Monday, August 14, 2000


Vitamin supplements should be monitored

By Jill A. Oestreicher
Gannett News Service

        Though it seems improbable, there are times when it's best not to use vitamins. Common supplements can have adverse affects in people with certain conditions, Natural Health magazine reports. Beta carotene. Avoid it if you smoke. Studies show that synthetic beta carotene users are at increased risk for lung cancer.

        Calcium. If you have kidney disease or hyperparathyroidism — conditions that disrupt your body's metabolism of calcium — it's best to limit your intake of calcium supplements to 200 to 300 mg a day, about a quarter of the typical dosage.

        Iron. Adult men and menopausal women with too much iron may be at risk for heart disease and other conditions. Pasta, a food staple for many, is often fortified with iron. And in menstruating women, excess iron is released. Vitamin C. Hemachromatosis sufferers, those with too much iron, and people with a history of kidney stones should limit vitamin C intake to 250 mg a day, much less than the recommended daily dosage.

        Vitamin E. If you use blood-thinning medications or take an aspirin daily, taking vitamin E will intensify the effects of these drugs.


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