Food supplements: which overdoses are dangerous

Food supplements: which overdoses are dangerous

  1. 24life
  2. Live healthy


Dietary supplements can also be harmful to your health if taken in excessive quantities. Countless people are affected without knowing it.

Serum in glass bottle
1/8Vitamin E should never be taken long-term and without your doctor’s recommendation. Anyone who ignores this risk risks gastrointestinal problems and an increased risk of bleeding. According to the European Food Safety Authority, the maximum tolerable daily dose is 300 mg per day. At the same time, the Consumer Advisory Center warns that the frequency of hemorrhagic strokes (brain hemorrhage) increases with doses between 130 and around 200 mg per day. © Dasha Petrenko/Imago
Vitamin D tablets in the foreground
2/8An overdose of vitamin D can be problematic. “Excessive intake of vitamin D causes an increase in calcium levels in the body (hypercalcemia), which can acutely lead to nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal cramps, vomiting or, in severe cases, kidney damage, cardiac arrhythmias , loss of consciousness and death. Since vitamin D can be stored in the body, both acute and gradual overdose is possible,” says the Robert Koch Institute. © Imago
Dietary supplement tablets next to two mortars
3/8Vitamin B6 can be taken individually, but also in the form of combined food supplements. An overdose damages the nervous system. As a result, those affected suffer from an unstable gait, which can be associated with falls. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) recommends a maximum amount of 3.5 milligrams per day for the addition of vitamin B6 in the form of dietary supplements. © Imago
The woman drinks a solution of vitamin B12.
4/8Some people take vitamin B12 in the form of liquid supplements. The same applies here too: take the preparation only if your doctor recommends it. Otherwise serious side effects are possible. As the NDR informs, current studies show that high levels of vitamin B12 in the blood may be associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. According to the BfR, a vitamin B12 overdose is likely if you take more than 25 micrograms of the vitamin per day through dietary supplements. © Imago
Vitamin 3 pills arranged to form the word “B3”.
5/8Taking vitamin B3 (also nicotinic acid or niacin) in excessive doses can harm your health. Heartburn, headache, diarrhea and stomach pain are signs of overdose. Life-threatening drops in blood pressure and liver damage are also possible consequences. According to the Techniker Krankenkasse, a niacin deficiency practically does not occur with a normal diet. The critical maximum amount of 35 milligrams per day can hardly be achieved with food alone. © Imago
The man holds dietary supplements in his hands.
6/8Many people take vitamin A daily in the form of dietary supplements. An overdose can reduce bone stability. Pregnant women are at greater risk of harming their unborn child. For adults, according to the Consumer Advisory Center, the maximum daily dose of vitamin A (from all sources) is 3,000 micrograms. There is no similar recommendation for provitamin A because an overdose of this nutrient does not cause any symptoms. © Michael Bihlmayer/Imago
Calcium effervescent tablets
7/8Calcium is extremely harmful in excessive doses. Anyone who overdoses on the mineral in the form of dietary supplements risks a heart attack. This is what Lübeck pharmaceutical nutrition professor Martin Smollich says in an interview with the knowledge portal Spektrum: “The risk increases noticeably with a daily dose of more than 1,500 milligrams of calcium.” © Vlad Ispas/Imago
Check-up: results of a blood test
8/8It is necessary to treat a potassium deficiency as well as an excess of potassium in the blood. The latter can be fatal. According to the German Nutrition Society, intestinal obstruction, muscle weakness and paralysis, lung failure and cardiac arrhythmias are possible consequences of a potassium overdose. As a rule, no more than 5-6 grams of potassium per day is consumed in the diet. If kidney function is intact, this amount is harmless. © Rüdiger Rebmann/Imago

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, many people turn to dietary supplements. But the supposed miracle pills can hide dangers. Health problems are possible if you take the preparations without medical supervision. And your wallet suffers too. Because the costs for pills and dragees add up quickly.

An overdose of vitamins and minerals that seem harmless can cause serious symptoms. Instead of the desired increase in vitality, nausea, headaches and even long-term health problems may occur. The body needs a balanced ratio of nutrients, and too much can severely disrupt this balance.

Don’t miss anything: find everything about health in the periodic newsletter of our partner

A healthy lifestyle prevents deficiency symptoms

Healthy adults who maintain a healthy lifestyle and eat a balanced diet usually get all the important nutrients. You should only take dietary supplements if recommended by a doctor due to a proven deficiency. This can manifest itself through various symptoms. Find out here what signs may indicate a nutrient deficiency.

This article contains only general information on the respective healthcare topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or therapy. It does not replace in any way a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editorial team cannot answer individual questions about medical conditions.

This article was created using a machine and was carefully checked by editor Juliane Gutmann before publication.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *