We eat to replenish the energy we used for our daily task. Lost vitamins and minerals need to be replenish as well. Balance diet is necessary for proper replenishment but only few has the discipline to follow balance diet. We often look for nutrient supplements to get the vitamins and minerals we need.
Be warned ! Too much of everything is not good. Nutrients are vital but it brings danger if ingested in excess amount.
Vitamin A is crucial for good vision, immune function and other bodily functions. In poor countries, vitamin A deficiency is a huge problem that blinds thousands. Never take more than 3,000 micrograms a day, such high levels can cause severe liver disease and birth defects. Recommended doses are 900 micrograms for men and 700 micrograms for women.
Iron is necessary for oxygen transport in blood. But intake of more than 45 milligrams a day may cause stomach upset. Intake must be regulated as they are not readily lost out of the body. Large amounts of ingested iron can cause excessive levels of iron in the blood. High blood levels of free ferrous iron react with peroxides to produce free radicals, which are highly reactive and can damage DNA, proteins, lipids, and other cellular components.
Zinc is an essential trace element . It is vital for many biological functions and plays a crucial role in more than 300 enzymes in the human body. Zinc is found in all parts of the body: in organs, tissues, bones, fluids and cells. Muscles and bones contain most of the body’s zinc, about 90%. Specifically, high concentrations of zinc are in the prostate gland and semen. Ingestion of 40 milligrams a day or more will block iron and copper absorption. Recommended doses are 11 milligrams for men and 8 milligram for women.
Chromium stimulates the production of insulin. Insulin is necessary to convert blood sugar into energy. Chromium supplements became popular to persons with diabetes. Too much chromium might pose chromosomal damage. Limit is 25 to 35 micrograms daily.
Copper participate in biological electron transport. Upper limit is 10 micrograms daily. Excess intake competes with iron and zinc absorption. It also causes damage to liver. Surplus amount of copper may also participate in development of Wilson’s disease.
Iodine is important in proper thyroid gland function. Intake of more than 1.1 grams is harmful. Iodine supplements are often found in salt. This is done for regulatory purpose. We always use salt but not too much. It prevents both deficiency and over intake.