What Happens If You Take Too Much Vitamin D?

Aulia Hafisa
Illustration of vitamin D (Shutterstock)
Illustration of vitamin D (Shutterstock) - Vitamin D is essential for the body to maintain healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. However, excess vitamin D can cause various health problems. What happens if you take too much vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a type of fat-soluble vitamin, and functions to help the body absorb calcium and phosphorus. In addition, vitamin D is also known to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, control infection, and relieve inflammation.

The recommended vitamin D requirement for adults is 15 micrograms or around 600 IU. If it is not fulfilled, a person will experience vitamin D deficiency which has the potential to cause various health problems such as osteomalacia. 

Vitamin D is formed in the skin with the help of sunlight. In addition, vitamin D intake can be obtained from food and supplements. Foods that contain vitamin D are salmon, egg yolks, and red meat. However, these foods generally can only provide around 140 IU of daily vitamin D needs.

To meet your vitamin D needs, it is recommended to get sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and take vitamin D supplements if necessary.

However, excess vitamin D due to the consumption of supplements that are not in the appropriate dosage can also have harmful effects on the body's health.

What happens if you take too much vitamin D

Illustration of vitamin D supplement (Pixabay/stevepb)
Illustration of vitamin D supplement (Pixabay/stevepb)

There are several dangers if you take excess vitamin D, including:

1. Hypercalcemia

Excess vitamin D can cause hypercalcemia. Hypercalcemia is a condition in which the level of calcium in the blood is above average, or higher than 10.8 mg/dL. There are several symptoms of hypercalcemia, including:

  • No appetite
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Hypercalcemia can occur when a person takes high doses of vitamin D for a long time.

2. Disorders of the bones

Consuming vitamin D is beneficial for bone strength. However, consuming high doses of vitamin D can actually cause bone disorders.

Research shows that the higher the dose of vitamin D consumed, the higher the risk of fracture because excess vitamin D can interfere with the work of vitamin K2 which helps maintain calcium in the bones, making the bones lose their density.

3. Kidney damage

Excess vitamin D can cause kidney problems because the consumption of high doses of vitamin D will increase the absorption of calcium, thus causing the formation of kidney stones. In addition, excess vitamin D is also known to cause permanent kidney damage or kidney failure.

4. Digestive system disorders

Hypercalcemia that occurs due to excess vitamin D can cause various digestive disorders. This is usually marked by nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and constipation.

A study showed that taking more than 50,000 IU of vitamin D3 supplements for 3 months can cause diarrhea and abdominal pain. These symptoms subsided after taking vitamin D3 supplements was discontinued.

5. Mental health disorders

Not only physically, but excess vitamin D can also affect a person's mental condition. Symptoms include depression, anxiety, confusion, or even coma. A person's mental condition will later improve along with a decrease in calcium levels in the body.

The excess vitamin D usually occurs if you take high doses of vitamin D supplements, not from exposure to sunlight or food. Therefore, make sure to take vitamin D supplements according to your daily needs, no more than 100 micrograms (4,000 IU) for adults.

In fact, consuming foods rich in vitamin D and getting at least 15 minutes of sun exposure a day is enough to meet your daily vitamin D needs.

However, if your condition does not allow you to get vitamin D naturally, you should first consult with your doctor before taking vitamin D supplements. Later, your doctor will determine the dosage of vitamin D supplements according to your health condition.

Tag # too much vitamin d # what happens if you take too much vitamin d # too much vitamin d # excess of vitamin d # health

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