One of the most common issues I see with my clients is over-supplementing with vitamin D. While some people have vitamin D levels that are too low and keeping your vitamin D at a healthy level is crucial for good health, more is not always better with vitamin D. Striving to get your vitamin D as high as you can is not a good strategy for healthy bones.
Taking over 10,000 IU per day of vitamin D can result in hypercalcemia, which is too much calcium in the blood. Hypercalcemia is a serious condition that you want to avoid. I find people taking multiple supplements containing D or using a liquid vitamin D supplement and not dosing it correctly. This results in an intake of way too much D.
Some studies have found that people with the highest levels of vitamin D, like those with too low levels, tend to have more bone fractures, fall more often, and die sooner than people with lower, but adequate levels. Extremely high levels have been associated with some very serious side effects.
The Institute of Medicine determined that the majority of Americans and Canadians are getting enough vitamin D with only 6% of the US population truly deficient in D and 13% at risk of inadequacy.
When you have your vitamin D level measured at a lab they generally show a “reference or standard range”. These numbers do NOT indicate the range recommended by the Institute of Medicine but are based on levels the lab found in 95% of the healthy population. You do not want to strive to be at the top range level which is often 100 ng/mL and too high for current recommendations for a healthy vitamin D level.
If you have osteoporosis, or are at risk of osteoporosis, be sure you know what your vitamin D level is. You may need to work with a Dietitian to assure the best vitamin D level for you and what supplement level, if any, is best for you. Overweight people and people with darker skin may have different needs. If your vitamin D level is low then you need to supplement at one level until it normalizes and then adjust your dosage down to a maintenance level once normalized.
posted on 3/10/2023