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Vitamin D

Vitamin D

Why in news: –

An 89 year old resident in the UK died as due to overdose of vitamin D.

  • Vitamin D also referred as calciferol is a fat-soluble vitamin.
  • Sources – Sunlight exposure triggers calciferol synthesis in the skin, making it the primary natural source.
  • Foods rich in vitamin D, including fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, as well as fortified dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese.
  • Eggs, mushrooms exposed to sunlight, and fortified plant-based milk alternatives are also sources.
  • Role of Vitamin D – Crucial role in maintaining overall health by regulating calcium and phosphorus absorption, supporting bone health, and modulating immune function.
  • It helps promote strong bones and teeth, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, and supports muscle function.
  • Vitamin D is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and may contribute to reducing the risk of certain chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, and some cancers.
  • Vitamin D Toxicity – When one consumes too much of these supplements, it might lead to calciferol toxicity or hypervitaminosis.
  • Hypercalcemia or high amounts of calcium, is a direct consequence of high level of Vitamin D in the body.
  • Symptoms of hypercalcemia may include confusion, disorientation, excessive thirst, frequent urination, and kidney damage.
  • Symptoms – In its early stages, symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, and weight loss.

Blood tests can measure serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (the primary circulating form of calciferol) and calcium to assess for toxicity. Imaging studies such as X-rays or bone density scans can also be used to evaluate bone health and assess for signs of hypercalcemia.

  • Treatment – Treatment of vitamin D toxicity primarily involves stopping vitamin D supplementation and limiting dietary sources of calciferol.
  • In severe cases of hypercalcemia, medical interventions such as intravenous fluids, diuretics, or medications to lower calcium levels may be necessary.
  • Ideal amount – The ideal amount of calciferol in a human body should be 10 micrograms per day.
  • For most adults, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for calciferol ranges from 600 to 800 IU per day, with an upper limit of 4,000 IU per day to avoid toxicity.

Source: – The Hindu, Indian Express

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