During COVID-19, people are facing many vitamin deficiencies in their bodies. In this case, vitamin supplements are of great use for the body's immunity system and overall health. However, excessive intake of vitamins can lead to many issues in the body. Here we list some pros and cons of having vitamins and the coronavirus supplements during Covid-19.
Fat and water-soluble vitamins
The 13 vitamins known to humans can be divided into two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble.
These water-soluble vitamins are easily removed from the body. They are not stored in the human body tissues. We should know that there are more water-soluble vitamins than other kinds of vitamins.
Water-soluble vitamins are
- Vitamin C;
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin);
- Vitamin B3 (niacin);
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine);
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine);
- Vitamin B12 (cobalamin);
- Vitamin B9 (folate);
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid);
- Vitamin B7 (biotin).
These are excreted through urine, so they do not usually cause problems even if you take them in higher doses as coronavirus supplements. However, they should be taken under medical supervision.
There are some dangerous side effects of taking excessive doses of some water-soluble vitamins. For instance, if you take a very high dose of vitamin B6, it may lead to nerve damage, which is potentially not reversible over time. On the other hand, if someone takes enormous amounts of niacin (significantly more than two grams in a day), it can cause permanent liver damage and other body problems.
These are different from water-soluble vitamins as fat-soluble vitamins are stored in our body tissues and do not dissolve in water. By name, we can notice that they are soluble in fat.
Here are the four major fat-soluble vitamins known to people:
- Vitamin D;
- Vitamin A;
- Vitamin K;
- Vitamin E.
We know that fat-soluble vitamins stay in the body and accumulate. These nutrients if taken excessively can lead to more toxic issues in our body. When taking them during COVID-19, one should be very careful and consult a doctor who has specialized in vitamins.
Although rarely, when you take large doses of vitamin D, A, or E, it can lead to very harmful side effects for the body.
If you take high doses of vitamin K, which is non-synthetic, it is relatively harmless. It is a significant reason why the UL or upper intake level is not decided for this vitamin by the experts.
Benefits of vitamins
Coronavirus is disturbing our bodies in many ways. So, vitamin supplements can help us. Here are some benefits of taking vitamins during COVID-19:
Vitamin D is good for your body if you have been infected by a coronavirus. It can solve problems related to the respiratory tract. Vitamin D is also good for reducing inflammation.
Vitamin A, being a fat-soluble vitamin, is amazing for your immune system. It is good for your kidneys, lungs, and heart.
Vitamin C makes our immune system strong. It prevents infection and cellular death problems. People with ARDS have seen the benefits of vitamin C, and more research is being done on this topic.
Side effects of water-soluble vitamins' overconsumption
Even though water-soluble vitamins are less harmful, they should be taken under medical supervision to reduce possible side effects.
The following vitamins, which are soluble in water, have set upper limits. They can cause side effects if you take high doses.
- Vitamin B3 (niacin). When you take this vitamin in the form of nicotinic acid, it can increase your blood pressure levels. Impaired vision, abdominal pain, and even permanent liver damage are some other side effects of consuming large doses of around one to three grams per day.
- Vitamin C. Although the toxicity of vitamin C is relatively low, high doses can cause gastrointestinal disturbances like cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. If you take around 6 grams of vitamin C, migraines are possible.
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). If you consume vitamin B6 for a more extended period, it can cause severe skin lesions, neurological symptoms, sensitivity to light, heartburn, nausea. These symptoms occur when you take around one to six grams in a day.
- Vitamin B9 (folate). People, who take too much folic acid or folate, can face many negative impacts on the body's immune system and mental function. Folate in large doses even masks a potentially severe deficiency of vitamin B12 in our body.
You should know that these side effects of water-soluble vitamins occur in healthy people. Those with health issues can have severe side effects. So, they should consult a doctor while taking coronavirus supplements.
Side effects of fat-soluble vitamins' overconsumption
- Vitamin D. There are dangerous symptoms of taking large doses of vitamin D. Appetite loss, weight loss, and irregular heartbeat are results of excessive vitamin D. It can also lead to organ damages.
- Vitamin A. Most cases of excessive vitamin A are associated with supplementing rather than with food sources. Possible side effects include increased intracranial pressure, nausea, death, and a coma.
- Vitamin E. When you take high doses of vitamin E supplements, it can create hemorrhages, blood clotting, and cause hemorrhagic stroke.
As we have seen, there are two kinds of vitamins, water- and fat-soluble ones. There are many benefits of vitamin supplements, like making the immune system stronger and fighting respiratory problems. However, there are some side effects of having large doses. You should mind the doses while consuming vitamins during coronavirus.