Published May 18, 2017

Generally, vitamin and mineral supplements, the ones that are easily available over the counter in the form of chewable tablets, liquids, pills or powders are considered a good choice for young and older adults, alike. These supplements are said to pick up the nutritional slack that most people face when the nutrient needs are not met through their dietary habits. 

However, as beneficial as they might be, there are always some risks associated with the excess accumulation of any particular nutrient in the body. Let’s take a look at both the benefits and the risks of taking over the counter multi-vitamins and other supplements.

Benefits

  • Certain vitamins and minerals can combine to boost your energy
  • Folic Acid supplements are highly recommended for pregnant women to prevent the risk of childbirth complications.
  • Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin D supplements are highly recommended for older adults that receive inadequate amounts of sunlight exposure.
  • Calcium supplements are particularly beneficial in strengthening the human bones, especially for women, whose dietary calcium requirements are 5 times that of men.
  • Omega-3 supplements help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, and may even help control skin conditions such as eczema.
  • Vitamin A and Beta Carotene nutrient is very beneficial for your eyes, the immune system as well as your skin.
  • Iron supplements are recommended for women who suffer from menorrhagia or abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding to help replace the excessive blood loss.

Risks

  • Excessive iron levels in the body can lead to toxicity, creating a higher fatality risk.
  • Vitamin A overdose is known to be particularly detrimental to the bones and Vitamin A poisoning can be lethal.
  • High doses of Vitamin C are very closely linked to an increased risk of kidney stones
  • Increased levels of Vitamin B6 are now known to cause severe nerve damage and lack of muscular control.

You can easily find a lot of information regarding the supplements you should or shouldn’t be taking, especially when they’re easily available at your local pharmacy. The supplement fad is very popular, and has been for some time. However, it is important that you realize that multi-vitamins and mineral supplements are not magic pills that will automatically provide boosted immunity and better health.
In fact, you are far likely to get all the necessary nutrients from your diet alone if you pay attention to and are careful about the foods you consume. However, if you do plan to take multivitamins or mineral supplements, it is highly recommended that you consult your primary care physician before you do so. Your physician will prescribe supplements that are best suited for you – based on your weight, height, lifestyle, health status – after carefully evaluating your diet and nutrition needs. It’s the best way to ensure that your body gets everything it needs without needlessly harming you in any way.

To set up an appointment with Dr.Parikh at Health One Family Medicine, call 469-262-5762, or visit www.healthonemedicine.com for more information.

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