Let me start with a clear affirmation: I support and take nutritional supplements. In fact, once a week I load 5 seven-day pill minders (3 for me and 2 for my wife) with all our supplements because I find that that is the easiest way to be sure I’m taking exactly the supplements I want, at exactly the right times, throughout the week. By pre-loading the pill minders, I only have to think about this once a week.
That said, it’s important to know what we’re taking, from all sources, in order to not overdose on those supplements that can be harmful in large quantities. Many people don’t consider the hidden supplements in food when they calculate the supplements they are taking in pill or capsule form. These days, that could be a costly mistake.
Take folic acid as an example. The upper limit is 1,000 mcg. And you may think you’re safe if your multiple vitamin includes 800 mcg. But your energy bar or breakfast cereal may include another 400 mcg, easily pushing you over the limit for the day.
Vitamin A palmitate (not beta-carotene) is another example. Consume more than 10,000 International Units or 3,000 mcg per day of retinol-derived Vitamin A and you may be setting yourself up for liver damage, bone pathologies, intracranial pressure, and birth defects. Once again, your multivitamin might push you over the limit if you’re also drinking milk, eating instant oatmeal, and taking cod liver oil.
The point is to consider your supplemental vitamins from all sources, including food. Yogurt may not include calcium as a supplement, but it naturally provides about 250 mg per carton. Taking more than 2 grams of calcium per day can lead to kidney stones or block the absorption of nutrients such as iron or zinc. How do you know what you’re taking? Read labels. How do you the know the upper limits? Visit the Council for Responsible Nutrition at http://www.crnusa.org/about_recs.html.
Coaching Inquiries: How many supplemental vitamins and minerals do you take every day? Have you considered the hidden supplements in food? How could you become more aware of what you’re consuming every day?
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
President, LifeTrek Coaching International, www.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformation, www.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coaching, www.CertifiedCoach.org
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