Vitamin D Overdose

vitamin d overdose

Vitamin D Overdose


With the recent rise of vitamin D research and raves about it’s “power” to increase weight loss and reduce weight gain, the question arises, is it possible to overdose on the vitamin? The answer is, yes. An overdose of vitamin D, also know as vitamin D toxicity or hypervitaminosis D is a rare. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that our risk of getting too little is more than our risk of getting too much. With that being said, the old adage of “too much of a good thing” should be taken into consideration when taking vitamin D or any other type of supplements.


Causes of Vitamin D Overdose


Hypervitaminosis D or Vitamin D toxicity is Vitamin D toxicity is typically caused by huge doses of vitamin D supplements. Sun exposure is one of the best and most natural forms of vitamin D, however, the body regulates the amount of vitamin D received by the sun, preventing toxicity on it’s own. The same is true from dietary vitamin D. There are a small group of foods that contain, or are fortified with vitamin D. None of them contain large amounts however, and it would be virtually impossible to gain enough vitamin D through these sources to overdose on. Supplements however, taken in mega doses cannot be as easily regulated by the body and can cause this condition.


People who have been treated for this condition have been shown to be taking about 50,000 IU per day of vitamin D for several months beforehand. The RDA of vitamin D for most adults is 600 IU putting that number many times higher. Occasionally doses higher than the RDA can be used to treat vitamin D deficiency, but only under the care of a doctor.


Although vitamin D toxicity is uncommon, people who have health problems such as liver or kidney conditions may also be at higher risk. Taking thiazide-type diuretics can increase risk as well.


Symptoms of Vitamin D Overdose


The primary concern and most life-threatening consequence of vitamin D toxicity is the build up of calcium in your blood also know as hypercalcemia. This can cause symptoms such as:


  • Poor appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Frequent urination
  • Kidney problems


Treatment for Vitamin D Overdose


The treatment for vitamin D overdose is typically just reducing the supplement intake. Occasionally the doctor may order IV fluids, or medications such as corticosteroids or bisphosphonates, which can counteract the affects of the hypercalcimia.




The small chance that you may develop a vitamin D toxicity does in no way outweigh the positive effects that vitamin D has on our bodies, so don’t live in fear of it. Rather, educate yourself and speak to your physician prior to taking any supplement. Changes in age and health conditions can cause changes in the way supplements affect our bodies. The recommended daily allowances set by the FDA are geared towards people who are otherwise healthy, and for someone whose health is compromised the RDA could be too much.




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