T Nation

Vitamin and Mineral dangers..

From http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3007937.stm

People who take large doses of certain vitamins and minerals risk
permanently damaging their health, a government watchdog has warned.

Experts from the UK’s Food Standards Agency say high levels of minerals
like beta-carotene and zinc over a long period may have irreversible
harmful effects.

They have also proposed a ban on chromium picolinate, which is found in
some diet supplements, amid fears it can cause cancer.

In addition, they reiterated warnings that high doses of vitamin C,
calcium and iron can harm health but said long-term damage can be avoided
if people stop taking them.

The findings follow a major review of 31 vitamins and minerals by the
agency’s expert group on vitamins and minerals.

Safe limits

It concluded that most vitamins and minerals are safe if they are taken in
doses that don’t exceed recommended limits.

However, it warned that five substances may cause permanent damage if they
are taken in large quantities over a long period.

These are:

beta-carotene - linked to an increased risk of lung cancer in smokers

and people exposed to asbestos.

manganese - linked to muscle and nerve disorders in older people

nicotinic acid - linked to cell damage

phosphorus - may damage organs and tissue

zinc - may damage the immune system

It also advised people against consuming more than 10mg per day of vitamin
B6 unless they are acting on medical advice.

High intakes over a long period can lead to a loss of feeling in the arms
and legs, the experts said.

In addition the group warned against taking more than 1000mg of vitamin C,
1500mg of calcium or 17mg of iron per day.

In high doses, these can all cause stomach pains and diarrhoea. However,
the symptoms should disappear once people stop taking these supplements.

Cancer concern

The group concluded that people who consume no more than 10mg of chromium
picolinate per day are unlikely to suffer any problems.

However, the FSA said it has consulted supplement manufacturers on
proposals to ban it in Britain. Recent studies suggest it may damage DNA
and increase the risks of cancer.

The FAS board is expected to back proposals urging manufacturers to reduce
the dose of potentially harmful vitamins and minerals in some supplements
or place warnings on packets at a meeting later on Thursday.

Sir John Krebs, chair of the FSA, said the report followed a thorough
review of scientific studies.

"While in most cases you can get all the nutrients you need from a
balanced diet, many people choose to take supplements.

"But taking some high dose supplements over a long period of time can be

“We are using an extremely thorough independent expert review of the
scientific evidence on the safety of vitamins and minerals as the basis
for new advice to help consumers make informed choices.”

The supplements industry welcomed the report.

Dr Ann Walker, an advisor for the industry-funded Health Supplements
Information Service, said: “In addition to encouraging a healthy diet in
order to achieve good nutritional balance, supplements can play an
important role in maintaining health where people are not getting all they
need from food alone.”

Any comments…???


I’m calling bullshit. Here is why: Many studies have shown that higher than the recommended doses of vitamins and minerals is beneficial to the body.

Remember, this is a government agency performing this test. Don’t you think that they are purposely showing these results in order to encourage people not to use more than the recommended dose (which is far below what it should be to remain healthy)? I believe the government supports the pharmacuetical companies and their drugs and medications (it’s a huge business). So by encouraging people to not exceed the recommended dose, more people will become sick, thus needing these expensive drugs and medications. Look at what is out there. There are medications for everything, and many things could be treated with a proper diet and exercise. But they come up with a drug to help one thing, and then it has numerous side effects. So they come up with another drug to address that. It’s ridiculous!

Many pharmaceutical companies have been trying to gain control of vitamin and mineral supplements (making them require a prescription or not available to purchase in stores) so they can make more money by controlling it themeselves.

I think this study is a scam and an outrage. I don’t believe their findings, as there are many more studies and findings that report otherwise.

Not only that, but just think of how much vitamin D you acquire from one hour in sunlight. It’s more than 100 times the recommended dose, and I haven’t seen anyone die or have health problems from excessive vitamin D. Sure, their are some that will complain that sun exposure increases your chance of skin cancer, but that is for excessive exposure, and one hour is not only moderate, but recommended.

So I wouldn’t trust this study.

I have posted in other threads my belief that MEGAdosing is not good. There are complications with increased intake especially of Lipid soluble vitamins. Water soluble vitamins are generally pissed away if taken above body required doses. In MEGAdoses there are potential effects to the immune system, urinary system, and others.

However, that said, I’d like to know the test group studied, what the doses were like, and things like activity levels, lifestyle, etc. Remember the BS that came out regarding that HRT study over last summer? Women age 40 were going nuts because they were taking HRT for menopause. I read the article in New England Journal of Medicine and i) test study were women 65 and older, ii) they were issued HRT as a prevent for coronary disease not menopausal symptoms, iii) VERY VERY skewed statistics which made me laugh and cry at the same time.

Furthermore, it is also known that bodybuilders and other people with highly active lifestyles require increased doses of vitamins because their supply gets depleted much more rapidly than the average joe sitting at his desk (Sorry no references). Also, as we age our ability to absorb vitamins is drastically altered.

As with any other supplement I’d be cautious. Overdoing it has it’s problems. However, I’d be equally (or moreso) cautious about believing some of the crap that gets published these days.

Saying that 1500mg Vitamin C is dangerous is absolutely absurd. Linus Pauling took in 8g/day for the vast majority of his life. Did he admit to having terrible diarrhea? Hell yeah! Did he live to be about 850 years old? Hell yeah!

What these same individuals fail to mention is that the body will progressively adapt to higher intakes of many vitamins and minerals. IMO, the benefits of increased dosages in most cases FAR outweight the risks and costs associated.

The food guide pyramid is finally dying and now we have to start putting up with the BS; it’s ridiculous!

Nate, you honestly believe the government is in the business of trying to get people sick to support drug companies? Seriously?

That’s one of the more absurd conspiracy theories I’ve ever heard.

Fat soluable Vitamins shouldn’t be megadosed at all that isn’t too good, water soluables I dont see why not if u don’t mind the shits all the time.


B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T. Pure and simple.

My body used to not be able to handle large doses of Viatmin C, but over the years with high doses, I’ve adapted and now live without the runs, more or less.

As for B6

“High intakes over a long period can lead to a loss of feeling in the arms
and legs”

I don’t know what to make of this. I thought it was the mercury in my tuna causing this.

Nate, you honestly believe the government is in the business of trying to get people sick to support drug companies? Seriously?

I don’t think the government is purposely trying to get anybody sick. I do however feel that the government and the AMA don’t like anything that anyone can self dose on and would prefer to have their nasty little fingers controlling everything supplement, vitamin and otherwise that they can make more money off of as prescription medicine.
Some days I really do wonder if there’s some sort of conspiracy to keep people fat though…