TV Newsies have reported a story about some Europeans having problems when given Vitamin D supplements. But they did not report that these patients received 500,000 units of Vitamin D as a single dose. This is ten times the recommended maximum daily dose. Of course there was a problem!
Their theory was that the national health service would save money and assure compliance by giving Vitamin D just once a year. Unfortunately there were increased falls in the first week after this HUGE dose. Falls increase fracture risk.
Ironically, the dose was not enough to keep Vitamin D levels up for the entire year. This decreases Calcium absorption and Bone Mineral Density. Lower BMD also increases fracture risk. Talk about the worst of both worlds!
We use 50,000 unit doses when individuals have very low Vitamin D levels. We give them 3 times a week routinely without problems. We drop to 2 times a week in smaller and older individuals. Maintenance doses are 1,000 to 5,000 units. These much lower doses are safe.
Jay Ginther, MD