It has been well documented that taking megadoses of Vitamin D may be a foolish, unhelpful act. We now are coming to understand that without the addition of calcium, all the extra vitamin D might not be making it into the system at all.

…vitamin D works hard to make sure the body doesn’t lose out on calcium absorption through urinary loss. Even the smallest bones — such as those in the ears — rely on vitamin D’s calcium delivery assist. Can you hear me now? The formation of the entire skeleton was done with vitamin D’s help. D is also essential for homeostasis (physiological stability) of the body’s minerals.

After reading about how not necessary it is to take such large quantities of Vitamin D, I wondered if it were possible to take too much of it — and what would happen if a person were to take too much. I turned to the old reliable standby, the Merck Manual.

Usually, vitamin D toxicity results from taking excessive amounts. Marked hypercalcemia commonly causes symptoms. Diagnosis is typically based on elevated blood levels of 25(OH)D. Treatment consists of stopping vitamin D, restricting dietary Ca, restoring intravascular volume deficits, and, if toxicity is severe, giving corticosteroids or bisphosphonates.

Because synthesis of 1,25(OH)2D (the most active metabolite of vitamin D) is tightly regulated, vitamin D toxicity usually occurs only if excessive doses (prescription or megavitamin) are taken. Vitamin D 1000 μg (40,000 IU)/day produces toxicity within 1 to 4 mo in infants. In adults, taking 1250 μg (50,000 IU)/day for several months can produce toxicity. Vitamin D toxicity can occur iatrogenically when hypoparathyroidism is treated too aggressively…

The main symptoms result from hypercalcemia. Anorexia, nausea, and vomiting can develop, often followed by polyuria, polydipsia, weakness, nervousness, pruritus, and eventually renal failure. Proteinuria, urinary casts, azotemia, and metastatic calcifications (particularly in the kidneys) can develop.

Curious to know how people around the world recommend vitamin D, I checked on a UK government site here and found that they recommended, for those concerned that they were not taking enough vitamin D, 10 micrograms of vitamin D — equivalent to 400 iu.

While perusing articles about vitamin D, I came across a so-called Vitamin D council — the link to which I do not wish to provide for reasons I will soon explain. The council, in its explanation page, claims to exist for the purpose of educating people about the perils of vitamin D deficiency. They offer to let you take a test to see if you are deficient. Spoiler alert — their test will probably tell you that you are deficient. I trust their tests about as well as I trust the people on 42nd street saying that they will test your stress level while getting ready to sign you up for their secret alien coursework.

Clicking through to the sponsors of the web site leads you to the heart of the shillery in the form of a doctor whose e-mails my mother regularly forwards me — Doctor Mercola. On the site, it seems as though they are trying to inform before going right to the sales pitch.

Here at Dr. Mercola’s Natural Health Center (formerly the Optimal Wellness Center) we treat you from the paradigm that wellness is the ability to successfully create and achieve your own goals as defined by the purpose of your life.

We help you move toward complete wellness by helping you discover and understand the hidden causes of your most perplexing health challenges… and create a customized and comprehensive treatment plan for you.

Break out your wallets, friends, because this customized and comprehensive treatment is not going to be cheap. The treatment comes with multi thousand dollar tanning beds, seventy dollar krill pills, and digital thermography. It seems that the only thing driving the want for more vitamin D is the sales of vitamin D related goods, not any actual scientific inquiry leading us to a real need for more of the sunny goodness.


  1. Well done, Gordon! Issues like this — Vitamin D — and the proper daily dosage for good health — erode the good faith we are supposed to place in doctors. Too often we get lectured in the doctor’s office instead of being made a co-creator in making good health happen. Do we blindly swallow megadoses of Vitamin D just because that’s the current “trend” in medicine? Or do we stay on the average niche and follow what has been done and shall be done when it comes to Vitamin D? It can be terribly confusing for people and it shouldn’t be that way.

    1. Generally it’s good to see when people are giving us medical advice if there is a salesperson behind their back — is there another reason the advice is being dispensed? So it goes.

      1. Some doctors get kickbacks and payoffs to prescribe certain medications. Of course, they’re called “bonuses” or “appreciation fees” or whatever. Newer medications are always pushed over old standards. That’s why, if I need meds, I want something that’s been tried and proven true in the marketplace for at least a decade. I like generic meds, too. They work just fine and they’re super cheap.

  2. Are you for real? If you knew anything about vitamin D you would be embarrassed by what you have written here.

    You’re either a shill for the pharmaceutical industry or a person who, for some reason, feels the need to speak on a subject of which he clearly knows nothing about.

    Calcium does not help one absorb vitamin D, it is the other way around. People who use vitamin D at this dose do not use 50K IU/d, they use 50K IU/w as prescribed by their physician. But 50K IU daily is also safe, 100K IU/d is safe, nearly any amount is safe as long as serum levels are still deficient Dose is irrelevant as it is not what determines toxicity – serum levels do.

    So what’s your agenda anyway? You wanted hits on your site so you figured you would fake your way through an article on vitamin D?

    This article is nothing but the knee-jerk reaction of someone who did not do their homework, is completely irresponsible, and warrants removal, lest someone actually believes the BS message you impart, resulting in damage to their health.

    1. Before I begin, I would like to cite this blog’s comment policy : If you want to continue to post comments on this blog, you will have to use your verifiable Real Name as per our Comments Policy. We don’t allow anonymous cowards to comment here for a multiplicity of reasons and we do not publish every comment submitted for publication.

      1)Not my site. I write for it.
      2)I swear by vitamins and homeopathic / natural solutions wherever possible, and am anti-drug / large pharmaco to the extreme. I am all about prevention rather than ‘cures’ that are actually narcotic bandaids.
      3)I feel that I did do an extensive amount of research across many legitimate non-pharmafunded sites that supported what I wrote.
      4)I believe that taking vitamin D unnecessarily IS bad. However, this article does not exist to offer medical advice. Rather, you should consult a qualified natural physician, such as the late Dr. Poesnecker or the still brilliant as ever Doctor Andrew Weil. The bottom line of course is that you should be taking medical advice not from a blog, but from a doctor, preferably one whose interest is in your best health and not in great wealth.

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