Can you get too much of a good thing? A study by researchers from Johns Hopkins University says yes, at least when it comes to vitamin E! The researchers found a 6 percent increase in the risk of early death among those who took a daily dose of 400 IU (international units) or more of vitamin E a day. That's a lot of E! The average daily intake from foods is 10 IU, and most multivitamins contain between 30 and 60 IU! The recommended daily intake is only 15 milligrams (roughly 22 IU from food sources, or 33 IU from a synthetic source).
So why were people taking so much? They mistakenly believed that taking more would super-size vitamin E's heart-protecting benefits, the experts say. Other researchers have found similar results in trials that looked at megadosing with other antioxidants, such as vitamins A and C.
The bottom line? The experts aren't saying you shouldn't take vitamins at all — in fact, a daily multivitamin can help cover the bases your diet doesn't — but there's no need to take hundreds of times the recommended daily allowance! More isn't better! Check a vitamin's label before you buy it, to make sure you're getting what you need — and not a whole lot more. Everything in moderation!