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It is difficult to overdose on natural foods. But supplements are a different matter altogether.

A high intake of Vitamin C reduces blood levels of copper.

Mega-doses of Vitamin C can also impede B12 absorption to

the point at which a deficiency can result.

High levels of zinc interfere with copper metabolism. Taken orally, zinc can increase the excretion of copper.

Calcium, magnesium and sodium work in tandem, and excess or deficiency of one can have an effect on the others. An excess of magnesium, for instance, has been found to decrease the absorption of calcium.

So if you're taking a magnesium supplement to counteract a deficiency, you need to also boost your calcium intake proportionately (And vice versa if you're taking a calcium supplement).

A converse example — magnesium deficiency causes a buildup of sodium in the cells, and a loss of potassium out of the cell. Supplementing with potassium alone will not correct the sodium imbalance; magnesium also needs to be administered.

An excess of fibre supplements can drain nutrients out of your body because too much fibre can cause food to move too quickly through the gastro-intestinal tract, which doesn't allow proper absorption.

Those on diuretics who may need to take potassium supplements should not drink tea or coffee at the time; both beverages interfere with the absorption of this mineral.

Avoid taking supplements of iron and calcium together —calcium interferes with the absorption of iron.

Don't refrigerate supplements; condensed moisture can destroy their potency.

Don't throw away good money on supplements that contain substances of unproven nutritional value such as lecithin and choline.

Also, some nutrients are so easily available in most of our daily diets that their inclusion in a multivitamin supplement is wasteful and will have you paying more for things you don't really need. Examples — phosphorus, sodium, potassium, iodine and fluoride. Unless you have been specifically prescribed a supplement containing one or more of these for health reasons, it really is uncalled for.

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