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7 Vitamins and Supplements You Shouldn’t Be Taking

7 Vitamins and Supplements You Shouldn’t Be Taking

Everyone seems to be vitamin crazy in the 21st century. The problem is that they might not all be as beneficial for you as you may think. Now before you freak out, just remember that you can get healthy, recommended doses of most vitamins and minerals through actual food that is healthy for you—remember food?—and these won’t hurt you. Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most popular vitamins and supplements that you shouldn’t be taking.

1. Calcium

Despite the fact that we’re told to have high volumes of calcium in our diet, calcium supplements can actually be dangerous, particularly for people over 50. This is because older bodies can have more difficulty absorbing the mineral, which can lead to it being absorbed by the walls of arteries, as opposed to the bones. This can result in a hardening of the arteries, which in turn can lead to strokes and heart disease.

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If you need to be taking calcium supplements, stay clear of calcium carbonate, which is particularly difficult for your bones to absorb. Instead, take calcium citrate, along with magnesium, which will aid with absorption. Alternatively: Got milk? No, really, if you have some then you should drink it.

2. Prenatal Vitamins…When You’re Not Pregnant

You may wonder why any woman would take prenatal vitamins when they’re not pregnant or preparing for pregnancy. The answer is simple—shinier hair, clear skin and stronger nails. Sure, this all sounds positive, but there is a danger in taking supplements that aren’t meant for you. For example, prenatal vitamins contain more iron than a non-pregnant woman needs, and having an excess of that in your body can lead to constipation, vomiting and nausea. Basically, you’ll get all of the terrible parts of pregnancy without the glow and gifts. Who would want that? Similarly, the excess folic acid contained in the vitamins can leave you with a rapid heart rate, tingling in your toes, and memory loss. In short, leave these bad boys for the actual pregnant ladies.

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3. Creatine

If you’re a gym junkie you may have heard of this supplement. Generally, it’s used post-workout in order to build and repair muscle. However, research has shown that excessive use can result in dehydration as well as kidney damage. In addition, it can worsen the symptoms of people who suffer with asthma. President of Cenegenics Carolinas, Dr. Mickey Barber, recommends that you should only take it under medical supervision.

4. Vitamin C

For the most part, vitamin C tablets are harmless. However, 2000mg or more can increase your risk of kidney stones—and nobody wants tiny rocks stabbing them from the inside. The main issue with vitamin C supplements is that they’re unnecessary. Studies have shown that their prevention of the common cold is a mere myth.

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Furthermore, unless you’re eating like a sailor from 1750, you’re unlikely to need them to ward off scurvy. Just eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and you’ll be fine.

5. Soy Isolate

Not the same as Soylent Green. That would be bad.

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Soy isolate can be found in some brands of protein bars and shakes, but there can be a downside for you men folk. Unfortunately, it can have an estrogen effect, which becomes stronger in older men whose bodies are already having trouble balancing their estrogen and testosterone levels. If you still aren’t clear on the visual, it means that it can result in breast formation, or gynecomastia, in men.

If you gents want to get the full benefits of soy without the cleavage, I recommend pure edamame and tofu.

6. Yohimbe

If you haven’t heard of yohimbe before, that could very well be because you don’t suffer from erectile dysfunction. Congratulations, you can skip this one! Bark from the yohimbe tree contains yohimbine, which is a substance that can appear in supplements that are used to treat the above. The problem is that it can also result in serious heart arrhythmia problems, as well as high blood pressure. As an alternative, try increasing your exercise and general health, and if you feel like you still need a supplement, try DHEA.

7. Multivitamins

Basically these are money wasters that result in little more than expensive urine. Oh, except for the part where they’re potentially harmful. A 25-year study of 38,772 women has shown that the risk of death is actually increased for those who had engaged in long-term use of multivitamins, vitamin B6, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc, and copper. Seriously, just eat some vegetables!

More by this author

Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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