Beware the toxic effects of vitamin supplements

Many people believe that taking vitamin supplements daily will keep them healthy and provide them with strength. Many believe that the more the better. Often, some people ask doctor to prescribe vitamins in addition to other medicine for weakness to become fit. But evidence shows that taking extra doses of vitamins can do mere harm than good. Expert opined that vitamins are only needed when there is clear indication of deficiencies.

In fact, everyone needs vitamins, which are essential nutrients that the body cannot produce on its own. But in the past few years, several high quality studies have failed to show that high doses of vitamins, at least in pill form, help prevent chronic disease or prolong life.

The Iowa Women’s Health Study published in Archive of Internal Medicine has shown that use of multivitamins, B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc and copper were all associated with increase risk of death.

The finding translate to a 2.4 percent increase in absolute risk for multivitamins user, a 4 percent increase associated with vitamin B6, a 5.9 percent increase for  folic acid and increase of 3 to 4 percent in risk for those taking supplement of iron, folic acid, magnesium and zinc.

Another study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association regarding vitamin E and selenium use found that the vitamin users had slightly higher risk of developing prostrate cancer.

In 2007 The Journal of the American Medical Association reviewed mortality rate in randomized trials of antioxidant supplements. In 47 trials, the rate of dying was 5 percent higher among the antioxidant users. The main culprits were vitamin A, beta carotene and vitamin E, vitamin C and selenium seemed to have no meaningful effect.

There are really is not any compelling evidence that taking these dietary supplements above and beyond normal dietary intake is helpful in any way, and this is evidence that is could be harmful.

A balance diet is your best source for essential vitamins and minerals. Only when you suffer from a condition that causes vitamin and minerals deficiency, supplements can be helpful in maintaining a good health. Those who are taking or planning to take any kind of supplements should check with their doctors before stopping or starting their medications. The Daily Star/ANN as published in the Jakarta Post Friday Feb 24, 2012


About Siti Parliah Santosa

I am Indonesian Living in Jakarta. Professional Accountant. My passion is empowering other people to achieve their best.
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