Excess of Vitamin D May Lead to Kidney Failure

Excess vitamin D can lead to high amounts of calcium in the body leading to kidney damage. 

Published08 Apr 2019, 12:00 PM IST
Health News
1 min read

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

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, according to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

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, totalling 8,000-12,000 IU. As a result, 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.
Bourne Auguste, University of Toronto

Clinicians must be aware of the risks of vitamin D use 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.

"Our experience informs us that patients and clinicians should be better informed about the risks regarding the unfettered use of vitamin D," suggested the researchers.

(This story was published from a syndicated feed. Only the headline and picture has been edited by FIT)

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