Oh how we love the sun. Walking in it, sitting it in, lying in it, revelling in its glory. And yes, we take our Vitamin D daily, too. Or at least we should. Or we think we should. That’s why we perked up when a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that people are taking too much vitamin D on a daily basis.
So what’s the deal? Is this a truly bad thing? Yes, it can be.
That’s because some people are taking amounts above the recommended levels, and some are even taking them at levels that could pose a danger to their health. And when it comes to Vitamin D, it’s easy to do.
Why We Love Vitamin D So Much
Research shows that Vitamin D is important for maintaining healthy bones and impacts calcium absorption. It also is likely to play a role in migraine prevention, energy levels, muscle aches, immunity, depression, blood sugar levels and weight loss. Clearly, an important nutrient, especially for women over 35 whose hormone levels are all over the place way too much of the time.
So yes. While the benefits of Vitamin D can’t be disputed, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
What Happens When We Have Too Much Vitamin D
The recommended dietary allowance for Vitamin D for most adults is 600 IU daily, and 800 IU for those over age 70. However, the majority of people do well with 800 – 1200 IU daily of Vitamin D3 (the more active metabolite of D). These levels are safe and allow Vitamin D to do what it needs to do.
Too much Vitamin D can do some real damage. Excessive amounts in the body can cause abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood, soft tissue, or blood vessels if taken above the upper limit of 4,000 IU a day. For some people, excessive levels may also make you sick, sparking all kinds of problems such as:
- kidney stones
How to Use Vitamin D to Your Advantage
Bottom line is that making sure we get just the right amount of vitamin D is important to consider. The fact is, many people are deficient in Vitamin D and need to fill the gap with a supplement. This deficiency is motivated by a couple of important factors:
- It is often due to a lack of direct sun exposure or use of sunscreen. Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin since the sun is a significant source of this nutrient.
- Also, it’s important to note that very few foods naturally contain vitamin D so unless you’re consciously taking stock of what you put in your mouth on a daily basis, you’re unlikely to get enough of this important vitamin in your diet.
At the same time, we need to know when to stop when it comes to Vitamin D so we don’t put our health at risk.
How do you arrive at the right amount of vitamin D for your body? Talk with your doctor about your own health history, lifestyle and age. From there, together you can develop a personalized approach to supplements that safely meets your needs.
Ah, but a little knowledge and leaning on the experts can go a long way.
Doctors Romy Block and Arielle Levitan created Vous Vitamin® to provide people everywhere with quality vitamins suited to their individual needs. They are the authors of the award-winning book The Vitamin Solution: Two Doctors Clear the Confusion About Vitamins and Your Health.