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Warning: Excess of Vitamin D Can Cause Kidney Failure

A 54-year-old men, was diagnosed with kidney damage after he took high doses of vitamin D for years. He was returning from a trip to Southeast Asia where he spent much of his holiday sunbathing.

Tooba Maher
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Vitamin D Capsules

A 54-year-old man was diagnosed with kidney damage after he took high doses of vitamin D for years. He was returning from a trip to Southeast Asia where he spent much of his holiday sunbathing. 

After referral to a kidney specialist and further testing, it was discovered that the man had been prescribed high doses of vitamin D by a naturopath, who recommended a dose of 8 drops every day. 

Over two and a half years, the patient, who did not have a history of bone loss or vitamin D deficiency, took 8-12 drops of vitamin D daily, a total of 8,000-12,000 IU. 

Hence, he had very high levels of calcium in the blood which left him with significant kidney damage. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin D is 400-1000 IU, with 800-2000 IU recommended for adults at high risk of osteoporosis and for older adults. 

“Although vitamin D toxicity is rare owing to a large therapeutic range, its widespread availability in various over-the-counter formulations may pose a substantial risk to uninformed patients,” said Bourne Auguste from the University of Toronto. 

Clinicians must be aware of the risks of vitamin D used to limit complications related to hypercalcemia. Calcium levels may get worse before getting better in patients even after cessation of supplements, as vitamin D is fat-soluble. 

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