Finding the Vitamin Goldilocks Dose: How Much Is Too Much Vitamin D?
Did you know that nearly 40% of Americans have vitamin D deficiency? That's not a good thing because a deficiency in vitamin D is usually associated with depression, schizophrenia, and even prostate cancer.
People can fight the lack of vitamin D by taking it as a supplement. However, having too much vitamin D in your body is a bad thing as well, so how much is too much? Although the research on vitamin D is still not completely conclusive, there are a few recommendations made by scientists and experts. Keep reading to find out more about vitamin D and how much of it can be toxic.
What Is the Recommended Dose of Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is an essential substance in everyone's body. You can take most of it from direct sunlight, but also from various foods and beverages such as egg yolks, cheese, beef liver, mackerel, orange juice, and more. A lot of people also take vitamin D supplements on a regular basis.
When it comes to the recommended doses of vitamin D, specialists say that you should take between 400 and 800 IU of vitamin D per day. That's sufficient for most adults and it will prevent serious diseases such as cancer, depression, etc. If you're taking vitamin D supplements, look on the label and see if your daily serving meets the recommended dosage.
How Much Vitamin D Is Too Much?
Taken in high amounts for a long period of time, vitamin D can become toxic. That's because unlike the other types of vitamins which are water-soluble, vitamin D is fat-soluble. This means that excess vitamin D cannot be excreted outside the body through urine. It remains stored inside fat layers and over time, it can accumulate and create toxicity.
The average levels of vitamin D in the blood are as follows:
- Anything above 150ng/mL of blood is toxic
- Around 60ng/mL of blood is the safe upper limit. Doctors recommend that you shouldn't go above that.
- Around 25ng/mL is the safest level of vitamin D in the blood.
You can find out how much vitamin D is in your body by taking a simple blood test. Your doctor will inform you whether you're deficient in vitamin D or not. Make sure that you don’t begin supplementation with vitamin D unless you have spoken with your doctor first.
What Happens If You Have Too Much Vitamin D?
As mentioned earlier, vitamin D accumulates over time as it's stored in the fat cells of your body. It's important to mention that some people might never develop symptoms, even if they have a lot of vitamin D in their bodies. However, when symptoms do occur, they're quite visible and they might cause great discomfort for the person in question.
For example, vitamin D toxicity can lead to hypercalcemia. This is characterized by an excessive amount of calcium in the body. Too much calcium can put a lot of stress on the kidneys as these organs will constantly struggle to eliminate it through urine. Symptoms of hypercalcemia include nausea, vomiting, constipation, and headaches.
At the same time, too much vitamin D can also cause an abnormal heart rhythm, confusion, and weakness in various individuals. To prevent such symptoms, make sure that you never exceed taking more than 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day. If you're supplementing, remember that you will take some vitamin D from the sun and your diet as well, so your supplementation dosage should be smaller than the recommended dosage.
Important Things to Know About Vitamin D
Since you will be taking a lot of vitamin D from sunlight during warm seasons, it's a good idea to reduce your supplementation of vitamin D in these months. This will prevent a buildup of vitamin D in the body and it lowers to chances of reaching vitamin D toxicity.
However, people with dark-skin pigmentation shouldn't reduce their supplementation with this vitamin. That's because a darker skin considerably reduces the absorption of vitamin D. This is probably the reason why so many African-American men have a deficiency of vitamin D which can lead to prostate cancer.
At the same time, using sunscreen during the summer can also reduce the absorption of vitamin D. Ideally, people should expose themselves to mild sunlight until 11 am and then after16 pm. This will prevent the hot sunlight from causing burns or skin cancer. If you want to wear sunscreen to protect the skin, make sure that you use it during the first stages of sun exposure, not all the time.
Why Is Vitamin D so Important?
An increasing body of scientific knowledge reveals that vitamin D is crucial for a plethora of bodily functions. For example, it facilitates the absorption of calcium and without sufficient vitamin D, you can develop fragile bones and osteoporosis. Vitamin D also plays a vital role in the immune function, protecting you from diseases and illnesses.
Another benefit of vitamin D is optimizing muscle function. An adequate amount of this vitamin allows your muscles to move freely and remain flexible. Vitamin D also helps to carry nerve messages between the brain and your muscles. That's why people who have too little vitamin D in their bodies are predisposed to various issues with the nervous system. Check out this article to learn more about the benefits of vitamin d3.
As you can see, you need to get an optimal amount of vitamin Di n the body, but without exceeding the maximum dosage. If you have a vitamin D deficiency already, it might take months of supplementation until you reach healthy blood levels of vitamin D.
Now You Know How Much Vitamin D Is Too Much!
Hopefully, this article acted as an eye-opener for you and now you know how much is too much when it comes to vitamin D. Make sure that you speak with your healthcare provider to determine if you need to start vitamin D supplementation or not.
In the meantime, explore the other articles on our website to learn more about vitamins and how to improve your health!