Are Vitamins Harmful? 9 Toxic Ingredients to Beware of

The growing awareness of healthy nutrition, along with access to healthy foods and other items, makes many people reach for the vitamin and dietary supplements shelf. These supplements actually do their job by refilling deficiencies in the body, but at the same time, some of them may be dangerous for you.

Therefore, when you reach for this "health" shelf in various pharmacies and stores, it is important that you're wise to this fact. The 9 harmful additives before you are found in various vitamins and supplements and it is important to be aware of them in order to make smart choices when it comes to what you put into your body.

vitamins and supplements

1. Food coloring

Many don’t know this, but a lot of supplements, especially vitamins, contain food coloring to make them more attractive than their original pale coloring, with the most common colors being red, green, blue and yellow which are known to be harmful, especially if consumed regularly.

In a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, it was found that consumption of food coloring causes behavioral changes with hyperactivity being the most common. Apart from providing an attractive color, food colorings don’t serve any other purpose and are even harmful to the body, so it is recommended to check whether they are part of the ingredients in any supplements that you take.

2. Caffeine 

Caffeine powder, which is listed on the ingredients list as trimethylxanthine 1,3, and 7, is added to certain supplements and in large quantities. As most of us know, caffeine gives energy and is therefore not particularly harmful to people who need to be alert, but this is not the case for people with heart ailments or vascular problems.

Taking caffeine-containing supplements, especially in combination with stimulant drugs, can cause irregular heartbeat, heart problems, and even a heart attack. Uncontrolled intake of caffeine by consuming dietary supplements may put you at risk of heart problems, so it's important to be wary of the type you take.

vitamins and supplements

3. Green tea extract powder

This natural extract is found in weight loss supplements, but despite it being relatively healthy, having too much can cause quite a few negative effects. People who take supplements containing green tea extract powder sometimes report feel dizzy, hear ringing in their ears, and were even diagnosed with reduced absorption of iron.


This complexly named ingredient, also known as Oxilofrine, p-hydroxyephedrine, oxyphedrine, and 4-HMP is found in a variety of supplements that aid in weight loss, increase energy and improve athletic performance. Such supplements are sold to people who want to get into a health regimen and are looking for a shortcut to building muscle mass, but like their friends on this list, they can be dangerous. Taking methylsynephrine leads to irregular heartbeat and other heart problems, so it is not advisable to overuse stimulant supplements, even if it means a slower fitness process.

vitamins and supplements

5. Hydrogenated Fats

Margarine, which is used to make cakes and for various other things, is often accused of being bad for our bodies, and rightly so. The unsaturated fat that makes this butter-like substance sinks into the blood vessels, constricts them and interferes with normal blood flow - leading to serious health problems. Unfortunately, the same supplements that are supposed to help us improve our health contain some sort of the hydrogenated fats that are harmful to our health.

A list of dietary guidelines published by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010 stated that "the minimum consumption of trans fatty acids should be maintained by limiting the intake of foods containing their synthetic sources, such as hydrogenated fats," therefore, we must check to see if any supplements we take contain these ingredients. 


6. Lead, mercury, and PCB

Omega-3 fatty acids have been emerging in recent years as the little secret for a healthy life that we all need to take on a regular basis, but is this recommended? Today, doctors recommend taking these capsules only when necessary, such as with various vascular problems, and not on your own accord, especially if you are normally healthy. One of the reasons is that these fatty capsules may contain high amounts of lead and mercury from the fish they come from, and today it is believed to be the reason why Omega-3 capsules have been associated with prostate cancer.

Besides lead and mercury, omega-3 capsules may also contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) which also increase the risk of cancer – something that should make us think twice before taking them, especially pregnant women and children who are more vulnerable to the effects of these components.

vitamins and supplements

7. Maltodextrin

This ingredient is an artificial sweetener designed for people who want to lose weight without giving up the sweet taste of sugar. Unfortunately, this ingredient is found not only in various dietetic foods but also in supplements to facilitate their processing and stabilization.

In a study conducted at the Department of Human Nutrition at the Molecular Science School in Sydney, researchers found that this artificial sweetener has a similar effect on the body as sugar, so not only is it harmful, it also goes against the goal of losing weight. Furthermore, maltodextrin is often associated with infections, digestive problems, and a sharp rise in blood sugar, and a small amount is enough to cause these negative effects.

8. Titanium dioxide

Titanium Dioxide is responsible for a series of adverse effects such as lung infections and DNA damage, so it is definitely not advisable to put it in your body. In vitamins, it is used as a dye and is especially dangerous for people who suffer from intestinal infections - which are amplified by the consumption of titanium dioxide. Many of these people take supplements to make up for nutritional deficiencies and to treat the symptoms associated with the disease.

vitamins and supplements

9. Talc or magnesium silicate

Moderate external use of talcum powder is harmless, but on the other hand, when ingested - as with supplements, it may have negative consequences. In various supplements, this white powder is used as a filler to increase the volume of different capsules, which can lead to lung and airway problems resulting from the breakdown of these capsules and the passing of talc in the bloodstream. Like talcum powder, magnesium silicate is also added to various vitamins and supplements to increase its volume and its effect is similar to that of asbestos - which is harmful to the lungs.

So what should we do?

There is no doubt that vitamins and supplements can contribute significantly to improving health and maintaining a healthy body, but only when consumed in the right amount and when we choose supplements that are good quality. If you are considering taking any supplements, consult your doctor first to make sure that you actually have a deficiency and then purchase the necessary supplements.

Most importantly, don’t just reach for the vitamin shelf and grab anyone off of it, rather carefully read their labels to ensure that they don’t contain unnecessary ingredients and fillers that your body could do without. Just as you would read the label on foods, take a few minutes to read its label and clarify with a pharmacist/naturalist that the supplements you are interested in do not contain harmful substances. 



Related Articles:

10 Warning Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency

These Nutrients Will Boost Your Brain Health

How Vitamin B12 Benefits Your Entire Body

A Complete Guide to the Importance of Vitamin A​

Receive the newest health updates directly to your mail inbox
Did you mean:
Continue With: Facebook Google
By continuing, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy
Receive the newest health updates directly to your mail inbox
Did you mean:
Continue With: Facebook Google
By continuing, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy