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Vitamin D overdose. Expert opinion. Check it out!

Vitamin D overdose. Is it possible? Yes! Find out the causes, symptoms, effects and treatment.

Nina Wawryszuk - AuthorAuthorNina Wawryszuk
Nina Wawryszuk - Author
AuthorNina Wawryszuk
Natu.Care Editor

Nina Wawryszuk specialises in sports supplementation, strength training and psychosomatics. On a daily basis, in addition to writing articles for Natu.Care, as a personal trainer she helps athletes improve their performance through training, diet and supplementation.

Learn more about our editorial process

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Marta Kaczorek - Reviewed byReviewed byMarta Kaczorek
Verified by an expert
Marta Kaczorek - Reviewed by
Reviewed byMarta Kaczorek
Clinical nutritionist

Clinical nutritionist and personal trainer in the process of qualifying as a health coach.

Learn more about our editorial process

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Michael Tomaszewski - Edited byEdited byMichael Tomaszewski
Michael Tomaszewski - Edited by
Edited by
Michael Tomaszewski
Editor

Graduate of Journalism and Artes Liberales at the University of Warsaw. Since 2017, he has been working with the biggest portals in Poland and abroad as an editor. Previously worked for 3 years in one of the leading pharmaceutical companies - he knows the health and beauty industry inside out. In his free time, he most enjoys playing tennis or skiing.

Learn more about our editorial process

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Ludwig Jelonek - Fact-checkingFact-checkingLudwig Jelonek
Ludwig Jelonek - Fact-checking
Fact-checkingLudwig Jelonek
Natu.Care Editor

Ludwik Jelonek is the author of more than 2,500 texts published on leading portals. His content has found its way into services such as Ostrovit and Kobieta Onet. At Natu.Care, Ludwik educates people in the most important area of life - health.

Learn more about our editorial process

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Vitamin D overdose. Expert opinion. Check it out!
29 April, 2024
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11 min
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Interest in vitamin D is growing. We supplement it because "there is not enough sunshine in Poland". Consuming it on our own without control can have unpleasant health and... financial consequences.

Together with nutritionist Marta Kaczorek, we will explain to you what a vitamin D overdose is, how to prevent it and what a healthy, sensible supplementation is.

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Description of contents:

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  1. Can you overdose on vitamin D?
  2. .
  3. Symptoms of overdose
  4. .
  5. Causes of overdose
  6. .
  7. Diagnosis
  8. .
  9. Treatment
  10. How to prevent an overdose. Advice from a nutritionist
  11. Vitamin D for animals... for humans
  12. .
  13. Summary
  14. .
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Can you overdose on vitamin D?

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Yes, it is possible to overdose on vitamin Dand. Overdosing occurs due to over-supplementation. However, let me reassure you - this is a very rare situation. Studies show that taking 60 000 international units (IU) vitamin D daily for several months can cause toxicityand.

An overdose is also referred to as vitamin D hypervitaminosis, vitamin D toxicity or vitamin D poisoning. While it is difficult to get to this critical state, it does not mean that we can supplement this vitamin without common sense. 

Can you overdose on vitamin D from the sun?

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You cannot overdose on vitamin D from intense exposure to the sunand. Phew! Remember to protect your skin with screen creams. You'll reduce the risk of skin damage and cancer and prevent wrinkles.

Symptoms of overdose

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Did you take too many drops or want to strengthen your child after an infection by giving them a little more capsule than it says on the leaflet? Are you nervously looking for symptoms - what could be wrong?"

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Symptoms of vitamin D overdoseand:

  • nausea, vomiting,

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  • loss of appetite,

  • .
  • abdominal pains,

  • lack of appetite
  • diarrhoea, constipation,

  • diarrhoea.
  • increased thirst,

  • .
  •  
  • excessive sweating,

  • excessive sweating.
  • frequent urination,

  • excessive sweating,

     

  • excessive urination.
  •  
  • increased calcium levels in the blood,

  • .
  • Calcium accumulation in the arteries,

  • .

Further complications of untreated hypervitaminosis D also includeand:

  • kidney stones,

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  • gallbladder stones,

  • .
  •  
  • kidney failure,

  •  
  • kidney failure
  • bone damage,

  • bone damage.
  • calcification (hardening) of arteries and soft tissues.

  • .

Symptoms of vitamin D poisoning are primarily associated with hypercalcaemia, meaning excessively high levels of calcium in the bloodand.

Vitamin D overdose in pregnancy

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The symptoms of an overdose will be the same as for any person. I found no studies on the effects of high doses of vitamin D on the foetus - however, it is better to be cautious and follow the doses recommendedand by the Polish Society of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians.

Vitamin D overdose in children

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Symptoms of overdose in children will be the same as in adults and may give signals from different systems. In children, one of the first signs of overdose or excess vitamin D is a sweaty head.
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Marta Kaczorek.

Marta Kaczorek Clinical nutritionist

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You already know the symptoms of excess vitamin D, but as you can see - it's difficult to overdose on it. If you haven't been eating it in large quantities non-stop, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Read the article further to understand why more is not better.

Cause of vitamin D overdose

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An overdose can occur withand:

  • accidental overdose,

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  • prescription error,

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  • accidental overdose,

  •  
  • .
  • abuse of supplements,

  • .

Remember to consume the dosage prescribed by the doctor who ordered your supplementation, knowing your medical history, other medications you are taking, and the purpose of your vitamin D supplementand.

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Diagnosis

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The doctor will check your medical history, medications and supplements you are taking. He or she should take a thorough medical history and may carry out a physical examination. 

If he or she suspects that you may have vitamin D hypervitaminosis, he or she may order tests, includingand:

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  • blood tests to check vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus levels (will determine if there is kidney damage),

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  • urine tests (will check the amount of calcium in the urine),

  • .
  • bone x-rays (will determine if there is bone damage),

  • .

You may be interested in:

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Treatment

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If a vitamin D overdose is suspected or confirmed by tests, see your doctor immediately. Typically, depending on the patient's condition, treatment includes consultation, discontinuation of vitamin D supplementation and restriction of dietary calciumand

The doctor may also prescribe intravenous fluids and medications such as corticosteroids or bisphosphonates. Patients should review their list of medications, supplements to adjust future vitamin D doses and avoid excessand.

How to prevent an overdose? Advice from a nutritionist

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As nutritionist Marta Kaczorek says, it is the quality of supplementation that matters, not the quantity of supplement taken. We understand quality by:

  • selecting a supplement in the best possible form of absorption for us,

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  • Taking an individual dose for our needs with a doctor or pharmacist,

  • .
  • systematic supplementation,

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In the back of our minds we should have a diet and it - diverse, nutritious, combined with physical activity - should be the primary source of our good health and well-being. Before we take supplementation - let's have a blood test. Let's find out if we are deficient in vitamin D.
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Marta Kaczorek.

Marta Kaczorek Clinical nutritionist

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Safe supplementation - that is, how much?

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For vitamin D to reach toxic or dangerous levels in the body, it must exceed 100 nanograms (ng) per mland. Fortunately, toxicity is unlikely if you control your daily intake and avoid excessive supplementation. Experts recommend that people with typical vitamin D levels should not exceed 2000 IU per day .

Did you know that in spring and summer, 15 minutes of sun exposure, between 10am and 3pm with arms and legs uncovered, will give you as much as supplementation with 2000 IU of vitamin D ?

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I'll take more... yes in case you need it!

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Parents often give their children a little more vitamin D drops "as a backup". In addition, they often give their child cod liver oil or omega acids 3-6-9, which also contain vitamin D. They then unknowingly combine 2 sources of supplementation. 
Marta Kaczorek.

Marta Kaczorek Clinical nutritionist

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"Another source of vitamin D for young children is breast milk or modified milk. Modified milk of about 500 ml/day already covers the child's daily requirement. And this can already be the 3rd source of vitamin D for our baby", adds the nutritionist.

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Parents should be alert to any supplementation in their child, as well as their diet. We have more and more vitamin D-fortified products on the market (drinks, snacks) and we can lose track of the daily dose. If we do not overdose, we are simply throwing money down the drain on unnecessary supplementation.

There is no sunshine in Poland

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Listening to many stories among family and friends, I have noticed that we like to experiment with the dosage of medicines and supplements on our own. "Vitamin D? You have to take a lot because there is no sunshine in Poland!" - I once heard from a close friend. It's true that we have a problem with lack of sunshine in autumn and winter, but that doesn't mean that four drops or one more tablet will be a good choice.

"Supplements don't work anyway, so I take, as a rule, times two so that anything gets absorbed" - another quote, also heard at a social gathering.

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Let's not perpetuate such opinions - they are dangerous and teach bad habits. They steer us away from enriching our diets (it's easier to take a capsule) and teach us to treat supplements or medicines like harmless candy (I'll add a drop, I'll take a capsule twice).
Marta Kaczorek.

Marta Kaczorek Clinical nutritionist

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Vitamin D for animals...for humans? 

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In July 2022, a woman overdosed on vitamin D by using excessive amounts of a dietary supplement intended for horses.

She was using vitamin D in a combination formulation with K2 MK7 at a dose of 50,000 IU per day. She added fuel to the fire by also supplementing with large amounts of calcium. She survived, but was in very poor condition.

Reading about this unfortunate event, I came across many articles and comments from people who ridiculed vitamin D overdosing. And this is still the case for horses! As the above case and many others show - you can.

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This case may seem ridiculous and funny to some, but the victims of hypervitaminosis are often older people. Such as our parents or grandparents. We should educate each other and explain what healthy supplementation is all about. 

Today, ask your loved ones what they are supplementing and in what dose. Perhaps unnecessarily? Maybe too much?

 See also:

We hope you can see from this article on vitamin D overdose that it is just one of many vitamins we can overuse. Take care of yourself. Get yourself examined. Do a review of medications, supplements, enrich your diet. Spend time being active, outside. Let the sunshine bathe you.

Are you supplementing with vitamin D? Or do you know someone who likes horse doses of vitamin D? Write me in the comments, I'm curious.

Summary

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Remember:

  • An overdose is also referred to as vitamin D hypervitaminosis, vitamin D toxicity or vitamin D poisoning.
  • .
  • It is possible to overdose on vitamin D, although it is difficult. However, this does not mean that we can supplement it without controlling the dose.
  • It is not possible to overdose.
  • It is impossible to overdose on vitamin D from the sun.
  • .
  • The average dose of vitamin D3 for an adult is 2000 IU.
  • .
  • Before starting vitamin D3 supplementation, test your serum vitamin D3 concentration. Perhaps you have enough of it? Don't spend money on supplements if you don't need to.
  • .
  • Talk to your relatives about whether they know how to dose supplements safely.
  • .
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FAQ

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. After what time does vitamin D levels drop? .

Storage of vitamin D3 produced when exposed to UV radiation is stored in adipose tissue for about 2 months. Norwegian researchers found that in adults who supplemented with vitamin D3 for 5 years, its concentration in adipose tissue began to decrease one year after the end of supplementation.

. Is it possible to take 8000 vitamin D? .

What dose of vitamin D3 you should take is decided by your doctor based on your health assessment, blood test results and individual needs. Do not make a decision about supplementation with vitamin D3 based on a mere hunch that it is worth doing just in case.

. How to get rid of a high dose of vitamin D from the body? .

To get rid of excess vitamin D3, it is usually recommended to stop supplementation and limit calcium in the diet. In more serious conditions, your doctor may prescribe intravenous fluids and medications such as corticosteroids or bisphosphonates. Excess vitamin D from the sun is naturally stored in adipose tissue, but too much of this vitamin extracted from over-supplementation is dangerous.

. What is the lethal dose of vitamin D? .

The lethal dose of vitamin D is not precisely known, but scientific studies suggest that taking 60,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day for several months can cause toxicity and lead to serious damage to some organs.

 
What is the lethal dose of vitamin D?
. How many units of vitamin D can be taken per day? .

The daily requirement for vitamin D is an individual issue and depends, among other things, on age, health status and diagnosed diseases. Polish standards indicate that an adult should take 2000 IU per day. The requirement in autumn and winter increases to 4000 IU.

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Sources

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. See all .

Asif, A., & Farooq, N. (2022). Vitamin D Toxicity. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557876/

Graidis, S., Papavramidis, T. S., & Papaioannou, M. (2021). Vitamin D and Acute Kidney Injury: A Two-Way Causality Relation and a Predictive, Prognostic, and Therapeutic Role of Vitamin D. Frontiers in Nutrition, 7, 630951. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2020.630951

Grant, W. B., Al Anouti, F., & Moukayed, M. (2020). Targeted 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration measurements and vitamin D3 supplementation can have important patient and public health benefits. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 74(3), 366-376. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-020-0564-0

Marcinowska-Suchowierska, E., Kupisz-Urbańska, M., Łukaszkiewicz, J., Płudowski, P., & Jones, G. (2018). Vitamin D Toxicity-A Clinical Perspective. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 9, 550. https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2018.00550

Sizar, O., Khare, S., Goyal, A., & Givler, A. (2022). Vitamin D Deficiency. In StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532266/

Tebben, P. J., Singh, R. J., & Kumar, R. (2016). Vitamin D-Mediated Hypercalcemia: Mechanisms, Diagnosis, and Treatment. Endocrine Reviews, 37(5), 521-547. https://doi.org/10.1210/er.2016-1070

Zadka, K., Pałkowska-Goździk, E., & Rosołowska-Huszcz, D. (2018). The State of Knowledge about Nutrition Sources of Vitamin D, Its Role in the Human Body, and Necessity of Supplementation among Parents in Central Poland. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(7), 1489. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071489

Zimmer, M., Sieroszewski, P., Oszukowski, P., Huras, H., Fuchs, T., & Pawłosek, A. (2020). Recommendations of the Polish Society of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians for supplementation in pregnant women. Practical Gynaecology and Perinatology, 5(4), Article 4.

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Meet the team
Nina Wawryszuk - Author

Natu.Care Editor

Nina Wawryszuk specialises in sports supplementation, strength training and psychosomatics. On a daily basis, in addition to writing articles for Natu.Care, as a personal trainer she helps athletes improve their performance through training, diet and supplementation.

Marta Kaczorek - Reviewed by

Clinical nutritionist

Verified by an expert

Clinical nutritionist and personal trainer in the process of qualifying as a health coach.

Michael Tomaszewski - Edited by

Editor

Michael Tomaszewski

Graduate of Journalism and Artes Liberales at the University of Warsaw. Since 2017, he has been working with the biggest portals in Poland and abroad as an editor. Previously worked for 3 years in one of the leading pharmaceutical companies - he knows the health and beauty industry inside out. In his free time, he most enjoys playing tennis or skiing.

Ludwig Jelonek - Fact-checking

Natu.Care Editor

Ludwik Jelonek is the author of more than 2,500 texts published on leading portals. His content has found its way into services such as Ostrovit and Kobieta Onet. At Natu.Care, Ludwik educates people in the most important area of life - health.

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