Is there such a thing as too much of a good thing? Anyone who has stared down an entire chocolate cake can attest that yes, there is.

Despite levels of 5,000 IU and even 10,000 IU of vitamin D being readily available with the click of a button, The Institute of Medicine recommends no adult should exceed 4,000 IU a day[1] or else they put themselves at risk of serious health complications.

“Many people are taking too much vitamin D.” Dr. Joann Manson of The Brigham and Woman’s Hospital is working on a study of 25,000 participants to check their vitamin D blood levels. [2]

The American Academy of Dermatology agrees. Dr. Weinstock of Brown University commented at the annual meeting that “there is an increased risk of falls and fractures associated with vitamin D megadosing.”[3]

So what is considered too high or too low?

“You shouldn’t by pass the satiety level. Your stomach is only so big for a reason.” said Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease specialist.

Dr. Offit offers a good rule of thumb: there are 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C in one tablet. That’s the equivalent of 8 cantaloupes. Would you eat 8 cantaloupes a day? If you answered no, then you shouldn’t take that high a dose. “It goes against what nature intends.”

At the end of the day we all want to be the healthiest we can possibly be. Supplements and vitamins can be a great tool to get there, we just need to be mindful of how much is too much. Consider the recommendations, understand how much is too much to self-prescribe, and consult your doctor if you think you need more.  Read more about higher doses of vitamin D here.


 

[1] Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Rep. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academics, Nov. 2010. Web. 8 June 2017. <http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2010/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-for-Calcium-and-Vitamin-D/Vitamin%20D%20and%20Calcium%202010%20Report%20Brief.pdf>. Revised March 2011

[2] The Fifth Estate. Perf. Gillian Findlany. CBC News. CBC/Radio Canada, 20 Nov. 2015. Web. 08 June 2017. <http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/episodes/2015-2016/vitamins-and-supplements-magic-pills>.

[3] Sullivan, Michele G. “Large, Intermittent Vitamin D Doses May Increase Fracture, Fall Risk in Elderly.” Family Practice News. MDedge, 3 Mar. 2017. Web. 08 June 2017. <http://www.mdedge.com/familypracticenews/article/132688/geriatrics/large-intermittent-vitamin-d-doses-may-increase>.