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Man dies of Vitamin D ‘overdose’

He was admitted to East Surrey Hospital last year in May and died ten days later

Maroosha Muzaffar
Thursday 29 February 2024 06:05 GMT
Related: Why should you start taking vitamin D supplements?

An 89-year-old retired businessman died from an “overdose” of Vitamin D supplements that did not warn about the risks of excessive intake.

David Mitchener from Oxted, Surrey, reportedly had fatally high levels of Vitamin D when he was brought to the East Surrey Hospital last year in May and was suffering from hypercalcaemia – a build-up of calcium in the body associated with taking too much vitamin D.

He died ten days later.

The incident prompted the Surrey assistant coroner to issue a report urging regulatory bodies to mandate clear warnings on supplement packaging about the dangers of overconsumption.

Jonathan Stevens’ “prevention of future deaths” report emphasises that the supplements consumed by Mitchener for a minimum of the past nine months lacked a warning regarding the specific risks or side effects associated with excessive intake.

He has also written to the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Health and Social Care urging them to ask supplement manufacturers to print warnings on packaging.

In his report, he warned that vitamin supplements “can have potentially very serious risks and side effects when taken in excess”. He added that the “current food labelling requirements do not require these risks and side effects to be written on the packaging”.

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

A department of health and social care spokesman was quoted as saying by 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.”

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