10 Vitamin Red Zones

Find out how much is too much when it comes to vitamins.

10 Vitamin Red Zones

Vitamins are an essential part of our diet. We get them mostly through fruits and vegetables and they help with a wide variety of essential body functions. Unfortunately, some vitamins can be toxic at very high doses. While this is rarely a problem with food, supplements can sometimes push you into the red zone. Find out where to draw the line on the vitamins you take.

Water vs Fat Soluble

The first important consideration is whether or not a vitamin can dissolve in water. Most vitamins dissolve in water (called water soluble) and can generally be easily eliminated from your body even at high amounts. But those that dissolve in fat instead of water (called fat soluble) like vitamins A, D, E and K can build up in your fat stores. That makes it hard to eliminate them even if levels are too high.

Your Parent Has Dementia: What to Talk to Their Doctor About

Make sure all their doctors are aware of all the medications she is taking.

Q: My mom is 94 and has dementia. She is taking a whole medicine cabinet-full of medications and I think they actually make her fuzzier. How should I talk to her various doctors about what she is taking and if she can get off some of the meds? — Gary R., Denver, Colorado

A: Many dementia patients are taking what docs call a "polypharmacy" — three or more medications that affect their central nervous system. And we really don't know how that mixture truly affects each individual person.

A new study in JAMA Network that looked at more than 1 million Medicare patients found almost 14% of them were taking a potentially harmful mix of antidepressants, antipsychotics, antiepileptics, benzodiazepines such as Valium and Ativan, nonbenzodiazepine benzodiazepine receptor agonist hypnotics such as Ambien or Sonata, and opioids. And almost a third of those folks were taking five or more such medications. The most common medication combination included an antidepressant, an antiepileptic, and an antipsychotic. Gabapentin was the most common medication — often for off-label uses, such as to ease chronic pain or treat psychiatric disorders, according to the researchers from the University of Michigan.

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