Vitamin D is one of the most popular and potentially most necessary dietary supplements on the market today. Vitamin D deficiency is linked with a number of health conditions, including depression, heart disease and prostate cancer. But according to some new research, many people are probably getting too much of the vitamin. And getting too much Vitamin D is linked to health consequences of its own.
The study analyzed survey data of about 40,000 adults, collected between 1999 and 2014. The researchers discovered that there has been a significant elevation in the number of people who take Vitamin D supplements in recent years.
In 1999 and 2000, only 0.3% of people were taking more than 1,00 IU of Vitamin D. In 2013 and 2014, 18% were hitting that benchmark or surpassing it.
The number of people who were taking extremely high doses of the vitamin also spiked. Before 2005, only 0.1% of people took over 4,000 IU of D every day. In 2013 and 2014, that number jumped to 3%.
4,000 IU is considered the uppermost limit of the vitamin a person can take without exposing themselves to health consequences, according to the National Institutes of Health.
According to the study’s authors, taking the vitamin at high volume can lead to some seriously bad long-term consequences. High doses of Vitamin D increase your risk of falling, your risk of fractures, and can lead to kidney stones. High Vitamin D has also been associated with pancreatic and prostate cancer, and generalized increase in premature death.
While it’s still not ironclad, Vitamin D is one of the supplements with the most credible body of evidence supporting its efficacy. But in this particular case, more of a good thing is not better. If you’re superdosing, you’re only creating more problems for yourself.
There is not a consensus regarding what the proper dosage is. The NIH says 600 IU daily is most appropriate, while the Endocrine Society recommends up to 2,000 IU.
If you’re confused as to how much Vitamin D you should be taking, one possible option available to you is to have your doctor test your blood’s vitamin levels. Then, if the doctor deems it advisable, they will suggest an appropriate dose for you to take.
Supplements in general are still hotly contested. Supplements are not subjected to the same quality screening process as medications, and can therefore contain contaminants or inadequate quantities of the advertised compound. There is also sketchy evidence that supplements are effective at all. It comes down to a personal choice.