Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer as to how many vitamins and supplements is too much. What may be excessive to one person may well be insufficient for another, as excessive is relative to the individual.
A person’s lifestyle, diet, metabolism and physiology will all influence what supplements that person will benefit from and also which and in what amounts may well be harmful. Any vitamin, nutrient, mineral or supplement taken in excess can lead to adverse effects. Because all supplements contain different ingredients in varying concentrations, it can be very easy to overdose if you are taking too many supplements.
If you are taking a vitamin or a supplement that contains most of the nutrients that you need, you need to be careful about the other products you take. Getting the daily-recommended amount of vitamins is important for maintaining health, but consuming too much can potentially put internal organs at risk and increase other side effects.
For example, too much vitamin A can cause headaches and liver damage, cause birth defects and reduce bone strength. Excess iron can cause vomiting and nausea and may damage the liver and other organs. The easiest way to tell if you are taking too many supplements is to make sure you’re not taking too high of a dose of any nutrient, mineral or vitamin by reference to the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance).
While supplement overdose is relatively uncommon, serious health conditions are rare. Usually, when a person takes too many supplements, he or she will notice within a few days. When too many supplements are taken for an extended period of time, the heart, liver and kidneys can become damaged. Because some of the vitamins we take are stored in the body for months at a time, we may continue to feel the side effects long after we discontinue the use of those supplements.
While vitamins and supplements are especially useful during pregnancy, the menopause and old age, it is always a good idea to try and obtain some of our nutrients from our diet. Always try to take the minimum amount of supplements recommended, but if in doubt, always obtain the guidance of a nutritionist.