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Providence Medford: Too Much of a Good Thing

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In the fall, people start to worry more about getting sick and some people try preventative measures to keep a healthy immune system. While taking good care of your body can certainly help prevent infection, there are hazards to overdoing some of the remedies that are readily available and touted as “good for you”.

Vitamins are good for you; and necessary for your body to remain strong and healthy. Most people can get more than enough vitamins from a balanced diet, especially as many foods these days are actually fortified with extra vitamins. If you are going to take a vitamin supplement one daily should be more than enough.

Some of the vitamins, namely A, D, E, and K are fat soluble, meaning they can be stored in fat and tissues and reach toxic levels in the body. Excess iron, calcium, and vitamins B3 and B6 can also cause toxicity and sometimes irreversible health problems.

Zinc may slightly lessen the duration of a cold, but it has a lot of side effects and some dangers. Oral zinc can lead to nausea and vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhea, and can affect your sense of smell and sense of taste, and in excess doses can even suppress your immune system.

I was recently reading an article about probiotics, which are microorganisms which have been widely touted as helping to build a healthy digestive system. There was a study done that too many of these supplements lead to an excess bacterial by-product in the blood which can actually affect brain/ cognitive function and leads people to have poor memory and concentration and a lack of mental clarity.

Herbal supplements can pose a wide variety of hazards and drug interactions, so always talk to your doctor before starting one.

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