The Scary Risks of Taking too Many Vitamins and Supplements


vitamins and supplements I’m constantly harping on the fact that it’s ideal to get most of the nutrients you need from foods. It comes from love, and I “harp” lovingly, but I do reiterate this over and over again! Naturally occurring nutrients in foods are more compatible with your body and more readily absorbed than their supplement counterparts. If you eat a well-balanced diet of whole, healthy plant foods, chances are you’ll get the nutrients you need for good health.

If you are drinking the Glowing Green Smoothie, and some of my other recipes like the Power Protein Smoothie, you will be consuming a much larger amounts of high-nutrient plant foods, and therefore nutrients, than the average person that doesn’t believe that they can get the vitamins they need from their foods.

Feeling the need to take dozens of supplements means that you are putting the power to “heal” your body on something outside the body- on a potion, pill, powder or a wide range of various ones. There are plenty of “snake blood sellers” out there, as I call them, that create programs that make you feel that you need to buy lots of supplements…or else! Or else you are going to not be healthy. But the notion that you need to “take something” just gets bigger and bigger, and will never be satisfied. Even in the natural health world, it always amazes me how little people seem to believe in the power of food, and believe that you have to take so many tinctures and potions. The fact is that only your body can really heal itself, and by giving your body superior nutrition and constantly removing obstructions and toxins in the body, you allow your body to be in the ideal state where it can efficiently heal itself.

Of course, I do recommend a few, carefully selected supplements such as probiotics. A high quality, wholefood-based multivitamin that contains the range of B vitamins and D3 is good overall nutritional insurance. However, I truly believe that taking too many supplements is not only a hassle, but it can also endanger your health.

Overdose and Toxicity

When vitamins and minerals occur naturally in foods, they exist in amounts that your body can easily manage. Many vitamins are water soluble, and thus if you take excess amounts, your body will flush them out naturally when you urinate. Essential Vitamins A, D, E, and K, however, are fat soluble and stored in your body. Because your body does not naturally excrete them, they can build up to toxic levels.

Some trace minerals can also have toxic side effects. For example, selenium is an essential trace element that can be toxic in large amounts. In 2010, the amount of selenium in a liquid dietary supplement resulted in an outbreak of selenium toxicity, which led to a host of symptoms including hair loss, fatigue, and joint pain among others.

Interactions with Medications and Other Supplements

medicine interactionsBecause vitamins and supplements are available over the counter, they are very easy to obtain and take in every possible combination known to man. Many supplements – especially herbal supplements – have very powerful medicinal properties in the body. It’s possible to create hazardous interactions between herbs if you take more than one. Likewise, many herbs interact with certain medications. For example, the supplement CoQ10 (co-enzyme Q10) has many potential reactions with diabetes medications, ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, blood thinners, and others. The common sleep aid, melatonin, can interact with multiple medications including diabetes and blood thinning meds and birth control pills. When you visit your health care provider, it is essential you always include vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other supplements you take in your list of current medications.

Side Effects

Unless you are working closely with a physician or other health care provider, you are self-prescribing powerful substances when you decide to take supplements. Because many herbs and other substances have pharmacological properties, it is essential that you not only know the potential interactions, but also the common side effects and other contraindications. For example, pregnant women need to be very careful about any herbal supplements they take, because it could affect fetal development.


In the United States, supplements are not regulated. In fact, the FDA operates from the assumption that all supplements will not cause any harm until they are proven to do so. For example, in the 1980s and 90s, the herbal supplement ephedra was extremely popular for weight loss, energy, and performance. Then, in 2003 a RAND study raised significant concerns about ephedra’s negative health effects. The study found a potential link between ephedra and heart attack, stroke, psychiatric symptoms, seizures, and other health problems. Ultimately, as evidence mounted against the safety of ephedra, the FDA issued a ban on the product’s use in diet supplements, a ruling that was upheld by the federal appeals court in 2006.

Dangerous Ingredients

Supplement manufacturers have no need to prove their supplement is effective. They also aren’t required to inform consumers about potential side effects and drug interactions or accurately label ingredients and amounts. This means supplements may have far more or less of an active ingredient than listed. Many over the counter supplements have been tested and found to contain all kinds of dangerous contaminants including heavy metals, chemicals, and even prescription drugs! According to Pieter Cohen, M.D. of Harvard Medical School, some herbal weight loss pills were tested and contained prescription medications such as amphetamines, antidepressants, and tranquilizers. These contaminants can cause a whole host of problems, ranging from mild symptoms to sever conditions such as kidney failure and heart attack.

Consumer Reports compiled a list of ingredients commonly found in dietary supplements that can cause severe health issues such as heart problems and kidney damage. Some of the top ingredients they found that were the most dangerous were:dangerous ingredients

  • Aconite caused heart arrhythmia, respiratory paralysis, and even death.
  • Bitter orange is linked with heart attack, stroke, and syncope among others.
  • Chaparral is linked to kidney and liver issues.
  • Colloidal silver can cause kidney damage, blue skin, and neurological problems.
  • Coltsfoot is linked to cancer and liver damage.
  • Comfrey is linked to cancer and liver damage.
  • Country mallow has been linked to heart problems up to and including death.
  • Germanium is linked to kidney damage.
  • Greater celandine is linked to kidney damage.
  • Lobelia is linked with fast heart beat and coma.
  • Yohimbine is linked to high blood pressure and death

Staying Safe

With so many potential health issues associated with dietary supplementation, I recommend erring on the side of caution. While I do recommend a few supplements, in general I think you should get most of the nutrients you need by eating a variety of plant foods. If you do take supplements:safety first

  • If you take herbal supplements, be informed. Do your own independent research to learn the risks and potential benefits, contraindications, and side effects. Beware of the tremendous amount of misinformation and hype on the Internet about herbal supplements and seek your information from respected sources.
  • Only take one herbal supplement at a time.
  • If you have a health condition or take medication, do not take supplements without first talking with your health practitioner.
  • When you visit your health care provider, bring a list of all supplements you currently take.
  • Seek recommendations of brands from experts, and purchase your supplements from a reliable source made by a company with an excellent reputation.
  • If you notice any strange symptoms, stop taking the supplement right away and talk to your health care provider.




Last updated: Friday, June 19, 2015
  • Kori

    Hi Kim!
    I am a huge fan and follow the beauty detox solution the best I can. I am just wondering if you recommend any supplements when curing candida? Also, if the Candida overgrowth is not too severe is it OK to drink GGS? How do you know when fruits should be eliminated entirely?

    Thank you so much for your time and on educating the world about the benefits of a plant based diet!

    • jade

      Hi Kori, I don’t know if Kimberly will recommend this, but I’ve found Candex helpful. You can buy it at most health food stores and online.

      And Kimberly wrote an article on Candida that I believe has a way to test yourself. (Spitting into a glass of water first thing in the morning…)

      J ~

      • Kori

        Thanks Jade,

        I have done the spit test and it came back positive. Recently, I have heard that the test is not accurate. It’s hard to know what to trust when it comes to candida.

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Hi Kori!
      Thank you for writing me.

      If you suspect you have Candida, try the GGS with 1 green apple and stevia to sweeten. It is delicious as well! xx

  • Stacy

    Hi Kimberly,

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve been vegan for over a year, and drink your glowing green smoothie every day along with a ton of other fruits and veggies, grains, and nuts. I’ve been experiencing side effects that my doctor linked to a Zinc deficiency, and was wondering what you suggest vegans do to get the RDA of Zinc without turning to a supplement?

  • Mike J

    Which whole food multi-vitamins do you recommend? There are quite a few to choose from.

    • Kimberly Snyder

      I like the Garden of Life Code vitamins. xx

  • Kjersten

    Just a comment about the fact that supplements are NOT FDA regulated. While this is true, but I don’t think it should be taken negatively. Keep in mind that every drug that has been recalled was at one time deamed safe for use by the FDA and then is recalled because it was found to be UN-safe.

  • Cadie

    Really informative article, Kim! Thanks for going into so much detail and providing the facts. Besides digestive enzymes and probiotics, are there other supplements that you do recommend?

  • miriam kairey


    I am a big fan of Beauty Detox. I have read it over and over, and it has helped me improve my nutrition and lose weight. Since I purchased the book about three months ago, I have incorporated more and more of your suggestions into my lifestyle. I read all your posts, but this one is the one that intrigued me the most. I take 2 herbal supplements. 1. Maca for Hot flashes, and 2. Ginko Biloba to prevent Alzheimers. What do you know about these supplements? The only vitamin I take is a food-based calcium supplement with vitamin D, because I have osteopinia. What do you think of this combination?

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Hi Miriam!
      Great to hear from you. If those supplements are working for you, great. You might want to look into a full spectrum multi. Also, with your condition I hope you have cut out super acidic foods, like dairy and soda?! xx

  • D.

    You mention what to watch out for and this is helpful, but what multivitamin for women do you recommend? Also, what Prenatal supplement? This would be very helpful, thank you.

  • Sana

    While I agree that there are “Risks in Taking Too Many Vitamins & Supplements”, there are indeed MUCH greater risks linked to prescribed medication use. Interesting…when really digging into the studies on colloidal silver, for example, the detrimental effects (which were rare) were only found at extremely high dosages. Colloidal silver is effective against MRSA—that’s an important fact for us all to be aware of!

    I fully agree that we should be getting as much nutrition as we can from the healthy foods we eat, but depending on where people live (limited access to good quality produce) and their schedules, other options may be necessary.


  • Claudia

    Hello Kimberly,

    One more time, thanks a lot for all the helpful information.

    I always try to follow your advice. Currently I’m taking the digestive enzymes, probiotics and magnesium oxygen that you recommend.

    Lately I have been thinking about start taking a very good multivitamin but there is too much information out there and i”m very confused.

    Do you have any specific brand to recommend?

    Thanks in advance. :)


    • Kimberly Snyder

      Hi Claudia!
      I like the Garden of Life Code products. There is a liquid, which is good but can make your stomach cranky. They also have capsules. xx

      • Claudia

        Thanks a lot, Kimberly.
        I just found them online but I would like to know if taking this multivitamin I have to stop my Dr. Ohhiras’s probiotics and Rainbow Light Enzymes. I’m asking this because Garden of Life multivitamin has also Enzymes and probiotics. Is this gonna be too much for me?

        Thanks a lot for your help! :)

  • Shawna Fountain

    Thanks Kimberly! This is very helpful. It would be interesting to hear more from you on the supplements that are needed for someone on a vegan diet and how to select those supplements.

  • Jessica

    how many digestive plant enzymes can you take in one day?

  • Alaysha

    I’m trying to kill candida and I bought a book, yeast free for life, and it said to get literally..twelve different supplements. I’ve only been taking four which are probiotics, L-glutamine, olive leaf extract and a b complex. The last couple days, I’ve been kind of light headed and I wasn’t sure if it was because I’ve completely eliminated sugar, the only sugar I have is when I drink the GGS, and the only fruit I have been putting is granny smith apples and lemon. Could I be getting this feeling from not eating sugar? Or from the supplements? Or from the candida dying?

  • Jennifer

    How do you feel about pre-natal vitamins? If I am having the GGS and eating well throughout the day, do you deem it necessary to supplement while pregnant or is there something I can do about my diet to incorporate more folic acid?
    Thank you…look forward to hearing back from you! :)

  • G

    Hi Kimberly!!

    I’ve been following your advice & book for some time now, and have had so many wonderful results!!! Thank you so much :) I’m currently taking several vitamins that have been specifically prescribed for me and my current condition, but I’m hoping to reduce them once I’m back in balance, and I always look to your advice as I have always supported the idea of being as natural as possible. I take most of my vitamins in the morning at the same time, straight after my lemon & water and probiotic – I’m a little concerned that you say in this article take one supplement at a time. How do you do that if you have several to take? Also, I have been told to buy a cal/mag powder as some other magnesium capsules have not worked for me. What is your opinion on cal/mag supplements? I did read that you don’t recommend calcium supplements at all, so am a little hesitant to take it.
    Lastly, I would appreciate your opinion on vitamin supplementation to assist with mental health conditions. For example, I’ve read that increased zinc & B6 is recommended for a pyrrole condition. In this case, vitamin supplementation would surely have to be a better option that anti-depressant drugs.

    Thank you Kimberly. Always respect your opinion very much. xx

  • Jared

    Hey there,
    For athletes do you reccomend chlorella tablets after workouts, even if you do multiple workouts in a day?
    Do you think it’s too much to do spirulina everyday?
    Are spirulina and chlorella supplements or food?
    Thanks, looking forward to new book
    Nice press to handstand :)

    • Kimberly Snyder

      You are an algae guy! I consider spirulina a food, since I use it in powdered form. Same thing for chlorella, even though in tablets it is really more like a “food.”

      If you are an athlete you can have some often. Be sure to check out the Pure Protein Smoothie as well. xx

  • barbara

    I agree with you on that article, however even with the best intention
    Not to take supplements/Vitamins you can encounter maybe r someday problems.
    I knew that from my own experience, I eat a healthy Diet, not chemical processed Food
    No Fast Food (never had) ,very little Dairy, occasionally some organic Meat or Fish
    Limit my intake on Bread; use no white Sugar, no softdrinks, alcohol or cigarettes
    Have a stressful job, but learned to control stress through Yoga, have plenty enough
    Sleep, exercise regularly and still start to encounter problems when I reached the 50’s
    I knew a lot has to do with going through Menopause, but was curious to see what else was going on
    I searched the Internet and found Bioceutica online .After I received all the Information I needed I ordered my in Home Test and send it through the Lab for Analyze. Results of your Test will create your Formula. A few
    Weeks later my Customized Vitamins and Health Report arrived. I was astonished that I besides
    Living and eating healthy was missing some very important Key elements.
    Just 4 weeks later after I have started to take my Supplement, I notice the Difference, my Thyroid bounced back to normal, my severe
    Menopause Symptoms like Hot flashes and sleeping difficulties are virtually gone.
    And no more Brain Fog and Weight Gain. I feel more energetic than ever.
    Now I highly recommend this Product to all of my Patients/Friends.
    Sure what you buy in Stores is one size fits all but with a customized Product, the right Diet
    You can make the Difference.

  • margo

    Is there a brand you can suggest when you mention taking a high quality, wholefood-based multivitamin that contains the range of B vitamins and D3??

    Thx :)

  • Nina

    OMG! This is me. I only have to read the benfits of a supplement in a magazine and I am swallowing it. Thanks Kimberley, I am going to make some drastic changes. Can I ask though what do you think of Ginko supplements? I have Raynauds disease (strange little disease that is basically like being allergic to the cold!) and have been treating it naturally with high doses of Ginko as I find the mainstream medication makes me feel tierd as it lowers already perfect blood pressure? My specialist sees no problems with me doing this as long as it is working for me, I am trying to ward off as long as I can going on prescribed medication for the long term. Your detox tea with cayenne pepper works wonders for my circulation too…Thanks! :0)

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Hi Nina,
      If you are not allergic, try bee pollen perhaps. Try a tiny bit and see if it works for you. It is very energizing, and I love it. xx

  • Cindy Giovannini

    what supplements to you recommend for vegans?

  • earth steward

    If you are looking for good zinc input, use raw pumpkin seeds in your smoothies or salads…

  • Jessica

    Hi Kim,

    Is it okay to take probiotics every day for the rest of your life? or is that something that should only be taken for a couple of months?

    • Kimberly Snyder

      Take them for the long-term! We are constantly wiping out friendly bacteria from pollution, the diet, environment, etc. It is really important to replenish. xx

  • Jamie

    Hey Kim, I’ve been following the Beauty Detox Solution for almost a year. If ever stray from it, I immediately start feeling sick and mentally foggy so it keeps me coming back for the rewards! But- I have a problem, my hair (even before beginning your plan) was falling out. It’s been a year and my hair has thinned so much! I don’t know what to do. I’ve heard everything from “not getting enough protein” to “vitamin D3 deficiency” to “hormonal imbalance” to “not enough fats”.. But I do eat my coconuts, chia seeds, and avocados! My doctor was not helpful in that she ruled out a thyroid condition and sent me on my way….. Do you have a solution? I don’t wash my hair a lot. I haven’t used heat styling or tied up my hair in over a year! … and I’m 20! What the heck! Thank you in advance!

    • Truthnut

      Omg! If my hair were falling out- I would go to a doctor- it could be your diet but also a medical condition like your thyroid.

  • katie

    Hi Kimberly-
    Is there a place to see what your replies were to some of the above messages? I am interested in the Candida response.

  • Patty

    Hi Kimberly,
    I was wondering too where to see where your replies were to the above messages?

  • Lauren

    Hi Kimberly,
    I was wondering if u had any suggestions for hormonal balance, mainly acne related. I am taking maca and chaste tree supplements. Are those good? Thanks!!

  • Molly

    What do you suggest for cold sores instead of a lysine supplement? I know that apples and cheese are natural lysine sources, but I’m unsure how much I would need to eat to equal 1500mg of Lysine. Also, my friend takes a supplement for her hair and nails from Whole Foods, and her nails are AMAZING. I was thinking about getting the supplement, but if you (or anyone reading this) had a different suggestion, please let me know! Thanks!

    • Rachael

      Hi Molly,

      Cold sores are no fun. I get them, too. My mom gave me a book that lists sources of supplements that aids in prevention and healing of cold sores. I started taking Colloidal Silver (by Sovereign Silver) and also apply it topically as an antiseptic. Right when I feel one coming on I use Abreva (4-6 times a day) and take a Lysine supplement (Quantum Health, Super Lysine) right away. The Lysine also contains garlic, which is very helpful in healing cold sores; and Vitamin C, which is helpful in aiding the immune system response. (You could apply garlic topically as well by mashing up an organic garlic clove or getting garlic extract.)

      After doing this, I saw a huge decrease in the size and healing time.

      Also, I try my best to keep my system alkaline because viruses thrive in an acidic environment.

    • Alternative Medicine Enthusiast

      The best prevention and cure for cold sores is PURE UNREFINED COCONUT OIL. It works. I have never had any since I discovered this and I always carry some with me EVERYWHERE I go. I apply it as soon as I feel the tingle and it stops it dead in its tracks. I delayed in applying it one day and got 1 or 2 pimples. i continuously applied coconut oil and it was gone in like 6hours. It works! Forget every other so called remedy out there. My understanding is that the short chain fatty acids in coconut oil breaks down the wall of the virus. A permanent cure i read somewhere which I have not yet implemented is applying oregano oil to your coccyx as thats where the virus resides when dormant. …… this they say would destroy it permanently

  • Adriana

    Hi Kim.
    Im reading your book and I love it.
    Recently I bought a suplement of kelp… it safe?
    Thank you in advanced.

  • Maureen Massey

    Kimberly ,
    What brand of probiotic do you recommend to get all the strains you reference in your book? Thank you

    • Kimberly Snyder

      I like Dr. Ohira xx

  • R

    Hi Kim,

    My period stopped after taking 500mg of MSM a day. 500mg is a very small dose, I’ve read. I haven’t had a period in 3 months.

    MSM and missed or messed up periods have happened to a couple other women who blogged about it…but no substantial research is available about this concern.

    I am positive there is no other reason for my stopped period, but I
    don’t want to give up taking MSM. I want it to help me detox and grow my hair out.

    What is your knowledge and opinion about taking MSM?

    Thank you if you reply.

    • Megan

      did you ever get any feedback? This just started happening to me, too!

    • Marilyn

      I take large doses of MSM every day and I’m not young and my period hasn’t stopped. I do take Vitex, however. Maybe it stopped for another reason you should look into.

  • Megan

    What about prenatals? Mine are organic, food-based and have a probiotic. Should I be concerned?

    • Kimberly Snyder

      No that sounds great.

  • Danielle

    Hi Kimberly, Thanks for the amazing article as always! You are such an inspiration.

    I think I will try to scale back on my vitamins. Right now I’m taking a probiotic (as per recommended by you), also L-Carnosine (heard it’s amazing for anti-aging), Flaxseed (when I don’t get it on my salad), and Biosil (which I kind of love–hair, skin, nails!), and Trace minerals (as per recommended by my natural path to help me to stop craving sugar but don’t take it everyday) but it seems like a lot huh?

    I was wondering if you have any advice for a coffee drinker. I have triiiied to quit but I don’t think it’s worth it for me! (at least right now) I always eat a lot more during the day if I don’t drink coffee and I also feel it helps “clean” me out a little, even though I still wish I could *quit* coffee. I drink 2 cups of black coffee a day. So ANYWAY I was wondering if you had any advice for me to make up for the minerals I’m depleting (or whatever else may be happening to my body!) To eat or maybe there is a safe supplement I can take so the effect would counter it so it could potentially be nil on my skin?

    Thank You, huuge fan here :)


  • Susan

    Sorry Kimberly, although I usually enjoy all your articles I have to say I was extremely disappointed in this one about vitamins, supplements and herbs. I don’t think we need more people to scare people away from vitamins, herbs and natual products. The pharmaceutical industry has done a good job of that. What we need is more education about the VALUE of vitamin and herbal supplements and how to correctly use them. Yes, of course the best thing would be to get the nourishment from our food. But, in today’s world unfortunately we don’t always get that. Our soils are depleted, majority of fruits and veggies are loaded with pesticides. Depending on where you live its not always easy to get a variety of organic foods. Everything has its place. There is plenty of room for good nutrition and vitamin and herbal supplements (which by the way come from plants). I have been helped time and time again by supplements and herbs. They have helped myself and others in so many ways from preventing colds to helping a variety of medical conditions without having to take immune suppressing drugs with all their potential side effects and long term effects. It is empowering when you learn how you can been helped by natural products. And, yes, everything is not right for everyone because everyone has different health issues. Yes, those you mentioned did have certain things to be cautious of. I have been living a holistic lifestyle for over 2o years and have never taken any of those. What you actually were doing was the same thing the person did when they knocked your diet and smoothies talking about oxalates. They pointed out only the few bad points they may effect some people to scare people and did not list all the good points. There is room for everything. Good nutrition, taking vitamins and supplements and herbs for extra support and help. You DON’T have to knock one to say yours is better. I’m a little older than you and I’ve seen too many otherwise healthy people succumb to horrible illnesses. What we need is more education about nutrition and vitamins and herbs because your best defense is to prevent illness before it occurs. Unfortunately food alone, does not always work. So please continue your nutrition blogs but keep in mind supplents and herbs which can and have been beneficial to people.

    • gina

      kelp is great for your thyroid gland…it contains iodine which assists the thyroid gland in the mononucleosis of cells… thats why alot of times you will hear cancer is linked with the thyroid…because cancer is merely a cell that turned zombie on the other cells…it was supposed to die and it didnt so it the thyroid is in charge of making sure those cells die…hence the kelp …assists it in staying awakened and strong…and working …hope that helps you…and always take a vitamin with orange juice….it helps your body absorb the nutrients in the vitamins….

  • Hilary Hamilton

    Hi Kim,

    In the most friendly of ways, I wanted to point out that you do suggest taking digestive enzymes as supplements in your book. As my research has found, digestive enzyme deficiency is very rare and the majority of healthy individuals make a sufficient amount of their own enzymes for proper food digestion. For instance, sucrase-isomaltase deficiency (the insufficient production of the enzyme that digests table sugar) is one of the more common digestive enzyme deficiencies, and it is present in only 0.02% of those of European descent, according to the National Institutes of Health.

    At the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the nutritional expert Lynn Goldstein MS RD CDN, only recommends digestive enzyme on a person specific basis, and only after all other possible remedies have been exhausted and the patient continues to experience digestive distress, such as diarrhea, signs of malabsorption and difficulty with digesting a lot of different foods.

    She educates that you don’t want to put anyone and everyone on digestive enzymes because there is a danger in overuse in individuals who do not need them, with health problems possibly arising from over-supplementation.

    Also, as you know, supplements are regulated differently than food and pharmaceuticals, so it is not unheard of for digestive enzyme supplements to be found contaminated or contain non-enzyme ingredients that haven’t been proven safe.

    I just wanted to share this with you and see what your viewpoint is on this because I value your approach to nutrition and was confused on this issue.

    Please let me know what you think!

    All the best and keep up the fantastic spreading of fabulous health information – I love what you do!


    Hilary Hamilton

  • Lori

    Hi Kimberly!

    I bought your book, and I LOVE IT!! It’s amazing, so many new things I found out, and many things I knew that I needed to change :)

    I tried your raw oat groat cereal this morning and I couldn’t handle it! I don’t know but I think it might be the Stevia I used!? It is in a drop form, and it’s Stevia Extract from Vitacost- its standarized 90% steviosides, and it says herbal supplement on the very bottom. Is this the right kind of stevia to use? Because I couldn’t eat 3 bites of the cereal :((( HELP !

  • jess

    A great way to get trace minerals and vitamins is hand blended herbal tea. Since I was 18 I’ve bought bulk herbs and blended them into delicious tea. Because the amounts are much less than in supplements, you can get mild benefits with minimum risk. I use only organic herbs and buy from locals or grow my own. You can also get them from Whole Foods or even a reliable mail order co.
    Base herbs in every blend: 1/4 Alfalfa, 1/4 Oatstraw, 1/4 Nettles. Then the rest you can mix different herbs for flavor, such as mint, chamomile, red clover, lavender, rose hips., etc. After you do it a few times you just add amounts of whatever you like. Or, depending on if you are sick or pregnant or something you can add/remove certain herbs.
    Buy a large coffee press (Bodum) and pour boiling water over the herbs. Just push the strainer down and leave the herbs in the bottom until you wash the press. Drink the whole press (3-4 cups) a day.
    Alfalfa and oatstraw are nutritional powerhouses. I’ve been drinking this for years, through a healthy pregnancy, gave it to my son instead of juice when he was a toddler, and think it contributes to our overall well-being. Simple, cheap, natural, and nice before bed.

  • Caroline

    I wasn’t raised to take vitamins and supplements. My mom, like most parents, handled whatever illnesses we had by constant visits to the doctors for numerous antibiotics (when necessary, which was a lot since my sister and I had strep throat constantly when we were little.). Since my diagnosis with MS, I’ve been seeing a nutritionist who is also a Physician’s Assistant. He has changed my life by adding vitamins and supplements. I also research whatever he suggests before I take it. And he has been open to cutting down my vitamins and supplements. I can’t say for sure how the vitamins and supplements have helped my MS but I’ve been doing well since my diagnosis.

  • Sydney

    I just cam across this site and it has raised some questions for me. I recently went to a reflexologist who put me on 8 different herbal supplements and a liquid black cherry concentrate. I am taking 25+ pills a day. He has also recommended a liver flush. I am not one to result to such treatment but I don’t know what else to do. I stay sick all the time with strep, bronchitis, sinusitis, bacterial infection, etc. I also have two bulging discs and constant headaches. My immune system is shot from all the antibiotics I stay on hence why I stay sick. I’ve taken probiotics but was told I’m wasting my money because my body is not absorbing it. Oh, I also stay dehydrated. I was told that my colon is absorbing 95% of my water intake and that’s why I stay constipated as well. Any suggestions??

    • Richard J.


      I do not know what Kim would tell you, but I will offer my thoughts and suggestions. Know up front that I am not a medical professional of any sort, just one who tries to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

      First, forget any “flushes”. They are overrated and the human body is built to get rid of toxins quite well. Except for medicine prescribed by your MD, I would stop taking ALL vitamins and supplements for 10 days. Get yourself some Greek yogurt, name brand and ensure it has Active Culture. Eat at least one a day, this will get the good bacteria back into your system. Let me say, I do not believe your colon is absorbing 95% of your water intake and is causing constipation. If it was absorbing that amount of water, you would be shooting like a fire hose out the backside. But it does sound like you are dehydrated. Water, not sports drinks, soda’s, alcohol, etc. Rule of thumb is 64 ounces a day or 2000ml. Look at your urine, if it is yellow, you need more water. If it is clear or mostly clear, you are properly hydrated. One note, some medication can cause the urine to change color. Get plenty of rest, at least 8 hours but no more than 9. Get on a routine and stick to it. Eat a balanced diet. Grains and protein for breakfast with or without fresh fruit. Lunch should include fresh fruit, greens like a spinach salad with whatever other greens or bright veggies you want. I like to half an avocado for the healthy fats and great taste. Dinner/supper should be some sort of protein, chicken, turkey or a cold water fish. Stay away from red meat for this 10 days if you can, or at least limit it. You can take a multivitamin if you want. It will help get some of the minerals into you that your diet is not. I do not know if this will help, but a lot of people tend to over medicate with supplements and end up having health problems. If you feel better, you can add supplements back into your diet slowly. I would say one every 4 or 5 days. If you start to feel bad again, it might be the last supplement you introduced. Good luck.

    • Robert

      Reflexologists are crap. they are shysters who give you attention to make you feel good and give them money. Putting presure on your feet doesnt do anything to your body. The sudden numbness or tingling in your feet, makes you forget about other stuff so you think it’s working.

      You should look into and learn some skeptical view points of the world. Derren brown (youtube), and Penn and teller (the show bullsh*t) are a great way to start.

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  • Sandra

    Hi Kimberly,

    I just recently finished reading your book. I plan to start the Beauty Detox Solution: Phase 1: Blossoming Beauty, tomorrow- as part of my new year’s resolution. :-) While I have purchased much of the veggies, spices, condiments, etc… on the shopping list, I am struggling a bit with the supplements. While, as you have said, one starts the transition there will be baby steps along the way- I would like to try to do Phase 1 full force in the next couple weeks.

    My questions revolve around the magnesium oxygen supplement that you recommend. 1) As an RN, I have provided my patients with Magnesium Oxide in the past. Is this the same as what you are referring to as a “magensium oxygen supplement?” 2) I also know that taking too much magnesium has been documented to cause enteroliths, although uncommon. In your experience, is this something that has occured with your clientele?

    I thank you for your follow up to my inquiries. Have a blessed and happy new year!

  • kathy

    Hi I was recently diagnosed with vitamin and mineral deficienses via blood work. I am gluten and dairy sensitive which probably has caused this problem. I will be taking soon the things I am low in to restore health. My question to you ….what is the best way to eat for maximum absorbtion while i am trying to heal?? THank-you

  • Stephanie

    I recently bought Rainbow light All-Zyme double strength, will this be ok to take as a probiotic? It’s vegan friendly and has Amylase 3,400 DU*
    Protease 9,800 HUT*
    Lipase 36 LU*
    Cellulase 40 CU*
    other ingredients: microcrystalline cellulose, beet root fiber, magnesium stearate.
    Capsule: modified vegetable cellulose, water

    Would this be fine to take or would you recommend me taking something else?
    Your help would be greatly appreciated :)
    Congrats with your new project!

    • Gayla Tregre

      The above ingredients, such as amylase are digestive enzymes. They aid digestion, but are not probiotics. If you have trouble with indigestion, then they may help you, but you can overdo them, so start off with taking just a small amount to see if it helps with indigestion.

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  • Patty

    I am just starting the Detox program and I’m having a hard time trying to pick a brand of probiotics. Any suggestions?

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  • Barbara

    I would like to know if it is alright to take a multi-vitamin for senior women & accompany it with KELP. ???? Appreciate anyone that responds to this. Thank you

    • daniel

      Yes, this is generally a safe combination.

    • Beth

      Hi Barbara,
      Please do be cautious with using kelp. I created an autoimmune response in my body by taking kelp supplements for their high iodine content , which I believed would support my thyroid, and because I had read that most people don’t receive enough iodine through diet alone these days. It did just the opposite and caused my body to attack my thyroid and I now suffer from hypothyroidism. I am a firm believer in the power of nutrients to correct imbalances in the body and for many years have taken my fair share of nutritional supplements. However, I now only do so under the supervision of an integrative physician who is trained in ortho molecular medicine. I now believe that any nutrients, herbs or supplements should be treated with as much respect and caution as any drug or medicine, because they can be just as potent to heal OR to harm. The field of epigenetics is just beginning to uncover the implications of how each person’s genetic code affects his or her body’s utilization and processing of nutrients, hormones, etc. Look into “nutrigenomics” to learn more. Blessings!

      • Marilyn

        Do you mean hyperthyroidism? I thought too much iodine can cause hyperthyroidism, not hypothyroidism.

        • Maria Rivera

          Yes, HYPOTHYROIDISM is possible if the kelp was harvested from mercury contaminated waters. Also consider that our country is so defficient of iodine through vast halogens that compete for our thyroid’s receptor site…i.e) bromide in all our flour contained products, fluoridated water, chlorinated pools or when we’ve scrubbed our bathrooms with chlorox then bathe as it is transferred transdermally. Many books are being written that iodine defficiency has become a national epidemic. I myself am suffering from this and trying to balance body chemistry in answer to the dilemma of which vitamins and how much.

  • gina

    i actually have a seven day pill planner case…that helps me alot so i know what days to take what vitamins and which supplements go with that vitamin…so for example…i dont take evening primrose daily…i usually will switch it with my vitamin e …so every other day i will take it..and then not only am i allowing my body to get rid of the toxic amounts if any, but i am allowing my body to absorb just enough of each supplement and vitamin…then of course on top of working out , meditation, eating a well balanced meal and taking my supplements i also enjoy qi gong…a form of meditation…i love to feel one hundred percent fixed…even tho i am not…

  • Theo


    Okay, I think I get the message…I have been taking vitamins, supplements and amino acids for some time now. I have been battling with “The Dawn Phenomena.” I have lost 22# and counting (I am not obese at 6’2″/212 and my morning sugar levels seem to be going up. During the day my glucose levels are well within normal ranges. Could the taking of some thirty to fifty pills a day be causing an issue with my pancreas? Other than my heart meds…do you recommend stopping all others?
    Thank you, Theo

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  • kristina

    I’m waiting to receive my book. I can’t wait. I am currently taking a multi vitamin, a mega omega supplement, and probiotics. I battle with adult acne. My stepmother recommended these vitamins. I only started taking them 3 days ago. I hope they help.

  • Teresa

    any treatments for epstein barre virus dormant but high antibodies. i am on medications so nervous of all these interactions. went to see a nutritionist and put me on a bunch of standard process supplements but i feel worse.. i have some nutritional deficiencies and low progesterone. and also put me on no grain diet to make sure sugars are balanced out> thoughts?

  • Susie

    My family and I enjoy the benefits of spirulina that I purchase at However, a friend of mine posted a video on my FB wall by Dr. Michael Greger in which he discourages the intake of spirulina due to the toxins. In fact, he advises people to completely avoid spirulina.

    Please advise!!

  • Bailey

    Hi there,
    I started taking a mixture of vitamins when I began my clean eating journey about a year ago. I noticed a huge change in my body composition and a lot of that I accredited to my supplement choices. Now, 8 months later, I am not feeling very well and I am wondering if it’s partially due to the amount of vitamins and supplements I consume daily. Currently I am taking Biotin (3000 mcg’s/day) Alpha lipois acid (3 times/day) Cinnamon capsules (twice a day) green tea extract (3 times/day) and L-Carnitine (2 capsules with breakfast and 2 with dinner). On occasion I will also take vitamin C and cod liver oil. I’m thinking I should give my body a break, I hope I haven’t made myself sick.

    Please help if you can!
    Thank you

  • AshLynn MFJ

    Hi there!

    How much is really too many? I’m taking supplements for mild fatty liver & currently under a 3 month program for weight control that requires me to really gulp down all those pills, CLA, green tea, etc. Been 2 weeks and I’ve shed about 4.5lbs.

  • Paul

    I agree, taking too many vitamins in order to get rid of your problems can result in severe side effects. I have also gone through this stupidity but i recovered soon. So i advice you to take the advice mentioned in this article.

  • Fahimjan

    I mean about toxicity,overdose,side effects etc in cummunity management of acute and malnourished .The prevalence which happens mostly in poor and resource less cummunities.

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  • Peep

    I was diagnosed in July 2013 with Toxic Vitamin Posioning,
    (hypervitaminosis) before that I never heard of such a thing. I was ill most of 2013 from March until August I had no idea what was wrong, then I finally found a great doctor that knew when she looked at the bands of color thru my hair (started to change gradually from march on by July the I had red, gold, yellow and oh yep white!!) real attractive although I do not color my hair and thankfully this was a huge Red Flag as to how Toxic I became from getting sucked into a vitamin vortex. My biggest mistake was thinking I needed them all even though I eat healthy workout and do meditation. I have SEVERE side effects never associating my illness with the vitamins, not very bright on my part. Please be careful and keep track of what & how many you take, its not a joke. It’s now January 2014 and after 4 months of no vitamins I feel so much better and my hair color has returned back to the brown it always wasand I still have another test in Febuary to confirm I did not do any organ damage to my kidneys or liver. It was not an experience I would want another person to endure that is why I shared my story.

    • sarah

      Would you mind saying which types of vitamins you were taking, how many, etc.? I believe I may be doing the same thing you did, I woke up this morning so lightheaded/dizzy and I just started a new vitamin regime and I think I’ve over done it. I never knew this was possible. Thank you so much.

  • tom

    I really think my ex is taking far too many suppliments and they are damaging her health ,to the point where she has been off work for a period of time. She has had MANY different tests to find out what has happened to here(before this she was fit and healthy and went cycling,running etc) She has had recent bloodworks done that have come back with HIGH levels of Metals, levels that should NOT be there! Having done the homework on’ taking too many suppliments’,i am more than convinced that this is where the problem is coming from. She gets Major Abdominal cramps,fatigue,loss od appetite,not drinking enough etc etc. She needs to STOP taking them NOW?????