How Much Vitamin D Essential?

Know the details on vitamin d levels, vitamin d daily intake, its doses and how much vitamin d you should take and effect of its overdose.

How much vitamin d should one take? The Adequate Intake (AI) levels of Vitamin D have been established by the U.S. Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. The following are the current recommended adequate doses to meet physiological needs.

Vitamin D Daily Intake, Vitamin D Dose For Adults

[Source: Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board - Dietary Reference Intakes. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997]

IU = International Units

Male, female, pregnant/lactating women

Under the age of 50 years: 5 micrograms (200 IU or )

From 50-70 years-old: 10 micrograms daily (400 IU)

Over 70 years-old: 15 micrograms daily (600 IU)

Vitamin D Dose For Children (under 18 years old)

From birth to 50 years old: 5 micrograms per day (200 IU).

Vitamin D Dose For Children younger than one year

Should not exceed 25 micrograms (1,000 IU) per day.

Some experts are of the view that the current recommended AI levels are insufficient to meet physiological needs, particularly for individuals who do not receive regular sun exposure.

In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended the following:

Vitamin D Dose For Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Mothers

The mother's milk is deficient in vitamin D, it contains only about 25 IU per liter. AAP recommends that the infants on breast feed should, therefore, receive each day vitamin D supplements of 400 IU shortly after birth and continue until they consume ≥1,000 mL/day of vitamin D-fortified formula or whole milk. Consult your Doctor.

All non-breasted infants taking <1,000 mL/day of vitamin D-fortified milk or formula milk should receive each day vitamin D supplements of 400 IU.

Older children who do not obtain 400 IU/day through vitamin D-fortified milk and foods should take a 400 IU vitamin D supplement daily.

Vitamin D Overdose : Vitamin D Toxicity

The upper limit for vitamin D has been recommended as 50 micrograms (2,000 IU) per day for adults and 1,000 IU per day for infants, toxicities can occur with overdose, i.e. when taken in higher doses.

As vitamin D is stored in the body in fatty tissues and in the liver, an overdose (excessive intake) is harmful. The too much intake of vitamin d side effects may include nausea, vomiting, anorexia, thirst and drowsiness. Hypercalcaemia can occur due to the increased intestinal absorption and mobilization of calcium from bones. The cardiac and renal failure may occur.

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