What Is a Sufficient Cholecalciferol Dose?

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  • Written By: B. Chisholm
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 19 February 2019
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Cholecalciferol is Vitamin D3, which is naturally produced in the body after exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D deficiency seems to be on the rise worldwide, especially in countries where sunlight is scarce, and people may therefore require supplementation. The ideal cholecalciferol dose will depend on how severe the deficiency is.

Vitamin D, including cholecalciferol, plays a number of roles in the body, the most vital being to maintain calcium and phosphorus levels, two elements essential for the building of bone, a process which continues throughout life. If there is a deficiency of vitamin D, bone is not formed properly and may result in conditions such as rickets in children and osteoporosis. It is for this reason that a sufficient cholecalciferol dose is essential. Vitamin D may be used for both prophylaxis and treatment of osteoporosis.

Sufficient cholecalciferol levels may be obtained by eating foods fortified with Vitamin D3, cautiously increasing exposure to the sun - as little as ten minutes a day may be sufficient - or getting a cholecalciferol dose from a tablet, often combined with calcium or in a multivitamin. Dietary sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, fish such as tuna and mackerel, cheese and cod liver oil. Vitamin D supplementation may be confusing as a number of different forms of it are available commercially, cholecalciferol being just one of them. It is best to discuss the various options with a doctor or pharmacist.


The sufficient cholecalciferol dose will be established by the treating doctor according to the indication. Vitamin D is often included in multivitamin preparations at the recommended daily Adequate Intake (AI) levels. In adult males and females under 50-years old, 5 micrograms (200 IU or International Units) daily is recommended. Vitamin D requirements increase with age and people between 50- and 70-years old require 10 micrograms daily (400 IU) and those over 70-years old require 15 micrograms daily (600 IU). These are basic supplemental doses and the doses for treatment of conditions such as rickets will differ significantly.

Vitamin D toxicity may occur so the recommended vitamin D or cholecalciferol dose should never be exceeded. Vitamin D toxicity may result in the calcium levels rising too high which, if severe, may result in damage to the kidneys. Some people may be at higher risk of developing toxicity, such as those with parathyroidism or underlying kidney disease. For this reason it is vital to discuss any chronic or acute conditions with the doctor or pharmacist before starting vitamin D supplementation.


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Post 4

@SarahSon - I think it would be best to be tested first, or at least speak with your doctor about it.

They always want to know what supplements you are taking anyway, and this way you could get his recommendation.

For most people who are low, the vitamin D dosage that comes in a multi-vitamin is probably not enough.

I also don't like eggs or fish and can't see myself even trying cod liver oil. I am due for my physical in a few weeks, and I plan to discuss this with my doctor when I am there.

Post 3

I have never been tested for something like this, but am probably low on vitamin D. Of all the foods listed that are high in cholecalciferol, the only one I like is cheese.

I have been trying to cut back on cheese because I have been trying to lose weight. I also live in a part of the country that gets a lot of rain and cloudy days.

My mom also has a history of osteoporosis, so I am concerned about my calcium levels too.

It sounds like there are several vitamin D3 benefits that I could really use. Should you be tested before you start taking something like this, or just go ahead and try taking a supplement?

Post 2

Wow - it sounds like you don't need much sunshine in a day to make a difference. My husband works outside all year long, so he never has to worry about not getting enough vitamin D in his system.

I don't stay outside long if the weather is bad - too hot or too cold, so probably needed some extra help.

There is a lot more vitamin D3 information available than there used to be. I have heard it talked about on several TV health programs and read about it in health and fitness magazines.

I have always taken a multi-vitamin, but decided I probably wasn't taking enough vitamin D. It really isn't very expensive. I bought some capsules that have 1000 IU and just take one a day.

The bottle only cost me around $8.00 and lasts me for three months. I thought that was a small price to pay for all the extra benefits I should receive.

Post 1

My doctor actually recommended I start taking a Vitamin D3 supplement after tests showed my vitamin D levels were low.

I live in the north, and we have long cold winters with a lot of cloudy days. I don't get much sun during these long months, and found out it was starting to take a toll on me.

If we have a bright, sunny day I like to sit by the window and soak up as much of the sun as I can. I doubt this is the same as getting actual sunshine, but I find it brightens my mood.

I have seemed to notice a difference after about a month of taking this extra vitamin D. It seems like I have a little more energy, an uplifted mood and I know it is also helping with my calcium levels too.

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