What does vitamin D toxicity look like?
Vitamin D toxicity is often difficult to diagnose. The diagnosis is made based on the blood biochemistries that include elevated blood calcium (usually above 10.4 milligrams per deciliter) along with a markedly elevated level of vitamin D, usually above 200 nanograms per milliliter. The hypercalcemia and often hyperphosphatemia associated with vitamin D intoxication can cause the kidneys to calcify, increase the risk of developing kidney stones, and increase the risk of calcifying blood vessels (which ultimately can lead to death). The Elevated blood calcium also causes constipation, confusion, depression, increased thirst, increased urination, and changes in the electrocardiogram.
What is the safest way for toddlers to ingest vitamin D pills? Should an infant’s or toddler’s blood level of vitamin D be the same as an adult’s?
For infants and toddlers, Poly Vi-Sol is a liquid vitamin supplement that contains 400 IU of vitamin D per milliliter. Alternatively, you can buy the 1,000 IU vitamin D tablet, grind it up, put it into the toddler’s orange juice or milk, and then have him or her drink it. Or you can purchase the liquid form of vitamin D. all children and adults should maintain a blood level of vitamin D of at least 0 nanagrams per milliliter all the time.
At what age do you recommend children start taking 1,000 IU a day? How much vitamin D for infants?
Doctors recommend that all children over the age of one year should be on 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day plus a multivitamin. Infants should be on at least 400 IU of vitamin D a day, and 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day should not cause any harm and may provide additional benefits. Consult with your doctor before taking vitamin D supplements.
Do very lean people require a lower-dose supplement?
Normal weight people and very lean people do not require a lower dose of vitamin D. However, anorexic patients have been found to have marginally higher blood levels of vitamin D from taking the same amount of vitamin D that a normal weight person would take. However, this is of little clinical significance.
Is there a recommendation that higher amounts of vitamin D supplementation for those who are obese?
It is recommended that obese people double or triple their intake of vitamin D, so instead of taking 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D a day they should take between 4,000 and 6,000 IU of vitamin D a day.
I take fish oil capsules every day. Don’t those contain vitamin D?
No. Fish oil capsules do not contain any vitamin D. Sold mostly for their omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil capsules are not necessarily made from vitamin D – rich fish like cod or salmon. The refining process isolates the omega-3 fatty acids, and any vitamin D present is left behind, which is why you don’t see any vitamin D (or vitamin A, for that matter) listed on the label.
I don’t mind cod liver oil. Why can’t I just rely on that?
Because of the high vitamin A content of cod liver oil, it’s not a good idea to down lots of it and risk vitamin A toxicity. If you enjoy cod liver oil, stick to a single serving and seek additional vitamin D through sensible sun exposure or vitamins supplements.