Vitamin D Deficiency Treatment
The page shows you how to correct a vitamin D deficiency, gently and safely, using vitamin D supplements. It is intended for use by people in good health, who have good reason to believe that they are vitamin D deficient. If you are under a doctor’s care for a specific health condition, it is important that you check with your doctor first.
People are able to absorb Vitamin D through the digestive system, so we can increase our vitamin D levels by taking the right foods and vitamin D supplements.
But most foods have very little vitamin D (oily fish has the most) so it is not practical to treat vitamin D deficiency with food alone.
Sunshine would be the best remedy, but it is hard to get enough sunshine to do the job, unless you take an extended holiday in a sunny location! You would need several weeks. It can’t be done all at once.
Treating a vitamin D deficiency involves restocking the body’s vitamin D reserves, not just creating a short-term boost in blood levels.
Which leaves supplements. Our approach will involve taking vitamin D supplements for 60 days.
Preparing for your Vitamin D Deficiency Treatment
Before you start your vitamin d deficiency correction program, bear in mind that it is designed to bring you close to the optimum range of vitamin D blood levels. This is great, but make sure you are meeting your body’s requirements for calcium, magnesium and vitamin K2. See Vitamin D Co-factors.
If you are suffering from any illness or condition for which you are under a doctor’s care, consult her or him about your plan to optimise your vitamin D levels. Optimising vitamin D is a very good thing for most people, even those who are ill, but it may influence treatments and medications. So your doctor needs to know. Also, there are rare conditions for which vitamin D is contra-indicated.
Have you checked that you really are vitamin D deficient?
The correct vitamin D blood test to establish your vitamin D status is called a 25(OH)D test. If you have taken this test, and your result is lower than 32 ng/ml or 80 nmol/L then you can benefit from this program. See Vitamin D Testing. If you tested higher than 32 ng/ml (80 nmol/L) then you are not vitamin D deficient and should not follow this program.
If you have not taken the 25(OH)D blood test, you can make an informed estimate of your vitamin D status. See How to Estimate your Vitamin D Level.
Correcting a Vitamin D Deficiency
This program will gradually improve your vitamin D status over two months – just as would happen naturally in spring, if we lived closer to nature.
In the table below, use your current vitamin D status and your body mass (use the column nearest to your actual body mass) to read off the basic correction dose that applies to you. (To convert pounds to kg, divide pounds by 2.2)
This table can be used for children (using their body mass) and adults of any age – including pregnant and breastfeeding mums.
Vitamin D Deficiency Correction Table
|Vit D Status||25(OH)D Blood Test||30 lb||60 lb||100 lb||150 lb||200 lb||250 lb|
|ng/ml||nmol/L||Daily Correction Dose of Vitamin D3 (IU)|
|High but not Toxic||66-100||164-250||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Toxicity Possible||Above 100||Above 250||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
Using your 25(OH)D vitamin D blood test results and the column closest to your mass in pounds, read off the Daily Correction Dose of Vitamin D3 in International Units (IU). Take this dose for 60 days, then revert to a maintenance dose. See Vitamin D Dosage.
Example: A severely deficient adult weighs 165 lb. Using 150 lb column, correction dose is 6000 IU of vitamin D3 per day.
Tips for Taking your Vitamin D3 Deficiency-Correction Dose
International Units, or IU are the usual units of measure for vitamin D, but some manufacturers state the size of a dose in micrograms. For vitamin D, 1 mcg = 40 IU. (So if you wanted 6000 IU of vitamin D you could take 150 mcg instead.)
The table amounts are intended as total daily vitamin D intakes, so if you are already supplementing vitamin D, perhaps through a multivitamin or bone formula, take that into account by reducing the deficiency-correction dose so that your total daily vitamin D (including vitamin D2 and vitamin D3) intake is in line with the table.
Vitamin D3 usually comes in doses of 400, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and occasionally 10000 or 50000 IU. The exact dose you require may not be available to purchase. Easiest way to deal with that is to convert your daily dose to a weekly one (multiply by 7). Then work out how to get close to that weekly target using whatever vitamin D capsules you have purchased.
For example, suppose you were aiming at 4500 IU per day. That would be 31500 IU per week.
If your capsule size was 5000 IU, you could take one capsule daily, but skip Sundays. Total 30000 IU per week.
If your capsule size was 2000 IU, you could take two a day, and three on Fridays and Saturdays). Total 32000 IU per week.
Either 30000 IU or 32000 IU per week is close enough to your target of 31500 IU per week. You don’t have to be super precise.
Are you Ready?
So is there any reason why you should not start today?
Well, if you are about to take a vitamin D blood test, then you might want to wait for the result. But if not, you could estimate your vitamin D status right now, and if you are clearly deficient, strike while the iron is hot and grab the bull by the horns!