dangerous overdoses due to mistakes, warns Prescrire magazine.

Vitamin D is essential for our health, as it plays an essential role in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the intestine and promotes strong bones and proper mineralization of teeth. It contains several substances, the two most common of which are vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol, which is produced by plants, and vitamin D3 or cholecalciferolof animal origin and produced in the skin by exposure to ultraviolet B rays. In fact, daily requirements can be met in two ways: sun exposure (15-20 minutes a day) and foods rich in vitamin D, such as fatty fish (mackerel, sardines, herring) and their oils, as well as egg yolks. if the chickens were fed a diet rich in vitamin D. Exposure to the sun is usually enough to prevent deficiency, but some people, such as the elderly, newborns and infants, pregnant or postmenopausal women, and people with dull or dark skin are greater risk of insufficient vitamin D intake.

However, insufficient vitamin D intake can lead to reduced bone mass, which can increase the risk of fractures, especially when physical activity is reduced. ANSES* is clear on this topic that satisfactory vitamin D status can be ensuredprovided bysun exposure, engage in physical activity in the fresh air,and through food, ensuring that foods rich in vitamin D are part of it.However, to prevent deficiency, it can be suggested to take it orally with fortified foods, medications or supplements. It is in this specific context that the medical journal “Prescrire” warns of the risk of overdose, as vitamin D accumulates in the body: excessive consumption can have consequences that persist for several weeks after cessation of use, even in cases of poisoning. remain exceptional. The main danger is related to hypercalcemia, that is, too much calcium in the blood, causing calcification of certain tissues and cardiological and renal consequences.

Vitamin D: always prefer pharmaceutical specialties, on the advice of a doctor

In addition to hypercalcemia, excess vitamin D can cause other problems, such as headache, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, or severe fatigue. Journal of Medicine Write out identified a variety of factors, particularly related to many marketed products (pharmaceutical or otherwise), that led to errors vitamin D overdose: ignorance of the danger, overestimation of the number of situations where it is necessary to replenish, high concentration of certain solutions, differences in doses and consumption rates in various specialties, replacement of solutions or devices with unsuitable or defective dispensers and manufacturing errors. That’s why experts recommend that both patients and doctors re-apply certain reflexes as a precaution only whenvitamin D supplements appear to be helpful. So, above all, it is better to use a pharmaceutical specialty tailored to the situation, and patients should be vigilant about how to administer the correct dose to avoid overdose.

Also discover:5 benefits of vitamin D

Physicians, in turn, are encouraged to inform them of the risks associated with self-medication. especially with dietary supplements, which offer far fewer quality guarantees than pharmaceutical specialties. “, the review reads. This warning is similar to those repeatedly issued by health agencies in the area. ANSES confirms, for example, that ” food supplements to compensate for vitamin D deficiency must be used according to dietary or medical indications. » and estimated the population dietary reference (PRN) to be 15 micrograms per day for adults, defined based on dietary vitamin D intake only and not the contribution of sun exposure. The medical journal Vidal considers in turn, that “ people taking medications for heart rhythm disorders should avoid taking supplements containing vitamin D. In all cases, daily doses greater than 2000 IU (50 µg) should be taken under the supervision of a physician. “.

That is why the latter also makes the following recommendation: Before taking vitamin D, ask your doctor for a blood test to determine if it is necessary and at what dose. » Vitamin D and its derivatives available in various forms: tablets, capsules, oily or injectable solutions. If intake is insufficient, your doctor may prescribe weekly doses of 400-2000 IU (10-50 µg) or a single dose for winter. Finally, caution is also necessary for parents, as there have been several reported cases of overdose in infants after consuming vitamin D-fortified food supplements intended for adults. According to ANSES, it is about the concentration of vitamin D in one drop, which is sometimes very high, the lack of recommended doses according to age, and the dosing error when switching from medication to a food supplement or changing food supplements. Therefore, it is important to prefer medicines over nutritional supplements and always check the vitamin D content of one drop.

*National Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety Agency

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