While it may seem fancy to take vitamin supplements daily, regular consumption without consulting a doctor may be detrimental to your health, warned health experts on Sunday.

Vitamin pills may help people with deficiencies, the elderly or pregnant women, but research has shown that overdose may result in problems like digestive issues, kidney stones and even heart disease. The pills are also not a substitute for a healthy diet.

"Without medical supervision, using multivitamin pills or calcium on a regular basis can have negative health consequences. Taking too much of these supplements might result in overdosing, which can harm organs over time and cause symptoms like nausea, vomiting and stomach pain," Mohan Kumar Singh, Senior Consultant -- Internal Medicine, Marengo Asia Hospital, Gurugram, told IANS.

"These supplements may also interfere with prescribed medicines, reducing their effectiveness or perhaps resulting in negative side effects. Taking too many multivitamins might throw off the body's natural nutrient balance, sometimes resulting in imbalances or deficiencies. Nutritional imbalances can be made worse by specific vitamins or minerals interfering with the usage or absorption of other nutrients," he added.

Multivitamins typically contain about 26 different vitamins and minerals, often providing 100 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of these micronutrients.

However, "multivitamins are not required by everyone and should not be considered a replacement of a balanced diet inclusive of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, healthy fats, and proteins," Tushar Tayal, Lead Consultant, Department of Internal Medicine, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, told IANS.

He noted that multivitamins should not be consumed regularly without confirming the deficiency through blood tests, as it can interfere with the absorption of other nutrients or medications, or can even become toxic if too much is taken for a long period.

Mohan said that a person's age, gender, eating habits and pre-existing medical issues are important factors to consider when deciding if they require these supplements.

"Speaking with a medical expert can assist in determining the specific nutritional requirements of each person and, if required, in directing the use of supplements," he noted.

"It is always recommended to get nutrients from a diverse and balanced diet whenever possible. While supplements may be necessary for specific population or under certain circumstances, they should complement, not replace, a healthy lifestyle."

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