bleeding in the brain.
Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting, good bones, and other important functions in the body. Of course, it is nearly impossible to overdose on vitamin K by eating some broccoli every day.
However, when taken in the form of supplements, you can easily develop blood clots. These blood clots increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
What About Vitamin D?
We did not include vitamin D in the list of fat-soluble vitamins to look out for a couple of reasons.
Usually, there are not many cases of individuals overdosing on vitamin D as compared to other vitamins. All research that has been conducted shows that overdosing on vitamin D does not have any detrimental effects.
Moreover, it is no secret that vitamin D is the most common vitamin deficiency. In the United States of America, almost every second person has a vitamin D deficiency.
Do Not Overdose On Zinc Or Vitamin C Either
With the COVID-19 pandemic and cold and flu season, loads of individuals believe that they should increase their vitamin C and zinc dosage. They believe that these two vitamins help strengthen the immune system and fight off infections. However, there is not enough research to support this claim, especially for cases of COVID-19.
No official research suggests that vitamin C and zinc can help prevent individuals from getting a cold or flu. The same is the case for COVID-19, especially since it is a new virus; not enough studies have been conducted on it.
Symptoms Of Overdose
Vitamin C is generally considered to be a safe vitamin. However, if you consume more than 2,000mg of vitamin C, you could suffer from nausea and diarrhea. Moreover, higher doses of this vitamin can also lead to elevated blood glucose readings, in most cases which are false. This can result in a serious scare for those individuals with diabetes.
When these individuals have low glucose levels in their bodies, they may feel sweaty, shaky, and even have a seizure or lose consciousness. When diabetics use their glucose monitor at home, they may find that their glucose levels look good. However, the high dosage of vitamin C is hiding the real glucose reading, which can be extremely dangerous.
Overdosing on zinc can lead to gastrointestinal issues and cause a number of problems in the body, especially if you take more than 40mg of zinc. Too much zinc on a daily basis can lead to copper deficiency and neurological and hematologic effects in the body. It can also disturb taste and affect the potency of other medications you might be taking.
This means that if you are sick and are taking an antibiotic, along with your daily zinc supplement, you will not get all the benefits of the antibiotic. The science behind this is that zinc binds itself to the antibiotic and lowers the medication’s potency.
Before you decide you add any vitamin supplement to your diet, make sure to speak to a doctor! Do not list to your gut or your friends; professional advice is an absolute must.
Allow the doctor to assess your health and see if you genuinely need the supplement. Your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter medication for quick relief.