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Daily Vitamin amounts
Sonar87 posted:
How far over the recommended daily values posted on food lables for vitamins is too much? I've noticed on days like today that between the cheerios I had and the one smoothie mix I've gotta around 140 of some things, and things the canned pumpkin used for pies have 300% vitamin A in their 'servings', as well as pieces of carrot cake I've gotten at the store going way over the 100% mark. At how much over does it start to get bad for you?
EricE_MA responded:
The concept is called "upper limit." The concept of upper limit for vitamins and minerals is that if you take in that amount, it is a safety margin well below what has been shown to cause harm. Different vitamins have different upper limits, and a few have none.

There's a myth that "water soluble vitamins are safe in large amounts and fat soluble require caution." In reality they have to be looked at case-by-case. E.g., vitamin K (fat soluble) has no upper limit. Water soluble niacin has an upper limit just 2 times the RDA.

Other upper limits:
  • Vitamin D - 100 mcg,* about 10 times the "daily value" on food labels.
  • Vitamin E - 1000 mg, about 66 times DV
  • Vitamin B-6 - 100 mg, about 60 times DV
There are no known adverse affects for taking large doses of B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B5 (pantothenic acid), or B12.

For a complete list, see

For your vitamin A in pumpkin, things are a little different. The vitamin A is in the form of beta carotene which does not yet have an upper limit.

So, you can see there's not a big concern among vitamins except for pre-formed vitamin A. Minerals generally have lower upper limits.

* The vitamin D upper limit is new as of November 2010 (per Institute of Medicine report) and many sources have not yet been updated, including the one cited above.

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