Vitamin D or is it Vitamin D3, or are they both the same please ?

Months ago, after being newly diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and prescribed Levothyroxine, I'd been reading up on Stop The Thyroid Madness website that Vitamin D3 might help my (what I thought might be,) Fibromyalgia type pains. (I hadn't heard of Thyroid UK back then.)

At my next Doctor's appointment I was told along with the usual blood test Doc wanted to get me checked for Vit D.

I asked Doc if she meant Vitamin D3 (as mentioned on STTM website,) but Doc replied that Vitamin D3 was American.

I was prescribed Colecalciferol 1,000iu of Vitamin D and recently decided to 'Google' it on several websites and found oddly that it came up classed as a Vitamin D3. ??? Rather strange ???

19 Replies

There is a Vitamin D2. Excerpt

Recent studies have suggested that vitamin D2 is not as efficient as vitamin D3 in biological value and its use in multivitamins should stop. Because vitamin D2 is manufactured, its stability and longevity is questionable. This can lead to issues with toxicity and loss of vitamin D concentration over time.

Read more:

Your GP has provided D3 for you.

Although it is USA-based, this site has a lot of information, much of it very readable:

Even Wiki starts out with some useful information:


:O Apologies to you all, (blush, blush) My top title should have read Vitamin D (not D3 twice)

Hope this did not confuse. :)

Doc said she could prescribe Vitamin D (but not D3 as D3 is American.) Then I found out my prescription was Vit D3 after all.

Also thanking you all for your replies and links. Very interesting, was worth reading.

The bit about Rickets came to mind as at one stage I told my Doctor that I felt I was walking differently and jokingly told my friend that I felt like my legs had gone bandy instead of my upright brisk skipping walk. (lack of Vit D affects bones.)

My Doc said I was on a very high dose of vit D, 1,000iu, but was reading that doses of vit D are now safe at higher doses, was thinking of asking for a bit more to help with a few niggling pains that are creeping back.

I have had a couple of 50,000iu, once a day, causes of VitD and was told to take 1,000iu as a maintenance dose so I don't know where your GP is coming from with the "high dose" comment unless you were on 10,000iu daily.

I am now on 3,000iu daily and am still struggling to keep my levels up.

Moggie x

Hi Moggie,

If I pluck up courage I might ask Doc. about my 'high dose.' She is a lovely Doc and so far has been 'spot on' with treatment of all my symptoms I've had, then lost, now gradually creeping back again. Lots of people on here taking much higher doses than 1,000iu's

You don't have to pluck up courage you just need to mention casually that you was reading a piece about VitD deficiency and it said that 1,000iu was a maintenance dose.

Have a look at this link from Barts Hosp in London regarding all things vitD, doses, costs and how it actually works.

Moggie x

Thanks Moggie,

Will 'casually' mention to Doc that my vit D 1,000iu is a maintenance dose, I will add it to my list ;)

Also thanks for your Linky, it was very long winded, but worth reading, not only for myself. but saw something that might be of interest to someone else with another medical problem that might be in need of vit D. :)

Glad you found it useful and good luck with the doc.

Moggie x

I take Vit D3 drops (formulated from sheep wool apparently) and it helped me get rid of joint/muscle pain (just my personal opinion and experience, also my family benefits).

Vit D2 doesn't do much, a lot of cheap supplement tablets are this (and won't boost it up like D3)

So if you want to feel better and can't get enough sunshine or eat a shed-load of fish, try D3. J :D

(and if your GP won't test it (like mine) try this site for a home test - NHS lab in Birmingham with some info - best to test before supplementing and a calcium test is recommended too. ).

Thanks Spareribs,

I'm lucky as Doc has tested me twice now, my 2nd. vit D was slightly under, but Doc said I was already on a very high dose, so wouldn't increase it, but reading on Shaw's and Helvella's links I realise that my vit D 1,000iu doesn't look that high. Doc said she will test in 3 months time,(which is good,) but a few pains are creeping back and 3 months is a long wait.

Are vit D3 drops cheaper than pills ?

Mine are about £8 for 3 months supply (biocare) at about 3000 iu daily at present - I stopped in the summer, I was taking H&B tabs at first but they didn't seem to work. When I move my neck it doesn't hurt & crunch anymore or wrists and elbows! (so I will continue taking them!) btw I also went to a sun-spar :)

What was your test result? I was low at 40 (daughter deficient at 20 something) it's supposed to be over 80 - so if I'm @ 50 a daily dose of 3000iu should get me up to 80 nmol'L (well that's just one theory anyway). I should say it IS possible to overdose, but very rare - folk are ok at over 200 apparently.

If only we had sunshine on prescription! Jane x

PS the RDAs of most vitamins/minerals were done in the 1930s - when food was organic & contained more nutrients (no ready meals!) AND people were outside more (not watching tv, computers & such like!)

Thank you Spareribs,

Unfortunately as I sat in my Doctors room, around 3 times it went through my mind in between questions - REMEMBER TO ASK FOR MY BLOOD RESULTS.

:( I forgot :( was gutted, will try to remember next time, (can't put it down to my brain fog as that has gone now thank goodness, but did get to say a few interesting things to Doc. I'd found out about on Thyroid UK and how I'd got myself better. Doctor asked for my permission if she could discuss what I'd talked about to the other Doctors over their break time. (not sure which interesting bits they discussed though ;) :)

no worries - I had a 'full bloods' the other week, GP insisted on showing me all my 'normal' results (I wasn't listening, as I tend to do) but I did ask for actual TSH (4.57) and B12 (500+) - the actual reason for the tests as I'd had an active B12 test which was low - to be honest I just wanted to get out and go home as my son was leaving for Cornwall AND I switched off when he said the usual ADs may help as you could be depressed - arghhh! (I did argue a bit about TSH of 4.57 NOT being normal for me - but to no avail) I'll collect them next time, at least I got tested.... (bad attitude I know) I even wrote stuff down, but no chance and couldn't be bothered to argue again (it takes a lot out of you) Jane x

Yes it does take a lot out of you Spareribs, especially trying to remember everything you need to say, I too took a list in last time, one item on the list I wrote 'Oh! and by the way I'm not depressed' which I actually said to my Doctor.

Wished I'd taken a list this time as at the end I could have written in large letters - 'TEST RESULTS'.

Back to your original question - Vit D3 is important (not just a vitamin - it's described as a pro-hormone) we just don't get enough sun in northern climes, so have to get it elsewhere. 1000iu is about 10 cod liver oil tabs (goodness knows how many sardines!)

- if you are deficient (under 25) you need to be on more as us Thyroid impaired folk can't absorb calcium without it (apparently) - some folks have a boost of 50,000 to start, but I found a gradual increase helped me (was on 4000iu daily last winter and got to a level of 104 when I felt good, but everyone's different!) It was suggested I had CFS/ME after my partialT op - but supplementing helped pain and winter 'sadness' - also check out Vit D council as suggested above - and the osteoporosis society leaflet here - hope this helps a bit J xx

Osteo & Vit D

Have taken a few notes down from you, everyone's inputs on here helps to build a bigger, clearer picture. Will google your linky later :) Thanks Spareribs.

If you have gut problems then you will need more D3 - I have Crohns and take 10,000 IU's per day. I have lived in Crete for 10 years and hubby and I both tested insufficient - so even being in the sun lots does not guarantee healthy levels as we age or have absorption issues. There was an article in the Vitamin D Council Newsletter that covered the Crohns issue - hence my dose.

Hi Marz.

So many illnesses I'm learning are affected by lack of vit D3 it's unbelievable.

10, 000iu's :O

Now that does make my daily 'high dose' (1,000iu) look real low. ;) :)

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