Too much vitamin D: The most important questions and answers

Zu viel Vitamin D: Die wichtigsten Fragen und Antworten

Vitamins are an important source of nutrition for your body and your health. But like many things, certain side effects can also occur with the wrong dosage. Approximately 50% of the German population suffers from a vitamin D deficiency, but it is often forgotten that too much vitamin D is not healthy either.

Too much vitamin D can have dire consequences, from overdose to poisoning, so accurate dosing is important. The purpose of this article is to educate you about all of the functions and possible effects of vitamin D, as well as the steps you need to take to avoid the side effects of taking too much vitamin D.

the essentials in brief

  • Too much vitamin D can have very serious side effects and consequences. So consult a doctor immediately if you are consuming too much vitamin D.
  • Your body can absorb vitamin D in two different ways: through exposure to the sun and through food.
  • You cannot get too much vitamin D through a balanced, healthy diet, but only through the intake of supplements.

Do your bones a favor

  • Our vitamin D3 helps to strengthen
    of bones, teeth, muscles and joints at 💪

  • It's also vegan 🌿

  • Automatically get 21% discount,
    if you buy now 💸

Too much vitamin D: What you should know

In the following section we will give you all the important information and facts about vitamin D.

What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for our body and offers many positive effects. It helps the body build calcium and strengthen bones and the immune system.

The body can absorb vitamin D in many different ways - from food and from the sun, which is why vitamin D is also called the sun vitamin.

When people talk about vitamin D, they mostly refer to vitamin D3.

Vitamin D can be divided into 5 different vitamins:

  • Vitamin D1
  • Vitamin D2
  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin D4
  • Vitamin D5

However, when one speaks of vitamin D, one always refers to vitamin D3.

Tree trunk

Vitamin D is also called the sunshine vitamin because a large proportion of your daily requirement is automatically absorbed by your body from the sun. (Anne Morris / unsplash)

It is the only type of vitamin D that can be produced naturally by the human body and is therefore also called natural vitamin D. All other types of vitamin D are man-made.

What does our body need vitamin D for?

Vitamin D is mainly responsible for absorbing calcium. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium from the intestines and incorporate it into bones and the formation of proteins. Vitamin D is therefore very important for bone metabolism and its strengthening. (1)

What is the daily requirement of vitamin D?

How much vitamin D you should take daily depends on your age, gender and weight. But many other factors also play a role, for example the latitude where you are. Thus, the sun exposure may be higher and you automatically absorb more vitamin D from the sun. (2)

In the following we have now created a table for you with guide values ​​for the daily dose of vitamin D. The table refers to Germany.

Old Vitamin D in micrograms per day
Baby (0 to 12 months) 10
Children (1 to under 15 years) 20
Adolescents and adults (15 to under 65 years) 20
Adults (from 65 years) 20
Pregnant and lactating women 20

How does the body absorb vitamin D?

The body absorbs most of its vitamin D from exposure to the sun. Approx. 80 - 90% of the daily requirement is absorbed as soon as you are outdoors. The body's own vitamin D formation in the skin through sunlight depends on various factors.

These refer to the proportion of UVB rays, which depend on geographic location, skin type, time of year, length of time spent outdoors, and use of sunscreen. It is therefore very difficult to determine how much vitamin is absorbed on average.

Experts in Germany suspect that by exposing the body to sunlight between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. for 5-25 minutes a day, the daily vitamin D requirement can be met. (3)

Approx. 80% of the daily requirement is absorbed through sunlight.

However, vitamin D can also be obtained through diet. However, the proportion that can be absorbed through food is much lower than through exposure to the sun. In contrast to solar radiation, only 10 - 20% of the daily dose is covered by food.

Most vitamin D is found in animal products, especially fish. But egg yolk, edible mushrooms and liver are also foods with a high vitamin D content. A healthy, balanced diet can provide the body with 2 to 4 micrograms of vitamin D per day. (3)

salmon fillets

You can find a lot of vitamin D in salmon, for example. Salmon contains around 16 micrograms of vitamin D per 100 g. Other foods with a high vitamin D content include mushrooms and eggs. (Caroline Attwood / unsplash)

An egg, for example, has a vitamin D content of 1.5 micrograms. Salmon, on the other hand, has a very high vitamin D content. 100 grams have about 16 micrograms of vitamin D.

Groceries Vitamin D content per 100 g
eggs 1.5 micrograms
Salmon 16 micrograms
mushrooms 1.9 micrograms
butter 1.2 micrograms
liver 1.7 micrograms

Do your bones a favor

  • Our vitamin D3 helps to strengthen
    of bones, teeth, muscles and joints at 💪

  • It's also vegan 🌿

  • Automatically get 21% discount,
    if you buy now 💸


Why shouldn't you take too much vitamin D?

You should definitely pay attention to a correct dosage of vitamin D. If you take too much vitamin D you can overdose and poisoning with many side effects. Vitamin D is permanently stored in fat and muscle tissue, which inhibits the breakdown of the vitamin. This can lead to an acute overdose, but also to a gradual overdose.

Vitamin D cannot be overdosed naturally.

A side effect of too much vitamin D is hypercalcemia. This happens when you take too much vitamin D, which also increases the calcium content. This leads to abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. Severe hypercalcemia can lead to permanent kidney damage or cardiac arrhythmias. (4)

Too much vitamin D can also lead to vitamin D poisoning caused by an overdose. However, this cannot happen naturally, but only through the use of preparations and dietary supplements.

When and for whom is it necessary to take vitamin D supplements?

You should only take vitamin D supplements if you cannot cover your daily vitamin D requirement naturally, i.e. through sun exposure and food. During pregnancy it is also recommended to take more vitamin D.

However, before you start taking any supplements, consult a doctor first. Because vitamin D supplementation can easily lead to an overdose, which should be avoided. (10)

What are the symptoms of taking too much vitamin D?

Your body can tell you that you're consuming too much vitamin D in many different ways.

In the case of a weak poisoning, various symptoms such as e.g

  • increased high blood pressure
  • nausea
  • Vomit
  • loss of appetite
  • feeling weak
  • increased nervousness.

However, if the poisoning is far advanced and not treated, calcium deposits can occur in the kidneys and blood vessels, which can then lead to kidney stones. (5)

What Are the Side Effects of Too Much Vitamin D?

Possible side effects of vitamin D include:

  • nausea
  • Vomit
  • loss of appetite
  • Stomach cramps
  • cardiac arrhythmias

If you suspect that you have too much vitamin D, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible, since an overdose or even poisoning must be treated quickly. (8th)

What are the causes of too much vitamin D?

With a natural lifestyle and diet, the body cannot get an overdose of vitamin D. Vitamin D poisoning can only appear as a result of an increased intake of preparations, dietary supplements and medicines. (9)

How dangerous is too much vitamin D during pregnancy?

Vitamin D is very important for your body during pregnancy. Too little vitamin D can lead to reduced fertility or a negative pregnancy outcome.

Supplementing with vitamin D is therefore not dangerous during pregnancy and even helps to protect the skeleton.

However, it has not yet been proven whether vitamin D supplementation can also increase fertility or whether negative pregnancy outcomes can be avoided.

Nevertheless, an increased intake of vitamin D is recommended during pregnancy to prevent a deficiency. (6)

What alternatives are there to vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a very important substance for the body and unique in its form, which is why there are no real alternatives. Vitamin D can be naturally absorbed by the body in two ways: through food and exposure to sunlight. However, the body can also absorb vitamin D through supplements. Two particularly popular vitamin D supplements are presented in more detail below.

Consult your doctor before taking vitamin D supplements!

Vitamin D Drops

Vitamin D pots have the great advantage that they can be produced without chemical additives. The drops consist only of the vitamin dissolved in oil. Dissolving in oil has the advantage that vitamin D can be better absorbed by the body. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and can only be absorbed by the body in combination with fat.

A decisive advantage is also the intake, since drops are much more pleasant to swallow than, for example, tablets.

In addition, they are also very digestible for the stomach and easy to absorb.

However, the shelf life is significantly lower compared to other forms of vitamin D supplements. You have to pay attention to this when buying, which is why we advise you not to buy any packs. (7)

Vitamin D tablets

Unlike the vitamin D drops, tablets tend to be a more controversial method. They can only be made by adding chemical additives, making them inferior in direct comparison to vitamin D drops. (7)

However, tablets have a longer shelf life than vitamin D drops and are also significantly cheaper to buy.


Too much vitamin D can have serious consequences - but overdose or poisoning can be avoided very easily. Be sure to take note of side effects and consult a doctor, because in the worst case they can lead to kidney failure or even death.

Also, talk to a doctor before taking supplements and vitamin D supplements - this way you can easily avoid too much vitamin D and prevent serious consequences from occurring in the first place.


  1. Robert Koch Institute. What is vitamin D and what functions does it have in the body? Published 2019 Jan 25
  2. German Society for Nutrition eV Vitamin D (calciferols).
  3. German Society for Nutrition eV Selected questions and answers about vitamin D. Common FAQ of the BfR, the DGE and the MRI. Published 2012 Oct. 22
  4. Robert Koch Institute. Is Too Much Vitamin D Harmful? Published 2018 Dec. 17
  5. Johnson LE Vitamin D Excess. Published Oct. 2019
  6. Pilz S, Zittermann A, Obeid R, et al. The Role of Vitamin D in Fertility and during Pregnancy and Lactation: A Review of Clinical Data. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018;15(10):2241. Published 2018 Oct 12.
  7. Vitamin D - The sun hormone
  8. Robert Koch Institute. Is Too Much Vitamin D Harmful? Published 2018 Dec. 17
  9. Robert Koch Institute. Is Too Much Vitamin D Harmful? Published 2018 Dec. 17
  10. Stiftung Warentest. Vitamin D preparations only partially useful. Published 2015 Aug. 27
Back to blog
Vorheriger Beitrag

Nächster Beitrag

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.