Vitamin D Overdose_Can you take too much vitamin D?

Do you know that you can kill yourself by drinking too much water? It’s true, and some have done so.

I’m sure you wouldn’t let that stop you from slaking your thirst next time you’re parched. After all, a body needs water. But a couple of gallons all at once could have grave – if not fatal – consequences.

As with water, you can overdose on vitamin D, and the consequences could be fatal. But whereas a water overdose would kill you within hours, Vitamin D toxicity generally requires repeated and gross overdosing over a period of months, or even years. Even then, it is rarely fatal.

What do we mean by an overdose? In the case of a pharmaceutical drug, any amount in excess of your ideal dose would be an overdose.

But vitamin D is not a drug. Even if you should take much more vitamin D than you need, your body knows what to do with the excess. It happily stores it for future use!
Vitamin D overdose doesn’t happen easily

So why are so many people, including some medical doctors, more concerned about vitamin D overdose than they are about vitamin D deficiency?

Perhaps they have read that the RDA for vitamin D is 600 IU (for people up to age 70) and that the safe upper limit is set at 4000 IU daily. What are they supposed to think when they hear vitamin D researchers recommending 5000 IU upwards of vitamin D daily?

It sure sounds like a big dose, doesn’t it? Those researchers must be so irresponsible to recommend such a high dosage of vitamin D, when all you need is 600 IU daily!

But 5000 IU happens to be a reasonable dose of vitamin D (from all sources) for an average adult in good health – just enough to meet their daily needs. (See vitamin-D-dosage for your own daily needs.)

And unfortunately, those vitamin-D RDA’s and Safe-Upper-Limits have been set at inappropriate levels for years. No wonder so many of us are deficient in vitamin D.

Why should you believe this? Three reasons:
1. Vitamin D from sunlight

Fair-skinned people who spend half an hour on the beach (in a brief costume) in mid-summer manufacture in their skin between 10,000 IU and 20,000 IU of vitamin D3. (Dark-skinned people take longer to get there, but make the same amount in the end.)

The average amount is around 15,000 IU.

The vitamin D3 your skin produces is the very same substance, the identical molecule, to the vitamin D3 you take as a supplement. So when you take a daily dose of 5000 IU of vitamin D3, your body thinks you just took a few minutes of sunshine. (The same cannot be said of vitamin D2, the form of vitamin D usually prescribed by a doctor).

Healthy people cannot become vitamin-D-toxic from any amount of sunshine. So 5000 IU of vitamin D3 cannot be toxic to a healthy person.

In fact it seems unlikely that even a daily dose of 15,000 IU of vitamin D3 from all sources could result in toxicity.
2. Vitamin D blood levels

When an average (176 pound or 80 kg) adult reaches an optimum blood level of vitamin D (50 – 65 ng/ml), he requires about 5000 IU of vitamin D (from all sources) to sustain that blood level.

If he takes less than 5000 IU, (from all sources) his 25(OH)D blood level starts to decline. He is using more than he is obtaining.

So what happens if his vitamin D blood level is below optimum and he takes 5000 IU of vitamin D daily? His blood level will gradually increase, over many weeks or months, until it levels off at around 50 ng/ml – the start of the optimum range.

It levels off because his body is using the same amount as he is taking. But since we are all different in our vitamin D metabolism, yours might reach only 40 ng/ml, or perhaps 60 ng/ml.

This rise in vitamin D blood levels is healthy, and causes no stress to your body.

The lowest blood level at which a proven case of vitamin D toxicity has been recorded in a healthy adult is above 200 ng/ml (that is, over four times higher than the optimum level).
3. Vitamin D toxicity studies

There have been incidents in which people have overdosed on vitamin D, most commonly through industrial accidental exposure, or mistakes made in fortifying food.

Researchers have studied such incidents. In many cases, scientists have determined that these people unknowingly took huge amounts (millions of IU) of vitamin D. Some of them became vitamin D toxic. Others, who were exposed to the same huge doses, suffered no ill-effects and no vitamin D toxicity. Some people are more susceptible to toxic effects from high levels of vitamin D, than others.

From this evidence, researchers concluded that the lowest amount of vitamin D likely to cause toxicity (in the most-susceptible adults) is 40,000 IU every day, taken for several months.
Vitamin D safety

In summary, although it is possible to overdose on vitamin D, there are very large safety margins. A average-sized adult in good health will not overdose on 5,000 IU of vitamin D per day, from all sources.

In fact, he or she probably cannot maintain an optimum blood level of vitamin D while taking less.

Because of the large safety margin, even though someone might take an inappropriate amount of vitamin D3 by mistake, it would have to be a very large overdose – sustained for a long time – to result in toxicity.

All this applies to healthy people. If you are not in good health, and are already under a doctor’s care, you should not start supplementing vitamin D without consulting your doctor. There are some conditions which may be adversely affected by high levels of vitamin D. See Side effects of vitamin D.

But they are rare. Most people in poor health will benefit enormously from optimising their vitamin D intake. But just check with your doctor first

Vitamin D Overdose Treatment

Here you can read about vitamin D overdose treatment. We have already explained what vitamin D overdose is. We have also mentioned some of the possible causes of vitamin D overdose. The most common way to overdose with vitamin D is to take too much of vitamin D supplements. When people are diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency or they experience some of vitamin D deficiency symptoms, they often get very scared. Some patients are so afraid of vitamin D deficiency and all possible complications it can lead to, that they even take larger doses than is prescribed by a doctor. This can lead to vitamin D overdose, which is a serious condition and needs to be treated.

The symptoms of vitamin D overdose can be general weakness, nausea, vomiting and severe dehydration. All together, these symptoms can lead to weight loss and exhaustion. Numbness, weakness and problems with coordination are also possible symptoms of vitamin D overdose. Pain in muscles can also occur as one of the symptoms. Do not ignore these symptoms. Visit your doctor to get a proper therapy and start treating vitamin D overdose as soon as possible.

Control Your Vitamin D Levels

In addition, you have to control your vitamin D levels. If you are diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency and you’re on your therapy, you will have to check your condition every once in a while. If your vitamin D levels change and you remain with the same dose as in the beginning, this can lead to overdose, since your requirements are now changed. Your doctor will control your condition and give you the best possible advice.

Generally, it is suggested that a person should not take more than 1000 International Units of vitamin D. However, this depends on many factors. Vitamin D dose will be different from patient to patient, depending on his condition. Remember that only your doctor can prescribe the right dose for you. Never take any supplements without consulting your doctor first.

How to Treat Vitamin D Overdose

When it comes to vitamin D overdose treatment, your doctor is the only person that can help you with this problem. He /she is already familiar with your medical history, so as your vitamin D levels and other issues related to vitamin D deficiency. If you overdose, you must see your doctor. People sometimes ignore the symptoms of vitamin D overdose, since many other illnesses are manifested through similar symptoms. However, this is no excuse for ignorance. Do not wait until your condition gets worse.

If you overdose with vitamin D, you will probably be advised to stop using vitamin D supplements. Keep in mind that vitamin D is not water-soluble, so your body cannot simply dispose it, as it would be the case with water-soluble vitamins. It seems that the only efficient treatment for vitamin D overdose is to stop taking the supplements of vitamin D. After some time, your vitamin D levels will get back to normal and the symptoms will go away. However, this period is different from person to person. Do not rely on other people experiences, since every case is unique. You should only rely on your doctor’s advice. Sometimes the symptoms of vitamin D overdose can be really annoying. If you experience severe nausea, weakness, nervousness, numbness, muscle pain or problems with your heart and/or kidneys – you need to visit your doctor. Do not try to relieve these symptoms by using any drugs (on your own).

The amount of 1000 IU is often considered to be the limit that should not be crossed. However, there are really difficult cases of vitamin D deficiency. These patients can be prescribed considerably higher doses.

Effects of Taking 50000 IU of Vitamin D Weekly

If you want to know more about effects of taking 50000 IU of vitamin D weekly, you will find some answers here. We all know how important vitamin D is. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to serious health complications and everyone should know more about this issue. The bad thing about vitamin D is that deficiency can only be detected through symptoms, and by that time, it is usually too late. When the symptoms occur, that means that you already have vitamin D deficiency. Therefore, it is very hard to prevent this condition.

Vitamin D Supplements and Dosage

People who have vitamin D deficiency are often recommended to take large doses of vitamin D supplements. It is suggested that a person with normal levels of vitamin D should take the amounts between 300 and 600 IU of vitamin D per day and 2,000 International Units are considered the upper limit. However, that is not necessarily so. The dose depends on how serious vitamin D deficiency is in a particular case. There is no a universal prescription for all of us, especially when it comes to this issue. However, it is extremely important not to take any supplements without your doctor’s knowledge. Never change the dose on your own. Your doctor is the one who will prescribe the right dosage for you, based on the results of your blood tests and analyses. Taking too much of vitamin D supplements can lead to overdose and it is called “Vitamin D Toxicity“. Vitamin D can be toxic if you take too much of it. Do not forget about that fact.

50000 IU of Vitamin D Weekly

50000 IU of Vitamin D weekly is considered an extremely high dose. However, researches have shown that this dose doesn’t necessarily lead to toxicity or overdose. These adverse effects can occur if you stay with this dose for a long time. Short-term consumption seems to be safe and with no adverse effects.

Therefore, we can conclude that the dose of 50000 IU of Vitamin D weekly is not harmful if this lasts for a short period. If you continue taking this high dose, you can experience side effects, so be careful.

Vitamin D Overdose

Although vitamin D is essential for health, a vitamin D overdose can threaten your health. It causes Hypervitaminosis D, a potentially serious condition that results from toxic levels of this vitamin in the body. As with any supplement, consultation with a physician before self treatment is critical.

Causes of Vitamin D Overdose

The body’s daily requirement for vitamin D is relatively low. It naturally produces its daily supply from exposure to sunlight, the primary source of vitamin D. As little as 10 to 15 minutes of sunshine, at least three times a week, is enough to manufacture your body’s vitamin D requirement.

This natural production process is safe and will not result in an overdose, because once the body’s requirements have been met, further production of this vitamin is shutdown. High dietary intakes of vitamin D from food sources have also been proven to contain concentrations of vitamin D that are too low to cause an overdose (with the exception of cod liver oil).

The most likely cause of a vitamin D overdose is from an excessive intake of supplements. The body does not have a mechanism to shutdown the absorption of large amounts of vitamin D from supplemental vitamin preparations. As such, it builds up to toxic levels, causing Hypervitaminosis D. Such incidents are most closely associated with prescription supplements of vitamin D.

People most vulnerable to an overdose are often those who suffer from rickets or some other disease or condition that is caused by vitamin D deficiency. In this case, pharmacological doses are prescribed for therapeutic purposes. It is critical to discuss this type of prescription with your doctor to ensure you are avoiding toxicity.

One of the world’s foremost authorities on vitamin D metabolism and physiology said, “Worrying about vitamin D Overdose or toxicity of vitamin D is like worrying about drowning when you are dying of thirst.” He challenged anyone in the scientific community to present even a single case of vitamin D toxicity in adults from ingestion of up to 1,000 ug (40,000 IU) a day. Vieth’s challenge remains unanswered and his work remains unrefuted.

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient with therapeutic use in some cases, but that does not mean it is devoid of potential toxicity. Ingestion of vitamins in quantities larger than recommended for the maintenance of good health leads to overdose of vitamin D. It causes toxicity and varies from individual to individual according to one’s metabolism. The symptoms of overdose of vitamin D may also vary.

Vitamin D is responsible for two important functions. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which promotes utilization of calcium and phosphorus in the body by enhancing absorption of these two minerals from the intestine. It is required for normal mineralisation of bone and it plays an essential role in the homeostatic regulation of plasma calcium concentration.

There are two sources of Vitamin D in humans. It is either obtained through ingestion of appropriate foods in the diet or photolysis of 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin. Once vitamin D is absorbed, it gets bound to a specific globulin and reaches the blood to the liver.

The vitamin D requirements do not vary just with age, pregnancy or lactation, it also varies with the quality of the diet one is taking. Any recommendation for vitamin D supplementation must be made only after careful scrutiny of the diet. The indiscriminate use of over-the-counter vitamin D preparations for irrational reasons can be dangerous. People must be made aware of the potential hazards of overdose.

Some symptoms of overdose of vitamin D are experiencing weakness in the muscles, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, and weight loss. The overdose can also raise blood levels of calcium. It can give rise to mental confusion. High blood levels of calcium can cause abnormalities in heart rhythms. Cases have been reported of Calcinosis also. Calcinosis is the deposition of calcium and phosphate in the body’s soft tissues such as the kidney. They can be caused by vitamin D toxicity.

Vitamin D overdose symptoms should be checked by your doctor. If there is a feeling that you may be suffering from vitamin D overdose, its best to visit a doctor. As usual no depending on self-help, help from person who has undergone it himself or another round of `over-the-counter’ medicines. Your body’ working may be best observed by the doctor and medicines or treatments prescribed accordingly will bear results that are faster and more effective.