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Monday, May 28, 2012

Vitamin D3 Is Pretty Hard To Overdose On

Just a follow up to my previous post on Vitamin D3 and testosterone. I take 5000IU daily and during the winter months I sometimes take (2) 5000IU liquid jells of a total of 10,000IU. Everything I can read on vitamin D3 indicates the RDA of 600IU was set years ago before any real research into the health benefits of vitamin D3 supplementation and the same research says NO YOUR MULTIPLE VITAMIN does not provide enough.

I only found ONE CASE of vitamin D3 toxicity and that was from a man who took 2,600,000IU of vitamin D3 for two years. I can't imagine how he had time to do anything else except take vitamin D3 and even then, he was treated with just steroids and recovered uneventfully. I am talking about vitamin D3 and NOT vitamin D2 here.

In another study of 2300 Austrian men whose average age was just over 60, only 11% of them had sufficient levels of vitamin D in their blood.


“For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him … But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him.” (Psalm 103:11,17)

Vitamin D3 is pretty darn safe from everything I can find. There appears to be NO danger or worries until and unless you get up over 40,000IU daily for a lengthy period of time.

DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH AS I AM NOT A DOCTOR.I am just a guy with type 2 diabetes who is trying to beat the disease and the side effects and complications of it.


Vitamin D overdose doesn't happen easily

So why are so many people, including some medical doctors, more concerned about vitamin D overdose than they are about vitamin D deficiency?
Perhaps they have read that the RDA for vitamin D is 600 IU (for people up to age 70) and that the safe upper limit is set at 4000 IU daily. What are they supposed to think when they hear vitamin D researchers recommending 5000 IU upwards of vitamin D daily?

It sure sounds like a big dose, doesn't it? Those researchers must be so irresponsible to recommend such a high dosage of vitamin D, when all you need is 600 IU daily!

But 5000 IU happens to be a reasonable dose of vitamin D (from all sources) for an average adult in good health - just enough to meet their daily needs. (See vitamin-D-dosage for your own daily needs.)

And unfortunately, those vitamin-D RDA's and Safe-Upper-Limits have been set at inappropriate levels for years. No wonder so many of us are deficient in vitamin D.

Why should you believe this? Three reasons:

1. Vitamin D from sunlight

Fair-skinned people who spend half an hour on the beach (in a brief costume) in mid-summer manufacture in their skin between 10,000 IU and 20,000 IU of vitamin D3. (Dark-skinned people take longer to get there, but make the same amount in the end.)

The average amount is around 15,000 IU.

The vitamin D3 your skin produces is the very same substance, the identical molecule, to the vitamin D3 you take as a supplement. So when you take a daily dose of 5000 IU of vitamin D3, your body thinks you just took a few minutes of sunshine. (The same cannot be said of vitamin D2, the form of vitamin D usually prescribed by a doctor).

Healthy people cannot become vitamin-D-toxic from any amount of sunshine. So 5000 IU of vitamin D3 cannot be toxic to a healthy person.

In fact it seems unlikely that even a daily dose of 15,000 IU of vitamin D3 from all sources could result in toxicity.

2. Vitamin D blood levels

When an average (176 pound or 80 kg) adult reaches an optimum blood level of vitamin D (50 - 65 ng/ml), he requires about 5000 IU of vitamin D (from all sources) to sustain that blood level.

If he takes less than 5000 IU, (from all sources) his 25(OH)D blood level starts to decline. He is using more than he is obtaining.

So what happens if his vitamin D blood level is below optimum and he takes 5000 IU of vitamin D daily? His blood level will gradually increase, over many weeks or months, until it levels off at around 50 ng/ml - the start of the optimum range.

It levels off because his body is using the same amount as he is taking. But since we are all different in our vitamin D metabolism, yours might reach only 40 ng/ml, or perhaps 60 ng/ml.

This rise in vitamin D blood levels is healthy, and causes no stress to your body.

The lowest blood level at which a proven case of vitamin D toxicity has been recorded in a healthy adult is above 200 ng/ml (that is, over four times higher than the optimum level).

3. Vitamin D toxicity studies

There have been incidents in which people have overdosed on vitamin D, most commonly through industrial accidental exposure, or mistakes made in fortifying food.

Researchers have studied such incidents. In many cases, scientists have determined that these people unknowingly took huge amounts (millions of IU) of vitamin D. Some of them became vitamin D toxic. Others, who were exposed to the same huge doses, suffered no ill-effects and no vitamin D toxicity. Some people are more susceptible to toxic effects from high levels of vitamin D, than others.

From this evidence, researchers concluded that the lowest amount of vitamin D likely to cause toxicity (in the most-susceptible adults) is 40,000 IU every day, taken for several months.

Vitamin D safety

In summary, although it is possible to overdose on vitamin D, there are very large safety margins. A average-sized adult in good health will not overdose on 5,000 IU of vitamin D per day, from all sources.

In fact, he or she probably cannot maintain an optimum blood level of vitamin D while taking less.

Because of the large safety margin, even though someone might take an inappropriate amount of vitamin D3 by mistake, it would have to be a very large overdose - sustained for a long time - to result in toxicity.

All this applies to healthy people. If you are not in good health, and are already under a doctor's care, you should not start supplementing vitamin D without consulting your doctor. There are some conditions which may be adversely affected by high levels of vitamin D. See Side effects of vitamin D.

But they are rare. Most people in poor health will benefit enormously from optimising their vitamin D intake. But just check with your doctor first.

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