Can You Get Too Much Vitamin D?
Have you wondered how much vitamin D is too much? Even though it is rare, it can happen. Overdosing from vitamin D usually occurs from excess consumption of vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D is extremely important for your health. However, most people don’t get enough of it in their system. Hence the supplementation…
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is responsible for bone health, strong muscles, heart health, healthy lungs and brain, etc. Your main source of the vitamin is sunlight, but you can also get it from supplementation or foods you eat.
What makes it so unique is that your body creates its own vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Unlike other vitamins that you can only find in food, only small amounts of this can be found in foods you eat, sunlight being the number one source.
“The vitamin D that you get in your skin from sunlight, and the vitamin D from supplements, has to be changed by your body a number of times before it can be used. Once it’s ready, your body uses it to manage the amount of calcium in your blood, bones and gut and to help cells all over your body to communicate properly.” – vitamindcouncil.org.
Another reason why this vitamin is so unique is because your body transforms it into a hormone called calcitriol which helps with bone health. This happens because it helps the absorption of calcium and phosphorus which are responsible for maintaining healthy and strong bones.
Benefits of Vitamin D
Making sure you get enough sunlight in your body is important to reap its benefits. These are a lot more varied from just bone health:
Reduces Rheumatoid Arthritis
Vitamin D can help reduce rheumatoid arthritis by reducing inflammation. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis can benefit greatly from being outdoors in the sunshine. Studies have shown that vitamin D can help balance inflammation by regulating proinflammatory cells. Patients who suffer from this condition can see improvements in swollen joints, morning stiffness, joint pain, all by increasing levels of this vitamin in their system.
It affects how the body processes glucose. This is because of inflammation that can happen due to the lack of this vitamin. This inflammation can hinder the body’s ability to produce insulin. Studies have shown that diet isn’t the only factor to diabetes, lack of sunlight and vitamin absorption can also have a severe impact in the disease.
Immune System and Respiratory Tract
Vitamin D triggers the cells in the body that seek out and destroy invading bacteria and viruses. This boost of the immune system can have positive effects to your respiratory tract. Numerous studies show its benefits for preventing both colds and flu.
This vitamin can be helpful preventing cancer. This is mainly due to calcitriol, a hormone that slows down cancer cells growth, preventing possible metastases and reducing cell proliferation.
How much is too much?
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, and unlike water soluble vitamins, your body has a harder time flushing it out of your system. Usually what ends up happening is, if you get too much of it your body will simply store it. This however can lead to some toxic side effects.
The recommended daily dosage is around 600 to 800 IU (international units) according to US standards. However, recent studies have shown that we may need more than that. A range between 1000-4000 IU is a safe consumption and can help you achieve a good blood level of the vitamin.
Any consumption over 4000 IU daily is considered too much.
Side effects of too much vitamin D
The main side effect of vitamin D toxicity is a buildup of calcium in the blood, called hypercalcemia. This condition causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation and weakness as its main symptoms.
However, it can also develop into high blood pressure, calcification in the kidney tubes, kidney failure, excessive thirst and an altered level of consciousness.
Since this is a fat soluble vitamin, when you consume too much of it through supplementation your body stores it. This way it can take a while for your body to return to healthy levels of it.
How to flush it out of your system?
This vitamin has a half-life of around 15 days. This means that if you are feeling any symptoms of too much vitamin D you can easily lower it by:
Stop taking supplements.
If you have been taking a supplement stop for now until the symptoms subside. Consider taking a supplement with a lower level of the vitamin in it, if you do want to still take a supplement after you do a detox.
Bear in mind, if you are taking a multivitamin, these usually contain the amount of it you need so you may want to stop taking these as well.
Avoid all foods that may contain vitamin D
This is easy, since there aren’t many foods that are high in it. However, here are a few examples of what you should stay away from: cod liver oil, mushrooms, fatty fish like salmon, and eggs.
Avoid being exposed to the sun around noon
Your skin produces vitamin D when you are exposed to the sun. Therefore, to lower your
levels of this vitamin, you should try to stay indoors at least during midday hours.
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Welcome to Stachio! I'm Maria, and I've created a website dedicated to all topics revolving a healthier and better lifestyle. A tribute to all beautiful things in life. Here you can find anything from health and self-care tips, to nutrition and fitness. My goal is to inspire and motivate you to achieve greater things. Join me as we uncover the steps to a better future !
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