An 89-year-old has died after taking too much vitamin D

This man was regularly taking the vitamin, unaware of what was happening inside his body.

vitamin D over consumption
© Olga DeLawrence / UNSPLASH
vitamin D over consumption

Supplements can be a great addition to a healthy diet, and many of us start or end our day with vitamins that we think will help to boost our bodies. However, some of these vitamins come with a certain risk if you take too much of them. Tragically, this is what happened to a man who was taking a certain vitalin regularly for months.

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We’ve already talked about the risk of taking medicine that is out of date, and now we will delve into the lesser-known hazards that come with taking too much of a certain vitamin. In this instance, vitamin D is the supplement that ended up killing an 89-year-old man. Here’s everything you need to know.

The 89-year-old’s death

David Mitchener was 89 years old and, a retired businessman, he was regularly ingesting vitamin D as part of his routine. However, he was brought to hospital in May 2023 after it became clear something was wrong. According to reports, he was suffering from hypercalcaemia, which is a build-up of calcium in the body associated with overly high levels of vitamin D. The condition can lead to weakened bones and damage to the kidneys as well as to the heart. He died within 10 days of his arrival at hospital, leaving behind a wife and his child. The primary causes of his death were stated as congestive cardiac failure and chronic kidney failure, hypercalcaemia and vitamin D toxicity.

His death sparked a reaction from medical professionals who then called for more attention to be paid to the packaging of similar supplements. The Surrey assistant coroner issued a report which urged regulatory bodies to enforce clear warnings on packages of supplements that can be dangerous when over consumed.

The dangers of overconsumption

We have written before about the risks linked to ‘overdosing’ on supplements and vitamins. In this case, Jonathan Stevens wrote in the coroners’ ‘prevention of future deaths’ report that the vitamins Mitchener had been taking lacked clear warnings on the packaging to inform the consumer about the risks of excessive intake. Mitchener has been taking the supplements for at least 9 months, unknowingly allowing this calcium to build up in his body.

Stevens is really pushing the importance of warnings on packaging: he has even written to Food Standards Agency and the Department of Health and Social Care to get them onboard. In the report, he stated that:

Current food labelling requirements do not require these risks and side effects to be written on the packaging.

The DailyMail reported the response of a health and social care spokesperson who expressed their sympathies for Mitchener’s family, and said they will ‘consider the coroner’s findings in full and respond in due course’.

Read more:

Doctor reveals vitamins you should never take together including iron, calcium, and more

Vitamin B3 has been linked to risk of heart attack and stroke in recent study

Taking too many vitamins can heighten your risk of developing cancer

Sources used:

Independent: Man dies of Vitamin D ‘overdose’

DailyMail: Retired businessman, 89, died from an 'overdose' of vitamin D after taking supplements which did not warn about deadly side-effects of taking too many

Here’s how low vitamin D affects your body and health and what you can do about it Here’s how low vitamin D affects your body and health and what you can do about it