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How much Vitamin D is too much?

Vitamin D's

It seems like once a week I’m asked the same question.  “So Casey, how much vitamin D should I be taking?  Can I take too much? After all, you sell multiple doses.”  Well, this is true, we do sell multiple doses and also in different forms.  So let me give you a little insight on Vitamin D.

First of all, Vitamin D is arguably the most important vitamin.  400 International Units (IU) is the recommended daily allowance according to the FDA but that number is really outdated.  Quite often, multi-vitamins will only have 400 IU in a capsule simply because there is not enough room in the capsule to add more.  Supplementing your multi-vitamin with extra Vitamin D is a good idea. 

Can you take too much?  Yes.  It’s impossible to overdose on Vitamin D from sunlight, although I’ve had some sunburns that say otherwise.  All Vitamin D overdoses come from supplementation.  See, Vitamin D is fat soluble and gets stored in the liver.  Too much can cause hypercalcemia , or an abundance of calcium in the blood.  This is very rare and blood tests are available to check your Vitamin D level.  In fact, most folks I talk to say their test show low levels of Vitamin D. 

The Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board used to recommend 2000 IU per day.  That was in 1997.  There was some fear of Vitamin D overdose by other organizations but it never really happened.  In fact, it seems like the recommended amount increases by the day. 

New studies show that the healthy adult can safely ingest more than 10,000 IU of Vitamin D a day.  This may sound like a lot but keep in mind that your body can make 10,000 IU of Vitamin D by being exposed to the sun for just 30 minutes.  So ask yourself, do you spend a lot of time in the sun or are you like me and spend your time in an office staring at a computer?  That will help you gauge if there is enough Vitamin D in your multi-vitamin or if you need to supplement it with more. 

If you’re still worried about hypercalcemia, here are some symptoms that may occur:

• Excessive thirst
• Constant need to urinate
• Irregular bowels – constipation or diarrhea
• Abdominal pain
• Nausea
• Lack of appetite

Hypercalcemia is more likely to occur if a healthy adult supplements with 40,000 IU per day for a span of 3 months or more or if you take over 300,000 IU in a single day.  That should ease your worry a bit.  If you’re curious, I am currently taking 5000 IU daily along with my multi-vitamin.  Although, now that we carry a 10,000 IU softgel, I’ll be making the switch just as soon as I run out.

Live Long and Love Life!