+ Add to myCart

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that helps regulate calcium and phosphorus in the body. It also plays a role in maintaining proper bone structure.

There are different forms of vitamin D, including ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Vitamin D is found in fish, eggs, and fortified milk. It's also made in the skin when exposed to sunlight. During periods of sunlight, vitamin D is stored in fat and then released when sunlight is not available.

Vitamin D supplements are commonly used to treat and prevent vitamin D deficiency. People who don't get enough sun and people who are 65 years or older are especially at risk for deficiency. People also use vitamin D for weak and brittle bones, heart disease, asthma, hay fever, and many other conditions, but there's no good scientific evidence to support many of these uses. There is also no good evidence to support using vitamin D for COVID-19.

Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.
  • Corticosteroid-induced osteoporosis.  Oral vitamin D prevents corticosteroid-induced osteopenia and osteoporosis.
  • Login for details

  • Osteoporosis.  Regular intake of oral vitamin D with calcium helps to prevent the progression of osteoporosis. It might also reduce the risk of fracture in some patients. However, its place in the prevention of secondary facture is unclear.
  • Login for details

  • Psoriasis.  Topical vitamin D or vitamin D analogues improve symptoms of psoriasis. This benefit is not seen with oral vitamin D.
  • Login for details

  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD).  Most research shows that taking vitamin D with or without calcium does not reduce the risk of CVD or CVD complications. There is some speculation that there might be modest benefit in the elderly, but more research is needed to confirm.
  • Login for details

  • Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).  Clinical research in hospitalized patients suggests that oral vitamin D is not beneficial for the treatment of COVID-19. Also, although early observational studies have suggested a correlation between vitamin D status and risk for COVID-19, this association may be due to other confounders such as age and comorbidities.
  • Login for details

  • Critical illness (trauma).  Taking vitamin D 540,000 IU as a single oral dose does not reduce death or hospital stay in critically ill patients. However, limited research suggests that taking a smaller dose of vitamin D long-term might have a modest benefit.
  • Login for details

  • Fractures.  Although oral vitamin D prevents fractures in osteoporosis, most evidence shows that vitamin D does NOT prevent factures in people who do not have osteoporosis.
  • Login for details

  • Hypertension.  Overall, vitamin D does not seem to prevent or lower high blood pressure in most patients; however, it may lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients with vitamin D deficiency.
  • Login for details

  • Prostate cancer.  Oral vitamin D does not appear to affect prostate cancer progression or cancer-related mortality.
  • Login for details

  • Tuberculosis.  Oral vitamin D seems to be ineffective for reducing the severity of tuberculosis or mortality from tuberculosis.
  • Login for details

No data available.
No data available.
Info
No data available.

When taken by mouth: Vitamin D is likely safe when taken in recommended amounts. Most people don't experience side effects with vitamin D, unless too much is taken. Some side effects of taking too much vitamin D include weakness, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, and others. Taking vitamin D for long periods of time in doses higher than 4000 IU (100 mcg) daily is possibly unsafe and may cause very high levels of calcium in the blood.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Vitamin D is likely safe during pregnancy and breast-feeding when used in daily amounts below 4000 IU (100 mcg). Do not use higher doses unless instructed by your healthcare provider. Vitamin D is possibly unsafe when used in higher amounts during pregnancy or while breast-feeding. Using higher doses might cause harm to the infant.

Children: Vitamin D is likely safe in children when taken by mouth in recommended amounts. But it is possibly unsafe to take vitamin D in higher doses, long-term. Infants from 0-6 months should not take more than 1000 IU (25 mcg) daily. Infants aged 6-12 months should not take more than 1500 IU (37.5 mcg) daily. Children aged 1-3 years should not take more than 2500 IU (62.5 mcg) daily. Children aged 4-8 years should not take more than 3000 IU (75 mcg) daily. Children aged 9 years and older should not take more than 4000 IU (100 mcg) daily.

Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis): Taking vitamin D could make this condition worse, especially in people with kidney disease.

A type of fungal infection called histoplasmosis: Vitamin D might increase calcium levels in people with histoplasmosis. This could lead to kidney stones and other problems. Use vitamin D cautiously.

High levels of calcium in the blood: Taking vitamin D could make this condition worse.

Over-active parathyroid gland (hyperparathyroidism): Vitamin D might increase calcium levels in people with hyperparathyroidism. Use vitamin D cautiously.

Lymphoma: Vitamin D might increase calcium levels in people with lymphoma. This could lead to kidney stones and other problems. Use vitamin D cautiously.

Kidney disease: Vitamin D might increase calcium levels and increase the risk of "hardening of the arteries" in people with serious kidney disease. Calcium levels should be monitored carefully in people with kidney disease.

A disease that causes swelling (inflammation) in body organs, usually the lungs or lymph nodes (sarcoidosis): Vitamin D might increase calcium levels in people with sarcoidosis. This could lead to kidney stones and other problems. Use vitamin D cautiously.

Tuberculosis: Vitamin D might increase calcium levels in people with tuberculosis. This could lead to kidney stones and other problems. Use vitamin D cautiously.

Aluminum

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Aluminum is found in most antacids. Vitamin D can increase how much aluminum the body absorbs. This interaction might be a problem for people with kidney disease. Take vitamin D two hours before, or four hours after antacids.

Calcipotriene (Dovonex)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Calcipotriene is a drug that is similar to vitamin D. Taking vitamin D along with calcipotriene (Dovonex) might increase the effects and side effects of calcipotriene (Dovonex). Avoid taking vitamin D supplements if you are taking calcipotriene (Dovonex).

Cimetidine (Tagamet)

Interaction Rating=Minor Be watchful with this combination.

The body changes vitamin D into a form that it can use. Cimetidine might decrease how well the body changes vitamin D. This might decrease how well vitamin D works. But this interaction probably isn't important for most people.

Digoxin (Lanoxin)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Calcium can affect the heart. Digoxin (Lanoxin) is used to help your heart beat stronger. Taking vitamin D along with digoxin (Lanoxin) might increase the effects of digoxin (Lanoxin) and lead to an irregular heartbeat. If you are taking digoxin (Lanoxin), talk to your doctor before taking vitamin D supplements.

Diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Calcium can affect your heart. Diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac) can also affect your heart. Taking large amounts of vitamin D along with diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac) might decrease the effectiveness of diltiazem.

Heparin

Interaction Rating=Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Heparin slows blood clotting and can increase the risk of breaking a bone when used for a long period of time. People taking these medications should eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.

Low molecular weight heparins (LMWHS)

Interaction Rating=Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Some medications called low molecular weight heparins can increase the risk of breaking a bone when used for a long periods of time. People taking these medications should eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.

These drugs include enoxaparin (Lovenox), dalteparin (Fragmin), and tinzaparin (Innohep).

Verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Calcium can affect the heart. Verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan) can also affect the heart. Do not take large amounts of vitamin D if you are taking verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan).

Water pills (Thiazide diuretics)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Some "water pills" increase the amount of calcium in the body. Taking large amounts of vitamin D along with some "water pills" might cause to be too much calcium in the body. This could cause serious side effects including kidney problems.

Some of these "water pills" include chlorothiazide (Diuril), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL, Esidrix), indapamide (Lozol), metolazone (Zaroxolyn), and chlorthalidone (Hygroton).

Calcium: Taking vitamin D along with calcium increases absorption of calcium. This might increase the risk of calcium levels becoming too high in some people.
Magnesium: Taking vitamin D can raise the level of magnesium in people who have low magnesium and low vitamin D levels. This doesn't seem to be a concern for people with normal magnesium levels.

There are no known interactions with foods.

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient. Fish, eggs, and fortified milk are good sources of vitamin D. The amount that should be consumed on a daily basis is called the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). The RDA is 600 IU (15 mcg) daily for people 1-70 years of age and 800 IU (20 mcg) daily for those 71 years and older. While pregnant and breastfeeding, the RDA is 600 IU (15 mcg) daily. In children, the RDA depends on age. Vitamin D is also made in the skin after sun exposure. Spending 15-30 minutes in the sun each day should be enough to maintain normal vitamin D levels for most people.

Most people should not consume more than 4000 IU daily unless under the care of a healthcare provider. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.

Alfacalcidol: 1-alpha-hydroxycholecalciferol, 1-alpha-hydroxycholécalciférol, 1 alpha (OH)D3.
Calcifediol: 25-HCC, 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, 25-hydroxycholécalciferol , 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, 25-hydroxyvitamine D3, 25-OHCC, 25-OHD3, Calcifédiol.
Calcipotriene : Calcipotriène, Calcipotriol.
Calcitriol: 1,25-DHCC, 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, 1,25-dihydroxycholécalciférol, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamine D3, 1,25-diOHC, 1,25(0H)2D3.
Cholecalciferol: 7-déhydrocholestérol Activé, Activated 7-dehydrocholesterol, Cholécalciférol, Colecalciferol, Colécalciférol, Vitamin D3.
Dihydrotachysterol: DHT, Dihydrotachystérol, dihydrotachysterol 2, dichysterol, Vitamine D3.
Ergocalciferol: Activated Ergosterol, Calciferol, Ergocalciférol, Ergocalciferolum, Ergostérol Activé, Ergostérol Irradié, Irradiated Ergosterol, Viosterol, Viostérol, Vitamin D2, Vitamine D2.
Paricalcitol: 19-nor-1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D2, 19-nor-1,25-dihydroxyvitamine D2, Paracalcin.
Vitamina D, Vitamine D.

Natural Medicines disclaims any responsibility related to medical consequences of using any medical product. Effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this monograph is accurate at the time it was published. Consumers and medical professionals who consult this monograph are cautioned that any medical or product related decision is the sole responsibility of the consumer and/or the health care professional. A legal License Agreement sets limitations on downloading, storing, or printing content from this Database. Except for any possible exceptions written into your License Agreement, no reproduction of this monograph or any content from this Database is permitted without written permission from the publisher. Unlawful to download, store, or distribute content from this site.

For the latest comprehensive data on this and every other natural medicine, health professionals should consult the Professional Version of the Natural Medicines. It is fully referenced and updated daily.

© Copyright 1995-2021. Therapeutic Research Faculty, publishers of Natural Medicines, Prescriber's Letter, and Pharmacist's Letter. All rights reserved.

trclogo