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Thread: Healthy or harmful? 5 surprising nutrients you can overdo

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    Reverend Henry Kane's Avatar
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    Healthy or harmful? 5 surprising nutrients you can overdo

    Healthy or harmful? 5 surprising nutrients you can overdo

    We’ve all been schooled about the unhealthy things we should limit, like sugar and sodium. But there are also some healthy things that, in excess, can do more harm than good. In other words, even when a nutrient is vital, more isn’t necessarily better. Here are the risks associated with going overboard on five key nutrients–some of them may take you by surprise.

    Omega-3 fatty acids

    These healthy fats help fight inflammation, a known trigger of aging and disease, and they’ve been tied to a host of health benefits, from reducing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and depression, to maintaining healthy skin and supporting brain function. But new research has found that too much omega-3 may alter immune function, and disrupt the body’s ability to fend off viral or bacterial infections. Scientists are particularly concerned about a “layering” effect that occurs when people eat seafood, take fish oil supplements, and also consume foods fortified with omega-3s, like eggs, orange juice, and cereal. To avoid overload, talk to your physician and/or personal dietitian about your diet, so he or she can determine if you need to supplement or fortify your intake at all, and if so, exactly how much you should aim for.

    Vitamin C

    In addition to supporting immunity, vitamin C is needed to heal wounds, maintain healthy bones, teeth, blood vessels, and skin. It also acts as a major antioxidant, to stave off aging and chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. For adults, the upper limit, or maximum advised intake, from both food and supplements combined, is 2,000 mg a day. While some people may be fine taking in this amount or more, megadoses of vitamin C supplements have been shown to trigger bloating and digestive upset, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, headaches, insomnia, and kidney stones. To keep your intake in check, aim to get your fill from naturally vitamin C rich foods, which include red and green bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, kiwi, papaya, strawberries, and pineapple.

    Zinc

    Zinc is found in every cell in your body. This important mineral supports immune function, as well as healthy vision, smell, taste, blood sugar regulation, metabolism, healing, and proper thyroid function. The upper limit, or daily maximum for zinc is 40 mg per day. Research has shown that less than this amount is safe to consume daily over time, but if too much zinc is taken long-term, side effects may include digestive upset, a metallic taste in the mouth, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, increased sweating, loss of muscle coordination, alcohol intolerance, and hallucinations.

    In addition, very high doses of zinc may actually weaken immune function, lower “good” heart-protective HDL cholesterol, and raise “bad” LDL cholesterol, the type tied to an increased risk of heart disease. Like omega-3s, the chances of getting too much increase if several sources are consumed, like zinc-rich foods (red meat, shellfish), on top of a supplement, and products fortified with zinc, such as nasal sprays or throat lozenges. If you think you may be exceeding your needs, talk to your doc or dietitian. Sometimes when I ask my clients about their supplement regime, they have absolutely no idea how much they’re taking.

    Iron

    Much of the iron in your body is found in your red blood cells, where it helps to carry oxygen to every cell. This key mineral is also is involved in producing energy for cells, and is an integral part of many proteins and enzymes needed for optimal health. Premenopausal women lose iron from monthly blood loss, but men and postmenopausal women need to be more mindful of their iron intakes, because once iron is absorbed, very little is excreted. That means excess iron can build up in tissues and organs, including the liver and heart.

    A genetic disorder called hemochromatosis, which affects one in 250 people of northern European descent, ups the risk of iron overload, because it causes iron to be easily absorbed. The daily maximum for iron is set at 45 mg for adults, but most premenopausal non-pregnant adult women generally need no more than 18 mg daily. The needs for men and women over 50 are less than half that amount, at 8 mg per day. To put that level in perspective, a 3-ounce serving of beef or a half cup of lentils each provide about 3 mg, but only about 3 percent to 35 percent of the iron from food is absorbed, depending on the type, as well as factors that either interfere with absorption (like tea) or enhance it (like vitamin C). If you’re taking supplements and you’re not sure if they contain iron, or if so, how much, be sure to check. Manufacturers don’t have to set doses below the advised daily caps.

    Calcium

    When you think of calcium, bones probably come to mind, and that’s where about 99 percent of the calcium in your body is found. But this mineral is also needed for proper heart, nerve, and muscle function, and it helps maintain your body’s acid/base balance. Women tend to be highly aware of calcium, due to campaigns about “boning up” to fight osteoporosis, so I sometimes worry about my clients getting too much. I’ve seen women who load up on dairy, in addition to popping calcium chews, taking a supplement, and choosing calcium-fortified foods, from OJ to energy bars.

    The upper limit (again from both food and supplements combined) for adult non-pregnant women and men is 2,500 mg before age 50 and 2,000 from 51 on. Exceeding that amount may lead to high blood calcium, which can trigger kidney problems, kidney stones, and calcium deposits in soft tissues. High calcium intakes can also lead to constipation, and interfere with the absorption of iron and zinc. Getting too much calcium from food alone is rare, but if you think you may be racking up an excess amount from other sources, talk to your health care providers about the best ways to strike an ideal balance.

    Healthy or harmful? 5 surprising nutrients you can overdo | Fox News

    - These surprised me, especially the Vitamin C. I've been taking two 1,000 mg vitamin c tablets daily for a while now without any issues. Might cut it back to just one tablet a day, though.

    I guess the old adage about "too much of a good thing" rings true in this case.

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    mountainman's Avatar
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    I'm particularly wary of iron. I went through a multi-year bout of major depression some years ago that started to clear up a few days after I ran out (because could no longer afford) the one-a-day multivitamin with iron I'd been taking regularly. I know I have the milder form of hemochromatosis. I think I was poisoning myself for years.

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    Contrapositive's Avatar
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    Just to add a couple of things:

    Most Vitamin C supplements are ascorbic acid. I can't take it because it gives me joint inflammation. I don't know why, I just know that it does. There is a milder form called ascorbyl palmitate that I take instead. It doesn't come in chewable form as far as I know but it is milder on the digestive tract.

    Excess calcium leads to a lowered magnesium level because when the body excretes an amount of calcium it throws out a proportion of magnesium with it. Magnesium and calcium exist in a balance with each other. If you consume calcium supplements of any kind you should take a magnesium supplement (400 mg minimum) at a different time of day because they fight for the same absorption pathway. All those calcium/magnesium hybrid supplements are junk for that reason. It's a good idea to take a magnesium supplement anyway because it is nearly impossible to get what you need from food.

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    7 Deadly Sins's Avatar
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    That's because you're supposed to get vitamins and nutrients from food, not pills. There could be all types of extra added stuff on pills. I have figured out through personal experimentation that my body craves fats (meat, nuts and seeds) and B-vitamins (whole grains, potatoes) most. The B vitamins are very important for the nervous system and for energy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Contrapositive View Post
    Just to add a couple of things:

    Most Vitamin C supplements are ascorbic acid. I can't take it because it gives me joint inflammation. I don't know why, I just know that it does. There is a milder form called ascorbyl palmitate that I take instead. It doesn't come in chewable form as far as I know but it is milder on the digestive tract.

    Excess calcium leads to a lowered magnesium level because when the body excretes an amount of calcium it throws out a proportion of magnesium with it. Magnesium and calcium exist in a balance with each other. If you consume calcium supplements of any kind you should take a magnesium supplement (400 mg minimum) at a different time of day because they fight for the same absorption pathway. All those calcium/magnesium hybrid supplements are junk for that reason. It's a good idea to take a magnesium supplement anyway because it is nearly impossible to get what you need from food.
    Have you tried natural vitamin C supplements such as 'Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw Vitamin C'?. I don't take any synthetic supplements because they are isolated and missing so many known and unknown bioflavonoids and other companionship nutrients that you find in nature. I also tried this vitamin C as well.

    Some suggest that when ever you take synthetic vitamins, your body leeches the missing nutrients that are usually found in its natural form in order to complete the vitamin before it can make use of it.

    Most 'natural' vitamins use a form of yeast to absorb the synthetic minerals, once the yeast has taken in the nutrients, they are no longer synthetic. It's similar to how plants transform inorganic and isolated minerals in soil to ones useful for us that we get from our food.

    A smoothie machine is also good way to get extra vitamins as well, I recommend Kenwood Smoothie2Go. Throw in a few fruit and vegetables a day and it helps. However, bear in mind that it can sometimes take several fruits to get the same nutrition level as a single fruit from many years ago due to soil depletion, environment, pollution and mass production etc.

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    womanhater's Avatar
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    Vitamin C

    In addition to supporting immunity, vitamin C is needed to heal wounds, maintain healthy bones, teeth, blood vessels, and skin. It also acts as a major antioxidant, to stave off aging and chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. For adults, the upper limit, or maximum advised intake, from both food and supplements combined, is 2,000 mg a day. While some people may be fine taking in this amount or more, megadoses of vitamin C supplements have been shown to trigger bloating and digestive upset, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, headaches, insomnia, and kidney stones. To keep your intake in check, aim to get your fill from naturally vitamin C rich foods, which include red and green bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, kiwi, papaya, strawberries, and pineapple.
    I call utter complete and absolute bullshit on this one!

    While the above responses addressing the use of artificial/low quality vitamin C are correct, and are the SOLE reason for ANY distress caused by the consumption of vitamin C, there is one thing that the Registered Dietitian (<--that only takes a BS degree btw!) who wrote this article probably doesn't even know, and that is that apes are the ONLY mammals that don't make their own vitamin C!

    Ever wonder why dogs, cats, cows, panthers, and badgers don't eat citrus fruits and are somehow fine? It's because they MAKE THEIR OWN VITAMIN C!!!! Scurvy is SOLELY a disease of apes and especially humans!

    The average 80 pound dog makes around 4,700 units of vitamin C a day! That works out to about 129 units of vitamin C per kg of body per day! So, if you're a 200 pound human, you should probably be taking around 11,750 units of vitamin C per day.

    Among other things, vitamin C is absolutely necessary in the creation of and maintenance of connective tissues in the body - wonder why humans gets saggy droopy skin and other mammals by and large do not? Well, there you go!

    Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin - or, in other words, if you consume 'too much' then you simply piss it out. Don't take a super dose in the morning - it's really more a matter of taking a constant and consistent supply throughout the day that totals your goal amount.

    The Gershon therapy (which has OVER a 50% CURE rate for stage III cancers) uses over 100,000 units of vitamin C PER DAY from IV bags!

    Fucktarded moron Registered Dietitians usually know less than shit, and they teach the motherfucking Food Pyramid or My Plate or whatever the fucktards in .gov decide needs to be eaten as being scientifically valid rather than dismissing it for the lobbyist endorsed tripe that it is! The OVERWHELMING majority of RD's are twats who couldn't conduct a double blind research trial if they had guns to their heads and MOST RD's are employed by .gov passing out WIC coupons to single mothers - in other words, they're parasites helping other parasites leach off the productivity of men.

    </rant>

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    Notorious (sh)IT's Avatar
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    All right, all right! I'll eat an orange! Jesus!

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    womanhater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AbelMagwitch View Post
    Womanhater touched on this point I think. Fat soluble vitamins are particularly dangerous if you get too much, because you can't pee out the excess.

    The Risks of Excess Vitamins and Other Nutrients
    Yep! Do NOT take ANY of the A, D, E, or K vitamins without explicit instructions from a licensed physician based on BLOOD WORK! You'll fry out your liver and trash your skin in no time flat - as for all the others, fuck it! Go to town - no harm done!

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    Hypervitaminosis? All right, I'll eat the orange, but now you're just making up words. You can't fool me, I recognize that one... I saw Harry Potter too.

    In all seriousness, this is one of the things that's got me looking at any supplement I take and it's label VERY carefully. I don't need to go giving myself hyper... hepy... oculus patronumosis. It's one of the reasons I do so much juicing of vegetables, and drink so much orange/tangerine/grapefruit juice, so I don't have to take any multi-Vs but get my vitamins from natural sources.

    Anybody got any say on the nutritional value of store bought brands of any kind of juices? I'm a V-8 and Naked Juice fan myself. I like to mix in some organic hemp pro/fiber for some omega 3, fiber and protein as well.

    Edit... thread made me paranoid... felt like I'm giving myself super cancer not eating enough good stuff... getting a V-8 AND a home made vegetable blend right now. Ain't no hippopotamosis gettin this GIT!

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    Bill McNeal's Avatar
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    This study seems relevant - Multivitamins won't boost health, waste of money: Researchers - CBS News

    Basically, like what is being said here, eat vitamin and nutrient rich foods, and only supplement if a doctor is telling you to. Otherwise you're wasting money and possibly doing harm to your health.

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    NonNegotiable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by womanhater View Post

    Fucktarded moron Registered Dietitians usually know less than shit, and they teach the motherfucking Food Pyramid or My Plate or whatever the fucktards in .gov decide needs to be eaten as being scientifically valid rather than dismissing it for the lobbyist endorsed tripe that it is! The OVERWHELMING majority of RD's are twats who couldn't conduct a double blind research trial if they had guns to their heads and MOST RD's are employed by .gov passing out WIC coupons to single mothers - in other words, they're parasites helping other parasites leach off the productivity of men.

    </rant>
    ^^^This! My only contact with "Registered Dieticians" was when I was in the psych ward. They were all twats, and they were all in excess of 300 lbs! Yeah, let me get my notebook out and write down your diet advice, Landwhale McHambeast RD, so I know how NOT to eat!

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    do not disturb's Avatar
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    I take a D, fish oil, multi, and niacin, plus I get juice from the health food store maybe twice a week (juicer)

    The niacin 1000mg everyday I take without fail. I started that when they wanted to put me on a statin drug, I said no, and started taking niacin 2000mg a day. It brought down my cholesterol from 300 to 208 in 3 months

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    mghow_masculinist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McNeal View Post
    This study seems relevant - Multivitamins won't boost health, waste of money: Researchers - CBS News

    Basically, like what is being said here, eat vitamin and nutrient rich foods, and only supplement if a doctor is telling you to. Otherwise you're wasting money and possibly doing harm to your health.
    The problem is that soil lacks minerals and mass production of food that no longer gives soil enough time to 'recover' leaves our vitamin and nutrient rich foods with a lot less nutrients. So we either eat a lot more or we supplement in addition to doing that.

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    fester's Avatar
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    My only experience with vitamins was a few years ago, they were Bvitamin tablets.

    They made me piss bright lemon yellow; I stopped.

    A few years ago I went on a "blender" kick, and added some of that "protein powder" shit that comes in a big plastic jar (my son was weightlifting at the time).

    I started getting skin rashes; stopped the powder; rashes went away.

    We do not need that much food to get by on, but it should be the right kind; something as simple as just having an apple a few times a week.

    A banana will give you potassium and other minerals. We no not need that much.

    I have oatmeal and dates for breakfast quite often; no health problems.

    "All things in moderation" is my motto.

    Also, the comment about poor mineral depleted soil is spot on. Specifically missing is silver, which I believe is crucial (in minute amounts) to the immune system. The widespread lack of silver may be one cause of common maladies. Colloidal silver is a good supplement.

    Obviously, the ritual poisoning of the body (smoking, drinking, drugs, shitty food, etc.) does not help anyone.

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