There’s no question that vitamins are essential to living a healthy and disease-free lifestyle. And eating a balanced diet is the best way to get vitamins. However, supplements may be necessary to round out your vitamin intake, just in case you may not be able to take in all the necessary vitamins due to a dietary restriction or a food allergy, or a small appetite.
But if some vitamins are good, are more vitamins better? Is it possible to get even healthier by doubling your vitamin intake? The simple answer is: no!
Depending on the vitamin, it can actually be dangerous to have too many of these chemicals in your body. While they do exist in nature and your body does need them, your body functions best in a balanced moderation, rather than taking in too much of one thing.
Two of the most dangerous of vitamins that you can take too much are vitamin A and vitamin D. Believe it or not, too much of either one of these vitamins can actually lead to vitamin poisoning!
Excessive amounts of vitamin A can lead to weak bones and even osteoporosis, birth defects, hair loss, and excessively dry skin.
Excessive amounts of vitamin D can lead to higher than normal amounts of calcium in the blood, which can damage bones and kidneys and even lead to kidney stones.
It is not easy to be poisoned through vitamins, but it is not unheard of either. You can experience vitamin A. poisoning by eating too much liver (which might not be a problem for very many people!) And you can experience vitamin D poisoning usually through having too many vitamin D. supplements (since most foods do not carry a large amount of vitamin D). Also, these poisonings take place over time and rarely happen immediately from an overdose.
So how do you know if you are accidentally poisoning yourself? Again, our bodies work best in moderation so when something is “out of whack” with the way it’s supposed to be, our bodies have a way of alerting us. If you experience inexplicable headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, dehydration, constipation, or blurred vision, you should talk to your doctor about the possibility of vitamin poisoning.
So how can you avoid vitamin poisoning? First, you need to recognize that a little bit of extra vitamins in your diet is okay since your body will often excrete the excess. So by eating a balanced diet, and by supplementing it with a multivitamin, you are likely in range for healthy eating. However, if you find yourself eating specific foods and taking a lot of specific vitamins, you may be at greater risk. The best thing to do is to make sure that you are following the directions on the bottle.