Adult Health

Can Vitamins Cause Liver Damage? Possibly.

Written by andy

Vitamins may not be all good…

Vitamins play an important role in our overall health. Vitamin A is needed for healthy eyes, skin, nails, and hair. Vitamin C keeps our body protected from disease, keeps our skin producing collagen, and scavenges free radicals. Vitamin D is needed for healthy bones, while Vitamin E protects our body from pollution and toxins.  It’s vital to get our daily dose of all these vitamins if we want to be healthy.

But what if these vitamins did more harm than good? Would you still pop those vitamin pills like candy? According to new research, there’s a very real chance that vitamins cause liver damage!

A review of previous studies have found that the instances of chemical-induced liver damage have increased in the last decade. In the early 2000s, only 10% of chemical-induced liver damage cases were the result of taking supplements. Now, that number has doubled, rising to a staggering 20%. Herbal, dietary, mineral, and vitamins supplements all play a role in this liver damage.

According to Fox News, an estimated 50% of adults in the U.S. take supplements of some form:

  • Vitamins and minerals for general health
  • Herbal supplements for weight loss or “detoxing”
  • Protein to build muscle
  • Teas for “detoxing” and cleansing
  • Caffeine and stimulant supplements for better athletic performance
  • Illegal anabolic steroids and growth hormones

That’s a lot of different supplements, all of which can affect the liver! You see, the liver is the primary filter for your body. It detects which nutrients are harmful and which are useful. It sends the useful nutrients on to the rest of the body, but tries to get rid of the harmful ones. The more nutrients you eat, the more work your liver has to do.

READ MORE: What is Skin Glycation?

With a healthy diet, it’s very unlikely that you will damage your liver. You can get most of the vitamins and minerals you need from your food. But if you start adding supplements to your diet, you increase your liver’s workload. For a normal person, liver damage is fairly rare. You have to take supplements in very high quantities to suffer any sort of serious liver damage. However, the number of supplements being taken is constantly on the rise. This means the risk of liver damage is also on the rise.

Medications will only add to the problem. If you take supplements while your liver is trying to metabolize strong medications, it can overtax your liver. The result could be serious liver problems.

However, liver damage isn’t always immediately apparent. This is actually one of the biggest issues with liver problems. Many people go on adding to the liver damage without realizing what they’re doing. By the time their liver starts to show signs of damage, the injury can be VERY serious. The symptoms of liver damage are fairly minor at first, but they only become severe with more serious liver damage. When you start noticing symptoms, it may be too late.

The solution: be wary with your supplement use!

Think about all of the supplements you’re taking. Do you really need all of them? Are there any you can eliminate, or at least reduce? Should you be mixing supplements, or taking so many in the first place? Why not try to get the minerals and vitamins from the food you eat, or work toward weight loss the natural way? Think about detoxing using a cleanse diet or juice fast. Instead of relying on supplements, it’s better to look for healthier, natural alternatives. The risk of liver damage is MUCH lower when you cut back on supplements.

About the author


Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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