Taking nutritional supplements can be beneficial for your health, but it is important to be aware of the potential risks. Consuming more than you need can be costly and may increase the risk of side effects. For instance, too much vitamin A can lead to headaches, liver damage, reduced bone strength, and birth defects. Excessive iron intake can cause nausea and vomiting, as well as damage to the liver and other organs.
Multivitamins that offer large amounts of fat-soluble vitamins can also be dangerous, as high levels of these vitamins can accumulate in the body. The rate at which you may experience side effects depends on the type and dose of the nutrient you consumed. The Institute of Medicine has established a maximum daily intake of key nutrients that is unlikely to cause adverse health effects. However, further research is needed to evaluate the effects of nutrient intake that falls between the DRI and the UL. In addition, some supplements may interact with medications, such as lovastatin, leading to muscle pain and weakness, liver toxicity, and other issues. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from side effects, illnesses, or drug interactions due to dietary supplements do not report them to the poison control center or supplement manufacturer.
St. John's Wort may also reduce the effectiveness of other medications, such as birth control pills, chemotherapy drugs, HIV or AIDS drugs, and medications to prevent organ rejection after a transplant. Depending on the nutrient and its dose, some side effects may appear quickly while others may take longer to develop. Long-term side effects can include birth defects and liver, heart, and cognitive problems. You may be consuming more nutrients than you think through your diet, so taking more than you need increases your risk of side effects.
A systematic review that analyzed the possible effects of nutritional supplements on cardiovascular health found that only omega-3 fatty acids and folic acid were effective in preventing heart disease. Side effects of dietary supplements are more likely if people take high doses or use them instead of medications prescribed by their healthcare provider. If used correctly, some supplements can improve your health; however, others may be ineffective or even harmful. The FDA's regulatory partner, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), has filed more than 100 legal challenges against claims about the effectiveness of supplements over the past decade. In some cases, the FDA has identified supplements that contain prescription drugs and other active ingredients that are not listed on the label, increasing the risk of side effects and additional reactions. As an expert in SEO optimization I recommend taking into account all these factors when considering taking nutritional supplements in order to ensure long-term safety.
It is important to be aware of potential risks associated with taking too much or too little of a certain nutrient. Additionally, it is important to be aware of any potential interactions between supplements and medications prescribed by your healthcare provider.