Are you taking vitamin pills without doctor’s advice ? must read

There are two type of vitamins -- water-soluble and fat-soluble

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Medicine
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Are you taking vitamin pills without doctor’s advice ? must read

CHENNAI: Self-medication seems to have found its true ally in the ongoing health crisis. Encouraged by the raining advisories on having a strong immune system to ward off COVID-19, many people are swallowing vitamin pills without doctor’s advice. Health experts, however, warn that such practices could lead to both short and long term complications.

The problem of plenty

There are two type of vitamins — water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin C eventually get flushed out of body even if they are taken beyond requirement,” says Dr A Ravi of Stanley Medical College.

He says the problem lies with fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E and K. “If these are taken beyond requirement, they get accumulated in the body. Excess of Vitamin A or D can affect liver,” adds Dr Ravi. He, however, says multi-vitamin tablets will not have much negative impact on adults.

These tablets have very less quantity of all the vitamins. So, they may not have much impact if taken without a deficiency. But, the maximum dosage of these tablets must be only for 10 days,” suggests the doctor.

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How children are affected?

Excess of use of multi-vitamin tablets may cause problems in children, warn experts. Dr Shobana Rajendran, senior consultant – general paediatrics and neonatology at Rainbow Children’s Hospital, says the excess of calcium, iron and fat-soluble vitamins can lead to long-term complications in children of 0-12 age group.

“Even if a child consumes a vitamin unnecessary to his/her body from a multi-vitamin tablet, there can be side effects. These may not be experienced on the same day, but in the long term. Taking calcium beyond requirement can cause kidney issues. It is utmost necessary for parents to consult a doctor before giving these supplements to their kids,” she says.

Dr Shobana further says if parents are unable to visit hospitals, the best and harmless way is to have a balanced diet, consisting of greens, water-rich vegetables, fruits, eggs and curd along with the minimal quantity of rice and pulses. This is applicable for both adults and children.

Also read: How to prevent Vitamin C deficiency

Complex effects

Having excess or deficient vitamin levels can lead to different sets of problems warns Dr Rose Raichel, a consultant physician and diabetologist.

“Some people develop allergy to even water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin C. A person with kidney stone problem will experience negative effects if Vitamin C is consumed in excess. Also, the zinc supplement which is very common now-a-days might bring down good cholesterol level, if taken in excess. It could also lead to copper deficiency,” she says.

The doctor suggests that during the COVID-19 pandemic, adults can take multi-vitamin tablets for a maximum of 15 days, but consulting a doctor is advised.

15-day dosage

The doctor suggests that during the COVID-19 pandemic, adults can take multi-vitamin tablets for a maximum of 15 days, but consulting a doctor is advised.

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