Vitamins and minerals are essential elements of a healthy diet and if our daily intake is not packed with these core nutrients, we are advised to make up for them with additional supplements.
Not all vitamins, however, are good for your health. The pharmaceutical industry is growing by the day and patenting all kinds of vitamins, some of which might be detrimental to our health if consumed in the form of tablets.
Compiled from the Reader’s Digest, here is a list of six vitamins that are harmful for the human body and should only be consumed in the form of food.
Spinach and carrots are packed with beta-carotene and the recommended amount a day is 3,000 IU for males and 2,130 IU for females. The vitamin is falsely assumed to act as an antidote to cancer. In fact, studies suggest it might increase the symptoms of lung cancer. Verdict: Do not consume supplements of beta-carotene unless prescribed.
It is advisable to consume the required amount of this vitamin, that is, 55 micrograms from natural sources such as tuna and beef. Excessive amounts of selenium, especially if your body isn’t short of the mineral, can exacerbate prostrate cancer or catalyse its symptoms.
3) Vitamin B6
1.4 milligrams of vitamin B6 from baked potatoes, bananas, and chickpeas after the age of 50 is sufficient intake for vitamin B6. It is assumed that this vitamin lowers levels of homocysteine (an amino acid associated with heart disease), but research has yet to validate this claim or prove any cognitive benefits of taking supplements of this nutrient.
Lower levels of this vitamin are associated with anaemia and dementia and it is recommended to take supplements to suffice 2.4 micrograms if you do not have enough intake of beef, fish and fortified breakfast cereals. Beyond this level, however, the vitamin does not help with cognition so do not take B12 tablets unless prescribed.
5) Vitamin C
The myth surrounding this vitamin is that it is an antidote to colds, cancer and heart disease. While vitamin C should be an essential part of our daily diets, studies do not validate a positive correlation between the nutrient and the cure for cancer. In the meantime, stick to fruits and veggies to get your C fix.
This vitamin is believed to cure heart-diseases and Alzheimer’s and studies show that consuming supplements of Vitamin E may increase the likelihood of strokes. The recommended level of intake for this vitamin is 15 milligrams a day and can easily be acquired from a relatively balanced diet. So do not take vitamin E supplements, unless you are prescribed. Almonds and spinach are all you need to get your Vitamin E levels going.
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