Vitamin D: The warning signs in your tummy signalling you’ve taken too many supplements
This Morning: Dr Michael Mosley discusses vitamin D dosage
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Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, has essential tasks in your body. Deficiency in this vitamin targets around one in five Britons. To top up the low levels, many opt for supplements to avoid problems linked to this deficiency. If you belong to this group, it might be worth knowing the warning signs of taking too many supplements.
From immunity to heart health, vitamin D helps your body with various functions.
The sunshine vitamin also helps to absorb calcium and phosphorus from your diet.
As a building block of bones, your body then uses calcium to keep these living tissues and muscles strong and healthy.
To avoid certain health problems, your body needs 10 micrograms of vitamin D daily, according to the NHS.
As Britons are at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency during winter months, many opt for supplements.
However, taking too much can lead to vitamin D toxicity which can be harmful to your body, according to Medline Plus.
The warning signs of this toxicity in your tummy include:
- Poor appetite
The Mayo Clinic states that this toxicity can lead to a build-up of calcium in your blood, which can lead to unpleasant symptoms like these.
This condition can even progress to bone pain and the formation of calcium stones in your kidney.
Medline Plus explains that most cases of vitamin D toxicity occur when you take too many supplements.
Your body can synthesise vitamin D organically just from being in the direct sunlight when you’re outdoors.
However, getting your sunshine vitamin this way doesn’t cause poisoning as your body regulates the amount of vitamin D it produces.
The Mayo Clinic advises ceasing the use of vitamin D supplements if you have vitamin D toxicity.
They add that you should also limit your intake of dietary calcium.
Depending on your individual case, your doctor might also prescribe further treatments, including corticosteroids.
Remember, the recommended daily intake of vitamin D is 10 micrograms.
There are also International Units (IU) used for measuring vitamin D content.
If your vitamin D supplements use those instead, you’re looking for 400 IU as that’s the equivalent of 10 micrograms.
According to the health service, this is also the amount you should stick to when taking dietary supplements.
If you prefer to get vitamin D from food, good sources include:
- Oily fish (salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel)
- Red meat
- Egg yolks
- Fortified foods (some fat spreads and breakfast cereals).
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