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Vitamin D – Should You Think Twice?

Written by Courteney

Posted on May 22, 2016 at 7:11 pm

We decided to investigate the pros and cons of certain vitamin and mineral supplements so we recently started a feature called Dietary Supplements Under The Microscope and first on our list is Vitamin D. Vitamin D boasts support from many medical professionals and homeopathic practitioners for a variety of conditions such as asthma, osteoporosis, cardiovascular and skin issues. However, the supplement should not be taken blindly or overused, as there could be serious repercussions and complications for some people.

Why Do We Need Vitamin D And How Do We Get It?

Vitamin D occurs naturally in some foods such as fish. It is integral for good bone, skin and lung health, and has many other health benefits as well. We get most of our required Vitamin D from solar absorption but many food items like dairy have been fortified with Vitamin D to help supplement intake. There have also been countless Vitamin D dietary supplements produced for those who are deficient, or have been instructed to get more vitamin D due to certain health conditions.

Potential Benefits of Vitamin D

As aforementioned, the healing benefits of vitamin D are vast. Medical and naturopathic professionals often suggest Vitamin D supplements for such health concerns as:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Asthma and COPD
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Weak teeth and bones
  • Obesity

Potential Dangers of Vitamin D Supplements

Aside from the fact that dietary supplements are not closely regulated by the FDA the same as medications are (and therefor may include unwanted filler ingredients), the following conditions may be made worse by taking extra vitamin D:

  1. Kidney disease
  2. Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  3. Lymphoma
  4. Tuberculosis
  5. Sarcoidosis
  6. Hyperthyroidism
  7. Histoplasmosis
  8. Vitamin D can potentially be dangerous for pregnant or breastfeeding women in high doses

If you have any of these health conditions, speak to your doctor before taking vitamin D supplements to see make sure it shouldn’t worsen your condition.

Vitamin D Toxicity

Vitamin D toxicity, also known as hypervitaminosis D, is one of the biggest concerns with taking too much vitamin D (generally greater than 4000 units daily for extended periods of time). Symptoms of toxicity range from unpleasant to serious and can include fatigue, dehydration, high blood pressure, disorientation, muscle weakness, arrhythmias and vomiting. Those who have pre-existing kidney or liver problems are most vulnerable to developing vitamin D toxicity.

Possible Medication Interactions

There are certain medication and supplement interactions that may occur with vitamin D, including a possible adverse reaction with water pills or certain antacids that contain aluminum. Vitamin D may also effect certain heart medications and heparins. Never start any supplements before speaking to your doctor first (or one of our highly qualified DocChat physicians).

Conclusion? Draw The One That’s Right For You!

It is important to weigh out the potential pros and cons with a medical professional before starting any new medication or supplement to ensure the benefits outweigh the risks. When taken under the right circumstances and in the proper dosages, vitamin D can be beneficial to your overall health, however, it depends on many factors. We suggest to be your own advocate, do your research and cover all the basis before starting anything new. And again, be sure to discuss your decision with your doctor (or one of ours)!

Thanks for visiting DocChat today! We hope you’ll return again soon.

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