Vitamin supplements can be dangerous – who else can benefit from them

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Out: Kilian Bäuml


About a third of Germans use food supplements. This is mostly useless, sometimes useful and sometimes even dangerous.

Frankfurt – When winter comes, or at the latest during the flu season, many people want to do something good for their immune system and take supplements. Many expect to enhance their health and the pharmaceutical industry is taking advantage of this.

The food supplement market has been experiencing a boom in recent years. Whether vitamin C for the immune system or calcium for bones – the market offers something for everyone. Dietary supplements have been debated for years.

Dietary supplements: Do you need vitamin preparations, etc.?

Most people are able to get all the essential nutrients from food. That means supplements aren’t necessary for most people, they report MDR. In addition, data is scarce and there are too few long-term studies that suggest a positive effect of dietary supplements.

Food supplements are usually not necessary. (Iconic image) © Michael Bihlmayer/Imago

These people can still benefit from taking supplements:

  1. people with pre-existing conditions they often have a higher need for nutrients that can be covered by taking supplements.
  2. Pregnant and lactating women they also need a lot of nutrients. It is often worth adding nutrients to them.
  3. For competitive athletes It may be worthwhile to take dietary supplements, as the need for them also increases.
  4. For people on special diets such as Vegansthere may be a deficiency of some nutrients, which can be compensated by supplements.
  5. (Source: Apotheken Umschau)

Dietary Supplements: This is where vitamin supplements and the like become dangerous

Taking supplements is supposed to improve health, but the opposite can also happen. The active substances contained in supplements are often dosed too high. For example, too much vitamin D causes calcium levels to rise. This can lead to vomiting, nausea and abdominal cramps, as well as kidney damage, he says GDR.

It is also said that too much vitamin A can damage bone structure. An overdose of potassium can cause abnormal heart rhythms, and copper can increase the risk of premature death by up to 18 percent. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) therefore strongly advises against the use of such preparations

In fact: Dietary supplements should only be used in case of deficiency and their intake is best consulted with a doctor. (Kilian Baeuml)

Editor’s note

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for a doctor’s visit. Only specialists can make the correct diagnosis and start appropriate therapy. The use of medicines or dietary supplements should be discussed with a doctor in advance.

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