Renal insufficiency due to excess vitamin D
A Canadian man had severe kidney damage from an overdose of vitamin D. The 54-year-old man had already spent many of his vacations in the tropics sunbathing. He also took vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D deficiency in Germany
Studies have shown that the supply of vitamin D in Germany is deficient. Not only adults, but also many children and adolescents have degraded values. If there really is a vitamin D deficiency, the intake of supplements – after the medical examination – in many cases advised. But some people take such preparations even without a defect. A man from Canada, lots of vitamin D for kidney failure.
Get enough sunshine
Vitamin D is also known as "sunshine vitamin" because the human body makes about 80 to 90 percent under the influence of sunlight. The high energy UVB rays that also brown the skin are decisive.
Therefore, it is generally recommended to get enough sun from time to time.
It also should not be too much – and certainly not if you also take vitamin D supplements. That combination can be dangerous, a man from Canada had to learn.
Significant renal impairment
The Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) reports the case of a man from Canada who returned from a trip to Southeast Asia and exhibited high levels of creatinine, suggesting kidney damage or malfunction.
Medical research has shown that the 54-year-old spent much of his vacation sunbathing.
He also reported that he had been prescribed high doses of vitamin D by a naturopath.
According to a report published in the journal "EurekAlert!", Canadians consumed 8-12 drops of vitamin D daily for two and a half years, totaling 8,000-12,000 IU (International Units) per day.
As a result, it had a very high level of calcium in the blood, which led to significant kidney damage.
According to the report, the man had taken the drug even though he had neither vitamin D deficiency nor bone loss.
Overdoses are rare
Dr. Bourne Auguste of the Toronto General Hospital and the University of Toronto said that vitamin D overdoses are rare, but because of their availability in many over-the-counter medicines, "they pose a significant risk to uninformed patients."
According to the specialist, the recommended daily dose is 400-1,000 IU for adults at high risk for osteoporosis, and for the elderly, 800-2,000 IU is recommended.
"Our experience shows us that patients and physicians should be better informed about the risks associated with unrestricted use of vitamin D," write the authors.
Never take vitamin D supplements under suspicion
Also in this country has been warned several times before an overdose with vitamin D supplements.
While such dietary supplements may be helpful to some people, in principle:
"Vitamin D supplements should not be suspected," said Antje Gahl of the German Nutrition Society (DGE).
The doctor then determines the current status of vitamin D if necessary. However, insured persons are only reimbursed for this blood test if there is a reasonable suspicion of a defect, for example in the case of osteoporosis.
The doctor and the patient have to decide, on a case-by-case basis, whether the test really makes sense. Frequently, patients shoulder the cost of research of about 20-30 euros and pay for vitamin D supplements, health insurance companies only in exceptional cases. (Ad)