At the same time, vitamins like vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B7 (biotin), and vitamin B12 (cobalamin) have no detectable toxicity, so they do not have a fixed upper intake level.
Vitamins are essential for various bodily functions, including strengthening the immune system and supporting a healthy metabolism. But at the same time, too much of anything is not good for anyone; consumption of large amounts of food-based vitamins can lead to serious health problems.
What are food-based vitamins? Initially, vitamins are of two major types: natural (or real food) vitamins and synthetic vitamins. The method of manufacture is the main distinction between vitamins that are synthetic and those that are natural. The production and processing of natural vitamins do not take place in laboratories, despite the fact that they may be sterilized there. As a result, natural vitamin supplements let you maintain a connection to the natural world without ingesting the vitamins' original sources.
Why is it possible to overdose on food-based vitamins? According to an article by Healthline, it is mentioned that if large amounts of vitamins are consumed naturally through food, they are unlikely to cause severe harm, whereas if taken in concentrated levels as a supplement, it's possible to overdo it, which might have bad health consequences. As long as one follows the directions on the label, it won’t cause much harm. However, people sometimes tend to take much larger amounts of vitamins, called "mega-doses," in the hope that the supplements will help prevent or treat certain health problems.
Vitamins can also be classified according to how they dissolve in the body. So the 13 essential vitamins can be divided into two distinct categories, one being water-soluble vitamins and the other being fat-soluble vitamins.
To begin, when it comes to water-soluble vitamins, they do not accumulate or store in the body and are easily excreted.There are nine water-soluble vitamins: Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (niacin), Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin B7 (biotin), Vitamin B9 (folate), and Vitamin B12 (cobalamin).
Therefore, in comparison to fat-soluble vitamins, they are more plentiful. And since water-soluble drugs aren’t stored in the tissues and are released through urine, it is very unlikely to cause any serious effects, even at high concentrations. Although megadoses of some water-soluble drugs might result in potentially harmful effects.
Talking about the side effects of water-soluble vitamins, some of the water-soluble vitamins, if consumed in excess, may cause adverse effects. At the same time, vitamins like vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B7 (biotin), and vitamin B12 (cobalamin) have no detectable toxicity, so they do not have a fixed upper intake level. Upper intake levels are established to show the highest dosage of a nutrient that is unlikely to affect almost all people in an overall population.
Moving on to the water-soluble vitamins that can cause harmful side effects when consumed in large amounts are vitamin C, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), and vitamin B9 (folate).
Vitamin C: Even though vitamin C has relatively less harmful toxicity at the same time, intake of larger amounts can cause abnormalities in the digestive system that include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, and headaches.
Vitamin B3 (niacin): High consumption of niacin can cause liver damage, gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure, and impaired vision.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): Some of the symptoms that may occur with long-term overconsumption of B6 are skin conditions, eye problems, nausea, and heartburn.
Vitamin B9 (folate): Intake of high doses of folate can affect the immune system, impair mental function, and even result in a shortage of vitamin B12 in the body. Apart from vitamin K, the rest have a set upper intake level because of their higher toxicity levels if consumed in larger amounts. The remaining vitamins are vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E.
Vitamin A: Consuming higher doses of vitamin A can lead to nausea, high ICP (intracranial pressure), coma, and even death.
Vitamin D: Higher intakes of Vitamin D can cause problems such as weight loss, lack of appetite, and an unstable heartbeat. Besides, it may also increase blood calcium levels, which may harm internal organs.
Vitamin E: Large amounts of vitamin E can lead to hemorrhage and hemorrhagic strokes, as well as blood coagulation issues.
So, is it possible to overdose on food-based vitamins? Well, yes. There have been a few rare instances of vitamin overdose death.These reported instances were related to vitamin toxicity, which can be avoided by responsibly consuming safe amounts of vitamins, preferably as prescribed by medical authorities. Cliched as it sounds, moderation is the key. Take vitamins to optimize your health buy do not go overboard.