Summertime Vitamin D

Last month a study came out in JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association) reporting that more people in the USA are taking higher doses of vitamin D than ever before. This is in part, I believe, due to increased awareness about vitamin D deficiency and its ramifications.

Low vitamin D levels can contribute to depression, fatigue, dysmenorrhea, bone loss, risk for certain cancers, and low immune function. However, as the researchers in this study point out, you most certainly can overdose on Vitamin D and the consequences can be just as bad: hypercalcemia, increased risk of fracture, calcifications in the cardiovascular system, and even increased risk of other types of cancers.

This highlights what I have been telling my patients-if you are taking a high dose of vitamin D- which is technically anything over 1,000IU, we should be monitoring your vitamin D levels regularly.

It is all too easy to become overdosed as you become accustomed to taking that higher dose which is meant to be temporary with the exception of people with certain health conditions who would require a high dose long-term. This is especially true for elderly people and I have encountered several in my practice who needed to stop taking vitamin D long-term for their levels to normalize.

If you are taking any dose of Vitamin D over 1,000 IU please make sure someone is monitoring your levels appropriately which would, ideally, be every 3-6 months. If you have any questions about your Vitamin D levels please call our office at 916.351.9355.