Vitamins And Minerals That Could Kill You!
The title of this article might come as blow to those, who ardently pop down the vitamin and mineral supplements. Hard to believe…but true!! These can actually kill you. Vitamins and minerals are the essential micronutrients without which, our body cannot function normally. Deficiency of these vitamins can lead to a range of symptoms, which can be corrected, in most of the cases, by the consumption of the appropriate vitamins and minerals. These vitamins and minerals are present in abundance in fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk, oils and liver of animals. The human body requires these nutrients in very small quantities, as low as few micrograms to few milligrams.
A balanced diet ensures optimum intake of these micronutrients. Nutritional supplements, when consumed without prescription or in dosage, which is in excess to the amount required by the body, can lead to severe adverse effects. It is shocking to note the havoc created by these vitamins and minerals, when an imbalance occurs. Naturally occurring vitamins always find a way out of the system, when in excess (overdose occurs very rarely, as natural sources have nutrients in the right proportion). To know the bad effects of the synthetic overdoses or popping those pills, read on…
Vitamin A is popularly known as the eye vitamin and children are encouraged to have more of these. This vitamin is easily found in carrots, colored vegetables and fruits and also in the liver of animals. Excess of this vitamin can lead to painful joints, drowsiness and even loss of hair. Eskimos, consume the liver of polar bear (a rich source of vitamin A) in excess and as a result experience peeling of skin. High levels of this vitamin can also cause seizures and mild overdoses cause irritability and depression. The next time you feel depressed, re examine the supplements, you are consuming.
The B – complex vitamin is one other commonly abused vitamin. These vitamins especially the vitamin B3 causes nausea, vomiting and liver toxicity, when consumed in excess. It also dilates the blood vessels, causing a raise in blood pressure. The B6 vitamin, on the other hand gives rise to nerve disorders.
Vitamin D or your sunshine vitamin is easily found in cod liver and halibut liver oils. All your breads have vitamin D because of the yeast content. Exposure to sunlight is another major source of this vitamin. It helps in strengthening your bones, by promoting the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the food consumed. This vitamin on the higher side increases the absorption of these minerals more than necessary and causes stone formation in kidneys and deposits calcium in soft tissues.
Try consuming vitamin E in excess….this anti-ageing or the anti-oxidant vitamin, in excess, will not make you ever-young. On the opposite, it may affect the thyroid and bloat you up. It might make the skin blotchy and can even bleed you to death.
Vitamin K, under normal circumstances, sees to it, that your blood vessels clot up while bleeding and your injury heals fast. On consumption of a higher than required dose, this vitamin promotes the formation of small clots in the blood vessels within the body and cuts off the blood supply to important organs or parts. This might prove fatal in extreme cases.
Vitamin C is your good friend during those flu attacks. It helps ease the symptoms of common cold. Try consuming more and you will be visiting the wash room more than often. The diarrhea resulting from the overdose of this vitamin might badly dehydrate you. Why not take lemons and oranges instead?
It is a known fact that the common salt or the sodium chloride contains the important mineral sodium, which in excess can lead to hypertension and also bloats you up badly.
Excess of minerals like potassium can even lead to cardiac arrest and kidney failure.
High calcium levels lead to stone formation in kidneys and other parts and can cause muscle twitching and weakness. High levels of calcium in blood, has been found to cause memory loss and depression.
If diagnosed with anemia, consult your physician before starting on an iron supplement. Mild over-dosage is controlled by the body by excreting it in stools. Stop having those pills, if you see your stool turning dark. Heavy overdoses cause iron deposition in liver and pancreas. This excess of iron hardens up these organs and affects their normal functioning. It also affects the insulin producing cells of the pancreas and leads to a condition called bronze diabetes, as these diabetic people show bronzed coloration of skin due to iron deposition.
Wilson’s disease, though rare, can occur due to the deposition of excess copper in liver and brain. Copper is naturally found in sesame seeds, barley, spinach, soya beans, mushrooms, asparagus, mustard, turnips, tomatoes etc. Extra supplementation of this mineral in the absence of a deficiency, can lead to adverse effects.
The nutritional requirements of the human body can be easily met with the abundant natural sources around us. Regular consumption of veggies, fruits, milk, eggs, animal liver (occasional consumption recommended due to the high fat content), greens and unpolished grains can help us lead a deficiency free life and alleviates the hazards of excess consumption of artificial vitamins. Back in 1753, lemons and oranges were prescribed to those suffering from scurvy (bleeding gums, due to vitamin C deficiency) and they recovered fast and this lead to the discovery of vitamins. This prescription holds good even today. Stay off those over the counter supplements and start on a balanced diet!!