NewsVitamin D poisoning: infant has to be in intensive...

Vitamin D poisoning: infant has to be in intensive care

Created: 09/14/2022, 1:07 p.m

A baby has to be taken to a hospital with dangerous vitamin D poisoning. The parents gave him a dietary supplement from the net.

Berlin – Vitamin D is extremely important for the body. It affects bone health, but is also very good for the immune system. But a vitamin D overdose or even poisoning can, like a deficiency, have serious consequences.

This is shown by the example of an infant who had to be admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital. The Medicines Commission of the German Medical Association (AkdÄ) reports on the case and the case was reported to them.

Baby
Too much vitamin D can lead to poisoning. (Symbolic photo) © Annette Riedl/dpa/Symbolbild

Baby Vitamin D Poisoning: Parents Gave Him Supplements From Internet

The baby, aged seven months, was closely examined at the clinic. According to AkdÄ, it had lost seven percent of its body weight within three weeks. In addition, there was dehydration (exsiccosis) and reduced vigilance, a disorder of consciousness in which there is a strong reduction in attention. It was also found that the infant suffered from an electrolyte disorder with increased potassium and calcium levels. The doctors found deposits of calcium salts (grade II nephrocalcinosis) in the baby’s kidneys.

When asked, the parents stated that they had initially given their baby the vitamin D prophylaxis prescribed by the doctor. This usually corresponds to 400-500 international units per day (IU/d) or 10 to 12.5 micrograms daily (µg/d). But on the advice of friends, they switched to a highly concentrated vitamin D food supplement from the Internet five months ago. According to the AkdÄ, they gave their child 40 drops of vitamin D3 daily, which means around 40,000 IU corresponding to 1000 µg. This corresponds to 80 times the dose of vitamin D provided for prophylaxis.

Vitamin D: What is the Highest Safe Daily Intake?

How much vitamin D is still healthy? The joint expert commission of the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices has published a statement on this.

age Highest Safe Daily Intake of Vitamin D (UL*)
0-1 25 micrograms
1-10 50 micrograms
11-17 100 micrograms
adult 100 micrograms
Source: Statement on products containing vitamin D

* UL refers to vitamin D intake from all sources: general foods, fortified foods, dietary supplements, balanced diets. The UL is well above the actual physiological need.

Vitamin D poisoning: baby gets 80 times the amount of the vitamin

The diagnosis of the doctors: The baby was suffering from chronic vitamin D intoxication with a too high calcium content in the blood (hypercalcaemia) as well as nephrocalcinosis. The experts treated the child accordingly, and the vitamin D overdose was discontinued. The baby’s condition then improved.

Vitamin D poisoning occurs again and again. After receiving nutritional advice, a man from Great Britain dosed a vitamin D preparation so high that he ended up in the hospital with poisoning. The AkdÄ is also aware of other cases in infants.

The problem: “While finished medicinal products with a daily dose of more than 25 µg require a prescription, dietary supplements are freely available in any dosage,” explains the commission. She thinks it makes sense to set maximum levels for vitamin D in food supplements to counteract accidental overdoses. (Sophia Lother)

Editor’s note: The information given in this article does not replace a visit to a doctor. Only experts can make the right diagnosis and initiate appropriate therapy. The intake of medication or dietary supplements should be discussed with a doctor beforehand.

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