Vitamin D Overdose: Symptoms, Causes, and Health Risks to Know

2023-09-24 20:53:00

Helpful for strengthening bones, strong muscles and an intact immune system – Vitamin D has a good reputation. But the health-promoting effect can be reversed if you permanently consume too much vitamin D.

When will this happen? Vitamin D overdose can come and with which ones Symptoms You can find out what those affected have to expect here.

Vitamin D: What functions it fulfills in the body

Vitamin D fulfills a variety of functions for the human body. The most famous of them: It supports bone metabolismso that Build-up and breakdown of bone substance. The hormone particularly promotes the absorption of various minerals and their subsequent incorporation into the bones.

In addition, vitamin D is involved in the following tasks:

Support various Metabolic processes
formation of proteins
Control multiple Gene

Vitamin D is vital for the human body for several reasons, primarily for the bones. Both a deficiency and an overdose can have serious consequences.

Overdose of vitamin D: dietary supplements as a cause

Vitamin D is considered Sunshine vitamin – and not without reason: every person forms it when they are exposed to sunlight. But this, the natural, route cannot lead to an overdose. The body has a kind of protective mechanism that kicks in as soon as there is enough vitamin D in the body. And such a consequence can also be ruled out through diet – for example, frequent eating of fatty sea fish.

Die Cause of too much vitamin D lies alone in the nutritional supplements, through which vitamin can also be absorbed. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) even warns about the health risks that can come with taking vitamin D supplements on your own. Higher dosages should only be taken under medical supervision and taking into account the individual vitamin D status, says a current statement from the institute. How serious the consequences of a vitamin D overdose can be has been shown again and again. The most recent example is a man from Great Britain who had to be hospitalized with kidney damage, nausea and vomiting.

Anyone who wants to take vitamin D on their own should only use preparations with a daily dose of up to 20 micrograms (800 international units). “With this amount, health problems are not to be expected.” With a – not medically justified – regular daily use Absorption of vitamin D above high-dose preparations rises to that BfR according to that Risk of damage to health such as the formation of kidney stones or kidney calcification. There are also cases of acute kidney failure as a result of uncontrolled self-taking of vitamin D preparations. In addition, many vitamin D supplements ineffective and even harmful are.

Symptoms of vitamin D overdose

To the recorded Vitamin D The body needs to be able to process and store calcium. If the vitamin D level is increased, more calcium is absorbed from food and released from the bones. A large part of the symptoms of a vitamin D overdose are due to these increased calcium blood levels attributed (hyper-calcemia). These are them Symptoms of vitamin D overdose:

Nausea and vomiting
Loss of appetite
extreme thirst (polydipsia)
increased urination (polyuria)
Feeling of weakness
Kidney stones and kidney damage up to kidney failure
Stomach cramps

Looking at the symptoms, we choose between one acute and one chronic vitamin D overdose differentiated. Serious consequences such as kidney failure or kidney damage only occur after a longer period of increased intake. An acute overdose is when you take too much vitamin D once. To determine an overdose, the blood level controlled. If you are unsure whether you have consumed too much vitamin D, you should check with yours Family doctor put in touch.

In the course of Corona-Pandemics There were always recommendations for taking Vitamin D preparations on the Internet. It could protect against infection or at least against a severe course, it was said. The BfR However, warns against taking vitamin D preventatively for this purpose. At Covid-19 However, the data situation is currently still uncertain. In particular, it has not yet been shown that people who are well supplied with vitamin D benefit from additional vitamin D administration. “A general recommendation to take vitamin D supplements to prevent one Sars-CoV-2-Infection or a severe course of Covid-19 disease cannot currently be justified,” the institute said.

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Vitamin D deficiency: For whom it makes sense to take it

Although vitamin D is not a “real” vitamin because it can only be absorbed to a limited extent through food, it still plays an important role in the body. For example, a vitamin D deficiency can cause the bones to soften and decalcify. Muscle weakness, bone pain and a reduction in physical strength can result. People who produce too little vitamin D can also develop the disease osteoporosis. This causes bone mass to break down – the bones become brittle. Older people are particularly affected by this disease.

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For this reason we recommend this BfR also a general vitamin D intake of up to 20 micrograms per day nursing home residents and –residents.

“Vitamin D is formed in the skin under the influence of sunlight. However, many older people rarely exercise outdoors.” In addition, vitamin D production decreases significantly with age. In the worst case scenario, a severe vitamin D deficiency can be fatal.

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For further reading:

with dpa

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