You’ve most likely heard concerning the significance of vitamin D (additionally referred to as calciferol) all through your life, partially as a result of probably the greatest methods to get it’s by solar publicity. For many years now, indoor children the world over have been chased exterior as a result of they “need to go get some vitamin D.”

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But you may additionally have heard that it’s additionally potential to get an excessive amount of vitamin D. So, is that this the second the place these of us preferring to bask within the glow of a TV display screen lastly get our revenge? No, not precisely. Vitamin D deficiency is an actual downside in lots of components of the world, and many people might profit from taking vitamin D dietary supplements, typically, alongside vitamin Ok.

And but, an excessive amount of of factor — together with dietary supplements — tends to interrupt unhealthy.

Functional medication specialist Melissa Young, MD, explains what occurs when you’ve got an excessive amount of vitamin D in your system, and why we so usually take nutritional vitamins D and Ok collectively.

Spoiler alert: The conclusion is identical as each different article you’ve ever examine dietary supplements: You shouldn’t take them with out speaking to a healthcare supplier first.

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. It:

  • Promotes the absorption of calcium
  • Regulates bone development.
  • Strengthens your immune system.

Vitamin D works in tandem with calcium to fortify your bones.

Your pores and skin manufactures the vitamin after publicity to the solar’s ultraviolet rays. Plenty of individuals nonetheless spend their workdays outside, however, as Dr. Young places it, “We are an indoor society now, and unlike our ancestors, we wear clothing and sunscreen.”

The regular vary of 25-hydroxy vitamin D is measured as nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). Many specialists advocate a degree between 20 and 40 ng/mL. Others advocate a degree between 30 and 50 ng/mL.

Many Americans are poor in vitamin D — one thing healthcare suppliers are in a position to decide by a normal blood take a look at. The take a look at measures your serum complete 25-hydoxivitamin D, also referred to as a 25(OH)D, with outcomes quantified by nanograms per milliliter, or ng/mL. You’re thought-about vitamin D poor in case your 25(OH)D degree is lower than 31 ng/mL.

Most Americans’ vitamin D ranges are between 20 and 29 ng/mL, which qualifies as poor. Most suppliers advocate utilizing dietary supplements to carry these ranges as much as at the very least 31 ng/mL, ideally larger. Dr. Young goals for a degree between 40 and 50.  

Wondering when you’re vitamin D poor? Dr. Young suggests getting your blood examined and — in case your supplier thinks you want it — taking vitamin D3 dietary supplements. You ought to see your supplier each three months till you attain regular vitamin D blood ranges. According to Dr. Young, that normally takes three to 6 months.

After that, checkups yearly must be superb, until you’ve gotten sure medical situations like malabsorption (which impacts your absorption of dietary supplements) or osteoporosis. In these circumstances, it is perhaps extra essential to test your blood ranges extra continuously to make sure they’re optimum.

While there are nonetheless a variety of unanswered questions concerning the position vitamin D performs in our our bodies, Dr. Young’s scientific expertise is constructive: “I see significant improvement in patients’ pain, mood and quality of life with vitamin D supplementation.”

So, how have you learnt if you’re overdoing it on the vitamin D dietary supplements?

How a lot vitamin D per day do I want?

The beneficial day by day allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is decided by age, organic intercourse and whether or not or not you’re pregnant and/or lactating, however the National Institutes of Health recommends everyone get someplace between 400 and 800 worldwide models (IU) of vitamin D per day.

Age Male Female Pregnancy/Lactation
0–12 months 10 mcg (400 IU) 10 mcg (400 IU)  
1–13 years 15 mcg (600 IU) 15 mcg (600 IU)  
14–18 years 15 mcg (600 IU) 15 mcg (600 IU) 15 mcg (600 IU)
19–50 years 15 mcg (600 IU) 15 mcg (600 IU) 15 mcg (600 IU)
51–70 years 15 mcg (600 IU) 15 mcg (600 IU)  
>70 20 mcg (800 IU) 20 mcg (800 IU)  

But when you take a look at D3 dietary supplements on-line, you’ll see that the majority business dietary supplements have larger doses — normally both 1,000, 2,000, 5,000 or 10,000 IU.

There even are some dietary supplements accessible by on-line retailers that declare to comprise 20,000–50,000 IU of vitamin D. Unless you’ve gotten a extreme vitamin D deficiency and are being prescribed doses that top, taking that amount of vitamin D each day with out your supplier’s approval could also be harmful to your well being.

It’s not a good suggestion to imagine {that a} complement producer has your greatest pursuits in thoughts. For that motive, you must discuss to your supplier about one of the best complement to take, and the suitable dose on your particular wants.

The debate about vitamin D

It’s essential to notice that newer studies query the advantages of vitamin D dietary supplements for the prevention and survival from illnesses in older adults. Those research likewise question the wisdom of routine screening for vitamin D deficiency. As analysis continues, suggestions round vitamin D testing and supplementation might change.

How a lot vitamin D is an excessive amount of?

How a lot vitamin D an individual ought to take is determined by how vital their deficiency is. In circumstances of extreme vitamin D deficiency, your supplier might prescribe a short-term course of very high-dose capsules or injections. They’ll additionally monitor you to verify your blood ranges return to a standard vary.

If your vitamin D ranges are less-than-ideal, however aren’t under the 31 ng/mL mark, they’ll possible counsel you’re taking an over-the-counter vitamin D3 complement.

“I check vitamin D levels on most patients to know if they need supplementation,” says Dr. Young.

If you’re experiencing particular signs like melancholy, your supplier might encourage you to take as much as 4,000 IU (worldwide models) of vitamin D per day.

Symptoms of an excessive amount of vitamin D

Vitamin D blood ranges turn into an issue after they strategy 100 ng/mL. And it’s solely potential to exceed 100 ng/mL by over-supplementation. In reality, there’s a reputation for it: Hypervitaminosis D.

Vitamin D helps our our bodies take in calcium — in different phrases, they work as a staff.

If you’ve gotten hypervitaminosis D, they’re working too effectively.

If you’ve gotten an excessive amount of vitamin D in your blood, it’ll trigger further calcium absorption. This, in flip, can result in signs like muscle ache, temper issues, belly ache, frequent urination and kidney stones.

Supplements are the one reason for vitamin D toxicity

It’s essential to notice that our our bodies are sensible. When it involves vitamin D, they’re normally good at retaining issues in test. We don’t get an amazing quantity of vitamin D from meals, and our our bodies regulate the quantity of vitamin D they get by solar publicity.

Put merely: If you’re wholesome and aren’t taking a complement, you aren’t in danger for vitamin D toxicity.

What is vitamin Ok?

I wager you’re questioning how vitamin Ok matches into this image. Let’s first begin with what it’s. Vitamin Ok:

  • Helps your blood clot.
  • Aids in wound therapeutic.
  • May assist hold your bones wholesome.

You can get vitamin Ok from leafy inexperienced greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, avocado, tuna and soybeans.

Unlike vitamin D, most individuals get all of the vitamin Ok they want from their eating regimen. Any further vitamin Ok you get is saved in your liver, so it’s pretty uncommon to be vitamin Ok poor.

If you go complement searching, you’ll most likely discover that a variety of corporations promote dietary supplements that mix D3 and K2. While not conclusive, the science we have to date means that vitamin Ok has to come back alongside for the trip. The concept is that it’s the third wheel that retains vitamin D and calcium from getting as much as any humorous enterprise: A 2020 review article in Nutrients discovered that vitamin Ok helps stops vascular calcification from progressing.

In 2009, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) launched an opinion stating, “a cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of vitamin K and the maintenance of normal bone and normal blood coagulation.” They stopped wanting saying that vitamin Ok advantages the guts and blood vessels. It’s additionally essential to notice that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t adopted go well with. As far as they’re involved, the jury’s nonetheless out.

How a lot vitamin Ok is an excessive amount of?

When it involves vitamin Ok, we don’t actually understand how a lot is an excessive amount of. Because nothing may be easy on the web, a fast search will present you that researchers are nonetheless debating the existence of vitamin Ok toxicity.

If vitamin Ok toxicity exists, it’s uncommon, however probably critical. Why? Because vitamin Ok might negatively work together with different medicines you’re taking. For instance, vitamin Ok helps your blood to clot, so you must undoubtedly not take it when you’re on a blood thinner akin to warfarin (Coumadin®).

At this level, one of the best individual to ask is your healthcare supplier. Whether or not vitamin Ok supplementation is sensible for you is determined by many alternative elements — and a supplier is in one of the best place to do a correct threat/profit evaluation.


Vitamin and mineral dietary supplements could be a good factor. But excessive doses can negate their well being advantages — and even pose well being dangers. You’re more than likely to learn from taking nutritional vitamins D and Ok when you arm your self with details about your physique, what it wants and what it may do with out. The solely one that may help you establish that’s — you guessed it — a healthcare supplier.

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