Why do some daily supplements give you 1000+% of the RDI for some vitamins and mineral and not as much of others?


Why do some daily supplements give you 1000+% of the RDI for some vitamins and mineral and not as much of others?

In: 13

Because with some of them you just urinate out the extra so it’s actually irrelevant how much there is. Some are more dangerous if you have too much.

There is essentially no regulation on supplements in the US. Unless taking it kills you or puts you in the hospital within a short period of time then its legal to sell.

The same is basically true of supplement labelling. Labels are required to be accurate, but that requirement is only as strong as the enforcement of it – which is more or less non-existent. The FDA only actively enforces labelling issues when the supplement claims to treat a specific medical condition *and* the supplement is being sold in significant volumes through brick and mortar stores. So if a supplement is claiming to have Vitamin A in it when the reality is that its just sawdust – its unlikely that anyone will ever do anything about that.

There has been a phenomenon over the past 5 years where supplement sellers on Amazon have been involved in a sort of labelling arms race where they’ve been increasing the amount of vitamins and minerals on their labels as much as they think people will believe. This has now started to spill over into traditional retail supplements as well.

There have been issues with this. For example, there have been some people who have developed permanent nerve damage from over supplementation of Vitamin B6 as a result of taking Amazon supplements. However, generally speaking, there’s no reason to believe that many supplement labels are accurate.

Again, there’s basically no enforcement on any of this. Even if the labels are accurate, major symptoms from vitamin and mineral overdoses often only occur after taking large amounts of them over very long periods of time – enough so that its hard for the FDA to track and enforce specific brands.

Water soluble vs fat soluble vitamins. The water soluble ones absorb into water, can be processed and peed out. Fat soluble ones bind to your fats, and can build up to toxic levels much easier.

Vitamins in large amounts can be quite toxic. Luckily, some dissolve really easily in water, and all that extra goes right to your bladder and it leaves your body the next time you pee.

Some vitamins dissolve in fats and oils. They actually start to accumulate in the the body and if there was too much in the vitamin pill you could end up overdosing.

So some things like minerals, for example, selenium can kill you if you take too much. To much potassium is bad for you too. So the company doesn’t know if you will follow instructions or mega dose against recommendations. So for those things that can be toxic there is a lot less in there in case you take more than you should. Related to this you will notice you can only get potassium supplements that are 3% RDA. Like I said, too much potassium can harm you, so if you take 10 of those pills you are still pretty low at 30% RDA and won’t drop dead. The other stuff is not toxic and just gets pissed out if it is more than you need. So taking the 1000% RDA is really a waste, your body can only use so much at a time. But people think if something is “good” for you then a lot more it must be “better”. So in some cases “better” is just a waste but also sometimes can be harmful over the long term.

Water soluble vs oil soluble. Plus the body can take in a larger amount of nutrients when needed and shit out the rest.

Take magnesium or sodium in excess….totally safe. welcome to your toilet.

There is no consensus on the optimal intake of each vitamin/mineral. Some in the medical community have speculated that the current RDIs may only represent the minimum amount needed to prevent disease, whereas the *optimal* amount could be much higher.

On the other hand, some vitamins and minerals are very easy to obtain from food and do in fact have established upper limits, so including them in a multivitamin could lead to an overdose.

Others have mentioned water-soluble versus fat-soluble, which is also irrelevant.