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.

by

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.

You may also like

article-image
Health & Medicine , Nutrition & Recipes

Drinking Challenge with a Twist: Drink *Less* Alcohol to Improve Your Fitness!

You might not like where I’m going with this article, man. So I might as well lay it on the table upfront: you should probably cut down on the booze.

Yeah, studies periodically find some health benefits from modest alcohol consumption. But the fact is, for a 40+ guy doubling down on fitness to help maximize his decades ahead, alcohol has multiple negative properties that outweigh the positives. Drinking sparingly is thus a smart move for an OlderBeast.

Here’s a rundown of alcohol’s negative impacts on fitness, and links to a few useful expert articles if you want to go deeper.

article-image
Health & Medicine , Philosophy & Motivation

Aging: 3 Reasons Why You’re Not as “Over the Hill” as You Think

We’re not 25 anymore, physically (duh). But 40++ guys (and gals) can feel pretty darn good if they’re physically active, eat well, get enough sleep and manage stress. And perform pretty well too – in endurance events, strength activities, skill sports and daily life.

Consider these recent news items. A 52-year-old guy set the world record for most push-ups in an hour. At the USA Track & Field masters’ championships, women in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 80’s, 90’s and 100’s turned in “age-defying” performances.

The glass-half-empty views says 40+ means “over the hill.” But the quest to live in glass-half-full mode raises these questions: 1). What’s the nature of this “hill?” Is there one crest, or different ones for different things?…2). When do these crests come along?…3). How steep is our slope post-crest?

I’ve researched this a bit, and here are my conclusions so far. Yeah, our “VO2max” aerobic capacity is lower, and we have less fast-twitch muscle fiber for explosive things like sprinting and jumping. But there are also several pieces of good news from research, brothers.

Read on for a summary of good-news points and links to research sources. Plus, some amazing data on how today’s OlderBeast-age guys would have done at the first modern Olympics in 1896.

article-image
Health & Medicine , Philosophy & Motivation

Fitness as We Age: 5 Ways to Combat Physical Vulnerability

In our quest to stay fit and vital as we age, sometimes we can’t help but experience feelings that counter-productively undermine our resolve.

It’s natural to fear and lament that our basic physical capabilities are diminished compared to our younger selves. But while this is true, you’re less over-the-hill than you think, man. This should be a manageable fear. Anyway, what are you gonna do about this – exercise less and let yourself get less fit because you can’t run a mile as fast as you could 20 years ago?

Also, like people of any age, we sometimes battle that sluggish feeling that whispers “don’t work out today…there’s always tomorrow.” But as we age, doubling down on fitness becomes ever more important, so effectively responding to that sluggish feeling is key.

Here’s the feeling that threatens our long-term body-and-soul health more than any other: the fear that we are getting more fragile, more VULNERABLE to injury and other activity-limiting aches and pains.

This is so dangerous because we can observe that it’s least partly true…but at the same time we can’t let it dictate our fitness habits and start a self-fulfilling downward trend. So how to deal with this shadow of vulnerability we feel? The trick is to neither ignore nor surrender to it.

Here are five things you can do starting now, to face up to this most-human feeling of vulnerability.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.