Can Low Vitamin D Cause Heart Palpitations?

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

Heart palpitations are common and can be caused by various factors, including anxiety, stress, caffeine, and alcohol. There also is evidence that vitamin D deficiency can cause palpitations in some people.

Vitamin D plays a vital role in cardiovascular health and regulates calcium balance and heart muscle function, which may explain why low vitamin D levels can increase the risk of an irregular heartbeat.

Discover the potential connection between vitamin D deficiency and heart palpitations and how vitamin D supplementation can help to promote normal heart function.  

Irregular heartbeat

The connection between low vitamin D and heart palpitations

Although more research is needed to fully establish the link between vitamin D and heart palpitations, there is evidence that cardiac myocytes, a type of heart muscle cell, have vitamin D receptors, which indicates that vitamin D plays a role in regulating heart muscle functioning. 

This is supported by the findings that inadequate vitamin D levels significantly increase the risk of heart disease, including coronary artery disease, hypertension, heart failure, and sudden cardiac death.

Vitamin D also helps the body absorb calcium, and vitamin D deficiency can result in low calcium levels and hypocalcemia.

Calcium regulates nerve transmission and heart muscle contractions, and low blood calcium can directly contribute to irregular heart muscle function and heart palpitations.

What are heart palpitations?

Heart palpitations are caused by an irregular or rapid heartbeat and can trigger sensations of heart fluttering, pounding in your chest, or a heart that appears to skip beats.

Palpitations may also be accompanied by other symptoms, such as lightheadedness, dizziness, shortness of breath, or chest discomfort.

Heart palpitations can be caused by various factors, including stress, anxiety, alcohol, medications, or certain medical conditions, including arrhythmia, heart valve problems, and thyroid problems

ECG showing atrial fibrillation

How much vitamin D should you take to avoid heart palpitations?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that’s produced when sunlight hits the skin. However, vitamin D deficiency is common, and food sources, including fatty fish, egg yolks, and mushrooms, typically don’t provide enough vitamin D to support healthy vitamin D levels. 

A vitamin D3 supplement is an easy and convenient way to promote normal heart functioning and bone health and support calcium balance.  

The recommended daily intake of vitamin D ranges between 600 to 800 IU for adults. However, significantly larger doses of up to 10,000 IU per day may be necessary to correct a vitamin D deficiency or for people with a dark skin tone which significantly lowers vitamin D production.    

Vitamin D capsules

Can too much vitamin D cause heart palpitations?

While heart palpitations can be caused by vitamin D deficiency, too much vitamin D can also impact heart function.

Elevated vitamin D levels can result in excessive calcium absorption and hypercalcemia, characterized by abnormally high calcium levels in the blood.

Research confirms that hypercalcemia can significantly impair regular heart muscle contractions and may result in ventricular fibrillation, a common type of heart palpitation.    

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and can accumulate in the body, which increases the risk of hypercalcemia and kidney disease. Regular blood tests help to determine your vitamin D status and can guide your optimal vitamin D dosage. 

It’s important to note that sun exposure doesn’t cause excessive vitamin D levels and that vitamin D toxicity from taking dietary supplements is extremely rare. 

Vitamin supplements in heart shape

Key takeaways

Vitamin D is closely connected to the cellular functioning of heart tissue and crucial for maintaining calcium balance which directly regulates nerve impulses and heart contractions.       

While a vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and has been linked to palpitations, elevated vitamin D levels are also associated with an increased risk of irregular heartbeats.

Taking a vitamin D3 supplement to support healthy serum vitamin D levels is an easy and convenient way to promote normal heart function and support your overall health. 



1. What are heart palpitations?

Heart palpitations are noticeable changes in your heartbeat that are often described as irregular or rapid and can cause pounding or fluttering sensations in your chest.  

Palpitations are typically harmless and can be a normal response to exercise, anxiety, or stress. However, in some cases, palpitations can also be a symptom of an underlying heart condition. 

2. Can low vitamin D cause my heart to palpitate?

Yes, there is some evidence that low vitamin D may increase the risk of heart palpitations. 

3. Why does low vitamin D cause heart palpitations?

Vitamin D regulates muscle cell functioning and is crucial for the absorption of calcium. Vitamin D deficiency may cause abnormal heart muscle contraction and low blood calcium levels, impairing heart muscle nerve transmission linked to heart palpitations.  

4. Does vitamin D affect heart rhythm?

Yes, vitamin D can affect heart rhythm, and research suggests that vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of developing atrial fibrillation, the most common type of heart palpitation.  

5. Can excess vitamin D cause heart problems?

Abnormally high vitamin D levels can cause excessive calcium absorption and result in hypercalcemia, a condition characterized by elevated blood calcium levels. Calcium balance is essential for the proper functioning of the heart, and abnormal calcium levels can cause arrhythmias and irregular heartbeat. 

6. Can low vitamin D cause heart racing?

Yes, low vitamin D levels are linked to racing heart sensations. Vitamin D regulates heart muscle functioning and calcium balance, and low vitamin D status can result in impaired heart muscle contraction and imbalanced calcium levels linked to heart palpitations.   

7. What vitamin helps with heart palpitations?

Vitamin D supports heart health and promotes balanced calcium levels. 

In addition, vitamins A and B12  are essential for maintaining healthy nerve signal transmission needed to regulate normal heart muscle contraction. 

8. How much vitamin D is best for heart palpitations?

How much vitamin D you should take for heart palpitations depends on your vitamin D status, average sunlight exposure, age, and skin tone. 

While the National Institute of Health suggests taking 600 IU of vitamin D daily, you may require significantly higher doses to achieve and maintain healthy blood levels if you’re severely deficient.  

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