Can You Overconsume Supplements?

| December 7, 2023

Consuming supplements along with a balanced diet is a great way to ensure your body gets its required daily vitamins, leaving you feeling healthier and more energised. However, taking too much of certain vitamins may have adverse effects on you. While the likelihood of overconsuming vitamins is low, it is advised to know how to safely take them. In this article, we take a closer look at the safe consumption of daily supplements and the potential side effects of consuming them more than you are required to.

Overconsuming Supplements

Getting too much of any vitamin from a healthy diet alone is unlikely to pose a threat to your health. On the other hand, supplements that are taken in large quantities over an extended period may not be the safest option. This is because most supplements contain concentrated amounts of vitamins, often more than your body can handle. Thus, as its name suggests, it is intended to only supplement your nutritional intake from your daily meals. The following are some examples of vitamins that are commonly overconsumed:

  1. Vitamin A

    Being a fat-soluble vitamin, your body easily stores Vitamin A. When consumed in excess, this can lead it to accumulate and cause:

    1. 1. Dizziness
      2. Nausea
      3. Headaches
      4. Rashes

Immune System Boost

For your body to function at its best, your immune system requires adequate levels of zinc. Primarily, this mineral boosts your immunity by assisting skin cells and cells that line your organs. Zinc strengthens these cells to better protect your organs and bloodstream from harmful pathogens. Additionally, the thymus and bone marrow which are responsible for producing immune cells are kept working effectively with the help of zinc. This in turn helps key white blood cells eliminate pathogens in the bloodstream. Zinc also works to launch pathogen-specific attacks with the help of antibodies using memories of prior threats to the body. The combination of these functions ultimately ensures your body’s defences are more resistant to infections. Studies have shown that the benefits of zinc supplements include a reduced duration of the common cold by up to 33% when consumed daily and consistently. The effects of other respiratory infections have also shown to be limited with the adequate consumption of zinc.

A Powerful Antioxidant

Acting as an antioxidant, the consistent consumption of zinc can also lead to reduced oxidative stress levels. Oxidative stress is a metabolic dysfunction that leads to oxidative damage of cells and tissues. An excess of this may lead to chronic illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, and in even rarer cases, cancer. Thus, to bring down levels of oxidative stress, you can take zinc supplements as it halts anti-inflammatory responses and assists in the synthesis of antioxidant enzymes. This can then reduce the risk of cancer while some studies also suggest that due to decreased oxidative stress levels, it can even result in a longer lifespan.

Overall, the power of zinc can be summed up as an immune system boost that protects your body against infections. Being an antioxidant, zinc can also reduce oxidative stress levels to lower one’s risk of contracting chronic illnesses. To seamlessly incorporate this mineral into your lifestyle, consider eating foods that are rich in zinc such as nuts, beans, and red meat. Zinc supplements also offer a convenient way of meeting your daily zinc nutritional needs, especially in cases of zinc deficiency. Obtaining the daily recommended intake of this essential nutrient through a combination of a balanced diet and supplements, will help you to feel more empowered and confident in taking on the hassle of your everyday life with a healthy body and mind.

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