Friday, October 23, 2009

What Do You Think of My Vitamin D Supplementation?

I have been doing some reading on Vitamin D supplementation, and recently started taking 1000IU of Vit D. I also get 800IU in my calcium pill and 500IU in my daily Centrum multivitamin. I also take 1000mg of fish oil daily. I am 58 year old male in good general health. What is your opinion about Vit D supplements and the general regimen I have described?    Dave N.

Dear Dave,

I would be interested to know the source of your reading and what it was you read that made you decide to supplement at a level above the daily value. The daily value for vitamin D is 400 IU. You are more than meeting that in your multivitamin, and then getting some more in your calcium pill. I couldn't say how much additional is in the fish oil you are taking, but remember that you are also getting some in your diet (especially from dairy products), and likely receiving some of what you need through daily sun exposure.  Topping it off with another 1000 IU supplement leads you to exceed the tolerable upper limit that is currently set for this vitamin.

Since vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, excess amounts are stored in your body. The tolerable upper intake level is currently set at 2,000 IU, (although later studies do suggest the upper limit could be set higher). Some effects of taking too much vitamin D include calcium deposits in soft tissues (which can damage organs) and kidney stones, as well as other symptoms like generalized weakness, constipation, poor appetite, and also an increase in serum calcium levels which could lead to serious heart rhythm abnormalities.

I suggest you see your physician to discuss an optimal level for you . Exceeding your needs of this vitamin could very well result in doing more harm than good.

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