Oct 04, 2015

Vitamin Safety

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Lots of vitamins spilling from a bottle Since many of us are not eating a nutritionally complete diet, a variety of people choose vitamins to supplement whatever they are missing. In fact, 44% of the US population takes dietary supplements including vitamins. The risk of vitamin toxicity is ever present even though over 80% of Americans think that vitamins are safe. Do you think vitamins are the answer to a healthier you?


Vitamin Dangers


There are basically two types of vitamins: water soluble vitamins and fat soluble vitamins. Water soluble vitamins like ascorbic acid, folic acid, riboflavin, thiamine, and niacin are easily diluted in water. There is very little danger in consuming toxic levels of these vitamins. When water soluble vitamins are beyond absorption levels, they are simply passed through the body and excreted in the urine.


Fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E, and K are much more difficult to purge from the body. They are stored in the liver when not being used by the body and can accumulate to potentially toxic levels. The American Association of Poison Control reports approximately 60,000 incidents a year of vitamin exposure with adverse outcomes. The majority of incidents occur in children under the age of 6. An easy way to avoid over exposure is to store vitamins in a safe place and consult the labels. These labels are required by law and list the percentages of daily allowance right on the product.


FDA and Vitamins


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the production of vitamins. In 1994, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) set the government standards on dietary supplements. These supplements include vitamin and minerals as well as amino acids, herbs, and other botanicals. Manufacturers are required to label these dietary supplements, disclose all their ingredients and the amount of each ingredient per dose.


In 2007, the Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) regulations were passed. This required manufacturers to ensure the identity, quality, purity and strength of the dietary supplements they produce. This legislation became necessary due to the various supplements that were recalled before 2007. During their investigation some of the vitamins were found to be contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, and microbes. These new rules were the US government’s response to the assortment of claims that the labels were not reflective of the actual ingredients in the product. This new requirement helps to ensure that supplements are safe and contain the ingredients as stated on their label.


Organic Vitamins


To avoid harmful ingredients consider herbal or organic vitamins as a viable solution. These types of vitamins are made with ingredients like fruits and vegetables, grains, or bee pollen. Vitamins made from whole food sources provide a healthy alternative to synthetic vitamins. They also tend to have higher values of naturally occurring trace minerals.


(2009) Overview of Dietary Supplements. Retrieved September 2, 2010.

(2009) Toxicity, Vitamin. Retrieved September 2, 2010.

(2010) Vitamin A Toxicity. Retrieved September 2, 2010.

(2008) Fat-Soluble Vitamins. Retrieved September 2, 2010.

(2009) Nutrition Infocenter. Retrieved September 2, 2010.

(2010) Risks and abuses of megadoses of vitamins. Retrieved September 2, 2010.


  • Comment Link Han Nunmaker Tuesday, 19 October 2010 08:16 posted by Han Nunmaker

    I really enjoyed visiting this site. Vitamins can be really harmful and it is surprising that I had not heard this by now.


  • Comment Link mirundap Saturday, 06 November 2010 19:31 posted by mirundap

    Simple enough and worthy of a tweet.

  • Comment Link Toni Sheridan Monday, 15 November 2010 18:52 posted by Toni Sheridan

    I agree. I had never heard that vitamins could be dangerous. Who would've thought? I mean, we take vitamins to be more healthy, right? And come to find out that we could be doing harm to our bodies... Thanks for the insight!

  • Comment Link Vance Parker Wednesday, 11 April 2012 20:08 posted by Vance Parker

    Oh my god! WOW, okay I am the top salesperson in the nation selling a vitamin mineral drink at Costco's. The reason for my investigation is to find out why all the profound affects that people are having after drinking what I am selling,, myself included. I want to know what everything does and the affects on the liver. This information is absolutely outstanding!!!

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