Can You Take Too Many Supplements?

Can You Take Too Many Supplements?

  • Wellness

  • By Jef L’Ecuyer, Registered Dietitian

    Today, it’s easy to go to the grocery store or the local health food shop and get overwhelmed by the rows of vitamins and supplements. There seem to be an infinite amount of them, all promising different ways to lose weight, get clear skin, or detoxify. 

    But how many supplements are considered too much, and can you harm yourself by taking too many of them?

    There’s a range of health benefits that probiotic drinks and pills, vitamins and other supplements provide, but it’s important to arm yourself with knowledge and be intentional about what you’re putting in your body. Let’s take a closer look at what supplements are, how many you can take, and what some of the benefits and risks include.

    What Are Supplements?

    Vitamins are organic compounds. Most of them come from food, and humans need them to sustain life. There are 13 known vitamins that are either water-soluble or fat-soluble. 

    Fat-Soluble Vitamins

    Fat-soluble vitamins 1 are stored in the liver and the fatty tissues of the body. They include Vitamins A, D, E, and K. With the assistance of fats or lipids, fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the intestinal tract. They’re easier to store than water-soluble vitamins and can stay in the body for days or even months.

    Water-Soluble Vitamins

    The body cannot store water-soluble vitamins — they don’t stay in the body for too long and move out through the urine. These vitamins, which include vitamin C and all the B vitamins, need to be replaced more often than fat-soluble vitamins.  

    Dietary Supplements

    In addition to vitamins, there are also dietary supplements2. These come in multiple forms, like capsules, tablets, or gummies. The world of supplements is a big one — and it ranges from vitamin B12 and calcium to herbs like garlic, and products like probiotics. 

    Can You Take Too Many Supplements?

    Lots of people wonder how many supplements are too many. And although supplements come with a wealth of good — it’s true that too much of a good thing can have adverse side effects. 

    A daily intake of supplements is safe in moderation. Still, if you take more than the recommended dose or combine certain supplements, you can increase the risk3 of these being harmful to your body rather than helpful. Although you can’t exactly get toxic doses of nutrients through food, you can get toxic doses of nutrients through supplements. Vitamin overdose4 can lead to gastrointestinal distress, liver damage, and neurological symptoms.

    With vitamins and supplements, it’s often suggested that you first get your vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables (you can make a nice immune boosting smoothie using our drinkable probiotics). What’s great about our products is that they can be taken in 

    various portions to meet everyone’s needs, from ¼ of a bottle to 1 bottle per day. Nuts, whole grains, and a plant-based diet are also filled with nutrients and eating them is a natural way to boost your immune system. However, if you find you’re not hitting your recommended daily amount, then supplement with a multi-vitamin and whatever other vitamins are necessary. Make sure to consult your doctor or healthcare professional first on how to build your immune system. This is especially important if you have an underlying health condition, dietary restrictions, or are taking medication. 

    How Many Supplements Can You Take at Once?

    If you’re wondering how many supplements can I take at once, it’s important to remember the keyword — moderation

    There isn’t a rule about how many supplements you can or cannot take. But as this article5 points out, if you’re loading up on A-to-Z vitamins, your body is going to send you some signs that it’s time to ease up. Imbalances can be created in the body, with then the doses are too high — and vitamins, when taken together, can also cancel out the benefits of each other.

    “When we’re talking about a mineral (calcium, zinc, iron, etc.) or vitamin supplement (vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B2, vitamin B1, etc.) there can be a synergistic effect…and other times, too many supplements can reduce the absorption levels and make your nutrient deficiency worse,” certified nutritional practitioner Kelly Maia Agnew states. 

    With supplements, our advice is to be mindful and intentional with what you’re taking. Whether you need a probiotic for your digestion or omega-3s for your heart, consult your physician first and make a plan (rather than popping a bunch at once and hoping for optimal results).


    Supplements help ensure that you’re getting the right vitamins and minerals in your diet. They come loaded with a range of benefits, and the specific supplements we need can vary from person to person. 

    Our probiotics come with a range of benefits. Probiotics means “for life” — and these are the good bacteria that are beneficial to our digestive and immune systems. Probiotics have a positive effect on our body and are constantly interacting with our intestinal flora (or the intestinal microbiota). 

    Think of bacteria as our digestive tract’s soldiers. They prevent foreign substances, like pathogens, toxins, and allergens from coming through, which lowers our risk of infection and illness. They help the body digest food by processing it and producing new molecules — like vitamins, enzymes, and fatty acids. They also help develop the immune system and intestinal lining to ensure better protection. 

    From children to grown adults, consuming probiotics provides countless benefits. Whether you’re enjoying our fresh drinkable products or our targeted-release capsules, our unique formula combines Lactobacillus acidophilus CL1285®, Lactobacillus casei LBC80R, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus CLR2® for proven synergy and effectiveness. 


    When it comes to purchasing supplements and vitamins, it’s important to do your research and exercise caution. Know that not all supplements or vitamins are created equal — some, for example, are more high quality than others. 

    Be aware3 that some vitamins and supplements can have interactions with medications, so if you’re currently taking any medications, consult your physician first. Certain companies will also throw around terms that have to do with weight loss or anti-aging components of their supplements. Again, do your research to see if these claims are legitimate. Certain supplements will sometimes receive endorsements from celebrities, and although these can be authentic, they don’t always speak to the safety of the products. 

    Supplements can also be contaminated or laced with undisclosed pharmaceutical ingredients. Products can sometimes be withdrawn by the FDA if they are unsafe. However, Bio-K+® is known for the following health claims

    • Based on sound clinical studies published in the most prestigious medical journals, such as the American Journal of Gastroenterology, these claims confirm that Bio-K+® is a safe product with proven results.
    • The bacterial concentration in Bio-K+® products is guaranteed upon consumption, rather than on the manufacturing date, as is the case for most other probiotics on the market. It is important to always know the exact amount of probiotics we’re getting!

    With supplements, you are most likely to have side effects if you take them at high doses instead of prescribed medicines — or if you take too many different kinds of supplements that have adverse reactions with one another.

    Our Bio-K+® products are suitable for everyday consumption by both children and adults. Whether you’re interested in our fresh drinkable products or our targeted release capsules, we outline the ingredients and nutritional value on our website, so you can know exactly what’s going into your body. Our core priority is to deliver results. That’s why we use standard manufacturing processes that comply with the pharmaceutical industry’s good manufacturing practices to ensure strict quality control. 

    As a result, we’re happy to provide our customers with a high-quality (and transparent) product at all times.

    The Takeaway

    When it comes to how many supplements are too much the key is always moderation. Combined with a balanced diet, supplements can be a wonderful and beneficial addition to your wellness routine.

    The National Institute of Health4 suggests asking yourself the following questions before taking any dietary supplement:

    • What are its potential benefits for me?
    • Does it have any safety risks?
    • What is the proper dose to take?
    • How, when, and for how long should I take it? 


    Bio-K+® has a 20-year history of products that are quality and effective and make a genuine difference in people’s lives. Probiotics help to balance our body’s intestinal floral. When this intestinal flora is unbalanced, the “bad” bacteria take over, which can lead to illness, infections, digestive issues, fatigue, depression, and more. 

    Our Bio-K+® is a 100% probiotic product and daily supplement. Our probiotic capsules promote digestive health and immune health. Each capsule features delayed-release technology to ensure that their component bacteria survive their passage through to the intestinal tract (the main site of action). Available in a variety of potencies, from our 30 billion probiotic formula to our 80 billion formula.

    If you’re looking for a probiotic supplement that is quality — as well as organic, gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, and lactose-free — we’re here for you.

    Remember that too many supplements are never a good thing. Moderation is key, and it’s important to be selective about the quality of the products you’re purchasing and ingesting. The right supplements will help you lead a happy, healthy life, filled with all the right vitamins and minerals. Contact Bio-K+ today to learn more about your recommended daily allowance of supplements.


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    Jef L’Ecuyer Registered Dietitian
    About the author
    After her nutrition training at McGill University, Jef specialized in gastrointestinal health with a special interest in the microbiota and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. With Bio-K+, she continues on this path by making the world of probiotics more accessible to all.
    View all articles by Jef L’Ecuyer
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