We Are At The Beginning Of Change…
Wednesday March 20th 2019


To D Or Not to D

Post Published: 10 February 2011
Category: Guest Bloggers
This post currently has 15 responses. Leave a comment

Word out: vitamin D is a crucial cofactor in the proper function of your thyroid hormones. Turns out that normal vitamin D levels are necessary for the transport of thyroid hormone into the cell nucleus, which as you may recall from biology class is the control center of the cell.

We have an epidemic of low vitamin D levels, and the recommended daily amounts by national organizations (such as the National Osteoporosis Foundation) have been increasing almost annually. In my practice, I find that about 80% of my patients are low in vitamin D — an important regulator of mood, metabolism and breast cancer risk reduction. Based on the literature, the rate of low vitamin D is even higher in women with low thyroid function.

Ultimately, if your vitamin D is too low, your body may not be able to produce enough nor regulate thyroid hormones.

There are many causes of low vitamin D: use of sunblock, poor absorption, living in the San Francisco or similarly cloudy place, or a genetic predisposition to binding or utilizing vitamin D improperly. As we age, we need more sunlight on our skin to confer the same absorption of vitamin D as we needed when we were younger. Let’s see: do I prefer healthy thyroid function, strong bones, stable mood and prevention of breast cancer or do I prefer skin cancer? Fortunately, there’s an alternative to skin cancer – you can take vitamin D as a supplement.

Certain autoimmune conditions such as Graves’ disease are linking to problems with the vitamin D-binding protein (DBP) gene. Folks with Graves’ have far less vitamin D in their blood than healthy, euthyroid people. How the vitamin D-binding protein affects your risk of autoimmunity is unknown, but here’s what we do know: check your vitamin D, and keep it in the high normal range. Consider testing for the vitamin D-binding protein gene – I happen to have a problem with this gene and need 50-70% higher levels of vitamin D than a normal person for the same biological benefit in my body.

Written by, Dr. Sara Gottfried

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , , ,

Follow Dear Thyroid on Twitter/@DearThyroid | See our Facebook Page | Become a Fan on Facebook | Join our Facebook Group

You Can Create a Dear Thyroid Profile and share with friends!

Reader Feedback

15 Responses to “To D Or Not to D”

  1. Amanda says:

    Excellent info Dr G! I will be reading up more on this, love it when I can learn and maybe do something to help myself! I will also check with my endo next week to see what she has to say on this.


  2. thy_r88gous says:

    DR. G. i have a hyperthyroid. i had my vit d checked on 6/21/10 it was 27. dr gave me some 2000 mg vit d supplement. on 10/18/10 my vit d was 49. on my test papers it says normal is between 0 and 100. anything over 100 causes other health problems so i figured 49, 50. was good enough. thats right in the middle. so now i take them only occassionly. what is the optimum number to be at? also it did nothin for my thyroid numbers. they were the same if not worse.

  3. best data we have is that a level between 52-100 is ideal – associated with improved thryoid function (not nesessarily numbers) and risk reduction of both breast cancer and osteoporosis.

  4. Could low did the cause of the facial nerve issues ? I had hemithyroidectomy left lobe April 14th 2014 haven t gained weight so far (thank you God) but it feels like my nerves ,,,I can t really explain it but example is my glasses drive me crazy sitting on my face ? Make any sense to anyone ? Still having trouble with my throat but my incision looks great ! Feel like menopause all over hot cold ,moody and now this sensation thing,,,I ll listen to any suggestions please ! If it s vitamin D shortage I get some right now. And why do I get so dizzy from pretty much any excercise along with shortness of breath a couple times a day ? Am I normal for this surgery ? Or becoming a nut ! Thank you for taking the time to maybe give me some ideas.

  5. rhonda peterson says:

    D3 or d2 …. whats the difference?

  6. Melissa Green says:

    So, this might explain why my Vitamin D levels tested low the year before we discovered I had hypothyroidism! But did my low Vitamin D lead to the hypothyroidism, or was it the opposite? And will I ever get back to having as much energy as I used to? I have been on Synthyroid for over a month now and my levels have tested normal.

  7. Sherry Kristoff says:

    What about multiple sclerosis?? I’m on a prescription of 50,000 units a week. I also have periodontal disease and had 2 horrible surgeries on 3 teeth. Braces were put on my teeth but I could only stand them for 7 months. I’m told I need an implant because I have no bone left in the area where the space is widening from having an abcess tooth removed,but at $3000 that’s not happening. I used to have good teeth. Now it’s very upsetting because the space is growing between my teeth because of the disease. Also I’ve been told that the MS comes from Vitamin D deficiency AND that the deficiency was caused by the MS. I’m 66 and have several other problems. Like an inoperable brain tumor and arteries blocked to my colon cause constant extreme pain for which I take Percocet 3X’s a day. I’ve also had 4 surgeries in an area between my neck and shoulder for basil cell carcinoma that is now once again starting to grow back.

  8. Chris Huber says:

    I found out last fall that my D level was low. I have been very diligent about taking my D ever since. I have had to have my Levothyroxine decreased twice (last TSH is 0.06). I wonder if the Vitamin D3 that has caused my TSH to plummet?

  9. Lisa Head says:

    Very interesting article. My initial testing was a 7 and my doctor was very shocked. I’ve been on megadoses for a month and my new level was at 17 which is still lower than normal. No doctor has ever mentioned that my Vitamin D and my thyroid problem could in some way be related. Thank you for the information, going to mention it at my next dr. visit.

  10. Mandy says:

    GREAT ADVICE!! I have had hasimotos for 8 years now. I recently wanted to get off of my Cymbalta (low dose) and was concerned about Vit D. I was tested and low and behold I was VERY low in D2 and D3. I started taking supplements about 1 month ago and feel BETTER!! Wow…why didn’t they tell me this a long time ago? My ins wouldn’t pay for the Vit D testing either….but I was willing to pay for it…glad I did. I take 40,000 units a week. Gonna try to get off the cymbalta now….

  11. Susan says:

    Please remind what vitamin d supplement is best… Not necessarily the brand, but the vitamin number, if you know what I mean…and usual dosage

  12. Sue says:

    I’ve had blood tests for thyroid , graves and pituitary problems many times over the years. I have ‘classic’ thyroid symptoms. Nothing ever shows up! How can I get tested for lack of Vit D. I live in UK. (Or I am exhausted in the UK)!

  13. Lela says:

    How much should a person with Graves take? I had my thyroid irradicated in 1999…what about taking D3?

  14. Lori says:

    Dr. G!!
    Can I please be a patient of yours!!! Or could you possibly recommend someone near Montgomery Al? I cannot find a dr!!! I haven’t had one in over 10 years. The only one is my obgyn, no one will treat t3&t4?.
    Thanks for your amazing article!!

  15. Audra says:

    I have had my levels checked before, but they always come back in the normal / low normal range, and I am told I don’t need to take supplements. However,I find that if I do take a supplement (1000 IU daily) I feel much better!! I have more energy, more patience, and am more focused! Now if I could only remember to take them! Lol

Leave a Reply

Comments are moderated in an effort to control spam. If you have a previously approved Comment, this one should go right through. Thanks for your patience!


200 OK


The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, [no address given] and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.