Are There Any Side Effects
There are few side effects to worry about, especially if youre only taking the recommended daily allowance. However, if you take too many supplements then something called vitamin D toxicity or hypervitaminosis D can occur. If this happens, then the main consequence is a build-up of calcium in the blood which can cause vomiting and nausea, muscle weakness and frequent urination. The toxicity would also escalate if its not dealt with and create issues in the bones and kidneys, such as the creation of calcium stones.
For this to happen, however, there would need to be a daily intake of about 60,000 IU over several months. This is 100 times higher than the recommended daily allowance of 600 to 800 IU per day so it would be quite hard to achieve by accident. Vitamin intake via the sun or foods doesnt contribute to this, as the body regulates any naturally occurring vitamins coming into the body.
The Vitamin D Dilemma: How Much Should We Be Taking
This article was published more than 6 years ago. Some information may no longer be current.
Vitamin D tabletes are photographed in the Globe studio on March 26 2015.Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail
True, it was a painful winter. We were stuck in a cocoon of cold with limited daylight to lift our winter-weary spirits. So maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that vitamin D has emerged as a central point of controversy. In a country with little, if any, opportunity to synthesize the vitamin in fall and winter, the seasons with the least amount of sunlight, we should know just how much of the sunshine supplement we really need.
Root of the controversy
It seems that every few years vitamin D steals the spotlight, as researchers learn more about its possible link to various conditions and diseases.
This latest controversy was prompted by an analysis by Paul Veugelers and John Paul Ekwaru, biostatisticians from the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Published last October in the online journal Nutrients, their work concluded that the U.S.-based Institute of Medicine the organization that develops Recommended Dietary Allowances for Canadians and Americans made a serious calculation error in determining the RDAs for vitamin D. That error, the scientists asserted, has serious public health implications.
Why do we need vitamin D?
An evolving field
Too much of a good thing
How much do you need?
Can’t I just bask in the sun?
What about food?
Your Value Is Between 10
Vitamin D deficiency is still present, along with increased risk of developing osteoporosis. Parathyroid hormone levels are likely to be elevated. This hormone regulates calcium and phosphorus levels in the body.
If your vitamin D blood level is e.g. 25 ng/ml or higher and you want to increase them, you can take the following amount of vitamin D :
To reach the mentioned value.. take this vitamin D Dose per day:
20 ng/ml ..500 IU 30 ng/ml ..1700 IU 40 ng/ml ..3200 IU 50 ng/ml ..4900 IU 60 ng/ml ..7000 IU 70 ng/ml ..9700 IU
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Vitamin D Supplement Safety
Your body produces vitamin D when exposed to the sun, but many people may not get enough due to a variety of factors. Because of this, people often turn to vitamin D supplements. Unfortunately, it isnt uncommon for people to overdo it.
A 2017 study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that between 1999 and 2014, there was an increase in the number of American adults taking daily vitamin D supplements of 1,000 IU or more. Of these, 18% exceeded 1000 IU each day and 3% took more than 4,000 IU per day, which may place them at a higher risk of experiencing some adverse effects related to excessive vitamin D.
In most cases, you can get all of the vitamin D you need naturally without supplementation through sun exposure and diet. A 15-minute walk outside each day with your extremities exposed can boost vitamin D production. .
Eating foods that are naturally high in vitamin D or are fortified with the nutrient can help. Foods you can eat to boost your vitamin D levels include:
- Egg yolks
- Fortified milk, yogurt, or juice
- Fatter fish such as tuna or salmon
- Cod liver oil
If you do decide to take a vitamin D supplement to correct a deficiency or because you are unable to get an adequate amount through sunlight and diet, always follow your doctor’s guidelines and do not take more than recommended amounts.
Factors That Might Affect Your Vitamin D Levels
Your vitamin D levels reflect many factors. For example:
Where you live. If you live in the northern states , you are at higher risk for a vitamin D deficiency because your skin may not be able to produce any vitamin D from sun exposure during the winter months.
Your age. Your skin’s ability to produce vitamin D drops with age. If you’re over age 65, you generate only one-fourth as much vitamin D as you did in your 20s.
Your skin color. People with darker skin typically have lower levels of vitamin D than lighter-skinned individuals. African Americans have, on average, about half as much vitamin D in their blood compared with white Americans.
Your weight. If you have a body mass index above 30, you may have low blood levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D is stored in fat, so in people with obesity, less of the vitamin circulates in the blood, where it’s available for use by the body.
The foods you eat. Very few foods naturally contain vitamin D. The U.S. government started a vitamin D milk fortification program in the 1930s to combat rickets, a bone-weakening disease caused by vitamin D deficiency, which was a major public health problem at the time. Breakfast cereals and some types of orange juice may also be fortified, but this varies by brand. So, the amount of vitamin D you get from food depends on the food you eat and how much milk you drink.
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What Happens When Your Vitamin D Is Low
When vitamin D levels are low, there are some noticeable changes in the body, says Konstantin. Low vitamin D levels can lead to decreased energy levels, low mood, and potentially frequent bouts of illness. Checking for nutritional deficiencies can rule out any underlying issues that might be causing your lowered energy levels or even exhaustion and allow you to supplement based on what your body requires.
How Much Vitamin D Should I Take Per Day
According to Harvard Nutrition Source, we should all be aiming for the Recommended Dietary Allowance of vitamin D. For adults aged over 19 years old, this is 600 IU daily and for adults over the age of 70, its 800 IU daily. But the maximum daily intake unlike to cause harmful effects on the health is 4000 IU, so those lacking in the essential nutrient might consider topping up with vitamins matching this level.
To put this into context, the average IU of standard vitamin D tablets is 1000 IU. This means that whatever the personal recommendation for intake of vitamin D is, a standard vitamin D tablet such as that bought in the supermarket or health food shop, should do the job.
Its not only for immune support that experts recommend vitamin D, however. Vitamin D plays a vital role in calcium absorption and is required for healthy bone and cartilage development and maintenance. It can also help support healthy muscle function and circulation too.LloydsPharmacy pharmacist, Pareena Patel tells us. Its a vitamin which is essential for babies, children, adults and the elderly alike. It is important to take a supplement which has the right intake for the individual. For example, babies should not be taking the same supplement as adults and vice-versa, as too much vitamin D can have a detrimental effect.
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How Much Vitamin D Do You Need And Are You Getting Enough
As we edge more into winter this year, concerns about being unwell are skyrocketing perhaps quicker than in any other year. But instead of looking to the latest trends to stay healthy, a new study has suggested that turning back to traditional ways to fight off colds and flu could be the answer namely, its vitamin D that has come to the rescue once again.
A new study in BMJ Nutrition Prevention and Health, conducted by a team from NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition & Health in Cambridge and Imperial College London, has analysed data from over 600 adults to look at whether certain vitamins reduce the risk of respiratory infections. It was found that those taking supplements containing vitamin A and D were significantly less likely to report respiratory issues.
Following this, the studys lead authors have concluded that vitamin D supplements are critical in ensuring that people maintain a good level of vitamin D in their diets, as there wont be enough through food alone. Additionally, Shane McAuliffe from the NNEdPro Nutrition and Covid-19 Taskforce has said that due to the low cost and widespread availability of vitamins, they are a sensible solution to solving deficiency during the winter months.
Where Can I Buy It
Vitamin D supplements are widely available from supermarkets and chemists. They may be just vitamin D or part of a multivitamin tablet.
The ingredient listed on the label of most Vitamin D supplements is D3, the one made by your skin. Vitamin D2 is produced by plants.
Vitamin drops are available for babies.
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How Much Vitamin D3 Should I Take Daily
In this post, we will answer most of the common questions related to vitamin d3, specifically how much vitamin d3 should I take daily?
The poor bone density that is caused by vitamin D deficiency, results in a health issue called osteoporosis and fractures.
Also, vitamin D deficiency can be a reason for children suffering from soft and bend bones.
And, a shortage of vitamin D brings about osteomalacia in adults, that is brittle bones and muscle weakness.
For this reason, taking vitamin d3 supplements or adding natural sources of vitamin d, such as fatty fish, beef liver, and egg yolks to your diet, helps prevent the vitamin d deficiency.
In addition, vitamin D has serious anti-inflammatory consequences and lowers the risk of cancer such as colorectal cancer.
Ok, lets get back to the point, how much vitamin d3 I should take daily?
Why Shouldnt Everyone Just Take Vitamin D Supplements
Too much vitamin D can be harmful, including increasing fractures, falls, and kidney stones, and can be toxic by causing excessive levels of calcium. Although not proven, high vitamin D levels have been associated with prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and mortality. A recent study found that use of high-dose vitamin D supplements increased over a 15-year period.
So how much is too much? For adults, toxic effects increase above 4,000 IU per day. The recommended dietary dose of vitamin D is 600 IU each day for adults 70 and younger and 800 IU each day for adults over 70. To put this into perspective, 4 ounces of cooked salmon contains approximately 600 IU of vitamin D.
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How To Find Out If Youre Vitamin D Deficient
You may be deficient in vitamin D and not realize it. About 40 percent of Americans are believed to have lower-than-recommended levels. You can learn your vitamin D status if your doctor orders a blood test to check your levels.
Some people are more likely to have a vitamin D deficiency than others. Americans with darker-colored skin are less efficient at producing their own vitamin D. Older adults may experience deficiency, because their skin may not make vitamin D as well as it did years earlier and they may not get outdoors as often.
How Much Vitamin D Is Too Much
Because vitamin D is fat soluble, there have been repeated warnings against overdosing. In 2002, the Scientific Committee on Food of the European Commission released its position the safety of vitamin D.
The report stated that a daily intake of 2,000 IU for adolescents, adults, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, and 1,000 IU for children may be taken for extended periods during the first 10 years of life with no risk of side effects and without medical supervision.
Most experts consider a daily intake of up to 5,000 IU of vitamin D to be safe for adults.
Since direct sunlight produces 10,000 IU of vitamin D in the human body, this may be the physiological upper limit.
Since vitamin D is potentially toxic, the state-approved limit is 50 mcg . However, this is a conservative limit and is likely 5 times too low.
Known cases of vitamin D toxicity with hypercalcemia in which the 25D concentration and vitamin D dose are known all point to an intake of 40,000 IU a day or more.
Excessive intake of vitamin D can only occur by taking dietary supplements. But one would have to take some 40,000 IU per day for several months to cause vitamin D overdose.
One-time massive-dose therapy involving high doses do not result in an overdose of vitamin D, even at doses in excess of 100,000 IU.
The symptoms of vitamin D intoxication include nausea, high calcium and phosphate levels in the blood, irregular heartbeat and kidney stones.
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When Vitamin D Supplements Are Helpful
During the fall and winter, when the suns rays arent at an angle that will produce vitamin D in the skin, its good to give your child a vitamin. Most over-the-counter childrens vitamins contain 600 IU of vitamin D, which is the recommended daily allowance set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for kids 1 year old and older.
Children who are obese, who have dark skin, who rarely go outside or who wear clothing that covers most of their skin may need supplements to ensure they have adequate levels of vitamin D all year round. Some medications, such as anticonvulsants, as well as over-the-counter health aids like St. Johns Wort, can interfere with the way our bodies metabolize vitamin D. Certain conditions, such as celiac disease, can also interfere with absorption of vitamin D. Discuss your childs medical history and lifestyle with your pediatrician, and make sure to them about any medicine or herbal supplements your child takes. Your pediatrician can then determine your childs daily vitamin D requirement.
There are risks if kids take in too much vitamin D from supplements and food, including an increased chance of developing kidney stones. Parents need to calculate the amount of vitamin D their child gets from fortified milk, other food, and vitamin supplements to make sure the total amount does not exceed:
- 1,000 to 1,500 IU a day for infants
- 2,500 to 3,000 IU a day for children 1 to 8 years old
- 4,000 IU a day for children 9 years and older
Your Value Is Between 80
These values are only slightly above those that can be achieved naturally by exposing the skin to the sunlight. It is assumed that these values cannot be achieved without taking vitamin D in dietary supplement form. To date, no risks are known which would result from consistently high values in the range of 80-100 ng/ml.
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How Do I Get The Vitamin D I Need
Dont run out to the drug store to buy vitamin D pills just yet. Your body produces vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sun, and it is estimated that most people need 1,000 to 1,500 hours of sun exposure throughout the spring, summer, and fall to obtain the necessary amount of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is very common and on the rise. This is mostly due to vigilant sun protection, since sunscreen with SPF 30 reduces vitamin D production by 95%. Of course, as a dermatologist I am not advocating for prolonged sun exposure, but small amounts can go a long way, as the skin produces vitamin D that can last at least twice as long the vitamin D you take in through foods or supplements. Vitamin D can also be obtained through other sources, including fatty fish , foods fortified with vitamin D , beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. Of course, vitamin D supplements are needed for people most at risk for deficiency, including breastfed infants, older adults, people with limited sun exposure, darker skinned individuals, and overweight individuals.
How Much Vitamin D Should I Take If Im Deficient
You should take at a minimum of 4,000 IU daily to prevent or treat vitamin D insufficiency.
That amount can come from both natural sources such as food and sun exposure, and supplements.
But, on the other side, can taking too much vitamin D harm you?
Yes, taking too much, such as excess of 10,000 IU a day, cause vitamin D intoxication.
For that reason, some side effects are likely to happen, for instance,
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What Are The Symptoms Of Too Much Vitamin D
Armeen Poor, MD, is a board-certified pulmonologist and intensivist. He specializes in pulmonary health, critical care, and sleep medicine.
Vitamin D is a key nutrient that helps your body absorb calcium to help build strong bones. Its also important for your immune system, nervous system, and muscles. A deficiency in this vitamin has also been linked to mental illnesses such as depression and seasonal affective disorder .
About 40% of Americans may be deficient in vitamin D, with Black and Hispanic adults facing the highest risk of deficiency. Many people can benefit from increasing their vitamin D intake to sufficient levels through sun exposure, diet changes, orif neededsupplementation as recommended by a physician.
While a deficiency of this nutrient is a very common problem, its also possiblebut rareto have too much vitamin D. Too much vitamin D, also known as vitamin D toxicity or hypervitaminosis D, can pose a number of serious health risks. This is why it’s important to discuss any supplementation with your doctor to ensure you aren’t ingesting a potentially harmful mega dose.