, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 173-179
Date: 16 Sep 2008

Finding the Optimal Dose of Vitamin D Following Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass: A Prospective, Randomized Pilot Clinical Trial

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Vitamin D deficiency is common following bariatric surgery and is due to a combination of baseline deficiency and postoperative malabsorption. There are few prospective studies evaluating the appropriate dose of vitamin D to prevent and treat vitamin D deficiency following bariatric surgery.


We evaluated three doses of vitamin D3 (800, 2,000, and 5,000 IU/day) in a prospective, randomized pilot trial of 45 patients undergoing Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Serum 25 hydroxy Vitamin D (25OHD), intact PTH (iPTH), calcium, and urine calcium/creatinine ratios were measured at 6, 12, and 24 months postoperatively. Due to a high dropout rate at 24 months, we focus on the 12-month data.


At 12 months, the 800-, 2,000-, and 5,000-IU groups had a mean ± SD increase in 25OHD of 27.5 ± 40.0, 60.2 ± 37.4, and 66.1 ± 42.2 nmol/L, respectively (p = 0.09) with a maximum increase in each group of 87.4, 114.8, and 129.8 nmol/L. Forty-four percent, 78%, and 70% achieved 25OHD levels ≥75 nmol/L (p = 0.38). Results for the 6- and 24-month time points were similar to the 12-month results. Mean weight loss at 24 months of the study was not different among groups (p = 0.52). Serum calcium did not change significantly, and there were no cases of hypercalcemia or sustained hypercalciuria.


Higher doses of vitamin D supplementation trend towards higher levels of 25OHD. Vitamin D replacement as high as 5,000 IU /day is safe and necessary in many patients to treat vitamin D deficiency following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass yet is still suboptimal in others.