You cannot overdose on vitamin D through exposure to sunlight, though you can from supplements. If you choose to take vitamin D supplements, 10 micrograms a day will be enough for most people, according to the NHS. You should not take more than 100 micrograms of vitamin D a day as it could be harmful.
The Cleveland Clinic says ataxia, a neurological condition that may cause slurring of words and stumbling, is a sign of having taken too many vitamin D supplements.
Nonetheless, vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to neurological diseases and neuropsychological disorders, cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative disease.
The organisation says: “Do not take higher-than-recommended doses of vitamin D without first discussing it with your doctor.
“However, your doctor might recommend higher doses of vitamin D if he or she is checking your blood levels and adjusting your dose accordingly.”
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“Vitamin D toxicity is usually caused by large doses of vitamin D supplements — not by diet or sun exposure. That’s because your body regulates the amount of vitamin D produced by sun exposure, and even fortified foods don’t contain large amounts of vitamin D.”
The NHS says there are also symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency.
The health body says that these can include muscle aches and weakness, a waddling gait, chronic widespread pain, or bone pain in the lower back, pelvis and foot.
The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when outdoors, so the winter may be a time when vitamin D deficiency is more common.
Dietary vitamin D is available in foods such as oily fish, cod liver oil, red meat, fortified cereals, fortified margarine/spreads and egg yolks.
In the UK, milk is not fortified with vitamin D, so dairy products contain only small amounts of vitamin D.
“There is currently not enough evidence to support taking vitamin D solely to prevent or treat COVID-19,” the NHS says.
In April 2020, the NHS issued a statement, based on recommendations from Public Health England (PHE), that we should all consider taking 10 mcg/day vitamin D as a supplement, to keep our bones and muscles healthy.