Are You Consuming Too Much Vitamin D?

Are You Consuming Too Much Vitamin D?

We frequently hear ourselves pointing to a lack of Vitamin D to pin the blame on our fatigue and loss of energy - and we’ll often hear our family and friends in Nashville enthusiastically chime in, especially around the winter time. Over the years, we have been conditioned to think that we need a certain level of vitamin D to get by - but we have finally reached a point where this way of thinking (and lack of education around it) in Nashville could be dangerous - and as a dermatologist, I see it all the time.

According to a new study, one in five U.S. adults are taking supplemental vitamin D, and a growing number are taking excessively high doses linked to an increased risk of fractures, falls, kidney stones and certain cancers, the research suggests.

What is “too much” vitamin D? You may be surprised to learn that there is an actual number to put to it: for most adults, the recommended daily intake is 600 IU (international units), or 800 IU after age 70. This data showed that there has been a surge in intake of more than 1000 IU from 0.3% in the 1999-2000 survey to 18% in the 2013-2014 survey, especially among women, the elderly and white people, the study found.

“Vitamin D is essential for bone metabolism, as it helps the body absorb calcium and maintain appropriate concentrations of calcium and phosphate in the blood,” said senior study author Pamela Lutsey, a public health researcher at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

“Excessive intake of vitamin D can, however, be harmful, as it can cause over absorption of calcium,” Lutsey said by email. “Excess blood calcium can, in turn, lead to detrimental deposition of calcium in soft tissues, such as the heart and kidneys.”

This research is just another example of how shocking I find the national obsession with vitamin D. As a Nashville dermatologist, I have never met anyone who suffered truly negative consequences from having low levels of vitamin D, but I do understand the root of the issues. In recent years, there had been a lot of hype about vitamin D deficiency.  In Nashville, people have  flocked to buy supplements and get more sun ever since. However, this research proves that you need to be very cautious with the amount that you consume, otherwise the consequences could be severe.

Remember this: patients aren’t dying due to vitamin D deficiencies, but they are dying from skin cancer, which I unfortunately see a lot in Nashville as a dermatologist. The best way to protect yourself? Sunscreen! And that’s where we come in.

Let’s chat about how we can help protect your skin. Visit us at Skin Solutions Dermatology in Nashville, Franklin, Columbia, Smyrna, Hendersonville or Pulaski to chat with our amazing team of dermatology specialists! Take advantage of our online booking system and book an appointment today.

Source: JAMA Network

Related Buzz: Why Being Obsessed with Vitamin D is Dangerous, 3 Reasons You Should Always Wear Sunscreen

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Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD