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What health risks are associated with vitamins?

For vitamins and minerals, there are health risks to consuming too much as well as too little. Adequate amounts are essential to maintain health and prevent disease; historically deficiencies of essential vitamins have caused diseases such as scurvy, pellagra and rickets. In developed countries, however, economic advances over the last century have significantly improved diets, resulting in a better dietary supply of many nutrients. Paradoxically, however, widespread use of dietary supplements and extensive mandatory and voluntary fortification of foods with vitamins and minerals have created the opposite danger -- excessive intake. It’s still important for everyone to get an adequate supply of micronutrients, but it is also vital to make sure people don’t get too much of certain vitamins and minerals because overconsumption can also cause health problems.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.