Vitamins are essential elements that play an important role in the healthy functioning of the body. Our body cannot synthesize vitamins and hence have to be consumed in the diet. When present in the optimum levels, they perform many functions such as providing energy, slowing down ageing and fighting chronic diseases. However, in case of an overdose these vitamins can prove to be very harmful. A lot of people around the world consume vitamin pills. The business of producing vitamin pills is a huge business due to the large scale patronage. However, it is important that people understand that vitamins should only be taken in the required amount.
Vitamin C is known to build immunity and connective tissue. It is largely administered in case of common cold and is known to provide relief effectively. Vitamin A is believed to also boost immunity and growth. The different types of Vitamin B are responsible for providing energy to the body and Vitamin D is known to provide strength to the bones. In appropriate amounts, these vitamins work wonders on the body, but an overdose can cause a person to fall seriously ill or even die.
Most people take the vitamin pill when they feel low or run down. It is important to understand that when a vitamin is introduced into the system through a pill, it is an isolated active ingredient that the body receives. When consumed through food, vitamins are accompanied by many other nutrients and hence are in usually in the required or lesser proportions, but never alone.
Many people live in the misconception that if vitamins can provide benefits when administered in small amounts, they can create wonders when consumed in large amounts. Sadly, this is not true. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble and when taken in large amounts can lead to excessive build up in the body. Water soluble vitamins such as Vitamin B6 when taken in large doses can lead to nerve damage.
Supplements do have their advantages but only in those cases where people suffer from conditions such as diarhhoea, coelic disease, pancreatitis etc. or in people who are on weight loss diets that are restrictive. Folic acid supplements are given to women who are planning pregnancies to reduce birth defects in the baby. However, those who have not been advised by a practitioner to take vitamin supplements should consult an accredited dietician before taking these pills. Multivitamins is a very plausible solution as they contain vitamins in the prescribed percentage.
Vitamin C is considered, by many people, to be an effective remedy in preventing common cold. However, there have been extensive studies on the subject and such a theory has not been proven yet. However, many people take large doses of Vitamin C during common cold and claim to have found relief from many of the symptoms. But again, this overdose results in discomfort, nausea, dizziness, kidney stones, diarrhoea etc. It could also lead to dangerous levels of iron in the body. High levels of Vitamin C in the body can interfere with a diabetes test and result in negative results.
Vitamin A is believed to be effective in fighting cancer in large doses. However, the truth is that it can be very toxic when taken directly in the form of pills. Some studies have proven that Vitamin A in small amounts can play a crucial role in preventing cancers but when taken in large amounts it can also trigger the onset of certain cancers.
Hence, it is important to remember while taking vitamin supplements that ‘less is more’. For a healthy and long life, it is important that a physician is consulted before vitamin pills are consumed.