Zinc & Vitamin D3 – Are you taking too much?

by VitaGene Support

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, people have sought all ways to prevent infection - some resorting to unproven and even dangerous “super dosing” of key elements such as Zinc and Vitamin D3. 

Because of this, we wanted to remind you of some of the dangers of overdosing on Vitamin D and Zinc and be reminded to take the recommended daily levels - for your health’s sake.

Vitamins, minerals, amino acids all work in synergy within your body and that an EXCESS of any one will cause an imbalance in some of the others. This may lead to a general compromising of the body’s ability to protect itself (not what we aim for during a health pandemic).

For example, too much Zinc will have a detrimental impact on the body’s immunity and on Copper levels. Low Copper levels can lead to low Iron, presenting as fatigue and a lowered ability to carry much needed oxygenated blood around the body. EXCESS dosing can therefore create a myriad of health imbalances. 

As a reminder to follow safe, daily health supplementation, and not follow the “big dose is better” philosophy, Good Health has provided the below guidelines for safe intake levels of Vitamin D and Zinc. 

VITAMIN D3 

While there is some conflicting evidence out there about safe Vitamin D3 intake levels, what’s true across the board is that too much Vitamin D3 can indeed be harmful. 

It is also important to note that Vitamin D3 that we get from the sun versus D3 that we supplement with daily is absorbed and processed differently. You cannot “overdose” on Vitamin D3 from the sun as your skin limits the amount of D3 it makes. However, when supplementing with D3 you can in fact overdose. 

High doses of D3 can cause muscle weakness, pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, confusion, dehydration, irregular heartbeat and hypercalcemia.   

What is a safe daily dose? 

It’s important to be aware of where we live and the kind of climate we live in when answering this question. Because we live in sunny South Africa our daily recommended dose will be significantly different to those living in colder climates that don’t have the same sun exposure as we do. Yes, it’s true that we probably spend more time indoors and less exposed to the sun than what we used to “back in the day”, however, we are still lucky enough that our sun rises early and sets late so most of us on average have a good amount of sun exposure and therefore Vitamin D3 uptake. 

Our recommended daily amount from age 1-70 years is only 600IU so supplementing with 1000IU daily would be a safe bet to avoid any “lost” sun exposure in our winter months or due to our lives being spent mostly indoors. 

Higher doses can be taken where professionally prescribed based on tested deficiencies. If you are concerned that your D3 levels may be slightly low then get your healthcare professional to do a blood test. Higher doses should be taken until optimal D3 levels are reached.

ZINC 

Some of the main symptoms of too much zinc include loss of appetite, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and headaches. 

When high doses of zinc are taken for an extended period of time you are at risk of depleting your copper levels, compromising your immunity and causing a decrease in your HDL (good cholesterol levels).

Zinc and Copper compete for the same receptors so too much zinc can affect copper levels. Copper is need for adequate growth, lung elasticity, iron metabolism (essential in forming healthy red blood cells), cardiovascular health and neuroendocrine function.

Zinc is a mineral that we get from our food most days and is found in a lot of “daily supplements”. We therefore should be conscious of what other supplements we are taking and how much zinc they all add up to be. 

Children from 4-13 years old will probably only need to supplement with a daily zinc dose of 7-10mg daily and adults can safely supplement with 15-20mg daily if not treating a zinc deficiency.

If you have any concerns about your Vitamin D3 or Zinc levels, please talk to your healthcare professional. 

Information supplied by: Good Health