In addition to a healthy lifestyle and diet, there is evidence proving that supplements can help benefit your overall well-being with little to no risks. Some people take them to combat a vitamin deficiency, lower their risk of certain diseases, or some may just want to be proactive about their health.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Dietary Supplements
Typically, you can receive all the nutrients you need through a balanced diet; however, many supplements are available to provide extra nutrients where your diet is lacking.
In most cases, a multivitamin or mineral supplement can provide all the nutrients your body needs. However, some may need more of a specific nutrient than a multivitamin can provide; individual nutrients are available.
Although supplements may have some advantages, as mentioned above, there are many disadvantages, or risks, associated with taking dietary supplements including but not limited to:
- In the US, dietary supplements are not regulated as strictly as pharmaceutical drugs; manufacturers do not have to prove they are safe or effective.
- Large doses of certain nutrients can have adverse effects.
- You can overdose on certain supplements, creating a risk for serious harm and death
List of Supplements That can be Bad if Taken Incorrectly
Below is a list of supplements and the harmful issues or dosing concerns:
- Vitamin K – Can reduce the effectiveness of blood thinners some may use for a blood disorder
- Vitamin E – Can increase the action of blood thinners, leading to easy bruising and nosebleeds
- Vitamin B6 – When used for a year or longer at high doses, this can cause severe nerve damage. Vitamin B6 can also reduce the effectiveness of anti-seizure drugs like Dilantin and Levodopa
- Vitamin A – Used with retinoid acne medications can cause a Vitamin A toxicity
- Iron and Calcium – These supplements can reduce the effectiveness of some antibiotics by as much as 40%
- Vitamin C – Can cause diarrhea when taken in doses higher than the gut can absorb