WHEN SUPPLEMENTAL CONSUMPTION IS REALLY NEEDED
But the question to be debated is whether their use in extra doses, sometimes even exaggerated, may bring some more protection for our organism, leading to to a healthier longevity. First, I think it is important to differentiate the concepts of supplementary, supplemental and megadoses of vitamins and minerals.
We consider a supplementary dose of vitamins and / or minerals only a small amount that completes what the patient may be giving up on the day to day, by an unbalanced or insufficient diet. In order to compensate for this possible insufficiency of minerals and vitamins in an unbalanced diet, multivitamins with various minerals and vitamins have appeared, but all in small doses, just to supplement what was lacking in the diet.
In these cases, there is no risk of excess, since taken at the dose recommended by the manufacturer. Here is an alert for people who buy imported multivitamins, especially from the USA, where the legislation allows high doses of vitamins and minerals in each capsule, often 10 to 20 times more than the recommended total daily dose.
In these cases there are the risk of excess, generating risks.We consider supplemental doses of vitamins and / or minerals when we want to correct a specific deficiency, already installed, this dose being greater than a supplementary only dose and we call a drug dose, such as the prescription of ferrous sulfate to treat iron deficiency anemia and in this case there is no risk of excess because the body is in need of this mineral, since there is a deficiency of this, but when correcting the deficiency this treatment should be suspended and from there it can be prescribed a multivitamin with low doses to complete and even prevent a new vitamin deficiency.
Vitamin megadoses s and minerals are very high doses, well above the recommended limits, and can only be prescribed strictly by doctors, such as high doses of vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid) for the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia (elevation of triglycerides). In this case, the vitamin became a medicine and as such may have risks of side effects and also be contraindicated for certain patients.
Understanding the above differences, I will give examples of situations where supplements, supplements or megadoses of vitamins are indicated:
Individuals who engage in intense physical activity and are often required to take supplemental doses of vitamin C (up to 500 mg / day), since during intense physical activity excessive endogenous production of free radicals (oxidative stress) occurs and there must be compensatory production of antioxidant enzymes, entering the vitamin C for this purpose, since it is used for the production of these enzymes. In this same group of people it may also be interesting to take complementary doses of group B vitamins, such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacinamide, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine, since they are all used intensively by cells in energy production, which occurs most intensely during activities (5 mg / day) a few months before starting gestation, with the advice of the gynecologist / obstetrician, since this reduces the risk of malformation fetal. Pregnant women should use iron supplements to avoid anemia during pregnancy, as they become vulnerable to this condition.
Strict vegetarians should take supplemental doses of vitamin B12 to avoid the long-term deficiency of this nutrient.
- Women entering menopause should use supplemental doses of calcium and vitamin D to decrease the risk of osteoporosis
- Intoxicated smokers should use of supplemental doses of vitamin C (at least 500 mg / day) because these have an exaggerated production of free radicals at the pulmonary level, increasing the oxidative stress (oxidation) of this organ, being vitamin C an important antioxidant. In the same group of smokers should be avoided the use of beta-carotene vitamin supplement, as this association showed a higher risk of lung cancer, according to studies previously published. Individuals who use chronic high-dose alcoholic beverages should take supplemental doses of B-complex vitamins, as there are a tendency for them to be deficient in this group, especially thiamine.
- Nursing home-based elderly who rely on caregivers to they may need supplementary doses of vitamin D.
- Children born to malnourished mothers or in regions of the low-income population and endemic for vitamin A deficiency should receive intramuscular injection of Vitamin C supplementation (up to 500 mg / day) may facilitate the elimination of uric acid by the kidneys, facilitating its control in patients with hyperuricemia (elevation uric acid in the blood)
- Specific deficiencies of certain vitamins or minerals, by low ingestion, drug interaction or specific diseases should be evaluated and treated after a specialized medical evaluation.
- Excluding the conditions where supplementary, supplementary and mega doses of vitamins or minerals are indicated, what are the risks of indiscriminate use of these? I will give some examples to illustrate this question. Risks begin with the interaction between vitamins and minerals themselves, when overdoses are frequently used, known as nutrient-nutrient interaction. For example, high doses of zinc may decrease iron and copper absorption, leading to a risk of zinc deficiency.
- Megadose of vitamin D can cause excessive elevation of blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia) and can reach toxic levels at serious risk the health. High doses of antioxidant vitamins and minerals (vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene, selenium, zinc, copper, calcium, magnesium and magnesium) manganese) for a prolonged time may worsen the efficiency of the immune system, since when an antibody encounters an invading bacterium it can only eliminate it through the action of an enzyme called myeloperoxidase, which has a highly oxidizing effect on the invader, that is , in this case it is the oxidation of the bacteria that causes it to die and then frequent use of high doses of antioxidant vitamins and minerals can harm this natural defense.
- High and continuous doses of vitamin K may alter blood clotting and trigger vascular thrombosis. Vitamin A at high doses and for a prolonged time may trigger a severe elevation of intracranial pressure, leading to death. High doses of vitamin C (over 5 grams / day) may increase kidney stone risk.
- It is clear, therefore, that the use of vitamins and minerals should be guided by specialized professionals. Supplementary doses may be prescribed by nutritionists and physicians, but higher doses - supplemental or megadoses - because they are considered as medicinal doses should only be prescribed by physicians, after individual evaluation of each patient, defining the appropriate dose, time of use and even respect the contraindications, where they exist, for the risk of side effects, such as any medicinal product.
To close the article there is no risk of excesses of vitamins and minerals when ingested by food, because our body naturally eliminates what will no longer be necessary for the maintenance of cellular functions. The best way to prevent a shortage of vitamins and minerals is to have a healthy, varied and all-food diet.
In general, we hate change. We do everything to preserve habits, beliefs and lifestyle. So we still think that just giving a weekly peel or participating in a football match at the weekend with friends is enough to keep fit, that vitamins are fat and may not do well and that this history of food supplementation was invented and we can take away all the nutrients in their ideal form and quantity of food.
During the holidays, many people abuse fatty foods and alcohol. In order to avoid the sensation of malaise after the party and to rebalance the body, the nutritionist Daniela Cyrulin, from the Plene Health Institute, set up a detoxifying diet. The menu, which should be followed for three days, includes a lot of liquid, like juices, teas and soups, as well as whole foods, yogurts and light ingredients.