Your body uses sunlight to produce vitamin D. A few foods also provide the nutrient, including some products, such as milk and breakfast cereal, that are enriched with the vitamin. Vitamin D is also available as a dietary supplement. Although the pill is generally safe, do not take it unless your doctor determines that vitamin D supplementation can benefit you. Some people on high doses of vitamin D experience nausea.
Vitamin D Intake
The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine determines how much vitamin D individuals should take in daily. At birth, babies need 10 mcg of the nutrient in their diet. Starting at 1 year until 70 years of age, individuals require 15 mcg of vitamin D daily. When you turn 71, raise your intake to 20 mcg. Keeping to these limits reduces the risk of nausea and other possible side effects.
Nausea is a bothersome but mostly harmless side effect of taking high doses of vitamin D. More serious conditions caused by vitamin D intoxication -- bone loss, kidney stones and hardening of the heart and kidneys -- are also possible. To prevent toxicity and potentially fatal health problems, the Food and Nutrition Board established an upper intake level for vitamin D to indicate where the safety zone lies. The maximum safe dose from birth to 6 months is 25 mcg daily. Between their sixth month and twelfth month of life, children tolerate up to 37.5 mcg of vitamin D daily. From 1 to 3 years of age, kids can take as much as 62.5 mcg of the nutrient if a pediatrician recommends supplementation. Starting at 4 years of age, the limit rises to 75 mcg daily. When children turn 9 years old, the vitamin D upper intake level for them goes up to 100 mcg. It stays at that limit through adulthood.
The vitamin D your body makes from sunlight does not cause side effects. Symptoms are not linked to eating foods that contain the nutrient, either. Adverse reactions occur when you supplement vitamin D in high doses. If you maintain a normal supply of vitamin D, you avoid the need for supplementation and the potential nausea. Try to spend 45 minutes -- up to three hours if your skin is dark -- in the sun weekly, University of Maryland Medical Center recommends. In addition, eat foods that offer the nutrient. Salmon, herring and other fatty fishes are good natural sources; so are eggs and enriched milk. If your doctor recommends supplementation, do not take more than the dose she prescribes.
Contact your doctor if you feel nauseated after taking the vitamin D dosage she prescribed. Do not dismiss the symptom. Your doctor may need to adjust your prescription or investigate the cause of your gastric problem.