The Effects of Too Much Vitamin D

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Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps the body absorb calcium and control phosphate levels. Vitamin D has many benefits including: it can help prevent rickets in children and severe bone loss in adults and potentially lowers the risk of multiple sclerosis, juvenile diabetes, cancer, heart disease, colds and influenza. Low levels of vitamin D can result in weak and soft bones triggering the body to produce hormones that cause calcium and phosphate to be released from bones. As with any supplement or drug, the body can experience a toxic reaction from too much vitamin D.

Close up of Vitamin D pills
Close up of Vitamin D pills (Image: Sarunyu Glanjit/iStock/Getty Images)

Recommendation

The Institute of Medicine (IOM), recommends taking 200 IU a day from birth to age 50 of vitamin D and a bit more after that. The IOM also added that at extreme levels, vitamin D intake should not be exceed 2,000 IU daily.

Sunlight is a powerful and effective source of Vitamin D
Sunlight is a powerful and effective source of Vitamin D (Image: Александр Кутах/iStock/Getty Images)

Fact

Nature offers a natural source of vitamin D, your body makes at least 10,000 units of vitamin D within 30 minutes of full body exposure to the sun. However, heavy sun exposure combined with excessive supplement use can create a risk for vitamin D toxicity.

Nature offers a great source of Vitamin D
Nature offers a great source of Vitamin D (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Overdose

You can never get too much vitamin D from sun exposure or foods like fish since the body does not have a toxic reaction to this form of consumption. Whereas there is a natural way to intake vitamin D, only supplements will cause problems if combined with natural sources and taken in excess.

Take care not to take vitamin D pills if you are receiving enough natural vitamin D
Take care not to take vitamin D pills if you are receiving enough natural vitamin D (Image: Spike Mafford/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Medical Condition

A potentially serious but treatable medical condition, hypervitaminosis D, vitamin D toxicity occurs when you get too much vitamin D. Vitamin D toxicity is relatively rare even among people who take supplements; health problems, such as liver or kidney conditions or if you take thiazide-type diuretics can put you at a greater risk.

Direct sun exposure is dangerous and can lead to Vitamin D toxicity
Direct sun exposure is dangerous and can lead to Vitamin D toxicity (Image: Anthony Ong/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Treatment

Hypercalcemia, the buildup of calcium in your blood, is the main cause of vitamin D toxicity and symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, confusion, heart rhythm abnormalities and kidney stones. Treatment of vitamin D toxicity may include: stopping vitamin D supplements, restricting calcium intake, medications, hydration with fluids and hospitalization in severe cases.

Young woman feels unwell from vitamin D toxicity
Young woman feels unwell from vitamin D toxicity (Image: David De Lossy/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

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