We generally always talk about the great benefits of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. But it would not be wrong to say that anything in excess can be harmful for the human body as we need nutrients and vitamins in a limited amount which is also called Daily Value Index. So, today we will talk about the side effects of Vitamin D3. But before that lets us learn what Vitamin D3 is?
Vitamin D3 is commonly known as calciol or cholecalciferol. Vitamin D3 is a type of vitamin D mainly used in treating conditions like hypoparathyroidism, rickets, osteoporosis, kidney disorders, hypophosphatemia, etc. Vitamin D3 is a fat soluble vitamin and it helps in absorption of calcium and phosphorus in our body. Vitamin D is made by our body in the skin in the presence of sunlight. It is essential for maintenance of bone health, immune system, muscles health, nervous system and others.
Vitamin D deficiency is very common, according to a report 40% of US adults suffer from vitamin D deficiency and around 1 billion people are affected by its deficiency worldwide. Some of the common factors which can put you at risk of deficiency of vitamin D includes :
● Skin color (melanin amount in skin) is inversely proportional to deficiencyrisk.
● Geographic location
● Exposure to sun
● Other medical conditions
● Obesity and body weight
So, to overcome the deficiency we take vitamin D3 in the form of supplements in our body as tablets, powder, liquid, etc. Due to intake of vitamin D3 in the form of supplements nowadays cases of vitamin D3 toxicity are rising. In some medical conditions, side effects of vitamin D3 intake are reported which include – Congenital/genetic disorders, Granulomatous disorders, Lymphoma, excessive
intake without a proper prescription, misuse of health supplements that contain vitamin D3 too, etc.
That’s why intake of vitamin D3 should be prescribed by nutritionists, wellness coaches, and physicians only. So that they can tell you the amount you need to consume rather than eating supplements blindly. The recommended dose of vitamin D is 600 IU per day for adults under the age of 70 years and 800 IU per day for adults above 70 years. It is learned that up to 400 IU per day is the maximum upper limit for an adult that is allowed by a human body. But people who are ingesting multiple supplements at a time have Vitamin D levels up to 10,000 IU a day.
Side Effects Of Vitamin D3 In Excess (Hypervitaminosis D) :
If the blood level of vitamin D crosses 100 nanograms per mL and is termed as Hypervitaminosis D whereas vitamin D intoxication is defined as serum level above 150 nanograms per mL. The optimum or recommended level of vitamin D is 30 – 60 ng/mL.
● Increased Blood Calcium Levels — this is one of the main side effects of vitamin D3 excess. The most vital role of vitamin D in our body is to help absorb calcium from the food we eat. But if you suffer from hypervitaminosis D or toxicity then you end up suffering from Hypercalcemia which is an increased level of calcium in blood. The normal level of blood calcium is 8.5 – 10.8mg/dL. Hypercalcemia is exhibited by symptoms such as
★ Stomach discomfort, pain, and cramps.
★ fatigue, dizziness, confusion, hallucinations, etc
★ increased frequency of urination.
★ kidney stones, kidney failure.
★ high blood pressure, heart rate disturbance, heart abnormalities, etc.
Hypercalcemia is a very dangerous condition and should be given medical attention as soon as required.—
● Effects On Skeletal System – We all know that for maintaining our skeletal system (bone health) vitamin D3 has significant role. But excess vitamin D3 can lead to fragile bone as bone density decreases in hypervitaminosis D. Due to this reason people with excess vitamin D3 are more prone to fractures.
● Effects On GastroIntestinal System – well the most common side effects of Vitamin D3 toxicity includes Nausea, vomiting, dehydration, constipation, appetite loss and others.
● Renal (Kidney) Complications – as stated before the side effects of vitamin D3 are pretty evident on kidneys. It leads to increased tendency of renal stones especially the calcium stones, kidney damage (calcium deposit in kidney tissue and cells, Nephrocalcinosis) or at times failure too.
● Effects On Nervous System – The main effect of hypervitaminosis D3 on the nervous system is due to hypercalcemia includes lethargy, confusion, disorientation, depression, hypotonia, psychosis, hallucinations, and coma.
How We Can Avoid Hypervitaminosis D3?
The first and foremost thing that any person suffering from hypervitaminosis D3 should do is to stop taking the supplements, as from a normal and well balanced lifestyle hypervitaminosis is not possible.
Our skin produces vitamin D3 in the presence of UV light (present in sunlight). If we are exposed to sunlight for about 15 minutes every day then that is enough for the sufficient amount of vitamin D3 needed by our body along with a good balanced diet which should include food items like fish, egg yolk, cheese, beef liver, etc. Nowadays many food items like juices and dairy are fortified with vitamin D3. These fortified food items are very useful, especially for those who are vegetarian.
Also Read: List Of Foods Rich In Vitamin B2
Vitamin D3 is very essential for our bones, muscles and immune system. But in today’s world of supplements where we all want to achieve a perfect looking body we are ingesting multivitamins without proper guidance and this can prove lethal for us. So, before you buy any supplement do discuss it with your doctor to avoid any Vitamin D3 side effects on your health.