Can You Overdose On Minerals?
Although it can be easy to sing the praises of mineral-rich diets and encourage high mineral consumption, the reality of the situation is much more serious than just having whatever minerals you want. Always make sure to stay within recommended dietary allowances after adding up the amount of a mineral in your food and in your supplements. And when it doubt, consult with your doctor. As too much of any mineral can cause more harm than good.
Minerals Toxic At High Doses
Too much calcium causes all sorts of problems. Early on it causes constipation and bloating, nausea, and wind. As it progresses it can cause kidney damage and even interfere with your ability to absorb other minerals, like iron, or zinc. This means it will wear down on your gut, clotting ability, energy, and immune system. Confusingly, this also means that an excess of calcium may bind with the fats in our digestive tract, resulting in a calcium deficiency over all.
Too much iodine, just like too little iodine, causes an imbalance in the amount of thyroid hormone we produce. This can cause overstimulation of the thyroid gland, leading to a cycle of alternating hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. If not corrected the damage to your thyroid could become permanent. Usually iodine excesses happen in people who eat too much seaweed, however it is possible to overdose through supplements too.
Very high doses of iron are deadly to people with weakened bodies. For children and older people, excessively high iron intake can happen at much lower dozes than for young adults. Our bodies cannot handle elevated levels of iron for long periods of time. It has also been found that people who suffer heart conditions and cancer have elevated levels of iron in their blood. It appears that high levels of iron may contribute to degenerative diseases.
Too much Phosphorus lowers your body’s stores of calcium. When we have too much phosphorus our bodies are less able to extract calcium from our foods. Furthermore, too much phosphorus is often excreted in our feces, bonded with calcium, so we could even lose calcium from our bones to complete the process.
Too much selenium causes fatigue, gastric imbalances, and nerve damage. You will notice exhaustion, vomiting, reflux, diarrhea, shaking hands, and a sudden cognitive decline. Even short term excess can cause abnormal keratin growth, resulting in thick, brittle nails, loss of hair, and skin disorders. This can lead to bleeding nails, thin or short hair, and painful, bad-smelling skin sores and scabs.
Zinc consumed in a slight excess limits your body’s ability to absorb copper. In very large doses, zinc is poisonous and breaks down our immune system. Our body rejects excess zinc so violently you may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach ulcers.
If you, like many older people, have kidney troubles, you want to avoid too much calcium, magnesium, iron, or phosphorus. All these minerals can wear down on our kidneys when we eat too much of them. If your kidneys are already damaged or predisposed to damage, you may find that even natural food sources are too much. You will need to restrict certain foods or food groups to avoid overdosing from these toxic minerals in food.
Deficiency Of Minerals
All that said, mineral absorption and use goes down as we grow older, and our needs for minerals go up. Furthermore, certain illnesses and medications can change our mineral needs, making us need much more or much less than the average person from our demographics.
This means that sticking too strictly to recommended dietary allowances can result in mineral deficiencies in many older people. In order that the nutritional needs for elderly persons is covered, a consultation with a doctor is advised. They would recommend for you, the best sources of these minerals, and how to make sure you are getting enough. Everyone’s body is different, so your intake needs to be tailored to your needs.