BEWARE: Vit. D Can Help Thwart COVID But Too Much Can Be Dangerous

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Illustrative. Photo by Kayla Maurais on Unsplash

Vitamin D has been recommended by health officials throughout the world to decrease the risk of contracting the coronavirus, including Israel’s Health Ministry, but health experts warn that it should be taken sparingly since excessive consumption of vitamin D can be dangerous.

Clinical dietician Dr. Maya Rosman spoke about the recent studies on vitamin D’s role in fighting COVID-19 on Israel’s Radio 103FM but warned that people must exercise caution in taking vitamin D tablets or drops. “Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that any excess is not excreted in the urine but accumulates in the body and can be toxic, causing nausea, skin and eye irritation, kidney damage, calcium deposits [which can cause kidney problems], and other issues.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for vitamin D is 600 international units (IU) per day for adults and 800 IU per day for adults older than 70. However, the Mayo experts added that “1,000 to 2,000 IU per day of vitamin D from a supplement is generally safe, should help people achieve an adequate blood level of vitamin D, and may have additional health benefits.”

According to the Mayo Clinic and several other sources, including Harvard Medical School and the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, over 4,000 IU of vitamin D can be harmful and should not be taken without a doctor’s approval. Children aged one to ten shouldn’t have more than 2,000 IU a day without a doctor’s approval.

Dr. Rosman said that she recommends that people consume vitamin D from natural sources rather than from tablets or drops. “Vitamin D is in egg yolks, fish, liver, shamenet (soft white cheese or cream cheese], butter, and sour cream. In one egg, for example, there is already over a fifth of the recommended daily allowance. In 100 grams of sea-bass, there’s 200 IU, a quarter of the recommended daily allowance.”

“And most importantly, our skin contains inactive vitamin D, which becomes active through sun exposure” Dr. Rosman added. “According to researchers, ten minutes of sun exposure on one’s hands only is enough to provide an adequate supply of vitamin D. So instead of buying vitamin D tablets or drops, take a short walk in the sun! You’ll burn calories and replenish your stores of vitamin D.”

On a related note, due to the Health Ministry’s recommendation to consume vitamin D to combat the coronavirus, Beit Shemesh Mayor Dr. Aliza Bloch announced this week that she will be distributing vitamin D to all city residents.

Dr. Bloch told Yisrael Hayom that although Beit Shemesh is currently “green,” she feels she needs to prepare for the next outbreak, especially since a number of neighborhoods in the city suffered from high infection rates during the first and second waves.

Another of Bloch’s considerations is that about half of the city’s residents are Chareidi and researchers have found that many Chareidim are deficient in vitamin D due to a lack of exposure to the sun – an ironic reality in a city named Beit Shemesh [House of the Sun].

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

6 COMMENTS

  1. This article is misleading. They know that vitamin D works against COVID so they try to elaborate on the danger aspect — which is true, but won’t happen in most cases, and will prevent people from taking adequate amounts for protection against COVID. I spoke to a doctor who told me that almost everybody he tested for vitamin D in all his years in practice, were extremely low in vitamin D, so people need more than 2000 iu because most don’t have the right blood levels. Therefore, either test your blood to see how much you need to take (and check again to see if its being absorbed) or take more than 2000 iu a day. In fact the recommended amount for COVID is 5,000 iu a day. Check with your doctor to find out how much is toxic. DOnt let this article fool you. Tell everyone you know to take vitamin D daily. Stay safe!

  2. “According to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA, for vitamin D is 600 international units (IU) per day for adults and 800 IU per day for adults older than 70.”
    How can anyone make a blanket recommendation without people first checking the vitamin D level in their blood!
    If an adult has very very low vitamin D in his blood, then the recommended 600 IU would not be enough. If his vitamin D level is hight, then the recommended 600 IU would be dangerous for him.
    Before taking vitamin D, take a blood test and discuss the vitamin D results with your doctor.

  3. This is completely false information. I am an integrative practitioner and check vitamin d levels on my patients who take up to 5000 units a day and they are still low! Levels need to be at least at 40 to have therapeutic effects and for that to be possible most people need at least 10,000 units a day. I dont know where this doctor gets the info that just taking a walk is sufficient and your hands will get enough sunlight…this is absolutely false! If it was so easy we wouldnt be so deficient! You need 15 minutes of chest exposure a day to get adequate levels and if you’re a religious Jew then you’re likely not getting it this way. Additionally, wearing sun block blocks vitamin D as well. I tell all my patients to take 10,000 units daily and have never ever seen a toxic level. Please protect yourself from covid and flu and other diseases by supplementing properly. 1000 units a day will not yield any therapeutic effects!

  4. The information from integrative doc above is not correct. I have seen adverse effects from patients who took less than 10,000 units daily. Vitamin D is an important supplement but needs to be handled with care, as the article states. I’m not getting into a he’s wrong/ I’m right back and forth. Please don’t take any medicine or supplements before discussing with your own healthcare practitioner. Make sure it’s a reputable md or someone else qualified to advise you, not a life coach, neighbor or the person who stands behind the counter at the health food shop.

  5. @golfer
    Please explain what you saw in these patients and how you know the problem was from vitamin D?

    According to the MayoClinic, taking 60,000 iu a day for several months causes toxicity. This is WAY higher than what the average person is taking. My friend and I were also told to take 10,000 iu a day. If you are worried about COVID, taking 5,000iu or even more a day will very likely not be toxic but you could ask your doctor. Better to take than not to take (as long as you are not taking 60,000 iu a day — or even 40,000 for that matter).