Man Killed by Vitamin D Supplements He Took for 9 Months; Coroner Calls for Side Effect Warning to Supplement Labels

By Jace Dela Cruz

Mar 02, 2024 05:03 AM EST

An 89-year-old man died due to complications arising from excessive intake of vitamin D supplements that he had been consuming for at least nine months.

According to Business Insider, David Mitchener's death was due to complications related to excess vitamin D and calcium, which led to him having liver and heart failure.

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89-Year-Old Man Killed by Vitamin D Supplements

David Mitchener, a retired businessman from the UK, was hospitalized on May 10 with hypercalcemia, a condition characterized by having abnormally high calcium levels in the blood.

Hypercalcemia poses severe health risks, including bone weakening, kidney problems like stones, and heart issues. Vitamin D helps calcium absorption in the body but can lead to calcium buildup if we take too much.

Following medical examinations, it was discovered that Mitchener's vitamin D levels were at the highest level recorded by the lab, indicating an excessive intake of the supplement. 

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Vitamin D Toxicity

After 10 days, Mitchener died with the primary cause of death attributed to heart and kidney failure, hypervitaminosis D or vitamin D toxicity, and excess calcium levels.

In his report, Jonathan Stevens, assistant coroner in Surrey, emphasized the absence of warnings in the packaging that detail the "potentially very serious risks and side effects" of taking too much vitamin D supplements.

He cited the need for increased awareness and clearer guidance from supplement manufacturers and regulatory bodies to prevent similar incidents in the future.

"In my opinion, there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken," he noted.

According to Business Insider, the recommended daily dose of vitamin D for people ages 14 to 70 is 15 micrograms or 600 international units. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements said it goes up to 20 mcg or 800 IU for people over 70.

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