Health and overall wellness are at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Vitamins are vital for our overall health. Our bodies can’t operate without them. Although most of our vitamins come from our food, some adults feel the need to take vitamin supplements. The vitamin and supplement industry, which is immensely profitable, relies on people believing that the supplements do more good than harm. This idea could be working; the market size of the vitamin and supplement manufacturing industry in the United States has grown 2.4 percent per year on average between 2016 and 2021. The market size increased faster than the economy altogether.
Vitamin supplements may come off as safe. However, if you don’t have a severe deficiency, then taking them might harm you. Before adding vitamins to your routine, you must consult a doctor. Here are the top five vitamins that you shouldn’t take unless your doctor recommends them.
Vitamin C is a popular vitamin supplement. You can find it in a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. It holds many benefits, like maintaining healthy skin and blood vessels. In the early days of exploring the globe, many sailors died from scurvy caused by a deficiency in Vitamin C. In the 1700s, Scottish doctor James Lind conducted an experiment that proved that citrus fruits cured scurvy, even though the discovery of Vitamin C didn’t come until the 1930s. Vitamin C gained its popularity through Linus Pauling, who published a book in 1970 recommending mega-doses of C to prevent the common cold. However, Vitamin C doesn’t cure a common cold. It’s generally safe, but mega-doses of 2000 mg or more can increase the risk of kidney stones.
Vitamin A plays a vital role in vision health. The benefits of Vitamin A include lowering your risk for certain cancers, reducing your risk of acne, and supporting bone health. On the other hand, too much Vitamin A can be toxic, causing severe side effects and death. Adverse side effects can also include vision disturbances, joint pains, and hair loss. Vitamin A toxicity can also negatively impact maternal health and may lead to congenital disabilities. Vitamin A toxicity is said to be the cause of death for early polar explorers. These explorers ate the livers of their dogs, not knowing that the livers had high amounts of Vitamin A. Antarctic explorer Douglas Mawson survived, but many of his companions died.
Vitamin E is another popular supplement advertised as an anti-cancer agent. It’s a vitamin that dissolves in fat. The Vitamin E that’s present in your body is different from the supplement. Vitamin E has various benefits, including preventing coronary heart disease, supporting immune function, and preventing inflammation. Vitamin E is also beneficial when it’s applied to the skin. However, research shows that Vitamin E may increase the risk of prostate cancer in men. Taking high doses of Vitamin E may also cause nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue. Research also shows that taking too much may increase the risk of death in people with a severe history of heart disease.
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is one of eight B vitamins your body needs to stay healthy. The B vitamins, including B6 and B12, are present in many foods, like chicken, fish, potatoes, and bananas. B6 is necessary for normal brain development and for keeping the immune system healthy. B6 is needed to make serotonin, the hormone that elevates your mood. Some studies show that not having enough B6 can cause depression. Deficiencies in the B vitamins are very rare but taking B6 for a long time can be harmful. Taking high levels of Vitamin B6 can cause severe nerve damage, causing people to lose control of their bodily movements. B6 may also cause nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Taking high doses of B6 can also cause gastrointestinal issues, sun sensitivity, and numbness.
Multi-vitamins are the most popular vitamin on this list. With close to forty percent of Americans taking a multi-vitamin, you would think that they’re good for you. Specific populations can benefit from taking a multi-vitamin, including older adults and vegans or vegetarians. However, evidence showing that they improve health for most people is inconsistent. If you have a nutrient deficiency, it’s best to take that specific vitamin supplement. Instead of taking a multi-vitamin to compensate for a poor diet, it’s best to improve your diet overall.
Follow Your Doctor's Advice
The vitamin and supplement industry, which is highly lucrative, relies on people believing that the supplements do more good than harm. This idea could be working; the market size of the vitamin and supplement manufacturing industry in the United States has grown 2.4 percent per year on average between 2016 and 2021. The market size increased faster than the economy altogether. In recent years, health and wellness have come to the forefront of many people’s minds. People think they are helping themselves by taking a vitamin supplement, not knowing they could cause potential harm.
Having too much of a particular vitamin can cause a lot of internal issues. If you’re looking to improve your health and wellness, you should start with improving your diet or starting a gym routine. You can improve a lot of issues by changing your diet and seeing what happens. If you change your diet and don’t see any changes, it may be time to consult with your doctor. Consulting with your doctor is always recommended before taking vitamin supplements. That way, your doctor can tell you where your deficiencies are and what vitamins to take. However, if your lack of that vitamin isn’t severe enough, your doctor may advise against taking a supplement. It’s understandable why people would want to increase their health and wellness. In today’s world, images of healthy bodies and fitness gear surround us. However, the path to health starts with one step at a time. It would be best if you didn’t overwhelm yourself or try to do too much at once. Start with consulting with your doctor and getting their opinion on what improvements you should make, then start your journey.