April 30, 2003 at 8:03 PM CDT - Updated June 21 at 2:31 PM
Too Many Vitamins, Too Bad By: Wendy Ray
If one is good, a bunch must be great, right? Maybe not.
Taking too many vitamins may do more harm than good. One Heartland dietician says some people look at vitamins as a quick fix to a healthier life, but it's not that easy. It takes just the right balance.
Vitamins are big business. There's a big demand for them, roughly 70 percent of Americans take their vitamins with hopes of becoming healthier. The good news for people taking vitamins, you have a lot of different types and brands to pick from. But dietician Kim Roper says the bad news is, too many can cause problems. "It could be like bone loss and osteoporosis, liver disease and things like that. It could be serious. If a person's healthy, and eating a balanced diet there's no need for vitamins, supplements, or minerals," she says.
The reality is, not everyone eats a balanced diet. That's where vitamins come in. Roper says before you buy anything, look at the back of the bottle. It will say if those vitamins meet the recommended daily allowance. "When you're using the individual vitamins like a vitamin A, you may have excess of 20 to 25 percent what the recommended value is," Roper says. With all the choices out there, it can become confusing on what you might need. The best thing you can do is ask for help. Roper says, "They should seek guidance from a doctor especially if taking large amounts, it should be approved."
The same goes for children. Too many vitamins can be bad for their health too. But Roper says one vitamin a day is okay.