Vitamin D is important for the immune system, muscles, and cell growth. It reduces inflammation, and also helps regulate blood pressure, and is known to protect the heart. Calcium will be absorbed only in the presence of Vitamin D thus plays a major role in calcium metabolism. Vitamin D is an essential need of the body, hence less intake leads to deficiency, and more leads to toxicity. In this article, Meenaz Ahmed, Consultant Nutritionist and Dietitian at Motherhood Hospitals, Banashankari, Bangalore explains the health hazards of overdoing vitamin D intake.
What is vitamin D toxicity?
Vitamin D also is known as sun vitamin is one of the fat-soluble vitamins that is essential for the proper functioning of the body. Vitamin D is often associated with calcium building and this can be taken through vitamin D nutrients in food, sun, and supplements. It plays a crucial role in maintaining the healthy functioning of body cells. People who feel deficient in the nutrient often opt for supplements to meet the daily body requirements. This process of piling up of nutrients leads to vitamin D toxicity or hypervitaminosis D which is caused due to high intake of Vitamin D supplement. This toxicity happens when blood levels rise above 150 mg/ml because the vitamin is stored in body fat and released into the bloodstream slowly. This should be noted that toxicity isn’t common and occurs almost exclusively in people who take long-term, high-dose supplements without monitoring their blood levels.
What Are The Side Effects of Too Much Vitamin D?
Some of the health hazards of overdoing vitamin intake as explained by the nutritionist are:
Nausea and vomiting
These are the most common symptoms of Vitamin D toxicity. Due to increased calcium level in the blood, vomiting and nausea are experienced. However, these aren’t common with every person.
Elevated calcium levels in the blood
Excessive vitamin D in the body also leads to excessive calcium. This causes deposition of calcium on tissues and skin. Not just that, it also negatively affects the bones. Thus, increased calcium in the blood leads to high blood pressure or hypertension, bone loss, kidney damage, fatigue, and dizziness.
Vitamin D helps in calcium metabolism which is necessary for essential bone health. But too much intake of Vitamin D nutrient in the body can lead to low levels of vitamin K2 in the blood. Vitamin K2 plays a major role in maintaining bone health, so it’s important Vitamin D supplement should be taken in a normal amount.
Our kidneys take care of the excretion process to eliminate the waste from the body. Overdose of vitamin D affects kidney functions and causes them to work harder. If this continues for long, the risk of kidney failure increases. Thus, you must not have excess vitamin D. Besides, watch out for the signs that your body gives of deteriorating kidney health.
Stomach pain, constipation, or diarrhoea
These are common digestive complaints that are often related to food intolerances or irritable bowel syndrome. These problems can also because of elevated calcium levels in the blood.
Vitamin D is extremely important for your overall health, however, any nutrient that is consumed in excess or less is harmful to our body. It’s important to consider natural sources like the sun and foods while consuming Vitamin D. But if there is a deficiency then you might require supplements. However, it is necessary to consult a doctor before taking the supplements and their correct amount of dosage.
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