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Friday, 1 June 2012

Hypervitaminosis S: for Stupid

Anyone who knows me (well enough) knows that there are three things in the world that you should NEVER leave me alone with: 1) anything chocolate (it's pretty much a guarantee that it wont be there when you get back)  ; 2) Swedish fish ( I'll only take the red ones.... promise...);  3) anything, and I mean ANYTHING gummy.
I have tried to kick my bad habits in the past, I really have. For a while, chocolate candy was substitued for Fiber one chocolate granola bars (healthy chocolate?) and the Albanese Confectionery Group actually makes some sugar-free swedish fish that managed to curb my cravings for a while. However, I eventually always found myself shamefully sneaking a bag of my precious fish into the shopping cart at Target, or even better, my treasured Haribo gummy bears...yummmm. Ultimately, there was  just no way I could divorce myself from my gummies or my chocolate, although I knew they were bad for me! Then, one fine day after spending the afternoon at my friend Sal's apartment ( baking, of course, chocolate souffle) I happened to spy a brightly colored jar that looked to contain something of a gummy nature...Sal of course knows about my gummy addiction, and so I thought it was very unfair for her to strategically place her gummy treasures in my line of view D: Well guys, I held out for about 1/2 an hour, while the souffle puffed before I could actually feel myself salivating for those beautiful things. I had to try one...they just looked soooooo good in the container, taunting me. Maybe it was the imaginings of the fruity fumes that I am sure would waft through the kitchen once the jar was opened, infusing with the already divine aroma of baking chocolate souffle. Maybe it was the basic blobby dinosaur shapes that appealed to my inner kindergartener that yearned to be released. I dont know. But what I DID know, was that I had to have a gummy. soon.
       After inching my way "discreetly" *cough scrambling cough* to the jar, I managed to gulp out a few nervous chuckles followed by my best --pleasegimmewhaddiwant smile, in hopes that Sal would not detect the gummy desperation behind my eyes. I think the conversation sounded something like this:
 Me- "uh so uh heh heh Sal...huh, whatcha got here?--what? oh, wow, uh heh are these uh you know any good? I mean they uh heh *cough* look alright. *cough*"
--awkward sketchy pause--
Sal- "oh yeah, go for it. I just got em yesterday, they are actually vitamins."
Gummy vitamins? ew. Memories of my sickly smelling Vitamin B pills in their cellulose shells came flooding to mind instantly. I have never been a fan of solid pills. Believe it or not, I was a syrup med kid. I actually didn't mind the stuff. But pills? Hard to swallow, get stuck in your throat, sit in the pit of your stomach vitamin PILLS? I only take those nasty B vitamins because when combined with Niacin, they are excellent for metabolism. To put all the flavor of my B12 pill in a gummy? It should be a sin to corrupt gummies like that. It's just wrong.  But by that time, the thought of yummy gummies was so pervasive in my mind, that I would have chewed whale blubber for a quick fix.Seriously.  So. I popped in one of those badboys and just closed my eyes...let me tell you, for a second, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. The gummy was sweet and fruity, just like I had imagined, with none of the nastiness of a pill! It tasted just like one of my favorite candies, AND NUTRITIOUS?? Gummy-lovers Nirvana.
"Take another", said Sal laughing at my expression,"You're allowed  two a day."
                 Well, I did take another. and when Sal left the room, I took  another one after that..and another....then five more...until I was staring at the 10 mL jar of Sal's gummy's lying half empty on the floor. I am not realy sure what came over me, but it was like I was in a vitamin trance: I just could not stop eating! Needless to say, when I finally came to my senses and realized what exactly was going on, I freaked out. I could remember enough of that beginner Anatomy course to know that vitamin overdose, especially of the FAT-SOLUBLE vitamins: A D E and K, can be very serious. After contemplating my prospects of waking up in the morning with a third arm, I decided to do a little medical research on vitamin poisoning, to refresh my memory on the subject. A healthy diet, full of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and proteins is the best means of acquiring vitamins and nutrients,and really, most physicians are under the impression that multivitamin supplements are unnecessary. However if you feel that your diet is not adequate, or are allergic to certain integral food groups, a multivitamin can be a great alternative. Multivitamin supplements, when taken in proper doses, can really help to bolster your immune system and provide your body with the essential nutrients it needs to function properly.
      Always bear in mind that  it is important to pay careful attention to all labels and instructions on your provider brand, as dosage suggestions are designed to achieve maximum health benefits without harmful side-effects. Like I mentioned earlier, the FAT -SOLUBLE VITAMINS: A D E and K, are particularly dangerous if taken in excessive amounts. Toxicity to most of these vitamins is rare, (healthcare providers believe it takes consumption of almost 50,000 IU of vitamin D everyday for several months to build toxicity!) Still, the consequences of an overdose are very serious. The fact that A, D, E, and K, or ADEK, are fat-soluble, just means that the body does not need to utilize them everyday, and stores them in the liver until they can be metabolized. But, if excess amounts of these vitamins are deposited into the body for a long period of time, they continue to be chunked into the liver and other fatty tissues. These vitamins take alot longer to be eliminitated than the water soluble vitamins--B-complex and C--which are pretty much peed out when taken in excess.However, that does NOT mean that it is not possible to overdose on these water-soluble vitamins as well, it is just a little bit more difficult. HYPERVITAMINOSIS--any abnormal condition resulting from excessive vitamin intake--is destructive in any sense. The positive side is that simple obedience to the guidelines on the back of the label can prevent any harm. This post is getting pretty long thanks to my backstory, so long story short (literally), care should be taken when ingesting any foreign vitamin body. In my next post, look for a table containing the symptoms and results of vitamin overdose, as well as the benefits of vitamin intake. I'll also post links to any references I made in this article, and later on the recipe for that super yum chocolate souffle ;-)

 Mayo Clinic:

Albanese Confectionary Group Inc.,

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