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Watch your diet supplement intake

People who take dietary supplements to boost their intake of minerals may actually be getting too much of a good thing — and even risk serious problems. Read on to know why and how...

health and fitness Updated: Oct 09, 2011 01:35 IST

People who take dietary supplements to boost their intake of minerals may actually be getting too much of a good thing — and even risk serious problems.



According to a U.S. study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who take dietary supplements also tend to get more nutrients from their food than those who don’t take supplements — suggesting that vitamins may be taken by the people who need them least.



Pill

In some cases, supplement users may actually be overloading on minerals, such as iron, that can cause potentially serious health problems, researchers said. “People need to choose supplements to help meet, but not exceed, the recommended daily intake levels,” said Regan Bailey, a nutrition research at the National Institutes of Health, who led the study.



Men and women who reported using dietary supplements containing eight important minerals — calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, copper, potassium and selenium — were much less likely to be getting inadequate amounts of those minerals from the foods they ate than were people who said they didn’t take supplements, the study found.



The link was strongest for women, who are more likely than men to take supplements.