All thanks to media and
communications, there has now been a huge awareness about the importance of a
proper diet and having all nutritional elements as a part of the meal to
maintain optimum health. Even the layman today is aware about the benefits of
omega 3 fatty acids, the difference between good and bad cholesterol and which
foods contain them.
With this awareness, there is
also a steady increase in the number of new brands introducing nutraceuticals
and vitamin supplements. Though these vitamin and mineral supplements can prove
to be amazingly convenient and useful, especially for those suffering from a
certain deficiency condition, or merely just for supplemental purposes, at
times, an overuse can prove to be problematic.
Firstly, let's list down the
points to keep in mind while taking a vitamin or a mineral supplement.
• Food first:
supplements doesn't give you the liberty of indulging in whatever you want, and
then popping a pill as compensation. Supplements are merely tools that fill up
the gaps in your diet that signify a lack of a particular nutritional element.
Infact, it's not the pill, it's the food on your plate that's your ticket to
• Grab the veggies
: Vegetables and
fruits are more than enough to make up for your mineral and vitamin needs. So
always try to stick to the natural side, and when at the supermarket, grab
fresh fruits and vegetables rather than a stack of different vitamin bottles;
it's tastier too!
• When in doubt, choose a multivitamin:
you're on the lookout for something to supplement your daily diet, choose
single multivitamin capsule rather than a cocktail of individual vitamins and
minerals. That way, you'll be safe from the possibility of getting an overdose
• Take it slow:
An overdose of
anything, even vitamins can be toxic to health. That's why it's really
important to respect the upper limit of your vitamin dosages, and stick to
them. Check for the DV (daily value), AI (adequate intake), RDA (recommended
dietary allowance) and UL (tolerable upper intake level) on the label of the
supplement you intend to take, and follow that value.
• Check with your doc:
advice is always better than experimenting on yourself, especially if you are
already suffering from some kind of condition. Taking antioxidant, vitamins
supplements like vitamin C and vitamin E can interfere with the functioning and
efficacy of certain medications like those of chemotherapy used in cancer
• Remember the risky ones:
An overdose of certain vitamins and minerals is more risky than the others. For
example, excess of selenium and iron can be harmful to the body, and an
overdose of vitamin A and fat soluble vitamins E and K can build up in the body
and lead to toxicity.
So now that you've learnt the
tricks of the trade, it's time to shortlist the best vitamins and minerals, and
shun down the others you can make up for by making small changes to your daily
available through food sources like spinach and carrots, an overdose of beta
carotene is thought to increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers.
for playing an enormous role in preventing birth defects, folic acid is usually
recommended only for pregnant women. Some doctors suggest that folic acid fuels
the risk of colon cancer.
- Thought to
prevent prostate cancer, selenium supplements taken in excess can harm your
- Most people
don't really need to take vitamin C supplements, though, taking it is known to
reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
- Vitamin E is
known to play a huge role in preventing Alzheimer's, heart disease and cancer.
A higher dose, however, could increase the risk of strokes. Take with caution.
Used to prevent common cold, zinc supplements taken in excess can weaken the