Poorly controlled and with often controversial health benefits, dietary supplements can have serious consequences when abused. The clinical case of this man is an example.
Just as you can overdose on drugs or alcohol, you can overdose on dietary supplements, with serious health consequences. The extreme case of this middle-aged man – treated at Cardiff hospital – bears witness to this. The patient was taking over 20 different dietary supplements, vitamins D, K, C, B2, 9 and 6, as well as other minerals and probiotics, all at doses well above recommendations. Among them, vitamin D up to 15,000 IU, when the recommended daily dose is 400 IU for an adult. An excess that put his health in danger.
A cocktail of harmful food supplements
The patient had symptoms for three months when he arrived at the hospital and which did not disappear after stopping his overdosed cocktail of food supplements. He suffers from nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, a dry mouth, a feeling of thirst and an impressive weight loss (12 kilos). His medical history, heavy since he had several illnesses and severe infections, probably weakened him by his abuse of food supplements.
His blood tests reveal hypercalcemia, excess calcium in the blood, excess creatinine which suggests kidney failure, a vitamin D level seven times higher than the amount required for the human body to function. From 375 nmol / L of vitamin D, doctors consider that there is intoxication. The patient’s dosage was above 400 nmol/L.
After eight days of hospitalization where the man was rehydrated and took oral treatment with bisphosphonates to treat his hypercalcemia, he was able to return home with rigorous medical monitoring. Two months after admission, the patient’s blood calcium was again within normal values. But the vitamin D level was still over 400 nmol/L. With its half-life of two months, vitamin D persists for a long time in the body and…
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