Vitamin D Levels

I got my labs back this week and my vitamin d levels are at 13; normal should be somewhere between 30 and 80. I googled vitamin d levels and diabetes and some studies do seem to indicate that vitamin d deficiency could cause type 1 diabetes. I thought that was kind of interesting.

Even though dairy, fish products, and sunlight raise vitamin d levels, it wouldn't get me to where I need to be. So my endo told me to get some OTC vitamin d at 50,000 IU per week to raise my levels to somewhere between 50 and 70.

Is anyone else low on vitamin d? Or notice a difference after raising their vitamin d to normal level and control?


I also have a Vitamin D deficiency. My level was at 12, and my endo also prescribed 50,000mg per week for 10 weeks. It's been 10 weeks since I was first notified, but I have not gone back for more bloodwork yet. My mother also went in for bloodwork a few weeks ago (she's not T1), and she also had a low level. My cousin also does. So when my mom went in and found out she had a low level, she asked the doctor why it seemed that so many people had a Vitamin D deficiency. Apparently, they have just recently started testing Vitamin D levels, so it's a pretty new thing.

I have never heard that a Vitamin D deficiency could cause T1, although that's very interesting. I'll have to do some research on it.


my endo noticed that i was low on vitamin D but he said that a lot of people run lower at certain times of the year, so it's not too big of a thing. 

I have a young daughter with type 1 and no other family history. We have another daughter and were told to give her vitamin d to decrease her risk of developing type 1.  I have never had my type 1 daughter's level checked though. I wonder if there is a relationship to control and vitamin d levels?

I take half of a multivitamin a day.  The research on vitamin D is a hot topic right now.  They have found relationships between vitamin D and all types of autoimmune diseases.  I actually wrote a report on the topic, and I'll give you a summary of my findings when reviewing the literature...

***In a new study (, the researchers found that populations living at or near the equator, where there is abundant sunshine (and ultraviolet B irradiance) have low incidence rates of type 1 diabetes. Conversely, populations at higher latitudes, where available sunlight is scarcer, have higher incidence rates. These findings add new support to the concept of a role of vitamin D in reducing risk of this disease.

“This is the first study, to our knowledge, to show that higher serum levels of vitamin D are associated with reduced incidence rates of type 1 diabetes worldwide,” said Cedric F. Garland, Dr. P.H., professor of Family and Preventive Medicine in the UCSD School of Medicine, and member of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center.

“This research suggests that childhood type 1 diabetes may be preventable with a modest intake of vitamin D3 (1000 IU/day) for children, ideally with 5 to 10 minutes of sunlight around noontime, when good weather allows,” said Garland. “Infants less than a year old should not be given more than 400 IU per day without consulting a doctor.  Hats and dark glasses are a good idea to wear when in the sun at any age, and can be used if the child will tolerate them.”***

I posted this on another forum earlier (it's what I found when I wrote my research paper):

I'll include my concluding statements and provide the references I included in my paper as well, in case anyone is interested...

The study done in Japan also bases its rationale on genetic information, but further focuses its application to T-helper cell involvement.  As aforementioned, this study done by Shimada et. al. supported the exaggerated role of interferon-gamma in genetically predisposed T1DM patients.  Another study conducted in Chile by Garcia et. al. also identified this same vitamin D receptor polymorphism, BsmI, to be related to T1DM incidence in their study as well6.  This finding further supports the proposed exaggerated T-helper cellular response mechanism.  Since a T-helper cellular response could be invoked by a viral infection or an environmental factor like an immunization triggering an immune reaction to form antibodies, vitamin D status is further supported as a pervading factor in T1DM risk.  Since those with familial history or otherwise known genetic predisposition would be very liable to vitamin D deficiency based on the previously mentioned genetic studies completed in Germany, Japan, and Chile, supplementation of vitamin D and frequent exposure to UVB should be considered to decrease risk of T1DM diagnosis.  Further studies are required for researchers to understand the precise involvement of vitamin D and vitamin D receptors in T1DM’s etiology, but the studies published to date do indicate with sufficiency that there is a very strong relationship between the two."


1. Shimada A, Kanazawa Y, Motohashi Y, et al. Evidence for association between vitamin D receptor BsmI polymorphism and type 1 diabetes in Japanese. Journal of Autoimmunity. 2008 Jun;30(4):207-11.

2. Littorin B, Blom P, Scholin A, et al. Lower levels of plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D among young adults at diagnosis of autoimmune type 1 diabetes compared with control subjects: results from the nationwide Diabetes Incidence Study in Sweden (DISS). Diabetologia. 2006 Dec;49(12):2847-52.

3. Hypponen E, Laara E, Reunanene A, Jarvelin MR, Virtanen SM. Intake of vitamin D and risk of type 1 diabetes: a birth-cohort study. Lancet. 2001 Nov;358(9292):1500-3.

4. Mohr SB, Garland CF, Gorham ED, Garland FC. The association between ultraviolet B irradiance, vitamin D status and incidence rates of type 1 diabetes in 51 regions worldwide. Diabetologia. 2008 Aug;51(8):1391-8.

5. Ramos-Lopez E, Brueck P, Jansen T, Herwig J, Badenhoop K. CYP2R1 (vitamin D 25-hydroxylase) gene is associated with susceptibitity to type 1 diabetes and vitamin D levels in Germans. Diabetes-Metabolism Research and Reviews. 2007 Nov;23(8):631-6.

6. Garcia D, Angel B, Carrasco E, Albala C, Santos JL, Perez-Bravo F. VDR polymorphisms influence the immune response in type 1 diabetic children from Santiago, Chile. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. 2007 Jul;77(1):134-40.

Also interesting is that my pancreatic enzymes are insufficient.  I have to take additional enzymes to fix the problem, and it's thought by some that up to 50% of diabetics may suffer from this.  A common problem with this is fat malabsorption and diarrhea.  With fat malabsorption, you will be deficient in vit A, D, E, K and some other minerals like Calcium and Magnesium.  I talked about it a bit on this thread:

soo.... vitamin d is believed to possibly prevent diabetes?

I have low vitemin d and calcuim levels. We have been working on bringing them up for about two years. I wasnt growing for like two years and my endo. got worried it turned out it was my vitemin d and calcuim.

I study vitamin D and diabetes where I work. I have found that 2/3 to 3/4 of diabetics and healthy non-diabetics are insufficient in vitamin D levels (and this study was done in Florida, the SUNSHINE state!). So low levels of vitamin D are not a quality of diabetics alone. Supplementing mice with vitamin D has prevented development of diabetes, but that's mice. There are human studies that look at this too. Vitamin D is not just a 'vitamin', and it's difficult to get the recommended dosage without supplements. Vitamin D affects the performance of our immune system, so it's not surprising it may increase our susceptibility to autoimmune disease....

i`ll be pretty mad if we find that get enough vitamin d and you wont get diabetes. does vitamin d levels affect your blood sugar?

Hey Courtenay,

Vitamin D does not affect your blood sugar.

It's not just the vitamin that scientists are studying, but once you absorb the vitamin it turns into a hormone.  It can be absorbed through the food you eat or the sunlight you are exposed to.  There are also receptors on some of our cells that this hormone attaches to.  It affects the way our genes are expressed.  So, it shouldn't be thought, "Darn, if I took my vitamins I wouldn't have diabetes."  It should be thought, "Darn, there is something different in my body that changes the way the vitamin D, the vitamin D hormone, and the vitamin D receptors normally work."

There is a definitely relation between vitamin D (the vitamin, the hormone, and the receptors on the cells) and diabetes, but it has not yet been determined whether it plays a leading role or not.


OMG, my last doc visit he told me i was low on vitamin d. this is an interesting correlation!

My endo diagnosed me today (3/16/2010) with Vitamin D deficiency. I was prescribed 50,000 mg tablet once a week to try to raise my levels.

I think this is a recent thing that endos are routinely testing for vit D levels. My endo started doing it last year and mine was slightly low (somewhere in the 20's). I'm on OTC vit D now. It's probably a toal coincidence, but just before my levels were tested, I was diagnosed w/ a second auto-immune disorders (of my skin). Just got me thinking...

FYI -- Women who are low in Vit D, it can affect your calcium absorption. My dr had me do a bone density scan to make sure my bones weren't thinning and I was okay. Just something to keep in mind.

Lots of doctors are testing patients for vitamin D deficiency now.  I was tested and my levels were pretty low too.  My Dr. prescribed me the once a week 50,000 IU supplement, and I have been taking it for about 9 weeks now.  I'm eager to see how my levels have improved at my next appointment!


I also have low vitamin D levels and am taking a supplement. I was, unfortunately, recently hospitalized and they noticed my calcium levels were also low. I was reading through some of the posts. many people (not just diabetics) have this deficiency, and women do have a greater deficiency in general. I was told that sometimes vitamin D levels are more predictive of osteoporosis than calcium levels, which is why they are looking at this so much lately. Also, an endocrinologist told me yesterday that low calcium & vitamin D levels can often be associated with celiac disease, which is also often found in correlation with diabetes and sometimes asymptomatic. just something to think about!!