I have read estimates that range from one hundred fifty thousand deaths per year to over one million in the US alone from being vitamin D deficient. The lack of vitamin D is a serious killer. There are over two hundred diseases that have been associated with vitamin D deficiency, but the ‘big three killers’ are mostly responsible, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Of course the numbers that are in pain from vitamin D deficiency and the resulting diseases are huge. The question occurs to me how does this compare to other things that you can get over the counter.
The number of deaths that are caused each year by non-steroidal NSAID’s is alarming. I am including here aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. It is estimated there are over one hundred thousand hospitalizations and seventeen thousand deaths each year from these over-the-counter analgesics. The number of deaths that are caused each year from cirrhosis of the liver is typically around thirty thousand. Now only four hundred fifty deaths per year have been attributed directly to acetaminophen (the deaths that are paid out in the courts – about one third of liver failures are the result of acetaminophen use). If you combine alcohol and acetaminophen, you are playing a deadly game with the liver. The new habit of college students that eat low calorie during the day so they can drink at night and then pop a couple of acetaminophens for the headache is a sure ticket to a slow painful death.
There is concern taking too much vitamin D will cause you problems. The numbers of deaths that have been caused by taking too much vitamin D typically range year to year at zero. Since the amount of iron has been reduced in vitamin supplements, this is true for all supplements year to year death rate of zero. So what about the news articles of the possibility of causing harm from too much vitamin D? Too much is more than 30,000 IUs per day and there is no toxicity in the medical record for less than 40,000 IUs per day. So the 5,000 to 10,000 IUs per day to keep you healthy has a safety factor of four.