Dangers of Excess Vitamin D to Watch Out for

Vitamin D is needed by the body to maintain healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. However, excess vitamin D can cause various health problems.

Vitamin D is a type of fat-soluble vitamin, and functions to help the body absorb calcium and phosphorus. In addition, vitamin D is also known to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, control infection, and reduce inflammation.

The recommended vitamin D requirement for adults is 15 micrograms or about 600 IU. If not met, a person will experience a vitamin D deficiency which has the potential to cause various health problems such as osteomalacia.

Vitamin D is formed in the skin with the help of sunlight. In addition, vitamin D intake can be obtained from food or supplements. Foods rich in vitamin D include salmon, egg yolks, and red meat. However, these foods are generally only sufficient for about 140 IU of daily vitamin D needs.

In order to always meet your vitamin D needs, it is recommended that you get sun exposure between 10 am and 3 pm, and take vitamin D supplements if necessary.

However, excess vitamin D due to the consumption of supplements that do not match the dosage can also have harmful effects on the health of the body.

Dangers of Vitamin D Excess

There are several dangers posed if you have an excess of vitamin D, including:

1. Hypercalcemia


Excess vitamin D can cause hypercalcemia. Hypercalcemia is a condition in which the level of calcium in the blood is above average, or higher than 10.8 mg/dL. There are several symptoms of hypercalcemia, including:

1. No appetite
2. Constipation
3. Headache
4. Dehydration
5. Fatigue
6. High blood pressure
7. Depression

This hypercalcemia can occur when a person takes high doses of vitamin D for a long period of time. If not treated immediately, this condition can be life-threatening.

2. Disorders of the bones

Consumption of vitamin D is indeed beneficial for bone strength. However, consuming high doses of vitamin D can actually cause bone disorders.

Research shows that the higher the dose of vitamin D consumed, the higher the risk of fracture. This is because excess vitamin D can interfere with the work of vitamin K2, which helps maintain calcium in the bones, causing bones to lose their density.

3. Kidney damage

Kidney damage

Excess vitamin D can cause kidney problems. This is because the consumption of vitamin D in high doses will increase the absorption of calcium, thus causing the formation of kidney stones. In addition, excess vitamin D is also known to cause permanent kidney damage or kidney failure.

4. Digestive system disorders

Hypercalcemia that occurs due to excess vitamin D can cause various digestive disorders. It is usually characterized by nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and constipation.

digestive system

A study showed that taking vitamin D3 supplements of more than 50,000 IU for 3 months can cause diarrhea and abdominal pain. These symptoms subsided after taking vitamin D3 supplements was stopped.

5. Mental health disorders

Not only physically, but excess vitamin D can also affect a person’s mental condition. Symptoms include depression, anxiety, and confusion, or even coma. A person’s mental condition will improve along with a decrease in calcium levels in the body.

This excess vitamin D usually occurs if you take high doses of vitamin D supplements, not from sun exposure or food. Therefore, make sure the consumption of vitamin D supplements is according to your daily needs, not more than 100 micrograms (4,000 IU) for adults.

In fact, eating foods rich in vitamin D and getting at least 15 minutes of sun exposure a day is enough to meet your daily vitamin D needs.

However, if your condition does not allow you to get vitamin D naturally, you should first consult with your doctor before taking vitamin D supplements. Later, the doctor will determine the dose of vitamin D supplements according to your health condition.

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