What Are Some Side Effects of Taking 50,000 Units of Vitamin D?


Quick Answer

Taking 50,000 international units of vitamin D daily, over a period of three months is potentially toxic, according to Mayo Clinic. However, 50,000 units once per week is sometimes prescribed for muscle aches related to the use of statins, reports MedlinePlus.

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Full Answer

Vitamin D toxicity causes a buildup of calcium in the blood, which results in stomach and kidney problems, states Mayo Clinic. Treatment for vitamin D toxicity involves stopping use of the supplements and intravenous fluids.

The recommended daily allowance of vitamin D for adults is 600 units. However, when a patient is low on the vitamin, doctors sometimes recommend much larger doses, up to 4,000 units daily. Because the vitamin is fat-soluble and builds up in the body, MedlinePlus recommends that any therapy requiring more than the recommended amount occur under the supervision of a doctor with frequent testing.

Vitamin D is a micronutrient the human body creates with exposure to the sun. It's also in some foods, according to MedlinePlus. The human body metabolizes vitamins D-2 and D-3 supplements to form identical compounds. Because of a lack of sun exposure, many people are lacking in vitamin D, even though it's added to milk in the United States. In children, low levels of this vitamin leads to rickets. In older adults, a lack of vitamin D is one of the risk factors for developing osteoporosis.

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