Treating vitamin D deficiency

How is vitamin D deficiency treated ?

Australian consensus guidelines suggest that people diagnosed with moderate or severe vitamin D deficiency (serum 25-OHD < 25 nmol/L) should receive 3000–5000 IU of cholecalciferol (also known as vitamin D3) as a daily supplement for 6–12 weeks.1 Diet alone does not provide an adequate amount of vitamin D, so ongoing supplements may be necessary for people at high risk of vitamin D deficiency (e.g. aged care residents, people with naturally dark skin, people over 65 years, people who cover themselves for religious or cultural reasons).1 

Consider recommending short, frequent periods of sun exposure, increased physical activity and improved dietary calcium intake to people with mild deficiency (serum 25-OHD 25–50 nmol/L).1,2 

Supplementation may be necessary if these measures are impractical, or in those at high risk of deficiency.

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