Vitamin D Deficiency and its Effect on Your Body

How much Vitamin D does your body need on daily basis? Not much attention is given to this essential nutrient needed for the proper functioning of the entire body system

Vitamin D deficiency means that you are not getting enough vitamin D to stay healthy.

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Calcium is one of the main building blocks of bone and also has a role in an individual’s nervous, muscle, and immune systems.

What problems does vitamin D deficiency cause?

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a loss of bone density, which can contribute to osteoporosis and fractures (broken bones).

Severe vitamin D deficiency can also lead to other diseases in adults such as severe osteomalacia. Osteomalacia will result in weak bones, bone pain, and muscle weakness.

How can an individual get more vitamin D?

There are a few foods that naturally have some vitamin D:

Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel

Beef liver



Egg yolks

Also, we have foods with added vitamin D and they include:


Breakfast cereals

Orange juice

Other dairy products, such as yogurt

Soy drinks

If you have vitamin D deficiency, the treatment is with supplements. Check with your healthcare provider about how much you need to take, how often you need to take it, and how long you need to take it.

Can too much vitamin D be harmful?

Getting too much vitamin D (known as vitamin D toxicity) can be harmful. Signs of toxicity include nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, and weight loss. Excess vitamin D can also damage the kidneys. Too much vitamin D also raises the level of calcium in your blood. High levels of blood calcium (hypercalcemia) can cause confusion, disorientation, and problems with heart rhythm.

Most cases of vitamin D toxicity happen when someone overuses vitamin D supplements. Excessive sun exposure doesn’t cause vitamin D poisoning because the body limits the amount of this vitamin it produces.

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with sudden cardiac death, combined cardiovascular events, and mortality in haemodialysis patients. It is known that patients with dialysis experience excess mortality, mostly due to sudden cardiac death (SCD).

How much vitamin D do you need as an adult on daily basis? The recommended amounts, in international units (IU), are:

Adults 19-70 years: 600 IU

Adults 71 years and older: 800 IU

Pregnant and breastfeeding women: 600 IU

People at high risk of vitamin D deficiency may need more. Check with your healthcare provider about how much you need.