Can Too Much Vitamin D Harm You?

The death of an 89-year-old man in England has been gaining media attention recently after the release of a coroner’s report that linked the fatality to vitamin D.

David Charles Mitchener was admitted to a local hospital in Surrey with hypercalcemia, a condition in which blood calcium levels are above normal. Lab tests revealed that he had vitamin D levels at the maximum amount recordable. He had been taking vitamin D supplements for at least nine months.

“Hypercalcemia can occur from really high vitamin D doses or moderate doses in persons with serious conditions,” says Lawrence Appel, MD, MPH, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

A postmortem revealed Mitchener’s cause of death to be vitamin D toxicity and hypercalcemia along with ischemic heart disease (caused by narrowing of the arteries), congestive cardiac failure, and chronic kidney failure.

High blood calcium levels may lead to deposits in the arteries and organs, heightening cardiovascular and other health risks.

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