Vitamin Myths

The Dangers of Vitamins and Minerals

Is there any truth to most of this?

One of the most common of the vitamin myths is that they can become very dangerous over time and actually turn against you.

However, you could say the exact same thing about water, although it sounds somewhat absurd, water can actually be dangerous if very large quantities were to be ingested at one time.

The same thing could potentially happen with these nutrients, but only if taken in excessive quantities way beyond the norm.

THE FACTS ABOUT VITAMIN MYTHS

However, there are some facts to be considered that should dispel any of the arguments from anyone on the side that suggests that these vitamin myths are a very real threat and for these reason, they should be avoided.

Or as some of these same pundits would suggest, they are not nearly what they are cracked up to be.

So let’s examine some of these facts and you can judge for yourself if the dangers of vitamins and minerals are real.

The 2003 Annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers Toxic Exposure Surveillance System states that there have be only two alleged deaths as the direct result of vitamins.

The key word in this equation; alleged.

Although this report is over seven years old, the numbers are still about the same today.

It is also estimated that over 50 percent of the entire U.S. population as well as about 30 percent of the world wide population take some type of a nutritional supplement every day.

If just the U.S. population was factored into this equation that would be about 145,000,000 individual doses each day or roughly 53 billion doses each year of these nutrients.

The real facts are that this alone demonstrates that the product safety record is virtually without any type of equal making the dangers of vitamins and minerals a complete myth.

VITAMINS COMPARED TO PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

Vitamin factsVitamin myths can easily be challenged with the facts

On the other hand, there are also some very interesting facts to consider about these vitamin myths.

In this same report, it was estimated that prescription drugs that are properly prescribed and taken exactly as directed, kill over 100,000 Americans each year or about 2,000 each week.

There is always some news about a drug that was mistakenly filled by a pharmacist or a prescribed by a doctor.

However in this case, this is the complete opposite as they were considered to be completely safe by all accords.

This same report also indicated that there were 59 deaths from aspirin, 2 by aerosol air fresheners, 2 by perfume, and 3 each by charcoal and dishwasher detergent.

However, there were absolutely no deaths from the most of the B-complex of vitamins, none from niacin, and none from the fat soluble vitamins that can be dangerous if taken in excess.

The two alleged deaths supposedly were the result of vitamin C and B-6, which is considered to be virtually impossible.

The reason for this is they are water soluble vitamins and any excess from this class of vitamins in your body is excreted naturally.

VITAMIN BASICS

In fully understanding the dangers of vitamins and minerals as one of the many vitamin myths, it is very helpful to understand some basics about them.

Vitamins are broken down into two classes; water soluble and fat soluble. Water soluble vitamins include vitamin C and well as all of the B vitamins.

This includes B1, which is also known as thiamine, B2, riboflavin, B3 niacin, and B 5, pantothenic acid.

This class also contains B6, also called pyridoxine, B7, biotin, B9, folic acid or folate, and B 12, cobalamin.

These water soluble vitamins are nutrients that your body does not store and they dissolve in water when they are ingested and go directly into your blood stream.

Because of this, your body keeps only what it needs and any excess at all is excreted by your urine.

To suggest that this class presents the dangers of vitamins and minerals is oxymoronic, as your body needs a constant supply either from food or from supplements to remain healthy.

The fat soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E and K and these are stored in the body.

If there were any significant dangers of vitamins and minerals, it would come from this group, but the numbers for the American Association of Poison Control Centers showed no reported deaths from this class at all.

When any of this group of vitamins is ingested, they dissolve in fat and as a result, your body will use what it needs at that particular time and store the rest for any future needs.

THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT THE DANGERS

Despite all of the statistics that suggest the unequaled safety record of these nutrients, there are still some dangers if they are taken in very large and excessive quantities. 

However, in the vast majority of cases, the dangers are very minimal and virtually non-existent, making it yet another of the vitamin myths. 

If, for example,  you were to take over 10,000 international units of Vitamin A for extended periods of time, it could cause headaches, nausea, diarrhea, as well as potentially cause dry skin and slight hair loss.

There are also suggestions that large doses of this vitamin should be avoided by pregnant women as it may present a risk of birth defects.

Too much of any of the B class of vitamins will cause frequent urination as your body is disposing of the excessive amounts.

However to be completely fair to both sides of the argument, there may be some slight nervous problems if you were to take over 300 milligrams per day of vitamin B6.

The daily requirements for vitamin D are listed at 400 international units, and if you were to take 25 times this amount or over 10,000 IU a day it can potentially lead to calcium deposits.

Other damage may include kidney stones, as well as slight problems with both high blood pressure as well as high cholesterol.

Very high dosages of vitamin E may also be dangerous and could cause fatigue or increased hypertension.

There is one key fact to consider with the fat soluble vitamins; excesses are stored and not excreted.

These forms of vitamin myths next turns to the mineral group and if you were to take twice the recommend amounts of calcium, or over 2,000 mg. for extended periods of time.

If you take these large quantities, it may cause extreme lethargy and calcium deposits throughout your body.

It may also interfere with the absorption of other minerals specifically zinc, iron, and magnesium.

Excessive amounts of iodine could cause thyroid problems, weight gain, headaches as well as rashes.

Excessive amount of iron can also cause headaches, weight loss, and may interfere with the absorption of copper and zinc.

Excessive amounts of selenium can cause hair loss, problems with your nails, paleness, as well as potential tooth decay.

Too much zinc may cause vomiting and nausea, but for these vitamin myths to be true, the amounts have to be quite excessive.

Summary

The dangers of vitamins and minerals do exist, but only if certain nutrients are taken in excessive quantities.

The facts are that their overall safety record virtually has no peer with any type of medication or supplement. 

However, just like water excessive amounts, they can cause some problems which lead to most of the more common vitamin myths. 

To prevent this, simply take the recommend daily dosage a liquid multi-vitamin once a day and safety will be the last thing you ever have to worry about.

Sources of Help for Vitamin Myths

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More Vitamin Myths

B12 Vitamin Overdose

Is perhaps the largest of all the vitamin myths for one very simple reason.

Vitamin C Overdose

Is virtually impossible for one simple reason; it is a water soluble vitamin.