Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin. It can be found in somefood but some quantities of this vitamin are also produced in the skin, afterthe exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D from the food or the skin gets converted to activeform (called calcitriol) in the liver and kidneys. There are several forms ofvitamin D, including ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitaminD3).
Vitamin D is assisting the body absorption of calcium and regulatingthe level of phosphorus in the body.
To experience toxic effects of any vitamin a person shouldtake massive amounts of that vitamin. The condition of vitamin toxicity is alsoknown as hypervitaminosis (vitamin toxicity) and might be caused by the abuseof vitamin supplements, so popular these days. So, vitamin D toxicity is thenhypervitaminosis D.
Recommended daily doses of vitamin D are about 50 microgramsor 2.000 IU (international units) for humans older than 1 year. Toxic effectsof vitamin D are usually caused by the consummation of vitamin D in doses higherthan recommended every day for a month or even more.
Toxicity of Vitamin D
Vitamin D toxicity is most likely to be caused by anexcessive use of prescription vitamin D supplements, especially, if these wereused to treat some medical conditions caused by the lack of the same vitamin (such as rickets).
If you eat food rich in vitamin D, you don’t have to worry,because the body provides mechanisms to avoid vitamin D toxicity. Whatever youeat, it won’t contain so much of vitamin D to cause toxic effects. Also, beingon the sun won’t make you sick from vitamin D hypervitaminosis. About 15 minuteson the sunlight, three times per week, would be enough to provide you withsufficient amounts of vitamin D. You shouldn’t worry, for the body regulatesthe amount of vitamin D produced this way, and there will be no lack nor excessof this vitamin.
Problem with vitamin D is that it doesn’t get excreted fromthe body. The body stores vitamin D in the fat cells and the build-up is whatcan cause toxic effects.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Toxicity
Excessive intake of vitamin D supplements can cause:elevation of calcium in the blood and deposits of both calcium and phosphorus inmany organs, causing heart, kidneys and lung problems. Nausea, vomiting, lossof appetite and weight, accompanied with hypertension can also suggest toxiclevels of vitamin D. Other symptoms include: kidney problems, such a kidneystones and overproduction of urine, but also toxic effects on the unborn baby,if the pregnant woman is overdosed with vitamin D.
There are more problems that might occur with toxic levelsof vitamin D: muscle problem, tiredness, bone pain and bone loss, dehydrationand excessive thirst and also anxiety and bed temper.