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HomeHEALTH & WELLNESSVitamin Supplements: Are Dietary Supplements Harmful?

Vitamin Supplements: Are Dietary Supplements Harmful?

If you eat a balanced & healthy diet, supplements should not be necessary. Especially since some supposedly nutritional vitamin supplements, are not as healthy as everyone thinks.

Dietary supplements have become trend items in healthy nutrition. But if you are honest, you could safely do without the pills that provide concentrated vitamins and minerals.

Vegetables and salad, not your thing? It’s a good thing that there are these big vitamin pills. They’ll do the trick – that’s the assumption. Wrong thought!

A balanced diet, which includes vegetables and co., could ultimately provide the body with essential nutritional building blocks.

As the Hamburg consumer advice centre has found, dietary supplements are not as good as their reputation would have us believe. If vitamins, trace elements, and minerals are dosed incorrectly, this can even have serious consequences.

Are Dietary Supplements Tested?

The survey also found that almost half of those surveyed (47%) trust that dietary supplements are officially tested for safety and effectiveness. However, this is not the case, and the Hamburg consumer advice center clarifies: “Manufacturers only have to register new products.”

According to the consumer center, most dietary supplements are unnecessary and not worth the money, but they can even pose health risks at worst.

In a previous market check, it was found that many products with magnesium were advertised incorrectly and were also dosed too high. Therefore, the consumer center calls for regulated handling of the popular vitamin preparations.

You Should Pay Attention To This When Buying Vitamin Supplements

Since the market is enormous and vitamin supplements are popular as lifestyle products, it is essential that consumers know their way around and takes a critical look at the supposed health products. According to the current status, too high a dose of vitamin preparations can even harm health or even damage it.

  • Don’t be fooled: You should be skeptical about products that promise to work against all kinds of diseases. If preparation is advertised as being effective against conditions such as digestive problems, high blood pressure, inflammation, arthrosis, diabetes, or even cancer, the alarm bells should ring!
  • Don’t be fooled by advertising claims. Advertising can make a lot of promises: if a product comes from an exotic region (e.g., the Himalayas) or if a presumed doctor from the other side of the world promises a miraculous cure, that says nothing about the actual effectiveness.
  • ​Personal testimonials are meant to inspire your confidence but stay skeptical. Such reports and positive reviews are not proof of efficacy.
  • If there are no controlled scientific studies examining the safety and effects of long-term use, you should also refrain from using the preparation.

What Health Consequences Can The Inappropriate Use Of Vitamin Supplements Have?

  • Vitamin C: Too high a dose of vitamin C may increase the risk of kidney stones in sensitive people. More than 500 mg of vitamin C per day can reverse the antioxidant effect and even damage cells.
  • Zinc: Long-term increased zinc intake can cause anemia and changes in blood cells.
  • Long-term intake of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin E can increase mortality, either individually or in combination.
  • Too high a dose and long-term exposure to vitamin A can increase the risk of fractures caused by osteoporosis.
  • Beta-carotene: Long-term intake of beta-carotene can increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers.
  • Iron: A permanently increased intake can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
  • Multivitamins: Daily consumption of multivitamins could increase the risk of advanced or fatal prostate cancer.
  • Calcium: The high-dose intake of calcium (1000 mg/day) in healthy women during menopause increases the heart attack.

For Whom Are Vitamin Preparations And Dietary Supplements Suitable?

In a few cases, it is necessary to take dietary supplements. Especially people who have an increased need for nutrients and cannot cover them through their diet should take suitable dietary supplements in consultation with their doctor.

This includes people struggling with chronic diseases and taking medication permanently and people who have gastrointestinal disorders or senior citizens who have difficulties eating.

Before you resort to supplements, talk to your doctor and get confirmation of the suspected nutrient deficiency. Together with the doctor, it can be clarified whether a change in your eating habits can eliminate poverty or whether a dietary supplement makes more sense.

When Are Vitamin Supplements Not Necessary?

Anyone who strives for a balanced diet provides the body with the critical nutrient building blocks fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and roughage. Many people are not even aware of how varied, enjoyable, and colorful a balanced diet is.

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