Vitamin D is popular as the sunshine vitamin, mainly for the way it is created. To be more precise, when we expose our skin to direct sunlight, our skin starts the synthesis of vitamin D. The recommended daily dose of vitamin D is not too high, and it is interesting that once our skin absorbs enough vitamin D from the sun, the synthesis stops, and although we remain exposed additional amounts are not created. It is usually enough to spend around 15 minutes on the sun to get enough vitamin D. And in this way we are not at risk of developing vitamin D toxicity. However, this is not the case with the use of vitamin D supplements. This condition is known as hypervitaminosis D.
If you wonder if you can experience vitamin D toxicity from food, you are wrong. Although there are foods rich in vitamin D, the amount they contain is not enough to cause toxicity symptoms. The only exception is cod-liver oil. Overdose generally occurs in people who have to take vitamin D supplements as part of their treatment for diseases like, rickets, osteomalacia and other diseases affecting the bones. On the other hand, as we get older, our skin loses the ability to synthesize vitamin D from the sun. It also applies for people with darker skin pigmentation.
Let’s take a look at the recommended daily doses of vitamin D.
• children and adults – 600IU/day
• older people – 800IU/day
In order to experience vitamin D toxicity a person will have to take extremely high doses 10,000-40,000IU every day for a longer period of time. However, the symptoms will not appear immediately, and also the symptoms depend on the person. For some people smaller amounts will trigger the symptoms while other will feel no symptoms with the same and even higher doses.
The Symptoms of Vitamin D Toxicity
Commonly, the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity cause many problems with the lungs, kidneys, urinary tract, muscles, bones and the nervous system.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, and it is stored in the fat cells of our body. As time goes, and high doses are regularly taken, it accumulates and reaches to the dangerous levels which result in toxicity symptoms. The good thing is that vitamin D toxicity can be treated, usually with steroids. However, the treatment must be prescribed by a doctor. This is the best way to eliminate the symptoms associated with this condition.