Safety Advice on Vitamin and Mineral Pills
Although nutritional supplements can play a vital role in boosting health, they can have harmful effects if taken in too high a dose. For instance, the 2003 report by the UK Food Standards Agency, the largest a comprehensive review of the safety of vitamins and minerals undertaken in Europe to date, was based on over 10,000 adverse affects of vitamin and mineral overdose.
The report warns that taking more than 1000mg/day of vitamin C could cause abdominal pain and diarrhoea. High intakes of calcium (above 1500mg/day) and iron (above 17mg/day) can cause similar symptoms in some people. Also, some nutritional supplements can have irreversible harmful effects if taken for long periods at the highest supplemental doses. Such supplements include: beta-carotene, nicotinic acid, zinc, manganese and phosphorus. The report advises against taking more than 10mg/day of vitamin B6 in the form of nutritional supplements unless advised by your doctor. A high intake of vitamin B6 over a long period of time can lead to a loss of feeling in the arms and legs.
Nutritional Supplements And Weight Management
Vitamins and minerals are associated with weight loss in at least three ways. First, anyone who wishes to lose weight should follow a healthy diet containing adequate intake of micronutrients. Why? Because a healthy body loses weight faster. Second, any dieter who follows a very-low-calorie diet should take a nutritional supplement, as their shortage of food calories is likely to provide insufficient nutrition. Third, severely obese patients who undergo gastric bypass bariatric surgery – a procedure which bypasses the duodenum and/or jejunum – require lifelong vitamin and mineral supplementation.
Food Sources Of Vitamins
Vitamin A comes from retinol in animal foods, or beta-carotene in plant foods. Vitamin A works best with vitamin B-complex, vitamin D, vitamin E, calcium, phosphorus and zinc. Vitamin A is fat-soluble.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) comes mainly from plant foods, like fruits – especially citrus fruits – and vegetables. Vitamin C works best in conjunction with bioflavonoids, calcium and magnesium. It is a water-soluble vitamin.
Vitamin B-complex includes B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic Acid), B6, B12 (cyanocobalamin), and Folate (Folic Acid). Vegans requires Vitamin B12 supplements or B12-fortified foods. Many of the B vitamins work best with other members of the B-complex. They are water-soluble.
Vitamin D (Calciferols) comes from oils, eggs and oily fish. It works well with vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin D is fat soluble.
Vitamin E (Tocopherols) comes from wheatgerm, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds. It works best in conjunction with selenium, and it enhances the activity of vitamin A.
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