Does vitamin D make you poop or cause constipation?

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of constipation. As vitamin D deficiency is very common worldwide, getting high doses of vitamin D from supplements might help you poop.

Common causes of constipation

About 20% of the population has chronic constipation. Poor diet, dehydration, disease, medication, neurological or systemic issues, stress, and depression are the most common causes of constipation.[1]

Vitamin D deficiency can cause constipation

According to a 2019 study, published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, low vitamin D levels have been significantly associated with a high risk of chronic functional constipation. Hence, people with chronic functional constipation induced by intestinal motility disorders should regularly check their serum vitamin D levels.[2]

What’s the recommended daily intake of vitamin D?

We should consume at least 600 IU of vitamin D a day.

But, vitamin D deficiency is pretty common. About 1 billion people have vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency. Actually, there aren’t many foods high in vitamin D. Only cod liver oil is particularly high in vitamin D. Some fatty fish, eggs, and certain mushrooms contain significant amounts of vitamin D. Fortified foods (e.g. yogurt) are also good dietary sources of vitamin D.

Many vegetarians and vegans should benefit from taking vitamin D supplements. Common plant-based foods don’t have any vitamin D.

Furthermore, the human body synthesizes vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight! Just 30 min under the sun can help the body produce more than enough vitamin D. In fact, the human body could easily synthesize more than 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day in the summer and spring. On the contrary, it is estimated that we can synthesize only 200 IU of vitamin D per day in the winter.[3]

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However, as sun exposure can be dangerous, vitamin D supplementation may be the best way to prevent vitamin D deficiency. You’ll find a wide variety of vitamin D supplements on iHerb.

What dosage of vitamin D can make you poop?

Certainly, we should consume at least 600 IU of vitamin D a day, which is the minimum required daily dose in order to deal with constipation.

Moreover, you should regularly check your serum vitamin D levels. You may have to take much higher dosages of vitamin D from supplements, if you’re deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D supplementation might make you poop, if you have very low levels of vitamin D.

After all, high doses of vitamin D from supplements are considered pretty safe. Vitamin D deficient people with constipation problems may benefit from extremely high dosages of vitamin D. They may require even 10,000 IU of vitamin D a day for some time in order to poop.

Always consult your healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement or changing your diet.

Can too much vitamin D cause constipation?

Above all, you must have your serum vitamin D levels regularly checked. Too much vitamin D may cause constipation in some cases.

For instance, excess vitamin D increases calcium absorption in the gastrointestinal tract beyond the normal range. Extreme levels of calcium can cause nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, dehydration, excessive thirst, and kidney stones. Dehydration is a key reason of constipation.[4]