7 FOODS THAT DAMAGE THE BRAIN

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Your brain is the most important organ in your body.

It keeps your heart beating, lungs breathing and all the systems in your body functioning.

That’s why it’s essential to keep your brain working in optimum condition with a healthy diet.

Some foods have negative effects on the brain, impacting your memory and mood and increasing your risk of dementia.

Estimates predict that dementia will affect more than 65 million people worldwide by 2030.

Luckily, you can help reduce your risk of the disease by cutting certain foods out of your diet.

This article reveals the seven worst foods for your brain.

  1. Sugary Drinks

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Sugary drinks include beverages like soda, sports drinks, energy drinks and fruit juice.

A high intake of sugary drinks not only expands your waistline and boosts your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease — it also has a negative effect on your brain.

An excessive intake of sugary drinks increases the odds of developing type 2 diabetes which has been shown to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition, higher sugar levels in the blood can increase the risk of dementia, even in people without diabetes.

A primary component of many sugary drinks is high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which consists of 55% fructose and 45% glucose.

A high intake of fructose can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, high blood fats, diabetes and arterial dysfunction. These aspects of metabolic syndrome may lead to an increase in the long-term risk of developing dementia.

Animal studies have shown that a high fructose intake can lead to insulin resistance in the brain, as well as a reduction in brain function, memory, learning and the formation of brain neurons.

One study in rats found that a diet high in sugar increased brain inflammation and impaired memory. Additionally, rats that consumed a diet consisting of 11% HFCS were worse than those whose diets consisted of 11% regular sugar.

Another study found that rats fed a high-fructose diet gained more weight, had worse blood sugar control and a higher risk of metabolic disorders and memory impairments.

While further studies in humans are needed, the results suggest that a high intake of fructose from sugary drinks may have additional negative effects on the brain, beyond the effects of sugar.

Some alternatives to sugary drinks include water, unsweetened iced tea, vegetable juice and unsweetened dairy products.

Summary

A high intake of sugary drinks may increase the risk of dementia. High-fructose corn syrup
(HFCS) may be especially harmful, causing brain inflammation and impairing memory and learning.  Further studies in humans are needed.

  1. Refined Carbs

Refined carbohydrates include sugars and highly processed grains such as white flour.

These types of carbs generally have a high glycemic index (GI). This means your body digests them quickly, causing a spike in your blood sugar and insulin levels.

Also, when eaten in larger quantities, these foods often have a high glycemic load (GL). The GL refers to how much a food raises your blood sugar levels, based on the serving size.

Foods that are high-GI and high-GL have been found to impair brain function.

Research has shown that just a single meal with a high glycemic load can impair memory in both children and adults.

Another study in healthy university students found that those who had a higher intake of fat and refined sugar also had poorer memory.

This effect on memory may be due to inflammation of the hippocampus, a part of the brain that affects some aspects of memory, as well as responsiveness to hunger and fullness cues.

Inflammation is recognized as a risk factor for degenerative diseases of the brain, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

For example, one study looked at elderly people who consumed more than 58% of their daily calories in the form of carbohydrates. The study found they had almost double the risk of mild mental impairment and dementia.

Carbohydrates may have other effects on the brain too. For example, one study found that children aged six to seven who consumed diets high in refined carbs also scored lower on nonverbal intelligence.

However, this study could not determine whether consuming refined carbs caused these lower scores, or simply whether the two factors were related.

Healthy, lower-GI carbs include foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains. You can use this database to find the GI and GL of common foods.

Summary

A high intake of refined carbs with a high glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) may impair memory
and intelligence, as well as increase the risk of dementia. These include sugars and highly processed grains like white flour.

  1. Foods High in Trans Fats

Trans fats are a type of unsaturated fat that can have a detrimental effect on brain health.

While trans fats occur naturally in animal products like meat and dairy, these are not a major concern. It’s industrially produced trans fats, also known as hydrogenated vegetable oils, that are a problem.

These artificial trans fats can be found in shortening, margarine, frosting, snack foods, ready-made cakes and prepackaged cookies.

Studies have found that when people consume higher amounts of trans fats, they tend to have an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, poorer memory, lower brain volume and cognitive decline.

However, some studies have not found an association between trans-fat intake and brain health. Nonetheless, trans fats should be avoided. They have a negative effect on many other aspects of health, including heart health and inflammation.

The evidence on saturated fat is mixed. Three observational studies have found a positive association between saturated fat intake and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, whereas a fourth study showed the opposite effect.

One cause for this may be that a subset of the test populations had a genetic susceptibility to the disease, which is caused by a gene known as ApoE4. However, more research is required on this topic.

One study of 38 women found that those who consumed more saturated fat relative to unsaturated fat performed worse on memory and recognition measures.

Thus, it may be that the relative ratios of fat in the diet are an important factor, not just the type of fat itself.

For example, diets high in omega-3 fatty acids have been found to help protect against cognitive decline. Omega-3s increase the secretion of anti-inflammatory compounds in the brain and can have a protective effect, especially in older adults.

You can increase the amount of omega-3 fats in your diet by eating foods like fish, chia seeds, flax seeds and walnuts.

SUMMARY

Trans fats may be associated with impaired memory and the risk of Alzheimer’s but the evidence is mixed. Cutting out trans fats completely and increasing the unsaturated fats in your diet may be a good strategy.

  1. Highly Processed Foods

Highly processed foods tend to be high in sugar, added fats and salt.

They include foods such as chips, sweets, instant noodles, microwave popcorn, store-bought sauces and ready-made meals.

These foods are usually high in calories and low in other nutrients. They’re exactly the kinds of foods that cause weight gain, which can have a negative effect on your brain health.

A study in 243 people found increased fat around the organs, or visceral fat, is associated with brain tissue damage. Another study in 130 people found there’s a measurable decrease in brain tissue even in the early stages of metabolic syndrome.

The nutrient composition of processed foods in the Western diet can also negatively affect the brain and contribute to the development of degenerative diseases.

A study including 52 people found that a diet high in unhealthy ingredients resulted in lower levels of sugar metabolism in the brain and a decrease in brain tissue. These factors are thought to be markers for Alzheimer’s disease.

Another study including 18,080 people found that a diet high in fried foods and processed meats is associated with lower scores in learning and memory.

Similar results were found in another large-scale study in 5,038 people. A diet high in red meat, processed meat, baked beans and fried food was associated with inflammation and a faster decline in reasoning over 10 years.

In animal studies, rats fed a high-fat, high-sugar diet for eight months showed impaired learning ability and negative changes to brain plasticity. Another study found that rats fed a high-calorie diet experienced disruptions to the blood-brain barrier.

The blood-brain barrier is a membrane between the brain and blood supply for the rest of the body. It helps protect the brain by preventing some substances from entering.

One of the ways processed foods may negatively impact the brain is by reducing the production of a molecule called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).

This molecule is found in various parts of the brain, including the hippocampus, and it’s important for long-term memory, learning and the growth of new neurons. Therefore, any reduction can have negative impacts on these functions.

You can avoid processed foods by eating mostly fresh, whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, meat and fish. Additionally, a Mediterranean-style diet has been shown to protect against cognitive decline.

Summary

Processed foods contribute to excess fat around the organs, which is associated with a decline in brain tissue. Additionally, Western-style diets may increase brain
inflammation and impair memory, learning, brain plasticity and the blood-brain barrier.

  1. Aspartame

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used in many sugar-free products.

People often choose to use it when trying to lose weight or avoid sugar when they have diabetes. It is also found in many commercial products not specifically targeted at people with diabetes.

However, this widely used sweetener has also been linked to behavioral and cognitive problems, though the research has been controversial.

Aspartame is made of phenylalanine, methanol and aspartic acid.

Phenylalanine can cross the blood-brain barrier and might disrupt the production of neurotransmitters. Additionally, aspartame is a chemical stressor and may increase the brain’s vulnerability to oxidative stress.

Some scientists have suggested these factors may cause negative effects on learning and emotions, which have been observed when aspartame is consumed in excess.

One study looked at the effects of a high-aspartame diet. Participants consumed about 11 mg of aspartame for every pound of their body weight (25 mg per kg) for eight days.

By the end of the study, they were more irritable, had a higher rate of depression and performed worse on mental tests.

Another study found people who consumed artificially sweetened soft drinks had an increased risk of stroke and dementia, though the exact type of sweetener was not specified.

Some experimental research in mice and rats has also supported these findings.

A study of repeated aspartame intake in mice found that it impaired memory and increased oxidative stress in the brain. Another found that long-term intake led to an imbalance in antioxidant status in the brain.

Other animal experiments have not found any negative effects, though these were often large, single-dose experiments rather than long-term ones. Additionally, mice and rats are reportedly 60 times less sensitive to phenylalanine than humans.

Despite these findings, aspartame is still considered to be a safe sweetener overall if people consume it at about 18–23 mg per pound (40–50 mg per kg) of body weight per day or less.

According to these guidelines, a 150-pound (68-kg) person should keep their aspartame intake under about 3,400 mg per day, at the maximum.

For reference, a packet of sweetener contains about 35 mg of aspartame, and a regular 12-ounce (340-ml) can of diet soda contains about 180 mg. Amounts may vary depending on brand.

In addition, a number of papers have reported that aspartame has no adverse effects.

However, if you’d prefer to avoid it, you could simply cut artificial sweeteners and excess sugar from your diet altogether.

Summary Aspartame is an
artificial sweetener found in many soft drinks and sugar-free products. It has been linked to behavioral and cognitive problems, though overall it is considered a safe product.

  1. Alcohol

When consumed in moderation, alcohol can be an enjoyable addition to a nice meal. However, excessive consumption can have serious effects on the brain.

Chronic alcohol use results in a reduction in brain volume, metabolic changes and disruption of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals the brain uses to communicate.

People with alcoholism often have a deficiency in vitamin B1. This can lead to a brain disorder called Wernicke’s encephalopathy, which in turn can develop into Korsakoff’s syndrome.

This syndrome is distinguished by severe damage to the brain, including memory loss, disturbances in eyesight, confusion and unsteadiness.

Excessive consumption of alcohol can also have negative effects in non-alcoholics.

Heavy one-off drinking episodes are known as “binge drinking.” These acute episodes can cause the brain to interpret emotional cues differently than normal. For example, people have a reduced sensitivity to sad faces and an increased sensitivity to angry faces.

It’s thought that these changes to emotion recognition may be a cause of alcohol-related aggression.

Furthermore, alcohol consumption during pregnancy can have devastating effects on the fetus. Given that its brain is still developing, the toxic effects of alcohol can result in developmental disorders like fetal alcohol syndrome.

The effect of alcohol abuse in teenagers can also be particularly damaging, as the brain is still developing. Teenagers who drink alcohol have abnormalities in brain structure, function and behavior, compared to those who don’t.

Particularly, alcoholic beverages mixed with energy drinks are concerning. They result in increased rates of binge drinking, impaired driving, risky behavior and an increased risk of alcohol dependence.

An additional effect of alcohol is the disruption of sleep patterns. Drinking a large amount of alcohol before bed is associated with poor sleep quality which can lead to chronic sleep deprivation.

However, moderate alcohol consumption may have beneficial effects, including improved heart health and a reduced risk of diabetes. These beneficial effects have been particularly noted in moderate wine consumption of one glass per day.

Overall, you should avoid excessive alcohol consumption, especially if you’re a teenager or young adult, and avoid binge drinking entirely.

If you are pregnant, it is safest to avoid drinking alcohol altogether.

Summary

While moderate alcohol intake can have some positive health effects, excessive consumption can lead to
memory loss, behavioral changes and sleep disruption. Particularly high-risk groups include teenagers, young adults and pregnant women.

  1. Fish High in Mercury

Mercury is a heavy metal contaminant and neurological poison that can be stored for a long time in animal tissues.

Long-lived, predatory fish are particularly susceptible to accumulating mercury and can carry amounts over 1 million times the concentration of their surrounding water.

For this reason, the primary food source of mercury in humans is seafood particularly wild varieties.

After a person ingests mercury, it spreads all around their body, concentrating in the brain, liver and kidneys. In pregnant women, it also concentrates in the placenta and fetus.

The effects of mercury toxicity include disruption of the central nervous system and neurotransmitters and stimulation of neurotoxins, resulting in damage to the brain.

For developing fetuses and young children, mercury can disrupt brain development and cause the destruction of cell components. This can lead to cerebral palsy and other developmental delays and deficits.

However, most fish are not a significant source of mercury. In fact, fish is a high-quality protein and contains many important nutrients, such as omega-3s, vitamin B12, zinc, iron and magnesium. Therefore, it is important to include fish as part of a healthy diet.

Generally, it is recommended that adults eat two to three servings of fish per week. However, if you’re eating shark or swordfish, only consume one serving, and then no other fish that week.

Pregnant women and children should avoid or limit high-mercury fish, including shark, swordfish, tuna, orange roughy, king mackerel and tilefish. However, it’s still safe to have two to three servings of other low-mercury fish per week.

Recommendations may differ from country to country, depending on the types of fish in your area, so it’s always best to check with your local food safety agency for the recommendations that are right for you.

Also, if you are catching your own fish, it is a good idea to check with local authorities about the levels of mercury in the water you are fishing from.

Summary

Mercury is a neurotoxic element that can be particularly harmful to developing fetuses and young children. The primary source in the diet is large predatory fish such as
shark and swordfish. It is best to limit your intake of fish that are high in mercury.

The Bottom Line

Your diet definitely has a big impact on your brain health.

Inflammatory diet patterns that are high in sugar, refined carbs, unhealthy fats and processed foods can contribute to impaired memory and learning, as well as increase your risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Several other substances in food are dangerous for your brain too.

Alcohol can cause massive damage to the brain when consumed in large quantities while mercury found in seafood can be neurotoxic and permanently damage developing brains.

However, this doesn’t mean you must avoid all these foods completely. In fact, some foods like alcohol and fish also have health benefits.

One of the best things you can do for your brain is to follow a diet rich in healthy, fresh whole foods as soon as possible.

Surprising Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin in a family of compounds that includes vitamins D-1, D-2, and D-3.

Your body produces vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight. You can also get it through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.

Vitamin D has several important functions. Perhaps, the most vital are regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and facilitating normal immune system function. Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases.

If your body doesn’t get enough vitamin D, you’re at risk of developing bone abnormalities such as soft bones (osteomalacia) or fragile bones (osteoporosis).

Here are three more surprising benefits of vitamin D.

  1. Vitamin D fights disease

In addition to its primary benefits, research suggests that vitamin D may also play a role in:

  • reducing your risk of multiple sclerosis, according to a 2006 study.
  • decreasing your chance of developing heart disease, according to 2008 findings.
  • helping to reduce your likelihood of developing the flu, according to a 2010 research Top of Form

It reduces depression

Research has shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression. In one study, scientists found that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms.

In another study of people with fibromyalgia, researchers found vitamin D deficiency was more common in those who were also experiencing anxiety and depression.

  1. Vitamin D boosts weight loss

Consider adding vitamin D supplements to your diet if you’re trying to lose weight or prevent heart disease. You can find a great selection of vitamin D supplements on Amazon.com.

In one study, people taking a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement were able to lose more weight than subjects taking a placebo supplement. The scientists said the extra calcium and vitamin D had an appetite-suppressing effect.

In another study, overweight people who took a daily vitamin D supplement improved their heart disease risk markers.

Beware of D-ficiency

Many factors can affect your ability to get sufficient amounts of vitamin D through the sun alone. These factors include:

  • Being in an area with high pollution
  • Using sunscreen
  • Spending more time indoors
  • Living in big cities where buildings block sunlight
  • Having darker skin. (The higher the levels of melanin, the less vitamin D the skin can absorb.)

These factors contribute to vitamin D deficiency in an increasing number of people. That’s why it’s important to get some of your vitamin D from sources besides sunlight.

The symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency in adults include:

Doctors can diagnose a vitamin D deficiency by performing a simple blood test. If you have a deficiency, your doctor may order X-rays to check the strength of your bones.

If you’re diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency, your doctor will likely recommend you take daily vitamin D supplements. If you have a severe deficiency, they may instead recommend high-dose vitamin D tablets or liquids. You should also make sure to get vitamin D through sunlight and the foods you eat.

Food sources of vitamin D

Few foods contain vitamin D naturally. Because of this, some foods are fortified. This means that vitamin D has been added. Foods that contain vitamin D include:

  • salmon
  • sardines
  • egg yolk
  • shrimp
  • milk (fortified)
  • cereal (fortified)
  • yogurt (fortified)
  • orange juice (fortified)

It can be hard to get enough vitamin D each day through sun exposure and food alone, so taking vitamin D supplements can help.

How much do you need?

There has been some controversy over the amount of vitamin D needed for healthy functioning. Recent research indicates that you need more vitamin D than was once thought. Normal blood serum levels range from 50 to 100 micrograms per deciliter. Depending on your blood level, you may need more vitamin D.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences reports new recommendations based on international units (IUs) per day. IUs are a standard type of measurement for drugs and vitamins. IUs help experts determine recommended dose, toxicity, and deficiency levels for each person.

One IU is not the same for each type of vitamin. An IU is determined by how much of a substance produces an effect in your body. The recommended IUs for vitamin D are:

  • children and teens: 600 IU
  • adults up to age 70: 600 IU
  • adults over age 70: 800 IU
  • pregnant or breastfeeding women: 600 IU

6 Side Effects of Too Much Vitamin D

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Vitamin D is extremely important for good health.

It plays several roles in keeping your body’s cells healthy and functioning the way they should.

Most people don’t get enough vitamin D, so supplements are common.

However, it’s also possible — although rare — for this vitamin to build up and reach toxic levels in your body.

This article discusses 6 potential side effects of getting excessive amounts of this important vitamin.

Deficiency and toxicity

Vitamin D is involved in calcium absorption, immune function, and protecting bone, muscle, and heart health. It occurs naturally in food and can also be produced by your body when your skin is exposed to sunlight.

Yet, aside from fatty fish, there are few foods rich in vitamin D. What’s more, most people don’t get enough sun exposure to produce adequate vitamin D.

Thus, deficiency is very common. In fact, it’s estimated that about 1 billion people worldwide don’t get enough of this vitamin (1Trusted Source).

Supplements are very common, and both vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 can be taken in supplement form. Vitamin D3 is produced in response to sun exposure and is found in animal products, whereas vitamin D2 occurs in plants.

Vitamin D3 has been found to increase blood levels significantly more than D2. Studies have shown that each additional 100 IU of vitamin D3 you consume per day will raise your blood vitamin D levels by 1 ng/ml (2.5 nmol/l), on average (2Trusted Source3Trusted Source).

However, taking extremely high doses of vitamin D3 for long periods may lead to excessive buildup in your body.

Vitamin D intoxication occurs when blood levels rise above 150 ng/ml (375 nmol/l). Because the vitamin is stored in body fat and released into the bloodstream slowly, the effects of toxicity may last for several months after you stop taking supplements (4Trusted Source).

Importantly, toxicity isn’t common and occurs almost exclusively in people who take long-term, high-dose supplements without monitoring their blood levels.

It’s also possible to inadvertently consume too much vitamin D by taking supplements that contain much higher amounts than are listed on the label.

In contrast, you cannot reach dangerously high blood levels through diet and sun exposure alone.

Below are the 6 main side effects of too much vitamin D.

  1. Elevated blood levels

Achieving adequate levels of vitamin D in your blood may help boost your immunity and protect you from diseases like osteoporosis and cancer (5).

However, there isn’t agreement on an optimal range for adequate levels.

Although a vitamin D level of 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/l) is typically considered adequate, the Vitamin D Council recommends maintaining levels of 40–80 ng/ml (100–200 nmol/l) and states that anything over 100 ng/ml (250 nmol/l) may be harmful (6Trusted Source7).

While an increasing number of people are supplementing with vitamin D, it’s rare to find someone with very high blood levels of this vitamin.

One recent study looked at data from more than 20,000 people over a 10-year period. It found that only 37 people had levels above 100 ng/ml (250 nmol/l). Only one person had true toxicity, at 364 ng/ml (899 nmol/l) (8Trusted Source).

In one case study, a woman had a level of 476 ng/ml (1,171 nmol/l) after taking a supplement that gave her 186,900 IU of vitamin D3 per day for two months (9).

This was a whopping 47 times the generally recommended safe upper limit of 4,000 IU per day.

The woman was admitted to the hospital after she experienced fatigue, forgetfulness, nausea, vomiting, slurred speech and other symptoms (9).

Although only extremely large doses can cause toxicity so rapidly, even strong supporters of these supplements recommend an upper limit of 10,000 IU per day (3Trusted Source).

Summary Vitamin D levels greater than 100
ng/ml (250 nmol/l) are considered potentially harmful. Toxicity symptoms have been reported at extremely high blood levels resulting from megadoses.

  1. Elevated blood calcium levels

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium from the food you eat. In fact, this is one of its most important roles.

However, if vitamin D intake is excessive, blood calcium may reach levels that can cause unpleasant and potentially dangerous symptoms.

Symptoms of hypercalcemia, or high blood calcium levels, include:

  • digestive distress, such as vomiting, nausea, and
    stomach pain
  • fatigue, dizziness, and confusion
  • excessive thirst
  • frequent urination

The normal range of blood calcium is 8.5–10.2 mg/dl (2.1–2.5 mmol/l).

In one case study, an older man with dementia who received 50,000 IU of vitamin D daily for 6 months was repeatedly hospitalized with symptoms related to high calcium levels (10Trusted Source).

In another, two men took improperly labeled vitamin D supplements, leading to blood calcium levels of 13.2–15 mg/dl (3.3–3.7 mmol/l). What’s more, it took a year for their levels to normalize after they stopped taking the supplements (11Trusted Source).

Summary

Taking too much vitamin D may result
in excessive absorption of calcium, which can cause several potentially dangerous symptoms.

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  1. Nausea, vomiting, and poor appetite

Many side effects of too much vitamin D are related to excessive calcium in the blood.

These include nausea, vomiting and poor appetite.

However, these symptoms don’t occur in everyone with elevated calcium levels.

One study followed 10 people who had developed excessive calcium levels after they had taken high-dose vitamin D to correct deficiency.

Four of them experienced nausea and vomiting, and three of them had a loss of appetite (12Trusted Source).

Similar responses to vitamin D megadoses have been reported in other studies. One woman experienced nausea and weight loss after taking a supplement that was found to contain 78 times more vitamin D than stated on the label (13Trusted Source14Trusted Source).

Importantly, these symptoms occurred in response to extremely high doses of vitamin D3, which led to calcium levels greater than 12 mg/dl (3.0 mmol/l).

Summary In some people, high-dose vitamin D
therapy has been found to cause nausea, vomiting, and lack of appetite due to high blood calcium levels.

  1. Stomach pain, constipation, or diarrhea

Stomach pain, constipation and diarrhea are common digestive complaints that are often related to food intolerances or irritable bowel syndrome.

However, they can also be a sign of elevated calcium levels caused by vitamin D intoxication (15Trusted Source).

These symptoms may occur in those receiving high doses of vitamin D to correct deficiency. As with other symptoms, response appears to be individualized even when vitamin D blood levels are similarly elevated.

In one case study, a boy developed stomach pain and constipation after taking improperly labeled vitamin D supplements, whereas his brother experienced elevated blood levels without any other symptoms (16Trusted Source).

In another case study, an 18-month-old child who was given 50,000 IU of vitamin D3 for 3 months experienced diarrhea, stomach pain, and other symptoms. These symptoms resolved after the child stopped taking the supplements (17Trusted Source).

Summary

Stomach pain, constipation, or
diarrhea may result from large vitamin D doses that lead to elevated calcium levels in the blood.

  1. Bone loss

Because vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption and bone metabolism, getting enough is crucial for maintaining strong bones.

However, too much vitamin D can be detrimental to bone health.

Although many symptoms of excessive vitamin D are attributed to high blood calcium levels, some researchers suggest that megadoses may lead to low levels of vitamin K2 in the blood (18Trusted Source).

One of vitamin K2’s most important functions is to keep calcium in the bones and out of the blood. It’s believed that very high vitamin D levels may reduce vitamin K2 activity (18Trusted Source19Trusted Source).

To protect against bone loss, avoid taking excessive vitamin D supplements and take a vitamin K2 supplement. You can also eat foods rich in vitamin K2, such as grass-fed dairy and meat.

Summary

Although vitamin D is required for
calcium absorption, high levels may cause bone loss by interfering with vitamin K2 activity.

  1. Kidney failure

Excessive vitamin D intake frequently results in kidney injury.

In one case study, a man was hospitalized for kidney failure, elevated blood calcium levels, and other symptoms that occurred after he received vitamin D injections prescribed by his doctor (20Trusted Source).

Indeed, most studies have reported moderate-to-severe kidney injury in people who develop vitamin D toxicity (912Trusted Source13Trusted Source14Trusted Source16Trusted Source17Trusted Source21Trusted Source).

In one study in 62 people who received excessively high-dose vitamin D injections, each person experienced kidney failure — whether they had healthy kidneys or existing kidney disease (21Trusted Source).

Kidney failure is treated with oral or intravenous hydration and medication.

Summary

Too much vitamin D may lead to kidney
injury in people with healthy kidneys, as well as those with established kidney disease.

The bottom line

Vitamin D is extremely important for your overall health. Even if you follow a healthy diet, you may require supplements to achieve optimal blood levels.

However, it’s also possible to have too much of a good thing.

Make sure to avoid excessive doses of vitamin D. Generally, 4,000 IU or less per day is considered safe, as long as your blood values are being monitored.

In addition, make sure you purchase supplements from reputable manufacturers to reduce the risk of accidental overdose due to improper labeling.

If you’ve been taking vitamin D supplements and are experiencing any of the symptoms listed in this article, consult a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

New Tricks Fraudsters Use To Steal Cash From ATM And POS!

+How To Protect Yourself

With the prevalence of cashless transactions in today’s digital age, there is no doubt that we are presently in an epidemic of electronics fraud.

We must be informed that most ATM and POS terminals are vulnerable to hacking because most transactions are now done electronically. This of course increases our vulnerabilities to ATM and POS skimming fraud everyday

In a recent report in New Jersey, a major skimming fraud was exposed. It involved attacks on over 1,000 bank customers, with criminals attempting to escape with over $1.5 million.

What is skimming?

Skimming is a crafty way through which fraudsters steal cardholder information. It occurs when a fraudster puts a card scanner on top of the card slot of an automated teller machine (ATM) or point of sale (POS) terminal.

The main purpose of the scanner is to scan the card and steal sensitive information of the cardholder. In most cases, the fraudsters also install a pin hole camera at any unnoticeable location of the ATM or POS terminal to record how the user is entering his PIN.

Some criminals go as far as installing a fake PIN pad over the actual keyboard to record the keystrokes of the user.

The fraudsters use the recorded information to create a fake credit or debit card and use it for criminal purposes.

In most cases, the victims of ATM and POS skimming fraud are not aware of the fraudulent activities going on with their card until they receive a debit alert.

As far as ATM or POS skimming fraud is concerned, there is no perfect security for all users because the scammers are becoming smarter and more sophisticated everyday.

However, keeping the following safety tips in mind is a great way to protect yourself against ATM and POS skimming fraud:

  1. Investigate the source of the ATM or POS terminal.
  2. Look closely at the ATM to see if there is any hidden camera.
  3. Watch for any component that has been tampered with. If you notice any, don’t use the machine.
  4. Feel the card slot with your hand. If it’s shaking or it looks bigger than the normal size, don’t insert your card.
  5. Press the key pad repeatedly to know if it is working properly or shaking when you are entering your PIN.
  6. Cover your fingers when typing your PIN.
  7. Don’t allow anyone to assist you to insert your card into the ATM or POS terminal.
  8. Don’t use the ATM or POS in a dark environment.
  9. Make sure no one is watching you from behind when you are entering your PIN.
  10. If you notice anything suspicious when using the machine, complain and report to your bank immediately.
  11. Make sure there is no electronic device around the ATM or POS terminal.
  12. If you are a victim of ATM or POS skimming fraud, report immediately to your bank.
  13. Educate yourself about how to protect yourself against ATM and POS skimming fraud.

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