The Dangerous Side Effects Of Vitamin Megadosing

There's no doubt that there are vitamins that are critical to our health and development, but as with most things, you can definitely get too much of a good thing. While every bottle of vitamins that you buy will include dosage instructions, it might be tempting to take more than the recommended dose thinking that if a single pill is good, taking twice that amount must be even better. That is not the case, and can even be dangerous in some cases.

Vitamins are divided into two types: Fat soluble and water soluble. Generally speaking, it's difficult to overdo water soluble vitamins since our bodies don't store them very well. You might take too much Vitamin C, for instance, but it will mostly come out in your urine. But there are some water soluble vitamins that can be toxic in large amounts, like vitamin B6. On the other hand, fat soluble vitamins can build up in your body's fat cells, which can be dangerous. (via Healthline).

What does megadosing mean?

"There are studies that show that if you take a megavitamin you actually can hurt yourself. You actually can increase your risk of cancer, increase your risk of heart disease," Paul Offit, M.D., chief of the division of infectious diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, told the CBC.

Vitamins C, D, and E are some of the commonly megadosed vitamins. Regularly megadosing with these can potentially increase risk of prostate cancer, heart disease, and even kidney stones (via the CBC). Basically, if a claim about what a megadose of vitamins can do for you sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

And remember, dietary supplements, including those over-the-counter vitamins, are largely unregulated, so unless you're getting third-party verified vitamins, you can't be sure of your dosage (via US News & World Report). Unless your doctor has recommended a megadose of a certain vitamin, skip the megadoses and stick to your regular vitamins, trying to get most of your micronutrients from a healthy diet.