One of the most common misconceptions people have about natural supplements is that they’re completely safe. People assume that because they’re made of natural ingredients there’s no way they can harm you with side effects or an overdose.
This misconception is a dangerous one to have though, as natural supplements have the potential to be just as dangerous as other forms of drugs. Just as they can be powerful enough to have health benefits and make you feel good, so too can they have the opposite effect, so it’s something we need to be careful of.
Whether it’s a nootropics dosage or something as simple as vitamin C, the number of natural supplements you take matters. This quick guide will tell you everything you need to know about safely dosing natural supplements and what could go wrong if you don’t follow the guidelines, so it’s a must-have for your wellbeing.
What to Remember When Taking Natural Supplements
It can be tempting to jump right into a new natural supplement and use the dosage that’s recommended on the bottle. Just because they are natural though, doesn’t mean they will always be safe. Here are some things to keep in mind before you start taking any type of supplement.
Check the expiration date
As with other types of medications, natural supplements come with an expiration date. Although it’s not as serious as taking prescription medication that’s past its use by date, it does make the ingredients less effective and not as potent. Discard anything that’s no longer good and keep your vitamins stored someone dry and cool.
Understand the values
When looking at the dosage amounts, it’s important to know what the recommended dietary allowance of that ingredient is. The RDA should be around 100 percent, so avoid any brands that promise to give you 4000% of your daily intake, or something around that high amount. Taking too many vitamins could come with serious side effects.
When choosing a brand for your supplements, you want to do your research. The most important thing to look for is their certification which may show the ingredients have been approved by the FDA or another governing body. It’s important to find something that has certification in regards to its quality and safety.
Speak to a health professional
Some people may have existing conditions or be taking other medications. If this sounds like you, you’ll want to check with your own doctor or other health care professional about whether the supplements are suitable for your condition. They may be okay but a lower dose is required, or you may not be able to take them at all.
Follow the guidelines
People often make the mistake of not taking guidelines or dosage information seriously when it comes to natural supplements because they want to get more of the impact from them. You should always follow the printed directions for the safe amount to take, and may even want to start with a half dosage if you’re concerned.
The Dangers of Overdose and Side Effects
Any time we make the decision to take anything, whether it’s natural or artificial substances, we’re taking a risk. Although it can seem perfectly safe to take natural supplements, they are still considered medicine and can have serious effects on our health. Here are some potential issues that can happen with natural supplements and vitamins:
- Fish oil can cause a decrease in blood clotting when taken in excess amounts.
- Taking too much iron can cause nausea and gastrointestinal problems. When taken in very high doses it can also lead to coma and death.
- Some vitamins like B6 and vitamin C can cause issues, including diarrhea and nerve damage.
- Vitamin A has the potential to cause birth defects in expectant mothers, and also bone disorders, liver issues, and problems with your central nervous system.
- Natural ingredients found in some nootropics and supplements including caffeine and green tea extract may cause insomnia and jitteriness in high doses.
- Excess fluoride can lead to weak or discolored teeth, especially in children.
As a healthy adult, you should never take above the daily recommended amount unless you have been instructed by a health professional to do so. By following the recommendations you can you have a greater chance of safe use of supplements and one without any adverse side effects.
How to Find Information on Dosage of Natural Supplements
Often, the best approach to taking supplements safely is to understand the reference daily intake (RDI) of that specific vitamin, mineral or ingredient. If you’re unable to find this information, the manufacturer of the product should provide a large amount of information that can indicate what the right amount is.
Most supplements will come with their own RDI information but this is only to act as a guide. If you’re totally unsure about how much is safe to take and how it might interfere with other things you may be using, a quick visit to a health professional will hopefully clear up any uncertainties.
Learning How to Properly Dose Natural Supplements
Natural supplements are often the safer alternative when compared to prescription and over the counter drugs. However, their natural state shouldn’t make them confused with being completely safe as they are still effective and powerful compounds that you’re ingesting.
People always prefer to take natural ingredients when compared to manufactured ones and just seeing how many real medicinal benefits they can deliver will show why they’re to be taken seriously. Whether you’re taking just one vitamin or a supplement stack, you have to understand the potential side effects that come with it.
Always check with the specific manufacturer of any supplement you’re taking and do your own research about the ingredients. With potential side effects of serious illness and sometimes even fatalities even in otherwise healthy individuals, you really need to know what you’re putting into your body.