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Gradation in the level of vitamin consumption: possible risk of excessive consumption


The ratio between the levels of consumption of certain vitamins and minerals recommended daily allowance for labelling purposes < maximum supplement levels < tolerable upper intake level (UL) < safe level (limit) of consumption ≤ therapeutic dose] has been characterized. Vitamin A and beta-carotene maximum supplement levels coincides with UL, and recommended daily allowance for these micronutrients coincides with the maximal level of consumption through dietary supplements and/or multivitamins. Except for vitamin A and betacarotene recommended daily allowance for other vitamins adopted in Russia are considerably lower than the upper safe level of consumption. For vitamin A and beta-carotene there is a potential risk for excess consumption. According to the literature data (meta-analysis) prolonged intake of high doses of antioxidant vitamins (above the RDA) both alone and in combination with two other vitamins or vitamin C [>800 μg (R.E.) of vitamin A, >9,6 mg of beta-carotene, >15 mg (T.E.) of vitamin E] do not possess preventive effects and may be harmful with unwanted consequences to health, especially in well-nourished populations, persons having risk of lung cancer (smokers, workers exposed to asbestos), in certain conditions (in the atmosphere with high oxygen content, hyperoxia, oxygen therapy). Proposed mechanisms of such action may be due to the manifestation of prooxidant action when taken in high doses, shifting balance with other important natural antioxidants, their displacement (substitution), interference with the natural defense mechanisms. Athletes are the population group that requires attention as used antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, both individually and in combination in extremely high doses. In summary, it should be noted that intake of physiological doses which are equivalent to the needs of the human organism, as well as diet inclusion of fortified foods not only pose no threat to health, but will bring undoubted benefits, filling the existing lack of vitamins in the ration.

Keywords:vitamins, antioxidants, dose, recommended daily allowance, maximum supplement levels, tolerable upper intake level, safe level

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