Apparently, it’s too much of a good thing!
When we spend less time in the sun, people tend to replenish their vitamin levels with vitamin supplements. And even though sometimes supplements can be helpful, you have to be careful with how many you take.
According to Renger Witkamp, a food scientist interviewed by Dutch newspaper AD, we already get the necessary amount of vitamins from the food we eat. Witkamp says that our bodies weren’t made to get our vitamins from pills. The body consists of natural regulation systems that make sure that your vitamine intake is managed. This means that whenever you eat a large amount of food containing certain vitamins, your body will make sure that the surplus of vitamins is blocked. When you take pills to add more vitamins to your diet, the natural brake on your body doesn’t work. This causes you to expose your body to more vitamins than you need. Eventually, that could result in vitamin toxicity.
The thing about vitamin supplements, is that there is no restriction to the dosage of vitamins in these pills. This means that even though your body needs 1.5 milligrams of vitamin B6, some pills contain fifteen times that amount. And that could actually be harmful.
Witkamp tells AD that, in Western countries, it is almost impossible to experience a vitamin deficiency. But there are some groups of people that could benefit from taking vitamin supplements. When you’re vegan, you need vitamin B12 because you are not eating enough foods that contain this vitamin. Other people who could possibly benefit from taking vitamin supplements are the elderly, pregnant women and people with ADHD.
It is always wise to consult a medical professional about dosages and what vitamins to take.
Also read: Got a vitamin B12 deficiency? Try eating these foods more often
Source: AD, Better Health, NCBI, Margriet | Image: Unsplash, Volodymyr Hryshchenko