Vitamins: Don't Overdose On Them

The government of the United States has set guidelines on vitamin and mineral intake levels to help prevent overdose. Many people believe these levels are too low and the take megadosesof vitamins. Is this safe?

It is a good idea for everyone to take a vitamin and mineral supplement. The government of the United States has set guidelines of how much to take of each vitamin and mineral within safe levels. Many people believe these levels are too low and the take megadoses of vitamins. Is this safe?

It is still recommended that we consume most of our vitamins and minerals through "real food". No one should believe that we can make up for a lousy diet by popping a few pills in our mouths. If eating a balanced diet is sometimes not possible or if you are pregnant is it a good idea to take extra vitamins.

The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences has set RDA's (Recommended Daily Allowances ) for each vitamin and mineral. Many of these guidelines were set more than 25 years ago. Studies were done to see how much of each vitamin and mineral our body needed and how much we could reasonably get from the foods we eat. Taking extra vitamins and minerals within the guidelines are considered safe.

Vitamins and minerals are important in fighting disease and curing many ailments. Many people believe they can stop aging, prevent cancer, grow back hair, ease arthritis, prevent Alzheimer's, and many other conditions with vitamins. People are spending absolutely billions of dollars on vitamin and mineral supplements believing they can cure all their ailments.

Some people think that the RDA's need to be increased. They believe that the recommended dosages are antiquated. In recent years some RDA's have been increased, such as Vitamin C. The Food and Drug Administration has been slow and hesitant to increase the RDA of many others because of studies that indicate taking more is not always better.

Researchers are now studying if taking supplements above the recommended levels is actually harmful. Some vitamins are harmful if taken above their levels, others are not. If you take Vitamin E at more than 1000 mg then you increase possible bleeding.

Vitamin C used to be thought of a safe vitamin to take megadoses of and many people take a ton thinking it could cure a cold and prevent cancer. Now the FDA believes too much vitamin C can cause diarrhea. Studies are also hinting that if you are megadosing on anti-oxidants (vitamins and minerals in a cancer fighting combination) while undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, you could actually be feeding the cancer cells, making them resistant to chemotherapy.

A good approach to vitamin and mineral supplements is to only take what is a prudent dose. Consult with your doctor if you think you need more - especially if you are

pregnant, have a health condition or about to have surgery.

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