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Man dies from too much Vitamin D with highest possible levels in his body as officials issue warning
Featured Image Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty/Smith Collection/Getty

Man dies from too much Vitamin D with highest possible levels in his body as officials issue warning

David Mitchener died at the age of 89 in Surrey after taking high levels of Vitamin D.

A warning has been issued after a man died last year from ingesting fatally high levels of vitamin D.

According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin D features anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties which work to support both immune health and muscle function.

While you won’t find this fat-soluble vitamin in many foods, you may know that your body naturally creates it when exposed to direct sunlight.

Unfortunately, UK dwellers know just how rare a spot of sunshine is, so many opt to take their vitamin D in capsule or multivitamin form.

David Mitchener, 89, was one of these supplement takers and now, a coroner has issued an urgent warning to manufacturers following his death.

The retired businessman was admitted to the East Surrey Hospital in May 2023 and was suffering from something called hypercalcaemia.

As per Cancer Research UK, this meant doctors found high calcium levels in Mitchener’s blood - a direct result of taking too much vitamin D.

David Mitchener died due to vitamin D toxicity.

Before his death, a test showed that the Oxted-based man’s vitamin D levels had reached 380; a maximum level recorded by the laboratory.

To put that into perspective, a report by the venerable Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2010 estimated that a vitamin D level of 20 ng/mL or higher was adequate for good bone health.

It’s said that the elderly man died just ten days after first being admitted to hospital.

Following his death, an inquest was swiftly opened and a post-mortem examination took place.

As well as vitamin D toxicity, the coroner found the man had died of congestive heart failure, chronic kidney failure, hypercalcemia, and Ischaemic Heart Disease.

The Surrey-based man died after taking vitamin D supplements.

The conclusion of the inquest was death by misadventure.

Surrey Assistant Coroner Jonathan Stevens has since released an official statement claiming that the supplements Michener was consuming nine months before his death lacked proper guidance.

He wrote: “There were no warning on or in the packaging detailing the specific risks or side effects of taking vitamin D supplements.

“In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken.”

Stevens also warned that supplements can pose ‘very serious risks’ to health when ‘taken in excess’.

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

The Assistant Coroner claimed 'action should be taken to prevent further deaths'.

As well as detailing his findings in a report, Stevens has contacted the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Health and Social Care.

He has urged the FSA to begin printing warnings on supplement packaging so that future deaths can be avoided.

“In my opinion, action should be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe you have the power to take such action,” the Assistant Coroner concluded.

Following the warning, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care told the Daily Mail: “Our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of David Mitchener. We will consider the coroner’s findings in full and respond in due course.”

Topics: Health, London, Science