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Obes Surg. 2009 Feb;19(2):173-9. doi: 10.1007/s11695-008-9680-y. Epub 2008 Sep 16.

Finding the optimal dose of vitamin D following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass: a prospective, randomized pilot clinical trial.

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  • 1Section of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-3020, USA.



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 >or=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.

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