Get health information and advice from the experts at Harvard Medical School. What are the long-lasting effects of COVID-19? Getting our nutrients straight from a pill sounds easy, but supplements don't necessarily deliver on the promise of better health. Some may cause weight gain and acne, while others lead to more serious problems like liver damage. Excess of Which Vitamins Are Bad for Your Kidneys Vitamin A: Vitamin A which is active and available in any form can pose a threat to the damage of the kidney when its value exceeds the normal range. Obesity 5. Calcium Supplements - 0:29 2. Vitamin C to "boost your immune system", Vitamin A to protect your vision, Vitamin B to keep you energized. A little organization goes a long way and avoids frustration — and needless worry — later. By Kendra Pierre-Louis. To make that conclusion, you need to look at the results of well-designed studies. As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Folic acid is a B vitamin which our bodies use to make new cells. Fiber seems to be most effective used in conjunction with diet and exercise for contributing to weight loss. And a 2005 study linked high doses of Vitamin E with an overall higher risk of death. Before you take any supplements for disease prevention, it's important to know whether the potential benefits outweigh the risks. Vitamin C to "boost your immune system", Vitamin A to protect your vision, Vitamin B to keep you energized. But putting that idea into actual practice has been a bit more complicated. There are many Gold Standard studies, you just have to look for them. Zinc: Take it - it's one of the only ingredients linked to shortening a cold. Or not. © 2010 - 2020 Harvard University. Androgens, the family of male sex hormones that includes testosterone, function as a fuel for growth in normal development. Skip Navigation. What you need to know before taking a vitamin or mineral supplement. Here's the big caveat: many of those exciting supplement studies were observational—they didn't test a particular supplement against a placebo (inactive pill) in a controlled setting. The same holds true for important documents and owners' manuals. Both articles and products will be searched. Several have been linked with an increase in certain cancers, for example, while others have been tied to a rise in the risk of kidney stones. Can adopting a healthier diet help fight prostate cancer? © ScienceAlert Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. A few examples are St. Johns Wort, echinacea, ginkgo, garlic, ginseng, ginger, and blue cohosh. And a large new study out Wednesday suggests that despite this growing knowledge, Americans' pill-popping habits have stayed basically the same over the last decade. Folic acid: Take it if you're pregnant, or if you might want to get pregnant. 7 Popular Supplements With Hidden Dangers. The Vitamin C hype - which started with a suggestion from chemist Linus Pauling made in the 1970s and has peaked with Airborne and Emergen-C - is just that: hype. Because observational studies may not fully control for dietary factors, exercise habits, and other variables, they can't prove whether the treatment is responsible for the health benefits. Before considering which supplements are best for you, remember this: You … An expert on vitamins tells us what to avoid. Calcium supplements aren’t necessary for most women and could be dangerous. The National Institutes of Health recommends that women who are currently pregnant or who want to get pregnant take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily because their bodies demand more of this key nutrient when they are carrying a growing fetus. 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