Supplement Blog

Too Much of A Good Thing Becoming A Bad Thing?

| Leave a Comment

Ok…so how many of you see this imagine FIRST as a bunch of pills or a hot dog on a bun? As a family practitioner, I have several patients seen at my office or home bound consuming many supplements combining with prescribed medicines. Simply to say, bad results have occurred in combinations of supplements and/or prescription medications. A nutrient may affect the way a drug works or a drug may affect the way a nutrient works. Grapefruit juice, high doses of vitamin C, or a turkey sandwich can simply change a body’s chemistry.  Consumption in this picture is real for daily or weekly intakes, particularly in today’s pop culture. So, is too much of a good thing becoming a bad thing?

Reason for posting: Although there are benefits for vitamin and mineral supplementation with hope of improving health and vitality outcomes, potential harm can follow. Scientific bodies throughout the world regularly review and recommend daily amounts of vitamins and minerals. Recommendations come in forms based on age, sex, disease state and even physiological status (i.e. pregnancy). Vitamins are classified into two “storage” categories: Fat soluble (A,D,E,K)- dissolved in fats, stored in adipose and liver tissue for future use. Water soluble ( B,C)- dissolved in water, absorbed in tissues, leaves body quickly. It would be beyond my scope to list all potential harms that can come from supplementation but I will give an example of B-Vitamins, which are readily absorbed needing to be replenished daily. B-Vitamins are found in dietary supplements: plant and animal foods. B-6 is essential for keeping our immune system healthy. Too much B-6 can result in severe nerve damage.

What to do: Be a label reader and inform your healthcare provider about prescription and NON- prescription medicines even beyond a basic multivitamin daily. With every patient seen (new and established) providers or their staff should inquire about any “over-the-counters” upon every visit. Educating the “why” about supplementation is equally important as prescription-written medication. Healthcare providers can run test to detect some depleted nutrients such as magnesium, B-12, Vitamin-D or potassium levels. Remember, purchasing supplements over-the-counter doesn’t necessarily mean safer!