Overdose of vitamins

Overdose of vitamins

What is hypervitaminosis and how is it dangerous?

Hypervitaminosis is an excessive accumulation of vitamins in the body, leading to toxic damage to organs and tissues. The main cause of hypervitaminosis is, above all, the uncontrolled intake of various dietary supplements in tablets and capsules – it is almost impossible to get an overdose of vitamins as a result of normal nutrition.

Statistics show that more than 80% of cases of hypervitaminosis were diagnosed in children under the age of 6 years (1) – in an attempt to “improve immunity” and improve the health of their parents, they significantly exceeded the recommended doses of vitamins. The situation is aggravated by the fact that most of the vitamins do not have clear symptoms of overdose.

Symptoms of an overdose of vitamins

Note that the overwhelming number of vitamins are water-soluble – in other words, they practically do not accumulate in the body, and any excess of them is excreted in the urine and sweat. A typical example is vitamin C – even with the use of doses ten times higher than normal, an adult is unlikely to feel symptoms of overdose.

In the case of children, the symptoms of hypervitaminosis with vitamin C or vitamin B most often resemble the symptoms of food allergies. Itching, redness on the body, digestive disturbance is disturbed. Overdose of minerals is distributed much less frequently, and is relevant primarily for excessive and regular consumption of iron and calcium.

The most dangerous vitamins

Unlike most water-soluble vitamins, which practically do not lead to intoxication, four fat-soluble vitamins – vitamins D, E, K and A (“DEKA”) – are easily able to accumulate in the tissues of the body, significantly harming health. However, we note once again that it is almost impossible to overdose these vitamins through regular food.

Since an overdose of fat-soluble vitamins arises solely through their long-term overuse, the symptoms of hypervitaminosis appear extremely gradually and implicitly. The most typical are chronic headache, sleep disturbances, general weakness, loss of appetite and a gradual decrease in immunity (2).

How to take multivitamins correctly?

It is necessary to separate the European and American approach to medicine. If in the USA it is customary to stifle the disease with drugs, then in Europe, first of all, they are looking for the cause of the disease, and only then turn to tablets (including vitamins in capsules). In Russia, unfortunately, the practice of self-medication and uncontrolled supplementation is extremely common.

American doctors recommend taking multivitamin complexes to everyone and constantly, and European ones only in exceptional cases, alternating several weeks of taking synthetic vitamins with 2-3 months without them. Also, European doctors tend to prescribe certain vitamins rather than complex multivitamin complexes. Here you can fing good drugs against overdose.