Vitamin D is an essential nutrient needed in the body to promote strong bones. It is a group of fat-soluble prohormones, which aids in the absorption and metabolism of calcium and phosporous. There are 5 forms of vitamin D, namely, D1, D2, D3, D4, D5. But the most commonly needed in the human body are D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D also helps in a normal nerve and muscle function.
Vitamin D is commonly acquired from a sun exposure, food supplements, and other products induced with vitamin D. Some of the vitamin D foods are fatty fishes such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, mushrooms. Most of the milk in found in stores are fortified with vitamin D, but products made from milk are not fortified. Vitamin D is also added in many brands of cereals, orang juices, yogurt, margarine, and soy beverages.
Vitamin D deficiency in your body can increase the risk of bone weakening diseases such as osteoporosis, osteomalacia and osteopenia. With all other syntheic drugs and other vitamins, an excessive amount of vitamin d in the body could lead to toxicity. The vitamin D toxicity is a result of a single overdose of supplementation or prolonged consumption of vitamin D. When the level of vitamin D raises, the level of calcium in the blood also increases thus leading to a condition known as hypercalcemia. The name refers to elevated levels of calcium in the bloodstream.
So how much vitamin D does your body need? According to Food and Nutrition Board, the amount of vitamin D consumption is reflected in your age. Vitamin D consumption from Birth to 1 year is 400 IU, Children 1 to 13 years is 600 IU, Teens 14 to 18 years is 600 IU, Adults 19 to 70 years is 600 IU, Adults 71 years and older is 800 IU, for pregnant women and breasfeeding mothers is 600 IU.
Consumption above these recommended dosage could lead to a more complicated condition. How do you know you are suffering from vitamin D overdose? Some common symptoms are: Anorexia , Diarrhea, Constipation, Nausea, Vomitting, Bone pain, Drowsiness, Constant headache, irregular heartbeat, loss of appetite, muscle and joint pain, frequent urination, excessive thirst, weakness, nervousness, and itching.
Kidney stones has been associated with vitamin D toxicity. Calcium is one of the most common cause of kidney stones. Excess calcium is secreted in the urine and can form calcium crystals commonly known as kidney stones.
To take a look at some cases of vitamin D overdose, consider some examples. According to a reliable source, twenty people in Massachusetts suffered from the effects of vitamin D overdose. An employee at a local dairy added excess amount of vitamin D in every cup of milk for about 50,000 IU, luckily everyone recovered from the terrific incident.
Another example is a 2 year old boy who was given an ampule of vitamin D, approximately each ampule contained 600,000 IU. He was given four ampules that sum up to 2.4 million IU. The little boy suffered from colic and constipation. He recovered after the improper dosage of vitamin D is stopped.