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Vitamin D Toxicity

Vitamin D Toxicity

    What is vitamin D Toxicity?

    Vitamin D toxicity is an uncommon but potentially severe condition that happens when you have excessive levels of vitamin D in your body, often called hypervitaminosis D. Vitamin D toxicity is usually caused not by diet or sun exposure, but by large doses of vitamin D supplements. That’s because the amount of vitamin D created by sun exposure is controlled by your body, and even fortified foods don’t contain large amounts of vitamin D. Calcium build-up in your blood (hypercalcemia) can induce nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and frequent urination, is the main effect of vitamin D toxicity. Vitamin D toxicity can lead to bone pain and kidney problems, such as calcium stones formation. Treatment requires stopping the consumption of vitamin D and minimizing calcium in the diet. Intravenous fluids and drugs, such as corticosteroids or bisphosphonates, may also be recommended by your doctor.

    For several months, taking 60,000 foreign units (IU) of vitamin D in a day causes toxicity. This degree is many times greater than that of the U.S. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of 600 IU of vitamin D a day for most adults. Doses higher than the RDA are often used to cure medical problems such as vitamin D deficiency, but these are given only under the supervision of a doctor for a specified time period. When someone is taking high doses of vitamin D blood levels of that person should be monitored.

    What is vitamin D?

    Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be processed for longer periods of time in your body. Of the two primary forms, D2 and D3, the latter is more effective in raising the blood vitamin D levels.

    What does vitamin do to the body?

    Vitamin D is turned into calcidiol, the vitamin’s storage medium, which is then converted into the active steroid form of calcitriol. Within your cells, calcitriol binds to the vitamin D receptor, turning genes on or off.

    How much should you take?

    • The only way to determine whether you are deficient and thus need to be supplemented is by testing your blood levels.
    • The storage type of vitamin D, which is known as calcifediol, is measured by your healthcare provider. Anything below 12 ng/ml is deemed to be deficient, and anything over 20 ng/ml is deemed appropriate.
    The RDI is as follows (39) for vitamin D:
    • 400 IU (10 mcg): children, 0-12 months
    • 600 IU (15 mcg): children and adults, ages 1-70
    • 800 IU (20 mcg): older adults and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding


    • When blood levels increase above 150 ng/ml (375 nmol/l), vitamin D intoxication occurs. As the vitamin is stored in body fat and slowly released into the bloodstream, after you stop taking supplements, the effects of toxicity can last for several months (4Trusted Source).
    • Importantly, toxicity is not normal and occurs almost exclusively in people who, without controlling their blood levels, take long-term, high-dose supplements.
    • Too much vitamin D may also be unintentionally absorbed by taking supplements that contain much higher levels than those specified on the bottle.
    • In addition, by diet and sun exposure alone, you can not hit dangerously high blood levels.

    Important information

    • People react to high vitamin D doses very differently. Therefore, to determine which doses are safe and which are not.
    • The toxicity of vitamin D may have devastating health effects that may not occur until months or even years after high doses have begun to be taken
    • The upper limit of safe consumption, which is 4000 IU (100 micrograms) per day, is usually not recommended to be exceeded.
    • No additional health benefits have been associated with larger doses, and may therefore be entirely unnecessary.
    • Often a high dose of vitamin D is used to treat a deficiency, but you should still contact your doctor or nutritionist before taking a large dose.

    Side effects

    • Elevated blood levels
    • Elevated blood levels
    • Nausea, vomiting, and poor appetite
    • Stomach pain, constipation, or diarrhea
    • Bone loss
    • Kidney failure

    Best food sources

    Food% RDIAmount
    1 tablespoon (15 ml) Cod liver oil227%1,360 IU / 34 mcg
    3 ounces (85 grams) of cooked Salmon75%447 IU / 11 mcg
    Tuna, canned in water, 3 ounces (85 grams)26%154 IU / 4 mcg
    1 large egg (D is found in egg yolk)7%41 IU / 1 mcg
    Beef liver, cooked, 3 ounces (85 grams)7%42 IU / 1 mcg
    1 sardine, canned in oil, drained4%23 IU / 0.6 mcg


    If the consumption of vitamin D is high, calcium in the blood can reach levels that can trigger symptoms that are uncomfortable and potentially harmful. Hypercalcemia can be caused due to vitamin D toxicity. Following are signs, or elevated levels of calcium in the blood, include:

    • Digestive pain, such as nausea, vomiting
    • Pain in the stomach
    • Tiredness, dizziness, and uncertainty
    • Excessive thirst
    • Frequent urination
    Most people do not frequently experience vitamin D side effects unless too much is taken. Weakness, tiredness, sleepiness, headache, loss of appetite, dry mouth, metallic taste, nausea, vomiting, and others are some side effects of taking too much vitamin D.
    Sign of low vitamin D includes following symptoms such as:
    • Tiredness
    • Bone pain
    • Muscle fatigue
    • Aches in the muscles
    • Cramps in the muscles
    • Changes in mood, like depression
    The amount of vitamin D in your system can be increased in three ways. In only three to four months’ time, simply adding an over-the-counter vitamin D supplement will allow improvements. The recommended dosage for most adults is vitamin D with an intensity of 2000 foreign units daily.
    “Vitamin D activates and deactivates enzymes that are involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and nerve growth in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid.” In addition, animal and laboratory studies show that vitamin D protects neurons and decreases inflammation.
    While there were neurological and rheumatological signs and symptoms in patients with vitamin D deficiency, including trouble walking with extreme proximal myopathy and fractures, there were no correlation between these and 25(OH) D or bone profile levels (calcium, magnesium, phosphate, and alkaline phosphatase)
    Not only for bone protection but for proper brain growth and functioning, vitamin D is essential. Depression, seasonal affective disorder, and schizophrenia are associated with low levels of vitamin D in adults, but little is understood in the pediatric population about vitamin D and mental health.
    Cross-sectional studies have repeatedly shown that, relative to healthy adults, vitamin D levels are substantially low in people with Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive disability.
    Data published in Neurology has shown that people with very low blood vitamin D levels are more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia than people with average vitamin D levels. No link between vitamin D levels and dementia has been shown in other research.
    Vitamin D can play an important role in mood regulation and depression prevention. Scientists observed in one study that individuals with depression who obtained vitamin D supplements noticed an increase in their symptoms