Supplements? Don’t Just Ensure “Enough”…Beware of “Too Much” (Here’s How)

Do you take vitamins/minerals or other supplements? If so, you’re probably much more familiar with “RDA” (recommended, or reference, daily allowance) than “UL.”

UL’s stands for Upper Limits. They’re defined by the National Institute of Health as “the highest level of nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects for almost all individuals in the general population.”

With many foods now being fortified, and OlderBeast readers likely taking a multi-vitamin/mineral…you’re probably getting your RDAs. (Though if you don’t use dairy products and don’t take supplements, be wary of a potential Vitamin D need you may not be meeting).

But what about TOO MUCH of a vitamin or mineral? While some smart people argue UL’s for some things are too conservative, to me, you should at least know if you’re near / above UL’s. You can then learn more and decide what to do about it.

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Do you take vitamins/minerals or other supplements? If so, you’re probably much more familiar with “RDA” (recommended, or reference, daily allowance) than “UL.”

UL stands for Upper Limits.

They’re defined by the National Institute of Health as “the highest level of nutrient intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects for almost all individuals in the general population.”

With many foods now being fortified, and OlderBeast readers likely taking a multi-vitamin/mineral…you’re probably getting your RDAs. (Though if you don’t use dairy products and don’t take supplements, be wary of a potential Vitamin D need you may not be meeting).

But what about TOO MUCH of a vitamin, mineral or trace element? While some smart people argue UL’s for some things are too conservative, to me, you should at least know if you’re near / above UL’s. You can then learn more and decide what to do about it.

EXAMPLE of HOW EASY IT IS TO UNKNOWINGLY EXCEED UL’S

Personal example: My one-a-day has the 15 mg RDA of zinc. Based on recommendations of people whose opinion I respect, I added a standalone 20 mg zinc tablet to my daily regime, to improve immunity and for “men’s” type benefits. The UL for zinc is 40 mg, so the 35 mg that these two pills added up to was fine (I’m explaining this now, but wasn’t tracking any of this at the time).

But then I added a “prostate health” supplement containing saw palmetto and African pygeum. (I confess to the onset of an “older man” malady: more frequent bathroom trips, especially at night. These herbs target that issue).

I took it for a few days. Then I just happened to look more closely at the label and saw it also contained 33 mg of zinc, now putting me at 68 mg of zinc per day! And I get zinc from my diet, too, since I eat beef, chicken and chickpeas (high-zinc foods, among others).

So including these new pills in my routine, I was 40+% over the UL for daily zinc.

Most experts say too much zinc over the long term can cause digestive and other problems. So, I’ve dropped the standalone zinc supplement and switched to a lower-zinc prostate-health pill, which gets me back under 40 mg a day.

TAKE ACTION

The example above is just one of a whole bunch of ways this can happen to a well-meaning health seeker. Zinc in particular is a “popular” ingredient in various supplements, so there might be extra risk there. For example, some of the most popular and recommended “eye health” supplements contain, just themselves, over the zinc UL. Then imagine where you end up if you add that to a one-a-day, possibly other supplements with zinc, and food-based zinc.

You interested in what the UL’s are for vitamins and minerals, and how the total of what you’re taking compares to that? Here’s an age-specific chart with UL info and some useful commentary on different vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

Visit this website, grab the supplements you have sitting in your medicine cabinet or pantry, and see if you have any “adding up to TOO much” situations like I did.

 

“Ground Control to Major Tom. Take your protein pills and put your helmet on.” (David Bowie, Space Oddity — click to listen)

 

If you think this would be useful to others, please help spread the word about OlderBeast by sharing this post with the social media buttons below. THANKS, MAN.

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Despite “Confusing” Science, THESE Nutrition “North Stars” Are Clear

The Atlantic Monthly recently published an article entitled “New Nutrition Study Changes Nothing (Why the science of healthy eating appears confusing—but isn’t).” The author makes the point that media businesses, in their quest for audience, have incentives to depict never-ending new revelations and controversies in nutrition.

Granted, there are some fundamental reasons why “definitive” nutrition science remains elusive. And there are legitimate different points of view on some nutrition questions. Like the prominence of carbs in your diet or whether certain fats are good or bad for you. So I don’t advocate ignoring the topic of nutrition entirely, man.

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Work At Home? Avoid These Five Fitness & Health Pitfalls!

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It’s counter-intuitive that working at home, with commute time avoided, has fitness- and health-related pitfalls. After all, the #1 reason for not exercising is “I don’t have time.”

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How a “Man Salad” You Actually Like Will Make You Leaner & Healthier For Decades

For many guys, “salad” would be a four-letter word if it didn’t have five letters. Salad gets an unfair rap, though. This article’s mission: challenge you to rethink your relationship with salad…a better, more satisfying kind of salad than you typically see.

Why does salad need a reputation overhaul?

First – and no offense meant to women (from whom men can learn a lot about health) – we’re conditioned to think of it as un-manly. Sometimes restaurant servers just assume salad was ordered by a female at the table. Salad’s derided as “rabbit food” (and no rabbit, not even Bugs or Ricochet Rabbit, seems manly enough).

More substantively, most salads actually kind of suck. Even at expensive restaurants, they’re usually a pile of greens with a few small things thrown on there. And the “side salad” with an entrée is typically pitiful. Order it at risk of feeling bitter regret for passing up the trusty spuds that were the other option. “Salad” begins to feel like “sacrifice.”

And salad seems like a lot of work. Washing, peeling, etc.

But salad done right – with a variety of good vegetables, a solid serving of protein, healthy fats like avocado, and a nice dressing – is one of the best things you can eat for lunch or dinner. And it’s easy to make nowadays.

Even just two of these per week will have substantial nutrition and weight management benefits. And you’ll like it, man. Guaranteed, or I’ll give you double your salad back.

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Confusing Nutrition Info — 4 Ways To Cut Through It

I’m always looking for credible resources on nutrition for weight management, fitness and athletic performance, long-term health maximization, and disease avoidance.

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You’ll be a better Architect of your own long-term health and vitality if you understand the root causes of confusing, conflicting nutrition info. And if you know sources of “truth” for at least some basic topics, as well “both sides of the story” for controversial ones. For 40+ guys doubling down on nutrition as part of long-term body-and-soul health, this is critical.

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