Can Too Many Nutrients be Harmful to Your Health?

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We all know about the unhealthy elements in our diet that we should limit, such as sugar and sodium. However, there are also some healthy things that, consumed in excess, can do much more harm than good. Here are some of the risks associated with taking on too much of these five key nutrients.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

These healthy fats have been proven to help fight inflammation and reduce the risk of type -2 diabetes, heart disease and depression and maintain brain function. However, too much omega-3 may alter immune function, and disrupt the body’s ability to fend off viral or bacterial infections. Avoid overloading – if you eat a lot of seafood, you may not need to take an additional supplement or consume foods that are Omega-3 fortified. Talk to your health care provider about your diet to determine just how much you need to be consuming, and whether or not you need to take supplements. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is great at supporting immune health, maintaining strong bones, teeth and healing wounds. It is also an excellent antioxidant. The advised maximum intake for adults is 2,000 mg a day. Taking larger doses has been linked to digestive issues, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea and heartburn. To keep tabs on how much you consume, aim to get your vitamin C from foods such as citrus fruits, red and green peppers, strawberries and pineapples.

Zinc

Zinc is an important mineral that supports immune function, promotes healthy vision, smell and taste, and regulates blood sugar. It also aids in stabilizing metabolism, healing, and maintaining thyroid function. However, if too much zinc is taken over time, the side effects may include digestive issues, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, increased sweating and hallucinations to name a few. Be aware of how many sources you consume zinc in – it is found in red meat, shellfish and some nasal sprays or throat lozenges.

Calcium

This bone-strengthening mineral is also needed for proper heart, nerve, and muscle function, and it helps maintain your body’s acid/base balance. However too much calcium intake can also lead to constipation and get in the way of proper absorption of iron and zinc. It is rare to get too much calcium from food alone, but getting too much calcium from other sources may start interfering with our health.

 

Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

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Image Credit: Symptoms of cancer by Tips Times. Used under a creative commons license. 

 

 

 

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