March 21, 2011 in Health, Lifestyle, Nutrition

Too Much Of A Good Thing

One of the things I’ve noticed with regard to the recent kelp-related information on the ‘net is the idea that because kelp is a natural substance, it can’t hurt you. Sadly, this idea, though of the best of intentions, is just plain wrong. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it can’t be harmful. Moreover, just because something is good for you in a certain amount doesn’t mean that more of it is going to be better. It’s possible to get too much of a good thing.

When it comes to dietary supplements, one must be extremely careful not to overdo it. Sure, there are indications that the RDA dosage for certain vitamins is insufficient to ensure good health, but that’s not an across-the-board reality for everything in the vitamin catalogue. When considering dosages beyond RDA amounts, one must be extremely careful to double- and triple-check the facts and figures so as to not imperil one’s health.

In general, water-soluble vitamins are somewhat safer than fat-soluble vitamins when it comes to working with higher intake. That said, not every vitamin can be based on this generalization. And, as suggested in the first paragraph, just because a certain dosage is good for your health, twice the dosage isn’t necessarily twice as good for your health. This is especially true with fat-soluble vitamins.

Fat-soluble vitamins tend to be stored in the cells of the body and in the liver. If our body reaches saturation, our balance can be thrown off. Megadoses of fat-soluble vitamins to the point of saturation can cause the body to be unable to store vitamins for which we are in need. This, in turn, causes the body to have insufficient amounts of one or more vitamins while having an overabundance of others, even to the point of toxicity. This can be a very dangerous situation that leads us away from well-being and toward serious sickness and even death.

The same is true of foods. Excessive intake of certain foods can have significant impacts on our body. Recent articles here regarding kelp, for example, point out the very real possibility of overdoing iodine intake, which can have serious repercussions for thyroid health. Our bodies are optimized to having a little of everything. “Everything in moderation” is probably the most relevant idiom to be coined in the English language when it comes to describing our lifestyle and nutrition choices.

Ultimately, our goal should be to find balance and harmony. Everything in the universe moves from chaos to order, from instability to stability. As such, it is incumbent upon us to assist our body in its quest to maintain homoeostasis. Our day-to-day experiences cause damage from which our body needs to heal. Our job, therefore, is to encourage that.

Like Goldilocks, we shouldn’t take in (or do) too much or too little. We should always strive for just right. In doing so, we make it easy for our body to maintain its essential balance.

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