Hypervitaminosis – Definition, Causes, Symptoms, Incidents

What is Hypervitaminosis? – Definition

Hypervitaminosis is a condition that occurs when your body stores highest levels of vitamins and that are most likely to produce toxic symptoms. The name hyper-vitaminosis itself suggests the vitamin overdose. When we talk about vitamins, it means fat-soluble vitamins—those that our body stores for months or even years. The lifespan of fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin-D, Vitamin-E, Vitamin-K, and Vitamin-A is greater than the water-soluble vitamins. The fat-soluble vitamins are greatest in the body’s liver.

Hypervitaminosis – Definition, Causes, Symptoms, Incidents and Conditions

What are the Causes of Hypervitaminosis? – Causes

Hypervitaminosis arises when you take in large amounts of food that contains abnormally high levels of vitamins. While foods we eat rarely deliver high levels of vitamins the Arctic explorers used to consume liver of certain animals that would lead to toxic symptoms. For instance, one of the Inuits inhabiting Arctic ate a polar bear liver and he suffered badly right after that due to high levels of Vitamin A in a polar bear’s liver. According to scientists, there are many animals that contain abnormally high levels of Vitamin A in their liver so it’s a dangerous feast to feed on.

People who usually take, not deliberately though, high supplements which can comprise high levels of toxic vitamins. You can also suffer from hypervitaminosis if you eat fortified foods. Fortified foods are those foods that contain artificially high levels of vitamins such as the Iodized salt. The food you eat contains reasonable amounts of vitamins that are sufficed for your body. If you take supplements it will only increase the vitamins to a level of toxicity.

Most people take supplement foods which indeed causes higher levels of Vitamins in their bodies. Photo by healthline

What are the Symptoms of Hypervitaminosis? –Symptoms

  • Vomiting Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vertigo
  • Intense Headache
  • Fits and Coma
  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Peeling of Skin

How Many Hypervitaminosis Incidents are Reported Each Year?

  1. According to the U.S. poison control centers, there were 62,562 incidents reported in the year 2004 in the United States.
  2. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data suggests that about one-third of the US population had hypervitaminosis from 2003 to 2006. Sadly most patients were one-year age. Their parents fed them multivitamin supplements.
  3. The survey conducted in 2009 claimed that 56% of the US consumers took vitamins in the form of supplements while the remaining 44% would consume vitamins each day. The vitamin overdose in the United States is turning out to be life-threatening for it typically occurs in children under the age of 6.
  4. The US poison control centers also reported as many as 71,000 individuals in 2010 out of which 15 cases were particularly severe but thankfully none of them died.

Hypervitaminosis Conditions

What is Hypervitaminosis? – Video