"Moderation always, in all things." --- Ancient Maxim
Sudden death, birth defects, lung cancer, osteoporosis? From vitamins?
Warning! Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL)!
You, who take mega-doses of vitamins--- Beware! You could be killing yourselves!
Studies show that over 80% of Americans have zero awareness of vitamin toxicity. Every day, 44% of Americans take vitamins and dietary supplements.
You need to know what UL means. This is urgent, a heads-up for all Vitamin junkies.
Popular vitamins like C, vitamin E, and multivitamins, are all top best-sellers. And if you abuse them, they are poison--- potential KILLERS.
Iron-containing vitamins are the most toxic (especially in pediatric-acute ingestions). Fat-soluble vitamins have even higher potential for toxicity--- due to their capability to accumulate in the fat-storage system of the human body.
Death is certainly possible. The first documented vitamin poisoning was Xavier Mertz, a Swiss scientist. Mertz died in January 1913, on an Antarctic expedition. They lost their food supplies, and in desertion, they ate their sled dogs.
Mertz died of poisoning. He had consumed lethal amounts of vitamin A. How? By eating the livers of his dogs, (where Vitamin A was stored in great concentration). The dogs themselves were sick with a vitamin A overdose from a diet of fish.
In fact, vitamin A toxicity is common in Arctic explorers. A 30 to 90 gram chunk of polar bear liver can kill a human, and sicken or kill sled dogs.
Here's a baseline UL--- the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for Vitamin A, for a 25-year old male, is 3,000 micrograms/day, or about 10,000 IU.
For females and older people the fatal UL can be much lower. The UL for other Vitamins varies.
How tragic, for you to work so hard to be healthy, only to poison yourself with "Hypervitaminosis"!
Symptoms associated with vitamin toxicities include nausea, blurred vision, fatigue, weight-loss, menstrual abnormalities, etc. Symptoms of poisoning!
Excess vitamin A can cause osteoporosis, and studies show an increase in lung cancer (When Vitamin A excess was studied in a lung cancer prevention trial in male smokers. However, in non-smokers, the opposite effect was noted.)
Excess preformed vitamin A in mothers with no vitamin deficiency, during early pregnancy, can increase birth defects--- some severe, life-threatening--- just twice the DRA (daily recommended amount) can cause severe birth defects! (Experts say most women carry plenty of vitamin A in their fat cells, so over-supplementation should be strictly avoided.)
However, with all this said, vitamins are essential to life. Vitamin deficiencies can be lethal too--- to mothers and babies alike. In sane amounts.
Recent studies emerging from some developing countries (India, Bangladesh and Indonesia) show that dosing expectant mothers, in a Vitamin A deficient population, can greatly reduce maternal mortality ratio. Similarly, dosing newborn infants with vitamin A significantly reduces neonatal mortality.
So, moderation in all things--- with Vitamins, take care.
With a healthy balanced diet, plentiful with fruits and veggies, your body makes most (and probably all) of the vitamins you require.
Don't destroy your healthy with megadoses of supplements that can do much much more harm than good.
Beyond the right UL you are taking poison!
Consult your health practitioner before assuming you know what you body needs or doesn't need!