Iron: RDA – ranges from 13.7 – 18.9mg per day depending upon age and gender.
Iron toxicity can be a serious condition, and has even been called a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children under the age of five. If you experience any of these symptoms of excessive iron levels, you should immediately consult your health care provider:
Early signs of iron toxicity
Nausea and/or stomach pain and cramping
Vomiting (may be severe and contain blood)
Late signs of iron toxicity:
Pale and clammy skin
Convulsions or seizures
Shallow, rapid breathing
Weakness or exhaustion
Blue lips, fingernails, and palms
Rapid and weak heartbeat
Folic Acid (Folate): RDA – 400mcg in most adults, 500mcg in breastfeeding females of all ages.
Folate is necessary for the prevention of certain birth defects like spina bifida. However, if taken in excess, folic acid can cause a myriad of symptoms – some less serious, some more so:
Mild signs of too much folate include:
Digestive disturbances like nausea, bloating, or gas
An unpleasant bitter taste in the mouth
More severe symptoms of folate overdose:
Tingling or numbness
How to Reach the Right Balance
It’s important to keep in mind that most vitamins can and should be obtained through a healthy, whole foods diet rich in vegetables (especially leafy greens), fruits, and protein. Omega 3 fatty acids (great for brain function and heart health) can be gotten from fish like salmon and tuna, as well as avocado. Cooking in cast iron pans can help keep your iron levels up. Eggs, yogurt, and almonds are all good sources of riboflavin (vitamin B-2).
While certain vitamin supplements can be helpful in those with a deficiency (especially vitamin D since it must be obtained either through sunlight or supplementation), you should consult with your health care provider to assess your nutrient levels in order to determine an appropriate supplementation plan.