Vitamin and mineral supplements have become popular since they have been in the market. Many people think taking supplements is essential that it has become a multi-million dollar industry. But, is it really necessary to take them?
Dr. Lorraine Maita, a diplomate from the American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine (A4M), says that there are some vitamin and mineral supplements that we don’t need to take.
Here are the 5 vitamins and minerals that are not needed to be taken in supplement form, not only because a balanced diet can already provide them, but because taking them can pose a risk to one’s health.
Women in particular has always had that misconception that they need calcium supplements for strong, healthy bones. However, Dr. Maita says, taking in food items that are rich in calcium like green leafy veggies, sardines, salmon, almonds, white beans, and broccoli is already enough to fulfill your calcium needs.
Recent studies also revealed that calcium supplements may not get into the bone. Instead, they harden the arteries and soft tissues, increasing the threat of heart disease.
Moreover, calcium supplements can be responsible for developing kidney stones in those who are susceptible, according to Andrea Cox, a Registered Dietitian from Portland, Oregon.
2. Vitamin E
People once thought that taking vitamin E lessens the risk of cardiovascular disease, cataracts, Alzheimer’s and cancer. However, a study found an increased threat of cancer in men taking 400 IU everyday, which is more than the recommended intake of 22 IU.
A different study also revealed that the risk of death is greater in men and women who take high doses of Vitamin E supplement than in those who did not. However, Cox says, Vitamin E in multi-vitamin supplements is safe because the amount of vitamin E in them is not sufficient to cause any harmful effect.
Unlike other vitamin and mineral supplements, iodine must only be taken under doctor’s supervision. Dr. Maita says insufficient or excessive intake of iodine can cause hypothyroidism. The best way to tell if you need iodine supplements is to consult a doctor. Ask him to measure your urine’s iodine levels.
Iron is needed for normal cellular functioning and manufacture of some hormones. It also helps develop hemoglobin which is a part of our blood that transports oxygen from the lungs all over the body. However, people should take iron supplements only when there is a laboratory confirmation of a deficiency. Excessive intake of iron can damage the liver and perhaps other organs, like the heart and pancreas, according to Dr. Maita.
5. Vitamin B6
The B complex vitamins are essential for optimal health, by converting our food into fuel and supporting memory, healthy skin, pregnancies and others. Most of us get enough of these because they are present in many food items such as veggies, fruits, whole grains, fish, and poultry. According to Dr. Maita, too much of these B vitamin supplements when taken in, can be toxic, causing neuropathy or abnormal sensations in nerves.
While these vitamins and minerals are essential for good health, taking them in supplement form is not necessary specially if you have a balanced diet.