Vitamins

Vitamin Tablet Overdoses May be Harmful

Vitamins and minerals are good for us, but too much of anything can be harmful. Although there is no solid evidence that high doses of single antioxidant vitamins are really harmful, it is common sense not to take too much of any one on their own.

While vitamins may ward off disease in the test-tube, they do little to protect in everyday life, this week’s New Scientist reports. In fact, Vitamins C and E – compounds known as anti-oxidants – may actually cause some illnesses.

Some genuine research results

The New Scientist reports that multivitamins could be of little benefit and there is danger of overdosing on some. Anti-oxidants, which occur naturally in plants, mop up free-radicals – toxins produced by the body that damage cells and are linked to a host of illnesses.

Vitamin C is also controversial, with a recent American study suggesting it may speed up atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, in diabetics.

ConsumerLab.com is a Westchester, N.Y.-based company that independently evaluates hundreds of health and nutrition products and periodically publishes reviews a selection of the popular multivitamins on the market as well as some smaller brands and sent them, without labels, to two independent laboratories to be tested.

In the report, tests showed that The Vitamin Shoppe women’s product contained 15.3 micrograms of lead per daily serving of two tablets. This amount of lead is more than 10 times the amount permitted without a warning in California, the only state that regulates lead in supplements, Cooperman said. On average, most American adults are exposed to about 3 micrograms of lead through food, wine and other sources, he said, and while 15.3 micrograms of lead per day may not be immediately toxic, the mineral is stored in the body and could build up to dangerous levels with time.

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