Vitamin D supplements: The ‘harmful’ sign when you go to the toilet you’ve taken too many
This Morning: Dr Chris discusses vitamin D and Covid
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A lack of vitamin D can impact several areas, including your back and muscles. This can lead to bone deformities such as rickets in children, and several conditions in adults. If you are spending a lot of time indoors, the NHS suggests you should take 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day to keep your bones and muscles healthy. Over-supplementation of vitamin D, however, can be harmful and should be avoided.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) says getting too much vitamin D can be “harmful”.
It suggests that very high levels of vitamin D in your blood can cause excessive urination.
Other signs include nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, confusion, pain, loss of appetite, dehydration, excessive thirst, and kidney stones.
It adds: “Extremely high levels of vitamin D can cause kidney failure, irregular heartbeat, and even death.”
READ MORE: The longest you should go without showering during winter – expert issues warning
NIH suggests that very high levels of vitamin D are “almost always” caused by consuming excessive amounts of vitamin D from dietary supplements.
Nonetheless, you cannot get too much vitamin D from sunshine because your skin limits the amount of vitamin D it makes.
In April 2020, the NHS issued a statement, based on recommendations from Public Health England (PHE), that we should all consider taking 10 mcg/day vitamin D as a supplement, to keep our bones and muscles healthy. This advice has been issued now, largely because of the restrictions imposed by quarantine and lockdown.
Nonetheless, the NHS says that in summer months, the majority of the population will get enough vitamin D through exposure to sunlight and a healthy, balanced diet.
Between October and early March the health body says we do not make enough vitamin D from sunlight, so you need to get vitamin D from your diet.
Around 20 percent of adults may have low vitamin D status, and there are several main risk factors for vitamin D deficiency.
The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors, so the winter may be a time when vitamin D deficiency is more common.
The NHS says risk factors include a lack of sunlight exposure, darker skin, being housebound, malabsorption, and being pregnant or breastfeeding.
Falling short of the required amount could weaken immune defences, but if low levels are left untreated, discomfort may also arise.
If you or someone you care for is in a higher risk group they may need to take Vitamin D supplements.
You can take Vitamin D supplements as tablets, liquid or a spray, and they can be bought in a pharmacy.
Dietary vitamin D is available in foods such as oily fish, cod liver oil, red meat, fortified cereals, fortified spreads and egg yolks.
“There is currently not enough evidence to support taking vitamin D solely to prevent or treat COVID-19,” the NHS says.
Nonetheless, research is ongoing into whether the ‘sunshine vitamin’ can boost immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 in laboratory experiments.
With more people staying indoors during the pandemic, some may have been deprived of vitamin D.
Pregnant and lactating women are advised to take a daily dose of 10 micrograms of vitamin D3.
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