What Are The Possible Consequences Of A Vitamin E Overdose?
What are your chances of ever experiencing a vitamin E overdose? The truth is, the chances are quite small, especially if the only vitamin E you ingest is that which is to be found in the food you eat. There are several things you should know about vitamin E. First of all, it is an important vitamin, a vitamin our body needs. Second, if you eat what could be considered a normal diet, the chances are slim that you would ever experience a vitamin E deficiency, or for that matter, an overdose. Third, the easiest, and most likely the only way to overdose on vitamin E, is by taking high dosage vitamin E supplements.
More Is Not Always Better - While supplements can in some instances be helpful, in many cases the benefits that are to be realized by taking vitamin E supplements tend to be overstated. Vitamin E that is taken in addition to that consumed in a normal diet can, in some cases, be helpful. However, if taking a little extra vitamin E may be good for you, taking even more may not be, and could even be harmful. In the case of vitamin E, more isn't necessarily better, and could in fact be worse.
Most of us need approximately 15 milligrams of vitamin E every day. Pregnant women need a bit more, and children require a bit less. An ounce of nuts, preferably almonds, the same amount of wheat germ, and an egg, will give you all of the vitamin E you need in one day. So will the vitamin E normally present in a multivitamin tablet. If you don't like taking tablets or pills, and know you would soon tire of a diet consisting of almonds, wheat germ, and eggs, you can get all the vitamin E you need from eating leafy green vegetables, most fruits, whole grains, nuts, dairy products, and meat. It would be an unusual diet indeed that wouldn't provide you with the vitamin E your body needs.
How Much Is Too Much? - If the daily recommended allowance of vitamin E is a little under 20 milligrams, what would constitute a vitamin E overdose? According to the Mayo Clinic, you could experience an overdose, which in the long run could potentially prove to be fatal, it you took in more than about 260 milligrams per day, every day, for many, many days. A pound of nuts, a pound of wheat germ, and a dozen eggs, eaten every day for many days could put you over the limit, but few could eat that much of that food for that many days. Body weight can of course be a factor, but most of us simply aren't capable of eating enough to be in any danger of experiencing a vitamin E overdose.
Even those who take vitamin E supplements for one reason or another tend to be rather conservative as to the dosage, and very few take what would be called high dosage supplements. It usually takes a long period of time of continuously overdosing before any pronounced effects would be noticed. Those with cardiac conditions need to be especially cautions about taking vitamin E supplements, although a normal dosage generally is not thought to be harmful. There isn't general agreement as to what would constitute a very dangerous dosage, and how long one would have to consistently take that dosage to suffer any negative consequences. The bottom line is this; problems associated with a vitamin E overdose are quite rare, and you really have to work at it to experience any problems.
There are symptoms associated with overdosing, although none of them point directly to vitamin E as the culprit. Overdosing on vitamin E over time may result in periods of dizziness, fatigue, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and general weakness. These symptoms however are associated with a great many different diseases or disorders.
When you are ill and see a doctor, the doctor may ask which medications you are taking, as medications are sometimes at the source of the problem. When telling the doctor the medications we take, we tend not to mention any supplements we take beyond taking a multivitamin. We tell the doctor we take a multivitamin to score a few points, but usually don't mention all the other pills we take in hopes of improving our lives.
Where Caution Is Needed - A vitamin E overdose, and even a vitamin E supplement that is well within safe limits, can cause problems with people who have certain conditions. As mentioned before, those with cardiac conditions need to be careful, as do those who have certain skin conditions, kidney problems, or sight problems, as too much vitamin E, though not necessarily an overdose, can in some cases make a bad problem even worse.
While taking vitamin E supplements is considered to be relatively safe, it is never a good practice to rely too heavily on supplements. Supplements are not controlled in the same manner as are medications, and when a person takes many different supplements and begins to have problems, it can sometimes be difficult to find the exact cause, especially since some supplements tend to react with other supplements, sometime positively, and sometimes negatively.