How vitamin tablets could be hurting your health
More is not better when it comes to taking vitamin pills, a watchdog has warned.
There can be adverse health effects when people take too much of some vitamins or minerals, according to Dr Albert Flynn of the Food Safety Authority.
This is particularly true when it comes to children and adolescents, who may be taking the same amounts of vitamins and minerals from food supplements as adults, despite having different needs and smaller body sizes.
The watchdog looked at 30 vitamins and minerals permitted in food supplements in the EU.
Food Safety Authority chief Dr Pamela Byrne said it oversaw 700 food supplements in 2007 - but there are now over 2,500 on the market.
"Our advice for the general public regarding taking food supplements is that it is not necessary to take food supplements to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
"A well-balanced diet of fruit and vegetables and plenty of exercise is recommended."
The only food supplements recommended are 400µg folic acid per day for women who are sexually active and a 5µg vitamin D3-only supplement per day for all infants from birth to 12 months, she added.