Risks And Side Effects
What happens if you take too much vitamin D? Can you overdose on vitamin D?
Taking high doses of vitamin D causes your liver to produce a chemical called 25D, which makes calcium accumulate in your bloodstream. Youre most likely to experience symptoms of too much vitamin D when taking supplements in high doses for a long period of time. This can potentially cause side effects if levels of 25 in the blood become elevated.
Potential side effects can include high blood calcium levels exhaustion abdominal pain and digestive issues like nausea, constipation, diarrhea or loss of appetite increased thirst and dry mouth and possibly kidney stones. The best way to avoid experiencing vitamin D toxicity is to not take very high doses of vitamin D in supplement form, such as 10,000 IU per day for more than several days in a row. Instead, get the vitamin D you need from sunlight, a healthy diet and supplements in the recommended dosage range.
What Is The Recommended Dosage Of Vitamin D
The recommended daily allowance for vitamin D is 600 IU per day for adults. However, many experts believe that this amount is too low and that most people need more.
The Vitamin D Council recommends taking 1,000-2,000 IU of vitamin D per day, and some experts believe that even higher amounts may be necessary.
Your Value Is Between 40
In the view of vitamin D experts this level means youre getting an adequate amount of vitamin D. Most people would produce this amount of vitamin D in their body if they were exposed to the sun completely naked all year at the equator. These levels are also achieved by hunter-gatherers in the bush in Africa who live a traditional way of life.
At this vitamin D level, the body can perfectly regulate calcium absorption via the adequate formation of parathyroid hormone. Breastfeeding mothers can sufficiently pass on vitamin D to their baby through breast milk.
Some studies suggest that these amounts of vitamin D are associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers and with better heart and circulation health. Research results also indicate that vitamin D levels in this range strengthen the immune system and support the body in fighting infection.
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:
50 ng/ml ..900 IU 60 ng/ml ..3000 IU 70 ng/ml ..5700 IU
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Q: Whats The Link Between Vitamin D And Heart Health
A: That isnt entirely clear. We know that low vitamin D levels are a risk factor for heart disease, but at this time, we do not know whether treating low vitamin D with supplements can prevent a heart attack. There are a number of large clinical trials studying this now. Part of the problem with finding the answer is accounting for the many factors involved in heart disease. For example, maybe people who develop heart disease are also getting less physical activity outdoors. It may not be low vitamin D levels causing the heart disease.
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How Much Vitamin D Should I Take For Optimal Health
Your need for vitamin D goes up if any of these factors apply to you:
- You know youre already deficient in vitamin D
- You have dark skin
- Youre an older adult over 70 . Infants, children and older adults are all at risk for low vitamin D.
- You spend little time outdoors or always wear sunscreen when exposed to sunlight
- Youre a shift worker, health care worker or another indoor worker, which means you get little outdoor time and sunlight exposure
- Youre overweight or obese
- You are a nursing home resident or hospitalized patient
- You have a health condition, such as celiac disease, Crohns disease or cystic fibrosis, that interferes with absorption and processing of vitamin D in the intestines, kidneys or liver
- Breast-fed infants are also at risk for vitamin D deficiency, which is why supplementing is recommended
How much vitamin D should women take per day?
According to the USDA and National Institutes of Health, the standard recommendation of vitamin D that adult women should take in order to prevent deficiency is between 600 to 800 international units per day, depending on age. The exact number is debatable, and some experts feel that a higher dose of vitamin D, around 2,ooo to 5,000 IU per day, may be more beneficial.
How much vitamin D should men take per day?
The standard recommendation for adult men is also between 600 to 800 IU of vitamin D per day. Adults over 70 should supplement with more, at least 800 IU per day, while younger adults need at least 600 IU daily.
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Optimal Vitamin D Dose With Blood Test
If you suffer from a disease that makes it absolutely necessary for your vitamin D level to be in the optimal range, or if you want to know your exact level, then you should have your vitamin D level measured. The blood test to measure your vitamin D levels is called the 25D blood test.
The result of the blood test helps determine how much vitamin D you should take in the form of vitamin D capsules or vitamin D drops, etc., or whether you should increase your exposure to the sun in order to build up an optimal vitamin D level.
Since everyone absorbs vitamin D differently, the 25D value may develop differently. This means that not ever person will achieve exactly the same 25D level in their blood even if they take the same dose of vitamin D.
The following recommendations represent guidelines on how your vitamin D blood levels could increase when taking the respective amount of vitamin D. Therefore, this information should not be regarded as a guarantee for the specified values.
About 3 months after you begin taking your dose, you should have your vitamin D level re-measured to check on things. Once you have the result, you can assess how your vitamin D level has changed during the time you’ve been taking it, as well as to what extent the dose should be adjusted.
Q: Do Some People Naturally Have Lower Vitamin D Levels Than Others
A: People with darker skin pigmentation tend to have lower levels, as do people who use sunscreen, dont spend much time outdoors, or are overweight or obese. This is because vitamin D is fat soluble, so it gets trapped in fatty tissue and cant be used by the body as it should be. Gastrointestinal surgery, like gastric bypass, makes it difficult to absorb vitamin D. And as we age, we dont absorb vitamin D well, and we produce less.
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Did The Iom Report Make Recommendations With Respect To Serum Vitamin D Levels
Serum concentration of 25-hydroxy-vitamin-D D) is the best indicator of vitamin D status. It reflects total vitamin D input – from food, supplements, and sun exposure.
There is considerable discussion surrounding the serum concentrations of 25D associated with optimal health, and cut points have not been developed by a scientific consensus process.
However, the IOM expert committee stated that its review of the data suggests that, relative to bone health:
- People are at risk of vitamin D deficiency at serum 25D concentrations < 30 nmol/L. Some are potentially at risk for inadequacy at levels ranging from 3050 nmol/L.
- Practically all people are sufficient at levels 50 nmol/L
- There may be reason for concern at serum concentrations > 125 nmol/L
The IOM expert committee encouraged the development of evidence-based cut points for serum vitamin D measures relative to deficiency as well as excess.
Vitamin D And Calcium: Updated Dietary Reference Intakes
The U.S. Institute of Medicine released its report on the review of the Dietary Reference Intakes for vitamin D and calcium on November 30, 2010. The review was jointly commissioned and funded by the U.S. and Canadian governments.
The decision to commission the IOM review reflects the government’s goal of ensuring that Canadians benefit from the most up to date health and nutritional advice.
The IOM report states that there is no additional health benefit associated with vitamin D or calcium intakes above the level of the new Recommended Dietary Allowance . Health Canada reminds Canadians that total nutrient intake should remain below the level of the new Tolerable Upper Intake Level to avoid possible adverse effects.
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How Much Is Too Much Vitamin D
Overdosing on vitamin D is hard to doin 2010, the IOM defined the safe upper limit for vitamin D consumption as 4,000 IU per day.
If you are very deficient in vitamin D, your doctor may suggest a supplement with more than 4,000 IU per day for a short period of time to boost your level quickly. This should be monitored closely with follow-up blood tests to ensure the level of vitamin D circulating in your blood doesnt reach toxic levels, says Marchand.
Signs of vitamin D toxicity, which is rare, include nausea, vomiting, a metallic taste in your mouth, headaches and body aches. It can also lead to pancreatitis and calcification in the kidneys and blood vessels.
What About Sun Exposure
The DRIs for vitamin D are set based on the assumption of minimal sun exposure. This was necessary because of public health concerns about skin cancer due to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Currently, there is a lack of information about whether sun exposure may be experienced without increasing risk of cancer.
Many people meet at least some of their vitamin D needs through exposure to sunlight. However, season, time of day, cloud cover, smog, skin pigmentation, and sunscreen use are all factors that can affect the amount of ultraviolet radiation received and thus vitamin D synthesis.
The DRI values have been set at levels that ensure that sun exposure is not necessary in order to obtain enough vitamin D.
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Why Is Vitamin D Important
Vitamin D is important for the health of your bones, muscles and teeth. This is because it helps you absorb calcium and phosphorous from food.
A deficiency can cause weakened bones this can lead to rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.
Vitamin D also plays an important role in keeping your immune system functioning properly. This is especially key during winter, when there are more colds and bugs going around.
What Are The Benefits Of Vitamin D
Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health. It helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, two minerals that are essential for bone development and maintenance. Vitamin D also helps to prevent osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and fragile bones.
In addition to its role in bone health, vitamin D is also thought to have other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of some cancers, heart disease, and type II diabetes.
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How Much Vitamin D Is Too Much The Surprising Truth
Vitamin D toxicity is rare, but it does occur with extremely high doses.
It usually develops over time, since extra vitamin D can build up in the body.
Nearly all vitamin D overdoses result from taking high amounts of vitamin D supplements.
Its almost impossible to get too much vitamin D from sunlight or food.
This is a detailed article about vitamin D toxicity and how much of it is considered to be too much.
What Foods Provide Calcium
Calcium is found in many foods. You can get recommended amounts of calcium by eating a variety of foods, including the following:
- Milk and milk alternatives such as yogurt, cheese, and fortified plant-based beverages
- Dark green vegetables such as broccoli, kale and spinach
- Fish with soft bones that are eaten, such as canned salmon or sardines.
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Does Being A Man Or A Woman Affect How Much Vitamin D You Need
Yes and no. Body size is more influential than sex when it comes to vitamin D intake recommendations, Foroutan says. On average, men weigh more than women. However, the relative amount of body fat an individual has may be more pertinent, since vitamin D is stored in body fat.
A study published online in November 2014 in PLoS One aimed to analyze the effect that body mass index may have on vitamin D dosing targets. Findings suggested that participants who were obese needed 2 to 3 times more vitamin D than their normal-weight counterparts.
But men and women are at different risks for various chronic conditions, which means adjusting your vitamin D target may be helpful for managing symptoms or delaying disease progression.
For example, women may be more likely than men to develop both thyroid disease, per the Department of Health and Human Services Office on Womens Health, and osteoporosis, and a vitamin D deficiency is associated with both, other research suggests. If you live with a chronic disease that is associated with your sex, your doctor may factor in vitamin D as part of your personal management plan.
How Much Vitamin D Should I Get From The Sun
In addition to wondering how much vitamin D should I take, many people wonder how much vitamin D should I get from the sun.
Theres a reason that vitamin D is referred to as the sunshine vitamin. Sunlight exposure on our bare skin is the single best way to get enough vitamin D. Unfortunately most people today dont spend enough time in the sun, due to factors like working long hours inside, living in cold climates, being afraid of sunburns, etc.
In order to get enough vitamin D naturally from the sun its important to get outside and expose your skin to sunlight, without sunscreen. Aim to spend about 1020 minutes in the sun daily with as much of your bare skin exposed as you can, which will help your body produce vitamin D. You will absorb the most sunlight between about 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Melanin is a substance that affects how light or dark your skin color is. The amount of melanin you have in your skin also affects the amount of vitamin D you can produce, so the fairer your skin, the more easily you can make vitamin D. If you have dark skin, you will likely need more time in the sun, roughly 40 to 60 minutes daily, to make enough vitamin D.
Eating vitamin D-rich foods like eggs, raw milk and fish can also helps improve your blood levels of vitamin D.
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Vitamin D Respiratory Infections And Covid
UK scientists warn that you should not take high levels of vitamin D, to prevent or treat COVID-19.
In a publication in the journal Nutrients, the authors reviewed the current medical evidence and suggest that vitamin D supplementation could reduce the risk of influenza, COVID-19, and deaths.
The authors present evidence to suggest that higher levels of vitamin D in the population will reduce the risk of acute respiratory tract infections including influenza, COVID-19, and pneumonia. They suggest additional vitamin D should be started now, to raise levels before the onset of the winter.
The authors are suggesting a higher vitamin D dosing regime than is currently recommended in the UK. They also comment that people on vitamin D supplements should also consider taking additional magnesium because magnesium helps activate vitamin D.
However, caution is needed. The available evidence comes from observational studies only, and these do not prove causation. High levels of vitamin D can be harmful.
PHE have recommended we all take a low dose vitamin D supplement to ensure adequate vitamin D levels for our general health.
If there is an additional benefit for COVID-19 or other respiratory infections, this would be a bonus.
This new NHS advice, for the general public to take daily vitamin D supplements, is endorsed, for example, by The British Nutrition Foundation, The Nutrition Society, and the Royal Osteoporosis Society.
For more information
How Can I Get The Vitamins And Minerals I Need
It is usually better to get the nutrients you need from food, rather than a pill. Thats because nutrient-dense foods contain other things that are good for you, like fiber.
Most older people can get all the nutrients they need from foods. But if you arent sure, talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian to find out if you are missing any important vitamins or minerals. He or she may recommend a vitamin or dietary supplement.
If you do need to supplement your diet, look for a supplement that contains the vitamin or mineral you need without a lot of other unnecessary ingredients. Read the label to make sure the dose is not too large. Avoid supplements with mega-doses. Too much of some vitamins and minerals can be harmful, and you might be paying for supplements you dont need. Your doctor or pharmacist can recommend brands that fit your needs.
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How Much Vitamin D Should I Take For Specific Conditions
How much vitamin D should I take if Im deficient?
If a blood test has revealed that youre low in vitamin D, you can either take smaller doses for a long period of time to bring your level up, such as 5,000 to 10,000 IU per day, or a high dose administered over the course of several weeks. For adults with low vitamin D levels, the Endocrine Society recommends taking at least 1,5002,000 IU per day.
If youre taking a very high dose all at once, such as more than 40,000 IU, then its possible that side effects may occur due to vitamin D toxicity. The best thing to do is talk with your doctor about supplementing with higher doses of vitamin D if you are severely deficient or have a very low level according to a blood test.
How much vitamin D should I take for depression?
Theres some evidence that low vitamin D levels are linked with depression, although this doesnt mean that vitamin D deficiency causes depression. Rather, its speculated that people who dont spend much time outside or eat vitamin D foods may also be more likely to develop depression. The dosages of vitamin D used in studies that have focused on depression have varied, typically between 600 IU/day to 4,000 IU/day.
How much vitamin D should I take to lose weight?