Supplementation by the general public with vitamin D at doses above the Tolerable Upper Level of Intake (UL) is becoming quite common. The objective of the current analysis was to characterize the effect of vitamin D supplementation at doses up to 15,000 IU/d in a community-based program on vitamin D status, calcium homeostasis as well as on kidney, liver and immune function. We evaluated data collected for 3,882 participants in a community program for whom there were blood measurements at program entry and at follow-up within 6-18 months between 2013 and 2015. Participants were supplemented with a wide range of vitamin D doses (1,000 - 15,000 IU/d) aimed at achieving serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels of at least 100 nmol/L. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations up to 300 nmol/L were achieved without perturbation of calcium homeostasis or incidence of toxicity. Hypercalcemia and hypercalciuria were not related to an increase in 25(OH)D concentrations nor vitamin D dose. To achieve serum 25(OH)D levels >100 nmol/L on average, required vitamin D intakes of 6,000 IU/d for normal Body Mass Index (BMI), 7,000 IU/d for overweight and 8,000 IU/d for obese. Doses of vitamin D in excess of 6,000 IU/d were required to achieve serum 25(OH)D concentrations above 100 nmol/L, especially in individuals who were overweight or obese without any evidence of toxicity. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations up to 300 nmol/L were found to be safe.
Keywords: 25-hydroxyvitamin D; C reactive protein; ISRCTN: 18397898; hypercalcemia; hypervitaminosis D; inflammation; serum calcium; supplementation; toxicity; vitamin D.