Can You Overdose on Vitamins: Everthing You Need To Know

Updated on 31 July 2023

Millions of individuals throughout the world take vitamins on a daily basis. Though most supplement bottles include dose guidelines, it's standard practice to take more than what's recommended.

Consumers are flooded with health materials claiming that consuming large amounts of specific vitamins can enhance their health in various ways. However, consuming too many nutrients in large amounts can be seriously damaging to your body.

Let’s understand all about these vitamins and their overdose problems.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, also known as "the sunshine vitamin," is principally important for Calcium (Ca) and Phosphorus (P) control in the bones. Your bones become fragile and soft without the proper intake of this vitamin.

However, keep in mind that, while vitamin D overdose is exceedingly rare, there is such a thing called vitamin overdose. Too much vitamin D can result in a vitamin overdose and permanent kidney & heart damage.

Vitamin D overdose symptoms might include Nausea, Vomiting, Recurrent Constipation, and Diarrhoea, all of which can be uncomfortable. Overdose of vitamin D can sometimes cause serious cardiac rhythm irregularities.

Furthermore, a vitamin D overload during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of mental impairment in new-borns. Although the suggested daily vitamin D need is roughly 1,000 IU, many doctors consider this is too low and often prescribe extra to people who are vitamin D deficient.

How much Vitamin D is too much?

Taking 40,000 IU of vitamin D in newborns and 50,000 IU in grownups for several months has been demonstrated to produce toxicity.

Avoiding so-called mega-dosing, consulting your personal healthcare practitioner, and having your levels tested are the best ways to identify the optimum quantity of vitamin D for you and avoid overdose.

To minimize a vitamin D overdose while pregnant, follow your healthcare provider's advice for appropriate vitamin D intake.

Vitamin B

We constantly hear about B complex vitamins, which are a group of eight different vitamins that help with different activities in the body. The vitamin B effects range from aiding metabolism to promoting good skin and hair, as well as cognitive assistance.

Since the vitamin B group is in charge of everything good, can you consume too much, leading to a vitamin B overdose?

Unfortunately, with some B vitamins, yes. In reality, a vitamin B6 overdose can cause nerve toxicity, but a vitamin B3 overdose can cause nausea, jaundice, and liver toxicity. Excessive folic acid can also hide the signs of B12 insufficiency, which might make the B12 deficiency worse.

How much vitamin B is too much?

Generally, 300 mg of B6 is considered dangerous, while 2000 mg of B3 is considered dangerous. Medical experts suggest that adult men and women consume no more than 1000 mg of folate (B9) each day. Consult your healthcare provider if you suspect you have a vitamin B overdose and get the right dosage for you.

Vitamin A

Because vitamin A maintains the operation of the human eye, it may allow you to postpone getting reading glasses, but a strong vitamin A overdose can result in death.

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin stored in your fat cells, hence its overdose proceeds gradually as it collects in the body. The first indicators of a vitamin A overdose may appear as seemingly innocuous health problems, such as dry, irritated skin, cracked lips, and loss of hair.

Irritability, headache, a high amount of liver enzyme in the blood, and liver damage are some of the later signs of vitamin A overdose.

The recommended daily intake of vitamin A for children aged 4 to 8 years is 3000 IU, while for adults it is 10,000 IU. It is recommended that you stay within these restrictions, but it is advisable to consult with your healthcare expert to evaluate what is really best for you.

If you're using a supplement, you should also evaluate the type of vitamin in your multivitamins.
The most significant pro-vitamin A (found largely in vegetables) is beta-carotene, which is turned into vitamin A in the body as needed. As a result, it does not have the same toxic effects risk as formed vitamin A.

Vitamin K

Alpha-tocopherol, generally known as vitamin E, is a class of eight closely related substances that act as antioxidants to shield the body's cells from oxidative stress. Fish, vegetable oil, nuts, seeds, wheat, and green vegetables all contain it.

For adults, a daily dose of 15 mg is advised. Men's risks for prostate cancer, stroke, and haemorrhages may rise with daily supplement usage of 300 mg or more.

Vitamin K overdose is minimal. Menadione, which is useless to humans, has been considered the only poisonous substance in this Vitamin. Its water-soluble characteristics are considered to be connected to its toxicity. When poisoning does happen, it presents symptoms in babies, such as kernicterus, haemolytic anaemia, hyperbilirubinemia, and jaundice.

Vitamin C

A water-soluble vitamin that promotes development and growth is vitamin C (ascorbic acid). It also aids iron absorption in the body. Vitamin C should be a part of your diet because your body cannot produce or store it. For males and women, respectively, the recommended daily allowances for vitamin C are 90 mg and 75 mg. It is advised to take 120 milligrams each day while pregnant. For all individuals, 150 mg is the daily maximum. 

While using excessive amounts of vitamin C supplements may have the following side effects:

    •    Nausea
    •    Indigestion
    •    Throwing up
    •    Acid reflux
    •    abdominal (tummy) cramps
    •    Migrain

What to do if you believe you have a vitamin overdose?

A vitamin excess may well not be a cause for urgent concern, based on the intensity of the health complications. Simply reduce or eliminate the usage of a daily multivitamin if the health conditions are not fatal if left untreated or life-altering.

If you have any worries about yourself or a family member, call a healthcare expert as soon as possible. The majority of vitamin overdose concerns happen in children under the age of six. Supplement storage is also essential in every household. For added security, choose a product with a Child Resistant Cap.


When there are no fundamental health conditions, vitamin supplementation is an important element of a healthy lifestyle. Several of the vitamins listed have a low danger of overdosing; in fact, most of us deal with shortage and insufficiency.

Ms. Sunitha

Dietetics and Nurition

Musheerabad, Hyderabad





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