Excessive Consumption of Vitamin Supplements Could Cause Diarrhea and Hair Loss: Expert
- Taking vitamin supplements that you may not need is not only unnecessary, it can be dangerous.
- If you don’t miss a nutrient, your body can’t use it as a supplement, registered nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert told Insider.
- Overdose can lead to harmful side effects, such as diarrhea or hair loss.
Vitamin supplements can be helpful in filling nutritional gaps in our diet. 31% of Americans are at risk for at least one vitamin deficiency, research shows.
But there are potential problems with taking vitamin supplements that your body doesn’t need, says licensed nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert in her upcoming book, “The Science of Nutrition.”
If you take a vitamin supplement and your body is not lacking in this nutrient, in some cases toxic build-up can occur which can lead to problems such as nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, hair loss, complaints. gastrointestinal, fatigue, and mild nerve damage, Lambert told Insider.
Water soluble vitamins are excreted, but fat soluble vitamins accumulate
Some vitamins are water soluble, like vitamin C and B vitamins, which means that they are excreted in the urine if they are not needed, which is why you might see bright yellow urine after taking certain tablets. vitamins.
Others are fat soluble, like vitamins A, D, E, and K, which the body cannot get rid of.
âThey don’t leave the body and toxicity can build up over time,â Lambert said, which can lead to an overdose and, in extreme cases, an emergency room visit.
Taking too much vitamin C can cause digestive problems
Excess water-soluble vitamins are less dangerous than excess fat-soluble vitamins, but an overdose of vitamin C, for example, while rare, can still cause nausea, diarrhea and stomach cramps, according to Lambert.
Vitamin C has many benefits, including keeping the immune system healthy, but most people don’t need a supplement if they’re eating a decent amount of fruits and vegetables, she said.
One orange or a cup of strawberries, chopped red pepper, or broccoli provides the recommended 65 to 90 milligrams of vitamin C daily, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Lambert and other experts recommend a âfirstâ nutritional approach because it’s easier for your body to absorb vitamins from food than from supplements.
Some capsules don’t disintegrate quickly enough for the body to use the nutrients, especially if the coating is shiny or waxy, she said.
There is “no point” in taking supplements that your body does not need
Unless you are lacking in a certain nutrient, taking a supplement is “unnecessary”, Lambert said, because “the body will only take what it needs.”
Many people opt for multivitamin tablets, which can be counterproductive as vitamins and minerals compete and it’s too much for the body to use all at once, Lambert said.
âIt can really disrupt your digestive system,â she said.
Lambert said she often sees clients who have stomach cramps and think they have IBS, but once they stop taking their multivitamin, the problem goes away.
Supplement needs are individual
There are specific circumstances and individual differences that can affect a person’s vitamin needs, for example if you are pregnant, elderly, or have been advised by your doctor.
In many parts of the world, taking a vitamin D supplement is recommended, especially during the winter months when there is less sunlight.
“You can never really get enough
of your diet, especially in the UK, which is why people should be taking 10 micrograms a day all year round, âLambert said.
The only real way to know if you are lacking in a certain nutrient is to see your doctor and have a blood test.
If you experience severe hair loss, a burning sensation in your feet or tongue, slowly healing wounds, bone pain, irregular heartbeat, or poor night vision, see your doctor as all of these can be signs. of nutrient deficiency, according to Rush University Medical Center.